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Misheard words

03 Nov 99 - 02:58 PM (#131358)
Subject: Misheard words
From: Metchosin

Others have probably done this too but with more comical realizations. When I was small, my grandmother used to sing me the following "ditty" in her thick Scottish brogue: Wee McGregor
He's like an egger
His nose is painted red, white and blue
He wears a tammy
To please his mammy
So what do you think of wee McGregor noo?
I remember asking my Mom what an egger was and never getting a satifactory answer. It wasn't until thirty years later, when I was bouncing my own children on my knee and singing it to them that I finally realized what the H.... I was singing to them. I guess I should have been more astute, my grandmother also cooked scones on her "girdle". Any faux pas due to misunderstanding the words?

03 Nov 99 - 03:07 PM (#131362)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Fortunato

Metchosin, Forgive my ignorance but what were you singing about?

03 Nov 99 - 03:11 PM (#131365)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: MudGuard

When I transcribed the lyrics of "Lord of the Dance" from a recording, I wrote down:

I danced for the tribes of the farer seas.

Some time later I learned it should be

I danced for the Scribes and the Pharisees.

I did many more mistakes, but I think this one was the "best".


03 Nov 99 - 03:21 PM (#131369)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: KathWestra

When I lived in Latham, NY, in 1974, the little Catholic kid next door was proud to have learned his "Hail Mary," and was eager to share his newfound ability with me. It came out:
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the Fruit of the Loom Jesus.

Cracked me up. "Fruit of the Loom" from "Fruit of Thy Womb" Makes perfect sense for a six-year-old. Kath

03 Nov 99 - 03:26 PM (#131371)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: kendall

even the real words can be humorous.. as Gordon Bok once said .. on the wallaby and.. Freedoms' Humpin' Bluey..

03 Nov 99 - 03:29 PM (#131372)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Fortunato

Then there were the words you wish you didn't understand, like Joe Hickerson's "Big Black Sausage".


03 Nov 99 - 03:33 PM (#131374)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Vixen

Well--I think there was a thread on this one awhile ago too, but I can't find it.

There's always the old joke about "Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear..."

Seriously, I thought Elton John sang "she had electric boobs" in Bennie and the Jets--I think it was about ten years after the song was released that I found out it's "boots" he's referring to.

I still don't know what Steve Miller is singing in "The Joker" when he comes out with something that sounds to me like "'cause I speak of the pompitess of love."

I have a degenerative condition of the auditory nerve, so my hearing is not so hot to begin with. I must have hundreds of examples of this sort of thing, but they don't come to mind unless I hear the song I have a problem with.

It's nice to know other people have this problem too.


03 Nov 99 - 03:51 PM (#131380)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Bruce O.

Misheard words and typographical errors have always been a plague. There is sa short article on the subject, ' Some Effects of Scribal and Typographical Error on Oral Transmission' by W. Edson Richmond in 'The Critics and the Ballad', 1961. He points out, for instance, that "The Lass of Occram" should have been "The Lass of Aughrim".

I've seen a lot of 17th century manuscripts, and some songs I tried to copy before I really knew how to read the handwriting. I'm still no expert, but I went back to some about 20 years later, and got rather different readings in many places. I was puzzled by the differrences in many texts between early manuscript copies and later copies published in songbooks and drolleries, until I discovered that the printed copies agreed better with my earlier transcripts. My conclusion was that the typesetters weren't very good at reading their manuscript copies either.

03 Nov 99 - 03:56 PM (#131382)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: KathWestra

Fortunato -- Oh thank you soooo much for reminding me of Joe's OTHER favorite song. Between Big Black Sausage and the "Diaper Song," I have been known to wish I were deaf. Winking back, Kath

03 Nov 99 - 04:05 PM (#131387)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Fortunato


At your service, my dear kath.

I haven't heard the diaper song, probably just as well.

yours, fortunato

03 Nov 99 - 04:19 PM (#131394)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Michael K.

I challange anyone here within the entire Mudcat Forum to give me the correct lyrics for ANY song, sung and recorded by Steve Winwood, based solely on transcribing the lyrics from listening to a recording of his.

(Years ago, when I was with a band doing rock covers, we wanted to do Roll With It and I'm A Man and it might as well have been Swahili we were listening to. In the end the only way we could get the correct lyrics was through the sheet music (assuming those were correct.)

03 Nov 99 - 04:22 PM (#131396)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Tony Burns

Here's just one of many misheard lyrics site.

03 Nov 99 - 05:09 PM (#131412)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Stewie

I recall reading somewhere of a little kid who sang Dylan's immortal line as: 'The ants are my friends, they're blowin' in the wind'.

