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True Love for False Lyrics

We love this song, whatever it says



 

Poor Mr. Roth – something is missing from his Valentine’s Day DNA. He seems totally lacking in nostalgia for homemade Valentine’s boxes and homeroom parties, or affection for conversation hearts and frosted sugar cookies, red glitter and roses bought from the back of a kidnapper-style van at May and Britton.

I’ve spent the last several weeks lying in wait for Feb. 14, just to convince my husband that the only real flaw with Valentine’s Day is that it’s not a paid day off. Maybe all he needs to embrace the occasion is a properly worded love note – inspired, perhaps, by the words of a love song.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve embarked on a saccharine-drenched experiment: I’ve spent more time than any human should listening to Sirius/XM’s Love channel, the musical intersection of Maureen McGovern and Air Supply. Sure, I want to vomit cotton candy when I listen to it, but even the late, great Jim Croce had to say “I love you” in a song … plus, I’m committed to the cause.

Somewhere between “All Out of Love” and “My Heart Will Go On,” it occurred to me that, no matter the genre, I often have no idea what the song is actually saying, yet I stick to the mistaken lyrics I’ve created in my head. It turns out that there’s actually a name for misheard words and phrases: mondegreen.

The term comes from American author Sylvia Wright’s admission of a childhood mishearing of classic English poetry – it was years before she learned that “They hae slain the Earl Amurray and Lady Mondegreen” actually said “and laid him on the green,” not quite the romantic tragedy she had envisioned. Anyway, it’s always nice to put a name to something you’re doing wrong.

Ever singing from my own songbook, I’ve blithely endured my mondegreenery for years. I thought Queen was singing, “kicking your cat all over the place,” but it was only a can. It was breaking news to me that in “Come Monday,” Jimmy Buffett sings, “California has worn me quite thin. I just can’t wait to see you again.” My version was, “California is one big, white pan…” Maybe Cali is hot like a frying pan. A white one.

In the past 24 hours, I’ve also discovered that I’ve been singing the wrong words to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. The lyric goes, “Just let me state for the record, we’re givin’ love in a family dose” – not my version: “just let me speak for Rebecca.” I thought Rebecca must be one of the Sisters who wasn’t invited to the recording session, or she would have spoken for herself.

I dug a little deeper to find out what else I’d sung wrong. I love Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science.” He says, “good heavens, Miss Sakamoto, you’re beautiful!” I say, “good heavens, Miss South America, you’re beautiful!”

I never questioned the Starland Vocal Band when they sang (I thought) “rubbin’ sticks and stones together make a sparstic night.” What does sparstic even mean? Who cares? It really works there. (The real lyrics: “makes the sparks ignite.”)

Sting, it turns out, is wistful about the days he spent “among the fields of barley,” and slightly less so about my version, “among the fields of holly.” I’ve never really seen a field of holly, but he’s a Brit; maybe they have those in his part of England.

Why do Brits make English so hard to understand, anyway? I’ve had to re-lyric a lot of Elton John songs. I knew that “Bennie” from “Bennie and the Jets” had electric boots, not electric boobs, but I didn’t realize she had a mohair suit. I’d put her in a Mohawk suit, given the option. I’ve also crooned about counting the “head lice on the highway” in “Tiny Dancer.”

With Valentine’s Day hanging in the balance, I’m listening to songs more closely to find the right sentiment to win over Mr. Roth. It may come down to “just remember Isle of View, and it’ll be all right.”

 

 

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Calendar

April 2019

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
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Cost: $23.95

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

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Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
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Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

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The OSU Symphony Orchestra will conclude the 2018-19 season with Schubert's monumental and majestic Symphony No. 9 in C ("The Great"). The concert opens with The European Anthem,...

Cost: General Admission: $10; Students & Seniors: $7

Where:
Oklahoma State University Department of Music
132 Seretean Ctr
Stillwater, OK  74078
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Sponsor: Oklahoma State University Department of Music
Telephone: 405.744.6133
Contact Name: Dr. Thomas Dickey
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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Potbelly Sandwich Shop
8500 N Rockwell Ave
OKC, OK  73132
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Sponsor: Potbelly Sandwich Shop
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Cost: Free

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Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
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Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
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RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Delta Dental

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Individual Artists of Oklahoma
706 W. Sheridan Ave.
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Sponsor: Individual Artists of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.412.2541
Contact Name: David Smith

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Cost: $5 at the door, 13 and under free

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Heritage Place
2829 S. MacArthur
Oklahoma City, OK  73128
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Sponsor: Junk Hippy
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Branson Junior High
263 Buccaneer Boulevard
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Sponsor: A Sporting Chance
Telephone: 404-314-2188
Contact Name: Hannah Schachinger

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RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
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Sponsor: Delta Dental

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Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Andy Alligator's is celebrating teachers! On Saturday and Sunday, teachers with a valid ID will receive a FREE All-Day Pass and $5 off for each family member! An All-Day Pass includes...

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Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
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America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

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The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
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Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
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Cost: $250

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Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
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Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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Cost: Free, contests have entry fee

Where:
Fassler Hall
421 NW 10th
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Sponsor: Revolve Productions
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Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
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