Lady Mondegreen

Do you know what a mondegreen is?

It’s a fancy name for when you get the lyrics to a song or a phrase of verse wrong. Yes, we’ve all done it 😅.

The name mondegreen came about from American writer Sylvia Wright who coined the term based on a childhood misunderstanding. Her mother used to recite the poem Percy’s Reliques and this is what Sylvia heard:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl O’ Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.

The last line was supposed to be ‘And laid him on the green’.

They had a Lady Mondegreen segment on the now defunct Spicks and Specks (why do they get rid of all the good shows?) where the contestents had to guess the song based on the mondegreen.

Someone thought that ‘there’s a bad moon on the rise’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival was ‘there’s a bathroom on the right!’

You get the picture.

When praying the Lord’s Prayer as a little girl I was known to say ‘Our Father, who aren’t in heaven, hello be thy name’. This would crack my brothers and sister up and Mum would tell them to leave the room.

Have you got a mondegreen you would like to share.

5 thoughts on “Share your Lady Mondegreen 😉

  1. A colleague of mine can add to your version of The Lord’s Prayer — she thought at the end the words were ” And lead us not into Tempe Station”. My late partner told me that he used to think that our national anthem started “Australians all let us ring Joyce, for she is young and free”.

    I have been trying to find a Youtube segment of Spicks and Specks where they do the Mondegreen game. A friend has a poetry group and has been considering adapting lyrics as an exercise, and we’ve been talking about accidentally adapted lyrics.

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