Blinded by the lyric

reverend-blue-jeansMy story on misunderstood song lyrics — often referred to as mondegreens — appeared on MSNBC.com’s Body Odd blog Friday and, as always when someone touches on this topic, it garnered a ton of reader response (nearly 350 comments so far!). Who doesn’t love to make fun of their old boyfriend or little sister for loudly singing some nonsense lyric at the top of their lungs?

Many readers brought up what you might call classic mondegreens:  Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “bathroom on the right” (instead of bad moon on the rise); Manfred Mann’s “wrapped up like a douche” (instead of revved up like a deuce); Neil Diamond’s “Reverend Blue Jeans” (which I’ve always preferred to the actual lyric, forever in blue jeans).

But others shared stories of mangled lyrics I’d never heard before.  Some of my faves:

To this day I can still hear Wayne Newton singing “Donkey Chains” (Danke Schoen).

My sister used to sing “Felix, oh oh oh Felix” instead of the real song, “Feelings, oh oh Feelings”.

When my son was small, he thought the lyrics to “Wild Thing” were…”Wild Thing, you make my horse sing!”

Reader comments like that make my heart (and horse) sing, too. Anybody have a favorite misheard lyric they’d like to share? Pony up.

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4 Responses to “Blinded by the lyric”


  1. 1 julie April 2, 2009 at 8:00 am

    How about “Secret asian man”

  2. 2 singleshot1 April 2, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Yes, Secret Asian Man is a classic mondegreen! And one of my faves!

  3. 3 LeslieK April 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Man, I love that pic of Neil D rockin the mullet. It’s so Cherry Cherry!
    What a brilliant idea for a story. You are amazing!

  4. 4 Kristy in Bellingham April 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    MY little sister used to sing “Don’t fear the reefer” and nothing I said could convince her it was “Don’t Fear the Reaper”…Glad to find you online what with the demise of the P-I. Chimichangaaaaaaaaaaaaas!!!!!


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What’s the story?

Meet Diane Mapes, your friendly neighborhood freelance writer. My beats include health (with an emphasis on cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship) and lifestyle and singles issues, but I also love writing about history, natural history, pop culture and TV/film. On this site, you'll find links to stories, praise for my writing (*blush*) and the odd bit of social commentary about the single life. Also here, a few shameless plugs for my books (hint: see links below). Have fun, glad you're here and hope to hear from you soon.

Oh! And if you're looking for my breast cancer blog, go to Double_Whammied

Check out my books!

How to Date in a Post-Dating World A dating manual for the modern, mangled single.

Single State of the Union
Single women speak out on life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

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