03 Nov 99 - 05:15 PM (#131416)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: lamarca

Well, I was looking at The Black Watch thread, and realized only now I had been mis-hearing these lyrics when I was a kid, and posted my version there:

We used to sing this at (USA) Girl Scout Camp when I was but little, and I heard the words as

Warsaw 42nd,
Warsaw, going to war
Warsaw 42nd
Going to the Gremlin War

Zoombaloo, my boots and stockings...etc.

I always used to wonder what the Polish regiment was, and where the Gremlin War was fought; I REALLY liked the "Zoombaloo" chorus, and now you shatter my childhood illusions by telling me it was really a song in Scots dialect a Girl Scout from Wisconsin hadn't a hope in hell of understanding?

03 Nov 99 - 05:17 PM (#131419)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Lonesome EJ

These are called Mondegreens, and there was indeed a thread or two on them, including one called "There's a Bathroom on the Right".

I once gave a long-haired hitchhiker a ride in my hometown of Louisville, and he told me he hailed from Colorado Springs,Co. I said "Alright! They've got Coors out there, right?" In those days, Coor's was a strange and exotic brew in other parts of the country. He gives me a very strange look and says "yeah. If you are into that." And I say "you mean you don't like it?" And he says "no, not at all." I say "where can you get it?" and he says "in the Park, or bus station bathrooms." Now, there was a long uncomfortable silence for some time, while I mulled over the rather unique marketing of Coor's Beer in Colorado. I finally had a thought."Did you think I said Coor's, as in the beer?" He looked stunned."No! I thought you said 'Queers'." That was good for a large laugh.

03 Nov 99 - 05:48 PM (#131438)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Micca

There is a Christian hymn which called Gentle Jesus meek and mild which in my youth I belived containe d the line "Pity mice implicitly" It didn't it said "Pity my simplicity" when I realised the error, through sitting through a service with a hymn book, after I had ceased to be a Christian I don't know how I kept a staraight face. It took about 3 days to wipe the grin off my face.

03 Nov 99 - 06:12 PM (#131457)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Magpie

Oh Tony, I love it! ROTFHWL


03 Nov 99 - 06:19 PM (#131460)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Magpie

By the way, I remember there was a thread a while ago about songs that will never be the same. I can't for the life of me remember the thread's name, but it was about song that had been heard as parodies or mistales made because of misreading/-hearing the lyrics.

One guy wrote int to say that Amazing Grace would forever crack him up after hearing someone singing:


Got to find that thread.


03 Nov 99 - 07:05 PM (#131478)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Davey

I first heard "Railroading On the Great Divide" from Arnie Naiman, and I wanted to learn it so I asked him to sing it into my tape recorder. When I listened to it and transcribed it, the third verse began, "A skinny old timer from old Cheyenne" and that's how I sang it for some time, until one day Arnie told me it's "Ask any old timer...."

Davey... (:>)

03 Nov 99 - 07:35 PM (#131486)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Liz the Squeak

Then there is the famous folk song, the snows of Mount Vesuvius (the snows they melt the soonest)

For years I thought it was 'She's so popular' being sung by Kate Bush on the Peter Gabriel track 'Games without Frontiers' (it is actually Jeux sans frontier)

But the killer for me was trying to transcribe 'Matty Groves', when I was convinced for several years that he had not a f**king knife. Then I thought it was maybe a fork and knife, it wasn't until I saw someone actually perform it seriously, I could lip read what the real word was!! I think my version was probably nearer real life, I mean, there you are, stark b****ck naked, under some other blokes' wife, he is waving a dirty great scimitar about and you think, gosh, where did I put that cutlery??

And what about Kenny Rogers' 'Lucille' with 300 children and a crap in the fields?

Liz the Squeak.

03 Nov 99 - 07:49 PM (#131488)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: margaret

liz, kate bush had me stumped on that one for years, too! one day long long ago in high school, as we were waiting for chemistry class to start, this guy phil was singing to himself "roxanne, you don't have to turn on the radio" and i'm afraid we teased him rather mercilessly. then there was this guy named eric (as jed clampett used to say, "if brains were lard, he wouldn't grease a very large griddle") who thought that the jethro tull song "songs from the wood" was saying "puppies with red noses" instead of poppies and red roses. i was pretty happy to get out of high school. . . margaret

03 Nov 99 - 08:23 PM (#131498)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: alison

Here's an earlier thread misheard lyrics



03 Nov 99 - 09:06 PM (#131509)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Caitrin

I have a ton of these. When I was little, my father used to sing the Grateful Dead song "Casey Jones" to me. I repeated it as "Drivin' that train, Hi, I'm Okay!" My little brother heard the CSNY song "Woodstock" as "I came upon a Charlie Dobbs, he was walking along the road." Little brother Charles is the same one who heard the Beatles as "She's got a chicken to ride!" As for Steve Miller, if anyone can tell me what a pompetous is, I'll be most grateful. ~Caitrin

03 Nov 99 - 09:31 PM (#131515)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: BK

Love these Mondrgreens; used to have a favorite site for this subject on my old browser, which died w/the old hard drive. (I think the site was, in fact, called "there's a bathroom on the right" [-bad moon out tonight]) A simple search turned up 145 sites related to mondegreens & at least two persons to whom the term is credited, but all say it's the confusion of "laid him on the green" (the murdered Lord Murray, in a typical bloody-minded hundred(s) year-old traditional British Isles folksong) for "Lady Mondegreen."

