My Favorite Mondegreens
Reading time – 2 minutes
Everybody know what mondegreens are? Good, let’s proceed. Also, this would be a great character trait for one of the folks in your next story. Leads to wonderful dialogue, both in real life and fiction. As if anyone around here cares about real life!
To make this a little more fun, I’ll give you the mondegreen and you can (I’m sure) figure out the correct song lyric.
9. “Dead ants are my friends, they’re blowin’ in the wind.” – Robert Zimmerman
8. “Gimme the Beach Boys and free my soul.” – Uncle Kracker
7. “They’ve all come to look for a miracle.” – Simon & Garfunkel
6. “The girl with colitis goes by.” – The Beatles
5. “There’s a bathroom on the right.” – CCR
4. “Excuse me while I kiss this guy.” – Jimi Hendrix
3. “We are living in a Cheerio world, and I am a Cheerio girl.” – Madonna
2. “And there’s a wino down the road.” – Led Zeppelin
1. “Gotta leave it all behind and take a cruise.” – Queen (Confession: I don’t even know the right lyric anymore; this one always makes more sense to me.)
There are so many, I didn’t even include a couple funny ones that I’ve never believed, but would be great coming out of a character in your next book.
- Hold me closer, Tony Danza – Elton John
- Donuts make my brown eyes blue – Crystal Gale
And a few bonus entries. One became a book, the other two are likely made up, but they’re still funny and you can imagine some little kid saying them.
“Olive, the other reindeer.” (Now a book)
“Blessed art thou, a monk swimming.” – Hail Mary
“Our Father, who art in heaven, Howard be thy name.” – The Lord’s Prayer
Finally, in case I’m educating someone out there (yeah, right!), a note about the word mondegreen. Ironically, it’s a mondegreen itself. American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term, admitting in a piece published in 1954 in Harper’s, that she confused a poem read by her mother. She translated “They have slain the Earl of Moray and laid him on the green” into “They have slain the Earl of Moray and Lady Mondegreen.” Alas, the Earl was alone when the slaying occurred and the non-existent Lady Mondegreen escaped to live in infamy these many years later.
Got any classics of your own? Throw ’em into the comments and maybe somebody will dress up one of their characters with your misheard lyric!