Annals of mishearing

No sooner did I post on a word-division mishearing — black eye heard as black guy, here — than Jeff Runner posted on Facebook with a cartoon variant of a famous mishearing, from the site

A play on the Chicken Little story, in which C.L. rushes about warning that the sky is falling. But in this version, C.L. was warning that this guy was falling, and the other characters in the story (mis)heard that as a warning that the sky was falling.

The model is the famous mondegreening of Jimi Hendrix’s line “Excuse me while I kiss the sky” — admittedly an unexpected request, and it was sung, in a noisy environment —  as “Excuse me while I kiss this guy“, thus providing the name for an archive of misheard lyrics (mondegreens) here.

(According to this site, Hendrix eventually started goofing on the line as having kiss this guy.)

A few postings on this blog on mishearings:

2/15/09: What was she singing? (link): what did Geeshie Wiley sing?

9/12/09: The ants are my friends (link): Toseland book on misheard lyrics, inter alia

11/1/10: Lady chow mein (link): deliberately mangled lyrics

12/22/10: Mondegreens (link): mondegreen stories from Stephen Sondheim

2/9/11: Annals of mishearing (link): Portuguese Cork Association heard as Portuguese Pork Association

2/13/11: Reptile dysfunction (link): … heard for erectile dysfunction

3/29/11: Low vowels (link): chopsticks heard as ChapSticks

5/31/11: Today’s signal mishearing (link): uncensored chatrooms heard as uncensored chaplains

7/6/11: Mishearing (link): Navy Seals heard as baby seals

11/25/11: Childegreens (link): Eeyore Stravinsky

12/20/11: Wossamotta U. (link)

3/26/12: Annals of mishearing (link): coquettishly heard as cokeheadishly

3 Responses to “Annals of mishearing”

  1. sum / summon « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] a Facebook comment on my latest mishearing posting, Billy Green offered an example that is surely not a mishearing, but might be an eggcorn or a […]

  2. Cow saws and mondegreens « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] On to the rap: A recent rap lyric has elicited a cow-tools-esque reaction on the Internet. To be precise, though, we should call it a mondegreen: the term for misheard song lyrics that give rise to new words or meanings. Sylvia Wright coined the term in an essay for Harper’s in 1954, recounting a frequent mishearing of a lyric from “The Bonny Earl O’Moray” that she experienced as a child: “Laid him on the green,” to her young ear, became “Lady Mondegreen.” (Other frequently cited, if not quite current, mondegreens include, “Secret Asian man,” [Secret Agent Man] “Chicken to ride” [ticket to ride] and “ ’Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”) [on kiss this guy, see here and here] […]

  3. Mondegreen stuff | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] are a popular topic for linguistic discussions by non-linguists. On this blog, see especially this posting, which has an inventory of some postings on mishearings on this […]

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