Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, July 15, 2013

“Rock the Cat Box” by The Clash

According to this article, The Clash’s “Rock the Cat Box” (i.e. “Rock the Casbah“) is the third most misquoted of all rock lyrics.  There’s also Jimi Hendrix’s “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” (instead of “kiss the sky”).

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll used to write periodically about mis-heard song lyrics.  (Maybe he still does, for all I know.  I haven’t looked at the Chronicle much since leaving the Bay Area nine years ago.)

Jon Carroll calls these misquoted song lyrics “Mondegreens,” named after an Olde English folk song lyric that went “…and laid him on the Green,” which somebody mis-heard as “Lady Mondegreen.”

Other examples in the linked article include Elton John belting out “Hold me closer, Tony Danza” and Van Halen’s 1984 hit “Animal!”

For my own Mondegreens:  when The Doors came out with their 1968 hit “Love Me Two Times,” I thought Jim Morrison was singing “Amnesty Child.”  And the Little River Band’s 1979 hit “Lonesome Loser,” I heard as “Lofty Bluebird.”

I’ve had others too, but those two are the most blatant.

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Blogger jim marquis said...

Oh my God...hold me closer, Tony Danza? Sounds like a lyric Frank Zappa would have liked.

July 15, 2013 at 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to have a desk calender of those kind of misconceptions the ones I remember most were:

Manfred Mann "Wrapped up like a deuce another runner in the night" (i think) instead of "Wrapped up like a douche ..." from BLINDED BY THE NIGHT

Neither makes sense

Marvin Gaye "Throw up both my hands" instead of "Throw up all over my hands" from INNER CITY BLUES

If I think of any more, I'll post


July 15, 2013 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Karlo said...

Rock the casbah sounds much more profound...

July 16, 2013 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jim: You're right, that does have a Zappa sound to it.

Erik: I never made any sense out of those "Blinded by the Light" lyrics either, the mis-heard lyrics or the real ones.

Karlo: I agree.

July 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Mine has got to be for my funniest one Total Eclipse of the heart. She sings "We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks" I swear when I hear this part, I hear powdered eggs and giving off farts. Maybe because that is how my dad always sang it but that one sticks with me.

July 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: I always liked that song but I never paid attention to the lyrics.

July 17, 2013 at 2:04 PM  

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