Nov. 12, 2013— -- While the reasons behind counting fowl in the runup to Christmas may never be truly understood, one thing is certain: There is no such thing as a "calling bird."
Colly birds, aka blackbirds, however, are pretty common.
If your mind was just blown, you have plenty of company. A recent poll by Keith McMillen Instruments in Berkeley, Calif., found that "Twelve Days of Christmas" is the most commonly misheard carol.
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After commissioning Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of 2,200 Americans over the age of 18, McMillen announced a list of the 10 Most Misheard Holiday Songs, for which poll participants "believed the words to the song were one thing, but the real lyrics were different."
These misheard lyrics often create mondegreens (misinterpretations of oral repetition), which are then repeated and popularized among others who also misunderstood the original words. Snopes and KissThisGuy both keep online archives of holiday mondegreens with mangled lyrics such as "Get dressed, ye merry gentlemen!"
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"Twelve Days of Christmas" was misheard by 21 percent of respondents in the McMillen poll. Following that, the next nine songs were:
2. "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (15 percent)
3. "Deck the Halls" (14 percent)
4. "All I Want for Christmas" (14 percent)
5. "Frosty the Snowman" (12 percent)
6. "Jingle Bells" (11 percent)
7. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (11 percent)
8. "Silent Night" (11 percent)
9. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (11 percent)
10. "Joy to the World" (11 percent)
"I'm glad to see that the classics are still king," said Keith McMillen, CEO of Keith McMillen Instruments, "although now instead of vocals set against a piano, we're listening to computer-enhanced remixes from today's artists and creators."
So if all else fails, blame the DJ.