Cheers, BK

03 Nov 99 - 10:18 PM (#131527)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: DonMeixner


I take the blame for Amazing Grapes I'm afraid. My kids have sung it for years. One of them asked who Round John Bergen was once. And of course there is Wild Shepards Washed Their Socks Bby Night.


03 Nov 99 - 10:32 PM (#131531)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Pelrad

Now, now, Margaret. My brains are just fine, yet I thought for a whole year that the previous line in that Jethro Tull song was "Let me bring you corn from the fields..." I hope your assessment of that kid's brain power was based on more than that.

I used to imbue certain of Paul Simon's songs with more angst and pith than they already contained. One of many examples: in Bridge Over Troubled Water, I thought the line was "...and pain is all our love..." (and pain is all around)

In my household we called it the Petticoat Problem, as we once heard a "take-myself-too-seriously" chantey singer sing in I'se the Bye: "Sally White, she's out of sight, her petticoat won't support her..." (really it only "wants a border"). In a pub sing I once witnessed an earnest young man mangle the words to Rolling Down to Old Maui as follows: "Our stencil bones are carried away..."

04 Nov 99 - 08:42 AM (#131631)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Clifton53

And then there is the Van Morrison tune off Sense of Wonder, "Tore Down Ala Rambo".

04 Nov 99 - 08:49 AM (#131632)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: dwditty

How about Jimmy Hendrix singing, "'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy."

04 Nov 99 - 12:51 PM (#131734)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: KathWestra

There was a book, probably now long out of print, containing a wild collection of these things. It was called "Pullet Surprises" in honor of those things every newspaper reporter wants to win.

04 Nov 99 - 01:52 PM (#131751)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Den

My six year old just started karate lessons. I asked him how the first lesson went and he said they learned how to bow and that they would be learning how to medicate (meditate). Always something useful for a six year old to know. Den

04 Nov 99 - 02:46 PM (#131773)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: MTM

I still cry when I think of Roberta Flack singing "Killing me softly with insults." I feel her pain.

04 Nov 99 - 06:07 PM (#131885)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Liz the Squeak

Then there is the UK group Police and their song about Sue Lawley, a UK newsreader, should actually be So Lonely!

And the learning to medicate rather than meditate is a malapropism, after the famous Mrs Malaprop, who was famous for putting the wrong words in, like: A nice derangement of epitaphs (arrangement) Off his own back (bat) The world is your lobster (oyster) the hymn - Just as I am without one flea (plea)

Modern ones include No way, Pedro (Jose) Computer legitimate (literate) Under the psychopath (osteopath or physiotherapist)

My favourite has to be: Orpheus in the underpants

Then we get on to spoonerisms,courtesy of Dr Spooner swapping letters, words or parts of words but still making some kind of sense.... the most famous example being a request for someone to 'leave Oxford on the next town drain'.

Another example of shining wit.....

the Kenny Everett character Cupid Stunt was a tad close to the knuckle, the c**teen of catlery was one that got a good friend into deep trouble, and fuzzy duck is a good pub game.

Should we start a new thread with this? We have rather wandered....

Anyway, the Steve Miller thing, I always thought it was the pomposity of love, but then I thought that today was the day that teddy bears got their nits picked....


04 Nov 99 - 07:18 PM (#131903)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Magpie

DON, Would you happen to know the thread name for the Amazing Grapes?

Silly me hadn't figured out how to trace threads yet. I'd love to read through it again.


04 Nov 99 - 07:26 PM (#131908)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Ely

Strike two, BK: it's "bad moon on the rise"

My sophomore-year roommate and I were both big Dylan fans and one day, while we were listening to "Idiot Wind" , I turned to her and asked, "What the Hell is he saying, anyway? I've been listening to this song for years and I've never been able to make it out."

She looked at me and replied, "It's the chorus; he's singing 'Idiot Wind'."

I knew the song and the title and it never occurred to me that the words might actually be part of the song. (Ordinarily, I don't have a problem with his haphazard enunciation.)

04 Nov 99 - 09:18 PM (#131945)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Charles

Anybody heard the Jimi Hendrix song 'Pedro'? You know, "Pedro! Where you goin' with that gum in your hand?" That's always been one of my favorites.

