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Mondegreens: mystery lyrics

DigiTrad:
THE BALLAD OF LADY MONDEGREEN


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mkebenn 27 Nov 00 - 04:44 PM
GUEST 27 Nov 00 - 05:38 PM
Kim C 27 Nov 00 - 05:43 PM
Matt_R 27 Nov 00 - 05:46 PM
Mick Lowe 27 Nov 00 - 05:53 PM
Hollowfox 27 Nov 00 - 05:57 PM
mkebenn 27 Nov 00 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,CraigS 28 Nov 00 - 03:00 PM
Magpie 28 Nov 00 - 03:15 PM
mousethief 28 Nov 00 - 03:27 PM
NightWing 28 Nov 00 - 03:32 PM
Steve Latimer 28 Nov 00 - 04:28 PM
Snuffy 28 Nov 00 - 05:37 PM
Dave Hanson 01 Sep 12 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,BobL 01 Sep 12 - 03:20 AM
Acorn4 01 Sep 12 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,Keith Price 01 Sep 12 - 05:20 AM
GUEST 01 Sep 12 - 05:38 AM
Mark Clark 01 Sep 12 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,BobL 01 Sep 12 - 04:37 PM
Hesk 01 Sep 12 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,DrWord 01 Sep 12 - 06:19 PM
Dave Hanson 02 Sep 12 - 04:11 AM
Allan Conn 02 Sep 12 - 04:42 AM
GUEST 09 Sep 12 - 08:15 AM
GUEST 09 Sep 12 - 08:50 AM
Ebbie 09 Sep 12 - 01:05 PM
GUEST 09 Sep 12 - 02:55 PM
Jack's Rake 09 Sep 12 - 03:07 PM
ChanteyLass 09 Sep 12 - 09:45 PM
Ebbie 10 Sep 12 - 01:32 AM
Bernard 10 Sep 12 - 04:45 PM
Mr Happy 11 Sep 12 - 06:10 AM
GUEST 07 Oct 12 - 12:31 PM
GUEST 07 Oct 12 - 12:35 PM
Dave Hanson 08 Oct 12 - 03:50 AM
Jenny S 08 Oct 12 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Desi C 10 Oct 12 - 07:13 AM
mayomick 10 Oct 12 - 10:29 AM
PHJim 10 Oct 12 - 10:52 AM
PHJim 10 Oct 12 - 10:56 AM
clueless don 11 Oct 12 - 08:45 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Oct 12 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 11 Oct 12 - 12:06 PM
GUEST 11 Oct 12 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,leeneia 12 Oct 12 - 11:03 AM
Genie 04 Nov 13 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,Roger 04 Nov 13 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,Vicki Kelsey 04 Nov 13 - 11:49 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Jan 14 - 01:29 PM
Joe_F 01 Jan 14 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Jaze 02 Jan 14 - 07:44 PM
Allan C. 03 Jan 14 - 02:51 PM
Mr Happy 22 Jan 14 - 03:29 AM
Genie 22 Jan 14 - 05:08 PM
GUEST 23 Jan 14 - 04:34 AM
Eldergirl 23 Jan 14 - 07:10 AM
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Subject: mystery lyrics
From: mkebenn
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 04:44 PM

Besides the ones in the Ian Tyson thread are any lines that you've sung wrong for years and when you got the right words ya' went DUH!!!!!!!!! My example from Roddy MCcorley sang "skull marked Ernest Bann" S/b "Stalwart, ernest band" ...Needed to hear The Clancys Mike Bennett


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 05:38 PM

there's the classic "the bathroom's on the right" instead of "there's a dark moon on the rise"


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: Kim C
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 05:43 PM

I dunno.... but I never, ever thought it was "scuse me while I kiss this guy."


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: Matt_R
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 05:46 PM

That's "Bad Moon On The Rise."


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: Mick Lowe
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 05:53 PM

I dunno about unwittingly perverting the course of song lyrics... but I can never hear a particular song without "adapting" it to my own perverse view of lifely..
Namely.."Something in the way she moves... makes me think she's got diarrhoea"...

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: Hollowfox
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 05:57 PM

And then there's that famous line from the first chorus of Pleasant and Delightful: "And the sharks they played melodeons/ At the bombing of the Hague." (Somebody was very tired...)


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: mkebenn
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 06:30 PM

Forgot to mention I sang the line before as "around him marked in grimolea" some kinda fabric I guess I thought..MB.


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,CraigS
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 03:00 PM

There's a line in Bohemian Rhapsody (queen) which sounds like "spare him his life for his pork sausages", but the prize has to go to Ashley Richards, England's premier pub singer, who always sings "I can see clearly now the rain has gone, I can see all testicles in my way". Incidentally, I have it on good authority that his wife often refers to "compensation" forming on the window panes!


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: Magpie
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 03:15 PM

A thread very like this one was up about a year ago. I've searched, but unfortunately I can't find it. It was a gas. Someone then offered this gem:

Amazing grapes, how sweet and round....

Cracked me up. I'll look a bit more, and try to find it.

Magpie


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: mousethief
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 03:27 PM

These mishearings are called mondegreens, from the understandable mishearing of The Earl of Murray, "They have slain the Earl of Murray, and Lady Mondegreen." The word was coined by author Silvia Wright in 1954.

I got the book "Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy" as a gift, and found most of the alleged mondegreens in the book are too farfetched to be probable mishearings of the songs in question.

But real, honest mondegreens can be a lot of fun. I mentioned one from my own childhood in an earlier thread:

Up on the rooftop reindeers' paws...

But perhaps the best comes from a mishearing of a newscast:

Next, we'll hear from our meaty urologist.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: NightWing
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 03:32 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 04:28 PM

Malachy McCourt's book "A Monk Swimming" is due to his childhood misunderstanding of the prayer Hail Mary.


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Subject: RE: BS: mystery lyrics
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 05:37 PM

In "I Live Not Where I Love" (recorded by Steeleye etc) there is a line that goes:

"My heart e'er fixed in your breast", but I still always hear it as: "My heart Airfixed in your breast."

Airfix was the glue we used for assembling plastic models of planes, warships etc. A powerful image!

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: mystery lyrics
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 03:19 AM

I loved Desmond Deckers, ' Oh oh me ears are alight '

Dave H


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Subject: RE: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 03:20 AM

What are you smoking and where can I get some?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Acorn4
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 04:53 AM

The "Centipede Song"

"Liverpool town where I was born,
Where there are no trees or centipedes"

(scented breeze)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 05:20 AM

I was once asked if I could play the Alpine Gondoliers ( McAlpines Fusiliers) genuine.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 05:38 AM

It don't get any better than this!!!!


Peter Kay


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Mark Clark
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 03:10 PM

Not a song, but I remember the old story about the Sunday School teacher asking her class to draw the Nativity scene. After giving them time to get well into their creations she walked around to see what they had drawn and perhaps offer suggestions. Young Johnny had completed a nice drawing with Mary and Joseph, a manger, some animals and shepherds but standing to one side of the scene was a strange looking fat man who seemed to have no part in the traditional story. "Who is that?" the teacher asked. "Oh, that's Round John Virgin." was Johnny's reply.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 04:37 PM

Sorry Dave H, my earlier post was actually a response to some nonsense which has since been deleted.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Hesk
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 05:03 PM

This may not be the first time that I have mentioned "When Old Men Sing" as opposed to "When All Men Sing".
I am not the only one to have made this mistake, and in some ways it can be most appropriate, in the early hours of the morning around a fire, or in a late night session!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 01 Sep 12 - 06:19 PM

from the handwritten transcriptions in a collection found at the local Thrift store--scores of great 50's stuff--this line from San Antonio Rose:

      'Twas there I found, beside the Ali Mode ...

other misheard lyrics in this binder, but this one makes me smile.

dennis


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 04:11 AM

No offence taken BobL, I stopped smoking 22 years ago, only regret is not being able to smoke a joint again.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Allan Conn
Date: 02 Sep 12 - 04:42 AM

I always thought Madonna's line in La Isla Bonita (spelling)which goes 'young girls with eyes like the desert' sounded like 'young girls with eyes like potatos'.

