Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza

Have you been guilty of mishearing song lyrics, to sometimes comic results?

I have.  I bet you have, too. A number of websites exist for the purpose of discussing song lyrics and allowing people to discuss lyrics that other people have misheard, sometimes with quite comic results. 

There is even a name for this - mondegreens.

Take the song "Tiny Dancer", by Elton John.  I love that song.  I have several of the earlier Elton John albums, such as Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboys, Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player and Yellow Brick Road.  Plus, one of his greatest hits albums.

I've spent countless hours, since the early 1970's, listening to these songs. (I will also admit I am not partial to his later work.)  I clearly hear "Hold me closer, tiny dancer". But somehow, I never realized that young Tony Danza had crept into the lyric when I wasn't looking.

"Tiny Dancer" came out in 1971. Tony Danza was born in 1951. The show "Who's The Boss" started in 1984.  So, Tony Danza must have been pretty young - about 20, to be exact - when he appeared in the lyric, only 13 years after the song came out.

For the record, I never have watched the TV show Friends (the show that immortalized the "Young Tony Danza" lyric), so no wonder I was the last to know.

Until yesterday, that is. A tweet led me to the website Mental Floss (a wonderful magazine, by the way, and I can't wait until the next time I visit my childhood friend in Brooklyn so I can sponge off read her husband's copy) which had rated the "Ten Most Often Butchered Song Lyrics".

And "Tiny Dancer" was #1 on the list of most misheard lyrics!

Now, my personal most misheard lyric is the Bruce Springsteen/Manford Mann's Earth Band classic "Blinded By The Light.", as immortalized in this skit.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Atlantic, the BBC has had its own fun with mondegreens.

I must admit, in more than one instance, that the wrong lyric makes more sense than the right lyric.

Do you have a favorite misheard lyric?  Or have you been singing the wrong lyric of a particular song for years?


  1. I love that car commercial that has everyone singing songs with different lyrics. So funny. I totally do this too - at the top of my lungs! hehehehe

  2. It's kind of like when you're listening to little kids try to say nursery school rhymes or even songs meant for grown ups and totally getting everything wrong... it's both hilarious and totally interesting at the same time.

  3. I love Mental Floss! They have so many random facts!

  4. I had no idea there was a word for that phenom! Haha! Mondegreens! I'll remember that--it's hilarious!

  5. Oh, I am SO glad I am reading your post! I always wondered what that line was in the Blinded by the Light song! I always sang "Wrapped up like a douche, you know the roamer of the night." It seems I've combined a couple of the wrong lines from the skit! Too funny! Thanks for the laugh, Alana!

  6. I don't think my husband mishears the lyrics to songs but he does love making up completely new words to them, sometimes to very funny results.


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