Misheard Hymns, Part Two

By Dante Witt Published on April 3, 2018

Last year I wrote a catalog of hymns people had misheard as children. After that article was published, many of you came forward with hilarious examples of your own hymn mondegreens (misheard lyrics). Here are some of the highlights:

Product Placements

For kids raised in a consumer culture, it must seem obvious: Profuse praise indicates the presence of a sellable product!

  • “What a friend we have in Cheezits!” Well, yeah. Because Cheetos leave orange stains on your Sunday clothes.
  • “OOOOOReo … Oreo! In egg shells this day-o.” (“Gloria in excelsis Deo.”) Egg shells? Maybe it was Easter Sunday.
  • You can hope to live up to “It is well with my soul.” Or, you can settle for “It is well with Lysol.” Whatever her lot, at least her bathroom is clean.
  • “Is thy heart right with God?” Yes? Then how about “Is Die Hard right with God?” This boy was concerned about batteries, not Bruce Willis. He grew up to be a professor of vocal music at a Christian university, and a big fan of careful elocution.
  • “Love Lipton tea!” the Southern version of “Love lifted me!”
  • Or, from the international crowd, “Because he loved miso.”
  • To which the Italians reply: “Lasagna! Lasagna! Lasagna in the highest!”
  • Some of us just want to get through breakfast: “And help you all your Cornflakes through” for “And help you all your conflicts through.”
  • And then there’s “Crust of old bread,” an unfortunate — and perhaps revealing — mishearing of “Trust and obey.”
  • “Bring forth the royal diet, then…”.(“Bring forth the royal diadem.”) Since we’ve already tried paleo and South Beach. 
  • “Away in a manger, no crisps for a bed.” Well, I guess both versions are true. And I guess he won’t be tempted to break his royal diet.

Animals

Noah’s Ark, Noah’s Ark. Children know about that, and fill their hymns with animals.

  • “O come, O come, Immanuel, and random cats in Israel.” Not particular cats, mind you. And not all cats. (“O come, o come, Immanuel, and ransom captive Israel”)
  • “Lead On Oh Kinky Turtle.” Well, people have followed stranger things. (“Lead On Oh King Eternal”)
  • “Glory now, bees hold him and rise.” Bees lifting someone off the ground would be amazing. But glorious? I don’t know. (“Glory now, behold him arise.”)
  • “I don’t know what a chicken can do but I came to praise the Lord.” In the spirit of experimentation, I guess we could bring a chicken in and find out. (“I don’t know what you came to do but I came to praise the Lord.”) 

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Warning! Beware

Some of the hymns took an ominous turn.

  • “Wise up, O men of God.” For “Rise up, o men of God.” Do both. Why not? You men could do more of both, right?
  • “Watch out, it’s probably a man!” for “What shall it profit a man.” This kid definitely knew about stranger danger.
  • “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, wrote a letter to the wrong one.” A Bible memorization song that makes us wonder if we were even intended recipients of the gospels. Whoa. (“Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, Acts and the letter to the Romans.”)
  • “God rest ye, merry gentlemen; let none of you display.” Those so-called gentlemen are sounding like hooligans. Remember Christ our savior was born on Christmas day! So knock it off, guys!
  • “The seats they do hear us, O Lord.” Hey, if I thought my seat could hear me I’d sure be telling God about it. (“We beseech thee to hear us, O Lord.”)
  • “I was sinking in quicksand” for “I was sinking deep in sin.” Would we pray a little sooner if sin grabbed our ankles?
  • “Are you sowing the seed of the king, dumb brother?” Well-meaning, perhaps, but tactless. (“Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother?”)
  • “Let angel’s prostate fall.” Because if a low PSA is good for Grandpa, surely it’s good for angels too.

Any Others?

Feel free to share your own in the comments section. Not on a private Facebook page, please — let us all have a laugh. And maybe I’ll put together a third collection.

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  • Ken Abbott

    Gladly the Cross-Eyed Bear (“Gladly the cross I’d bear”), a distant relation of Clarence the cross-eyed lion from the old “Daktari!” television series.

  • Hmmm…

    One of my little nieces asked if the family could sing “Te He Reigns” during their family devotion. The puzzled parents, when told they all sang it in church all the time, asked the little dear to let them know the next time it was sung. Why sure enough “… for the Lord our God the almight-TE HE REIGNS.” 🙂

  • Phillip Eugene Clark

    ‘trust and don’t bang’ I suppose if you Trust and Obey, you won’t be banging on anything.

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