October 2018


In the aftermath of Saturday's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, here are some community and online resources you might be able to use:


  • The Resolve Crisis Network is a 24-hour crisis and mental health helpline with trained crisis experts at your service. Their phone number is 1-888-7YOUCAN (796-8226).




  • Advice for parents in talking to their children about mass shootings: here and here.




 Ghosts and ghouls and monsters and maybe even Yoda are coming for you!


 They'll be heading up your doorstep on Halloween to ring your bell and shout "trick or treat!" at you. You are busy   preparing your kingdom for the invasion by stocking up on bags and bags of variously-shaped sugary items. And   decorating everything with fake cobwebs. And maybe prepping your own frightful costume. The last thing you need to   add to your Halloween to-do list is to make a playlist of music to play through your front window as you hand out candy.   So we've got you covered, with a WYEP-curated Spotify playlist of fun music that's spooky enough for the occasion but   not too scary to make a pint-sized Spiderman or Ariel run away in tears.



However, you might be the sort of person who enjoys a good, occasional peek across the River Styx and see what terrors lie beyond. So we put together another set of music that we call our Seriously Creepy playlist. This one has songs that are a bit more freaky. Enjoy this one in the witching hour, preferably with thunder in the distance and a disconcerting creak emanating from your floorboards.





September 25th is National One-Hit Wonder Day, a day to celebrate artists who only hit the top 40 of the U.S. pop chart on one single occasion. Some of these artists only had one song of note in their resume, while others are legends of rock, country, rap (or some other genre) but only had a brief and possibly flukish flirtation with pop listeners.


Obviously, there are a great many artists who neither court nor care about top 40 chart success. The fact that the Grateful Dead, Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Emmylou Harris, and Patti Smith each only had one top 40 pop hit to date is a mere footnote to their long and storied careers. But it is fascinating to note those occasions when their art intersected with mainstream interest.


Other members of the one-hit wonder club are seen as amusing novelties. The Buggles, Steam, Dexys Midnight Runners, The Lemon Pipers, Kajagoogoo, and Right Said Fred (perhaps better known by their respective single hits “Video Killed the Radio Star,” Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” “Come On, Eileen,” “Green Tambourine,” “Too Shy,” and “I’m Too Sexy”) seem lucky to even have that one hit by which people remember them.


But let’s take a peek into an even more exclusive club: artists who have managed the unusual feat of topping the American singles chart but never again made even one appearance in the pop chart at all (a.k.a., the “hot 100”).


“Surely,” you might think, “if an artist had the skills and/or luck to get to #1, they'd have some further or previous success, right? Even if they never manage another top 40 hit, surely they’d be at least be able to sneak in a #99 single sometime!”


While that is usually true, it turns out that the feat has been accomplished a number of times.


Some of the instances this has happened have been technical, in that a one-off star duo hit #1 without any other charting single under that duo name: Barbra & Neil, Brandy & Monica, Dionne & Friends, Puff Daddy & Faith Evans. I throw these occasions out the window as not truly a #1-and-done.


Similarly, the chart-topping 1992 hit from the TV show The Heights, "How Do You Talk To An Angel" could fall under this category as well. The lead singer, Jamie Walters, also had a #16 solo hit two years later.


Another ad hoc band that was #1-and-done was USA For Africa with "We Are the World." But, again, I don’t consider this a true example as it was a project always intended to only record one song.


A borderline case is "Slow Motion" by the rapper Juvenile. Although Juvenile had other hits, “Slow Motion” was officially credited as “featuring Soulja Slim.” Soulja Slim, who had died prior to the song’s release, never had another song in the hot 100. However, he isn’t included in the list below as he is not the primary artist for the single.


