Math Is Fun Forum
  Discussion about math, puzzles, games and fun.   Useful symbols: ÷ × ½ √ ∞ ≠ ≤ ≥ ≈ ⇒ ± ∈ Δ θ ∴ ∑ ∫ • π ƒ -¹ ² ³ °

You are not logged in.

#1 2009-09-18 09:03:36

Registered: 2007-03-09
Posts: 452


. . . . Mondegreens

A mondegreen is a mishearing of a polular phrase or song lyric.
The term was coined by the writer Sylvia Wright.

As a child, she had heard the Scottish ballad "The Bonny Earl of Murray"
and had believed that one stanza went like this:
. . Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
. . Oh, where hae you been?
. . They hae slay the Earl of Murray
. . And Lady Mondegreen.

Years later, she learned that the last line was actually:
. . And laid him on the green.

Wright was so distaught at the loss of her heroine,
she memorialized her with a neologism: mondegreen.

Since then mondegreens have proliferated
and have been swapped across the internet.
Here are some of the well-known mondegreens.

The hymn: "Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear."

The Pledge of Allegiance lends itself to children's mondegreens:
. . I pledge a legion to the flag
. . of the United States of America,
. . and to the republic for Richard Sands,
. . one naked individual
. . with liver tea and just this for all.

Many people thought we lived in a "doggy dog world"
populated by people with a "no holes barred" attitude
or who "drank themselves to Bolivia."

In the old song "Sidewalks of New York",
me and Mamie O'Rourke "risked our lives in traffic."

The was the Bob Dylan song with the memorable strain:
"Dead ants are my friends, they're blowin' in the wind."

Crystal Gayle's "Donuts Make Your Brown Eyes Bue."
Maria Muldaur's "Midnight After You're Wasted."
Jose Feliciano's "Police Naughty Dog."
Another Latin song: "One Ton Tomato."

Paul McCartny's Michelle: "Michelle, ma bell,
Sunday monkey won't play piano song."
Another McCarney lyric: "The girl with colitus goes by."

Christmas songs are fraught with monedgreens.

"Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!
Barneys' the king of Israel."

"Get dressed, ye married gentlemen,
Let nothing through this May ..."

"Good King Wences' car backed out
On the feet of heathens ..."

"Good king wants his applesauce
At the feast this evening ..."

"Joyful oily nations rise;
Join the triumph of disguise.
With the jelly toast proclaim ..."

"Bells on Bob's tail ring
Making spareribs right ..."

"Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing on eggs all stationed ..."

"Round John Virgin, margarine child,
Holy imbecile, tender and mild.
Sleep in heavenly peas ..."

"We three kings of porridge and tar ..."

"While shepherds washed their socks by night ..."

"In the meadow we can build a snowman
and pretend that he is sparse and brown ..."


Last edited by soroban (2009-09-19 05:02:58)


#2 2009-09-19 01:34:52

Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 4,594

Re: Mondegreens

Some good ones there, soroban! smile

Here's a good candidate for misheard lyrics:

The Israelites

A graphically illustrated one (with sound):

Have You Ever Seen The Rain? (the misheard lyrics version)

I use or to help sort out lyrics questions I've got. There's an interesting article and sound clip here about kissthisguy's domain name and the Jimi Hendrix song it's from (official lyrics are "kiss the sky".

Along similar coincidence this morning I happened to be reading this article on our local ABC site. I particularly like "emichisit?" and "uttermattasemich" in the readers' comments. smile

We can make ourselves impossible to be understood without even trying!

Last edited by phrontister (2009-09-19 02:03:34)

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson


#3 2009-09-19 05:19:59

Registered: 2007-03-09
Posts: 452

Re: Mondegreens

. . More Modegreens

Surely, you are familiar with these lyrics:

Creedence Clearwater Revival:
. . "There's a bathroom on the right ..."

The Beatles
. . "She's got a chicken to ride ..."

Bachman-Turner Overdrive:
. . "Baking carrot biscuits"

Simon and Garfunkel's:
. . "Are you going to starve an old friend?
. . .Parsely's age grows merry in time..."

Olivia Newton-John:
. . "Hope the city voted for you."

From Mary Poppins:
. . "Super cow with fragile lipstick sexy halitosis"

Yes, I am . . . and don't call me Shirley!


#4 2009-09-20 02:05:02

Registered: 2007-03-09
Posts: 452

Re: Mondegreens


Everyone knows "Bronze Lullaby",
the oldie "Hormone Derange",
and the Darwin classic: "Oranges and Peaches."

Simon & Garfunkel's immortal lyric:
"Hello, Douglas, my old friend,
I've to talk to you and Jen."

Two hits by The Fifth Dimension:
"This is the dawning of the ancient aquarium"
"Up, up and away in my Buick Ford balloon"

In the early 1990s, a revival of the Beach Boys'
"Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran"

And who could forget these Elvis' classics:

"A malt shook up..."

"They said you were high-classed
But that was last July."

"Everybody in a wholesale frock..."

"Don't you step on my Bruce Wayne shoes..."

"Retard Lucinda"


#5 2009-09-21 19:10:53

Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 13,883

Re: Mondegreens

My brother does these sometimes.
New Divide - Linkin Park
"Give me reason!..."
My bro. says:
"Give me pizza!"
White Noise - The Living End
"White Noise.."
My bro. says:
"Wipe 'ya nose..."
Well those are the ones I can remember...

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
~ Anton Chekhov
Cheer up, emo kid.


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB