Friday, January 27, 2006

Misheard Lyrics

Once or twice a year one of the columnists in The Oregonian does a column on misheard lyrics: you know, when you misunderstand the lyrics to a popluar song but don't realize it until much later when you see the words in print, hear the song again through a better sound system or--most embarrasing of all--when someone points out to you that the words you are belting out are not the real words to that song at all.

For instance. My brother, as a young boy, believed that the Rupert Holmes song Escape contained the following lyrics:
If you like Pink Enchiladas
And gettin' caught in the rain . . .
He also heard Foreigner's Hot Blooded as
I'm hot blooded! Chicken of the Sea!
I've got a fever of a hundred and three!

Perhaps it was the factory issued stereo system in our parents' car because, until I was in college, I believed that Cat Stevens had a song that went
Be strange! Sound it louder: I wanna be strange!
Be strange! Take this Country! I wanna be strange!

When I confessed this comical misunderstanding of Peace Train to a seminary friend he nodded sagely and explained that this indicated what would be for me a life-long tension: my eccentric, bohemian urges striving against my love for tradition and the comforts of convention. He may have pegged it just right, or it could have been that not quite seminary supported substance we were enjoying at the time. . .

My favorite mishead lyric, though, is from Joy to the World. As a child I believed the chorus went:
and Kevin and nature sing, and Kevin and nature sing, and Kevin, and Kevin and nature sing.
Kevin was the teenaged son of my mother's good friend. To this day when I sing that carol the image that flashes on my inner eye is of Kevin standing in a green field singing his heart out. God bless you Kevin, wherever you are.

12 comments:

reverendmother said...

Sailing... takes me away to where I always tutti-frutti...

SpookyRach said...

You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille... Four hundred children and a crop in the field...

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Ya'll are just too funny. Now I will hear those songs that way!

will smama said...

Until embarrasingly recently I thought Neil Diamond was singing: Reverend in blue jeans, baby.

Instead of forever in blue jeans.

Fortunately for me I am both.

cheesehead said...

"I'm Alright" as sung by Kenny Loggins was "Ham on Rye"

"Our Lips are Sealed" was "Alex the seal."

Yeah, the 80's were rough.

ppolarbear said...

It's not reverend blue jeans?

Mary Beth said...

Born between two lovers,
Feeling like a fool...

and

Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a donut
But he knew it couldn't last

LutheranChik said...

From Stairway to Heaven:

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
don't be alarmed then
it's just a spring clean
for the May Queen...

Wait...those are the real lyrics...:-o

don't eat alone said...

Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner"

Big ol' Jed left the light on.

I like your blog. I'm going to add it to my links.

Peace, Milton

zorra said...

Remember Three Dog Night's classic exhortation:
Stella Mae! Stella Mae! Dance to the music...

Kelly said...

Loved this! I loved all the lyrics...how about Blinded by the Light by ELO...anyone have some good, made-up lyrics for that one? I won't tell you what I THOUGHT it was!

I also loved your description of yourself "my eccentric, bohemian urges striving against my love for tradition and the comforts of convention." I think I have found a new self-description as well, sister!

Loved your blog...I'll be back!

Keith Kelly said...

I honestly hear Neil Diamond say Rebel in Blue jeans in the song Forever in Blue jeans... He may not be saying it like I hear it but I wonder if any of you hear him say rebel in blue jeans???
I have always loved that song!