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When I was about 9, Michael Flatley (the Riverdance guy) released the show "Lord of the Dance" and I remember hearing about it. At around the same point in my life, we used to sing the hymn "The Lord of the Dance" at school masses.
So, obviously whenever we sang "dance then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance, said he" I used to think that Jesus liked Riverdancing and wanted everyone to Riverdance with him.
One of the hymns we used to sing at church said, "fill the heavens with sweet accord, holy, holy, holy lord." When I was little I didn't know what "accord" was, and this led to some wierd associations in my mind. I knew that the type of jelly my family used in sandwiches was Concord, and that was the only other word I knew that sounded at all similar, so I figured that maybe this was just another way to pronouce it. It made sense to me, so I went along for years believing this hymn wanted God to fill Heaven with grape jelly.
I used to think that the three wise men from the song " We three Kings" were from space. In the song the real lyrics go
We three kings of Orient Are
Bearing Gifts, We traveled Afar
But i heard..
We three Kings of Orientar
Bearing Gifts We traveled Afar
i thought that they were the kings of some strange planet call orientar, after all if they came from a different planet they would have traveled afar...
A friend of mine spent a lot of time in church as a child. The hymn lyrics were displayed with an over-head projector. As the pages were swapped, a huge hand appeared mid-air. Logically, she assumed this was the hand of God.
When I was about 4 most of my playmates went to Bible School during the summer, while I, being Catholic, had summer Catecism. I envied the other kids because they always came home singing the best songs - songs like we never got to sing. I especially liked "A little chocolate Jesus makes it right, alright." And my childish brain pictured little chocolate Jesus's, like chocolate Santa's. or chocolate bunnys. It was actually many years later before I heard the song "A little talk with Jesus...." and then realized what the actual words really are.
We had a man in our church named Art Jones and he and his family always sat in the pew in front of ours. I always thought it was pretty presumtuous of the church to sing "How Great Thou Art" when they never sang "How Great Thou Doug" to my dad!
As a young schoolboy of 6 I remember christmas assemblies at school. I really believed that that favourite christmas hymn 'We three Kings of orient are' actually whent like this, "We three Kings of orient are, one in a taxi, one in a car, one on a scooter beeping his hooter smoking a big cigar." Imagine my surprise when i changed to another school that had an overhead projector, and saw the real words for the first time in a christmas hymn service.... i was ten before i realised i had been singing the wrong words for most of my early school life.
A few years ago, I heard my dad sing the song "We Three Kings". He made up his own version, it went like this:
We three kings of Butternut Square,
Trying to sell some cheap underwear,
So fantastic; No elastic,
Ninety nine cents a pair ...
I beleived that the song went like that for a long, long time. I always wondered how a song with a tune that solemn could have such funny lyrics.
In fact, there was a time about a year ago when I had a momentary brain fart and had to ask about a Christmas carol ("We Three Kings"). I said to a friend, "Oh yah, that's the one about the underwear, right?" Needless to say I got a very strage look.
In Sunday school, we sang "Lord of the Dance" and I thought it said that "he danced for the tribes of the Cherokees". I had no idea what Scribes and Pharasees were.I was singing it this way one time, and someone asked me if I was Mormon.I wasn't, and was very confused.
A line from the a christmas carol verse read 'most highly favoured lady' I used to think said 'most highly flavoured gravy'.
I grew up in Louisiana...my family watched the NO Saints on TV all the time...and they would play segments of "When the Saints go marching in" when the team took the field.
and then on Sundays we'd sing the same song in church...I could never figure out why they sang about the NO Saints in church.
(now I know it couldn't have hurt...they needed all the help they could get!)
In a Presbyterian sunday school at the age of 8 or 9, I learned a hymn whose lyrics went:
[i]The Church's one foundation is Jesus Christ, our Lord.
She is the true creation of water and the Word.
From Heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride.
With his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.[/i]
The doctrines proposed in this text were rather unlike anything I had heard before. I gathered that Jesus was married, even if Jesus' wife's name was not preserved by history. Jesus came down from Heaven to marry her. Jesus' wife was created from water, no doubt by a process similar to Eve's creation from Adam's rib. Jesus' watery wife did something bad that Jesus took the rap for when he was crucified.
Remember the line in "Jesus Loves Me" that goes "little ones to him belong"? I still remember singing (at the top of my lungs) "little monsters him be long" and envisioning the Sesame Street muppets.
I used to think the words of Silent Night were (instead of "...'round yon Virgin, mother and Child"), "Brown young virgin bothering child."
In our church, there was a hymn called "Onward Christian Soldiers." The next line of the song was "Marching As to War."
My mom loves to tell the story that when I was little I would sing "Onward Christian Soldiers, Marching through the Door." She claims I must have been a pacifist from an early age.
I remember when I was about 8 I was singing "Deck the Halls" quite loudly at my grandmother's house. I replaced the lyrics "See the blazing yule before us," with "See the grazing mule before us." My family laughed and corrected me, but I assured them that they were wrong. After all, hadn't Mary ridden on a mule to Bethlehem, and, after such a long trip, wouldn't it be hungry?
When I was young (well, up until I was 22 in fact) I always thought that in the popular hymn, the line was "I am the lord of the dancing bee" and not "I am the lord of the dance said he". Bang went my vision of a giant yellow and black striped being with a halo and beard.
As a young child I attended church with my parents. We used to sing a song which had the words "Victorious Christ" in. I always wondered why He was Victoria's and not anyone elses. My dad did an amazing job of keeping a straight facee when I asked him!
When I was little we used to sing a song in church called father Abraham " Father Abraham had many sons and many sons had father Abraham I am one of them and so are you so lets all praise the lord" I thought they were talking about Abraham Lincoln and I always wondered why he was the father of everyone!!!
I used to believe that Goria en Exelcis Deo (the carol) was actually Gloria in A Shell Station. I was always fairly confused as to why, during Christmas Mass, we sang about my Aunt Gloria getting gas. I would sing the lyrics quite loudly in church.