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(Slate)   Why British singers sound American. Is it something related to why people don't stutter when they sing?   (slate.com) divider line 162
    More: Interesting, African-Americans, Beatles, singing voice, dialects, james bond movies, African American Vernacular English, country music, singers sound  
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12848 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Nov 2012 at 3:23 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-20 09:38:15 PM
In Maine, we order "pizzer and beah."
 
2012-11-20 10:58:52 PM
Because they don't want to sound like foppish twits for once?
 
2012-11-20 11:03:17 PM
Wot, wot??

img41.imageshack.us
 
2012-11-20 11:19:54 PM
 
2012-11-21 12:08:19 AM
Because they're trying to sound black. Like Elvis did. That's the sound rock requires.
 
2012-11-21 12:17:29 AM
i.telegraph.co.uk

Your argument is invalid.
 
2012-11-21 12:32:59 AM

RedPhoenix122: [i.telegraph.co.uk image 620x388]

Your argument is invalid.


upload.wikimedia.org

Ditto
 
2012-11-21 01:01:28 AM
www.chartattack.com

Your argument is invalid.
 
2012-11-21 01:08:04 AM
Not just british. Basically everyone who sings in the english language sounds american when they sing. Anything else just sounds weird these days.

To counterpoint, here's some hip hop sung with an Aussie accent. As much as I enjoy it, I imagine most of you will be turned off just by the novelty of it (to say nothing about the tonality of the aussie accent to begin with...)
 
2012-11-21 01:17:01 AM
Who cares as long as you sing. Loudly

/Loud enough to frighten the cats and annoy the neighbors
//life is short
///and you might be good at it
//singing, I mean
/depreciating slashies
 
2012-11-21 01:40:08 AM
 
2012-11-21 01:54:32 AM
news.twentyfourbit.com

Not able to be understood in any accent.
 
2012-11-21 03:26:22 AM
Meanwhile, why do so many American punk singers sound British?
 
2012-11-21 03:29:19 AM
Dana Carvey talked about this years ago.

Link
 
2012-11-21 03:31:34 AM
I used to think the same thing until I had lived in both countries for an extended time. Now, I can hear a British singer coming from a mile away.
 
2012-11-21 03:32:30 AM
I never understood why people say that. When I was a kid I always thought everyone sang with an English accent. The Rs were softened, the way a British person leaves the R off the end of words. The Beatles were from England and every rock band that came after was inspired by them.

Of course in the last 15 or 20 years it's gone the opposite way, mostly thanks to Kurt Cobain. He wasn't really too bad about it but everyone imitating him has overdone it. Pronouncing everything with an ARRRRRrrr makes you sound angry or emotional or something I guess. Hell, even Taylor Swift does it.
 
2012-11-21 03:33:56 AM
Even when singers aren't trying to imitate a particular vocal style associated with a genre, regional dialects tend to get lost in song

This was always my theory.


CavalierEternal: [www.chartattack.com image 425x288]

Your argument is invalid.


Came for Blur. Leaving satisfied.

See also:

www2.pictures.zimbio.com

www.fusedmagazine.com
 
2012-11-21 03:34:22 AM
 
2012-11-21 03:40:05 AM
The British and Aussies are faking their accents. When others aren't within earshot they talk just like the rest of the world.
 
2012-11-21 03:40:43 AM
Syd Barrett named his band after two American blues singers, but managed to sing in a thoroughly British accent. That cat's something I can't explain.
 
2012-11-21 03:42:14 AM
Nonrhoticity - my new favorite word.
 
2012-11-21 03:44:57 AM
dnrtfa but I assume it has something to do with a) The American blues and R&B origin of British rock music and b) the American musical market being exponentially larger than its UK counterpart.
 
2012-11-21 03:45:56 AM
Herman's Hermits always sang with a British accent. So we sang their songs as such and liked it that way.
/'enry the Vlll th
//Mrs. Brown you've gawt a lohvely daughtah....
 
2012-11-21 03:48:27 AM
"...as did Paul McCartney in his cover of "Till There Was You," pronouncing saw more like sawr."

Umm, I think that's actually part of some British dialects, isn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I hear this a lot in spoken British English. I don't think Paul was trying to sound American, necessarily. More like he let his own accent slip out.
 
