Wise Words

"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14


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Friday, July 09, 2010

FFT for July 9, 2010

This Friday Field Trip I think has affected everyone at some point...

Ah, the Mondegreen, those delightful little lyrics that are "misheard". The term 'Mondegreen' is generally attributed to one Ms. Sylvia Wright, who is credited with coining the neologism in a 1954 Harper's column. Ms. Wright was chagrined to discover that for many years she had misunderstood the last line of the first stanza in the Scottish folk ballad "The Bonny Earl of Murray," which reads:

Ye Highlands and ye Lawlands,
Oh! Where ha'e ye been:
They ha'e slain the Earl of Murray,
And they laid him on the Green.

Ms. Wright misheard this stanza as:

Ye Highlands and ye Lawlands,
Oh! Where ha'e ye been:
They ha'e slain the Earl of Murray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

From the disappearance of Sylvia Wright's tragic heroine, Lady Mondegreen, came the term for describing unconventional interpretations or understandings of oral repetition, usually in the form of song lyrics.

Perhaps the most popular Mondegreen is from Jimi Hendrix's song Purple Haze. Many heard the lyric "'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy" instead of "'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky"

Mr. Hendrix was himself aware that he had been Mondegreened, and would occasionally, in performance, actually kiss a guy after saying that line.

Two great sites for you to visit to see if YOU have the correct lyrics of one of your favorite songs over the past years are:

Am I Right?
Kiss This Guy

After all, while a "Fire Engine Guy" might be a heck of a lot more fun than a "Fire In The Sky", nobody wants to be laughed at for the (sometimes REALLY) incorrect words. LOL!

I admit, I did have one back in the 90's. It was U2's "With or Without You". While the lyrics actually were:
See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I'll wait for you
Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

What I heard was:

See the storm set in your thighs,
See the phone twist and your sigh
I wait for you.
Sleight of hand and twist of fate,
On a bed of meals she makes me wait
And I wait without you

Yeah, so glad I never sang those lyrics in front of anyone! LOL!

1 comment:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A fun post. I'm sure there are some mondegreens where we are sure the lyrics are what we think they are. Hot Chocolate's 'You Sexy Thing' has the line that is 'I believe in miracles', but sounds like 'I believe in milko.'