January 08, 2012

Mondegreens are us

“Mondegreen” is a term coined by Sylvia Wright for what happens when we mis-hear song lyrics. The word originated when Wright misunderstood the lyrics of an old ballad which she believed contained the lines that said
They have slain the Earl O' Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

The real second line said

“and laid him on the green.”

I think most people have come up with their share of Mondegreens, consciously or otherwise. When the Spousal Unit was a kid, she though the lyrics of Johnny and June Carter Cash’s "Jackson" started by saying “We got married in a peanut” instead of a fever.

El Cabrero, of course, is way above such silly errors. Although there was one time when the Stevie Nicks song “Edge of seventeen” came on the radio and I wondered aloud, “why the hell is she singing about a one-winged dove?”

I’ll bet you’ve got a Mondegreen or two up your sleeves as well, Gentle Reader.

FIXING AMERICA. Here's a review of a book on the topic by one of my favorite economists.


DOGS LOVE TO SNIFF IT. But who would have thought this could help killer whales?



Jason said...

I was 30 before I realized that "the heart of rock and roll" wasn't Topeka, but was, in fact, "still beatin'."

For a long time, my mom thought Olivia Newton John wanted us "get biblical" with her: "Let me hear your bible talk, your bible talk..."

El Cabrero said...

Re Olivia, I remember at the time a little kid singing that and it sound like she was saying she wanted to get fecal.

Topeka is a great Mondegreen.

Bob said...

Sing along with me ... There's a bathroom on the right (bad moon on the rise)

El Cabrero said...

Speaking of Creedence, I thought "come on the rising win" was "come on, arise and win." I still like that version better.

Hollowdweller said...

I always thought Led Zepplin was singing about the Whore of Babylon in "Heartbreaker"

I always thought they said "Heartbreaker you timeless c*nt just take your leave away"

Until I read the lyrics and realized it was "YOUR TIME HAS COME"