Are You Sure You Have Right Lyrics To Christmas Carols?
Mangled Song Lyrics Known As Mondegreens
9:35 AM, Dec 24, 2003
Christmas carols are heard over and over this time of year but how many times has someone caught you or your kids singing the wrong words to these famous songs?
The urban legends site Snopes.com is trying to clear up the confusion. It has a collection of misheard lyrics -- known as mondegreens -- alongside the correct lyrics.Although we all mistake song lyrics every now and then, Christmas songs are ripe for misunderstanding because the carols use uncommon words or phrasings from years past and because we all first learned them when we were children and when our vocabularies were limited.For example, instead of singing "chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose," some kids think it's "chipmunks roasting on an open fire, check for snipping at your nose."Or some people still think we sing "Deck the halls with Buddy Holly" and that we "don we now our day of peril."
Instead of "strike the harp and join the chorus" some mistake that verse as "strike the heart, enjoy the florist."In "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," the lyrics "Joyful all ye nations, rise; Join the triumph of the skies; with th' angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem," the old-style lyrics are mistaken as "joyful oily nations rise, join the triump of disguise with the jelly toast proclaim. Christ is born in Bethlehem."One person didn't realize that feliz Navidad was Merry Christmas in Spanish and had been singing "Fleas naughty dog. There's fleas on your dad. Fleas naughty dog. Protect us and the fleas from my dad."There are tons of other examples of mondegreens and if you've ever misheard Christmas carol lyrics, the site wants you to submit what your mistake was so it can build a more definitive collection.And if you don't know the lyrics and you think you've been mistaken all these years, it's OK. Just sing real low and nobody will notice.Happy holidays!