- For Teachers
Hi, dear helpers,
I am delighted there are some connoisseurs of pop among you.
Here’s Natalie Cole’s evergreen. The highlighted words are suspect.
I love you for your pink Cadillac
Crushed velvet seats
Riding in the back, oozing down the street
Waving to the girls
Peeling out of sight
Some sites give plush velvet seats and feeling out of sight. I think speeding is not impossible either.
Do you happen to know the lyrics?
Thanks in advance.
Crushed velvet is a particular type of thick velvet.
Peeling out is when you accelerate so fast that your tires spin on the pavement. It is also called burning rubber.
Incidentally, Humble, song lyrics are often misheard and misinterpreted. One reason is that there is a lot of interference from the music; another reason is that for poetic reasons, songwriters might use unusual words and sentence structure.
There was at least one DJ on British radio (Bruno Brookes, if memory serves) who often featured what he called "twisted lyrics". Some of them were quite funny: for example, a line in Billy Ocean's hit song Get out of my Dreams, Get into my Car is: "Touch my bumper"; but it sounds like: "Touch my bum, girl".
This idea was taken up by Maxell, who manufactured audio cassettes. Some well-known song plays, and you see someone holding up cue-cards with, well, not quite the real lyrics.
For example, you might hear Desmond Dekker and the Aces singing Israelites: "Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir, / So that every mouth can be fed / Poor me, Israelite". But the cue cards read something like this: "Get up in the morning, shaving for bed, sir / So that every mouse can be fed / Oh, oh, my ears are alight! / At least, I think that's what he's singing / But I didn't use a Maxell tape".
There is actually a word for this type of wordplay: it's called a "mondegreen". The word comes from an article written in Harper's Magazine in the 1950s: the author described how her mother used to read her poems; her favourite included the line "and laid him on the green", but she always misheard it as: "and Lady Mondegreen".
Thanks a million, everybody!
(Monday morning, so good to me
Monday morning it was all I hoped it would be...)
As I use songs in teaching I often face this verification problem, because I have not found a reliable site.
Besides I enjoy singing those tunes to myself. BTW Israelites is also among my favourite, and your info, Rewboss, may come in handy.
I first learned about Mondegreen from Ouisch not long ago.
What I didn't get is those cue-cards. What kind of event was it - a TV show?
The published lyrics seem to vary mainly for Bruce Springsteen's version of Pink Cadillac. You will find both 'plush velvet' and 'feeling out of sight' (depending on the website, as you mentioned). I listened to Springsteen's version and I do think he sings 'feeling' instead of 'peeling'. But 'crushed' appears to be correct for his version, too.
Thank you, Philly.
BTW I thought crushed meant battered. Could it be ambiguous? Or does everybody know the term crushed velvet?
No, it's not ambiguous at all. I'd say any native English speaker will have heard the term "crushed velvet" since this is a specific type of velvet. Whether every native speaker would be able to describe precisely what crushed velvet looks like is perhaps another matter.
But the name itself is actually quite descriptive. Crushed velvet looks very different from just plain ("regular") velvet -- It literally looks as though it's been crushed.
I meant crushed could refer to seats; it might be an unusual collocation ,though.