Mispronunciations in music

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Cheli Venco, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Cheli Venco

    Cheli Venco Formerly Lilly Layne Thread Starter

    Location:
    Scotland
    What are some mispronunciations you've heard in songs?

    The one which makes me wince a little is Bowie singing "Cr-owl-ey". It rhymes with "moly"!
     
  2. BroJB

    BroJB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado
    When Johnny R sings "Anar-kyste" so he can rhyme with Anti-Christ.
     
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  3. AdamChanSiuLung

    AdamChanSiuLung Forum Resident

    Location:
    NEW YORK, NEW YORK
    I had a friend who for some reason was bothered by the way John Lennon pronounced "away" in (Just Like) Starting Over:

    Let's take a chance and fly a-whee
     
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  4. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    The Police's 'Don't Stand So Close to Me': "Just like the old man in / That book by nab a cough."

    If you're going to make pretentious literary references, if probably pays to find out how the author's name is pronounced! (It's na-BOK-ov.) Nick Cave gets a little closer, but still not completely correct, in 'There She Goes My Beautiful World.'

    And speaking of "that book", Suzanne Vega's 'Lolita' immediately gives away the fact that she hasn't even read the first paragraph of the novel she's referencing, since it includes a pronunciation guide: "Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta." Vega's stab at it? The lazy, Americanized "low-LEED-uh" that Nabokov went out of his way to rule out as a possibility.
     
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  5. UltraSoundSquid

    UltraSoundSquid Forum Resident

    She's going to smile to make you fron, what a clon.
     
  6. Moonbeam Skies

    Moonbeam Skies Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    What song is that? Is it a reference to Aleister Crowley?
     
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  7. Bingo

    Bingo Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Bronx
    UK English and American English pronounce several words differently. One example is the word Zenith.

    UK=Zenith
    Amer.=Zeenith
     
  8. Cheli Venco

    Cheli Venco Formerly Lilly Layne Thread Starter

    Location:
    Scotland
    Yes - Quicksand - his great lament for the victims of the inexorable, mankind.
     
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  9. Adam9

    Adam9 Formerly jbohdan

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Mick Jagger singing Al-de-ber-AN instead of Al-DE-ber-an in the Rolling Stones' "2000 Light Years From Home."
    Bruce Springsteen pronouncing Orion as O'-ri-on on a song from the something-Dream album (The title escapes me for the moment).
     
  10. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident

    Location:
    The 6
    Tina Weymouth does something terrible to Smokey Robinson's name in "Genius of Love".
     
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  11. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident

    Location:
    The 6
    But he sure knows how to pronounce "Warhol"!
     
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  12. fasto

    fasto Active Member

    Location:
    Berlin
    Femme Fatale, both the VU original and the Duran cover.
    It's "Fumm" (for english speakers) or "Famm" (for europeans, except the French, they probably know...).
    Unless that's an expression that's already widely mispronounced in the english-speaking world and they just used that in a song?
     
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  13. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident

    Location:
    The 6
    Due to accent and dialect, there are a few songs that rhyme for the songwriter that don't for the person who sang it:
    • In "You're So Square Baby I Don't Care", 'does' and 'because' rhyme for New Yorkers Lieber and Stoller but not for southerner Presley.
    • In "Downtown", Tony Hatch rhymes 'bossa nova' with 'over', but they don't rhyme for Petula Clark. They're both from the Home Counties, though.
    • Southerner Lucinda Williams covered Washingtonian Kurt Cobain's "All Apologies" and doesn't rhyme 'married' and 'buried'.
    • Sting wrote and sang 'Russians', but because he is Sting he wrote 'America' and 'hysteria' to (half-)rhyme but then sang them so they wouldn't.
     
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  14. Summer of Malcontent

    Summer of Malcontent Forum Resident

    It's regularly mispronounced in English, but that doesn't make it correct.
     
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  15. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    Shower Thee People by James Taylor

    Eric Burdon has a habit of calling Ravi Shankar Ravi Shanknar ("Monterey" and "Winds of Change").
     
  16. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    Or, "Shower Thee Peephole"... ;)
     
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  17. Drifter

    Drifter AD survivor

    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, CA
    In "Macarthur Park", Richard Harris incorrectly calls it "Macarthur's Park".
     
  18. Bingo

    Bingo Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Bronx
    Jerry Garcia on Terrapin Station pronounces Cica-da instead if cicAda
     
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  19. Bender Rodriguez

    Bender Rodriguez RIP Exene, best dog ever. 2005-2016

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Big wheel keep on toinin'
    Proud Mary keep on boinin'
     
  20. graystoke

    graystoke Forum Resident

    Elvis Costello's pronunciation of the word "diorama" in his song "London's Brilliant Parade" has always bugged me. He sings it as "dee-orama" when it should be "die-orama".
     
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  21. UltraSoundSquid

    UltraSoundSquid Forum Resident

    Not a mispronunciation as such, but in the same vein, there's "every night I just can't go sleep" from the Kinks' debut which has always bugged me. Love ya, Ray, but if you can't fit the lyrics into the rhythm... pick different lyrics! But I don't know if this should count. He does it again in "Till The End Of The Day".
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  22. xilef regnu

    xilef regnu Forum Resident

    Location:
    PNW
    Mispronouncing "Cranberry sauce" to sound like "I buried Paul".
     
  23. MonkeyLizard

    MonkeyLizard Forum Resident

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    The Ramones- Chainsaw Massa-cree

    One of my favorites :D
     
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  24. bunglejerry

    bunglejerry Forum Resident

    Location:
    The 6
    Lyrics not fitting the rhythm ('scanning') is a topic all by itself really. Best example is Black Sabbath's Paranoid, where Ozzy's metre caused a lot of people to hear "I tell you to enjoy life" as, prophetically, "I tell you to end your life".

    I hate the way Mick Jagger says "foresee" - "I could not forcy this thing happening to you."
     
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  25. bluej

    bluej Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Speaking of Mr. Davies, the way he pronounces "schizophrenia" in "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues" always bugs me—it's not "schizoFREENA," Ray!

    Simon
     
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