Mondegreens I have sung

OK, so my hearing isn’t brilliant, let’s get that straight right away.  Mum had my hearing tested a number of times as a child – apparently I had selective hearing (like most kids), because I couldn’t hear her call me in the next room but I could hear her peel the foil off a chocolate bar from my friends’ house next door.  It was apparently selective deafness then, until I worked as a technician in a television station before automation.  Those machines clunked, whistled and screamed, like you wouldn’t believe and they could also take your fingers off if you weren’t careful.  I maintain, therefore, that I have a modicum of industrial deafness, further enhanced by my, apparent, selective hearing.  If I met you at a party where there was music playing and lots of people in little groups talking, I would have to lip-read to get the gist of our conversation, but I could hear someone say my name behind me. 

No suprises then that I get the words to songs wrong from time to time.  Occasionally.  Sometimes.  Ok, alot.  So, you can imagine my embarrassment when singing “Baby, I…I’m alone in the light,” only to discover my family all looking at me with peculiar expressions.  It turns out I’ve been singing the wrong words to one of my favorite songs for, oh, 18 years!

What I want to know is: why has no-one ever told me how wrong I was getting it?  Were you all just laughing at me, guys?  Or did none of you know the words either?  I mean, come on, the whole song has new meaning for me now.  That would be the one intended by Rocky Burnette when he sang it to the top of the charts in 1980!  Is this the first time I’ve been embarrassd by getting the words wrong in a song?  Sadly, no.

Stepford Husband reminds me I used to sing “Our Mrs Seal” to  the Go-Go’s: “Our lIps are sealed”.  Loudly.
Yeah, thanks SH.  Your dinner’s on the doorstep.  I think I’ve sung very weird things to Aussie Crawl songs, like “Let me tell ya ’bout two young lovers who lived down the coast.  She was such a pretty thing, Man, what a horse…'”  turns out she’s a good host…but I think given James Reyne’s drawl, I can be forgiven for that one, can’t I?  Guys?  Guys?

BTW, I never saw the video clip for ‘Tired of Toein’ the Line’ before finding it for this post.  If I had, it may well have affected my affection for the song all these years!  The 80’s man, what were they thinking?

6 thoughts on “Mondegreens I have sung

  1. How funny is that! I actually prefer your version.
    My family must have the same genetic defect.
    My brother sings: Tonight I sellotape my gloves to you.
    It maybe more familiar to you as “Tonight I celebrate my love for you” by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack.
    P.S. What kind of name is Peabo? Has anyone ever met any Peabos?
    P.P.S.For those not in UK, Sellotape is another brand of sticky tape,like Scotchtape.

  2. I remembered a mis-heard song two days ago, and then forgot what it was. Sigh.
    In the meantime, there’s the classic circus hymn: “I will cling to the old rubber cross, and exchange it someday for a clown.”
    And speaking of that video, our grade eight music teacher explained to us, before we were ever handed our instruments, that tipping up one’s trombone or trumpet results in swallowing one’s own gob. Less than cool.

  3. Oh I remember another.
    “Mice Aroma” (by the Knack late 70s era.)

    The trouble is when you hear a wrong version that’s all you can think of from then on. Thanks Lavenderbay. Friday mornings, at the old folks home where I volunteer, will be much more entertaining with your version of the Old Rugged Cross.

  4. But James, everyone else seems so cool when they point out how wrong I am! 8)

    I’m with you…Peabo is a fly repellant in Australia ‘Hit em with the old Peabo’ ! I like your brothers version of ‘Tonight’ way better – less mushy. And Mice Aroma rules:
    ‘M..m..m..Mice mice mice mice WOOOO’!

    Ewwwww, Lavenderbay, that’s a warning that sticks, eh? I think I’d keep my rubber cross: the idea of one is quite intriguing.

    Mondegreens started early for me with Baa Baa Black Sheep: ‘and one for the little boy who is Danerlay’….

  5. All I can say is …blinded by the light, wrapped up like a goose mutter stutter… who knows the rest. I love alternative song words and as for James Reyne he was way too hard to interpret.

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