Soramimi kashi (空耳歌詞; lit. "hallucinated lyrics") is a word used in the Japanese subculture language to describe lyrics of a song that sound like the original in one language, but produce a different meaning when interpreted in another language.
An example would be the Moldovan
's song Dragostea din tei
(マイヤヒー, named from the words in the opening of the song). The refrain of the original song is:
- Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei...
- "You want to leave but you don't want, don't want to take me..."
The soramimi version:
- Bei sa, beishu ka, nomanoma-yei! Nomanoma-yei!
- "Rice, is it, rice wine, drink it drink it yeah! Drink it drink it yeah!"
Japanese comedian Tamori has had a long-running "Soramimi Hour" segment on his TV program Tamori Club, where he and his co-host watch mini-skits based on soramimi kashi submitted by the audience. The following are examples lifted from this "Soramimi Hour" segment, in order of the real lyric, followed by the soramimi text in Japanese, followed by the Japanese text romanized, and topped off by the English translation.
From Prince's "Batdance":
- Don't stop dancing!
- Nokyo Gyunyu!
- Nokyo Milk! (a popular brand of milk)
From Metallica's "Enter Sandman":
- 'Til the sandman he comes...
- Chiyoda Seimei ikou...
- Let's go to Chiyoda Life Insurance...
From Sean Paul's "Fire Links Intro":
- Mayday! [...] Dutty [...] Sean Paul! This one is hot!
- 目痛い！ [...] どっち？ [...] シャンプー！ リンスは無いさ！
- Me itai! [...] Docchi? [...] Shanpū! Rinsu wa nai sa!
- My eyes hurt! [...] Which one? [...] The shampoo! There isn't any more hair conditioner!
From Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber":
- Yo Meth! hold up, hold up, yo Meth! Where my Killer tape at ya?
- 嫁！ ホラホラ 嫁！ フマキラー付いてるよ！
- Yome! Hora hora yome! Fumakirā tsuiteru yo!
- Daughter-in-law! Hey hey daughter-in-law! You've got Fumakilla (a Japanese brand of insecticide) stuck to you!
From Michael Jackson's "Ghosts":
- Because now it's on me [...] Don't understand it. Ow!
- びっくりしたオバサンに [...] どんなのしてんだ？ 青！
- Bikkurishita obasan ni [...] Donna no shitenda? Ao!
- (I said) to a surprised older woman [...] What kind are you wearing? Blue!
From Jim Croce's "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown":
- Meaner than a junkyard dog
- Nido me no Tōkyō Dōmu
- Tokyo Dome a second time
From The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand":
- I want to hold your hand
- Aho na hōnyōhan
- Idiotic public urination ("hōnyōhan" is a legal term for the crime)
From Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Benny the Bouncer":
- He'd slash your granny's face up given half the chance
- 久しぶり そいつはゲイだな部長
- Hisashiburi soitsu wa gei da na buchō
- Long time no see; that person's gay, boss
From Scorpions' "You Give Me All I Need":
- You give me all I need
- Yukimi onanī
- Watching snow and masturbating
From Filippa Giordano's "Casta Diva":
- A noi volgi, a noi volgi (English: Turn to us, turn to us)
- あの イボ痔 あの イボ痔
- Ano iboji, ano iboji
- Um, I have hemorrhoids; um, I have hemorrhoids
From the Gipsy Kings' "Bem, Bem, María":
- No te vayas / vuelve ya / tú no me dejas / tú no me digas (English: Don't go away / come back now / you don't leave me / you don't tell me)
- あんたがた ほれ見や 車ないか こりゃ まずいよ
- Antagata, hore miya, kuruma naika. Korya mazuiyo.
- Hey guys, look here, the car's gone. Oh, that's bad.
From Mudhoney's "Here Comes Sickness":
- There goes sickness! There goes sickness! There goes sickness, in my daddy's car!
- レンコン好きです! レンコン好きです! レンコン好きです! 今 誰っすか?
- Renkon suki desu! Renkon suki desu! Renkon suki desu! Ima daressu ka?
- I love lotus roots! I love lotus roots! I love lotus roots! Just now, who was that?
From the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Suck My Kiss":
- Should have been, could have been, would have been
- 白便 黒便 和田勉
- Shiro ben, kuro ben, Wada Ben
- White excrement, black excrement, Ben Wada
- Mondegreen - where the lyrics are misheard within its original language
- Animutation - where soramimis and mondegreens are given visuals for humorous effect