mondegreen

What is a mondegreen you ask? It is a misheard song lyric (or other utterance), one where the phonetic components can be interpreted to have an entirely different meaning than what the lyricist intended. Some examples include:

  • “Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear” (Gladly the Cross I’d Bear), from the hymn of that title.
  • “A girl with colitis goes by” (a girl with kaleidoscope eyes), from Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, by the Beatles.
  • “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” (excuse me while I kiss the sky), from Purple Haze, by Jimi Hendrix.
  • “Who knows what evil lurks in the hot cement” (who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men), catchphrase for the radio show The Shadow.
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