04 Nov 99 - 10:45 PM (#131985)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: sophocleese

Liz the Squeegee I'm afraid malapropisms and spoonerisms are part fo our family's daily vocabulary. We eat desecrated coconut, suggestive biscuits, stish ficks and achin' and begs. My kids now preface every request for me to read to them with the phrase "read it properly!" I always liked the story of rindersella who slopped her dripper.

05 Nov 99 - 09:10 AM (#132115)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Vixen


I wanna live at your house!!!

V, who was told that her propensity for wordplay was indicative of an inability to cope with the life realities that language describes.

05 Nov 99 - 06:50 PM (#132363)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Jo Taylor

Here's another site: Kissthisguy - The Misheard Lyrics Archive - especially named for dwditty...

06 Nov 99 - 05:19 AM (#132525)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Banjer

Vixen, I would think that a propensity for word play comes from a keen sense of knowing how something is supposed to be and wanting to find out what else it could be. (a good sense of humor helps also)

My longest running hangup was the line in Billy Grammar's "Gotta Travel On". I never could underdstand what he meant by 'Hopper rags to Johnny' meant. I learned, right here on the Mudcat, that it should have read 'Poppa writes to johnny'. But after so many years of mishearing it I still use Hopper rags to Johnny. Old habits die hard.

06 Nov 99 - 07:21 AM (#132532)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Squeazle

My favorite Mondrgreen memory dates back to when "Heard It In A Love Song" was getting tons of airplay. I was sitting in my sister's living room with her family when the song came across the waves. My brother-in-law, always trying to impress his teenage daughters with how current he was in his musical tastes, broke into song at the top of his lungs singing, "Purdy little love song". All had a good laugh at his expense.

I always heard Steve Miller sing "I speak of the prophetess of love". Is that right??

Also, thanks to Banjer. My brother and I used to sing Gotta Travel On together when I was just a kid. I hadn't thought of that in years!

06 Nov 99 - 07:29 AM (#132533)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Melbert

LTS - if you're into spoonerism's, perhaps you've heard Jasper Carrot's version of "Bastity Chelt"?. I suspect you have, from the use of the "shining wit" expression.

06 Nov 99 - 02:05 PM (#132620)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Barbara

The Bastity Chelt is in DT.
My daughter still laughs at my misinterpretion of a current rock song. I told her , "I don't get it. Why's he sleeping with his clothesline?" Turns out it was 'clothes on'.
And until I saw the words here, I thought the chorus of "Out on the Meara" contained the line "...for marryin' rich and the pleasure it brings.." (seems it's Marion Bridge).
I know, I know, but the real line doesn't make much sense, either -- what's pleasurable about a bridge, fercrysakes?
If you want to see my most recent set of aural/oral mistakes, check out my transcription of "Last Trip Home" by the Battlefield band a couple days ago.
It's a hard job, but someone's got to do it -- mistranscribing lyrics for the amusement of the ages.

06 Nov 99 - 03:46 PM (#132645)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Liz the Squeak

Ah.Melbert, if you knew the pubs I've been banned from for singing that!!!! (and playing fuzzy duck, a good drinking game, but needs the right kind of publican..) Incidentaly, there is a funny thing about the original - it is ascribed to either Oxford or Cambridge University - Oxford claim that Cambridge wrote it and Cambridge insist that it was Oxford. I suspect it was Oxford.....


08 Mar 00 - 11:01 AM (#191862)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: bob schwarer

Try this site for some blooper hearing.


Bob S.

08 Mar 00 - 11:46 AM (#191879)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Whistle Stop

One of my favorites was something my wife thought she heard. We were listening to Pete and Maura Kennedy's first CD, which included a cover of Richard Thompson's "Wall of Death". My wife was convinced that the tag line was "Let me take my chances on a waterbed" -- which gave the song an entirely different meaning!

With apologies to Mr. Thompson, I have decided that my wife knows best.

04 Mar 02 - 07:05 PM (#662780)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Ebbie

I just grabbed one of the mondegreen threads in order to caution that a phone conversation is also vulnerable to mishearing.

Thom Bresh, Merle Travis's son, will be performing in Juneau in May. On his website it lists the date as being scheduled in the 'General Douglas High School Auditorium'. It's actually the 'Juneau-Douglas High School'.

So if you are in town for the concert...!


04 Mar 02 - 07:35 PM (#662801)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: RangerSteve

It's "the pompatus of love", and Steve Miller heard the phrase somewhere else, but misheard it. I forget what the original phrase was. Do a search for "the Straight Dope" web page, run by Cecil Adams. He explains the whole thing.

04 Mar 02 - 07:48 PM (#662809)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Noreen

Well, since you've refreshed this thread, I'll have to admit to a Mondegreen I was made aware of just this weekend.

In SAILOR'S PRAYER after the lineWith Judy Lee upon my knee and in my ear a-lyin'

I asked Alan what it meant to have a lion in your ear...

