There are some things in life that are so comical that no matter how hard you might try to live them down, they just keep reappearing. When I was in my teens I clearly remember driving with my mom and sisters when the song ‘American Pie’ came on the radio. There we were, five women singing along to our hearts content when my mom very sincerely belts out: "Go machette to ma-letty but ma-letty was dry" … WHAT? Suddenly we find ourselves in a pool of tears from laughing so hard. "Mom? did you just say ‘go machette to ma-letty?" I squeek out through my laughter. "Why? Was that wrong?" Wrong? What does it mean? Go Machette to Ma-Letty? What is a ma-letty and why with a machette? Oh my word, to this day I can’t even think of that song without laughing as if it just happened.
High school: Pinball wizard – I don’t know all the right words but I’ll be dipped if I am going to admit that. Singing away in the bedroom I share with my sister Ann, listening to KRSP (the funky cool station of the day). Ann: "What does he say there? I can’t understand the words." Me, (wanting to know-it-all because Annie is so much smarter, funnier and popular), "Shore plays good with those balls." Ann: "Huh, ok". One day Ann calls home from Utah State to tell me that the words we have been singing to ‘Pinball Wizard’ are all wrong … Good ‘ol Elton is NOT singing about playing with his balls, no, that pinball wizard "sure plays a mean pinball". Ewww, whole different meaning and we have been singing this in public! Actually, I had figured out the real words prior to the phone call but being the younger, more self-conscious and totally selfish one, didn’t bother to update my sister. I recall doing this to her on multiple occasions…Sorry Annie!
Now the very best time for a sing-a-long has to be the road trip. Long hours in the car, radio, CD, DVD’s, whatever. They all have music that just begs to be sung. Sing I do and always, always, get the lyrics wrong! Always! How is it that a semi-intelligent, grown woman, can be so bad at deciphering lyrics? I’ll be singing along, enjoying the scenery, only to spot Mr. Farish out of the corner of my eye giving me that quizical look … then the grin … then the head shake. I keep singing and pretend I did it on purpose. Occasionally "Go Machette" will pop into my brain as one (or worse, all) of my kids will question: "Did you just sing …" "yes. yes I did. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. But just to be sure you know the right words, what are they?" No one is ever fooled and just like that, I have inadvertantly created fodder for some later date that will be revisited for years to come.
So here I sit thinking I should probably site an example or two of my own but the problem is, I get so many songs wrong that I am truly not sure which ones I have botched. I guess I’ll have to take another road trip with the fam in order to figure that out.