We've mentioned "mondegreens" a few times before on this blog; a mondegreen is defined as the mishearing of a song lyric, replacing a word or line of text with something that sounds almost exactly like it. Common examples include "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" from Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" being misheard as "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy," and "There's a bad moon on the rise" from Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising" behind misheard as "There's a bathroom on the right." Snopes.com also has a wonderful collection of holiday mondegreens at its site, which was where I discovered the term.
But now there's a new kind of mondegreen going around, and it involves the mishearing of foreign language songs into English, and that was the subject of a discussion at Althouse yesterday, which I missed because I was too busy blogging SNL. Evidently, I'm late to the party all over on this one, because it's been going around the Internet for a whole two months (which adds up to eons for a meme like this).
Here's what happened: A guy who calls himself Buffalax took the video to a song by a popular Indian artist, Prabhu Deva Sundaram (who's been called the" Michael Jackson of India" for his impressive dance moves), and, instead of trying to translate it from its original language of Tamil, instead made subtitles for what he thought the words sounded like in English. So is your loony bun really fine? Benny Lava wants to know:
(If you can't get the video to launch, go here to watch it.)
The actual title of the song is "Kalluri Vaanil," but pretty much everyone knows it as "Benny Lava" now, and Buffalax (who has done similar things with other songs of this type) has become synoymous with this new type of foreign-language mondegreen. I couldn't stop laughing when watching this, even after multiple viewings, and I bet it will affect you the same way.
I won't spoil the video by posting my favorite lines here; instead, I'll do so in the comments. Feel free to chime in with your own as well.
A jack (of all trades) with the box: Althouse also links to a video by a guy named Joe Raciti, who sings and accompanies himself on instruments made out of cardboard. More of his videos can be found here.
Blowing out the candles: Happy birthday to my former student David F., as well as some alumni of our college program, Josh and Juli, who were born on the same day 30 years ago.