Mondegreens I Have Known

Like many people, I never cease to be amused by mondegreens, those chance mishearings of songs or poems that are funniest when they make the least sense. Here are some of the words that I’ve got wrong in my life:

Rocket man, burning out his fuse box there alone. Not that different from the actual lyric, but less metaphorical, you know? And rather prophetic, considering the technical difficulties of the international space station decades later.

In the meadow we can build a snowman, and pretend that he is parched and brown. I guess I thought it described a snowman who’d been out in the sun too long. Sort of a suntanned snowman. But why would we build a snowman, and then immediately pretend that he’d been out in the sun too long? I never got that far.

And for the longest time I thought that the lyric to Angie, by the Rolling Stones, was I’m in jail…. I’m in jail. The simplicity and pathos of it fits the melody, don’t you think?

There are several entertaining collumns on mondegreens at Jon Carroll’s SF Gate archive.

Got any mondegreens to amuse us?

(Image courtesy of toobizarre.)

More posts about words and language.

~ by lolarusa on August 17, 2011.

2 Responses to “Mondegreens I Have Known”

  1. Bingo Jed got a light on. Steve Miller.

  2. Jack, get back. I’m on the whole wheat track. Kenny Loggins.

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