You might think “Baby, you’re a firework,” isn’t quite right because a firework isn’t a thing people say. No, that’s not the mistake. Next, you might guess that the mistake is with “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind,” because don’t things drift on the wind? Well, that’s between you and your plastic bags.
But the misheard lyric is in the chorus, which according to Google goes, “Cause baby, you’re a firework. / Come on, show ’em what you’re worth. / Make ’em go, oh.” In the official lyrics video on Perry’s YouTube page, it’s either “oh” or “ah” because the font they used back in 2010 is so weird I genuinely can’t tell!
However, Katy Perry told her fellow American Idol judge Luke Bryan when he attempted to sing the song that, quote, “It’s not ‘up, up, up,’ and it’s not ‘ah, ah, ah,’” per People. Bryan then asked the question on all of America’s mind: “What is it then? Because I’ve been dying to know all these years.” Haven’t we all been dying to know this for years!?
Straight from Perry: “It’s ‘awe, awe, awe,’ everybody. Get it right! It’s not ‘Fireworks’ it’s ‘Firework.’”
Now, obviously this makes sense and I have zero questions, but on the other hand…what? Kerouac’s A-w-w does sound like “awe” as in awesome, as in “I am in awe of this firework and so I exclaim out loud the word awe.” That said, it does rhyme better (sort of) with the next line, “As you shoot across the sky.”