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Author Topic: Why don't dialects carry over into songs?  (Read 6945 times)

PETER POULDING

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« on: 11/12/2009 12:30:02 »
PETER POULDING  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Dear Chris.

When someone with a strong dialect i.e. Scottish, Geordie, Scouse sings they pronounce the words in plain English.

Why don't they sing in their dialect or, better still, why not pronounce the words properly when they talk?

A good example is Cilla Black. She would say "GORRA LORRA LOOV" but would sing "got a lot of love"...
                                                                                                        Yours faithfully.
                                                                                                         Peter Poulding.

What do you think?


 

Offline graham.d

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #1 on: 11/12/2009 13:14:45 »
I think when you refer to famous popular singers you are generally right because they are trying to sell their records. In fact many British rock singers adopt a US accent and phrases because they think it represents their genre better. But there are many exceptions. The Arctic Monkeys are very definitely Sheffield and the early Beatles stuff was definitely Liverpool. If you listen to folk music it often is sung in the appropriate dialect.
 

Offline RD

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #2 on: 11/12/2009 14:18:28 »
Typically recording artists want to sell their music to the largest possible audience.

Singing in an accent which only a small minority can comprehend is usually a commercial handicap,

unless you're after a niche market ...
feature=related
« Last Edit: 11/12/2009 14:23:05 by RD »
 

Offline JoanJoan

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #3 on: 11/12/2009 15:00:16 »
I find that a lot of singers from Sweden or Germany who normally have a strong foreign accent when they speak English, can, as you said, sing in English without a strong accent.  I'm not really sure what the reason is, I think it's just practice and training.     
 

Offline Geezer

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #4 on: 11/12/2009 18:09:04 »
That's a great question!

I think the answer is quite subtle. Even after living in the US for almost thirty years, I still have an obvious Scottish accent. I cannot adopt an American accent, because it would sound completely artificial to me if I did. However, when I sing, I don't have a Scottish accent at all, and it sounds quite natural to me.

When you sing something you have to be true to the song so that it sounds the way the composer intended that it sound. Choir masters insist that you produce the correct sounds. The sounds tend to dominate the words, so it's quite natural to not impose ones own accent when singing. 
 

Offline LeeE

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #5 on: 15/12/2009 22:30:21 »
I don't think the premise always holds true.  I cite the Wurzels as a clear exception:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb63PdPweDc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fF8SvRRqF8
 

Offline Geezer

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #6 on: 16/12/2009 04:54:57 »
Aaarrrgggg! I should never have clicked those links. Now I'm having flasbacks.
 

Offline AllenG

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #7 on: 16/12/2009 06:09:09 »
Aaarrrgggg! I should never have clicked those links. Now I'm having flasbacks.

^^^
Here is some Johnny Cash to cleanse your pallet.
 

Offline yor_on

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #8 on: 19/12/2009 16:17:24 »
Nice link RD, if there is something I associate specifically with  England then I guess it have to be their 'homeburned' Well, sort of, Cider, with bug chunky bits of ah, fermenting fruit in it :) I knew one guy, some time ago, that used to get his in big.g..g glass bottles, don't know the name for those, jugs?
 

Offline RD

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #9 on: 19/12/2009 16:50:23 »
... big.g..g glass bottles, don't know the name for those, jugs?

Carboys ?
 

Offline LeeE

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #10 on: 19/12/2009 19:14:10 »
demijohns?
 

Offline yor_on

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #11 on: 20/12/2009 04:48:07 »
Carboys seems to fit in with my memory of them. I looked up demijohns but i only found antique ones? If it was that I should have asked for the bottles :)
http://www.remodelista.com/posts/green-bottles

I could have owned Microsoft now...

Yes, he liked his cider, a lot.
 

Offline LeeE

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #12 on: 20/12/2009 12:03:08 »
Grr... I know there's another word for these damn things but it just won't come to me; it's beginning to bug me now.

Funnily enough, Googling for images suggested that carboys don't have the little handles at the neck but the demijohns do.  Not at all conclusive though.  I just remember when a friend left one these things at my flat, after we'd drunk the elderberry wine his uncle had brewed in it, and then asked for it back, he called it something else, other than a carboy or demijohn.  Grr...
 

Offline RD

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #13 on: 20/12/2009 15:25:38 »
... he called it something else, other than a carboy or demijohn.  Grr...

Wikipedia lists conrack as an alternative name for carboy.
 

Offline Geezer

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #14 on: 21/12/2009 04:45:21 »
Winchester perhaps?
 

Offline RD

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #15 on: 21/12/2009 07:29:30 »
Quote
corrosive compounds ... are commonly supplied in Winchesters.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_%28bottle%29

Sounds about right for homebrew.  :)
 

Offline LeeE

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #16 on: 21/12/2009 16:16:58 »
Hmm... wasn't conrack or winchester.  Oh well, it'll come to me when it comes to me.
 

Offline RD

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #17 on: 21/12/2009 17:59:56 »
Quote
growler: a container like a jug used to carry draft beer purchased at local brewpubs.
http://www.byo.com/resources/glossary
« Last Edit: 21/12/2009 18:04:04 by RD »
 

Offline LeeE

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
« Reply #18 on: 22/12/2009 23:35:27 »
Nope - not one of them either.
 

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Why don't dialects carry over into songs?
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