Back when I was a young’un, my parents would send me off to CCD classes to supplement my regular schooling with the Catholic church’s religious education. I can’t say that I really got that much out of it; I certainly don’t self-identify as a Catholic and ironically, neither of my parents go to church anymore either. But the one thing I do remember is the image similar to the one on the right.
On one of the windowsills of my classroom, there was a wood carving similar to this, with all the funky shapes rising up from a base piece of wood. Every week I could come in and look at this and wonder what exactly it was and why it was there. Then one day, the point of the carving dawned one me and I realized that the funny shapes were incidental to the negative space, which spelled out, “Jesus.” From that point on, I could never see this as a bunch of odd looking shapes again, no matter how hard I tried.
That brings us to the Gang of Four’s, “I Found That Essence Rare.” This song might have been our introduction to the world of mis-heard lyrics. For the first year or two that I listened to this song, I came up with one or two awesomely bad variations of the words in the chorus. I’d tell you all about it, but for the fact that like the old “Jesus” sign, I can’t even remember what this song sounded like before I got the words straightened out. Rest assured, it was great. Later on this year, we’ll have more great mis-heard lyrics that I do remember.