The Edmondson Blog

Lady Mondegreen

Over fifty years ago, the writer Sylvia Wright proposed that a series of misheard words of a statement or song lyric should be called a mondegreen, after Lady Mondegreen, the tragic heroine from the well known Scottish folk ballad, The Bonny Earl of Murray. Sylvia had learnt the song as a child and recalled the first verse told:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,
Oh! Where ha’e ye been:

They ha’e slain the Earl of Murray,

And the Lady Mondegreen.

Sylvia had often wondered about this poor lady who is not mentioned elsewhere in Scottish history. She discovered years later that the last two lines went:

They ha'e slain the Earl of Murray,
And they laid him on the green.

Other notable mondegreens

Good King Wences’ car backed out
On the feet of heathens.

Olive, the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names.

Wider still and wider
May thy bones be set.

The train will run over us,
God Save The Queen!
(Ray Edmondson, age 7, bless him!)
Somewhere, over the rainbow, weigh a pie.

Don’t cry for me, Sergeant Tina.

Just a come-on from the horse on Seventh Avenue.

Money for nothing and the chips are free.

The ants are my friends, blowing in the wind.

Excuse me while I kiss this guy.

Doughnuts make your brown eyes blue.

Spare him his life from these pork sausages.

Somebody calls you,
You answer quite slowly,
A girl with colitis goes by.

Round yon Virgin Mother and Child,
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Asleep in heavenly peas.

0 Responses to “Lady Mondegreen”

Post a Comment

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog