5 Insane First Drafts of Famous Song Lyrics

#2. John Lennon Loses '60s Hippie Rhetoric for '70s Psychological Rhetoric

Seems like people like to hate on John Lennon these days. After 30 years of revering him as a saint, society is finally ready to take a dump all over this musician for not being the Christ-like figure that only desperate, weak-minded people needed him to be in the first place. Good job, society!

Anyway, anyone who is even vaguely familiar with the Beatles and Lennon knows that he was a bit of a dabbler. In addition to drugs, he experimented with Indian philosophy, civil protest, EST therapy, and new age philosophies about finding inner peace through trance or hypnoid states -- which is what the book Mind Games: The Guide to Inner Space by Robert Masters and Jean Houston is partially about.

Lennon's 1973 hit "Mind Games" had been around since the Beatles' Let It Be sessions, but the lyrics were a bit different then. Resurrecting the song in 1973, Lennon replaced his former hippie rhetoric with his new psychological influences.

Published lyric: "We're playin' those mind games together. Pushin' the barriers, plantin' seeds"

Original lyric: "I want you to make love, not war. I know you've heard it before."

But just in case you were jonesing for the old lyrics, you can hear Lennon singing them just as the song fades out or check out the original demo.

#1. The Clash Makes a Love Song Political

People used to call the Clash "the only band that matters." Today, some of those people are old, and others are dead. But if you try hard enough, you can find them, and if you poke them with a stick, they'll say some angry things about what's happened to the music business.

Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
"The suits took over, man!"

Anyway, the Clash was a great and important band, even if too many sought to place them on an impossibly high pedestal in the '70s and '80s. And in 1977, they released a classic anti-American diatribe with "I'm So Bored With the USA." Except the song didn't start off political at all.

Published lyric: "I'm so bored with the USA."

Original lyric: "I'm so bored with you."

See, there were two sides to the Clash: Mick Jones, who was more into being a pop-singing rock star and went on to record "Rush" with his band Big Audio Dynamite, and Joe Strummer, who was much more of the political punk. Apparently Jones played Strummer a song about his on-again, off-again relationship with his girlfriend called "I'm So Bored With You," and Strummer misheard him before adding a bunch of America-hating lyrics.

It's a little hard to believe. "Oh, yeah, I must have misheard you, buddy. Um, anyhoo, just wrote a bunch of additional lyrics totally more in the style of the songs I care about rather than your crap because I, um, misheard you."


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For more musical knowledge bombs, check out 19 Secret Inspirations for Famous Song Lyrics.

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