Friday Fives – He’s a Juicy Fire!

A mondegreen is a mis-heard lyric. What is your favorite misheard lyric? 

A boy, I got a good one. I recently bought the remastered box set of U2’s ‘Unforgettable Fire’. It is such an amazing album, and is mixed so poorly, I had great hopes. In the HUGE hit song ‘Pride in the name of Love’, in the first verse there is a sentence that goes ‘one comes here to justify’. I never knew that lyric until I got the box set last week. In the original CD, they only print the lyrics to one song, which is the first song.

Now, I was always pretty sure what I was hearing was incorrect, but listen to the song. Right now. Here, I will embed if for you. Now, go to that first verse. The exact moment is 57 seconds. I always heard ‘one man come, he a juicy fire’. Go ahead, sing that with that line. He a juicy fire. That isn’t the heart of this story.  Not anymore. Don’t worry, this story gets WAY worse.

As with all things, I was discussing this with my pal Jamie. I asked him what he heard. This is no lie. He said “I always thought he was saying ‘one man come, he set Jews on fire…’. Wow. That is brilliant, and fucked up. Obviously, it’s not brilliant to set jews on fire. It’s brilliant that that is what Jamie thought all these years, and gleefully sang along. Kinda puts my ‘juicy fire’ into perspective, doesn’t it?

A spoonerism is a deliberate (or accidental ) error in speech or words. Do you have a favorite? 

I found this to be too kitschy to interest me. So, how about another mondegreen. In ‘Every Breath you Take’ from the Police. There is a line that says ‘how my poor heart aches’. Makes sense. That is not what I heard, and I listened to this song thousands of times. This album was incredibly influential for me. Really, it changed my life more than any other album. I was such a fan of this record that my brother took me to see the Police live. It was on this tour, Synchronicity. It was their farewell tour, and they were firing on all cylinders. It was incredible. I knew that night that rock and roll was all I ever wanted. It’s what I wanted to do, to think about, to talk about, to be my job, to be my nights and weekends… all from that Police show. I was 10, I think.

FOCUS, man! What I heard was ‘how my pool hall aches’. Go ahead, watch. Its at the 50 second mark. Tell me he is not saying ‘how my pool hall aches’.


A malapropism is an incorrect word in place of another.  Can you remember one used?

This one also does not interest me. It’s strange, I am a word guy. I am super passionate about words. I got a degree in literature, that is how much I love words. Yet, I am not inspired. I think it’s because I need to just get to bed.

So, how about this? The funniest mondegreen of all time comes from Dave Barry. There was a classic great soul song called ‘ain’t no woman like the one I got’ Makes sense. Touching, and sweet. What Dave Barry brings us is this – Ain’t no woman like the one eyed Gott’.

Lastly, no conversation about mondegreens can be complete without this. My favorite band, and someone trying to figure out just exactly what the hell Eddie is singing.  In fact, there is not even an official studio version of this.  The recording we all know was done on the fly at a radio station that Ed and Mike were visiting.  Mike brought an acoustic and they knocked out two songs that day.  Both were largely improvised on the spot.  The other song was Bee Girl.

To be fair, this song never had official lyrics, and I am about 90% confident that he changes the words night to night a bit to fit his mood.

An earworm  is a snippet of catchy tune that gets stuck in your head. Do you have a common one? 

Goodwill Halloween, goodwill Halloween, goodwill halloween

Btw, I… and I alone, have pioneered a way to fix them. It will sound dumb and obvious… but it works. Your mind needs closure when this is happening. To fix the earworm, you need to listen to the song in its entirety. I have had to actually reach over to my phone in the middle of the night and download a song online and listen to it with headphones while wifey is sleeping to get closure. It works.

The Tetris effect occurs when so much time and attention is devoted to an activity it affects other parts of your life.  Do you do this? 

Really? I disagree. For me, the tetris effect is all about organization. It could be packing the back of a moving van with everything you own. Every spot counts. It could be about time management… trying to fit in all the shit you need to fit into your day. My wife is the master of tetris in real life. Need stuff packed? You just sit back, keep your hands and feet away, and watch the art.

Friday Fives – another cop out edition

Ok reader, I don’t have anything good for this week.  So, I will do what I always do in this situation.  I will put my music on full random and tell you my relationship with the first 5 or so songs that come up.  Once I did this last year, and I killed Amy Winehouse.

