Hanukkah comes around and we sing Ma’oz Tzur. This means we send photos of our menorot to our family. This also means we call each other Isaac Moore because I was a strange child.
Every year, my wife emails the photo out and my dad and cousin reply making Isaac Moore jokes. This year my uncle the catholic speaks up:
OK brainiacs: I’m totally at sea here. Issac Moore? Bluegrass player?
Marine Colonel? What is this reference. Please enlighten Mr. Stupid.
After the day passes with my family making a ton of jokes, like:
Isaac Moore is often seen with his cross-cultural mascot, Gladly the
Cross-eyed Bear. TOTH to Cousin Jane.
Which netted us:
OK – so this poses more questions:
1 – what does TOTH mean
2 – What does any of this have to do with Chanukah?
We are either really old, totally out of it, or very stupid
TOTH is tip of the hat. But I finally explain how it’s one of those great things where kids get lyrics wrong
The line is: אָז אֶגְמוֹר בְּשִׁיר מִזְמוֹר חֲנֻכַּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ.
Or if you transliterate: Az egmor beshir mizmor hanukat hamizbe’ah.
And me? I thought it was this: “Isaac Moore, Beshire Miss Moore, Hanukkah, Thomas Bayach”
But my father, oh, my father…
Or if you read Hebrew from left to right:
Ha’ebzimah takunah romzim rihseb romge za.
I leave it to Mika to make up something interesting..
I’ll have to sing that a few more times I guess!
By the way, if you ask my dad about mis-hearing lyrics he will always say:
Mika’s best mis-hearing of lyrics was the Steely Dan tune, “Deacon Blues”. As she was listening (at 9 years old), she sang, “They call Alabama the grims of time”, in place of “the Crimson Tide”.
When queried by her venerable father as to the meaning of “the grims of time” she said, “You know, when you get old the grims of time will get you … old like you, Dad.”
I am never going to live this shit down…
Just for that, I think my brother’s best is “Preacher Man”
He thought it was Creature Man, and thus we spent forever singing about how the only one who could ever reach us, was the son of a creature man!