Misunderstood words
Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I'm talking about hearing a word/phrase and thinking something else when you hear it.

For instance, the most popular ones I can think of:

Jimi Hendrix: It's, "'Scuse me, while I kiss the sky" - not "kiss this guy."

CCR: "There's a bad moon on the rise." Not, "There's a bathroom on the right."

Lots of them from the world of music and are due to singers with a bit of a lisp or a very specific method of delivering words. A friend pointed out that the "kiss this guy" bit applies to the Firefly theme, as well. "You can't take this guy from me."

Not sure why I thought of this, but here's the one that got me a long time ago:

Prima donna: I was probably 9 or 10 when I first heard this word. I thought I was hearing "pre-Madonna." Madonna was the paragon of cool back then, and I just assumed someone was being told they were outdated or, more simply, uncool. Guess I hadn't heard much Italian at that point.


Let's call today "STEVEthePIRATE's Bad Blonde Joke Day!"

Blonde #1: Whoa! Look at that dog with one eye!
Blonde #2: (turning around while covering one eye) Where?


Saturday, May 14, 2005 8:34 AM


My sister was once convinced that Cursum Perficio by Enya was about burping seagulls!

Friday, May 13, 2005 12:37 PM


Ok so mine goes something like this:

EnVogue - Free Your Mind

I'm on a long road trip with a friend who's asleep. I'm playing the cd really loud and singing my little heart out. As I pull into the gas station, this is the song that's playing. I'm singing away without a care in the world. As I pull to a stop, she literally opens the car door and topples out laughing hysterically. I'm very puzzled by all of this. She is blood-red in the face and can barely breathe as she gasps, "Honey it's not Bring your mind and the rest will follow!!! It's Free your mind. Don't you think that if you bring your mind the rest of your body will follow???" I puzzled this for a moment and replied, "Well it did seem kind of obvious."

Friday, May 13, 2005 4:47 AM


I remember hearing it was called a mondegreen.

It originated from a mishearing of the 'Oh, they have slain the Earl of Morray and laid him on the green' line from the Scottish folk song, 'The Bonny Earl Of Morray'.
It sounded like 'Oh, they have slain the Earl of Morray and Lady Mondegreen.'

That's the end of the lesson for today folks.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:48 PM


This isn't exactly a music quote, but here in Australia we have a comedy show called "Lano and Woodley". Basically it's about two stupid (but very funny) guys, and the misunderstood phrase bit comes in in one particular episode when Woodley was saying his prayers:
"Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Harold be Thy name..."
Stupid, yes, but funny!

Thursday, May 12, 2005 11:45 AM


okay, I got one. If anyone remember's that song by the Steve Miller Band: Its about a "Big Ol' Jet Air Liner...don't carry me too far away." Anyway, for the first five years I sang it as "Big old Chad in a line-up"
Then one day my roommate heard me singing it that way and threw a wad of toilet paper at my head. She still makes fun of me about that.

Thursday, May 12, 2005 6:57 AM


in a gadda da vida...vinyl baby. oh yeah.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 5:39 PM


All I have to say is:

"I’m am the god of Velveeta."

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 12:28 PM


I have the book - it's a small bathroom-reading paperback, and if I remember right, it's title is actually "Excuse me while I kiss this guy, and other misheard lyrics". It comes complete with a cartoon of Jimi crooning on the cover. I'll check on the title and publisher when I get home tonight if anyone would like an update.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 11:59 AM


There's an actual name for this phenomena: it's called a mondegreen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 10:08 AM


My friend JOKINGLY sings to Nirvana, "You can plant a house, you can build a tree, you can have a Preist of Set to Sell." Too much D&D?
I'm forgetting others. I've often misunderstood lyrics, only to find that the real lyrics make less sense. *Shrug*

Wednesday, May 11, 2005 7:14 AM


oooh, I have one!

Several years ago, a friend and i were driving around town with the windows down and the radio playing. We have different tastes in music so we agreed to listen to the 'adult' rock station (read mix of decades). Huey Lewis starts and my friend begins to sing, 'I want a new truck!'


I look over and ask what the heck they're singing. The lyric is drug. I want a new drug! How does truck fit into the song? anyway, neither of us sang again until Roxanne came on.


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