2012-11-21 03:51:05 AM
I get the same effect when I try to type something in British.
 
2012-11-21 03:53:33 AM
Mel Tillis never stuttered when he sang...


w-w-w-w-w-w-we're closed!

Get in the car Junior, we're surrounded by mental cases.
 
2012-11-21 03:55:31 AM

NicoFinn: "...as did Paul McCartney in his cover of "Till There Was You," pronouncing saw more like sawr."

Umm, I think that's actually part of some British dialects, isn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I hear this a lot in spoken British English. I don't think Paul was trying to sound American, necessarily. More like he let his own accent slip out.


Also, British persons have this odd habit of putting an er on the end of words that end with a. Like "Americer" or "Obamer". Not sure if it's a recent development or not, and even though I tend to like British accents, that little quirk can get annoying.
 
2012-11-21 03:56:23 AM
Because black American R&B musicians didn't have English accents.
 
2012-11-21 03:56:30 AM
Can we talk about the "black" sound for a minute?
 
2012-11-21 03:59:23 AM

ClintonKun: NicoFinn: "...as did Paul McCartney in his cover of "Till There Was You," pronouncing saw more like sawr."

Umm, I think that's actually part of some British dialects, isn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I hear this a lot in spoken British English. I don't think Paul was trying to sound American, necessarily. More like he let his own accent slip out.

Also, British persons have this odd habit of putting an er on the end of words that end with a. Like "Americer" or "Obamer". Not sure if it's a recent development or not, and even though I tend to like British accents, that little quirk can get annoyinger.


FTFY
 
2012-11-21 03:59:48 AM

Kevin72: Herman's Hermits always sang with a British accent. So we sang their songs as such and liked it that way.
/'enry the Vlll th
//Mrs. Brown you've gawt a lohvely daughtah....


...girls as shahp as 'er ah somethin' raeh...
 
2012-11-21 04:03:32 AM
This man knows why you don't stutter when you sing.
 
2012-11-21 04:06:00 AM

ClintonKun: NicoFinn: "...as did Paul McCartney in his cover of "Till There Was You," pronouncing saw more like sawr."

Umm, I think that's actually part of some British dialects, isn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I hear this a lot in spoken British English. I don't think Paul was trying to sound American, necessarily. More like he let his own accent slip out.

Also, British persons have this odd habit of putting an er on the end of words that end with a. Like "Americer" or "Obamer". Not sure if it's a recent development or not, and even though I tend to like British accents, that little quirk can get annoying.


I hear it on the radio all the time when they mention Canader and Chiner, always found it very odd.
 
2012-11-21 04:09:13 AM

Gosling: This man knows why you don't stutter when you sing.


Everybody stutters, one way or the other.
 
2012-11-21 04:09:45 AM

SJKebab: Not just british. Basically everyone who sings in the english language sounds american when they sing. Anything else just sounds weird these days.


More like the mental factors that distinguish music from speech in the human mind often displace the cultural factors in language that constitute an accent. It's not so much that we sound British when we're singing or the Brits sound American when they're singing as that we both sound like we're singing when we're singing.
 
2012-11-21 04:14:46 AM

SJKebab: Not just british. Basically everyone who sings in the english language sounds american when they sing. Anything else just sounds weird these days.

To counterpoint, here's some hip hop sung with an Aussie accent. As much as I enjoy it, I imagine most of you will be turned off just by the novelty of it (to say nothing about the tonality of the aussie accent to begin with...)


As an Australian I can say that it puts me on edge when I hear Aussie hip-hop. Our accents aren't really that broad. It seems really over-exaggerated in hip-hop.

/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFNZtgKRKf0 Aussie group who sing with decent Australian accents.
//http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDx6nHExwRw is my example of "Sometimes sounds American, but really does sound English at times too"
///He is English
 
2012-11-21 04:15:31 AM
...I suck for not hyperlinking those
/hangs head in web developer shame
 
2012-11-21 04:31:17 AM

CavalierEternal: [www.chartattack.com image 425x288]

Your argument is invalid.



4.bp.blogspot.com

Shut ya havering, subby, ya fackin' radge! 
 
