So, the new VW Passat commercial uses the song Rocket Man with "average people" singing what they think the words say. It's funny, to be sure.
I had a friend who worked in the music industry in the 70s with people like Manfred Mann and Elton John. While doing backup for "Blinded By the Light" he said that they asked the singers to purposefully mumble the lyrics. They were supposed to make the words unrecognizable because the industry had found that they sold more "records" when people didn't know what was being said. It added to the longevity of the song.
In those days, only top 40 songs were played on the radio. You couldn't find older songs played, they were "outdated." So, we listened to the same songs over and over and over again. It wasn't until the 80s that they started having specialty stations in the larger markets.
The VW Passat commercial hits on that bit of history. To the Elton John words "burning out his fuse up here alone," (which, really, I have a hard time understanding the red head chick in the ad and had to look it up online) average peeps say things like, "burning out this useless telephone," and "burning up the room with cheap cologne." Hilarious, especially for those of us who lived through it.
Who hasn't sung the wrong words to a song? We all have. I wish I could remember some of the lyrics I used to sing. Really funny!
The only thing that strikes me in the commercial is that not one person in the commercial is old enough to remember Rocket Man, or care about the lyrics. Still, it's cute. Here's a link to the ad if you want to see it...