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!?