Tonight is the 21st day of September, which, of course, brings to mind the Earth, Wind & Fire hit song September. Today is also the last day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, which, according to the legend, is the only reason Earth, Wind & Fire members and song writer Allee Willis chose that date to write the song about. Released in 1978, the song reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart, #8 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and #3 on the UK Singles Chart.
The lyrics are clean and clear and easy to understand, but whenever you talk about famous songs, you have to include those that got famous more for the lyrics people didn’t understand than the song itself. Would the Elton John song Tiny Dancer have been as big of a hit for him if most people didn’t think the lyrics went: hold me closer “Tony Danza”? Well, that’s a bad example, it’s Elton John after all, of course the song would have become famous.
Misheard lyrics are as old as songs themselves. On a list of the Top 30 Misheard Song Lyrics Everyone Gets Wrong, you’ve got modern songs and songs that are now playing in elevators and grocery stores.
In our house, the misheard lyrics goes beyond full songs it applies to commercials, too. How many remember the Heinz Ketchup commercial that used Carly Simon’s hit Anticipation? Well, a young Russell would have put money down that the lyrics were: “Heinz is the patience.” It still cracks his sister up 43 years later.