Every year Eurovision artists from Barcelona to Baku take on the challenge of singing in English. For some, English is their second or third or fourth language. We applaud them for their efforts, but we still scratch our heads when their mis-pronunciation leaves us questioning the meaning of their song. This year, I had a group of friends over to watch the Eurovision final here in Canada. Most of them hadn’t heard the songs ahead of time, which led to more than a few misheard lyrics. Here are some of my favourites.
5. “Attention” – Lithuania
What we heard: “Attention! A little kid!”
Correct lyric: “Attention! A little care”
Skip to 0:59 to hear the verse in question. As any diehard Eurovision fan knows, this isn’t a song about babysitting. It’s about an empowered woman doin’ it for herself—a message clearly lost on my younger sister.
4. “Silent Storm” – Norway
What we heard: “Have two toes…” or maybe “Have two totes”
Correct lyric: “Head to toes”
The very first line of the song threw us for a loop when we were already having a hard time understanding the singer. To be fair, Carl Espen’s enunciation improved over the course of the song, but that doesn’t change the fact that I had to google the lyrics to find out what he actually said…
3. “3 Minutes to Earth” – Georgia
What we heard: “Sky divers, space jam”
Correct lyrics: “Sky diver, space jump”
Skip to 1:19 to hear this lyric for the first time. It’s pretty obvious that they are saying “space jump”, but it’s less so in the music video. The song is pretty bizarre in its own right, but referencing a 90’s Looney Toons movie would have brought that to a whole other level.
2. “Cheesecake” – Belarus
What we heard: “I don’t wanna be your chocolate hamster day” or “I don’t wanna be you chocolate hams today”
Correct Lyrics: “I don’t wanna be your toy perhaps today”
This line can be heard at 0:40 in the video. While the real lyrics don’t make much sense either, not wanting to be a “chocolate hamster” is even more absurd…and less delicious.
1. “Tick-Tock” – Ukraine
What we heard: “My heart is like a clock, you wind it with your knob”
Correct Lyrics: “My heart is like a clock, you wind it with you love”
This can be heard at 1:23 in the clip. I have to say, this mistake was entirely my fault. I was really shocked at how dirty the lyrics were, but didn’t think too much of it, especially since it immediately follows the line “kiss me, kiss me ’till I drop” . It was’t until I heard the song in the semi finals that I realized that the words were really “Wind it with your LOVE”. #dirtymind. Thankfully the song made me much less uncomfortable in the final.
Want to hear more phonetic blunders? Check out our Top 10 misheard lyrics post from 2013.
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)