Why in heaven’s name can’t pop singers enunciate words properly?
If I hear LeAnn Rimes pronounce “live” as “leave” one more time, I’ll puke!

Is there some law I missed that requires mispronounciation?

I thought that was called a dialect. Some people DO pronounce words differently. Tomato for instance.

“The groups that made these records, let’s just say, were not known for their enunciation. That had irritated me a long time, as a jazz aficionado and as a guy who loves lyrics. I thought Gee, that’s terrible the way they just slough over everything.

–Stan Freberg explaining his 1954 satire of “Sha-boom” by the Chords.
(as the “producer” Freberg told the singers to stick rags in their mouths)

Oh, but have you never heard non-English speaking artists make fools out of themselves? There’s one Norwegian girl, whose name I don’t remember, whose song made me turn off the radio. The word tear in “all the feelings that you hide, are gonna tear you up inside” was pronounced as tear as in teardrops. It makes you wonder why they insist on singing in English. Go back to school, your career is over.

One of the funniest “non-English-speakers-singing-in-English” experiences I ever had was when a friend played a record from his collection for me. I don’t remember the name of the record, or the artist, but it was a Mitch Miller-style vocal group from one of the Scandinavian countries.

They were singing the song “Little Green Apples,” whose chorus, you may know, states, “It don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summer.” As God is my witness, they pronounced it “Indiana-polis,” with a long “o,” rather than the correct “IndianApolis.”

Re: The OP

"Now I’m mumblin’ and I’m screamin’
And I don’t know what I’m singin’
Crank the volume, ears are bleedin’
I still don’t know what I’m singin’
We’re so loud and incoherent
Boy, this oughta bug your parents

It’s unintel-ligible
I just can’t get it through my skull
It’s hard to bargle nawdle zouss(?)
With all these marbles in my mouth…"

“Smells Like Nirvana”, Weird Al Yankovic

I’m a trained singer - I enunciate when I type. :wink:


This reminds me of Christmas Story, when they’re eating at the Chinese Restraunt.

Deck the Harrs with bowrs of Horry.

Have you heard Celine Dion (the she-devil)'s fairly recent song “That’s the Way it Is” (or something like that). She pronounces “love” “lerve.” Yeah, I know she’s from Quebec. But lerve? She doesn’t pronounce it that way in other songs she screams…uh sings. Lerve. Give me a break.

Damn, my second musical rant for the morning. Maybe I should listen to some happy show tunes.

A lot of popular singers now use vocal tricks to sound better than they are, which might explain some of the strange pronunciations. If you listen to someone like Christina Aguilera, you’ll notice after some careful inspection that her voice isn’t as good as it might seem at first take. She’s been taught a lot of ways to avoid actually having to sustain difficult notes that make it sound like she’s just being soulful.

Could it be so with LeAnn Rimes and the “leave/live” thing? It seems to me the word with a long “e” sound would be easier to sustain than with a short “i”.

I few weeks ago I was listening to a Cuban radio station, when they played the old standard “Down By the Riverside” by a local barbershop quartet. I think they thought they were singing the entire song in English – it didn’t sound like Spanish – and they did a good job on the refrain, but I couldn’t understand a single other word in the song.

Overall, it was a strange effect:

fji jifjfj iofjfoifj oifoirfmir, DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE!,
djweiwe kdioej [ek0eikcl fjrydg, DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE!
dh hddge egegd gdgedg dgdg dgef, DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE!

Listening to * Life Begins at 40 million * by the Bogmen (actually a very intelligible group, normally), I swear I heard, “and my balls go hut hut hut hut hut” (in a very high pitched voice). Turns out it was pulse, not balls, but I kinda like my version better.