Also I was genuinely surprised to see that Carly Simon sings 'some underworld spy or the wife of a good friend' in You're So Vain. I always thought it was 'someone who would steal all the wine from a good friend' which I think is a much better line!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 08:15 AM

I was just looking at some clips on youtube of an Elvis tribute act that a friend of mine has posted. I was interested to see a song entitled "This Town". I have never heard Elvis sing a song called this so clicked on it. The song he sings is "I Just Can't Help Beleiving" with the chorus ; "This TIME the girl is gonna stay".
Should I tell him?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 08:50 AM

I wondered for years as I was growing up why the Lord's Prayer always ended with "Our Men" pronounced "Are Men". Gloucestershire dialect maybe?

Rog


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 01:05 PM

I began life speaking German; I remember part of the transition from one language to the other.

For instance, I remember lustily singing with my brother: "Rascue the PEAR asheen. Didn't know what 'rascue' was but I did know the fruit.

(from a hymn called Rescue the Perishing)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 02:55 PM

Further to my post about the Elvis tribute, he's put another one up, this time it's "Evil Las Vegas".
Is it a simple mistake or a profound comment on the world's gambling capital? We'll never know!!!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Jack's Rake
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 03:07 PM

Jack's Rake's bodhran player thought, for many of his early years, that the American word for traffic lights was "gestand".

This was because "she stole her daddy's car and she drove it to the amber gestand now"

He's from Fleetwood; fast food didn't reach there until this century.

My own little puzzlement, at a similar age, was why, exactly, is there a war-zone on seventh avenue?

"just a come on from the war-zone, Seventh Avenue.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 09:45 PM

At a folk festival in Rhode Island today, I heard a singer singing a song about fishing. It mentioned Kodiak. I have no idea what the title is or if the singer, a local man, wrote the song or covered it. At one point I heard him sing something that sounded like, "No more salmon next to me." I thought, "Huh?" The woman sitting next to me, another local singer, turned to me with a quizzical look and said, "No more salmon next to me?" in a way that implied it sounded strange to her, too. I was picturing someone on a boat with a bucket, barrel, or bin of salmon next to him. I mulled it over briefly, turned to my neighbor, and said, "No more salmon nets to mend." "Oh," she said. I hope I was right about that line. If anyone knows the song, let me know!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Ebbie
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 01:32 AM

Sounds like a reasonable line, although it's not a familiar line to me. I googled it and found nothing informative.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Bernard
Date: 10 Sep 12 - 04:45 PM

There's the song about the woman with a hairy tongue...

'And her hairy tongue over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band'!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Sep 12 - 06:10 AM

Acorn,

Thanks for the 'centipede'!

I pinched it for my rendition yesterday & went down to guffaws!

*****

Used to be a chap who sang in the local pubs & couldn't seem to understand the word 'souvenirs'

He'd sing 'Tears for silver neers'!

& 'Among my silver neers'

Wonder what he thought 'neers' were?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 12:31 PM

Hehe!
I just did a Google search for the chords to Rhinestone Cowboy (don't have a go at me I just happen to like it!). Anyway, the version I looked at gives the lyric to the last line of the chorus as "and WAFFLES coming over the 'phone"
Pricless!!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 12 - 12:35 PM

Priceless. (oops)


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 08 Oct 12 - 03:50 AM

I often wonder where people get song lyrics from, a singer at my local session continually sings 2 songs wrong, in Hank Williams ' Your Cheatin Heart ' he always sings the line as " your cheering heart ' and in ' The Battle Of New Orleans ' he always sings " down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Medico " what on earth does it mean ?

