There’s a Bathroom on the Right

Posted by mwallach on September 20, 2011 in My Kids, New To You |

Dear That’s Life,
You do not know a person until you live with them. That’s the bottom line. I joke that before we were engaged to be married, I did not know my husband was a Mets fan nor that he would never play Scrabble with me. I did not know he did not like potato kugel either. Despite it all, we make it work. Since it goes both ways, several years ago he found out something about me I am not sure he ever knew, and it came as a bit of a surprise. True confession: I sing song lyrics that I am convinced are the right words at the top of my lungs, though they may not make any sense whatsoever and are completely incorrect.

Not only do I sing them, but I belt them out like it is the National Anthem, reciting them with authority, as if they are set in stone like the words of G-d. Not only is it because I have no shame, but because I have convinced myself that what I’m saying makes perfect sense, though there is no way it could. There are a number of famous songs whose lyrics have been butchered over the years. “There’s a Bad Moon on the Rise” by the Creedence Clearwater Revival has often been sung as “There’s a Bathroom on the Right.” Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” undoubtedly his best known tune, has also taken a beating. Instead of proclaiming that the, “microphone sounds like a carnival,” many incorrectly scream with authority that the, “microphone sounds like a carnivore.” Anyone know what I carnivore sounds like? That’s one of my favorites.

Of course there is Jimmy Hendrix’s “’Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky” which is often misheard as “’Scuse Me While I Kiss this Guy,” though that is not even the tune my husband caught me destroying. Despite having very little shame, I cannot share with you the title of the song I mangled. Rest assured, however, that not only am I still mocked about it years later, but two of my dearest friends bought my husband a one-a-day “Most Mispronounced Lyrics” calendar, all at my expense. That’s okay: I deserved it.

In the car with my kids about a year ago, Heart’s “Alone” was on the radio. The last line of the chorus, “How do I get you alone?” made my daughter’s ears perk up. “Why does she want to unload?” she asked. Unclear what she was asking me, it then became incredibly apparent that she thought the name of the song was “Unload.” The singer’s questions, which she heard as “How do I get to unload?” made sense to her, though I was now perplexed. “What in the world did you think this song was about?” I asked her. “Unpacking the car after grocery shopping?” We all laughed. She thought it made more sense for the song to be called “Unload” rather than “Alone,” and it stuck. Now, when they hear that song on the radio, just like their mother, they sing their new/incorrect/completely distorted lyrics with pride, for the entire world to hear.

There are some lyrics that I am better off my children not hear at all. Even if they do not exactly understand what it is that they’re saying, I prefer they not adopt certain phrases and sayings into their daily vernacular. Such was the situation when David Guetta’s “Sexy Chick” was popular. Once my son, only three years old at the time, referred to someone as a ‘sexy chick,’ I knew we were done. Now he thinks he can “Moooove like Jagger,” which I am not sure is much better but we are letting it slide for now.

As for my daughter, it is a good thing she does not thoroughly understand everything in Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night.” When it pops on to the station to which we are listening, she gets very upset when I insist it be turned off. “Mommy,” she insists, “it’s a shabbos song!” Little does she know it is the furthest thing from one, until Shlock Rock cleans it, making it into an anthem of sorts. As for now, we make up lyrics in the car: “On Friday night – we make Kiddush after dark…”

How long will this last? I have no idea. But it certainly is better than having her sing, “There’s a stranger in my bed…”, belting it out for all the world to hear.
I cannot hold it against her – she comes by it naturally.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2010-2024 Dear That's Life All rights reserved.
Desk Mess Mirrored v1.8.1 theme from