I am the flower
Picked fresh on a summer’s morn
Drops of dew glisten
You are the ripe fruit
Harvested ‘neath autumn’s moon
Full-bodied and crisp
We are the slim seeds
Laid to rest with promises
Of life beyond soil
I was listening to tales of Woodstock on the radio this morning while running errands around Tallahassee. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the famed music festival. I’d tell you I was there, but that would be a lie. I was only 12, and my taste in music was pretty bland.
At any rate my poem was inspired by Joni Mitchell (who wasn’t at Woodstock either) and her song, “We Are Stardust.”
My family has a long history of misunderstanding song lyrics. For example:
A line from The Eagles song, “Lying Eyes” as heard, and sung, by Studly Doright: “She is headed for the cheapin’ side of town.” When I asked him to explain the meaning of the lyric, he said, “you know, she went cheapin’!” Alrighty then.
A line from the 1985 hit, “Every Time You Go Away” by Paul Young as sung by our then five-year-old daughter, Ashley, “Every time you go away, you take a piece of meat with you.” To be honest, I like Ashley’s lyrics better. We never quite convinced her that she was wrong.
Back in the days of my youth, I thought that Judy Collins was singing about clouds instead of clowns in her 1973 hit “Send in the Clowns.” Conversely, I thought that Joni Mitchell’s song, “Both Sides Now” featured the lines, “I’ve looked at clowns from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow. It’s clown illusions I recall, I really don’t know clowns, at all.” I’m sure if I had a therapist she’d draw a few conclusions about my psyche from my misinterpretation of cloud/clown references.
Some misheard lyrics are so universal that the artist incorporates them into his/her act. I saw John Fogerty in concert several years ago and he sang the line, “There’s a bathroom on the right.”
Check out this website dedicated to misheard lyrics: