hold me closer, tony danza


Sunday, March 8, 2009

I try to keep up on current events and local happenings, but without television and a newspaper subscription, sometimes I lose track of the goings-on. Such was the case yesterday (or so I thought) when I heard this on the radio while changing out the laundry in the basement:

"The South Asian Army is accepting applications for its 2009 Boys and Girls summer camp. To apply, simply visit one of our ten locations in Manhattan."

First of all, The South Asian Army? Second, since when do foreign armies need domestic summer camp and TEN LOCATIONS in Manhattan?

The spot wrapped up with: "The South Asian Army. Doing the Most Good." Hmm. Weird, that's the slogan for the Salvation Ar--- Oh. Right.

This reminds me of a similar phenomenon, the mondegreen, which is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically a standardized phrase such as a line in a poem or a lyric in a song, due to near homophony, in a way that yields a new meaning to the phrase. Like when you're driving with your friend, windows down, belting out Prince's "Raspberry Beret." And then you realize your friend is shouting "Raspberry Parade." In her defense, it really does sound like "parade," but come on. Think it through. That's not the kind of thing you find in a second-hand store.

Then there's my brother, who for most of his primary years at church, misinterpreted the second verse of Book of Mormon Stories (the one where you pound out the rhythm with your fist into your palm) as, "And the Lansoom Welcome Doll who wanted to be free." The actual lyric is, "and the land soon welcomed all who wanted to be free," but for years he thought it was a story about some kind of caged Cabbage Patch Kid.

My personal favorite is a former co-worker's mistaken interpretation of the second verse in Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," which goes:

Bittersweet... Man Maurice.

It has been two years since I first heard about his mondegreen, but it still makes me giggle out loud when I think about it (sing it in my head).

12 comments:

becky said...

oh man, i love the mondegreen! it reminds me of how my little brother and i would always sing "i'm Madmartigan..." to that Bush song Glycerine. we never actually THOUGHT it said Madmartigan, but we had no idea what the hell it said and we were fans of the movie Willow, so to us those lyrics were Madmartigan*.


*actual lyrics say "bad moon wine again" over and over. see? "i'm Madmartigan" over and over is so much better.

becky said...

one great one i heard though, was this guy i knew who SWORE Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit said "here we are now, in containers" instead of "here we are now, entertain us."

katie said...

I always wondered what a "shalmeno" was in that song "as I have loved you." I figured it was some kind of mushroom. I also wondered who Jenny Ology was and what "it" was he was doing.

breckster said...

You know you live in a parallel universe type city when you believe for a whole commercial that the south asia army is recruiting where you live, in not south asia. (like how the milk expiration date is earlier in NYC then the other date printed for the rest of the world.)

Reuben sings "Parents kind of dear" in I am a Child of God, I'm not totally convinced someone didn't teach it to him that way.

Hartley Family said...

Ha ha- too funny! Jezelle was singing 'I am a Child of God' the other day and I heard her say "leave me, drive me, walk beside me...." and it totally made me laugh (it's suppose to be 'lead me, guide me ....)

Brian Hall said...

'Scuze me while I kiss this guy. -Jimi Hendrix

Hey, I just learned recently that the word "biopic," as in "Oliver Stone's recent President Bush biopic, 'W.' was a smash hit," is a combination of bio, as in life, and pic, as in picture. It is not, as I previously assumed, pronounced biOPic, kind of like myopic.... you know, near sighted. I always guessed that this mystery word "biopic" is somehow taking a lengthy view of someone's life; thus, it is related to sight and the Latin root "optic," mean..... ahhhhh, forget it. I'm an idiot.

chelsea said...

hilarious! i posted a couple of these last year: http://bugandpie.blogspot.com/2007/04/whatd-you-say.html

my new favorite though is my sis-in-law who sings "Livin' on a Prayer" like this:

"Jeanna wants to die in her old age"
instead of "Jeanna works the diner all day"

brilliant

Michemily said...

Have you seen Ellen's standup about misinterpreting music lyrics? So hilarious. "Why was I saying 'monkey hatchet'?"

I personally always thought there was a Spanish word in "Love One Another"--"bythisshallmenno."

Tiffany said...

Before Al Gore invented the Internet, I never knew the lyrics to anything. Now I Google lyrics and sing everything real pompous-like and accurate.

Kristy Mouti said...

A friend was just telling me yesterday how her daughter would ask her to sing "the ferrett song" with her. She realized it was "I Know My Father Lives."

"The ferrett whispers this to me..."

Cicada said...

When I learned my ABCs, I thought that elemeno was a word describing P, and since none of the other letters of the alphabet had words describing them, I just left that part out. "H I J K P!"

Annie said...

your post title is hilarious.
if it's a friends reference, i love you.