Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Friday 25 February 2011

I know it's me, but...

..just for a moment I could have sworn the radio presenter had announced a melancholic madrigal as "Weep, oh mine eyes, and see snot."

What we have here is a "mondegreen", allegedly as in the mishearing of the folk song line "And laid him on the green" as "And Lady Mondegreen", but they're hardly new. Gladly My Cross-Eyed Bear must be as old as the hymn itself; indeed they must have been around since the beginnings of language (in the early days, how did people distinguish one Ugh from another?).

I was once sure I'd heard Whitney Houston sing "Climb Every Woman", but we won't go there. And then there was the time my father was dozing by a cosy fire as the radio broadcast some sorry person's request for Frank Sinatra's dismal hymn to egoism: my father stirred and mumbled "Wassat? What's he on about? I did it sideways? Silly sod", and slipped back into the Land of Nod.

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