06 October 2005

Lady Mondegreen

It's probably just me. Maybe it's because I spend too much time these shuttling between Aspen Hill and Herndon. Okay, it's not that, because I've always heard it this way. Even when I had never heard of a certain theater company.

Most mondegreens, I can shake once I learn the real lyric. Like in REM's "End of the World as We Know It," I now hear Time I had some time alone, not, oh, Time I had some Tylenol. And in Peter Gabriel's "Games Without Frontiers," it's definitely Jeux sans frontieres, not She's so funky now. (In the interests of full disclosure, these are not my actual mondegreens, but the real lyrics have imprinted on me to the degree that I can no longer remember my actual mondegreens.)

The exception is REM's "Man on the Moon." Just to review, the real lyric is: Hey, Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey baby, are we losing touch? But, even now,years after learning the real lyric, when that song comes on the radio, my brain will only supply me with Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elden Street....

I've decided to accept it and sing it that way. REM will never hear me, so they don't care. And the folks at the Elden Street Players will probably never hear me and they already think I'm weird, so it's not like it going to hurt my reputation with them or anything.


Maureen said...

I thought for ages that the lyric ran "I was so mad!" Only when a movie came out with a title based on it that I realized the actual lyric is "I'm a soul man!"

Jim A said...

Yeah, but remembering it as "Andy are you goofing on Elvis?" instantly puts the memory of Kaufman in a white pantsuit into your head. Of course, as often as not I sing "Medieval Woman" when listening to ELO's Out of the Blue.

Liza said...

Jill knows approximately 1000% more than I will ever remember about music, lyrics, artists, etc. But every so often, I know something she doesn't expect me to know.

Or more often, and more amusingly, I almost know it.

We were playing the new-ish version of Trival Pursuit a week or two ago, and the question somehow involved a 1980s plotline on General Hospital.

After surprising her with the correct answer, I broke into song: "Luke and Lauuuuuuura...."

When she was able to breathe again, Jill explained that the actual lyric line was "Think of Laura...." Then she went upstairs and bought it on iTunes so I could hear it outside of my head.

Ah, Mondegreen. Good (clean?) fun!

npetrikov said...

For me, it's "ain't no Woden like the one-eyed god," for "ain't no woman like the one I got."