New Idiom for Idiom haters
My wife (a native Spanish speaker) and I have been reading "Historias de Espana" a dual langauge book. I work on learning Spanish and she continues to improve her English. She was having a problem with a story that ended with a statement about "comiendo pernices" which literally means "eating partridges." The English version said "lived happily ever after." So if you can afford to "eat partridges" you are "living happily ever after" or maybe even better in English would be "living high off the hog."
I learned the song "Alouette" in French, when I was quite young and I've always remembered little bits of it since then. About a year ago, I decided I would see what the words meant in English. I discovered that it's a song about plucking all of the feathers off of a lark because it woke you up! What a horrid thing to do to a bird!...LOL
Is it because it woke you up, or is the bird just being plucked before being cooked? When I realized what the lyrics meant I assumed the latter.
Same thing happened with me as with you--I had memorized the song "phonetically" when I was a kid, and after learning to read French passably, one day I heard the tune and ran all the words through my head. It was quite a surprise! That generations of schoolteachers have taught generations of schoolchildren such a "jolly" song with such cold-blooded lyrics is rather amusing, although maybe perverse, too.