Monday, August 10, 2009

Once more time

Would DMB's lover lay down have been worse if DM had gone with the
grammatically correct "lover lie down"? I think it's obvious that
Dylan's "lay lady lay" would have been significantly worse and more
confusing if he had chosen the grammatically correct "lie lady lie."

Obviously "lover lie down" sounds worse, but is that only because
we've heard the song sung incorrectly a million times or because of
the inherent sound difference? In a somewhat related story, I was in
a college a cappella group and we once went on a trip to India. We
performed at a small club in Mumbai and when we finished, we heard the
crowd begin to chant in unison. It took a second before we realized
what they were saying in their accented english...
"Once more time! Once more time!"

I've told this story so many times that my entire extended family and
group of friends will chant this if prompted despite being completely
disconnected from the story. Some of my family members don't even
know the story, but will still chant on. I've now heard the refrain
so many times that it now doesn't sound as hilariously incorrect as it
did that night in Mumbai. While I'm intellectually aware of the
error, that specific grammatical alarm bell no longer rings for me.
That house song "One More Time" can now be "Once more time" and I
would not protest.

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