It turns out the famously misunderstood lyric in Manfred Mann’s Earth Band cover of “Blinded by the Light” isn’t misunderstood at all.
The track, which was written by Bruce Springsteen for his 1973 debut, featured a reference to Springsteen’s love for big, fast cars — specifically the 1932 V8-powered Ford that’s known as the “deuce coupe.” He sings, “Cut loose like a deuce.” When Manfred Mann’s Earth Band recorded their cover of the song three years later, they thought rhyming “loose” with “deuce” was too corny; so they changed it to “revved up like a deuce,” Mann explains.
However, when singer Chris Thompson recorded his vocal tracks, he ended up changing the line even more, singing, “wrapped up like a douche.” He now admits, “It wasn’t written like that, and I screwed it up completely. It sounded like ‘douche’ instead of ‘deuce,’ and because of the technical process, it meant we couldn’t remix it.”
The song ended up hitting number one in February 1977 — a feat Mann now attributes to the confusing lyric. “The funny thing is that afterwards people came up to me and said, ‘You know why that record was such a hit, don’t you?” he says. “Because everyone was trying to figure out if it was ‘deuce’ or ‘douche.'”