Even if you’re great at understanding the words to songs, you’ve probably encountered mondegreens.

They’re misheard song lyrics, and they can be funny, bizarre, and sometimes better then the real thing. Why do they happen, and what can they tell us about language and cognition?

Linguist Daniel Midgley supplies the fish on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with James Hall


Show notes

Google buys WordLens, makes it free
http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/16/google-buys-word-lens/

The funny ones from kissthisguy.com
http://www.kissthisguy.com/funny.php

amiright.com is also fun.
http://www.amiright.com

Video of Jimi Hendrix riffing on the mondegreen
http://www.kissthisguy.com/jimi.php

Kylie Sturgess’s blog post on mondegreens and audio pareidolia
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tokenskeptic/2013/05/lady-mondegreens-and-fun-with-audio-pareidolia-ssaweek/

Mondegreens: Of Cross-Eyed Bears and Falling Rocks (PDF)
http://www.cuyamaca.edu/tpagaard/PagaardSite/Courses/PDFs/PDFs120/Mondegreens.pdf

The Science of Misheard Song Lyrics (io9)
http://io9.com/the-science-of-misheard-song-lyrics-1579968707/all

Andrew Nevins is the go-to guy for this.
http://smartcognitivescience.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/405/

Check out his YouTube video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnhkwRmYuQ

I’m blue, and…?
http://www.kissthisguy.com/blue-da-ba-dee-eiffel-65-misheard-song-2028.htm

The real lyrics to Louie, Louie
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/281/what-are-the-real-lyrics-to-louie-louie

Benny Lava!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdyC1BrQd6g&feature=kp

There was an FBI investigation about that one.
http://www.louielouie.net/11-fbi.htm

Fanute?
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/magazine/lady-mondegreen-and-the-miracle-of-misheard-song-lyrics.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Language Log’s link to a Peter Kay routine. Very funny.
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=7024

What’s up with the #YesAllWomen and #NotAllMen hashtags?
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/whats-yesallwomen-and-notallmen-hashtags/nf7LF/

#NotAllMen are sexual attackers or harassers, but #YesAllWomen have experienced this to some extent
http://chronicle.com/article/NotAllMen-but-YesAllWomen-/146811/

How the #YesAllWomen hashtag got started.
http://mashable.com/2014/05/26/yesallwomen-hashtag/

14 #YesAllWomen Tweets That Everyone Needs To See
http://thoughtcatalog.com/rob-fee/2014/05/14-yesallwomen-tweets-that-everyone-needs-to-see/

Phil Plait’s post
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/05/27/not_all_men_how_discussing_women_s_issues_gets_derailed.html

The good ol’ Invisible Backpack
http://amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html


Show tunes

‘Shadow’ by Wild Nothing
from the album Nocturne

‘Misunderstood’ by Machine Translations
from the album Happy

(No video, sorry!)