It’s a complete mystery to me. How my five year old nephew can remember the words to every song he hears. How he can recite entire passages from movies verbatim. I don’t understand, he must have a gene I don’t. I can’t even sing a Christmas song completely through without substituting words that sound the same.
I’m what’s called a Lyric Mangler. I’m the guy who sings to every song he hears, and gets only 80% of the words correct. I can hit the notes (most the time), but I can never remember the words. Never. Give me any song, from any era, and I guarantee I will screw it up.
I don’t understand why I have such trouble. I remember telephone numbers I haven’t called in a decade. I can recite Pi up to 12 digits (3.141592653589…), a number I learned in high school almost 20 years ago. I can recognize faces of people I met over all times of my life, and place them in the exact moment I met them.
But I can’t remember their names. I can’t even recite the Pledge of Allegiance or sing America The Beautiful without a cheat sheet. I consistently mangle the lyrics to some of my favorite songs in the world, songs that I’ve heard no less than a thousand times.
It’s a weakness in myself I’ve come to accept. My two wives even accepted it, knowing that every time they rode in a car with me, their favorite songs would be peppered with mumbling and humming. Sometimes entire words would be replaced with gibberish that started out one word but ended up another. That’s what I call real love.
For the record, I did date a girl (between wives) once who couldn’t live with it. She flat out told me to shut up and stop singing the wrong words. I wasn’t to sing unless I sung it right. She eventually dumped me. I blame it on my lyric mangling. At least I hit the notes, that counts for something. Right?
There must be a way to fix my problem. I don’t want to screw up the words, I love singing songs correctly. But I can’t help it. I suffer from a seriously debilitating disease that is only acceptable behavior at parties where everyone is either high or drunk. It’s CLM. Chronic Lyric Mangling. I have no doubt this will show up in the next DSM book to be diagnosed by doctors worldwide.
Hello, my name is Ross, and I’m a Lyric Mangler.