Misheard lyrics as applied to Christmas songs

While visiting my young nieces, we sang some Christmas songs, and when it came to sing Toyland, the four-year-old sang it with misheard lyrics: "Toi-let! Toi-let!"

Comments (6)
  1. yeehaamcgee says:

    In the Welsh language, there is a word "sannau" which is pronounced almost exactly like the English "Hosanna". "sannau" however, means socks.

    This causes much amusement when an entire choir of young children sings

    "sing about socks to the King"

    It’s such a commonplace mistake that a popular welsh language band has even written a comedy christas song parodying it!

  2. Friday says:

    Two words: Ken Lee.

    Enjoy. :)

  3. rsola says:

    Here in Spain, people from a TV program (previously a radio program) popularized what it’s called a "momento teniente". This is a kind of funny hidden message in a song and it’s somewhat related to misheard lyrics, in the sense of "understanding" some words in your own language while the song is sung in another one. It comes from the colloquial expression "estar alguien teniente" (being someone a bit deaf). The word "teniente" means lieutenant in Spanish, although I don’t know any relation between deafness and the Army. ;-)

    For example, take the following verse of Hold on Tight by the Electric Light Orchestra:

    "Quand tu vois ton bateau partir" ("When you see your ship leaving", in French). If you try to hear the song phonetically in Spanish, you might understand something like the following: "En tu huerto no hay tomates" (There are no tomatoes in your vegetable garden). Another amusing example comes from Money for Nothing, by Dire Straits: "Maybe get a blister on your thumb" becomes "Baby, quiero queso roñoso" (it means roughly "baby, I want filthy cheese").

    The TV program host often encourages the audience to find new "momentos teniente" and send them by e-mail. This section of the program is short but very successful.

  4. JamesW says:

    Joseph Spence’s rather unique rendition of ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ sounds more like ‘Sandy Gall is Coming to Town’. For the non-UKers, Sandy Gall is a retired news reader. Listen and enjoy:


  5. Neil (SM) says:

    One of my favorite mis-under-heard lyrics was always "I ain’t Jeff." (or possibly Jed).

    Attributed to the opening word of the Rolling Stones’s "Angie."

  6. dsn says:

    Speaking of mishearing song lyrics: a hilarious example of doing it on purpose: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA1NoOOoaNw

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