A mondegreen is a mishearing of a phrase - often a song lyric, but not originally. I used to have terrible trouble remembering the word - how bizarre, I would think, but how excellent that the phenomenon has a proper name. I must remember it. Remember it? Did I heck as like (I live in the north now. It rubs off.) Then I found out (through the miracle of the interweb) why it's called that and now I can remember it because it's linked to something, not floating untethered in the wordsphere.
In November 1954, Harper's Magazine published an essay by Sylvia Wright called The Death of Lady Mondegreen. (As befits a masters' student, I tried to check the primary source. I found this. Those of you with powerful eyesight will no doubt be able to read it. I would require a subscription (or a prescription) in order to do so. Well, pooh to them. Have you read The Belfry Witches? If you have, you'll recognise the reference. If you haven't, what are you waiting for?)
I am indebted to Wikipedia for the following quotes from the essay:
“When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me from Percy's Reliques, and one of my favorite poems began, as I remember:
Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh, where hae ye been?
They hae slain the Earl O' Moray,
And Lady Mondegreen.
The actual fourth line is "And laid him on the green". (Wright explained the need for a new term: )
The point about what I shall hereafter call mondegreens, since no one else has thought up a word for them, is that they are better than the original.” (My underlining)
The concept has been extended, but sticking to Ms Wright's original definition, I don't think I have any personal mondegreens. The only genuine mishearing I remember is thinking Elvis Presley was singing "Don't be cruel to a hard-backed stool" which is clearly not better than the original. Or is it? And I was singing all kinds of nonsense to Life on Mars, but I think we all were. Including Bowie. (I seem to have angered the gods of Blogger by copying from Wikipedia and now I can't get my font right. Well, pooh to them.)
At a singing workshop once someone introduced me to the wannabe Lady Nerth which I think does qualify.
I don't seem to have a relevant picture to post, so here is an irrelevant one. Go on, take the weight off for a few minutes.
Thanks for visiting - see you soon. Look - the font's back!