Monday, October 23, 2006

A Life Of Misheard Lyrics

"'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy," is now the most famous misheard lyric, thanks to the website of the same name. Of course, the correct lyrics is "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky." After learning of this website, visiting it and adding my own idiocy, I started hearing Jimi Hendrix's lyric from Purple Haze incorrectly!

My biggest gaffe is a misheard lyric from David Bowie's "Station To Station," and you can read about it here.

My latest gaffe can be found on last Friday's blog entry titled "Switchblades for bones . . . ". I chose the title because it is a lyric from the song Land on Patti Smith's first album; and I was going to see her at the Met.

The song Land was released 31 years ago, without a lyric sheet, and it took years for me to decipher all of the lyrics and I needed the input of everyone interested.

"Johnny gets up, takes off his leather jacket, reaches to his chest and there's the answer: he's got pen-knives and jack-knives, and switch-blades for bones, switch-blades for bones. . . . "

It is a very tense lyric that fit perfectly with the album, which is loaded with songs about sex, and drugs, and rock and roll, and homosexuality, and death. I think I finally learned the lyric in 1976 or 1977.

I have seen Patti Smith in concert about 25 or thirty times. On Friday night, however, I was in the second row directly in front of the singer.

The evening's theme was Joan of Arc, and the event was taking place on the anniversary of Arthur Rimbaud's birthday.

Patti read poems and excerpts from a 'biography(?)' of Joan of Arc, some of her own poems, some other poems, sang a Dylan song, sang "Paris In Springtime" and "La Vie En Rose," she sang "Kimberly" and then there was the encore.

"The boy was in the hallway sipping a glass of tea . . . " She was singing it! And I was this close. I could see every word coming across her lips. Then she got to the part I was so proud of deciphering and she sang:

"Johnny gets up, takes off his leather jacket, taped to his chest, there's the answer: he's got pen-knives and jack-knives and switch-blades preferred, switch-blades preferred. . . . "

He doesn't have switch-blades for bones, at all!

"Go Rimbaud! Go Rimbaud! Go Rimbaud! Go, go, Johnny go, and do the Watusi!"

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