Lyricosis: Sing a Song, Sing it Wrong…

My family all suffer from lyricosis. Actually, we almost never suffer –  we enjoy every minute of it – but others around us, they suffer. (To clear up any confusion, the Urban Dictionary defines lyricosis as “a debilitating disease wherein an individual consistently hears incorrect lyrics to songs”. Also known as Chronic Lyricosis.)

Lyricosis can take many forms: the most common and mild presentation of the disease, is also termed Mumbleitis.

It tends to present at unpredictable moments throughout any given song. An example from my own history is this:

“…I gave you all the love I had in me

now I find you’ve lied  and I can’t believe it’s true.

raaanannaNNAAAAAA I see you across the street..”

(lyrics from Stop – popularly sung by Sam Brown, murdered happily by almost everyone else.) So, it turns out, the ACUTAL lyrics in that space should be ‘wrapped in her arms” … but no, that wasn’t what I was singing. Moving on.

The second level of lyricosis; less common but extremely enjoyable, is Word Substitutionese. This can be completely accidental: My cousin V was somewhat abashed when her friend pointed out that the words should have been “You’re sweet like chocolate, boy” – rather than “You’re sweet like chocolate, balls.”  Funny how that one simple comma makes that sentence so much ruder.

Or, it can be completely on purpose – usually also to make a song ruder/funnier/more puerile, or all of the above (they often go together, in my world!). One of my standbys for that is Cyndi Lauper’s song, I Drove All Night:

“I drove all night to get to you

is that alright;

I drove all night, cr*pped in your room”.

Wow, ok, so now you all know I do have the sense of humour of a 12 year old boy at times, but it always makes me snigger.

Singing penguins! The awesomeness! From http://pengcognito.wordpress.com/category/music/

But the epitome of lyricosis – also called lyricosis grandiousis (by me, and hey, I’m the one making up most of these terms), is when the lyrics to a WHOLE song is changed. And for this I have to bow to the Warped Wordsmith Master; sister V.

These are the L. grandiosis lyrics to It’s A Kind Of Magic, by Queen.

One dream

One sole

One cries “one goal!”

One goal should glance

At what should be.

One slice of lard

That shoulders whey

No Mordor, man

Can witness day.

And you know? Once I’d stopped crying laughter tears over this, I realised that’s exactly how I’ve been singing that song. So, when does lyricosis stop being a problem, and start being genius? Right there. Thanks, V! You rock 😀

So, lyricosians of the world, unite! (Dyslexics, untie! But thats a whole other post). We make this world more colourful and fun. And, even better, it seems to get more pronounced with age .. my mother still has me in fits of laughter when she sings ‘Love is a Battlefield’ by Pat Benetar. Despite the words being the actual title of the song, she still sang ‘love is a fallacy’ for years. Upon being gently corrected, she then changed the words to ‘love is a fallowfield’ She’s so awesome, the inspiration for many.

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Posted on March 3, 2012, in Hearing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I see they have whole websites dedicated to “how to entertain your kids on long car trips”. We had it simpler, we’d just get our mother to stick on some headphones and a tape (back in those days when they had walkmans .. and cassette tapes ..) and get her to sing along to what she thought the words were.

    No wonder we’re all so lyrically challenged, when this is what we’ve learned from 😀

  2. Ahh my problem is I never really listen to words, sometimes it is nicer and more fun that way.

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