Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The Soundgarden hit inspired by an error

You know how sometimes you mishear some song lyrics and get the words completely wrong? An example would be Jimi Hendrix in “Purple Haze” where some people hear “Scuse me while I kiss this guy?” The actual words are “Scuse me while I kiss the sky.”

That kind of mistake is known as a “mondegreen” and it’s not just music fans who have these moments.

Chris Cornell was watching the news one night and thought that the anchor said, “black hole sun.” He was with someone at the time and said to that person, “’Black hole sun? What is he talking about?” Chris was corrected (I have no idea what the anchor really said) but the phrase stuck in his mind.

Images started to form and eventually, Chris ended up with the lyrics to what would become one of Soundgarden’s biggest hits. The thing that’s bugging me is, what did the anchor man actually say?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38536 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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