Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Hellebores and Mondogreens.


I had to get right down at ground level and point the camera up to capture the face of this lovely Helleborus (or Winter Rose or Lenten Rose.) I just have to look at little harder at this time of the year, ( Winter ) to notice the delights in the garden.
Do you get things stuck in your mind that just won't go away? For me, for some strange reason the song , an old one indeed, that pops into my head and stays is " My Grandfather's Clock." My Maternal Grandfather had died before I was born and I don't remember my Paternal one having a clock of any distinction so it can't be some early memory doing this to my head. I do suspect it is because it is an easy tune and I know all the words and they make sense! ......Now that leads me on to my next item in the title to this post......Mondogreens. I have only been aware of that word for a couple of years but have know about them and probably made them since early childhood.
A MONDOGREEN is a malapropism in lyrics - you mishear the words. Apparently the origin of the word is " Oh, they hae ( have ) ( slay ) slain the earl of Moray and Lady Mondogreen ( and laid him on the green ).
Yesterday on the radio people had been sending in great examples, which all started because some Australians were heard to to singing their National Anthem using the words -"Our home is dirt ( girt ) by sea." ( cause they didn't know the old word girt which means to bind or encircle ).
When I was teaching (years ago now ) I know I heard kids singing some very strange things which meant one had to kindly start a discussion over the correct words and what they meant. Today copying things down from a board is frowned upon but as a school child I liked to write down the words of a song or poem from the blackboard then illustrate it and learn it. I think that helped eliminate some mondogreens. ( I still have a couple of said books and the Anthology of Poetry I compiled at Teacher's College to use in the classroom ) - it might be a girlie thing!
Do you have any mondogreens in your family ? ( modern songs supply ample scope , as do some very old ones. ) Good for a laugh anyway.
Now having written that perhaps I can get Mondogreens out of my mind for a while!

12 comments:

Joyce said...

Our friend Harold used to think the Lord's Prayer was "Our Father who art in Heaven, Harold be thy name." He felt pretty important for awhile. Lol.

sMC said...

I think I need you to spend a few months in residence to teach me some gardening :)

meggie said...

We always say 'Greetings from the Bible', since our Grandmother always listened to 'Readings from the Bible' on the local radio, & my brother never knew the word was "READINGS" he thought it was 'Greetings.'

Laurie from Rotorua NZ said...

We had a foster child many years ago who had difficultl with words who would say Flaffers for Flowers and our family have used this ever since " look at the lovely Flaffers" would this be classed as a mondogreen

Ali Honey said...

Hi Laurie,
As far as I know that isn't a mondogreen but a sound error( which may have some fancy name but I can't think what )They do tend to stick in families don't they ?

I think a lot of examples of mondogreens occur in old or religious hymns or prayers because the language used is somewhat obsollete and not familiar to the modern ear.

Joyce I think Harold is a very suitable name!

Lindi said...

Several years ago, we sat with friends playing a Bowie song (Diamond Dogs)over and over, because we all disagreed about what we thought he sang. We decided it was "blood in the trinketers" and sang that until we found out it was "blood in the street gutters"!

Isabelle said...

There's a hymn that says, "Gladly thy sweet will obey" which as a child I always thought was "Gladly thy sweet Willoughby" - there was a cartoon dog called Willoughby (spelling?)

And then there's the famous "Gladly the cross-eyed bear" (Gladly the cross I'd bear).

I'd not heard of Mondogreens, though. Good name.

Deb H said...

I remember arguing with a Girlfriend one evening over an Elvis song. She insisted the words were "we're caught in a drought, & can't walk out" because they rhymed. I say the correct words were " we're caught in a trap".

Molly said...

I, too, can sometimes be seen, belly down in the dirt, photographing a bird under the bushes, or a flower or a spider web! Keeps us nimble, I think.....

The penny drops slowly around here as I've mentioned before, but when it finally dropped about Lady Mondogreen I almost fell out of my chair! It's always informative, and often funny over here!

Molly said...

.....I just read Isabelle's comment and it reminded me of another. Frank McCourt's brother Malachy, cashing in on his brother's success, decided to write a book of his own. The only part worth reading was the title which was "A Monk Swimming"---a mondogreen of "amongst women" from the Hail Mary!......But until now I didn't know there was a term for it....Thanks teach!

Ali Honey said...

Oh Yes, was that the one where the boys filled d' Father's boots with pee in the changing sheds?

Helen said...

My son used to love singing "It's a tragedy, when you're cruising town and your pants fall down, it's a tragedy" instead of "It's a tragedy, when the feeling's gone and you can't go on, its a tragedy". Not a mondogreen I guess, but he got a lot of amusement out of it when he was younger.