Mondegreens · 4 December 2021

Everybody has surely heard or sung a Mondegreen before, but nobody really knows they are called that.

Mondegreens are misheard (and mis-sung) lyrics. If you want to know the history of why they are called that, I am sure there are plenty of YouTube videos and websites that will tell you. All I am going to say is that I am glad they have a name. It makes me sleep easier knowing that misheard and mis-sung lyrics are really called MONDEGREENS.

The reason I am writing about mondegreens is that one of my cousins posted a challenge on Facebook. Post your favorite misheard lyrics. Or something like that. My favorite misheard lyrics have always been “Gotta moosh, gotta moosh” instead of “Scaramouche, Scaramouche” in Bohemian Rhapsody. I know. What in the heck do you do when you moosh and why do you gotta do it anyway. I suppose it is a dance since Queen asks if you can do the Fandango right afterward. Then again, I am not even sure anybody else ever heard those words. Still, even after I found out that Scaramouche is the correct word (a name actually), I still hear and sing, “gotta moosh.” (By the way, I am pretty sure I wrote about Scaramouche a while ago.)

Needless to say, people replied to my cousin and gave their favorites. Or most terrible. Or silliest. Or most memorable. And then another cousin posted a YouTube video about mondegreens. Which of course, led me to write about mondegreens.

So if you want to blame anybody for what I write, at least this time, you can blame a couple of my cousins. (And no. I will not point to my blog post about blame I posted a few weeks ago.)

At any rate.

This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

I am not really sure where I was going with this, except to say that it was enlightening to know that misheard and mis-sung lyrics have a name. And a history. But I am not going to go into the history of the name except to say that it comes from a person. Which begs the question. Should mondegreen be capitalized? Not all caps like I did earlier, but just capitalize the first letter like you would somebody’s name. I wonder. (I suppose that is another story.)

I suppose that it is no longer capitalized because it no longer points to the person who coined the word in the first place. Speaking of pointing to people, I must be old enough to have never heard, “Hold me closer Tony Danza” instead of “Hold me closer tiny dancer.” (Which should not bring to mind dancing with a tiny reindeer. “Dancer” would be capitalized in that case.)

I suppose that I have gotten off topic and onto the absurd. But I guess that happens when you are striving to be mediocre. Blog posts go off the rails sometimes. Ah well.

It has been fun thinking about mondegreens and how we continue to mishear and mis-sing lyrics even when we can find them easily enough these days. I hope you have been enlightened and can now tell people that they are mondegreening when they are mis-singing lyrics. (Do you hate when people verbify nouns? Or is that just me? Definitely another story.)

I suppose it is time to go now. Gotta moosh. (And no. I cannot do the Fandango.) Enjoy all your personal mondegreens. And mondegreening.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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  1. Love this – thanks for teaching me a new word!

    Corinne Rodrigues · 6 December 2021, 07:16 ·

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