The Lyrics of Listening (Do You Hear What I Hear?)

We were up to our elbows in peach juice as we peeled, quartered, and cooked down one bushel of peaches into 30 pints of jam. The Steely Dan channel was cranking out some great sing-a-longs from the ‘70’s. We were peeling and stirring and taste testing and jamming away (see what I did there!) when my man looks at me and says…

Did you just say moonshine?

Yeah. Isn’t that what they’re saying? 

He just smiled. 

A half a bushel of peaches and a few songs later…

Did you say building all the castles in mind?

Yeah. What do you think they’re saying? 

Something about jasmine but definitely not castles. 

The next day, we figured out the titles to both songs and looked up the lyrics. 

The first song is Dancing in the Moonlight with the title all throughout the verses as well as the chorus. But hey, if I’m dancing with some moonshine, everybody WILL feel warm and bright. It WOULD be a fine and natural sight if everybody danced with some moonshine! 

The second song I may have rewritten is called Summer Breeze and they were not, in fact building castles in their minds but rather that summer breeze that makes me feel fine was blowin’ jasmine through my mind. Maybe I’m anticipating the next Outlander book coming out in November…Scottish castles and Jamie Fraser but I heard what I heard and jasmine was nowhere to be found. 

I’ve been known to get a lyric or two wrong before. I thought for sure Van Halen was saying animal instead of panama which coincidentally is also the title of said song. 

I’m not the only one. Here’s a few more I found on the internet. See if you can pick up on what the actual words are or recognize the song. I’ll put the answers at the bottom of the page. No cheating!

  1. Dancing queen, feel the beat of the tangerine.
  2. Let’s pee in the corner. Let’s pee in the spotlight. 
  3. Kickin’ your cat all over the place. 
  4. These ants are my friends, they’re blowin’ in the wind. 
  5. It doesn’t make a difference if we’re naked or not. 
  6. Rock the cat box. 
  7. Wrapped up like a douche, another rumor in the night. 
  8. Then I saw her face now I’m gonna leave her. 

It’s funny how we can listen to the same song, at the same volume, in the same room, doing the same task and hear something different. 

I feel like that’s the world we live in today. I wish it were as lighthearted and simple as wrong lyrics to a song. Sigh. Unfortunately, it’s with most everything. We’re all losing our religion because I’m crying out to be noticed (that’s me in the corner) and you think I’ve told you to pee there or in the spotlight. Bigger sigh. 

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How do we listen better? How do we really hear what someone is trying to tell us? Here are ten quick things you can do (or not do) to become a better listener: 

Be Fully Present by putting your phone down. Nothing says I’d rather be elsewhere than checking your phone every time it dings. 

Pay Attention by facing the person, making eye contact and watching your body language. Nod your head, smile or other appropriate facial expressions. Stay engaged. 

Practice Reflecting instead of Deflecting by asking for more information, how did that make you feel or how did they react to that?  We can bounce back what they’ve told us by using language like, what I hear you saying is…, or if I’m hearing you right, this is how you took that. 

So often we want to give our opinion here or share a personal story when really we need to find out more information or may be there to simply listen. 

Ask Direct Questions…Even the Obvious Ones. Jesus had a way of getting rid of distractions with trenchant questions. To the blind beggar Bartimaeus he asked, What do you want me to do for you? To the disciples of John the Baptist, as they crept along behind him, attracted yet cautious: What do you seek?  To the man who had been disabled for 38 years: Do you want to get well? 

Sometimes obvious questions or questions that have “obvious” answers lead to the most interesting conversations. We never want to assume we know the answer when we’re trying to be good listeners. 

Realize You Don’t Have to Always Have a Wise Response. Many times a person needs to know they are heard. They aren’t looking for you to have all the answers. Simply listening is sometimes the most loving thing you can do. I see this after I’ve sat across from a woman and listened to her story or why she wanted to talk with me. There is such a burden lifted off the other person just by feeling heard…no wisdom given or needed…just two ears and zipped lip. 

Realize You Don’t Have to Understand Everything. I don’t have to get it or you to be able to hear what you’re saying, feeling or struggling with. There’s a lot I don’t understand and yet, I can be there for you with those same two ears and zipped lip. 

Realize You Don’t Have to Evaluate and Interpret Everything. I’m so glad for this one! I don’t have to figure it all out for you (or have that wise response) or decipher a life code. But I can sit in it with you and listen. 

Realize You Don’t Have to Keep the Conversation Lively. You aren’t at a party or trying to entertain someone. Sometimes silence is the most sacred space you can share with someone. 

Realize the Value of the Person You’re Listening To. The person I’m listening to is made in God’s image. If we remember that, we don’t have to agree with them to be a person who listens well. Don’t come in with a preconceived opinion because of their religious or political view or life-style choice or skin color or whatever it is that makes you different from them. The moment we label, we limit. 

Understand the Sacredness of Holding That Space. The person sitting opposite me is always somewhat of a mystery. For her to share her story, her thoughts, her ideas is a chance to realize what an honor it is to be there, sitting with her in it. 

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By the end of our peach jamming day, we were both exhausted in the best way. We each had a drink of choice and were discussing how hateful the world can be today with everyone chiming in with their opinions. When my man said…

You know what the world needs? 

What?

More people drinking a glass of wine and singing some Earth, Wind and Fire…even if they get the lyrics wrong sometimes. We need more people singing. 

I agree. 

So. How many did you get right? Here are the answers to the lyric bloopers from above. 

  1. Dancing Queen by Abba is not feeling the beat of the tangerine but rather the tambourine! 
  2. Losing My Religion by REM. It’s terrible advice to pee in the corner or in the spotlight. Singer Michael Stripe is telling us, that’s me in the corner. (Don’t pee on him either.) 
  3. We Will Rock You by Queen is kicking your can all over the place. No cats were harmed in the making of this song. 
  4. Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan is not friends with ants but what is blowin’ in the wind are these answers my friend. 
  5. Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi. The fictional couple Tommy and Gina remain fully clothed for all we know but weren’t sure if they remained a couple because it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not. 
  6. Rock the Casbah by the Clash. A Casbah is a North African castle or fortress. But if you’re cleaning out the litter box, you can rock the cat box too 
  7. Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. Spotify named this Bruce Springsteen cover as the most misquoted song lyric with over half of listeners getting the words wrong. He is singing, Revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.
  8. I’m a Believer by the Monkees. Her face was fine and made him a believer. No hearts were broken! 

kw

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