When you were a kid, did you ever listen to a song on television, or on the radio, and learn the words based on what you thought they were singing, and not on the actual real lyrics?

Honey likes to make fun of me because for years I thought that the line in “Stairway to Heaven” that goes, “And there’s a wind on down the road…” was actually, “And there’s a wino down the road…” I always wondered who the wino was and why they were going to the trouble of singing about him. The worst part is, even after you learn what the real words are, it’s virtually impossible to break the habit of singing what you “knew” as the real lyrics for so long before.

Example: My mother and I were watching “The Sound of Music” on television. (Don’t ask me why we were doing that – it must’ve been a really slow day and there was no golf or National Geographic special being broadcast.) We came to the scene where all the little Von Trapp children have marionette puppets that they are singing about. I absent-mindedly began humming and singing along with them. All of a sudden, my mother burst out laughing and said, “What did you just sing?” It took me a moment to realize that what my mind had always assumed it was hearing could not possibly, after all, be correct.

Apparently, I had always mistaken the line, “High on the hill was a lonely goat herd, Lady-oh-miladee-oh-miladee-hoo!” as instead being, “lonely goat turd.” I suppose, in retrospect, that it seems highly unlikely that these bright-eyed, morally-incorruptible, sweet little motherless cherubs would have been singing a lovely, harmony-laden tune about goat pies, but until Mom said something, I’d never really consciously thought about it.

Fascinating.

That is all.

–G.

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