Smashing Pumpkins – in the arms of sleep > Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Basically, this song is filler.  For filler, it is quite good.  This album is a landmark in rock, and a landmark for me.  It was the growing up and maturing of both Billy and myself.  I have had an amazing relationship with this band.  if you know me, you already know that.  For years, my goal was to meet Billy in person and thank him for Siamese Dream.  I finally got to do that when he was touring with this terrible book of poetry.  Still, I love him, and all the Pumpkins music.

Pearl Jam – Bee Girl – unreleased

This is a bootleg that has circulated for some time.  It’s a cool story, too.  The song was in improvised ditty by Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready doing an appearance at a radio station.  Ed was knee deep is his “I don’t want to be famous anymore” phase.  This song is a cautionary tale told to the girl who danced in the Blind Melon video for ‘No Rain’.  The band finally released it on their ‘Lost Dogs’ double disc, but I am not counting that.  This song, if legend is to be believed, was recorded at the same radio station as ‘Yellow Ledbetter’.  Ledbetter is one of the most iconic songs of the band, and it never had an official studio version.  it still doesn’t, yet it has become one of their biggest songs that ends nearly every show.  Pearl Jam was very cool to allow taping and trading of live show. So, we all knew about this song ten years before it was ever acknowledged by modern radio.

Bonus silliness > absolutely no one can tell what Ed is singing in this song.  This is because he changes the lyrics often to suit his mood.  Since there is no official version of the song, there are no printed lyrics.  There are, however, lots of misheard lyrics.  Enjoy!

Bad Brains – She’s Calling You – I against I

Bad Brains are amazing, and incredibly unique.  They are a group of black rastafarians who sing speed metal… with a reggae feel thrown in.  It’s too strange and wonderful to explain, so click here for a clip.  Their heydey was in the 80’s, but they are still together.  They have never crossed over to radio play, but I don’t blame ‘the man’ for that.  I blame their lead singer.  HR is legendarily self destructive and just an all around asshole.  He even attacked a fan at a show with a mike stand… the bottom of one.  Ended him up in jail again, which forced Madonna to drop them from her label.

However, interesting story about HR and jail.  Their song ‘Sacred Love’ was reportedly recorded over a prison phone during one of HRs MANY stints in jail.  It is a powerful and beautiful vocal.  I think the modern era knows Bad Brains due to the Beastie Boys.  The Beasties were raised on the sounds of Bad Brains.  So, when the Beasties hit is really big with ‘Ill Communication’, they took Bad Brains on tour with them.  This was Beastie’s touring on Sabotage at the top of their game.  However, that was a terrible era for Bad Brains.  HR decided he only wanted to play trumpet and do reggae.  So, while they had a chance of re-conquering a new generation, HR blew it again.

Also, I hate to sound like a hipster douche by saying I knew about them long before then, but I did.  We can credit Ezra for that.  Before we would go out and party in high school, we would spool up ‘I Against I’ and pound cans of Keystone to get us ready for our epic adventures.

The Story – Brandi Carlile – live a Benaroya

Brandi Carlile is awesome, and this is her signature song in every sense.  I can’t say enough good things about this song.  So, just go here and dig it.  Also, she has an album by the same title.  Buy it now, I am cereal!  Watch the passion and the fire in that performance linked above.  it is SICK.  I had the good fortune to see her live, and it was incredibly impressive.  In fact, all of the bands mentioned on this page I have seen live.  A lot.  Probably seen the Pumpkins 10 times, Pearl Jam 10 times, Bad Brains 4 times, and Brandi one, and the Allmans’ probably about 20 times.

Allman Brorthers – Old Before My Time – Hitting the Note

This is a recent album, at least by the standards of the Allmans.  This album is really really good.  I see no reason not to call this their best album ever.  Interesting to note, this album is all Warren Haynes.  He sings a few songs, but he wrote them all.  Here is what is weird.  I am a lifelong Allmans’ fan, having seen them every year since high school.  I still can’t tell when I am listening if I am hearing Greg or Warren.  It’s also important to note that Warren is the hardest working guy in music.  He works fulltime for the Allman Brothers, the Dead, Govt Mule, and the Warren Haynes band.  Back about ten years ago, I saw the Allmans’ open for the Dead at the Gorge.  Both bands are well known for their long sets.  Warren was out there for nearly 6 hours playing for both bands.

* now, lets see you do the same.  Grab your phone, hit full random, and tell me about the first few that pop up… and (most importantly) why.