Sunday, 29 July 2012

My Lady Mondegreen

Wikipedia tells us that a mondegreen is "the mis-hearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning." It comes from the misinterpretation of part of the poem "The Bonny Earl O'Moray":

What someone heard:

They hae slain the Earl O'Moray
And Lady Mondegreen.

What the poem actually says:

They hae slain the Earl O'Moray
And laid him on the green.

I had my own Lady Mondegreen moment over the weekend when I was listening to an old childhood favourite, the Carpenters song "Only Yesterday".

The song goes:

You showed me the way to leave the past
And all its tears behind me.

I then realised I had spent my entire life until last weekend thinking it was:

You showed me the way to leave the past
And now it steals behind me.

How creepy to have your past steal behind you just when you thought you had left it!

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