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Pete Atkin >> Words >> Atkin Misheard Lyrics
(Message started by: Jim Grozier on Today at 15:05)

Title: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Jim Grozier on Today at 15:05
Apologies if this has already been done to death, but I did check all the thread titles in the "Words" section and could not find it. It's just a bit of fun - I found myself with that line going round in my head,

"Charlie Christian out playing the saxes ..."

and whilst I now know the correct version (but have just checked the website to make sure!), that is what I thought Pete was singing for quite a lot of the past 35 years or so (until I learned enough about jazz to realise Christian would not have been very likely to be playing saxes, or indeed, even one sax (I think Dick Heckstall-Smith was the only person who managed two simultaneously?) and in any case one would hope he wouldn't be doing it outdoors, poor man, although having just read Richard's notes on Pete's website it would seem that he spent rather too long out in the cold and died tragically young of pneumonia, so maybe my reading of the lyric was not that far out ...)

Of course, "Between us there is nothing but the condom" is more of a would-be misheard lyric than a real one ... :)

Any more, anyone?

Jim.

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Ian Chippett on Today at 16:51
Jim wrote:

<<Of course, "Between us there is nothing but the condom" is more of a would-be misheard lyric than a real one ... >>

A falling Featherlite?

Ian C

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Richard Bleksley on 09.12.06 at 01:45

on 12/08/06 at 15:05:49, Jim Grozier wrote :
(I think Dick Heckstall-Smith was the only person who managed two simultaneously?)


Aaah, the memories! My period of Mayall-mania (see my non-Atkin top ten) included the time that DHS was in his band, and I remember his dual saxophone wielding vividly from several sweaty gigs in the back rooms of various pubs. However, he was preceded in this feat, and more famously, by Roland Kirk.

Sorry I don't have any mis-heard lyrics to contribute, though...

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Jim Grozier on 09.12.06 at 11:45
I know it's sad replying to one's own post, but I've just realised that for many years (in fact, until about 5 minutes ago) I thought that the previous line ended with "death in taxis".

I really must get my ears seen to.

Jim.

(PS Amazing Coincidence Department: Yesterday, AFTER I'd posted my original message, I heard about a farmer who, asked why he was just standing around in a field, explained that he was hoping to get a Nobel Prize, as he'd heard that they are awarded to people who are "out standing in their field".  :)

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Jan on 10.12.06 at 10:42
Two more :

You'll love this chicken, it's really magic. (Practical man)

Perching high like an old-time man o'war
He travels on a barstool to enchanted lands. (Secret Drinker)

If you have good audio equipment the second may not have occurred to you but if you only listen in the car it makes perfect sense.

Jan

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by S J Birkill on 10.12.06 at 11:31
More mondegreens from the MV archive:

Beverley plays you among / The girls the boys have always sung (Senior Citizens)

Rembrandt's mother in her rough old lace (Perfect Moments)

Big Bill Broonzy or Gussie O'Lorca (Thief In The Night)

Even the Stones have a thoughtful stare (An Array Of Passionate Lovers)

A mess in Bude with visionary flair (The Architect)

The cloth looks worn and you don't see Mabel (Get It Out Of Your Head, orig lyric)

For I am the Master of the Rebels! (MOTR)

and, no doubt, so on...

Steve

PS (missed one) : It's a Japanese transistor I swiped off Arthur Cook (All the Dead)

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Jim Grozier on 17.12.06 at 11:14

on 12/10/06 at 11:31:47, S J Birkill wrote :
Rembrandt's mother in her rough old lace (Perfect Moments)


:) :) :)

Still, I think Pete can take comfort from the fact that there are so few - he must have been singing pretty clearly! (I'm not typical in this - my hearing has always been slightly dodgy - you're looking at a man (if you pardon the expression) who managed to hear the line

"While Lenin read a book on Marx"

from American Pie, as

"While men in red had put gun marks") :-[

However, this business of what the lyrics actually were raises an interesting question. Borrowing a comment from another thread, I cannot distinguish between "our lost love" and "our lost loves" in the line at the end of Payday Evening, and as was pointed out by someone on that thread, these two slightly different versions have very different meanings.

So doesn't that mean that the song is in some way bigger than anything that Pete or Clive originally put into it, being interpreted in ways that may not have been intended, but are equally valid?

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Richard Bleksley on 17.12.06 at 13:41
There was a lively discussion in the last months of the old mailing list on the subject of authorial intention v listener's interpretation. I seem to remember it was finally generally agreed that what the song / poem / whatever means to you is what really counts, and is as valid as what the author intended. And, of course, as you say, the more interpretations, the "deeper" we may consider the piece to be.

Just thought I'd mention it....

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Ian Chippett on 17.12.06 at 15:22
Jim wrote:

<<However, this business of what the lyrics actually were raises an interesting question. Borrowing a comment from another thread, I cannot distinguish between "our lost love" and "our lost loves" in the line at the end of Payday Evening, and as was pointed out by someone on that thread, these two slightly different versions have very different meanings. >>

The words on the lyrics insert in the original album sleeve are quite clear: it's "loves" and not "love." Naturally, since "love" doesn't rhyme (except half-heartedly) with "dove's" and Clive is very strict about this sort of thing. All power to his elbow, I say.

Ian C

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics (or Don McLean)
Post by Andrew_Curry on 17.12.06 at 17:55
<< "While Lenin read a book on Marx" >>

I'd always thought this was - from the context - "While Lennon read a book on Marx". The previous sequence is about Bob Dylan, apparently (because of the 'rolling stone' reference) but could also be about Mick Jagger - for the same reason.

More detailed analysis - line by line on the whole song - from: http://www.faqs.org/faqs/music/american-pie/

<<And while Lennon read a book on Marx,

     Literally, John Lennon reading about Karl Marx; figuratively, the
     introduction of radical politics into the music of the Beatles.
     (Of course, he could be referring to Groucho Marx, but that doesn't
     seem quite consistent with McLean's overall tone. On the other hand,
     some of the wordplay in Lennon's lyrics and books is reminiscint
     of Groucho.) The "Marx-Lennon" wordplay has also been used by others,
     most notably the Firesign Theatre on the cover of their album
     "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All?".
     Also, a famous French witticism was "Je suis Marxiste, tendance
     Groucho."; "I'm a Marxist of the Groucho variety".>>



Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Richard_Hales on 17.12.06 at 21:42
                                           Ah! My broth is kipper! *

Seriously, Pete's diction is far too good for this thread to survive for very long.


*Thanks to Frank Muir for dreadful pun.

Title: Re: Atkin Misheard Lyrics
Post by Nedd on 18.12.06 at 14:55
"The Badlands' edge is colder than mesquite"

until I read the proper line in The Book of My Enemy this year, and then when I listened to it properly (on car cd instead of vie nile) it is obvious.

Nedd



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