The Girl with Colitis Goes By…

I’ve been in a sentimental mood lately, and it led me to download The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on iTunes.

I first heard this album when I was about eight years old.  My neighbor Scott Weisman made me sit in his room and listen to the whole thing while we looked through his vast collection of Wacky Packages.

While not nearly as meaningful as Star Wars to my childhood self, the memory of the listening session took root, and hearing the tracks once again brings me back to the halcyon days of trips to Carvel, riding in the “well” behind the back seat of my mom’s VW Super Beetle and roaming the woods of Trumbull, Connecticut stomping on skunk cabbage.

It also brings back one of the goofiest things my brother Don ever got wrong.

There’s a line in the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamond where John Lennon trippily drones:

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

This is not what my brother heard.  Instead, his little kid ears picked up something far less psychedelic and much more medical.  He heard:

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
The girl with colitis goes by…

For those who don’t know, colitis is a painful inflammation of the colon or large intestine that can cause cramping and diarrhea.

This, of course, alters the transcendental imagery featured in the song, bringing the whole affair crashing down under the weight of a young lady with a painful and embarrassing medical condition.

I think we’ve all gotten song lyrics wrong before, but I can’t think of a misinterpretation that so deftly unhinges the meaning of a song as this one does.

Good memories, indeed…

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Author:Jim Galligan

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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14 Comments on “The Girl with Colitis Goes By…”

  1. October 23, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    “I can’t think of a misinterpretation that so deftly unhinges the meaning of a song as this one does.”

    Unless it’s Jimi Hendrix singing, “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”

    • October 23, 2012 at 10:45 am #

      Ha ha – I’ve heard that a time or two myself!

  2. Matt
    October 23, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    An old friend’s brother had a pragmatic take on a Kiss classic: “I wanna rock & roll all night, and part of every day.”

    • October 23, 2012 at 11:13 am #

      7:30-8:30: Wake up, shower, eat breakfast
      8:30-9am: Commute
      9am – 5pm: Work (eat lunch at desk)
      5pm-5:30: Drive home
      6pm: dinner
      6:45-7:15: Rock and Roll
      7:15: Sort recycling
      7:30-9:00: Antiques Roadshow!
      9:00: Bedtime

      • Matt
        October 23, 2012 at 11:55 am #

        I can imagine this guy scheduling it, too!

        If the mental image helps, my memory from childhood is a chubby engineering major driving a Potiac Firebird (t-tops and a mythical golden raptor on the hood).

  3. October 23, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    A friend of mine in high school swore that at the end of Bowie’s Suffragette City the lyrics were “Suck a big titty”

    I always told him that he wished the lyrics were that, just so he could sing along with them (usually at the top of his lungs)

    • October 23, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      Teenage boys will be teenage boys…

  4. Diss Content
    October 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    I’ve always been a fan of any music which contains unintelligible lyrics. Or lyrics which I misunderstand, which are THEN made unintelligible by me, which I insist have a profound meaning, that other’s simply can’t understand. Like:

    “He tinkled on his jet fighters” indeed.

    • October 23, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      That’s from Rock the Cash Box, right?

      • Diss Content
        October 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

        I believe it’s from “The Rash – Nonfat Cock”

  5. October 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    My brother is an internet radio announcer and he’s always looking for Beatles trivia. Even if he doesn’t use this, surely he’ll get a good laugh.

    • October 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

      My brother used to be an Internet guy, too, but I have NO IDEA where the hell he is these days!!

  6. October 24, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    On a dark desert highway, coolwhip in my hair.

    • October 24, 2012 at 10:46 am #

      Warm smell of colita’s (you know, like pina) rising up through the air…

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