Here are, then, the occasions when this feat has truly happened, when an artist topped the U.S. singles chart and never appeared in the hot 100 before or since:


1958 – The Elegants, “Little Star”



1963 – The Singing Nun, “Dominique”



1969 – Zager & Evans, "In the Year 2525"



1979 – M, "Pop Muzik"



1982 – Vangelis, "Chariots of Fire"



1985 – Jan Hammer, "Miami Vice Theme"



1988 – Bobby McFerrin, "Don't Worry, Be Happy"



1989 – Sheriff, “When I’m With You”



2001 – Crazy Town, "Butterfly"



2006 – Daniel Powter, "Bad Day"




A fascinating, if perhaps dubious, accomplishment for all!

WYEP has been on the search for your most hilarious, embarrassing and downright weird mondegreens (misheard lyrics). You can share yours here. To jog your memory, WYEP's on-air hosts have graciously offered their most exasperating tales of personal mondegreen-woe. Sit back, relate and LOL away the day with these very funny misheard lyrics from people who should probably know better. 

Kyle Smith
Music Director/Midday Mix Host
Mondegreen: Neil Diamond, "Forever in Blue Jeans" (well, techincally it's his mom's)

There were plenty of misheard lyrics growing up on A.M. radio in southern MN.  Somehow I think the scratchiness of the signal played into mishearing some of the lyrics, and made for some pretty good laughs with my family.  It was around 1979 when I first heard a new single titled ”Forever in Blue Jeans” from Neil Diamond, while riding in the car with my mother.  It was a pretty straightforward Country-pop tune that Neil was known for.  Somehow my mother heard the lyrics as “A Reverend In Blue Jeans” and a few weeks later caught her signing that.  I argued and laughed about what she thought she’d heard and my mother was adamant about her version being the correct one.  There was no quick way to check at the time, so there was quite the debate until I called an on-air dj, then purchased the 45’ at the record store at the mall for my mom for Christmas that year.  We still laugh about it to this day.

Joey Spehar
Morning Mix Host
Mondegreen: Rod Stewart (kind of) and Dobie Gray, "Drift Away"

I used to think Jack Reynolds was my dad. He’s not. He just sang back-up on a Rod Stewart song. My parents, both together and separately, used to rock a lot of Rod Stewart tapes in the car when I was a kid. My mom’s a church organist and choir director, so hearing her sing was never out of the question. My dad, however, never really belted it. He would just tap his foot on the side of the brake pedal and turn it up a notch or two. Having said that, I always noticed him quietly singing along to “Country Comfort,” the Elton John cover on Gasoline Alley. I always liked hearing him in the background and just assumed that was the one that really, really spoke to him.

Fast forward to age 16. My own car. My own copies of Rod Stewart albums (although this time on CD). I’m cruising along and enjoying the music when “Country Comfort” comes on and, suddenly, I feel a little freaked out. I’m completely alone, yet there’s my dad singing along with Rod. The hell?? Turns out it was never my dad. I popped out the booklet from the CD case and checked the credits and saw that it was some guy named Jack Reynolds the whole time. I’ve probably only heard my dad sing “Happy Birthday” and my whole life is a lie.

I know that’s not technically a mondegreen, but it’s all I could think of until tonight. October 10, 2018. One night before this assignment is due.

I got a notification from WYEP’s Twitter on my phone. It was someone suggesting their own misheard song lyric. “Give me the Beach Boys and free my soul,” they said. The hell??? That’s not a misheard lyric. That’s “Drift Away.” I immediately dismiss this @nhodgeness person as misinformed and pull the lyrics up online and there it is: “Give me the beat boys and free my soul.” It turns out me and Dobie have not been singing the same thing all these years and my entire life IS a lie.

