mandela effect in music, joan jett, demi lovato, panic! at the disco
[Photos by: Joan Jett/Toglenn, Demi Lovato/Spotify, Panic! At The Disco/YouTube]

Imagine yourself singing along to one of your favorite songs, belting out every word at the top of your lungs like you have so many times before when you stumble over a line you don’t remember mixing up before. Maybe you sing “and” instead of “but” or change out a line altogether. Regardless, it leaves you wondering how you could mess up your favorite song after all these years while still feeling confident that there’s no way you could be wrong. You’re not alone. Welcome to the Mandela effect, a phenomenon where a large group of people tends to remember something differently than how it occurred. 

The most popular example to circle the internet was the Berenstein Bears incident, where it was randomly revealed that the spelling was actually Berenstain Bears. It threw many people into a frenzy and divided the internet over their childhood memories. 

Read more: 9 wild music conspiracies that’ll keep you scrolling through TikTok

While some conspiracy theorists believe the Mandela effect to be examples of alternate universes, some doctors use it to explain how imperfect our memory can be.

Either way, this crazy phenomenon carries over into our beloved songs. In fact, it often causes arguments and confusion among fans—and sometimes the artists themselves.

Check out seven examples of the Mandela effect in music below!

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – “I Love Rock ’N Roll” 

A familiar track and popular karaoke choice to many, “I Love Rock ’N Roll” is one of those songs that you can’t help but belt out at the top of your lungs. However, after one Reddit user brought up a possible lyric change, chaos broke loose and caused a lot of people to feel like they were losing their minds. It seems that most remember the lyric as “I saw him standing there by the record machine” when the words are actually “I saw him dancing there by the record machine.” The Reddit user also claims that most covers of the Arrows song use “standing,” while all Joan Jett versions contain the word “dancing” to stay faithful to the original.

Panic! At The Disco – “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

When Panic! At The Disco seemed to fall victim to the Mandela effect a few years ago, fans took to Twitter to try and finally make sense of it all. The debate centered around whether the lyric was “closing a goddamn door” or “closing the goddamn door.” It induced so much chaos that Halsey got involved, tweeting at Brendon Urie and asking him to explain. Urie replied, stating that he couldn’t explain it and compared it to the Berenstein Bears vs. Berenstain Bears Mandela effect. 

Queen – “We Are The Champions”

Not even the timeless classic “We Are The Champions” is excluded from the Mandela effect. There are many die-hard fans of the Queen hit who swear the studio track ends with the line “of the world” when it actually closes with “We are the champions.” Some pointed out that Freddie Mercury did indeed finish out the song with “of the world” during Live Aid in 1985 and claim that is the reason so many people remember it incorrectly. 

Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow”

One of the hottest Mandela effect arguments circles around the Black Eyed Peas hit “Boom Boom Pow.” A large number of people are convinced the smash song came out in 2007/2008, believing Fergie’s part to be “I’m so 2008/You’re so 2000 and late.” In reality, the song was released in 2009, with the lyrics being “I’m so 3008/You’re so 2000 and late.” An entire Reddit thread shows users listing off distinct memories of the song being released in 2008 or earlier, including one user who recalls the song being played constantly at their work—a job they quit before 2009. 

Drake & Josh theme song (“I Found A Way”)

While Nickelodeon’s hit show Drake & Josh only ran for three years, most fans knew the show’s theme song by heart—or so they thought. Sung by the show’s co-star Drake Bell, most believed the lyrics to be “It’s gonna take some time to realize.” However, during one of his live performances, Bell broke the hearts of many by revealing the lyrics to be “It’s gonna take some time to realign.” 

Demi Lovato – “La La Land”

One of the more debated Mandela effects in the music scene comes from the early Demi Lovato hit “La La Land.” In the Spotify version of the song, Lovato sings “I still eat McDonald’s,” while the official music video has her saying “I still eat at Ronald’s.” Some place the blame on a simple copyright issue, believing Disney didn’t want to fork over extra money or give free promo to the restaurant chain. Others, however, were quick to blame it on the Mandela effect.

Metallica – “Fade To Black”

One Reddit user opted to show proof of the Mandela effect in the Metallica track “Fade To Black.” Originally, the lyrics were said to be “Life it seems to fade away” but were changed to “Life, it seems, will fade away.” The comments in the thread argue about the lyrics, with both sides claiming with absolute certainty that they’re correct.

Have you ever experienced a Mandela effect in music? Share your experiences below!