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Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension

MGM·Lion 02 Nov 10 - 05:09 AM
Hesk 02 Nov 10 - 06:00 AM
doc.tom 02 Nov 10 - 06:52 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Nov 10 - 07:02 AM
Leadfingers 02 Nov 10 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,Desi C 02 Nov 10 - 07:37 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Nov 10 - 07:40 AM
MGM·Lion 02 Nov 10 - 07:41 AM
Hesk 02 Nov 10 - 07:45 AM
The Doctor 02 Nov 10 - 07:47 AM
Brian Peters 02 Nov 10 - 08:18 AM
Les in Chorlton 02 Nov 10 - 08:22 AM
bubblyrat 02 Nov 10 - 08:25 AM
Dead Horse 02 Nov 10 - 08:43 AM
The Doctor 02 Nov 10 - 11:23 AM
fat B****rd 02 Nov 10 - 11:42 AM
Marilyn 02 Nov 10 - 11:54 AM
dick greenhaus 02 Nov 10 - 12:09 PM
Leadfingers 02 Nov 10 - 01:01 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Nov 10 - 01:10 PM
Leadfingers 02 Nov 10 - 01:16 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Nov 10 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 02 Nov 10 - 01:41 PM
MGM·Lion 02 Nov 10 - 01:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Nov 10 - 01:55 PM
The Sandman 02 Nov 10 - 02:15 PM
Little Robyn 02 Nov 10 - 02:35 PM
GUEST,mg 02 Nov 10 - 02:42 PM
Joe_F 02 Nov 10 - 06:03 PM
GUEST,AlanG at work 03 Nov 10 - 08:29 AM
Mr Happy 03 Nov 10 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,AlanG at work 03 Nov 10 - 09:32 AM
Dave Sutherland 03 Nov 10 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Gail 03 Nov 10 - 11:40 AM
andrew e 03 Nov 10 - 04:43 PM
Herga Kitty 03 Nov 10 - 04:52 PM
bubblyrat 03 Nov 10 - 05:31 PM
oldstrings 03 Nov 10 - 06:44 PM
Dave Hunt 04 Nov 10 - 12:05 AM
Dave Hunt 04 Nov 10 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,Guest, Mark Bluemel 04 Nov 10 - 07:36 AM
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Subject: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 05:09 AM

An American singer, who shall remain nameless, once included a track on an LP which she called an old English song, under title "The Brown and Yellow Earl", appending a learned note purporting to explain the state of the English nation at the time of that said Earl,(who mayhap, she thought, got that cognomen due to colours in his armorial bearings?).

The point is, the song she was singing was actually that Irish song with the burden "Oh, the brown and the yellow ALE"; which she had clearly misheard and misunderstood and worked from there.

I don't know if Americans are unaware that ALE is a kind of beer brewed from malted barley. But, however it came about, I found this an oddly charming miscomprehension.

Any other examples of such?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Hesk
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 06:00 AM

That rousing chorus song by Andy Barnes, called "When All Men Sing"
went into my brain as "When Old Men Sing" for some time.
Strangely appropriate given the age of most of the singers!


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: doc.tom
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 06:52 AM

Actually, When All Men Sing is a poem by Keith Scowcroft set to a tune by Derek Gifford - although Andy would be chuffed to have been credited with it!


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 07:02 AM

Slight drift [my thread so I'm allowed, so yah-sucks] ···

Part of the title of an ongoing thread below the line is

····resend to Pinch Hitter····

which I read every time my eye flips down the menu as "resent to Pinch Hitler".

~M~

& yes, I might be a mere Yooker, but I do know what a pinch-hitter is, so please don't trouble to explain...


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 07:03 AM

Michael - I DONT find such errors endearing as they simply show a TOTAL lack of interest in the background of a song - It seems for a LOT of singers , its the 'Pretty Noise' that matters NOT the song !


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 07:37 AM

It could also be the rather poor diction of many singers, many top ones too, I often find myself straining to understand lyrics at gigs, anyone else have that problem?


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 07:40 AM

Is it true that some people have been searching 'The Shores of Erin' for fish?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 07:41 AM

LF ~ I don't always either, by any means. It's just that some are imo: as e.g. my example of an American mishearing "ale" and so creating a whole scenario from the concept of an Earl associated with autumnal colours in a particular point of history. I did find that one 'endearing', though YMMV; and was only seeking examples of others which other people might have found so. This is not one of those threads where all that is sought are crass errors. We have had enough of such in the past.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Hesk
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 07:45 AM

Doc Tom.

