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Christmas Mondegreens

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A "mondegreen" is a misheard song lyric (such as "The girl with
colitis goes by" instead of "the girl with kaleidoscope eyes" in
the Beatles' song "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds." For this activity,
you will need recordings of "The Christmas Song" and "Hark! The Herald
Angels Sing" (or else sing these tunes for the students yourself!)

Basically, you give the students the misheard version of the song, and
they listen, trying to find out
a) what's wrong with the song
b) what the correct words should be.

Song One:
Chipmunks roasting on an open fire
Check for snipping at your nose
You'll tell Carol, "Be a skunk I require"
And folks dressed up like Eskimos
Everybody knows a turkey, Handsome Mr. Soul
Helps to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

(real words)
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like eskimos
Everybody knows, a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

Song Two:
Hark there Harold's angel sings
Glory to the newborn thing!
Pees on Earth, and then he smiles
Godamn sinners reckon so.
Joyful oily nations rise
Join the triumph of disguise
With the jellied toast proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Hark there Harold's angel sings
Glory to the newborn thing!

(real lyrics)
Hark the Herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn king
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Hark, the Herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn king!

For more misheard song lyrics, check out the books by
Gavin Edwards. This idea came from his book entitled
"Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly."

--Karin Abell, Advanced ESL Instructor
Durham Technical Community College
Durham, NC

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