Good King Wenceslas…

img_1760Have you ever completely misinterpreted the lyrics to a song or misheard what someone was saying to you?

I’m sure you have! I often laugh when my fiancé attempts to sing a song and adds his own words into the mix because he has no idea what the correct words are.

I was thinking about this earlier today as I listened to a recording of last year’s Carols from Kings. As a certain carol began to play a wry smile spread across my face.

A few years ago my fiancé and I were driving home, the discussion moved onto Christmas carols and I started to sing the words to ‘Good King Wenceslas’, I’m not sure why, it’s not even a favourite of mine, but I digress… I hadn’t even completed the first line when my fiancé told me I was singing the wrong words!  ‘Of course I’m not!’ I argued indignantly.  I’d been singing the same words for 40 years how could they be wrong? How could I have never noticed?

Once home we immediately turned to the internet to solve this puzzle and ‘yes’ I was indeed wrong, I had spent my childhood and most of my adult life singing ‘Good King Wenceslas last looked out…’ the actual words being, ‘Good King Wenceslas looked out…’ to this day I still think my words are better and far easier to sing.

One memory led to another and I found myself reminiscing about a time when I was in Primary School, I had a teacher, a nun, she was tiny in stature but as ferocious as a lion. One day she was telling me off and called me a ‘tart’, well that’s not quite true, what she actually called me was a ‘tarter’, distraught I sought refuge with a dinner lady and proceeded to ask her what a ‘tart’ was! By my simple misinterpretation of a word I had caused complete chaos, which resulted in a phone call home to my parents so that my teacher could explain what had happened. This teacher must now be in her late 80s but whenever she sees me or my family this story is always brought up, much to her amusement and my embarrassment.

Words are amazing, they enable us to communicate with each other, they allow me to tell my fiancé and family just how much I love them. But they hold an emmense amount of power too so use them wisely and listen carefully before you too start barking up the wrong tree.

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