Thanks for the correction. I was just repeating info found elsewhere on Mudcat. Obviously a bad move!

And Terry, what's the background behind that unusually critical remark from you?

Howard.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: The Doctor
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 07:47 AM

I came across an American book of world folk songs, which included Uncle Tom Cobbleigh, listed as a Scottish song with the opening line 'Tam Pierce, Tam Pierce...' I wonder who they'd been listening to.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Brian Peters
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 08:18 AM

One version of 'Lord Randal' was collected in America, in which the cause of his poisoning was not given as 'eels' but 'ale'.

Been there, done that.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 08:22 AM

Living Tradition?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: bubblyrat
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 08:25 AM

I remember mis-hearing many things in folk-songs as a boy ; for years,I wondered not only about "Jimmy Crackcorn", but also as to what sort of insect a "shoefly" was.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Dead Horse
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 08:43 AM

Reputedly, Bob Copper believed his most famous opening line in song was "Here's a Jew, my dearest Nancy, 10,000 times a Jew" :-)


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: The Doctor
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 11:23 AM

According to The Copper Family Song Book, which contains a few facsimiles of Brasser's handwriting, including the relevant one here, he wrote 'Here's a dew sweet lovely Nancy ten thousand times a dew', which I suspect was a spelling error resulting from unfamiliarity. He also wrote 'I am goeing round the ocan', and 'Come chaing your ring', though he got that one right the second time. In times past spelling was prone to error, particularly in less common words - much as it is now really.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: fat B****rd
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 11:42 AM

I used to think that Edmund O'Ross was a famous bandleader and that Marry O'Lanzer was an Irish tenor. True!


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Marilyn
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 11:54 AM

One that had me chuckling for ages:-
I was searching on the internet for the lyrics to a song I know as "Gypsy Woman" - "I recall a gypsy woman ..." and I found it.
mmm...

Now the line that goes
"Oh gentle woman you sleep beside me and little know who haunts my mind"

was rendered as

"Oh gentle woman you sleep beside me a little gnome who haunts my mind"

ROFL!


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 12:09 PM

Oddly enough, this kind of mistake--otherwise known as mondegreens--are part and parcel of the folk process. I'm particularly fond of "Queen Jane was a neighbor"


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 01:01 PM

Hesk - "My next song is a Christie Moore song" and then do either Black is the Colour , or Ride On , Both SUNG (Very Well)by Mr Moore . but NOT his ! And thats just ONE example !


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 01:10 PM

Leadfingers ~~ No, that is NOT ANY example: misattribution of a song is NOT the topic of this thread & it is nowhere suggested, by me or anyone else, that it is.

So stop introducing irrelevancies, get your temper back ~~ or go back to sleep, please.

I am thanking you.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 01:16 PM

Sorry !!


ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz z z z   z    z    z    z z


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 01:21 PM

I am now thanking you double & in ♠♠♠ !!!

~M~


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 01:41 PM

...and it doesn't stop there Doctor. 'Sportsmen Arouse' is an example where for aeons (well a long time anyway) we've sung 'relope, relope, retiring hare...etc', it wasn't until we'd looked into it and realised that the lyric must be 'elope'...which definition is given as 'to run away'. Of course we'll sing 'relope' until we die. But it's nice to know - sometimes. We can forgive Brasser completely (actually there's nothing to forgive) as he was essentially unletterd and being born before the 1870 Education Act was put to work at 8 years, therefore receiving no formal education. At the age of eighteen or thereabouts he attended a sort of dame school in the evening with his bother Tom where they both learned the rudiments of the three 'R's - rendering, reading and reckoning. It stood them both in good stead and as a result Brasser became the bailiff on the farm and his brother a successful publican. His spelling may be 'free style' but it's absolutely charming and the hours of toil and labour of love that produced his songbook is a hugely cherished document in the family.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 01:49 PM

But, Jon ~~ "relope, relope, retiring hare" is such a perfect, expressive piece of assonance & alliteration. The word does not indeed occur in my Chambers: but [serious suggestion, I promise I am not being facetious]; a hare has a loping style of run: could it possibly mean "lope away, and continue to do so for as long as necessary"? If one of your Copper ancestors had created such a coinage in such a context, it would indeed have been a piece of true folk poetry!

