Saturday, 21 July 2012

Van's Misheard Lyrics

At the Amirightsite they claim to make “fun of music one song at a time”.  There’s one section on misheard song lyrics.  Misheard lyrics are also called ‘mondegreens’. These occur when there is near homophony.   American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term in her essay "The Death of Lady Mondegreen," published in Harper's Magazine in November 1954.  The site has a lot of examples by different performers and even Van has a few. 

Below are a couple of selections from the Van ‘canon’ of misheard lyrics. 

Brown Eyed Girl
The Misheard Lyrics:    Cats in every back fair lot,

                                Sometimes I'm overcome thinkin' 'bout it.

The Real Lyrics:          Cast my memory back there, Lord
                                Sometimes I'm overcome thinkin' 'bout.

The Story: This was the first song I actually REMEMBER hearing on the radio. I mean that I was aware of and looked forward to hearing again. I was in the 6th grade and home with pneumonia so my Mom brought a radio to play by my bed. I just loved it and felt like Van Morrison was singing it specially for me - even though I have blue eyes.

It's one of those songs that even now that I know the real lyrics, and even though what I was hearing doesn't make sense, it's hard for me to sing correctly. - Submitted by: Mary


The Misheard Lyrics:   Oh oh, damelo
The Real Lyrics:         Oh oh, Domino

The Story: I was in junior high school when this song was released. I was taking Spanish at the time and had recently learnt that 'damelo' meant 'give it to me'. I assumed the lyrics were about a very frustrated man. - Submitted by: sherry

My Brown Eyed Girl

The Misheard Lyrics:    Gunning down the old man
                                With a transistor radio.

The Real Lyrics:          Going down the old mine
                                With a transistor radio.

The Story: I never really knew what this song was all about. How could you kill someone with a transistor radio? Why didn't they like old people? - Submitted by: Princess

Warm Love

The Misheard Lyrics:    And it's seven feathers everywhere
                                And seven feathers everywhere,
                                It's warm love

The Real Lyrics:          And it's ever-present everywhere,
                                And it's ever-present everywhere,
                                It's warm love

The Story: I only have this track on a download from his Best of Van Morrison album, so I will put down to my recording technique not being up to scratch.

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