Entertainers are not superhuman, despite all the evidence to the contrary. They, too, have trouble memorizing things, even the lyrics to their own songs. Performers as diverse as Barbra Streisand and Tom Lehrer have taken long sabbaticals from live performance because they couldn’t remember song lyrics. Other performers have resorted to teleprompters, and may God have mercy on any singer who flubs the words of “The Star Spangled Banner” at a ballgame.
Adele may be one of the most popular and beloved names in modern music, but she is not immune to the pitfalls of memory lapses during concerts. At a recent show in Portugal, the people’s diva flubbed the words of “A Million Years Ago,” a track from her 2015 album 25. Did she freak out? Did she cry? Did she storm off stage? Nope, nope, and nope. She just swore a little and laughed the whole thing off. A 16-second clip of the event was posted to the Twitter account Pop Crave.
All things considered, Adele handles this potentially uncomfortable situation with aplomb. It helps that she owns up to the mistake immediately. “Shit! Wrong words!” she exclaims. “Shit, shit, shit.” She then breaks into gales of laughter before regaining her composure and trying again. The audience is with her every step of the way. The miniature outburst helps enliven what is otherwise a somber tune. So no one will feel ripped off, however, here is a live rendition of “A Million Years Ago,” sans mistakes, from earlier this year. See? She can do it. Just not every time.