04 Mar 02 - 07:59 PM (#662822)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Bill D

I still have a newspaper clipping from many years ago promoting "Bryan Bowers, master of the 'idle harp'."

05 Mar 02 - 06:42 PM (#663318)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: 8_Pints

I went to college with a girl called called Vicky, who was one day singing along to the Eagle's hit "Desperado". The words should have been

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses,

You've been out riding fences for so long now

Vicky was singing

You've been outright offensive for so long now! Every time I hear this song, I can't help becoming helpless with laughter as I'm transported back to 1976!

My own most recent error showed my lack of knowledge of qotes from the Bible. We were taught a round at a folk camp "Now evr'y man 'neath his vine and fig tree, shall live in peace and unafraid......" I sang "Now ev'ry man 'neath his violent victory...!" I actually sang this for several years before someone noticed! (It was pointed out by a good friend of mine called Brian Pengelley who has been known by many of the children he taught as Mr Pink Jelly!)

Sue vG

05 Mar 02 - 07:23 PM (#663336)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Callie

No way guys! Kate Bush was singing "share some frontier" wasn't she??

There's an Aussie song called "Reckless" written and sung by James Reyne, who has to hold the record for being completely unintelligible at all times. His line "she don't like that kind of behaviour" is infamously widely known "she don't like dead Canada beavers". And fair enough too - why would she?


05 Mar 02 - 07:50 PM (#663355)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Snuffy

Noreen, while we're on Sailor's Prayer, I used to wonder about the line:

Oh Lord above, send down a dove
With beakers sharp as razors

WassaiL! V

05 Mar 02 - 08:07 PM (#663359)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Genie

When I first heard the old song "Lida Rose" sung by a barbershop quarter, I thought they were singing, "Light a rose, I'm home again, Rose ..." It didn't make sense, of course -- you can light a match, a candle, or even some kinds of weeds, but I had never heard of lighting roses and wasn't sure why one would want to!

Micca, That "Pity mice implicitly" is priceless!

Liz, the Kenny Rogers lyric is "...400 children and a crop (crap) in the fields... ."

Also,Liz, what kid of knife DID Matty wish he had?
My college professor (who knows better) once mentioned in a class the play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe," in which "... the couple hurl epitaphs at each other." My preacher dad (who also knows better) once cited in a sermon "...'Pilgrim's Progress' by Paul Bunyan."

Barbara, I don't know if I'd trade "ten of your cities" for a bridge, but I'd consider it for "marrying rich and the pleasures it brings!"

Also, I love that "You've been outright offensive for so long now! "


05 Mar 02 - 08:24 PM (#663365)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: brid widder

as a child I remember singing that well known Harvest festival song...'let us with a glass of mild praise the Lord for he is kind'...sounds OK to me...& more fun than a 'gladsome mind'

my son came home from his first day at school and said if he forgot his gym shoes he could do PE in his ..SPARE FEET

05 Mar 02 - 09:49 PM (#663395)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Genie

BTW, that was supposed to be "My ... brother..." who mentioned "hurling epitaphs at each other.


26 Mar 02 - 11:22 PM (#677127)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: GUEST,Arjay

A song that almost begs to be "mondegreened" is the song from The Fantasticks which the two fathers sing about how vegetables are easier to raise than children. A key line in the song (I'm not sure what the title is) is "That's why I love vegetables..." If you don't enunciate very carefully on that line, it sounds like "That's why I'm a vegetable..."

27 Mar 02 - 07:05 AM (#677261)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: GUEST,Charlie

From Billy Don't You Weep I sang" For I know that you're fond of officers both roaring bores as well" and it should have been, " I know that you're fond of lobsters both raw and boiled as well!!!"

27 Mar 02 - 07:32 AM (#677266)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Nigel Parsons

Just re-read this thread, cos someone had up-dated it, and it seems the early question by Fortunato has been avoided (2nd post on thread) "an egger" is a mispronunciation of a term for what would now be described as a member of an indiginous African race.(much in the way that "an orange" was originally "a norange"
And in the original post, the granny cooking cakes on her 'girdle' is quite acceptable. A girdle is the Scots form of 'Griddle' or 'bakestone'

27 Mar 02 - 07:55 AM (#677275)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: IanC

Here's some of the earlier threads

Bathroom on the Right
Help: Monthelawn
Misheard Lyrics
Mistakes ... Listening to Songs


27 Mar 02 - 08:02 AM (#677278)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Nigel Parsons

IanC: useful cross-referencing, but looking at the top of this thread, (Mch 99) only two of the four you quote ARE 'earlier threads'!

27 Mar 02 - 08:31 AM (#677289)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Tiger

It's "Plant a Radish", Arjay.

