You Can’t Unhear This Misheard Dirty Lyric in a Popular Christmas Song
Wait! What kind of pie does Brenda Lee want?!
With Black Friday being the official start of the Christmas shopping season and non-stop Christmas music in the stores, let's take a look at a classic Christmas song that has a misheard expletive lyric. In 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree', we hear Brenda Lee sing, "Later we'll have some pumpkin pie and do some caroling,", but why do a lot of people hear a bad word? First, listen to the original line of the song about pumpkin pie and caroling (starting at the 22 second mark),
Now, listen to the line again but prepare yourself to hear Lee sing, "Later we'll have some f***ing pie and we'll do some caroling."
You heard it, didn't you? Unfortunately, once you hear it, you can't unhear it. When you're clued into this misheard lyric, its hard to hear it the other way ever again. But misheard lyrics aren't anything new, like hearing the King of Pop sing that your burgers are the best or Celine Dion going on about hot dogs. (Warning: Some NSFW language in the video)
While its not clear when people started mishearing the pumpkin pie lyric in Brenda Lee's song, knowledge of the offending lyric likely spread through priming, the same way people are convinced the devil is placing messages in songs through backmasking. The idea of priming is hearing something initially and not hear anything different at all, then being told what to listen for and then suddenly you hear it clear as bell because your mind and been primed to look for it. Brian Brushwood and Jason Murphy of the YouTube channel 'The Modern Rogue' recently tackled backmasking and priming, making each other and the viewers hear something that's not actually there.
Bottom line, we're sure Brenda Lee didn't drop the f-bomb in a Christmas classic, but now that you've been primed to hear it, good luck not hearing it again.