“…Ruby throat takes sparrow: sing the song, don’t be long, bill me to the Pharaoh!”
Apologies to Crosby Stills Nash and Young, but when I first heard the song “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” that is the way I heard it. Clearly, it must be wrong since it makes no sense, and indeed, “bill me to the Pharaoh” is actually “thrill me to the marrow.” I figured that this Mondegreen is one that is aptly timed for today, since we are in the middle of Passover, and “Pharaoh” is a commonly-uttered word, at least during the first two days.
Interestingly, another completely unrelated song has another Noah-Mondegreen that makes it sound like a Passover song. Apologies to the late King of Pop…
“…Yes I believe in me, so you believe in you! Help me say it: I’m gonna sing this song of matzah, yah, gonna sing this song of matzah…”
Now, how did I think that the seeming nonsense syllables “mamase mamasah mamakusah” became “song of matzah?” Am I the only one who hears it that way, or did others too?
And I don’t think that the first time that I heard either of these songs was in the vicinity of Passover. Sometimes, people’s own personal experiences can have a strong impact on the way that they may mishear certain songs, and twist the meanings thereof.
I suppose I’ll add one more, which is perhaps more tangentially related to Passover, but rather the epilogue of the Exodus story. In Big Country’s almost-eponymous song, I heard part of the refrain as:
“I’m not expecting to go far into the desert, but I can live and breathe and see the sun in the wintertime…”
Nope, it’s “grow flowers in the desert!” Well, perhaps I shared some of the ancient Israelites’ doubts about wandering in the desert, not expecting to go far when I heard this verse. Clearly, it’s a twisted way to think about it, but I do have to have some story behind a misheard lyric, rather than just mishearing it. (Interestingly enough, I never thought about growing flowers in the desert until I went on Birthright and saw the lush Negev.)
It is always interesting to see how others mishear songs. One site that I used to frequent was www.kissthisguy.com, named after a common mishearing in “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. This post was partially encouraged by Passover, and also encouraged by a post from a week and a half ago on the excellent blog Pinstripes&Lipgloss.
Today is the one-hundred and seventh day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes fifteen weeks and two days.
היום שני ימים לעומר (today is two days of the omer).