Gregg Nunney: Just like a Cilla Black fan on ice

Meat Loaf, possibly singing 'like a Cilla Black fan on ice'
Meat Loaf, possibly singing 'like a Cilla Black fan on ice'

I’m not sure if Cilla Black and Meat Loaf have ever met.

But when I was growing up (just as Mr Loaf enjoyed a successful second wind to his career) I was convinced that he paid tribute to her in the classic song Bat Out Of Hell.

There’s a line at the start of the second verse in which the remarkably-voiced Marvin Lee Aday sings ‘I’m going to hit the highway like a battering ram on a silver black Phantom bike’ but for years I used to sing the same refrain as “like a Cilla Black fan on ice” without any inkling that I may have got it wrong.

Cilla was a huge music star in the 1960s and, by the time Bat Out Of Hell had re-entered the charts in 1993, she was dominating weekend television with both Blind Date and Surprise Surprise.

Why wouldn’t she have been immortalised by one of the best singers of all time?

Everyone has one song that they’re convinced says one thing when, in fact, its lyrics are completely different.

My old housemate used to confuse the “warm smell of colitas” in Hotel California with the “warm smell of Doritos”.

Years ago when I talked about this on the radio my listeners came up with some cracking examples of misheard lyrics from their own repertoire.

My favourite had to be Bananarama who, in Love In The First Degree, apparently were “guilty as a cocoa bean” or even Starship’s We Built This City – the real line is “Marconi plays the mamba”, which pays tribute to the inventor of the radio. One listener switched Marconi for “my pony” and all of a sudden we have a small horse making some infectious dance music.

I’d love to see your own examples of misheard lyrics – you can tweet them to @greggnunney – and I guarantee they’ll raise a smile!