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When I was in year 1 at primary school (aged 5) we had to go to assembly with the whole school, but weren't given hymnbooks to help us sing the songs as most of couldn't read well enough yet. As a result, for years I sang "Dance, dance, wherever you may be, I am the lord of the dance settee". I assumed a "dance settee" was a place where you could be really comfortable, warm, etc, and were allowed to jump on the furniture!
I used to think that Orientar was a place, as in "We three kings from Orientar"
i used to think that when we sang ' sing hosana sing hosana' in assemblies at school that we was singing about my friends mum who was called rosanna!!! and i used to be so jealous that her mum was so special to be in a song!!!
I still remember singing "Oh, Santa" -- instead of "Hosanna". Was I embarassed when my Grandmother corrected me!
When I was little, there was a song called "Lord, Teach Us To Pray". I couldn't read and always thought the words were "with our pots and pans all busy in our private little homes". Years later when I could read, I realized the words were "with our hearts and hands all heavy in our private little wars".
I went to church every Sunday my whole life because my dad was a preacher but still it did not occur to me until I was in 5th grade that there was no hymn called "Standing on the Last" - that was just what our music leader would say when he introduced each hymn so everyone would rise on the last verse.
Like many others here, I too used to wonder what the deal was with the cross-eyes bear named Gladly. Boy am I relieved to see I'm not the only one who was miguided!
When I was younger, I didn't understand the words to many of the hymns we sang in church, but there was one that just couldn't be mistaken. When this particular hymn was sung, I would stand, and proudly, whole-heartedly, and in my best, loudest voice sing...."Bringing in the sheep, bringing in the sheep; we will come rejoicing, bringing in the sheeeeeeep."
When my sister was about 6 at Christmas time, she came home from school and sang us a carol she had just learned.
She started alright with 'Ding Dong merrily on high'
but unfortunately finished with 'Hosannah in his trousers'
When I was young when ever I heard the Christmas song Away in a Manger, I thought the Noel Noel chorus, meant that that the baby Jesus had no well, and therefore had no water to drink. I felt very sad for him.
In about the 7th grade my friends and I would never be able to make it through church with a straight face whenever the congregation sang the hymn "Lead On Oh King Eternal". It always sounded like they were singing "Lead On, Oh Kinky Turtle." - Still makes me laugh!
I used to believe that when we sang the hymn Surely Goodness and Mercy Will Follow You, that we were singing about Shirley and Mercy following us.
We used to sing a Brownie song that had said "Dear God, teach us to love thee best of all." All through school I thought it said "Teachers do love me best of all!" -and would sing this at the top of my voice! cringe!
This one belongs to my wife. When she was growing up her church sang a song that went,"Everyday I'm camping, in the land of Canaan. I'm camping, I'm camping, in Canaan's happy land." She thought it went,"Everyday I'm cramping in the land of Canaan. I'm cramping, I'm cramping, in Canaan's happy land." Which begs the questions: Why were they cramping and how could they be happy?
My brother was born when I was 2 and wouldn't slepp through the night, so we had to be extremely quiet if he ever did manage to nod off. So, when I heard "away in a manger" I honestly believed, for a good few years, the the lyrics were "the kettle is boiling, the baby awakes..." as opposed to the cattle are lowing etc! We had an old fashioned whistling kettle at the time, which may have helped me on the way to that belief!
I also used to mishear the words to 'Lord Of The Dance'. We had an old Dansette record player, & I thought the words were 'I am the lord of the Dansette' (pronounced Dan-Set-ee)
As a kid at primary school aged about 5 i used to sign "brother no one built the ark" instead of the correct "brother Noah built the ark"
There was this one hymn that my church always sang. It went, "Our heavenly father,"
I always sang it "Our harily father,"
I pictured God as some hairy guy, just covered in fur.
I only found out the correct lyrics two years ago.
When I was young and went to church I used to believe entirely that God's first name was Peter., at the end of every prayer the whole congregation seemed to me to be saying,
"thanks Peter God" of course it was really "thanks be to God".
There's a line in a school hymn that goes 'I wait with baited breath' - I thought that meant the hymn writer's breath smelled of maggots.