27 Mar 02 - 08:49 AM (#677296)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Hecate

We've got a bloke at my folk club who does this on purpose, usually to well know songs, so now Bonnie Annie Laurie has "Little Furry feet" and the chorus to "Black velvet Band " goes "with her hairy tongue over her shoulder." He's wrangled the line "With sheep in your wellies" into Mull of Kintyre as well.

Accidental ones, my father genuinely though Whitesnakes "Ain't no love in the heart of the city" was "Anal love in the heart of the city." Ah well.

27 Mar 02 - 11:14 AM (#677409)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: GUEST,Guest

Until very recently I did not know that "Pizza" was actually "pizza pie" So in the song When the moon hits your eye like a big Pizza pie I thought for ever that he was singing "Piece Of pie"

22 May 02 - 10:12 AM (#715309)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Mr Happy

'somewhere over the rainbow, weigh a pie'

22 May 02 - 02:49 PM (#715507)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: GUEST,Foe

Years ago Glen Campbell had a song with the words "I'm not talkin' 'bout movin' in, And I don't want to change your mind" I was told by a music biz guy that the people in Meridian, MS though he was saying "I'm not talkin' 'bout Meridian" They loved the song, even though their interpretation made no sense.

22 May 02 - 05:38 PM (#715650)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: DonD

I remember my departed sister coming home from 1st grade seventy five years ago proudly singing that her eyes had seen the coming of the lord, marching through the village where the grapes are at the store. Actually I remember being told about it; I wasn't quite born yet.

I'm convinced that the commonly sung version of the Rock Island Line which suggests that if you want to ride it, you've got to ride it like you find it, was a mondegreen on Leadbelly's part for 'ride it like you're flyin' but maybe that's just me.

22 May 02 - 05:49 PM (#715659)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Celtic Soul

A friend of mine used to think that, in the song "Paperback Writer", the Beatles were actually singing "Take the back right turn".

Anyone ever see "Jumping Jack Flash" with Whoopie Goldberg? She has some great interpertations of Rolling Stones lyrics. I love her response..."Miiiiick...SPEAK ENGLISH!"

Here's a hilarious website for misheard lyrics: http://www.kissthisguy.com/

22 May 02 - 05:50 PM (#715660)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: pict

A famous one in Scotland was"Send reinforcements we're gaun tae advance!" became "Send three and fourpence we're gaun tae a dance".

Another one my mate Pat heard at a party was the black velvet band sung like this"and her hair it hung over her shoulder tied up like a black bearded man!"

23 May 02 - 05:58 AM (#715957)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Watson

There was one time, I was listening to a song about Lady Mondegreen - I could have sworn the guy was singing "Laid him on the green"
I was so embarrassed!

23 May 02 - 11:10 AM (#716107)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Rich_and_Dee


I remember the first time a buddy of mine heard the song "Cerrickfergus". He howled with laughter and gave me a high-five.

I thought it an unusual response.

Turned out he thought it was a girl's name, so when the singer mournfully belted out "I wish I was in Kerry Fergus", well, you know.

My wife tells the story of her and her sister being adults and hearing "Puff the Magic Dragon" somewhere. My sister-in-law admitted she'd always hated that song for the way Puff and Jackie adandoned their friend, Frolinton. My wife looked at her a moment and my sister-in-law said, "you know, Frolinton the Ottomas".

All these years and she'd misheard "frolicked in the autumn mist". I think she was more heartbroken to discover there was no Ottomas.


19 Nov 08 - 06:16 PM (#2498019)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: the lemonade lady

This has to take the Gold Cup!

This is for REAL


20 Nov 08 - 02:11 PM (#2498641)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Peter the Squeezer

When a child, I used to think that my mother was singing about "Uncle Charlie's Wedding". Turns out it was "All for Mhairi's ....."

20 Nov 08 - 02:15 PM (#2498648)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: VirginiaTam

My daughter at 5 years old misinterpreted a vacation bible school song about Saul

Line was supposed to be "He was a loyal Jew"
She sang "He was a lawyer too"


20 Nov 08 - 02:48 PM (#2498668)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Gene

I guess we have all had our share of them but the best one I ever heard of was told to me by another 'Catter --

[I will leave it to them to fess up]

Best I recall it was a line in a song by the Louvin Brothers.

Hold back the Russian Menace, make the wind lie still - they recorded several songs about WWII and Korea but I could not recall that one...

In reality it WUZ - Hold back the rushing minutes--

---- My Baby's Gone

27 Feb 13 - 03:25 AM (#3484148)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Mr Happy

After having just finished a song at our Monday session, friends said they liked it & what was it called, 'Sidekick Joe' I said.

Another friend said 'Oh, I thought you were singing 'Psychic Joe'!!

27 Feb 13 - 04:01 AM (#3484160)
Subject: RE: Misheard words

Not quite a song but a friend of mine used to do a collection at school every year for Christian aid. One year after listening to his assembly about the collection a member of staff asked me - who is Christian Wade?

