Thursday, January 7, 2010
He Will Always Be Life In The Snow
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."
"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.