If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Slate)   Why British singers sound American. Is it something related to why people don't stutter when they sing?   (slate.com) divider line 40
    More: Interesting, African-Americans, Beatles, singing voice, dialects, james bond movies, African American Vernacular English, country music, singers sound  
•       •       •

12851 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»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Archived thread
2012-11-21 06:12:52 AM  
3 votes:
Regarding "sawr" it's just a case of linking/intrusive R, a feature of THEIR accent and not American ones. I am disappointed that the writer could have discussed the singing accent phenomenon but also be ignorant of this.
2012-11-21 03:55:31 AM  
3 votes:

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 04:32:45 AM  
2 votes:

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 04:09:45 AM  
2 votes:

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 03:48:27 AM  
2 votes:
"...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 03:45:56 AM  
2 votes:
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 04:08:06 PM  
1 votes:

B.L.Z. Bub: Did anyone know that Mumford & Sons were English? They sound like some down-home good ol' boys in that "I Will Wait" song.


Yeah. Listen to "Little Lion Man". It should be pretty clear they're British.
2012-11-21 02:59:45 PM  
1 votes:
FTFA: For the newest James Bond movie, Skyfall, English singer Adele recorded a song with the same name. Though Adele speaks with a strong London accent, her singing voice sounds more American than British. Why do British vocalists often sound American when they sing?

Let the skyfoe
When it crumboes
We wiwl stand toll
Face it oll togevah

Let the skyfoe
When it crumboes
We wiwl stand toll
Face it oll togevah
At skyfoe
At skyfoe

/She sounds pretty British to me.
2012-11-21 02:39:21 PM  
1 votes:

Ilmarinen: 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?


Do you think he sawer us? Haha, nice one!
2012-11-21 12:02:09 PM  
1 votes:

Eddie Ate Dynamite: People keep telling me there's a difference in pronunciation between "pen" and "pin", but I can't hear it. So of course I can't say it. I thought the first person that told me this was just farking with me, but I've had quite a few people from varied backgrounds confirm it. Now I feel really self conscious when I have to ask someone for something to write with.

/I pronounce and hear them both like "ten"
//Or is it tin..oh god I probably fark that up too


The vowel sound in pin is the same as the first vowel in icky.
The vowel sound in pen is the same as the first vowel in echo.
2012-11-21 10:48:56 AM  
1 votes:
They do it for the same reason country singers adopt a twangy accent, even when they are from LA or Canada.
2012-11-21 10:16:51 AM  
1 votes:

Joce678: 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.


That's a poor definition of musical talent. Wouldn't it be the people who make it sound the way they want it to sound be better?
2012-11-21 09:40:32 AM  
1 votes:

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.


Bingo. Paul has a Merseyside Liverpool accent. It's got lilting elements of the Irish accent to it, but there are also elements which sound American, or more correctly, there are elements of the Liverpool accent which when exported to America became part of out accent.

It makes perfect sense if you remember that Liverpool was a major trading port with the US in the 18th and 19th centuries and a major point of embarkation.
2012-11-21 09:37:17 AM  
1 votes:

Mikey1969: fusillade762: 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 image 594x427]

[www.fusedmagazine.com image 800x1200]

That first one isn't Nena, is it? If it is, I don't think this argument counts when singing in a completely different language, at least in my opinion. Either way, I agree that dialects get lost. One of my examples was Ozzy taking vs. Ozzy singing, all the way back to the beginning.


I find Ozzy more understandable when he sings. If he is talking you need subtitles
2012-11-21 08:41:40 AM  
1 votes:

FunkOut: Meanwhile, why do so many American punk singers sound British?


Because the Beatles. Everybody sounded English before 1980
2012-11-21 08:17:08 AM  
1 votes:

LDM90: 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.


Listen to Frank Sinatra. He would even sing consonants. Unorthodox, but he made it work. And well before Cobain.
2012-11-21 07:52:00 AM  
1 votes:

DemoKnite: 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.


I came here to say...they usually sound English to me. So I don't really get the article.

Unless they're TRYING to sound American, which is common in rock or blues music. Even then, when they say certain words I can usually tell.

Pink Floyd for instance, even as a rock band, sounds English.
Adele doesn't sound American to me either. I figured she wasn't, even before I knew where she was from.

Maybe most people are just really bad at picking up accents.
2012-11-21 07:11:46 AM  
1 votes:

max_pooper: Austrian Irish accent - best for picking up chicks


FTFY
2012-11-21 06:54:28 AM  
1 votes:
British hip hop shows tha author doesn't have much of a clue

Dizzee Rascal Link
Lethal Bizzle Link

/And for fun Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer Link
Boe
2012-11-21 06:53:04 AM  
1 votes:
Jarvis Cocker frowns on your shenanigans!
2012-11-21 06:42:46 AM  
1 votes:

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


policelink.monster.com
2012-11-21 05:05:42 AM  
1 votes:

Wittenberg Dropout: Subby has never listened to Bowie or the Jam.


Subby doesn't know what the fark he's talking about. He just noticed a couple of people do it and extrapolated.
2012-11-21 05:03:31 AM  
1 votes:
Subby has never listened to Bowie or the Jam.
2012-11-21 05:01:23 AM  
1 votes:

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.
2012-11-21 04:50:11 AM  
1 votes:

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 04:43:56 AM  
1 votes:

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


alltheragefaces.com
Poe
2012-11-21 04:40:17 AM  
1 votes:
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 04:39:01 AM  
1 votes:
Huh. I always assumed Brits to be talentless, soulless, vacant hacks and that all their artists were American imports. Who knew?
2012-11-21 03:56:23 AM  
1 votes:
Because black American R&B musicians didn't have English accents.
2012-11-21 03:53:33 AM  
1 votes:
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 03:44:57 AM  
1 votes:
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 03:40:43 AM  
1 votes:
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 03:33:56 AM  
1 votes:
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 03:32:30 AM  
1 votes:
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 03:31:34 AM  
1 votes:
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 03:26:22 AM  
1 votes:
Meanwhile, why do so many American punk singers sound British?
2012-11-21 01:54:32 AM  
1 votes:
news.twentyfourbit.com

Not able to be understood in any accent.
2012-11-21 01:17:01 AM  
1 votes:
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 01:01:28 AM  
1 votes:
www.chartattack.com

Your argument is invalid.
2012-11-21 12:08:19 AM  
1 votes:
Because they're trying to sound black. Like Elvis did. That's the sound rock requires.
 
Displayed 40 of 40 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report