From cross-eyed bears to cross-eyed babies, we’ve got more great myth-heard song lyrics for you to groove to in this, our second helping on the subject.
In this article, we once again sing the praises of myth-heard song lyrics. Why? Because after all these years, there are still a few of us who cheerfully sing about “Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear” in the classic church hymn “Keep Thou My Way.” In fact, Ed McBain once wrote an interesting novel with that very title.
Most of us realize it’s really “gladly the cross I’d bear,” even as some of us wonder why we sing “For he’s a jolly good pharaoh” when the honoree’s not even Egyptian. But that’s okay — it adds a little much-needed spice to life. We all make these mistakes, now don’t we? We’re sure you’ve got some of your own to share.
Rock and Roll Myth-Melodies
Speaking of cross-eyed bears, have you about Alanis Morissette’s cross-eyed baby? In the song “You Oughtta Know,” she sings angrily about “the cross-eyed baby you gave to me” — apparently. But no infant ocular problems are involved; the myth-heard song lyric is actually “the cross I bear that you gave to me.”
In the same vein, some fans of the TV show “Who’s the Boss” still wonder why Elton John croons “hold me closer, Tony Danza” in the classic “Tiny Dancer” (quite the image, that). And in “Proud Mary,” how come John Fogerty “pumped a lot of Tang down in New Orleans?” Did he work for NASA, or what?
One of our favorite myth-heard song lyrics is found in Queen’s magnificent rock anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and is fascinating enough in its true form: “Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me.” When it becomes “The algebra has a devil for a sidekick, eeee!” as some folks hear it, it becomes all the more alluring.
The Dogs Say Goodnight
And then there’s the rude Olive the other reindeer, the meanie in the Gene Autry Christmas song “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” According to a recent book, Olive is actually a dog who’s called on to help Santa. Speaking of dogs, they’re positively chatty in the bluesy Louis Armstrong classic “What a Wonderful World.”
If you don’t recall that part, think back to the line that starts “The bright blessed day.” Right after that, you know, “the dogs say goodnight.” Don’t let someone tell you it’s really “the dark sacred night.” Obviously Satchmo sang what he meant to, and any other claim is just a classic example of myth-heard song lyrics.