2012-11-21 04:32:25 AM
Song done British: Link

Same song, done Murrican: Link

/I love 'em both ways
 
2012-11-21 04:32:45 AM

You are Borg:
Also, British persons have this odd habit of putting an er on the end of words that end with a. Like "Americer" or "Obamer". Not sure if it's a recent development or not, and even though I tend to like British accents, that little quirk can get annoying.

I hear it on the radio all the time when they mention Canader and Chiner, always found it very odd.


It's a common feature of rural/suburban dialect in south England and Whales. When I visited family in Scotland and North England no one did it, but my cousins from a couple towns southwest of London (around the Rugby area) can't get a sentence out without appending an "arr" sound to the end of at least one word.

Interesting tidbit, this is why attempts in the early 19th century to standardize English spelling phonetically (in the 1700s it wasn't standardized at all) were miserable failures: hop from one municipality to the next, and how the words were pronounced precisely changed pretty dramatically. So we ended up standardizing based on just picking a damned spelling and making it the correct one, which is why we have some seemingly odd ones like "through" still being spelled the way it was pronounced in the 1820s instead of "throo" like it's pronounced by most modern English speakers. We only correct when the standard is no longer "close enough".
 
2012-11-21 04:34:18 AM

gameshowhost: Die Antwoord - Fatty Boom Boom


Thank you.
 
2012-11-21 04:38:18 AM

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Song done British: Link

Same song, done Murrican: Link

/I love 'em both ways


The up tempo banjo picking of the American version seems to fit the song better.

But Richard Thompson is so much better at singing it than the other band.

I just like the bluegrass version better.
 
2012-11-21 04:39:01 AM
Huh. I always assumed Brits to be talentless, soulless, vacant hacks and that all their artists were American imports. Who knew?
 
Poe
2012-11-21 04:40:17 AM
I remember seeing an interview with Tom Jones a few years back, couldn't understand half of what he was saying. Not being from that generation, I had no idea he was Welsh, cause when singing he is perfectly comprehensible.
 
2012-11-21 04:43:56 AM

phrawgh: Huh. I always assumed Brits to be talentless, soulless, vacant hacks and that all their artists were American imports. Who knew?


alltheragefaces.com
 
2012-11-21 04:43:57 AM

Poe: I remember seeing an interview with Tom Jones a few years back, couldn't understand half of what he was saying. Not being from that generation, I had no idea he was Welsh, cause when singing he is perfectly comprehensible.


He was drunk.
 
2012-11-21 04:50:11 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Song done British: Link

Same song, done Murrican: Link

/I love 'em both ways

The up tempo banjo picking of the American version seems to fit the song better.

But Richard Thompson is so much better at singing it than the other band.

I just like the bluegrass version better.


I have a friend who is a great banjo picker, and one day he came to me saying, "Hey, you gotta hear this song that Del McCoury does!" I heard about four bars, and knew what it was. I turned him on to the Richard Thompson version, and he reached the identical conclusion you did. Myself, I always preferred Richard Thompson's version, because I was more familiar with it, and he's such an impeccable guitarist. But as the saying goes, YMMV. :)
 
2012-11-21 04:50:27 AM
So if Rob Thomas worked at sounding British, would he sound normal?
/worrrrst everrrr.
 
2012-11-21 04:51:21 AM

You are Borg: ClintonKun: NicoFinn: "...as did Paul McCartney in his cover of "Till There Was You," pronouncing saw more like sawr."

Umm, I think that's actually part of some British dialects, isn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I hear this a lot in spoken British English. I don't think Paul was trying to sound American, necessarily. More like he let his own accent slip out.

Also, British persons have this odd habit of putting an er on the end of words that end with a. Like "Americer" or "Obamer". Not sure if it's a recent development or not, and even though I tend to like British accents, that little quirk can get annoying.

I hear it on the radio all the time when they mention Canader and Chiner, always found it very odd.


What do you call a blind dinosaur?
 
2012-11-21 05:01:23 AM

SJKebab: Not just british. Basically everyone who sings in the english language sounds american when they sing. Anything else just sounds weird these days.


It's because that's how people sing in the music they listen to.

Look at how many little girl singers sing in that horrible faux-Irish accent when they sing.

This is how you spot true musical talent - they don't imitate everybody else, they do their own thing.
 
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