Wednesday, October 17, 2007

reward, mondegreen, road drill

Following a routine visit to the doctor's surgery, I reward myself , by sitting in the sun outside my favourite cafe, with a cup of tea and two slices of buttered toast, and watch passers by.

Some years ago I made a note of the word mondegreen, a term for a misheard word. It is derived from an old ballad, which goes "They hae slain the Earl Murray/ And laid him on the green". The last line, misheard becomes "and Lady Mondegreen." The term comes up in a review in the Spectator , by Dot Wordworth, of a collection of mondegreens and malapropisms by Martin Toseland entitled The Ants are My Friends. The title is a mishearing of the Bob Dylan lyric "the answer my friend is (blowing in the wind)".

We pass in the street a serious looking purposeful dog of indeterminate breed. It looks straight ahead, until it reach the pedestrian crossing, and crosses on the green light. On the other side of the road it walks steadily on, stopping only to cock its leg against one of the maroon and gold, Royal Tunbridge Wells litter bins.


Lucy said...

I remember hearing about someone's small child coming back from a carol service singing about 'The little malteser laid down his sweet head...'
I'll remember about mondegreens!

Manjiri said...

I hope that your first beautiful thing becomes mine too! It has been ages since I have done and home have kept me extremely busy.

I have loved your blog since ages and it is the first webpage that I open up every morning at work. On weekends I try not to read your blog, because I want to save up the reading to chase away the Monday morning blues.

:) Cheerio!

Unknown said...

A mondegreen, which I think, predates the invention of the term relates to a teddy bear called Gladly, as in the hymn (Gladly thy cross I'd bear..."

Thank you, Manjiri, I'm so pleased to know that Now's the time keeps you cheerful. It does me too.