Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sexy Elephants and Other Misunderstandings

Martha is feeling uninspired today, so she has asked me (her husband, Gordy) to step in and write a guest post.  Personally, I'm surprised since my last guest blog effort resulted in her losing countless followers, but I guess she's willing to take that chance......



I've always enjoyed pop music and I pride myself on picking up lyrics and committing them to memory quickly.  A group of Canadians at a hockey camp that I went to when I was 12 took to calling me "Top 40 Gordy" because of my encyclopedic knowledge of pop song lyrics.

I think my kids have inherited this (skill?) from me, particularly Josie, who was singing along to every word and inflection of Alicia Keys' "No One" when she was two.  Georgia and Henry are good too and when it's our family alone in the car, we typically sing along word-for-word to just about anything on the radio.

Of course a significant peril of this hobby is that you get things terribly wrong once in awhile.   Singers mumble, background music gets in the way and sometimes the songwriter really should have gone for something that makes sense (to you) rather than something more abstract.  For instance, for a long time I was convinced, no certain, that the chorus of Toto's "Africa" was, "I guess it rains down in Africa," only to end up horribly embarrassed at an 80s party in college (correct lyric = "I bless the rains down in Africa").

Everyone seems to have at least one of these misinterpretations.  Martha readily admits that when she was younger, she thought that instead of saying, "Take your passion and make it happen," Irene Cara was instructing listeners to,"Take your pants off and make it happen."  Now that's a Flashdance.....

Her sister, Elizabeth, thought that Aerosmith's classic, "Walk this way" was actually, "Born to sway" (don't let the title of the song get in the way of your ears, Elizabeth) and back in the grunge 90s, her husband, Sean, was a huge fan of that song, "Black Whore Son" by Soundgarden ("Black Hole Sun") - Though the alternative would make for an equally compelling song....

In any case, with lyrics now readily available online, these mistakes have become far less frequent (at least in our family).  We recently heard of a couple of doozies from friends that now make us laugh every time the songs come on the radio.

The first, from our dear friend, Laurel, comes in the opening line of Taylor Swift's infectious new hit, "22."  I mean, why shouldn't it be:  "It feels like the perfect night, to dress up like hamsters..."?  It's actually, "hipsters," which I guess makes a little more sense, but who really knows what's happening out there in Hollywood these days anyway?

But the best I've heard in a long while comes from our friend, Clint, who was pretty certain that instead of saying the title of the song, "Sweet Nothing," the singer, Florence Welch, is talking about the "sexy elephants" that her somewhat mercurial lover is regularly giving her.  Ridiculous, right? I mean, given space constraints, how many sexy elephants could you receive? More than one?

So, I laughed hard at first, but I have to say, now that I've heard that, I have to admit it's a pretty reasonable interpretation.  Here, listen yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_lVOTPRGnw




3 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Funny guest entry, Gordy! I like the hamsters instead of hipsters line myself.

I got about 75% of all the lyrics of one of my favorite Portishead songs, Roads, wrong. And the sad thing is I much prefer my own version, to the one the band actually wrote....

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Hi Gordy! Funny to read this after I just watched this parody of Taylor's "22". It really made me laugh!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8aosVzIf518

Gordy's Mom said...

An absolutely fantastic guest post!!!

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