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Re: Mondegreens

>Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 16:21:58 +0000
>From: Dan Strassberg <dan.strassberg@worldnet.att.net>
>Subject: Mondegreens
>Everyone is familiar with mondegreens, even if not with the word.
>Mondegreens are quotations in which the hearer misheard what the speaker
>said. The best example, I think, is the line that so many people swear they
>hear in Credance Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon a'Risin'" (at least I think
>CCR is the group and "Bad Moon a'Risin" is the title). The line is not
>"there's a bathroom on the right." It's "there's a bad moon on the rise."
>The name mondegreen refers to a "quotation" from the lyric of an old
>folk song in which there is a reference to a "Lady Mondegreen". In fact,
>lyric refers to some hero who was shot "and they laid him on the green"
>(where his lover threw herself on his body--it was a sad song).
>In any event, this one is not a true mondegreen, but as I was listening to
>"Easy Ed" Shannon close his show this morning on WADN, he played Kate
>Smith's rendition of Irving Berlin's classic "God Bless America." (Ed
>every show that way. After all, no show is over until the fat lady sings
>Kate Smith sure was a fat lady.) There's a line we all know in that song:
>"Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night, with the light from
>above." My assumption is that Berlin meant "stand beside her and use the
>'light from above' to guide her through the night." Now, that's not poetic,
>but it's unambiguous. I assume that Berlin was referring to a conceptual
>light--the light of truth, for example, and not some form of visible light.
>I really don't think Berlin was referring to a night in which there was
>light from above--though such nights are not exactly rare; all it takes is
>clear sky and a full moon. Anyone have any opinions on what that well-known
>lyric really means? Has anyone else ever thought about it?


The Shaggy Dog

(sorry, just couldn't resist)