Best regards to you all

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehensi
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 01:55 PM

I thought it "When Old Men Sing", for years. And in fact I still prefer it that way, and am likely enough to sing it that way. Sometimes mis-hearings and mondergreens can improve songs.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 02:15 PM

dress me up in my oilskins and jodhpurs., as sung by an acquaintance of mine at Stratford folk club years ago.but even beeter was the mondegreen which involved introducing june tabor as jane tuba.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: Little Robyn
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 02:35 PM

Not sure if it was lack of interest in the background of a song or simply not understanding - a young lass many years ago singing Dirty old town....
'Springs a girl of the streets at night'
Puts a slightly different colour on it.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 02:42 PM

in foggy dew I always heard to a city pharoah eyes or something like that...always had an image of a sphinx in the middle of Ireland but never occured to me to question it. mg


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 06:03 PM

I think I may have mentioned this elsethread, but for many years I heard the line

    There's folk that's independent o' ither tradesmen's wark,

from Ewan MacColl's singing of "The Wark of the Weavers", as

    There's folk that's independent -- a' ither trades must wark.

Delightful pawky humor, I thought: Being (financially) independent is just another trade, except for one detail.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: GUEST,AlanG at work
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 08:29 AM

Oooops fingures too quick for my brain!

I wish I was back in Liverpool, Liverpool town where I belong
Where the aint no tres no centipedes.......


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 09:11 AM

As McG of H remarked above, 'Sometimes mis-hearings and mondergreens can improve songs. '

Last week at a session, I sang 'Bold Riley'.

When I'd finished, someone said, 'What's the part about wife swapping?'

Seems they'd misheard

'Cheer up Mary, don't look glum
Come White Stocking Day, you'll be drinking rum'

Possibly these days, 'Wife Swapping Day' could be more meaningful!


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: GUEST,AlanG at work
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 09:32 AM

I had a similar experience when singing The Ranter and in the line
"me husband he's gone for a week"
Perhaps I didn't sound the K loud enogh in week, but someone said afterwards that either the husband must have had a medical problem or the Ranter was a very fast worker.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 10:33 AM

Once heard a young lady singing "Bonny At Morn" with the chorus line "thas ower lang in diapers"
(Thas ower lang in thy bed)


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: GUEST,Gail
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 11:40 AM

Years ago I heard a floor singer singing what he'd heard but obviously not seen written down:

oooooh my dear, don't come any nearer me

instead of:
Cúnla dear, don't come any nearer me


He made it sound like Widow Twankey in pantomime rather than a cheeky seduction attempt.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: andrew e
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 04:43 PM

We'll drink a drink a drink to Willy the pig, the pig, the pig.

Our Lips are Sealed became Alex The Seal!


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 04:52 PM

Of course there's Karine Polwart's "Follow the herring home"...

And thanks to Trayton, "When some men sing"!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: bubblyrat
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 05:31 PM

It may not be "folk", but there's always "The Reverend Bluejeans" and,of course, "Five Hundred Children and a Cop in The Fields".


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: oldstrings
Date: 03 Nov 10 - 06:44 PM

A very experienced singer, performing The Banks of Newfoundland, sang:
"Scrub the blood off the dead man's face", which sounds very dramatic, and perhaps reinforces the notion that it was a hard life at sea, me hearties.
I had to convince him that the line should be
Scrub the MUD off the deadman's face.

(A deadman was simply an anchor. Mountaineers still use the term for any kind of anchor which can be buried in the snow, where no trees or rocks are available to belay to.)

Not nearly as exciting an image, but the anchor had to be washed clean before stowing it for the trip.


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 12:05 AM

I refer you all to the superb collection of Mondegreens in Musical Traditions That should keep you going for a while!!
Dave


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 01:13 AM

AND - just come across this - on Mudcat! -
________________________________
Subject: RE: Need Info: Proper Cup of Coffee
From: poet - PM
Date: 07 Oct 99 - 07:30 PM

Definitely talk to COSMO THE CAR the greatest and funniest Music Hall act you could ever book............
_________________________________

Cosmo The Car = Cosmotheka !


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Subject: RE: Endearing mistakes due to incomprehension
From: GUEST,Guest, Mark Bluemel
Date: 04 Nov 10 - 07:36 AM

"introducing june tabor as jane tuba"

More a spoonerism than a mondegreen, I'd have thought.

I think Brian Hooper at the Foc'sle in Southampton used to refer to the lady in that manner.

I also remember him reading aloud from a record or CD sleeve (possibly a raffle prize) - "some other time June Tabor" :-)


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