Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Did I Hear That Right?


When I was about 11 years old there was a very popular song named "Teen Angel". It was about a teenage boy whose girlfriend was killed in an oh so tragic car accident. Everyone was singing it.

One day my mother came home from grocery shopping chuckling. She had seen a little girl sitting on the curb in front of the post office. And singing at the top her lungs. "Clean Angel, can you hear me? Clean Angel, can you see me?" You can find the song on YouTube. It was sung by Mark Dinning.

Sometimes we hear the words to songs wrong. It is a common thing. There are even web sites dedicated to hearing the words to songs wrong. Some of them are quite funny. Just do a search for wrong words to songs and be entertained.

The Singing Nun was a real nun who had recorded a song named "Dominique". It was a huge hit. A beautiful song sung by a nun with the voice of an angel. My aunt who was a know-it-all teenager at the time insisted that it was performed by The Singing Num. After all a real nun would never make a record.

This song is probably the most notorious song of all time. "Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen was banned in many cities of the United States. Those in charge of banning things were concerned because they could not understand the lyrics. That meant it must have something "dirty" in it. The more cities that refused to allow it to be played, the more we wanted to listen to it.

I was fairly newly married. My husband and I headed to the laundromat to wash some clothes. As we walked in with our dirty clothes there was a song I had not heard before playing quite loudly.

Imagine my shock when the chorus began "Where were you when the ship hit the sand?" I of course heard something else. I thought they were singing about something distasteful hitting the fan. If you are interested the song sung by Little Jimmy Dickens is on YouTube and titled "When the Ship Hit the Sand". It is still difficult to write the correct words.

I cannot begin to tell you of the number of times while the television is on that my head will whip up at something I imagined that I heard. Usually it is something that I will not repeat. Usually my unclean little mind picks up sounds and scrambles them into something else. Does it happen to you\?





15 comments:

  1. It's been years since I could understand the lyrics of any song.

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    1. Just this morning I was Watching Kelly Ripa talk about her son paying attention to lyrics of songs. She likes the song "Delilah" by Tom Jones. Her son had to point out that it was actually a violent account of a man killing his girlfriend.

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  2. Yes indeed, sometimes we hear the lyrics wrong and sing it out loud too, that is until we find out the true lyrics.

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    1. The main problem is that once you have sung them wrong it is difficult to sing them correctly even after you know the right way.

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  3. Fun post, Emma. It got me to thinking about those old songs --especially the teenage tragedy ones-- that were so fun even when I heard the words right. One 1960 favorite was Ray Peterson's, "Tell Laura I Love Her", where the hero gets pulled from his mangled race-car and, with supposedly dying breath, belts out the long energetic chorus of the song. I suspect that's where my delight in opera-logic began.

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    1. Have you heard "Tell Tommy I Miss Him"? It is sung by Skeeter Davis and is the answer song to "Tell Laura I Love Her"Laura gives her side of the angst-filled teenage tragedy.

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  4. This is very topical, Emma, as last week, the morning announcer for the local VA eastern shore radio station, was talking about misunderstood lyrics. One of my favorites was the song, Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto. I and many others never knew what he was saying exactly but the lyrics sounded so good. Years later I had an English translation, but didn't like it at all.

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    1. I saw a poem a few years ago. I believe the title was "The Devil's Granddaughter" but I could very well be wrong. The words were very similar to what I thought the words to "Sukiyaki" were. I would love to have the English translation.

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  5. Dear Emma, it sometimes happens with songs - (and I have to change the words from English to German) ... My biggest fault was, when I heard (being very young) Jimmy Hendrix - he sang (really): Foxy Lady. I misunderstood the first word - though it were two -- mumble, mumble, won't repeat it here :-)

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    1. That is a good one! Thank you for sharing it.

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  6. Sometimes the wrong lyrics are better than the correct ones.

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  7. Sometimes the wrong lyrics are better than the correct ones.

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    1. That may very well be true. At the very least they are funnier.

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  8. I do that often, though a lot of songs and DJ's on regular radio say things that would have gotten them strung up had they tried that when I was a kid :)
    R

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    1. I am often shocked at the things they get away with saying and singing today. Hell and damn were not allowed then.

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