Thursday, February 12, 2015

Batman Jose & Polar Bear Ninjas

The Nike Training Club app I use to work out has this feature that allows you to use your own playlist and music during your workouts.  This is great because one of the biggest problems I've ever had with workout

videos was the terrible music that accompanied them. The NTC workouts are hard enough without having to deal with Katy Perry or Ariana Grande or that Bruno Mars fella who, as much as I can tell, just wants to be Michael Jackson. If I'm going to struggle through wood chops and push ups and planks, it has to be some angry punk or high-octane Bruce Springsteen. Iggy Pop, not Iggy Azalea.

I know. "Squat Party" makes me giggle too.

But I also like some 60s music.
? and the Mysterians' 96 Tears, the Kinks' All Day and All of the Night, Eddie Floyd's Knock on Wood, even some Jerry Lee Lewis works for me.

The other day I was struggling (and swearing, I freely admit) through a medieval torture device called 'plank walks' when Jay & the Americans' Come a Little Bit Closer started playing. I misheard the lyric I always get wrong and started laughing, collapsing on the floor. (I waited for the Nike lady who periodically shouts out encouragement or directions to scold me.) It's one of my favorite mondegreens.

A mondegreen is a misheard lyric in a song. The term comes from an old song which contains the lyric "They slew the Earl of Moray and laid him on the green." It was commonly misheard as "They slew the Earl of Moray and Lady Mondegreen."

The correct lyric in the song I was listening to is "She belonged to that man, Jose."
What I hear is, "She belonged to Batman Jose."

It's silly; mondegreens often make no sense, but that's what's fun about them, I think.

One of the most famous mondegreens is "S'cuse me while I kiss this guy" instead of Jimi Hendrix's intended "S'cuse me while I kiss the sky." It shares its name with a website collecting submitted mondegreens and a book as well.

Here are some of my favorites:

 "I want a piece of date bread."

(The Ramones- I Wanna Be Sedated)

 "You make the rice. I'll make the gravy. But it just may be some tuna fish you're looking for."

(Billy Joel- You May Be Right)

 "See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen."

(ABBA- Dancing Queen)

 "Steak and a knife. Steak and a knife."

(Bee Gees- Stayin' Alive)

 "Let's pee in the corner, Let's pee in the spotlight."

(R.E.M.- Losing My Religion)

 "This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus"

(Fifth Dimension- Age of Aquarius)

"Cheese corn."

(Hall & Oates- She's Gone)

 "There's a bathroom on the right."

(Creedence Clearwater Revival- Bad Moon Rising)

"I've got shoes, they're made of plywood."

(Grease soundtrack, You're the One That I Want)

I think the best part of mondegreens is imagining someone singing them- their head thrown back, totally getting into the song, then singing lines like "Hit me with your pet shark!" (Hit Me With Your Best Shot.)

In the book I'm writing, one of my main characters is always mishearing things, lyrics especially, and I've really enjoyed writing the scenes where she's caught singing the most wrong, absurd lyrics possible.

Do you have a misheard lyric that confounded you? Share it in the comments if you like.

Mine for years was Bobby Brown's Every Little Step, a song I didn't even like, but I was totally befuddled by the line I heard as "No matter what your french fries tell ya, we were made to fall in love." I had this image of an obviously mentally imbalanced girl who took dating advice from food.

Kind of like Lane Meyer in Better Off Dead when he's left to his own devices in the kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing BETTER OFF DEAD and thinking it was maybe the funniest movie I had ever seen in my life. A couple more "Benny and the jazz (or jets or whatever)" "I really love your pieces wanna shake your tree" (should be peaches, according to the wife, and wtf is his point?) and "Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche blah blah blah" instead of "racked up like a deuce" WHATEVER that means...