Of course no one tells him he's wrong, he's in his 70s and deaf as a post, which may explain things.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Jenny S
Date: 08 Oct 12 - 09:40 AM

Do shepherds still wash their socks by night, I wonder?
And will somebody please tell me what is this seedted stuff that's on the ground.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 07:13 AM

I was learning the Carter Family's Wildwood Flower recently and the Line 'The pale and the leader have all flown away' Did some research and seems the song comes from 1840 (A.P carter claimed he wrote it but didn't) and the original line was 'the pale oleander' in fact it's a classic example of how a song can change over decades through misheard lyrics as several words and phrases in it have changed so much they now make little sense i.e 'twine with my mingles' should read 'twine with my ringlets' and several other examples


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: mayomick
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 10:29 AM

The mention of Rhinestone Cowboy reminds me of someone I knew who used to sing it as "nine stone cowboy" . We didn't have a clue in those days what a rhinestone cowboy was supposed to have been . I still don't come to think of it .
for people in the US : nine stone = 126 pounds


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: PHJim
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 10:52 AM

GUEST:Desi C,
   Maybelle sings, "The pale and the leader and eyes look like blue."
   I've heard folks, trying to make some sense of the song sing, "The pale oleander and violets so blue."

There is another verse that Maybelle sings as:

I will dance, I will sing and my laugh shall be gay
I will charm every heart, in his crown I will sway
I woke from my dreaming, my idol was clay
All portions of loving had all flown away

I prefer:

I will dance, I will sing and my laugh shall be gay
I will charm every heart in the crowd I survey
I woke from my dreaming, my idol was clay
And my passion for loving had all flown away


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: PHJim
Date: 10 Oct 12 - 10:56 AM

Jerry Jeff sang,"And he spoke right out," in Mr. Bojangles. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band misheard it as,"And the smoke ran out," and that's the way they recorded it. I heard them sing it live about7 or 8 years ago and they sang the lyrics the way Jerry Jeff wrote them.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: clueless don
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 08:45 AM

I encountered one recently. In the Buffalo Springfield song "For What It's Worth", I had always heard (admittedly ungrammatical)

It starts when you're always at pray.
Step out of line, the man come, and take you away.

Apparently the actual line is "It starts when you're always afraid". Couldn't prove it by my ears.

Don


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 11:23 AM

I just heard "You're So Vain, I'll Bet You Think this Song is About You". I never have figured out what she's bellowing in the middle.

Cows in the country! Cows in the country!

or is it

Clouds in the coffee! Clouds in the coffee!
=======
How many years of my life will I have to listen to those tedious 70's songs?


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 12:06 PM

Not a mondegreen, exactly, but as a young 'un growing up in the Northern US, I heard Mother Maybelle sing "twine with my mAngles"; it made no sense whatever but the association with hair, and having seen my Mom use the laundry iron to hand-press my sister's curly hair flat, it to this day brings up a horrifying mental image of a young girl running her hair through a mangle iron.
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 12 - 02:02 PM

The only man who could ever reach me
Was the Domino's pizza man !!!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 Oct 12 - 11:03 AM

Something similar happened to my grandmother, highlandman. Her long hair got caught in the wringer of a washing machine. Not good, not good at all.

On a happier note, if people got paid for theorizing, then 'Wildwood Flower' would be the basis for a small industry. However, I'm willing to accept that the line about 'mingle' was originally about ringlets. It makes sense.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Genie
Date: 04 Nov 13 - 05:29 AM

"Hold me closer, Tony Danza. Count the head lice on the highway ... ."


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 04 Nov 13 - 08:48 AM

While shepherds washed their socks by night
All seated round the tub
The angel of the lord came down
And taught them how to scrub.

Used to drive our headmaster bonkers at the school carol concert!!

