A mondegreen is a misheard song lyric.

The most well-known one is by Jimi Hendrix. In Purple Haze, people are never sure whether he sings ‘Excuse me while I kiss the sky’ or ‘Excuse me while I kiss this guy’

Others are Creedence Clearwater Revival Bad Moon Rising. The lyrics ‘there’s a bad moon on the rise’ are often misinterpreted as ‘there’s a bathroom on the right’

Both Hendrix and Fogerty capitalised on this and deliberately sang the mondegreen versions in concert.

If you want to find out more, a search for ‘mondegreen’ will bring up many interesting sites.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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