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The Biblio Files

The Biblio Files
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
January 01
We (Steve and Helen) irresponsibly gave up our promising careers in aviation and bookselling over ten years ago. Now books seem to have taken over our lives. We frequent libraries, bookstores, and thrift shops in search of interesting books. We buy/swap/sell, but mainly, we read. We both wear glasses and have been mistaken for librarians.


Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 17, 2009 5:14PM

Obama's Elf

Rate: 15 Flag


Mondegreen: A form of error arising from mishearing a spoken or sung phrase.

etymology:  Coined by Sylvia Wright in Harper’s Magazine (The Death of Lady Mondegreen, Nov 1954) from a mishearing of the stanza in the Scottish ballad The Bonny Earl of Murray

Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands Oh where hae you been? They hae slay the Earl of Murray, And laid him on the green. (Misheard as “And Lady Mondegreen”)

From the Wiktionary




Some books that discuss the Mondegreen phenomenon:

far from the madding gerund
Far from the Madding Gerund and Other Dispatches from Language Log
by Mark Liberman and Geoffrey K. Pullum

language instict
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language
by Stephen Pinker

Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind

by Gary Marcus



scuse me

'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: And Other Misheard Lyrics

Mondegreens: A Book of Mishearings

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"Obama's Elf" was hilarious.

For years I assumed Paul McCartney had an affair with someone from Kentucky, resulting in the song "Kentucky Love". After more years than I care to admit, I learned that the song was actually "Can't Buy Me Love"!
Mound of Green. I love this word.
My niece heard the Red Hot Chile Pepper's chorus in "Under the Bridge Downtown" as "Like an adhesive cow"
Still makes me laugh.

"Blinded by the Light" always got me with "wrapped up like a douche" which is supposed to be "revved up like a deuce". I don't care what the lyrics are supposed to be, he sang the first line.
"Kentucky Love". Oh, swell, now I can't hear anything *except* Kentucky Love.

Like an Adhesive Cow? I can't hear it, but I like it.

I think it sounds like "wrapped up like a douche" because that's what he's actually saying. I'm not buying that "revved up like a deuce". Nuh-uh. No way.
OK. I missed the video at first and nearly peed on myself after I saw it. That should come with a warning.

Thank you for posting this. I'm so relieved that it's not just me. There's a CCR song, "Bad Moon Rising" in which I swear they're singing, "There's a bathroom on the right". That's all I ever hear.
I love that the video is subtitled, but I...don't get it.

What's so funny about Obama's Elf?
Our Father, who art in heaven, Howard be thy name...

Loved the Obama's elf!
And then there's the song that revealed God's first name, Andy:

And he walks with me
And he talks with me
And he tells me I am his own

And while we're being sacrilegious, there's the still never fully disclosed lyrics of Louie, Louie
Ah hahaha. That was excellent. I cling to the classic mis-hears of "Secret Asian Man," which I still can't hear past, and "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy."

(Jon: the actual lyrics are "All by myself... don't wanna be, all by myyyyyyself.")
My personal favorite is my friend singing "Fresh is the dew are the moments we two can share"..

ps. for you youngins, the correct lyric is "Precious and few...
OMG, yinz, it is TOTALLY "wrapped up like a douche, another runner in the night." And what the hell could that possibly even mean?
Hilarious! btw I saw Hendrix turn and look at (late drummer) Mitch Mitchell in concert when he sang that line. Perhaps the Mondagreen had already come to his attention. Maybe not. I often hear the music and struggle with the lyrics - I too thought "wrapped up" all these years. "The girl with colitis goes by." Too much!
Haha! Love that video! :)
My favorites:

That song with the lyric "Day in the life" - which turned out to be "Staying alive".

And the recent song where the singer seemed to be singing about a "blindfold dog". The lyric turned out to be "life goes on".