Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Say What??

mondegreen: (noun) a word or phrase resulting from the mishearing or misrepresentation of a statement or song lyric.

Occasionally my kids will say something that will stop me in my tracks. I will ask them to repeat it so I know if I heard them correctly. Usually I have heard them correctly even if they have not used the correct words. This has happened most often with song lyrics. We have all done it.....misheard the lyrics and sung the song to our hearts content....only to discover later that we were singing the incorrect words! Well, it has happened again.

Every year I hang a count-down ribbon for each child that they use to mark the days until Christmas. It is a tradition started by my parents for my brother and me that I am now carrying on with my own kids. My parents would tie candies to the ribbon, and each evening we would remove one candy (which we would then get to eat of course!)....until Christmas Eve when the last candy was removed and the bell at the bottom of the ribbon was rung, signaling the end of the wait for the arrival of Christmas. We have put a new spin on the tradition this year. Instead of tying candies to the ribbon, I have tied clues (and to make it fair, DS gets 1/2 of the clue and DD gets the other 1/2 so they have to work together to solve it). This way each evening they have to solve the clue to hunt for their candy. Well, to make it a little more interesting, I used the theme of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" for the clues. This brings us to the mondegreen part of the story.....

The first clue (to go along with "the first day of Christmas" line of the song") was: On the first day of Christmas.......the candy hid in a tree. After a bit of thinking, the kids quickly figured out where the candy was hiding. According to DS, it was hiding in the "coat tree." OK, this to me was a little chuckle-worthy, because although I know some people may actually call it a "coat tree," I grew up referring to it as a hall tree, while DH tends to call it the coat rack.....thus DS' combination of the two, resulting in "coat tree." But wait, it gets better! So a little while later I heard DD singing. She loves to sing, and sings well. But as she was singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" I noticed that she had put her own spin to it.....her own mondegreen. DD sang, "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me.....a portrait in a pear tree." Umm....what was in that pear tree? Yep! A portrait! I asked DD and that is exactly what she repeated. So I explained to her what a partridge is.I also explained that she is not the only one to have ever misheard the lyrics of a song (I didn't want her to be embarrassed or feel bad about it). She even got a chuckle out of it. But I must admit, I have been wondering.....just whose portrait was she picturing in that pear tree??

No comments: