Sunday, March 28, 2021

Lady Mondegreen

I expect among my self recorded audio cassettes I still have the tape with a hand written album or song title labelled Millagaroo by the English group T Rex, fronted by as I thought at the time, the most gorgeous Marc Bolan. He died in a motor car accident when he was still young and beautiful.

Millargroo was a mondegreen, so named for misheard lyrics. I expect we all have some. 

Mondegreen's origins were from a misheard poem in the US in 1954 and referring to a 17th century poem.

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl o' Moray,
And laid him on the green.]

Instead the final two lines were misheard as,

They hae slain the Earl o' Moray

And Lady Mondegreen. 

I've just listened to again and I swear Macy Gray in her hit song 'I Try' sings "I say goodbye my chook". Chook is slang here for chicken. At the table, would you like some chicken? Would you like some chook?


 As for my mislabelled cassette, Millagaroo turned out to be Metal Guru.

Do you have your own mondegreens? 

32 comments:

  1. I am sure I do, but none spring to my faded brain this morning.
    And yes, Marc Bolam was beautiful.

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    1. EC, maybe hair maketh the man. Did you know his son's name is something like Rolon.

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  2. The first couple times I heard Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver", I though it was "Dreams we have will get us through the night."

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    1. Yeah Kirk. Isn't that what it is?

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  3. Gawd I have a really embarrassing one that no one corrected me on back on the day as it was so appallingly awful so they would bugger off and kill themselves laughing in the bathroom. And as it was endlessly on the radio, I provided out of control and out of earshot laughter forever.

    I must post about it.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. And you did post it WWWW. But you were only seven years old.

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  4. It's very childish, I know, but friends used to sing a rather more R-rated version of the lyrics to the chorus of I Try. I won't repeat them here. We were young and silly. But it was funny.

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    1. James, maybe like the alt lyrics to Frozen. Being silly when older can be fun.

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  5. We used to go "round dancing" (cued dancing to popular music.) One of the songs started out "You said--." Or so I thought. After two years of dancing to this tune, I finally asked my husband, "What comes after 'You said'?" He had no idea what I was talking about. I hummed the tune. "Oh, THAT song. The first word is 'Houston'."

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    1. Very funny Cynthia. I get it.

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  6. I remember Millagaroo and now to find it was actually Metal Guru is quite funny. It was never one of my favourite songs, I just heard it on the radio without paying much attention to it.
    one of my mondegreens is in the song Ciao Baby, by Lynne Randell. Where she sings "it's too late to change a minus day" I always heard, and sang "it's too late to change your mind and stay" There are others, but I can't recall them.

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    1. Wow River. So I wasn't the only one. I like your lyrics for Lynne Randall's Ciao Baby better than hers. I must listen to the song again.

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  7. We invent them on purpose, and laugh ourselves silly. This comes from my wife being a bit DEFF.

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    1. Interesting side track Cro. That sounds like fun.

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  8. Bee Gees. Lonely days, lonely nights, where would I be without my walker?

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  9. I have never heard about this singer or group, yes it's sad that the young and beautiful often die early, car or moto accidents or drugs, like Jim Morrison.

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    1. Gattina, while very sad for the young to die, in a way I like to remember them as young and nothing online of them as old men. Morrison was so smoking hot. I don't want to see him old.

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  10. I love mondegreens. My own favourite tells much about me. I heard: "Ghost writers in disguise" when the text said: "Ghost riders in the skies". (Can you tell that I work with translations and editing?).
    Do you know the song called "Mairzy Doats"?

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    1. Good one Charlotte. I got it without the explanation. Mairzy Doats is a proper song name. I will listen to it tomorrow.

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  11. Not quite the same thing but I recall a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. It was called "Almost Cut My Hair". In there there' a line: "Like looking at my mirror and seeing a police car". For years I pictured the front room of a house and somebody looking up at an oval-shaped mirror hanging on the wall. He sees the reflection of a police car parking up in the street. I just never thought of a car mirror.

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    1. YP, one those forehead slapping moments.

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  12. Yes but in Indian languages :)

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    1. ME, it would be the same all over the world I think.

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  13. Oh far too many to remember Andrew! I love singing loudly in the car, Dave and Aimee would crack up regularly at my misinterpretations! P is resigned to them 😀😀 Blimey MB was pretty and cute!

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    1. Grace, I can imagine P grim faced as you belted out a song in the car. He was indeed pretty and cute.

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  14. Oh, definitely! In fact I often sing whatever I think a song says, without worrying about figuring out the real lyrics. So I'm sure I'm wrong in many cases! I've never heard then called "mondegreens" -- that's a great term.

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    1. Steve, yes, why worry. It is not like many songs make a lot of sense anyway. It is a great name.

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  15. Anonymous3:38 am

    British national anthem - one child (not me) thought it opened "God save our grays [horses] says King". Mondegreens simply show how unstable the spoken/sung is in comparison to the printed/written.

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    1. Good one Anon. I think there were quite a few misheard words in the anthem, possibly deliberate at times. Quite right about spoken v printed, but with spoken we do get a lot more emotion.

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  16. Aerosmith song 'Do the lucky lady', or not.

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    1. Which song is that Mike? I am not great with music.

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Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.