Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ode to Lady Mondegreen

Lady Mondegreen is an imaginary person created by American writer Sylvia Wright when she was a young girl and misheard the words "...and laid him on the green" in a Scottish ballad as "...and Lady Mondegreen.    

In 1954 Wright coined the term a “mondegreen” meaning “a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning.”  It is the only word that I can think of that is in itself an example of its definition.  Some commonly cited examples of misheard lyrics are “Jose can you see..? from the U.S. National Anthem and “Gladly the cross-eyed bear” from the Protestant hymn with a similar sounding title.
One of my own mondegreens was, as a youth, loudly singing ‘an M, an H, and a P” instead of  “heaven and nature sing!” during the singing of the Christmas Carol "Joy to the World."  I guess I didn’t have the lyrics in front of me and wanted to be one of the gang.

Ode to Lady Mondegreen

Bald-headed woman –
'Scuse me while I kiss this guy.
I’m gonna leave her.

Bee Gees’ “More than a woman’
Jimi Hendricks “Purple Rain” (“Scuse me while I kiss the sky.”)
The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer”.

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