Raymond Chandler:Ross MacDonald::Douglas Adams:Terry Pratchett
So the other night I went to see the great band Inner Fire District do a show with a special set of Yiddish songs of labor, resistance, and protest, and (in the other set), they did their Waitsian version of “You Are My Sunshine,” which started with this verse:
the other night dear as I lay sleeping
I dreamt I held you in my arms
but when I woke dear I was mistaken
and I hung my head and I cried
except they changed the last line to “I hung myself and died,” but that’s not relevant to my question, which is: How can the second line not be “I dreamt that you lay by my side”? How? How? It doesn’t make any sense. Ordinarily I’d think this was something that had got distorted in the folk process, but “You Are My Sunshine” was actually written by former Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis, so I don’t know.
(A bit of googling reveals that the “by my side” version can be found in some online lyric transcriptions, especially in combination with the phrase “came disillusion” which seems so silly that it must be the original.)