Are there any Britishisms in lyrics that we can explain to you non-Brits

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by AlmostHeavenWV, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. AlmostHeavenWV

    AlmostHeavenWV Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lancaster UK
    I don't think 'Britishism' is a word, but it's the best I could think of. So are there words and phrases that you've heard in songs from the UK that you don't understand?

     
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  2. timnor

    timnor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Good on you for posting some Roy Harper and what a classic track.
     
  3. uncarvedbloke

    uncarvedbloke Forum Resident

    Location:
    S~O~T UK
    Everything Mark E Smith wrote.
     
  4. AlmostHeavenWV

    AlmostHeavenWV Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lancaster UK
    Pass.
     
  5. Captain Keefheart

    Captain Keefheart Forum Resident

    Most of us Brits would struggle with that :)
     
  6. Blank Frank

    Blank Frank King of Carrot Flowers

    Could Mark E Smith explain everything he wrote?
     
  7. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Though the meaning can be sussed out by most, I'm sure, I doubt that many Americans can grasp the full implications of Duncan Browne's "On the Bombsite."
     
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  8. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    Location:
    Houston
    :laugh:
     
  9. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Not asking for explanations (at least not so far!), but "It always ended up in a big row" from The Kinks' "Come Dancing" is an example of a common British term that is virtually never used here in the States.

    And for that matter, both components of "Four of fish and finger pie" from "Penny Lane" doubtless sound odd to Americans' ears...though once again, with a little imagination the second part will become clear!

    (And let's not talk about the number of Yanks [and their lyric sites] who think the line is "Full of fish....")
     
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  10. asdf35

    asdf35 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin TX
    British lyrics made more sense when I learned your land is inhabited by fairies and elves. Everything clicked after that.
     
  11. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Thought of another. The lyric in The Hollies' "Too Many People" is:

    That's how he planned it
    You can't do nowt about it
    Too many people


    I've seen other sites that substitute "naught," which is the "correct" form of the word (which we hear in the States only in the phrase "It was all for naught").

    But I suspect that "nowt" is closer to how it's pronounced (and written?) by all but the upper crust.
     
  12. blutiga

    blutiga Forum Resident

    Can anyone translate this one :D
     
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  13. Blank Frank

    Blank Frank King of Carrot Flowers

    "Nowt" tends to be more of a northern English and Scottish thing - you suspect right on the pronunciation - which the so-called upper crust would go nowhere near.

    The Hollies being from Manchester, which has just about escaped from being in the Midlands ;)
     
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  14. Blank Frank

    Blank Frank King of Carrot Flowers

    I'm not going to get into Scottish-isms...

    Check out something like Dick Gaughan's version of The 51st (Highland) Division's Farewell to Sicily. I think I've got most of that by now, after a couple of decades of listening to it.
     
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  15. Captain Keefheart

    Captain Keefheart Forum Resident

    That reminds me of an old TV ad slogan - "Bread wi' nowt taken out" :)
     
  16. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    Here's something I've always wondered about...Did the word "grotty" exist before George Harrison uttered it in the film A Hard Day's Night?

    It certainly has been widely adopted, but did he (or the screenwriter) invent it for the film, or was it current Scouse slang?
     
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  17. Blank Frank

    Blank Frank King of Carrot Flowers

    Just stick with it being a Scouser taking the piss out of South Easterners...
     
  18. Django

    Django Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    No problem understanding our nearest neighbors.
     
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  19. Blank Frank

    Blank Frank King of Carrot Flowers

    Dunno about it being Scouse but I can remember it.
     
  20. AlmostHeavenWV

    AlmostHeavenWV Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lancaster UK
    Hello John! Have you got a new car?

    You can learn some English place names from that number - Barnsley, Peckham, Bermondsey.
     
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  21. AlmostHeavenWV

    AlmostHeavenWV Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Lancaster UK
    Tha's right there, lad.
     
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  22. Ok then explain this:


    Sussudio
    The zigga ha part of wannabe
     
  23. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Youngstown, Ohio
    I could have put this in the original Americanisms thread, but didn't want to pile on.

    But here's the other story I tell frequently about how terms don't always translate across the pond.

    We had a client who had operations in Great Britain as well as the States, and dealt frequently with one of their British reps, a delightful chap named Nigel (not a name too many Americans have given to their sons!).

    He told the tale of giving a pep talk to his U.S. sales force and wrapping it up with, "Well, that's about it, so carry on and keep your peckers up!"
     
  24. Slack Babbath

    Slack Babbath Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seven Seas Of Ryde
    Love to know what our Ex U.K members think of this song .

    Chad And Dave - ‘Gertcha’

     
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  25. Yovra

    Yovra Forum Enthusiast

    The complete recordings of the Duckworth Lewis Method! ;)
     

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