Friday, November 23, 2007

Botching the Lyrics

My mother has an uncanny ability to sing the wrong words for a song. This is not an unusual phenomenon. You know the old CCR song, “There’s a bad moon on the rise”? You’ve probably heard of someone thinking the song said, "There's a bathroom on the right." Yep. That'd be my mom.

Also “wrapped up like a deuce another roller in the night,” (“Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) was turned into “wrapped up like a douche another runner in the night” when my mom sang along with the radio. But, okay, I can see that. She’s not the only one to make those mistakes. At least the bathroom thing makes sense as a sentence and the second one...well, it does sound like he’s singing “douche.” Don't believe me? Just listen.

But the most bizarre botched lyric my mom ever sang was “Walking on a Thin Line,” the Huey Lewis and the News song that says, "Doncha know me, I'm the boy next door."

One day we were driving down the road and for some completely incongruous reason my mom starts singing along with the radio, “Doncha know me, I’m the photomat store.” What?! I looked at her and said, “Mom? What the heck are you saying?” And then she repeated it. She really had no idea that those words made no sense whatsoever. Like the guy would be singing that he’s a photomat store to the woman he loves. Mom is nuts. Sad but true.

Unfortunately my oldest son seems to have inherited the botched lyric gene. A few months ago we were driving to Ohio to visit the in-laws, listening to the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night album. We were belting out the song “Any Time at All” when I heard him singing something strange. I asked him to repeat it and he sang, “Eddie has a skull. Eddie has a skull.” Try it. Sing along. It fits, in a weird sort of way.

Last night, on the way to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner we added a new botched lyric to his collection. Seven was singing “Yankee Doodle Dandy” since his class sang it in the Veterans’ Day program at school. Ten said, “What does it mean when they sing ‘adjusted by a pony?’” Huh? We finally figured out that he was referring to the line “Yankee Doodle went to town, a-ridin’ on a pony.” Seven messed up and sang, “Just to buy a pony,” which Ten heard as “adjusted by a pony.”

I’m telling you, that botched lyric gene must skip a generation or something. What a weird legacy my mom left for my child.

What strange quirks does your family have? Anything that's being passed down through the generations, guaranteeing lots of crazy descendants? Leave me a comment.

And don't forget to shop at Linens N Things for everyone on your Christmas list! ;-)

No comments: