I learned a wonderful new word recently – Mondegreen.
A Mondegreen occurs when you mishear something, usually a song lyric. I’m a huge fan of lyrics, so this was an amusing discovery for me.
The name “mondegreen” was coined by writer, Sylvia Wright who misheard a line from a 17th-century Scottish ballad.
Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl of O’ Moray,
And laid him on the green.
Wright heard the last line as And Lady Mondegreen instead of And laid him on the green. When she discovered the error, she named the phenomenon after the mysterious, nonexistent Lady Mondegreen.
Probably one of the most misheard lyrics belongs to Bruce Springsteen. The phrase “revved up like a deuce” (altered from Springsteen’s original “cut loose like a deuce” is slang for a 1932 Ford Coupe). It’s frequently misheard as “wrapped up like a douche.”
It’s the way I sang it for years and had no clue what it meant!
Here’s Manfred Mann’s version of “Blinded by the Light.”
If you have any song lyrics you’ve misheard, feel free to share them.