Music Mondays and the Mystery of Mondegreens

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!

Springsteen joked it was not until Manfred Mann rewrote the song about a “feminine hygiene product” that it became popular.

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. 🙂




Filed under Musical Mondays

13 responses to “Music Mondays and the Mystery of Mondegreens

  1. From “Groovin’ on a Sunday Afternoon” by the Young Rascals – The correct line is, “You and me, endlessly” Not…you and me and Leslie. Unless you’re into that


  2. Cher’s “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves”. I thought it was “CHIMPANZEES”.

    Hey, I was really young then. Heh.


  3. Great word, good song.

    Did you know I have read/purchased your books, now. I am a full fledged Eden fanboi…..don’t worry, I make a terrible stalker


    • Ditto with yours Lance, though I haven’t read all of your latest Soul to Body as yet. Congratulations on it too!

      As for your stalking me? I’m not in the least bit worried. 😉


  4. One of my brothers insisted for years that a Bon Jovi lyric was “cut to the heart” instead of “shot through the heart, and you’re to blame.”

    Yes, he’s silly.


  5. Pingback: I can’t come to work today…I have MONDEGREEN. | Things I think about while I drive to work

  6. John Fogerty “Bad Moon Rising” I heard the lyric “There’s a bad moon on the rise” as there’s a bathroom on the right.


  7. When my daughter was little, i used to sing ‘I Feel Pretty’ to her at bath time. One of the lines is, “Who’s that pretty girl in the mirror there? Who can that attractive girl be?” (Natalie Wood sang it via dubbing in “West Side Story.” One day, I heard what Stacey (my small daughter) was singing: “Who can that tractor girl be?” (Her father worked for John Deere for 37 years).

    Liked by 1 person

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