A mondegreen is what happens when you mishear or misinterpret a phrase, specifically a song lyric. The term comes from Sylvia Wright, who thought an old Scottish ballad said “And Lady Mondegreen” instead of “And laid him on the green.” Some of the most well-know mondegreens are “Wrapped up like a douche” from “Blinded by the Light” (actual line: “Revved up like a deuce”) and “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy” from “Purple Haze” (actual line: “‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky”). Mondegreens fascinate me because it’s another example of how our memories aren’t always reliable, like the Mandella Effect (no, seriously, I was pissed when I found out the Berenstain Bears weren’t Jewish).
Today I thought we should take a brief break from the dumpster fire that is the Trump administration, and talk about some of our favorite mondegreens. I’ll start with mine:
1). “Arthur’s Theme” by Christopher Cross. I used to watch that movie all the time when I was a kid, and I was convinced Cross was singing “If you get drunk between the moon and New York City.” It makes sense since the movie is about an alcoholic, right? Nope! Turns out he’s singing, “If you get caught between the moon and New York City.” I like my version better.
2). “Paris (Ooh La La)” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Now this is a bizarre one because I used to think she was singing “If I was a maid, I’d save your spoon.” Dafuq is that supposed to mean? Fortunately, she’s actually singing, “If I was a blade, I’d shave you smooth.” Which is why this song always gets stuck in my head when I shave.
3). “Kid Charlemagne” by Steely Dan. Okay, this one is pretty controversial. For years I thought they were singing, “All those dago freaks who used to paint their face, they’ve joined the human race.” I was like, “Did this motherfucker just call me a dago?” Fortunately that’s not the case; they’re actually singing, “All those day-glo freaks who used to to paint their face.” Phew, for a moment I thought Donald Fagen was a racist!
4). “Jump” by Van Halen. Here’s another funny one; I used to think David Lee Roth was saying, “I eat the worst chips you’ve seen.” You would think Roth would be able to afford better quality chips, right? Turns out he’s actually singing, “I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen.” Ah, much better!
So what are some of your funniest or most embarrassing mondegreens?