Thread: Mondegreen

  • avatar
    • 8 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 713
    Has anyone ever heard of this word: mondegreen?

    The term was coined in 1954 by Sylvia Wright in her Harper's Bazaar essay titled "The Death of Lady Mondegreen." It is often used to describe incorrect song lyrics.

    As the legend goes, Wright misheard one of the lyrics to an old Scottish folk song called "The Bonny Earl O'Moray." The stanza was:

    "Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands/Oh, where hae ye been?/They hae slain the Earl O'Moray/And Lady Mondegreen." That last part of the line was actually "And laid him on the green."

    Other suggestions Wright suggested for her term were:

    "Surely good Mrs. Murphy shall follow me all the days of my life." ("Surely goodness and mercy..." from Psalm 23)

    The battle cry "Haffely, Gaffely, Gaffely, Gonward" ("Half a league, half a league, half a league onward") from the 1941 movie Charge of the Light Brigade.

    For instance, people may mishear the title lyric of Bonnie Raitt's 1989 song "Have a Heart" as "Hammer Heart" (you'll die if you do it the mondegreen way).

    Another example of a mondegreen is: "The chair is not my son" which is actually "The kid is not my son" from the 1982 Michael Jackson song "Billie Jean."

    Another famous mondegreen involved the Beatles, and Bob Dylan introducing them to marijuana: "I can't hide, I can't hide," from "I Want to Hold Your Hand," was misheard by Dylan as "I get high, I get high." Warning: If you get high, then you can't hide from the law!

    A mondegreen resulting from a non-English language phrase involved Kate Bush's contribution to Peter Gabriel's 1980 hit "Games Without Frontiers." Jeux sans frontieres was misheard as either "She's so popular," or as "She's so f*cking late." Jeux sans frontieres is the French translation of "games without frontiers," and was also the title of a game show.

    Some mondegreens that stuck as final song titles were:

    "Caroline, No" by the Beach Boys, from their 1966 LP Pet Sounds. Originally was to be "Carol, I Know" until Brian Wilson misheard it, and then suggested it.

    "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly. Working title was "In the Garden of Eden" until singer-organist Doug Ingle took marijuana during the sessions for the LP also called In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida.

    ~Ben
    "I am such a purist for old information on anything '70s and '80s."
    • 8 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 74775
    this would be for the chit chat forum, not the writer's forum, buddy
  • avatar
    • 8 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 713
    Let's move it there if it can be done, then... as in: I don't want to start a repeat of it there.

    ~Ben
    "I am such a purist for old information on anything '70s and '80s."
  • avatar
    • 8 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 719
    Ask a mod. They'll fix it. They have a variant of Mondegreens in the Netherlands called Mama Appelsap (mom applejuice). It started when some random person called a radio station requesting Michael Jackson's famous song Mama Appelsap. What that person wanted to hear was Wanna Be Starting Something which contains a bridge that sounds like a Dutchman saying Mama Appelsap (you know the part I presume). That one call spawned a whole following of 'mama appelsaps' where lyrics are misinterpreted as Dutch words. Some are actually pretty hilarious. Kinda the same thing I guess.
    Latest article: http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/7494/
  • avatar
    • 8 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 1292
    I've already lost interest.
  • avatar
    • 8 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 3410
    • Forum Mod
    • Editor
    • Category Admin
    Quote by RetroBen81
    Let's move it there if it can be done, then... as in: I don't want to start a repeat of it there.

    ~Ben


    I'll take care of the move...
  • avatar
    • 8 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 713
    Certain other Beatles songs also had some mondegreens included, particuarly among those who believe in the rumor that Paul McCartney is dead. Among them:

    "Revolution #1" where John sings "All right, all right ...," the misguided souls of Paul hear, "Paul died, Paul died ..."

    "Strawberry Fields Forever": At the end of the song, when John sings "Cranberry sauce," the misguided hear, "I buried Paul."
    "I am such a purist for old information on anything '70s and '80s."
  • avatar
    • 8 years 8 months ago
    • Posts: 2014
    When I was very little the line from the Bee Gees song More Than a Woman that goes

    More than a woman, more than a woman to me

    always sounded like

    Bordello woman, more than a woman machine...
  • avatar
    • 7 years 2 months ago
    • Posts: 713
    Quote by WinegumZero
    Ask a mod. They'll fix it. They have a variant of Mondegreens in the Netherlands called Mama Appelsap (mom applejuice). It started when some random person called a radio station requesting Michael Jackson's famous song Mama Appelsap. What that person wanted to hear was Wanna Be Starting Something which contains a bridge that sounds like a Dutchman saying Mama Appelsap (you know the part I presume). That one call spawned a whole following of 'mama appelsaps' where lyrics are misinterpreted as Dutch words. Some are actually pretty hilarious. Kinda the same thing I guess.

    Could be, because the song sampled "Soul Makossa" by Manu Dibango.
    "I am such a purist for old information on anything '70s and '80s."
  • avatar
    • 7 years 2 months ago
    • Posts: 5220
    I think Retroben81 is Benjanime.
Forum Staff
Super Admin: Vertex
Super Mods
Online Users
Search