Saturday, 4 April 2009

Lady Mondegreen

The writer Sylvia Wright coined the term 'mondegreen' in 1954.In the essay, Wright described how, as a young girl, she misheard the final line of the first stanza from the 17th century ballad 'The Bonnie Earl O' Murray' She wrote "When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me, and one of my favourite poems began, as I remember:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, Oh, where hae ye been?       

They hae slain the Earl O'Murray, And Lady Mondegreen."

The actual fourth line is 'And laid him on the green.' As Wright explained the need for a new term, "The point about what I shall hereafter call mondegreens, since no one else has thought up a word for them, is that they are better than the original."

mondegreen I have always been greatly amused by these "slip of the ear" moments - and they are often caused by poor diction [especially when singing] 

So Bob's latest post has had me chuckling all evening. You simply have to check it out. Just click HERE!


  1. Hello Angela
    Just found your comment on the knitting post in my blog.
    Could you email me - address is on my profile page then I can write back to you. Its too involved to talk about the pattern here

  2. Fun link! Have I mentioned that I'm a fan of Bob's blog (though I never comment, I don't think)?

    I also liked the song they were singing. I'd never heard it before, and of course I'll never hear it the same way again.



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