24 Mar 13 - 01:51 PM (#3494250)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: GUEST,hb

"Cinderella" - recorded by Jack Ross in 1962 (reached #16 on "Billboard")

Here is a tale to make your cresh fleep.
It'll give you poose gimples.
It's a story for fee bolk and biggle toe peep.
That's wee folk and bigger people too.
It's a story about Cinderella who lived in a big hark douse
With her mean old mepstother and her two sisty uglers.
And they made Cinderella do all the worty dirk,
While they sat around cheating ocolates and magging ridazines.

And one day when Cinderella was in the kitchen, flopping the moor,
The two sisty uglers came in and said Guess what?.
The prandsome hince is frowing a bancy thress drall
And we're invited. It's too bad that you can't go.
So Cinderella went back into the kitchen with ears in her teyes.
And she was just about to chicassee a fricken,
When suddenly there was a linding blash of flight
And standing next to her was a feautiful bairy.

And Cinderella said Who are you and what do you want?.
And the feautiful bairy said Well I'm your mairy fodgother.
And Cinderella said Well may I go to the ball?.
And the fairy said Well that's quite a wish but she said Okay.
So she waved her magic wand instantly Cinderella was transfomed
Into a bavishing reauty. She had long white gatin sown and a
Necklace of pubies and rearls.
And on her feet were two tiny sass glippers.

And the fairy said You may go, but you must promise to be
Mome by hidnight. And Cinderella said Okay.
So she was off and soon she cast to the came-le.
That's came to the castle. And Cinderella jumped out and the
First two people she ran into were the two sisty uglers...
And she was so beautiful, they didn't even cinderize Recognella.
So they intrduced her to the prandsome hince and he said May I
Dav this hance? He said You're so beautiful you remind me of
Beeping Sleauty.

He was just about to ask for her mare in handage, when suddenly
The strock clarted to trike swelve and Cinderella ban from the rall.
But as she did one of the sass glippers flipped from her soot.
The prandsome hince picked it up and said Now all I have to do
Is find the woman whose soot this flipper sits and I'll know
Who I've lallen in fove. So the next day he went from house to
House. And you can't turn that around! And soon he came to the
Cin where House-derella lived and he docked on the knoor.

And who should come to the door but the two sisty uglers, and
He says I'm looking for the woman who's soot this flipper sits.
Well of course their beet were too fig. But then it was
Cinderella's turn and guess what? The flipper pitted serfectly!
They were married and happed livilly ever after and that's the
End of the story of Cinderella... But you see there's a moral
To this fairy tale because Cinderella never gave up! And as you
Walk down the pathway of life, never give up!

Christopher Columbus never gave up.
Benjamin Franklin never gave up.
Abraham Lincoln never gave up.
Oliver Twittle-Dee... Who's He?
You see, you don't know 'cause he gave up.
And always remember this little philosophy:
You see some of our smoubles are trall,
And some of our boubles are trig,
But if you try to trav no houbles,
How could we blecognize our ressinings?

24 Mar 13 - 05:48 PM (#3494342)
Subject: RE: Misheard words

I read somewhere a bunch of kids were burying a doll in a mock funeral. (They lived next to a cemetery). The one who was "the preacher" said .... "In the name of the father, the son, into the hole he goes"

25 Mar 13 - 05:28 AM (#3494518)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Jim Carroll

I took an elderly neighbour into our market town so she could visit her bank manager.
Before we returned home I stopped at a bookshop, leaving her to wait in the car - it was near to a school and around lunchtime.
When I returned she told me "the place is full of young people walking around with mobile homes pressed to their ears"
Jim Carroll

25 Mar 13 - 07:38 AM (#3494560)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Vic Smith


25 Mar 13 - 07:48 AM (#3494563)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Vic Smith

Once, many years ago, at our club, a new floor singer got up to sing and she chose to sing The Earl of Moray.
Now I'm sue that what she meant to sing was:-
They hae slain The Earl of Moray,
And laid him on the green.

However, she had misheard the words from the recorded version that she had transcribed and what came out was.....
They hae slain The Earl of Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

I remember thinking at the time, "Now, I think that we have something here that could rival Spoonerisms." The rest is history!

25 Mar 13 - 07:50 AM (#3494564)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Mr Happy


25 Mar 13 - 08:05 AM (#3494567)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Vic Smith


Do you mean as in....And laid him upon the green..... because if you do I would have to disagree strongly.

25 Mar 13 - 11:50 AM (#3494670)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Snuffy

a time ...

25 Mar 13 - 12:09 PM (#3494679)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Vic Smith

Once upon a time there was a man called James Stewart, though he was perhaps better known as the 2nd Earl of Moray, the husband of Elizabeth Stewart, 2nd Countess of Moray, who held the earldom jure uxoris (by right of his wife). He was murdered in 1592 by his great enemy and rival the Earl of Huntly though history tells us that Huntly cannot also be held responsible for the death of Lady Mondegreen.

