Man Without Qualities


Thursday, December 05, 2002


Deck the What?

The Christmas carol begins "Deck the halls with boughs of holly," and everybody has heard it many, many times. Nevertheless, for some reason this old song includes many lines that are routinely misheard or misremembered, at least by a fair number of people. Common examples:

Misheard Lyrics: Deck the halls with parts of Molly
Correct Lyrics: Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Misheard Lyrics: Don B. Nowert's gray apparel
Correct Lyrics: Don we now our gay apparel

Misheard Lyrics: Join me now in gay abandon
Correct Lyrics: Don we now our gay apparel

Misheard Lyrics: See the blazing U. B. Forest
Correct Lyrics: See the blazing yule before us

Misheard Lyrics: Strike the heart, enjoy the florist
Correct Lyrics: Strike the harp and join the chorus

Of course Walt Kelly's famous nonsense variation, which is not a true mishearing or misremembering of the original song, begins "Deck us all with Boston Charlie."

But even Kelly's variation seems to have inheritied some of the original's talent for spawning misheard lines, since Kelly's version seems to often be misheard or misremembered as beginning with the hybrid phrase "Deck The Halls With Boston Charlie." Examples are here, and here, and here and here and here and here and here.

In fact, a highly nonrandom and nonrepresentative survey of some friends found that every single person who thought he or she remembered the Kelly variation thought the first line was "Deck The Halls With Boston Charlie."

Not that any of that matters, of course.

Comments:
Gals
You have got to see this. Obama playing on XBox. Funniest video ever. http://bit.ly/bllhx1
 
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