Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

This may become a periodic feature on this blog: Songs with lyrics that are simply strange and/or misheard. I can’t promise that I will post many of these, as I tend to only notice these things upon repeat listenings of songs, and I simply haven’t had time to listen to all that I have several times over to really examine them that hard.

But one particular track has come to play for my ear drums more than a few times and I finally noticed it today…this songs contains a VERY strange line.

The Cricketone Chorus-The Snowflake Song

Now, you have to listen to it before proceeding...

The lyrics seem innocent enough:

Timble Tumble Little Snowflake High Up In The Sky
Drifting Dancing Slowly
Earthward Like A Cotton Butterfly

Whirling Swhirling Pretty Snowflake Landing In My Hand
How You Change The Whole World
In To Nature's Winter Wonderland

Every Snowflake Has A Shape That's All It's Own
There Are Never Two The Same
White As Day Up To The Sun A Silver Throne.

The lyrics seem innocent enough so far, but what is the next line???

The snow flakes put the Jews to shame????

Then something about Helter Skelter. Which could mean that the snow flakes are falling in hurried confusion or perhaps there is something more sinister at work here since the Jews were "displaced" in Germany and spent time in what are also known as "Helter Skelter" camps. Helter Skelter PURE WHITE SNOW FLAKE? What is this about a pure race of white snow flakes???

Trust me, I've listened to this SEVERAL TIMES, desperately trying to find another meaning in the lyrics. I had to have misheard them! So I did a trusty Google search...obviously, I am wrong, and the lyrics posted online will be RIGHT!

Allthelyrics.com has a different interpretation of that line… “the snow flakes put THEIR JUICE to shame” instead….but what the hell does that mean? Snow flakes put their juice to shame? WHAT? What juice? They hate their orange juice so they put it to shame? IT MAKES NO DAMNED SENSE! And listen to it closely…listen to it a dozen times over like I have…there is no way that they are singing “THEIR.” They sing “THE.” So either it’s they put THE JUICE to shame or THE JEWS to shame.

Or, I hope to GOD, something else nobody else has picked up on so far!

"Their juice" makes absolutely no sense to me, and I doubt it does to the person who submitted it to allthelyrics.com. Not that putting Jews to shame with a Helter Skelter makes any more sense in a Christmas song, but geez, at least I can wrap my head around that.

While on the topic of misheard lyrics, let’s take “Oh Holy Night.”

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.

ERROR??? I believe it’s “e’re,” shortened version of EVER for poetic purposes that has not really been in our vocabulary for several years now, but was a common word when this song was written. ERROR pining? Who the hell thought that should be the word used in the online lyrics?

I really have nothing to back me up on that…it’s not like I went to the library to get a book with old carols with original lyrics. It’s not that deep to me, folks. I am just saying which makes more sense to you… “ERROR pining” or “E’RE pining?” EVER pining is something I can wrap my head around.

I wonder about these lyrics posted online sometimes, I really do!

I also apologize for not posting more this past month. I had to get this in today so I could remain true to the Twelve Months of Christmas! Would you believe I FINALLY got caught up on all the Christmas music I got last year and then some, though? So I have some pretty long lists of compilations I want to post on this site over the course of the next several months, so be sure to check back for more Christmas goodness.

I also have some other goodies in mind for future posts, and promise to post more often in the future!


Anonymous said...

Re: O Holy Night, every written version I've ever seen had "sin and error". The original French doesn't help much, because the English is a paraphrase, rather than a translation. The French line is "Pour effacer la tache originelle", which translates as "To erase the stain of original sin" My guess is that the paraphrase used "sin and error" to have the same accent structure as the French. It may also be trying to draw a contrast between "sin" as conscious wrong-doing and "error" as wrong-doing because of not knowing God's way, i.e., the Gentiles. Christ comes to address both conditions. At any rate, "error" is all I've ever known, and seems to make sense.

Which is more than I can say for juicy, or possibly anti-semitic snowflakes.

Chris in Cary

Anonymous said...

Okay, after thinking way too long about snowflakes, I think I have an idea. The lead-in lyrics are talking about every snowflake having its own shape, no two ever the same, etc. Snowflakes are six-pointed stars. Stars of David are six-pointed stars. Stars of David all have straight sides, and all look alike. Therefore (by a long reach) snowflakes put the Jews to shame. It's a pretty stupid idea, and somebody could have thought about the rhyming line a lot more, but it isn't totally insane. And helter-skelter was a lot more innocent a word before the Beatles and Charles Manson got hold of it. I think your original idea is right...they're falling in hurried confusion.

Chris in Cary

Anonymous said...

Re: Jews/Juice

I believe she is singing "jewels" not Jews or juice. The "l" in jewels is barely audible, but i played the section at half speed and I do believe that she is singing jewels.

Snowflakes putting jewels to shame sounds both poetic and benign.

The two lines in question i believe are:

"Like a spray of jewels upon a silver throne." (Instead of white...throne.)

"But the snowflakes put the jewels to shame"

Noma Lights

Anonymous said...

Noma Lights, I think you are right. Makes much more sense that way.

Chris in Cary

robert said...

As pointed out by another post, you're wrong about the line from "O Holy Night." Pays to check your facts. (And the profanity is unnecessary.)

As indicated, Placide Cappeau's original French version of the line in question was "Pour effacer la tache originelle"--more literally, "To erase the original stain [i.e. of sin]."

The song we sing in English is a paraphrase or adaptation. (Trying to do a literal translation would have meant horrendous problems with rhyme and metre.)

Incidentally, today is the 201st anniversary of Cappeau's birth.

disa said...


Anonymous said...

Thought I'd help out. The world lay long in sin and error "binding". In other words, bound by sin and error, till He appeared, and yadda yadda. My ninth grade chorale sheet told me so.

Anonymous said...

This has to be the most fascinating song and discussion thread I've come across all season.