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Friday, June 24, 2011

Damn Misheard Lyrics

Do you ever think you know the words to a song and then you find out that they are not what you thought and it changes the meaning of the song for you?

I looked up the guitar chords to St. Stephen by the Grateful Dead yesterday and when I read the lyrics, I had a little surprise.  The verse:

Wishing well with a golden bell
Bucket hanging clear to hell
Hell halfway twixt now and then
Stephen fill it up and lower down and lower down again

... well let's just say that's not what I thought the words were. Now my brain is confused and I can't even think of the words I use when I sing it.

It does change the meaning for me, although I'm not sure how yet ... I'll have to think about that.

Adding on 6/26/11:

I was really curious to know what I had been singing all these years, so I listened to the song and let my mind go on auto pilot to see what lyrics I used.  It turns out, this is my version:

Wish him well with the Golden veil
bucket hair, ne'er do well
Hell, I've played tricks now and then
Stephen fill it up and throw it down and throw it down again

Although I never sat down and thoroughly thought about it, I'm pretty sure my mind decided this song was about a nomad.  Now I see it more as a sad old man who is near death.  I liked my original theory better.  So I go back to my title ... damn misheard lyrics!

I do love that music and lyrics can be interpretted differently by everyone.  That's part of the sheer beauty of it.  However, when I don't even have the lyrics right in the first place ... well, that's a different story.

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