When we hear Jimi Hendrix sing, "'scuse me while I kiss this guy," or John Fogarty croon, "there's a bathroom on the right," we're creating a mondegreen: "a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung."
Mondegreen was first coined by author Sylvia Wright in 1954 in Atlantic magazine, when she confessed to a childhood misinterpretation of the Scottish ballad 'The Bonny Earl of Moray.' When she first heard the lyric "they had slain the Earl of Moray and had laid him on the green," she felt terribly sorry for the "poor Lady Mondegreen."
Mondegreen made MW's new words for 2008, and to celebrate, it's collecting mondegreens through July 25, after which time it will publish the best of them.
The only one that occurs to me offhand is the one that puzzled me for years (until the internet cleared it up), part of the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen's "Blinded by the Light" as performed by Manfred Mann's Earth Band, which sounded to me like "wrapped up like a douche in the middle of the night."
The real lyrics, apparently, are "cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night."
I'm not sure that I'm any less puzzled by the real lyrics.
What's your mondegreen?