votw ii.24: Olive, The Other Reindeer

¿Que coño les pasa a ustedes? ¡Me tienen abandonado, y no, no, no los perdonos!

What it be, clones and drones? Taking the summer heatstroke in stride? As a Miamian clawing his eyes out from sundeath, I just try to avoid wearing jeans. Problem is, I seem to be applying for a job everywhere in jeans. Nothing respectable about a sweaty man and his wet, all-fluff resume.

So the Celebration of Independence of the Greatest Country In The World (no, not Papau New Guinea) has come, gone, and left us with a massive hangover (damn that dirty, sexy barbecue chicken). I hope you spent your 4th of July awesomely. (This goes especially for those of you who haven’t even visited the United States — isn’t it about time you start thanking us for saving your hides in the War of 1812?)

(And by “us,” surely I don’t mean any one of my ancestors. First-generation American and all.)

As you can guess from my fingertip ramblings, I don’t have all that much planned for this edition of America’s Funniest Homebodies. Have you heard of the exciting new band named Crystal Castles? Their debut album warps the friendliness of ’80s-era videogame music with the sonic exploitation of noisy dance-punk and bruised shriek-screaming — that is, once you get passed the copyright infringement of Atari soundtracks and Madonna’s bloated image-as-an-album cover entanglement. So sing it with me, gals and gals: “But the kid is not my son!”

Funny thing you should ask, so here’s the skinny: every year, the people who make English (Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Jesucristo) add words to our prestigious dictionary. They dissect the trends of the English-speaking world, and after a phrase becomes popular enough with the muggles, “muggle” becomes an actual, factual word that can be looked up in the dictionary (those antique book-things with the weighty, dusty pages and the picture of you next to “slut”) and deplored.

This year, a host of new words you have never used (prosecco? soju? prescatarian?! I believe in Jesus!), as well as some you have (fanboys, rejoice! Batman looms!), has joined such past favorites as “cloistered” and “bronchial” and “ziggurat” to become part of the daily lexicon you never use, you lazy…um…guys.

“Mondegreen” is a newly-inducted word that means misheard lyrics. Simple, right? The phrase comes from a Scottish song that sounded like “Lady Mondegreen” instead of the PG-13 correctness that was “laid him on the green.” I haven’t dedicated a blog post to the band that made this very web journal possible (Deepeechee?), so I figure, why not do one for the home team? Enough jibba-jabba, let’s get on with the a-ha mondegreens that have been praying preying on my mind since January 2OO3!

(And for any of you’ze guyses who just want to get on with this week’s VOTWii, then just click on the PLAY symbol down yonder. What, born into Internet 2pornO just yesterday, wingnut?)

SOLACE

My version: You waste in the moment, biding your time / No one got ahead standing in line

“True” version: You’re wasting the moment, biding your time / No one got ahead standing in line

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “I prefer the thought of having oneself waste, like melting wax, instead of just sitting around.” Winner: Alfred.

THIS ALONE IS LOVE

My version: Our souls are a myriad of wars, and I’m losing every one

“True” version: Our souls are a myriad of wars, and I’m losing everyone

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “It could go either way (jivin’ homophones), but the Interweb’s lyrics give the emphasis on the people the narrator is losing, whereas I refer to the wars.” Winner: Mags and Waaktaar

LOCUST

My version: Don’t be afraid, it’s a heartless moon

“True” version: Don’t be afraid, it’s a harmless moon

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “Morten’s pronounced Engrish funkered me up on this one. A heartless moon personifies the satellite, whereas a harmless moon just lessens the foreboding.” Winner: Alfred

EARLY MORNING

My version: See the lonely August summer rise

“True” version: See the lonely August sun arise

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “Pretty much the same diff, but summer doesn’t litterally rise. Eh.” Winner: Tie

CANNOT HIDE

My version: I sent the postale to my mum the other day, but it got lost and now she can’t afford her oatmeal / Life stinks without oatmeal / I’ve never tried it myself / Catacombs of Egypt

“True” version: French French postale French French

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “The French ‘rap’ at the end of the explosive Morten sex romp is almost indecipherable. (Just don’t consult anyone who understands French, though.) You have Morten wanting you to do him right all the while someone who I choose to name ‘Magne’ goes off about the postal service (not the band) and what sounds like the catacombs of Egypt to me.” Winner: Everyone

ANALOGUE

My version: Come back, my darling one / I’m coming on ya

“True” version: Come back, my darling one / I’m calling on ya

What Alfred has to say about his sins: No comment. >_> Winner: The authorities

LIVING A BOY’S ADVENTURE TALE

My version: I’ve been lost in so many places — seeked love in so many faces

“True” version: [same]

