Waiting for a Fat Furry Girl

I hesitate to give you this link: you see, it’s a major procrastination tool, which is why I’d carefully deleted it from my bookmarks and my mind. But after a hard day writing workshop content and decluttering my inbox (seriously – I have mails dating back to 2008. I’d have even earlier ones if I hadn’t lost them all in a computer meltdown), I was moved to listen to something upbeat. Namely, Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival. And then, as I sang along, it came:

‘Don’t go around tonight,
It’s bound to take your life.
There’s a bathroom on the right.’

There’s a word for these creative mishearings:  they’re called mondegreens. The word mondegreen is usually used for song lyrics although in principle it can be applied to any mishearing.  It was originally coined by author Sylvia Wright who, as a child, heard the lyrics of The Bonny Earl of Murray (a Scottish ballad) as:

Ye highlands and ye lowlands
Oh where hae you been?
Thou hae slay the Earl of Murray
And Lady Mondegreen

Wright found out many years later that the actual lyrics were: ‘and laid him on the green.’ But Lady Mondegreen was, deservedly, here to stay.

And so  – procrastination trigger warning! – the link to the ginormous archive of misheard song lyrics:  KissThisGuy.com, immortalising the aural mangling of a line from Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze: ‘Excuse me while I kiss the sky.’

I particularly love this site because the  contributors recount when and how they discovered the real lyrics.  If you need a good laugh, click on Funniest. Or you could go straight to Here we are now in containers where a whole slew of commenters try to decipher Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit


Meanwhile in my house we’re reliving my sons’ nineties childhoods, sorting old CDs and dancing to the Ribbon of the Night.

PS – who can guess the original of the title of this post? Hint: dinosaur rock band. Put your answers in the comments.


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19 Responses

  1. Having a hearing disability has seen to it that I have misunderstood many a lyric. I am uncertain of the original title of the song referenced in your title. Want to give a hint?

  2. I enjoyed this! Mondegreens, what a fascinating term, and I love that you shared its origins.
    Creedence Clearwater Revival is a favourite of mine, so I played it while reading this post, added a delightful facet to your words.
    Thank you for sharing the link, and your knowledge about misheard words/lyrics.

  3. I never knew there was a name for this thing I do SO well. I’m horrible at lyrics, and have been laughing at myself lately as I realize what some song titles are (thanks to the satellite radio in our car). You have some of the best gems.

  4. Ha! There’s a bathroom on the right. I will never hear that song the same way again. I enjoyed this. Peace and love!

  5. I love CCR and this post. Mondegreens, you say? I always learn something new when I read a post of yours, Valerie. Thanks for the delightful and educational share!!

  6. I lived with someone who always had unique lyrics to many songs. Most of the time we corrected her, but sometimes it was more fun to let her think her version was accurate. 😉

  7. Oooh, so exciting to learn a new word and to hear of a source for smart trouble on the internet. This would go great with drinking and friends. As for Ribbon of the Night. did you share that dancing on youtube??

  8. I can be great at mondegreens. My current favorite is a country song that I heard as ” rock my mummy in the morning wheel”. Thanks for this great to spend time.

  9. One of my faves is “Blinded by the Light” and something about a skiddush. LOL. LOVE mondegreens! I definitely have my fair share of them from childhood. I like Tonia’s idea about making this into a drinking game of some sort. LOL.

  10. Hi, Valerie. I never knew of the term Mondegreens. Thanks. I have some of my own. In Flashdance, I thought it said ‘take your pants down and make it happen’ but it was actually ‘take your passion’ ROFL! It’s funny what we hear, isn’t it? Aural snafus, huh? In church we sang Bringing in the ‘Sheets’ (Sheaves). As a boy, I could never understand why people were so excited at bringing in laundry. LOL
    Btw, the Stones song is Factory Girl and the correct lyrics are ‘waiting for a factory girl’. 🙂
    C ya!

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