26 Mar 13 - 08:35 PM (#3495295)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Sanjay Sircar

1. Isn't the very useful 1962 Jack Ross "Cinderella" verse retelling kindly transcribed above (24 Mar 13) not really an instance of mishearing by Lord and Lady Mondegreen, but of deliberate spoonerism and hence more properly placed in the cross-referenced "Spoonerism" thread listed above. I do not know what etiquette obtains here, but if the poster agrees, pehaopsthey could cut and paste and cross-post?

2. Offtopic (apologies): is there is a list of "Cinderella" Songs, comic or otherwise? I know of one: Paul Anka's "Cinderella, Cinderella" which makes play with 12 o'clock. Would it be worth starting a separate thread for it.

Sanjay Sircar

27 Mar 13 - 03:19 PM (#3495615)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: beeliner

From "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry:

"Teach a drunk how to drive, then go out and see if you survive."

I've listened to it dozens, perhaps hundreds of time, and it sounds the same every time, can't imagine what the actual words are, and I suppose I could look it up, but that would spoil the fun.

28 Mar 13 - 04:29 AM (#3495832)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: janemick

recently heard a song "Loguivy de la mer" (this is about a tiny fishing port in northern Brittany, sung as "l'homme qui vit de la mer" or the man who lives by the sea

31 Mar 13 - 03:28 AM (#3496946)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: MGM·Lion

I had a misapprehension for years about a line in the McPeakes' A Jug Of Punch. What I heard was, "What more diversion can a man desire Than to court a girl by a neater fire?"

Neater than what?, I would wonder. Or is there some sort of Irish fireplace called a 'neetah' or some such? Suddenly it was born in on me that what the young man was having such a pleasant time beside was a "neat turf fire".



31 Mar 13 - 07:08 PM (#3497222)
Subject: RE: Misheard words

John Travolta in Grease:

"I got shoes, multiplyin'"

31 Mar 13 - 07:33 PM (#3497233)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Jerry Rasmussen

So long, it's Fingers Gunolia. (That famous gangster. Heard someone sing that back when I was in highschool.

19 Apr 13 - 05:04 PM (#3505949)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: GUEST,Mark

Along with questioning about what a "roundyon virgin" was, what was a "centre victorious", or "a door hymn"?

Remember Senor Wences - the ventriloquist who appeared many times on the Ed Sulluvan show (died in 1999 aged 103)? We would sing about "Good King Wences", and wondered what he had to do with Christmas..

19 Apr 13 - 08:45 PM (#3506005)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: RobbieWilson

on lonely cardboard walls
I heard a young girl calling
as the prison ship sailed out against the sky

12 Jul 13 - 12:37 PM (#3536741)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: JohnInKansas

A new Survery of favorite mangled lyrics

I don't recall ever hearing any of the songs mentioned. I'm still hangin' with "She thinkis I steal cars."

Others might find something interesting.


12 Jul 13 - 01:10 PM (#3536750)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: s&r

Eurythmics' synth-pop classic 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)' has been voted the nation's most misquoted song in a new survey.

Spotify polled over 1,350 British music fans to find out which songs they most commonly hear people singing incorrectly. Some 28 per cent of respondents picked the Eurythmics hit, with many listeners apparently believing that Annie Lennox sings: "Sweet dreams are made of cheese, who am I to disagree?"
Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/eurythmics/71376#RtbqOWtX4Vv8b8JB.99


12 Jul 13 - 02:18 PM (#3536779)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Ebbie

Not a song but funny, nonetheless:

Yesterday here at the Senior Center, a resident was convulsed with laughter at what he had misheard at a luncheon meeting the day before.

He said he was sitting there when this young woman came up to him and extending her hand, asked him, "How tall are you?"

He thought it was kind of an odd question but was maybe leading to something else, so he answered, "Six foot."

She smiled vaguely and passed on.

A woman next to him said, "She asked you how you are."

13 Jul 13 - 12:46 PM (#3537034)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Saro

Someone heard me singing one of my songs - Cottage Garden Trees - and was apparently convinced that the line "we'd sit and rest beneath the boughs..." was "we'd sit, undressed, beneath the boughs...". i now enunciate more carefully!


13 Jul 13 - 09:11 PM (#3537146)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Elmore

Not a song, but when we were kids in Catholic Sunday school some little guy prayed, "Hail Mary, fulla grapes, Delores Whitney."

14 Jul 13 - 10:23 AM (#3537274)
Subject: RE: Misheard words
From: Mr Happy

In 'What a wonderful world', Satchmo' seems to be singing 'the bright bless-ed day, the dogs say goodnight!'