Peter Kay on misheard song lyrics

Popular English comedian Peter Kay plays some easily misinterpreted song lyrics during a live show. (Some are mildly naughty, not suited for prime-time broadcast in the U.S.)


A little over five years ago I posted a link to a YouTube cartoon based on mishearing the words to “O Fortuna” here and mentioned in passing that

The general term for a misheard lyric is a “mondegreen,” a word originally proposed by Sylvia Wright in a 1954 essay in Harper’s Magazine. It’s one of the few deliberate coinages to make it into dictionaries. Wright derived the name from something she mis-heard as a child, specifically part of a ballad called “The Bonny Earl O’Moray.” Instead of “They hae slain the Earl O’ Moray and laid him on the the green,” she thought the words were “They hae slain the Earl O’ Moray and Lady Mondegreen.”

One of my personal favorite mondegreens was pointed out by Dave Barry, who noted that the opening words of “Help Me Rhonda” sound a lot like, “Ever since she left there’ve been owls puking in my bed.”

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