March 21, 2010

witches' stands and water buffalo

I was standing in line at Penn Station the other day, enjoying a little Motown (actually playing over the radio, not just in my head like most days) when Smokey Robinson's voice chimed in with ". . . and if you feel like giving me" and I continued with, "a life down in the ocean . . . I second that emotion." Okay, so the line is supposed to be "a lifetime of devotion", but when Kacey was little, and I spent a lot of time listening to the "Big Chill" soundtrack, she heard "a life down in the ocean" and I didn't dare correct it.

During the same time frame, Carly Simon's Concert on Martha's Vineyard became Kacey's favorite. At the age of 4, Kacey played with her Polly Pockets and sang "Anticipation" and "Nobody Does it Better" and "You're So Baned (Vain)". Okay, so not the most lyrically wholesome influences. Sue me. This was pre-Veggie Tales. So she sang "Well you're where you should be all the time, and when you're not, you're with some underworld spy or the wife of the postman, wife of the postman and . . . you're so baned, you prolly think this song is about you."

Then there was the Beach Boys' classic, Surfin' Safari, where the line "Come on a safari with me" became "Come on a far and see". Gotta love it.

By the late 90's, not only had Veggie Tales entered the scene, but so had the Newsboys and my Kevie-poo, and he had his own set of musical misunderstandings. In "Step Up to the Microphone", the line is "one God one body one faith alone, if you don't know, then you need to be told" where Kevin would loudly substitute the line, "if you don't know, then you need a guitar."

And in "Everybody's Got a Water Buffalo", apparently yours is fast but mine is slow. Where we get them, I don't know, but everybody's got a water buffaloooooooooo. The next line is "Took my buffalo to the store," But Kevin never could make the transition from "water buffalo" to regular "buffalo", so he always sang, "Took my water buff to the store, got his head stuck in the door." At least the future drummer in him understood meter and rhythm, even at the age of 4.

At about 8 or 9 years old, I can remember asking my mom what a "witches' stand" was. A what? she asked. "A witches' stand, you know, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for witches' stand."

Dad shared that as a kid he always asked to sing the "gravy song" at church. "Low in the gravy lay Jesus my Savior."

Recently, a big kid shared that every time he sings "We Will Worship You (There is None Beside You)", he pictures a woman in a Catholic habit as he sings, "There's a Nun Beside You." Unfortunately, now I do too. Thanks a lot, Bret Morris.

Okay, so you know you have your own little ballad blunder stories. Care to share?

And while we're sharing, can ANYBODY give me a line completion for the E.L.O. song, "Don't Bring Me Down ___________"???

And don't try to tell me it's "Bruce" unless you can give me a reasonable explanation as to why.


janjanmom said...

First my all time favorite musical misunderstanding, my friend Angy's cousin's interpretation of a the song 'Big Old Jet Airliner':

"Big ole chair witha light on it."

Lilly singing 'Step By Step':

"And step by step you will leave me alone"

And from that completely wholesome show 'Friends' discussing the song Tiny Dancer by Elton John:

"Hold me close young Tony Danza"

There is actually a website of funny lyrics at www.kissthis doubt referencing the Hendrix song 'Kiss the Sky'

Christine said...

Originally, the line was, "Don't bring me down...Grroosss", which was a word Jeff Lynne made up. But when people heard the song, they all thought it was "Bruce". So Jeff changed it for live performances. And, no, I didn't know this hubby is a living Wikipedia. :-)

Susan said...

Andy came in from Kindergarten singing Transformers More Than H B I, we didn't have cable at the time and thought it was correct. so sang along with him.

Also both of my kids loved Joan Jett, wonder why, But in the song Dirty Deeds it's Thunder Chief, not Done Dirt Cheap!! Still love to sing it that way.

Ashley said...

It's supposed to be..."revved up like a deuce" but that is SO not what I hear...I still don't hear it that way. For the longest time, I would just look at Steven and say "I don't get it."

Oh...and then...

"It's not too late to apologize" - I hear "It's not too late to call a 'john'"

Yeh. I know.

Anonymous said...

A year or so ago, Sara's Dad gave Emily a singing Barbie where the last phrase of one of the songs is, "Two voices, one song!" She was convinced it said, "Two policemans, one song! The funny part is that now when I sing it like that she looks at me like I'm crazy.

My favorite though is from one of our mission trips to Hungary, one of our favorite guys over there (whose English is hard to understand) always sang this phrase from Step by Step, "And I will ever praise you.." as, "And I will eper phrase you." Sara and I still sing it that way.
- Philip Matheny

Anonymous said...

I remember that for the longest time I thought that when they sang,"Goood, bless Aaamerica!" that they were saying ,"Goood, bless Eeerika!" so I would just say, "Goood bless Meeeeeeeee!"

And that ever annoying brittany spears song,"womanizer, womanizer"
I seriously thought she was saying,"one manaza one ma one ma one manaza", and thats still what I hear.