Ruthie (mis)interprets

Two recent One Big Happy cartoons with Ruthie’s misinterpretations of what she’s heard: a simple one today, and a very complex one a little while back:



In #1, we have the simple misinterpretation of arson (a word Ruthie’s unlikely to be familiar with) as the familiar (and phonetically very similar) expression our son.

But #2 has a complex alternative version of the theme song to Gilligan’s Island, in which Mondegreen-like mishearings and eggcorn-like reinterpretations combine to yield something like a parody of the song.

About the show, from Wikipedia:

Gilligan’s Island is an American sitcom created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz and originally produced by United Artists Television. The situation comedy series featured Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Russell Johnson, Tina Louise, and Dawn Wells. It aired for three seasons on the CBS network from September 26, 1964, to April 17, 1967. … the show followed the comic adventures of seven castaways as they attempted to survive (and in a later movie escape from) the island on which they had been shipwrecked.

The theme song:

And the text of the lyrics:

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip,
 that started from this tropic port, 
aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailin’ man, 
the Skipper brave and sure,
 five passengers set sail that day,
 for a three hour tour, 
a three hour tour.

The weather started getting rough, 
the tiny ship was tossed. 
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
 the Minnow would be lost.
 The Minnow would be lost.

The ship’s aground on the shore of this 
uncharted desert isle
 with Gilligan,
 the Skipper too.
 The millionaire and his wife, 
the movie star, 
the professor and Mary Ann,
 here on Gilligan’s Isle.

[Ending verse] 
So this is the tale of our castaways, 
they’re here for a long, long time.
 They’ll have to make the best of things,
 it’s an uphill climb.

The first mate and his Skipper too
 will do their very best,
 to make the others comfortable
 in their tropic island nest.

No phone, no lights, no motor car
, not a single luxury 
like Robinson Crusoe, 
it’s primitive as can be.

So join us here each week my friends,
 you’re sure to get a smile,
 from seven stranded castaways
 here on Gilligan’s Isle!

This sort of far-reaching re-shaping does indeed occur with kids when they’re coping with texts they’ve learned by ear — but usually with much shorter texts, like the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States, which is famous for its alterations by schoolkids, and also for an enormous number of conscious parodies.

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