I’ve always been amused at the way my mind will fill in the blanks with song lyrics. Understandably so, since musicians are not always the easiest folks to <ahem> understand.
Bob Dylan, anyone?
The Boss is no slouch, either, when it comes to swallowing a lyric.
Contemporary music doesn’t get a pass, either. Pick a rapper…any rapper. The fuck they sayin’?!?
So my mind gets caught up in the music, catches a few words here or there and fills in what I miss just to keep the vibe going and amuse myself in the process. And I’m not alone.
While Sacha and I were together, we took a weekend trip to Friday Harbor up in the San Juans for a colleague’s wedding. While we were there, we visited the local shops to enjoy the town between wedding events.
One of these shops was a ma & pa bookshop in what I think was a converted house. I could be remembering that wrong, but I do remember an upstairs and lots of books and crannies crammed with bookshelves.
It was in one of those upstairs nooks, with a window overlooking the harbor, that I found a book of musical malaprop. Hilarity ensued. It’s an enduring memory of my time with Sacha.
My favorite entry from that book?
Big Old Chet Had A Rhino
No, it’s not a folk song about an American expat in Africa, saving endangered species. It’s actually a song by The Steve Miller Band:
And it’s actually a song called Jet Airliner. The misunderstood lyric?
🎼🎼Oh…big, old jet airliner, don’t carry my too far away. Oooh-oh-oh…big, old jet airliner, cuz it’s here that I’ve got to stay.🎼🎼
Somehow this prompted Sacha to share a lyric that – if I recall correctly – he’d figured out, despite all of his friends misunderstanding it. Ironically, it happened to be a song by one of my personal favorites:
It’s an album that got me through high school after my family moved halfway across the country. Suffice to say, I knew the lyrics front and back.
They were not the lyrics he knew, though. He’d have bet his eye teeth that the lyric was 🎼🎼Hush, hush even downtown voices carry🎼🎼.
Like that makes any sense. I mean, I guess it does – just not in the context of the song. I, on the other hand, knew that this was a song about a controlling and possibly abusive significant others.
🎼Hush, hush…keep it down, now…voices carry🎼🎼
Her boyfriend would abuse her and when she’d cry out, he’d add insult to injury by shushing her. He stripped her of not only her power as a woman, but also of her voice by insisting she keep quiet about what she endured.
Kind of an irony, given Sacha’s tendencies to keep me from mentioning him in my blog – masked identity or not. Two decades later, he’s still telling me to keep it down.
On the other hand, I have my own moments of musical malaprop. And they amuse the heck out of me. Even when I think I’ve got it, I find out…I don’t got it.
Sometimes that’s a slow process. Last Friday, I was out doing my Friday night drive shift. I love driving Friday nights, I’ve no desire to pack my old ass into a crowded bar, so it’s a good alternative. I get people with
lives plans to and from, experiencing a vicarious thrill in the process.
I also get to listen to my favorite radio show on my favorite station here in Portland, KINK. The program is four hours of 80s and 90s music from 8:00 to midnight, called Party Out Of Bounds – riffing on a line from a B-52s song. It’s honestly – no disrespect to my regular thing with Bubble Boy 2.0 – my favorite night of the week…because I have an emotional connection to the music, not so much with Bubble Boy. Well, ok, I have a connection…I’m not a sociopath. He, on the other hand, merely has an erection – and a figurative itch he can’t scratch on his own.
Even though it occasionally serves up a little personal schadenfreude…as it did the other night, it’s a rather pleasant way to spend an evening. Again, no disrespect to Bubble Boy.
Ever heard of a band called Presidents of the United States of America? They might be the best underrated band ever, or they might be a one album wonder. Who knows?
What I did know, though, was that it started out – as did I, at the top of my lungs – 🎼🎼Love sat alone in a boggy marsh🎼🎼
So imagine my chagrin to be driving along, alone between rides the other night and chancing to glance at my dash display to see this song wasn’t called “Love” as I had thought for too many decades…but “Lump”.
Ok, that’s just fucking nonsense. Made me want to switch to a rap station, where I wouldn’t understand a damn word and wouldn’t have cared. I was rocked to my 80s and 90s music fanatical core.
Alas…the prophet Google reinforced my musical ignorance.
Ok, my moment of idiocy was cushioned by the reality that the lyrics were utter drivel.
Seriously, though…sub “love” in for “lump” and there’s one line that’s weird. But as is, it’s all weird and I may never enjoy this song again without being seriously stoned.
I’ll stick with belting out 🎼🎼Is this love out of my head? I think so!🎼🎼 whenever I encounter this song – and let’s face it, every Friday night is a safe bet – versus replacing my superior, albeit incorrect, lyrics with that rock ‘n roll nonsense! If that makes me the musical equivalent of a Trumptard, so be it…
Time for you to play along at home…what are your musical malaprop secrets? Leave me some amusement in the comments!