Thanks to Graham Hawker for this piece.  Above: deciphering the "The elephants that gather here..." line
from Lord Of Light, on a special  Hawkwind edition iPod
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Back in the old days before there was an Internet and we rarely got to read Hawkwind lyrics, I spent ages
writing them down.  Clarity though, is not a Hawkwind trademark and some songs remained almost
unintelligible: Lord of Light was a big culprit.  In other songs there were just odd lines or words that I
couldn't work out.  Elsewhere there were lines where you had to make a best guess so at least when I
played them I had something to sing. Well it's better than singing this:

'
Worlds turn upside down, now nothing else to do / Live in concrete jungles, mumble mumble mumble'

Now, we know all the lyrics. For instance they're on this site with the chords in the tabs so the struggle is
over. I find though, that in some cases my best guess is better than the real thing.  (Well I think so anyway.)

So what was my last line for the bit of Psychedelic Warlords mentioned above? Well it's the very simple and
to the point: '
Living in concrete jungles, that's what's up with you' instead of the actual, somewhat
awkward sounding '
Live in concrete jungles, that blocks up the views'.

While we're on this classic track there's a line that goes '
We can take you anyway, seven different highs'.  
Hmm...¦seven different highs.  Looks like a case of "think of a number that fits".  Perhaps it's some mystical
reference that escapes me...¦well I don't think so.  I prefer my '
several different highs'.  This is good
because it leaves room for the time they discover that there are actually eight different highs.

Sticking with 'Psychedelic Warlords', this is not one of mine, but from someone equally misguided: '
We're
sick of politicians harrassment and laws / All we do is get tied up on other people's floors
'.  I like that
better than the real words.

And of course it's handy to fill in the gaps especially if I'm still mumbling lines. The Demented Man was
rather hard to figure but I do prefer my '
In the circles of my mind / Spiralling down would find which way
I'll go / Thoughts are laughing here to find / But you never know which way I'll go
' rather than the actual
'
Endless circles on my mind / Spiralling a downward climb, which way I'll go / The thoughts are there
for you to find / But you never know which way I'll go'
.

(Although one Hawkfan came up with '
Questions asked, but never known / "penny gobbers" which way
I'll go
' on the subsequent verse!)

Sometimes you just have to make up a word. It's a case of you can't work it out but it sort of sounds like it.
In the Golden Void the line goes '
Chaotic fusions of your soul /  down below that rocky knoll'.  Well those
'Chaotic Fusions' always escaped me. Instead I used "Objifusions", which sounds like the latest concept in
object-oriented programming apart from the fact that I invented it years ago.

On Valium 10 I always thought they were singing '
Meet me down the corner shop'.  Apparently it's 'She
began to moan and shout
'.  Well I'm all for that sort of thing but I rather like the idea of Hawkwind singing
about corner shops...

There are plenty more examples - like Moonglum.  Now the whole Chronicle of the Black Sword thing is a
lyrical disaster zone because it tries to be so literal and fails miserably.  Moonglum is one of my favourites
(that opening guitar sound / riff is just stunning) but the chorus starts off '
Moonglum and Elric hunting
Theleb K'aarna / Myshella now replacing Queen Yishana
'.  Now I haven't got a full replacement for this
yet though the second line of my version starts '
I shot an arrow facing...¦'  Perhaps'mumble, mumble,
mumble
' really is a better option sometimes.

Here are some other howlers.  These first ones come from the
Am I right? website, which has a number
of misheard lyrics.  First, from Silver Machine: '
I just took all night / with my sewing machine / And I'm
still feeling mean
'. Definitely an improvement on the original!  They also quote from "PXR5" as containing
the lines: '
Three years ago, our overdraft failed and we drifted in space' (I know the feeling) with the
magnificent refrain of: '
The eggs are fried'!  Now this would probably have fitted quite well on the Hall of
the Mountain Grill album, seeing as it's almost certainly a tip of the hat to The Legend of Beenzon Toste.

And quite recently, this whole subject has come up on the Yahoo Hawkwind group / email list.  To spare
blushes, these misheard quotes will remain unattributed.  Here are some of the proffered suggestions.

In Damnation Alley: "I spent ages thinking '
the sands of the hourglass' was 'the sounds of the aardvarks' "

In 'The War I Survived'; " '
Affuf af af uffa afuf aff' and then I lose it after there. There's something in the
chorus about '
A Kensington whore is sought after five' or something."  This occasioned a response of
"That would fit with my first impression of the song being called 'Take Me Back To The Whore I
Survived'!"

And finally when mentioning this article to our esteemed webmaster he said that although Treadmill goes:
'
I'm so distant and so cold' he hears it as: 'I'm so pissed and I'm so cold'.  Well he's not the only one!

Feb 2007: Here's a late addition from Jeffrey;

I did find the "What the hell are they singing" quite funny - seems like some sound systems must be worse
than my own!  My personal addition is "Born to Go" - I used to think it was "We were born to go,
England's Star Attack"!  (yeah right, whatever...)
What the hell are they singing?