The Star-Spangled Baseball

The One Big Happy from January 12th:

“song words”; from NOAD:

adverb & preposition o’er: archaic or poetic/literary contraction for over.

And then there’s the pizza mondegreen, Joe’s rationalization of these lines from “The Star-Spangled Banner”, as sung at the beginning of baseball games in the US:

O’er the ramparts we watched,
Were so gallantly streaming.

Mondegreened versions of the national anthem, especially from children, are legion; there’s a collection of them on this site. For the first line above, the most common mishearing seems to be washed for watched. For the second, nothing nearly as distant as Joe’s constantly cheesy for gallantly streaming; Joe clearly has food on his mind.

For the first lines of the anthem —

Oh say, can you see,
By the dawn’s early light,

the most common mishearings seem to addressing the song to a Mexican fellow — “José, can you see / sing” —  and the invention of a new English adjective modifying light — “By the donzerly light”.

One Response to “The Star-Spangled Baseball”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    Mike Speriosu on Facebook:

    When I was a kid, I thought it was “donderly light” and “donderly” must just be some word I didn’t know yet.

    Kids will take the poetic “dawn’s early” to be some unknown adjective in -y or -ly.

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