Roger


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,Vicki Kelsey
Date: 04 Nov 13 - 11:49 PM

Genie's "Count the head lice--" reminds me that when my 6 year old came home from school after a health scare, he told me quite seriously that the teacher said his Mom should inspect his hair for head lights. I can imagine him expecting that I would see tiny cars running around.


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 01:29 PM

In the "News" ... (?)

'I smell a Mexican monkey': Best misheard lyrics of 2013
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper TODAY
01 January 2014

We've all done it: Been cluelessly singing along to a song only to learn (maybe from a lyrics sheet, or maybe from a happily horrified friend) that we had the words all wrong. The most famous ones have passed into pop-culture lore. Round John Virgin.* There's a bathroom on the right.** Hold me closer, Tony Danza.***

* "Round yon virgin," from "Silent Night"
** "There's a bad moon on the rise," from Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising"
*** "Hold me closer, tiny dancer," from Elton John's "Tiny Dancer"

With some help from the great misheard lyrics sites Kiss This Guy and Am I Right?, these are our favorite misheard lyrics from 2013.

"So we put our hands up, like we seen a damn ogre." — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Can't Hold Us"
Real lyric: "So we put our hands up, like the ceiling can't hold us."

"All I wanted was to break your arms," — Miley Cyrus, "Wrecking Ball"
Real lyric: "All I wanted was to break your walls."

"I smell a Mexican monkey," — Daft Punk, "Get Lucky"
Real lyrics: "I'm up all night to get lucky."

"I'll be on my Slip-n-Slide," — Justin Timberlake, "Suit & Tie"
Real lyrics: "I be on my suit and tie."

"My friends in Iowa cracked the code," — Lorde, "Royals"
Real lyrics: "My friends and I, we've cracked the code."

"It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hamsters." — Taylor Swift, "22"
Real lyrics: "It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters."

*****

We've done better at mudcat. Filtered for "Mondegreens" and going back a year gets four threads with better examples. This was the shortest recent thread.

Several of the samples in the above article look like people worked very hard at trying to imagine something clever - with little success.

For those interested in the media's rather lame fabrications the above article also gives links to two sites that claim to specialize in this sort of stuff. I didn't explre either of these, but others might be interested in knowing that they're out there.

KissThisGuy

Am I Right

John


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Jan 14 - 10:54 PM

I've heard tell of Edith Piaf being asked for her song about the pink airplane (l'avion rose).


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST,Jaze
Date: 02 Jan 14 - 07:44 PM

The very best and FUNNIEST(to me) was when someone on Mudcat said she was in a Texas bar and a guy was singing the Eagles song "Take it Easy"

--the line goes--"Looking for a Lover who won't blow my cover" but he was singing dead seriously "Looking for a lover who won't blow my BROTHER"!!! I fell out of my chair laughing at that one!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Allan C.
Date: 03 Jan 14 - 02:51 PM

"... looked to me to be Diogenes" turned out to be "... looked to me to be the eyes of age" in Mr. Bojangles

"... electric boobs" turned out to be "electric boots" in "Bennie and the Jets"


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 03:29 AM

Another from the Eagles:

'On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitis, rising up through the air' !

Ugh!!


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Genie
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 05:08 PM

Jaze, I may have been the one who posted that about someone singing "... looking for a lover who won't blow my brother."

I did hear that, at an open mic in Portland, OR, back in the '80s, and it cracked me up too.
I told the guy later what the actual lyric was, and he said he'd always thought it was "brother."


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jan 14 - 04:34 AM

The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain sing 'that line' from "Hotel California" as "Warm smell of fajitas rising up through the air"...


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Subject: RE: Mondegreens: mystery lyrics
From: Eldergirl
Date: 23 Jan 14 - 07:10 AM

Pay Paradise
Put up a parking lot

I thought it was some North American corporation that hadn't yet arrived in Britain when I first misheard that. Mind you, sound quality of radios back then wasn't much cop.... ;)


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Mudcat time: 28 November 9:17 PM EST

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