Jan 13, 2019

A crime we probably have all committed...

Although I hate being wrong, I am always willing to admit my mistakes.....and I'm guessing all, or at least most of us, have committed this same offense. And the dastardly deed is the one called a "malapropism". Sound familiar? No?...Well I bet you have done it...and probably most often when you are singing to yourself in the shower, or driving or even humming a tune in your head.

A malapropism is defined as " the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, sometimes humorous utterance."

Come on, you know what I am talking about....in singing it's when you use your own word in place of the correct lyric during a song and for the life of you, you can't remember the right word.

A memory from long ago, over 50 years ago, is when I heard one of my best friend's mom singing a song and she used her own words. "Link" Shank, as we affectionately called her, was the mother of P.J. and Deedy Shank back in Dayton, Ohio. A wonderful, vivacious and active woman, she was singing a tune one morning that I heard after P.J and I had arisen from a crazy Friday night exploit.

Her voice was singing "One ton tomato, it's just a one ton tomato...." and I thought, "huh".

Then as I heard the melody over and over, I realized she was singing:

Guantanamera, guajira guantanamera
Guantanamera, guajira guantanamera
Yo soy un hombre sincero
De don de crece la palma ...........

She was singing the song, Guantanamera, made famous by The Sandpipers in the '60s along with "Come Saturday Morning", and many others.

And what's crazy, now after all these years, I'll sing "one ton tomato" as well whenever the song comes to mind and then sheepishly look around to see if anyone has heard me.

We do it everyday I bet, well, at least those of us who sing. And I'm not too embarrassed to admit it. Actually, I'm going to be a little presumptuous and go so far to boldly think, "Hey maybe my lyrics are even better."

I hope none of these tunes get stuck in your head, but I'm sure you'll recognize them and I'm guessing you have committed the same malaprop. Oh, and in case you start singing the song, "Louie, Louie", be sure your grandkids aren't in the same room. Enjoy.

Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”: Excuse me while I kiss this guy. Nope. It’s Excuse me while I kiss the sky.

Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”: Hold me closer, Tony Danza. Nope. It’s Hold me closer, tiny dancer.

Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man”: Secret Asian man. Nope. It’s Secret agent man.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising”: There’s a bathroom on the right. Nope. It’s There’s a bad moon on the rise.

Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”: The ants are my friends, they’re blowin’ in the wind. Nope. It’s The answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind.

Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now”: I can see clearly now Lorraine is gone. Nope. It’s I can see clearly now the rain is gone.

Starship’s “We Built This City”: We built this city from sausage rolls. Nope. It’s We built this city from rock ‘n’ roll.

ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”: See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen. Nope. It’s See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen.

Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”: I like big butts in a can of limes. Nope. It’s I like big butts and I cannot lie.

The Fifth Dimension’s “Aquarius”: This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus. Nope. It’s This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius