‘Tony Danza,’ ‘a mohawk too’ and other things you’ll (mis)hear at Elton John’s concert

The iconic singer, performing at the Fargodome on Saturday, March 19, has some of the most misinterpreted lyrics.

Elton John in concert at the United Center in Chicago on Feb. 4, 2022, as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
Doug George / Chicago Tribune / TNS
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FARGO — Saturday night may not be all right for fighting at the Fargodome, but will be all right for singing along to Elton John’s biggest hits .

You can expect the star will crank out gems like “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Bennie and the Jets” and about 20 more popular gems when the singer/pianist takes the stage for the 8 p.m. concert on March 19.

You can also expect to hear people around you singing the wrong lyrics from time to time.

Mondegreens — misinterpreting a lyric or phrase that changes the meaning of the song or poem — are not exclusive to Sir Elton and his main lyricist, Bernie Taupin, but they certainly have some high-profile ones.

Google “misheard lyrics” and chances are there’s at least one John song in each entry.


Like the one when Phoebe on the TV show “Friends” said the most romantic song was, “The one that Elton John wrote for that guy on ‘Who’s the Boss'” and then sang, “Hold me close, young Tony Danza.”

People related with that gaffe so much that T-shirts and coffee mugs have been sold with those wrong lyrics.

That episode aired in 1996, the year before Elton John’s first show at the Fargodome. The spoof has stood the test of time so well that for the 2021 “Friends: The Reunion,” “Friends” co-star Courtney Cox recorded the chorus with John, Ed Sheeran and Brandi Carlile and dedicated it to the actress that played Phoebe, Lisa Kudrow.

While the Tony Danza / “Tiny Dancer” mix-up may be one of the most popular misheard lyrics of John's, it's not the only one.

Late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon has had fun with #MisheardLyrics and in 2019 tweeted, “I used to think it was 'Rocket man, burnin’ down his fort of traffic cones.'"
Taupin’s actual lyrics are “Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone.”

Getting John songs wrong became a gag in the 2008 rom-com “27 Dresses.” In a scene, Katherine Heigl’s and James Marsden’s characters are drinking at a bar when “Bennie and the Jets” starts playing. They both start singing incorrect lyrics, with Heigl’s Jane belting out, “She’s got electric boobs / mohair shoes.”

The real line is, “She’s got electric boots, mohair suit,” but others have heard “a mohawk too,” “a mole there too” and countless other incorrect interpretations.

Then again, it’s kind of hard to fault someone for singing nonsense lyrics to songs by the guy who wrote “Crocodile Rock.”


Elton John, pictured here at the Fargodome in 2009, returns Saturday, March 19.
Forum file photo

If you go

What: Elton John
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, March 19
Where: Fargodome, 1800 N. University Drive
Info: Tickets range from $69.50 to $224.50;

For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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