'Man Down' by Rihanna
We end with a more contemporary song, and what I think is probably my favorite absurd lyric. It's the kind of line that you can try hard to justify, but ultimately can't really be forgiven.
It comes near the beginning of Rihanna's song "Man Down," when she earnestly sings, "he coulda been somebody's son," prompting many of us to nod sagely and think, yes, Rihanna, a man could -- indeed -- have been somebody's son. He, in fact, must be somebody's son, if we're still on operating on the assumption that humans follow a traditional breeding pattern where a mother and father are required for conception.
We're starting to get a little testy here. But if you're just getting fired up about incorrect facts and stupid rhymes, do visit the next page for lots more information.
Author's Note: Waxing Moronic: 10 Wrong Facts From Song Lyrics
I know there are a million songs we missed. Basically take any song about a real figure and you can find some mistake. (See: Bob Dylan "Hurricane," Neil Young "Cortez the Killer.") Send us your favorite -- or more likely your least favorite -- lyrics-gone-wrong.
- Civil War Trust. "The Fall of Richmond."(Aug. 22, 2013) http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/warfare-and-logistics/warfare/richmond.html
- Cornell University. "Ask an Astronomer." Sept. 27, 2002. (Aug. 22, 2013) http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=156
- Danoff, Bill. "Bill Danoff's & John Denver's Career Intertwined." BillDanoff.com. 1997. (Aug. 22, 2013) http://www.billdanoff.com/BillJohnDenver.htm
- Duval, Zade. "John Denver." Midwest Today. 1997. (Aug. 22, 2013) http://www.midtod.com/98autumn/denver.phtml
- Greene, Andy. "Rolling Stone Fact-Checks Famous Rock Songs." Rolling Stone. 2013. (Aug. 22, 2013) http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/rolling-stone-fact-checks-famous-rock-songs-20110223
- The Mary Ferrell Foundation. "The Martin Luther King Assassination." (Aug. 22, 2013) http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Martin_Luther_King_Assassination
- Rayman, Marc. "If the sun became a black hole, would earth get pulled inside?" NASA. (Aug. 22, 2013) http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/review/dr-marc-sun/black-hole-sun.html
- Woods, Ashley C. "Steve Perry answers the South Detroit question from Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin.'" MLive.com. Jan. 11, 2012. (Aug. 22, 2013) http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/detroit/index.ssf/2012/01/steve_perry_finally_answers_th.html
HowStuffWorks looks at the legend of bluesman Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil and finds out what was the real explanation for his expertise on the guitar.