Thursday, January 7, 2010

He Will Always Be Life In The Snow

What in the world does this picture of Allen have to do with this post? Wait for it...

Because I love music it pains me to hear lyrics which are sung incorrectly.

My oldest brother, Toby, will forever be etched in my memory as a destroyer of songs. Give him a perfectly good song and he can sing it in a way that you never dreamed possible.

I pleaded and reasoned with him numerous times but I could never get him to sing the lyrics the right way. Why? Because he was right, of course, being the oldest brother. This was in the days before internet, before looking up song lyrics with the click of a button. It was a case of his-word-against-mine and he wasn't one to admit defeat easily.

One lyric that he was adamant about was: "Every Time You Go Away, you take a piece of meat with you."

Huh?

"Toby," I would rationalize, "why would someone take a piece of meat with them every time they go away? It just doesn't make sense. The lyric is 'take a piece of ME with you.'"

Then he would come back with, "What does that mean? Take a piece of the guy with her? So, is she like an axe murderer or something? Is this a song about dismemberment?"

Which, actually, I'll have to admit he's got a point with that one. But meat? No.

And don't even get me started on his rendition of Groove Tonight. Did anyone else think they said, 'stethoscope' instead of 'let this groove'? What does a stethoscope have to do with getting your groove on?

One day when I was singing Losing My Religion Toby would not stop laughing. "What is so funny?" I finally asked, annoyed. So he sang back to me what he thought I was singing: "Let's pee in the corner... let's pee in the spotlight..." I just told him that one was right so he could sing it that way around his friends. I mean, who am I to tell my older brother that he's wrong?

It could be that it just runs in the family. My dad always requested that we play Madonna's Material Girl. We eventually figured out that by reading our lips as we sang along he thought we were singing about his favorite cereal and that Madonna was professing "I'm a Cheerio girl".

One of my favorites, though, has to be the misunderstood lyric that I caught my own husband singing. You know the song Endless Love? (If you click on that link please make a game of counting the grammatical atrocities in the video.) One day it began to play over the car radio and, as is standard, we were singing along. At the end of the chorus when it says, "You will always be...my endless love," I heard him sing "you will always be...life in the snow." "Life in the snow?" I asked. "Yeah, that's what they say. Life in the snow." I put that in context for him, reminded him of the title to the song and he immediately realized his error. You know what the best part is? That song's been around forEVER and that's how he always sang it. I can't help but remind him of that every so often. Life in the snow! (giggle)

Anyway, I know it's not only my family; I think misunderstood lyrics are as common as sliced bread. And one thing's for sure... as long as songs exist, there will continue to be people who annihilate the lyrics.

And I will be here to correct them.

13 comments:

Kara said...

I first heard Madonna's Material Girl in sixth grade. They played it over the sound speaker system(who knows why). I too thought it said 'Cheerio girl'.

Holmes said...

So what about "Elvira..." I thought they were saying "Hell fire up..." (can I say that word on your blog?) for years and years. I'm really not sure when I clued in that I was way off.

Broughton said...

Haha this is hilarious! You would probably love the show that I saw advertised on CMT called "Singing Bee" It has to do with just that, people singing what they think the song says. Haha

Teachinfourth said...

I seem to know another destroyer of songs as well...

Kristi said...

Hot blooded..check it and see...got a fever of 103. My lyrics were Hot lettuce..check it and see.....
dacomphr

Mom not Mum said...

You know Africa by Toto. "There's not a 100 men on mars can ever do" was the way I sang it for years. My friend sang about the "warm smell of your feet dust" from the Eagles Hotel California. Better yet her sister had lyrics she sang in English not knowing that Oye Como Va by Santana is in spanish.

Autumn said...

Funny! Most of my word mixups were with primary songs. My personal favorite is the 13th article of faith when it says "Chased by an elephant...virtuous." It never made sense but who was I to question my church.

Farscaper said...

Ohhhhh Can I nominate my husband as a lyric killer?!?! He always pulls some HUGE blunders. My favorites are generic children's songs that have been around forever. Twinkle twinkle little star has been rewritten about 20 times over the past 9 years.

Get this though... he use to be the lead singer in a band (college band). Have you seen that band around anywhere lately???? Not me... He's back to writing songs again. Seems to be easier to remember words of songs he wrote 100% himself.

Gerb said...

Kara- I personally prefer that version...

Holmes- Either you've already told me that or someone else I know does it. That reminds me of ElemenoB's younger version of "Help Me, Rhonda". We realized when she was about 5 that she was singing "Hell-T Rhonda".

Erica- Sounds like a fun show. Do they play songs that are commonly misunderstood?

T5- Should I even ask? For some reason, I'm afraid of the answer...

Kristi- Awesome! Don't forget to check and see if your lettuce has reached 103 yet...

Mnm- Allen has some Spanish-words music he used to listen to often. I learned those songs and could sing them by the way they sounded but (for the most part) had no clue what any of it meant.

Autumn- Some of my kids still sing "Teach Me To Walk in the Light" with: '...has given me an earthly home with parents kind of weird.' And who am I to correct them?

Farscaper- Twinkle, twinkle, eh? Yes, we'll let him join the ranks.

Richard & Natalie said...

Hi, my name is Natalie, and I am a lyric killer. There. That is out of the way.
My hubby also has some spanish CD's that I try to sing along with; he sits and shakes his head at me since my spanish vocabulary is muy pequeno.
I also love to listen to my kids sing when they have their headphones on... I think they inherited the lyric killing gene too.
Fabulous post!

cari said...

My husband is like your brother. I won't even tell him my favorite song because he will ruin it! He was so proud of himself one day when he came home from work and told me he was able to make the guys at work laugh because he changed the lyrics in Spanish. Yeah, he not only does it in English, but also Spanish!

And my brother used to sing "Hit me with your best shot" as "Hit me with your sling shot!" That one made me laugh. :)

stamptherapy said...

In the late 70's my little sister was famous for immortalizing the BeeGee's "Bald headed woman... bald headed woman to meeee..."

Lori said...

Bwaahahahaha. This is a hilarious post. That's pee in a corner. I'll never be able to listen to that song again without substituting that line, Gerb--thanks a lot.

Lawson frequently sings his own lyrics to various songs, which cracks me up, but I can't off-hand recall what they are. They're pretty random.