Friday, February 14, 2014

Mondegreen

More on words. Aren't they so fascinating. A mondegreen is pretty well defined as misheard and repeated song lyrics. I have many. I expect you have some too and do tell us what they are.

The word Modegreen comes from,  (a straight copy from Wikipedia)

American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term in her essay "The Death of Lady Mondegreen", published in Harper's Magazine in November 1954.

In the essay, Wright described how, as a young girl, she misheard the last line of the first stanza from the 17th-century ballad "The Bonnie Earl o' Moray". She wrote:

When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me from Percy's Reliques, and one of my favorite poems began, as I remember:
Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl o' Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.
The actual fourth line is "And laid him on the green.


While I do know better,  I simply cannot correct in my head the lyrics to this song. Chook is Australian slang for chicken.

You tell me Macy Gray does not sing 'Goodbye my chook'. Actually, it does not sound so much like it when you watch the video, so don't watch, just listen.


10 comments:

  1. Even though you planted the thought in my head I don't hear 'Goodbye my chook' but rather I hear 'Goodbye and I...' with the next word indecipherable although at first I thought that word was 'choke'.

    What does she sing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what she sings Victor, but from subsequent comments, it seem choke is correct.

      Delete
  2. You're right, it DOES sound like goodbye my chook, so I watched as well as listened and now I know. I try to say goodbye and I choke..
    Our easy listening radio station has a competition going where a misheard line of a song is played and the caller has to sing what the correct words are. If they get it right they're in the draw for a NZ cruise later this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, the posh thing I suppose is mondegreen, but essentially it is misheard song lyrics, and we all have them. So will you be travelling to NZ in the middle of winter?

      Delete
  3. Great song but definitely not in British English.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting point Gosia. Some of our nearby Asian countries speak American English and some US English.

      Delete
  4. On a different topic, this may amuse you or strike a chord!

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/liberals-environment-spokeswoman-suggests-eradication-of-native-bird-species-20140214-32q74.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marcellous, I never thought I would vote Tory, but if she will kill the koels, she would have my vote. I just know due to global warming, they will be in a park near me soon. Seriously, they are a tropical New Guinea bird that spends some time in Australia. Rather too much time.

      Delete
  5. Loved that song, wonder what happened to Macy? There are so many that I just make up my own words to, drives Aimee crazy :) but even I got this one right Andrew :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bit of a one hit wonder, Grace. Once you think a certain word is sung, it is hard to not hear it.

      Delete