Ever sing a song for years only to find out you never really knew the lyrics? We did: me and my younger bro, back when we stood together against the world at school grounds & before he started kicking my leg with the front of his “Qoda chama” for a greeting.
Cleaning “the house” was our duty, you see. We were expected to carry the furniture out. Beat the “awara” off the “sofa” (the same “sofa” we weren’t allowed to neither sit on nor lay our sleeping head against the first few weeks it was brought. Like all the colorful plates my mother got from her “Arab” friends as a present, like wives and kids: it was there to be “seen”). We were then expected to broom, mop and wax the floor.
Neither carrying the furniture out, nor beating the dust off the sofa were “happy endeavors”. Still, we gave them the best we got. Our mother, whose “Gosh yene lijoch” we secretly craved for, was the typical Ethiopian mother who wasn’t satisfied a job is well done until she saw blood.
The “cleaning and waxing” part, on the other hand, we out did ourselves in. Not just because an “alenga” hangeth on the wall, signaling what would become of us if our dad failed to see himself on the shiny surface of the wooden floor. But because we loved gliding on the [s’um] waxed floor on the wings of a “bernos”. We loved the sensation tripping and falling gave us. Like “wuha”, like death, it took us down with a giggle.
Giggling and falling. Falling and Tripping. Tripping, giggling and falling. For once, we were allowed to be kids.
Still, there was fatigue involved. And one of those songs that helped ease this fatigue mw and my brother sung whole-heartedly was Billy Ocean’s “When the going gets tough”. I thought it was “among the gangisters”. My brother agreed. We had a special place for it, too, as it featured part of an action-movie we didn’t get to watch back then. So when my dad isn’t there, and we climbed the fence of our communal “gibi” and tried to out-scream the kids in the next “gibi” also hanging from their communal fence, we sung: “Among the gangsters”. I was 23 years old when somebody stopped my carefree singing to ask “what is that you said?”.
They teased me about it for months.
The other was a line from Dereje Kebede’s “YeniGatu Kokeb Aberra”. “Maan Yagidew, maan yitaGeLew” the song went. I heard “Maan yaGidew, maan yitaGeDew”. My luckless brother followed suit. So we shamlessly sung “Maan yaGdew, maan yitaGedew” at the top of our voice. The neighoburing kids fall silent, humbled by the sudden revelation of our godliness — no doubt.
My third, and substitute lyric, for Bizunesh Bekele’s “yeNuro fichie sawq” I’ve mentioned on the post Daddy’s too big a shoe already.
So when i came across a “Song Sung Wrong, Everybody Knows One” section on Reader’s Digest’s May 2009 issue, it was with more than a little mirth i remembered the revised lines mentioned above. The lyrics mentioned by Digest, we probably don’t know. But the following Movie Misquotes from Yahoo! Movies are quite international. See which had you fooled:
Top Ten Lasting Movie (Mis)Quotes
By Access Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, Calif. ….. May 13, 2009
Some of the most quintessential frequently recited movie lines of all time were never even said. Here are ten of the most misquoted movie lines of all time (as compiled by Guardian.co.uk).
10. “Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?”
The Graduate (1967) – The quote in the actual movie was not a question at all. Instead, Benjamin simply stated, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.”
9. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto”
The Wizard of Oz (1939) – The real movie line is slightly different, and less certain. When Dorothy arrived in Oz she said, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.”
8. “If you build it, they will come”
Field of Dreams (1989) – There’s a slight variance from the popular line that is constantly quoted. Instead, the real quote is, “If you build it, he will come.”
7. “Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn”
Gone With the Wind (1939) – Rhett Butler is often misquoted in one of the most popular movie lines of all time. He never says “Scarlett” in the famous line and instead stated, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
6. “Beam me up, Scotty”
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) – The most well known “Star Trek” line, “Beam me up, Scotty” was never actually said in any of the Star Trek films. Instead Kirk said, “Scotty, beam us up.”
5. “Hello, Clarice”
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – The creepy line uttered by Dr. Hannibal Lecter was quite different than it is remembered. He, in fact, said, “Good evening, Clarice.”
4. “Play it again, Sam.”
Casablanca (1942) – Turns out that Humphrey Bogart never said these famous four words. Instead, the closest he came was, “You played it for her, you can play it for me. If she can stand it, I can. Play it!”
3. “Do you feel lucky, punk?”
Dirty Harry (1971) – The actual line in this movie is far less catchy: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”
2. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (1937) – Every day the queen consulted her mirror on the wall, however, instead of the famous quote we remember, she called, “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”
1. “Luke, I am your father”
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – This commonly quoted line, which Darth Vader was known to utter to young Luke Skywalker, was never said at all. The real movie line was “No, I am your father.”