Cindy Howes
Digital Content Manager/Evening Mix Host

Mondegreen: Live, "Lightning Crashes"

I really loved “Lightning Crashes” from Live’s Throwing Copper album (I stole the CD from my brother). I was so proud that I learned all the words and felt every one of them. I loved the chorus: “Oh now feel it comin' back again/Like a rollin' thunder chasing the wind” … and I especially loved it when lead singer Ed Kowalczyk changed up the words later in the song to “Like a ruling mother bragging that she’s seen the way.” So. Deep. I contemplated on what a “ruling mother” was and how she got into the position of bragging about seeing the way. This was beyond me. I listen to that song so hard. I’m not quite sure exactly how or when it happened, but I remember being confused about when the “Ruling Mother” chorus came in. It then occurred to me that I had heard it incorrectly (WHOOPS). However, I actually think my version with the “Ruling Mother” chorus is far superior to the recorded version, so I stand by my initial interpretation. 

Mike Sauter
Director of Content
Mondegreen: Every song by The Police

I don’t know if it’s something to do with Sting’s voice or singing style, but The Police have often been a source of mondegreens. Some people have heard their song “Canary in a Coalmine” as “let’s get married in a coalmine.” In “Message in a Bottle,” my sister once thought that the line “a year has passed since I wrote my note” was “a year has passed since I broke my nose.”

After I first heard “Every Breath You Take,” I misheard “how my poor heart aches with every breath you take” and thought it was “I’m a pool hall ace with every breath you take.” It makes zero sense, but not all lyrics always makes sense, you know?

I realized my mistake a few years later, but flash forward to about 15 years after “Every Breath You Take” was a new song, and I was playing the song on a radio station in New Jersey. I admitted to listeners my misheard line from the song, and as soon as I got off the mic, the phone rang and a guy sheepishly told me, “Man, until you just said that right now, I have always thought it was ‘I’m a pool hall ace.’ “

So I’m glad it wasn’t just me. And that it didn’t take me 15 years to find out my mistake.

Brian Siewiorek
Production Director
Mondegreen: Nine Inch Nails, "Kinda I Want To" (on purpose!)

If I have any stories in my childhood about a misheard lyric, they were definitely tainted by a book I received in High School called, “Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy: And Other Misheard Lyrics”.  The book’s title is a mondegreen in itself, a reference to incorrect Jimi Hendrix lyrics to “Purple Haze”. I was a burgeoning music nerd at this point in my life and even today when I hear some of the songs mentioned in the book, I think of the misheard lyrics.  A standout favorite was from Sade’s “Sweetest Taboo” - the lyric, “There’s a quiet storm that is you” was misheard as “There’s a croissant that is you”. The book inspired a game with a friend, where we began to make song lyrics more absurd by changing only one word in them repeatedly.  For example, on Nine Inch Nails’ “Kinda I Want To”, we changed all the uses of the word “to” to “shoes” with pretty hilarious results, or so we thought. For example: “kinda I want shoes/ Maybe just for tonight/We can pretend it's alright/What's the price I pay/I don't care what they say/I want shoes!”  Actually, this to/shoes mix-up works pretty well for all of the songs on Nine Inch Nails’ “Pretty Hate Machine”.

From Merriam-Webster:

Definition of let go of:

to stop holding or gripping (something or someone)
Let go of my hand. —often used figuratively
You need to let go of the past.

What are you holding onto that is no longer serving you? How would it feel to let it go? We carry around a lot of unnecessary guilt, shame, anger and pain. We hold our own selves back from achieving happiness and contentment. For what? Avoiding possible pain, change or losing something you don't want to give up?

Meditation teacher Jack Kornfield says, "To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own."

A season's change is a wonderful time to work on letting go. Is it corny to say that just like the trees shedding their leaves, we can also shed what is holding us back? It probably is, but I said it anyway. And yes, as part of our "WYEP Presents" restorative series, we've curated a looooong playlist featuring songs about "Letting go," "Release" and "Surrender." Thanks for your suggestions! More restorative playlists to come! If you have a suggestion for a restorative playlist topic, please let me know!

xo - Cindy

"You're much more than the struggle that you go through
You're not defined by your pain, so let it go
You' re not a victim, your more like a winner
And you're not in defeat, you're more like a queen."

- Mary J. Blige, "Each Tear"