Mondegreens

EnolaGaia

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#5
I was a teenage rock musician back in the Olde Daze (1960's), and we often had to resort to deliberate 'mondegreening' when capturing indistinct lyrics in the course of working up covers of new hits.

The situation wasn't so bad during the early 'British Invasion' era (1964 - 1965) because vocals were usually recorded distinctly enough to isolate and decipher. It got a lot worse in subsequent years (e.g., 1966 - 1968), mainly because:

- Once rock became an industry the recordings were being generated as fast as possible, and audio precision often suffered;

- The trend toward louder, heavier, sonically-innovative 'psychedelic' (etc. / whatever) stylings tended to de-prioritize having a clear vocal front and center; and

- The lyrics simply got stranger and stranger, to the point it was anyone's guess what the singer was saying.

I recall the early Spencer Davis Group hits being particularly undecipherable. The very muddy bass-heavy mix, combined with Winwood's soulful slurrings, made it impossible to pin down what the lyrics were.

We had to completely give up on I'm a Man, and ended up writing out a set of phonetically-analogous gibberish which our lead singer was forced to memorize. This approach became our fall-back tactic on many songs throughout the late 1960's.

It would be years before I finally learned what Stevie had actually been singing.

Side Note: Yes, we did Hendrix covers, but we never had any problems understanding the lyrics in his recordings. I don't remember anyone misinterpreting 'kiss the sky' as 'kiss this guy' back in the day - not even as a joke.
 

Mythopoeika

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#6
Side Note: Yes, we did Hendrix covers, but we never had any problems understanding the lyrics in his recordings. I don't remember anyone misinterpreting 'kiss the sky' as 'kiss this guy' back in the day - not even as a joke.
Jimi generally sang pretty clearly, it has to be said.
 

Anonymized-1

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#7
My favorite Jimi story is that he supposedly warned his girlfriend, that if she should find him unresponsive, & it appears that he had died -- leave his body be, for he is merely traveling the cosmos & will eventually return to his body.

She didn't listen to him, of course, and I have it on good authority Jimi is still traveling the cosmos to this very day, waiting, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

What I'm trying to say is, Jimi Hendrix could very be in a Dr. Sam Beckett situation
 

Analogue Boy

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#12
It appears to be a term used for misheard song lyrics or poems. I'd never heard of it before.
Maybe it should apply to misautocorrected text too.
 

Ulalume

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#13
I knew the term because I'd seen our own Mungoman use it. :)

My favorite misheard lyric is from Tom Petty. "I was Barney Rubble" instead of "I was born a rebel" :D
 

Peripart

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#14
We must have another thread here already (though I don't have time right now to search for "misheard lyrics"), because I'm sure that I recall trotting out "Beelzebub has a devil for a sideboard" as an example!
 
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#15
We definitely do have a thread on this subject somewhere, but the use of the word 'Mondegreens' alone justifies a new one.

My own contribution to the older thread, and my all-time favourite mishearing, from Leatherface's Lorrydriver's Son (I can't just recall what the real lyric is, and I don't care, because - with all due respect to the awesome Leatherface - mine will always beat it):

'A Stornoway man with some cod on his shins'.
 
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OneWingedBird

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#19
Oh, and on David Bowie's Outside, I'd always thought the lyric towards the end was "The metal beneath his hands" which makes about as much sense as anything else on that album.

Actual lyric is "The mental and diva's hands". Which makes even less sense.
 

Swifty

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#23
I started doing this myself when Phylis Nelson's song came out, 'Move Closer' aka 'New Toaster' and still subvert any song that I can't quite hear the lyrics to .. My Dad used to call Terrance Trent D'arby "Terrance Stoke On Trent" for a laugh .. :)
 

Tigerhawk

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#26
Angel Of The Morning by Bonnie Tyler - the lyrics "Just touch my cheek before you leave me" I once misheard as "Just brush my teeth before you leave me"....
 

hunck

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#28
Gonna use my arms
Gonna use my legs
Gonna use my style
Gonna use my sausage

Name that tune.
 

catseye

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#30
http://kissthisguy.com/

This site has given me many happy hours of howling with laughter - I've even got one or two of my own submissions in there! Wondeful if you are feeling a bit down...
 
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