Sunday, July 02, 2006

"Oh, Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood..."

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How many of you have been singing songs for years, perhaps having learned them at a young age and just routinely singing them: anthems, school songs, patriotic songs, family favorites, Hebrew songs, Yiddish songs, Top 40 songs...?

Did you ever stop to actually read the printed words to a particular song that you're supposedly so familiar with, and then been shocked to see that what you've been singing is contrary to what you SHOULD have been singing?

Canada celebrated its national holiday on Saturday, July 1, and somewhere I caught a printed snippet of "Oh, Canada," our anthem. I read "...true patriot love" and was just jarred a bit -- I always sang, "true patret love"! I never stopped to think if what I was singing made any sense, but since I was a kid, learning the anthem, that's how it sounded to me, and I don't recall ever verifying the words in print.

Every now and again, a local radio station plays snippets of contemporary or older songs; the deejays tell the listening audience what "is heard" when these songs are played, and what the lyrics really say.

I've discovered a great Web site to illustrate the "art of being misunderstood" musically.

So I guess it's time to make the time to listen a little closer to songs being sung or to take the time to seek out the lyrics of a song.

You know what? Scratch that last bit of advice. Sometimes the lyrics we sing, the lyrics we imagine to be correct, are more fun than the actual published ones.

I'll get you started with a misinterpreted lyric I used to sing; the song was by Hot Chocolate.

"I believe in Malcom
Where you from, you sexy thing..."

The correct lyrics are "I believe in miracles..." but every time I heard the song or sang the song, I always wondered who "Malcom" is!

Do any of you have song lyrics that you misheard...and mis-sang for years. How did you discover the true lyrics, and when you discovered what they REALLY should be, how stupid did you feel!?


socialworker/frustrated mom said...

It has happened to me lots of times don't remember which songs. Yes I felt stupid!

cruisin-mom said...

Take a load off Granny
was really Take a load off Fannie.
(The Weight by the Band)
But everyone gets this song wrong.
Have to see if I can think of more.

Neil said...

I bet you no more than 3% of the American population knows the real words to the Star Spangled Banner.

Danny said...

My favorite was always the Beatles lyric:
"The girl with colitis goes by..."
which of course should have been:
"The girl with kaleidoscope eyes.'

My daughter used to always sing songs from "Annie" and there was one lyric, "From Main Street to Saville Row" that she sang, "From Main Street to Salad Bowl." I was sad when she got older and stopped singing it that way!

Don't get me started with Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean."

cruisin-mom said...

I love that ...colitis goes by!!! LOL

torontopearl said...

Thanks, all, for your comments. I think that what we "hear" is sometimes just so funny 'cause it's not how the lyrics were written.