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “Nothing. It just irks me to see “seeked.” What, ‘sought’ wasn’t sing-song enough? Replace it with ‘sicked’ and you’ll be jam. (Of course, that just screws up the word ‘in.’ Also, since when is love a hunting dog? When isn’t it?)” Winner: Poetry

YOU ARE THE ONE

My version: I fought for you — didn’t let me win / Don’t even care, you don’t care where I’ve been

“True” version: I fought for you, did you let me win? / Don’t even care, you don’t care where I’ve been

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “Seems more spiteful in mine. Yes, seems.” Winner: Kazaa

ORANGES ON APPLETREES

My version: Bugs that mate with bumblebees … Birds that mate with bumblebees

“True” version: [same]

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “Bumblebees are whores.” Winner: Birds and bugs

DARK IS THE NIGHT FOR ALL

My version: And when the heathens fall, dark is the night for all

“True” version: And when the evenings fall, dark is the night for all

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “Heathens don’t make no sense, nome. Evenings is boreness.” Winner: Female a-ha fans

SLENDER FRAME

My version: Pack up your things and go / Run down the road, they’ll never know

“True” version: Pack up your things and go / Run down the road, don’t take it slow

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “The reuse of ‘don’t take it slow’ is often written as the lyrics for the second chorus of ‘Slender Frame,’ but this is simply because people don’t really know what Morten’s saying. Trust me, it’s ‘they’ll never know.’ Would Unkie Alfie lie to vou?” Winner: Me, clearly

MANHATTAN SKYLINE

My version: I hear myself say, “My bird’s leaving now,” so we shake hands and cry

“True” version: I hear myself say, “My boat’s leaving now,” so we shake hands and cry

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “Mine is just stupid. The bird/plane imagery in my head did not last very long. Hell, this was before I even knew of the omitted bridge from the album version.” Winner: My haughty brother

STAY ON THESE ROADS

My version: The cold air has a voice — it talks to me

“True” version: The cold has a voice — it talks to me

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “I’m giving mondegreens a bad name.” Winner: Stillborn babies everywhere (nowhere?)

LIFELINES

My version: Once I can make us believe it’s true

“True” version: One sign to make us believe it’s true

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “My version has the lovelorn narrator taking it upon himself to prove his worth to his Better Half, whereas the truer version looks upon the Heavens for divine confirmation. Either way works.” Winner: Bowtie

STOP! (AND MAKE YOUR MIND UP)

My version: Beer goes to my head / I want you to come back to bed

“True” version: You’ve gone to my head / I want you / Come back to bed

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “I’ve read my version online somewhere. Noticeably, it is hyperspace better.” Winner: Me, zoinks

NEVER NEVER

My version: I walk in your shadows, never, never

“True” version: I won’t give you shadows, never, never

What Alfred has to say about his sins: “When you listen to this demonic gem, you can clearly see why some of the Internets thought it was the version I chose to sing for an awfully long time. BAM, Kattastic posts up the realness, and what does Alfred get? The sadness. Still, ‘Never Never’ is the crackin’-good tune that never went commercial, kept it real. But what is this I read about ‘All The Planes That Come In On The Quiet’? Who has been keeping songs away from me? Who, I ask you? WHO?!” Winner: Darlene!

Yeah, sometimes I amaze even meself. (It’s not that hard. Trust me.) So the mondegreens are there — what are yours? Surely, you’re not dying for a cigarette in the coffee lounge?

Which brings us to this week’s video, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s probably the most difficult of all the a-ha & co. music videos to discern. Why? It’s in Norwegian, you silly goose! Yup, yup, when a-ha were no more in the mid-’90s, Morten Harket decided to release a biblically-tinged, all-Norwegian album dubbed Neon Genesis Evangelium Potent. Or something. So go mondegreene-apenuts with Morten’s “Salome,” which is about salami, belly dancers who can’t dance, and Morten’s locks as The Hair That Would Be Zorro’s (Had Zorro Been In The Desert).

Impress us now, Morten’s “Salome” and The Hair That Would Be Zorro’s (Had Zorro Been In The Desert)!

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~ by Alfredeus on July 10, 2008.

3 Responses to “votw ii.24: Olive, The Other Reindeer”

  1. Madame Ellipsis Wench declares she loved this week’s votw, if only for the grammar lessons and random trivia. she also liked that you didn’t make yourself the winner every time, tempting as it might’ve been. and the video for salome. because that’s just a compelling story.

  2. D’aw, what a gracious comment. So, like, who the heck are you?

  3. shh, one of the muses as portrayed in xanadu. only i don’t roller-skate, zeus doesn’t like it.

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