Free Cow (Says She)

I loved the misheard lyrics story that Matthew Malcolm shared a while back, in which his 6-year-old daughter asked for a copy of the song “Free Cow” and became increasingly frustrated when her parents seemed not to know what song she was talking about.

The song, it turned out, was this one:

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I actually do have a tendency to “free cow”/freak out at the start of each semester, even when I am teaching classes that I have taught pretty much every semester for the last decade. I am not an extrovert, and no matter how many times I have done it before, there is still something nerve-wracking for us introverts  about getting up in front of a new bunch of people, even though we may learn to hide it well. I also tend to get anxious before deadlines, even though I almost never miss them, and if I do it isn’t by much.

As a new academic year starts, but also just in general, I thought it might be interesting to ask what makes you freak out.

And back to the subject of misheard lyrics, there is a web site dedicated to the one example that is the focus of this post. Malcolm’s daughter isn’t the only person to have heard it that way, apparently. If you misheard “Freak Out” by Chic as “Free Cow” or have other funny examples of misheard song lyrics, feel free to share those too. And if you missed them, check out the ones I shared earlier this month as part of a conversation with Rafael Rodriguez.

  • Angievandemerwe

    What makes me freak out? I tend to not like responsibility, as it makes demands, that I fear I cannot meet …..as to my knowledge, strength, ability to be flexible, etc.!!! This is one reason why I really didn’t enjoy my children having friends over when they were young, because I tended to be anxious the whole time about my responsibility for another person’s child!!! Of course, the fear did not deter my hospitality, but I’m sure that the children would’ve rather played in an environment with less tension, as I would imagine my anxiety didn’t leave them enough room to explore and enjoy!!!( even now, it tires me to take care of the grandchildren, not just physically, but emotonally, as I still take this responsibility seriously.) But, aren’t most of us this way about our responsibilities, otherwise, how do we define responsibility?!

    Responsibility can be a good thing, but it can also be bad, if one feels that the whole universe is dependent upon “your responsibility”!! Such thinking can lead to anxiety disorders, or obessions and compulsions concerning one’s “authority”. ( I think of many dictators, or authoritarian personality types, legalists, that can’t relax or enjoy!) 

  • Angievandemerwe

    And isn’t it”funny” that some would judge my lack of “taking responsibility”as “not caring” about “justice”? “Taking charge” can also be taking responsibility that is not yours to have and these are questions about how and what one believes politically is a “solution”. And the “take charge people” can have times of passon-blindness and I think arrogance towards another’s differences, personally, and politically.

    Ego needs like to compare oneself against another with a defined “standard” (religious or professional), or interests, whereas, ego security don’t mind another’s strength, or interests, as long as the other person agrees to disagree, sometimes coming to resolution and compromise, and other times letting another go their own way, with no recriminatons!

    What makes me freak out? those that judge indiscriminately, that is, without knowing or understanding or caring about “me” as an individual person. Does this make me selfish or self-centered? Yes and no. Self centeredness is healthy ego development, where one comes to terms with what one will or will not tolerate or allow and where one’s interests and strengths lie. This has little to do with “outside sources of authority”. But, it has everything to do with where and why one chooses a certain vocation and pursues certain courses in life! Those that aren’t tolerant toward differences of interests or priority are the selfish ones, as they think that everyone’s interests should be theirs. The religious can be doubly blind to personal choice and value!


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