Home » Video » Mondegreen

Mondegreen

17 October 2019

From Thoughtco:

A mondegreen is a word or phrase that results from mishearing or misinterpreting a statement or song lyric. Also known as an oronym.

The term mondegreen was coined in 1954 by American writer Sylvia Wright and popularized by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll. The term was inspired by “Lady Mondegreen,” a misinterpretation of the line “hae laid him on the green” from the Scottish ballad “The Bonny Earl o Moray.”

According to J. A. Wines, mondegreens often occur because “the English language is rich in homophones–words which may not be the same in origin, spelling or meaning, but which sound the same” (Mondegreens: A Book of Mishearings, 2007).

. . . .

“The point about what I shall hereafter call mondegreens, since no one else has thought up a word for them, is that they are better than the original.”
(Sylvia Wright, “The Death of Lady Mondegreen.” Harper’s, November 1954)

. . . .

  • “I led the pigeons to the flag” (for “I pledge allegiance to the flag”)
  • “There’s a bathroom on the right” (for “There’s a bad moon on the rise” in “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival)
  • “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” (for the Jimi Hendrix lyric “Excuse me while I kiss the sky”)

. . . .

  • “The girl with colitis goes by” (for “the girl with kaleidoscope eyes” in “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by the Beatles)

. . . .

  • “The girl from Emphysema goes walking” (for “The girl from Ipanema goes walking” in “The Girl from Ipanema,” as performed by Astrud Gilberto)

Link to the rest at Thoughtco and thanks to Karen for the reminder in her comment to an earlier TPV post.
.

Video

3 Comments to “Mondegreen”

  1. Oh hey! Old Blind Dogs, they are so great. It’s sometimes hard to find Celtic bands that are specifically Scottish, and they have such a traditional sound. I’m a big fan of their renditions of Robert Burns’ poems like “Is There for Honest Poverty” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_Y3Yb522J4

  2. From, I believe, Kids say the darndest things:

    Our Father who art in Heaven, how’d you know my name?

  3. My son raided all my old Led Zeppelin records a few years ago (raising him right!) and asked why in stairway to heaven Plant sings:

    ‘As we wind on down the road, our sh*t old story goes untold’

    When I explained the real lyrics he agreed they made a lot more sense

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.