Maybe It'd Be Better if the Leppard WERE Def


I believe I've mentioned this before, but I LOVE to sing along with music in the car. And not knowing the words-- or the language, for that matter-- has never really dampened the ol' spirits.

It's not that I necessarily SET OUT to mangle other people's creativity. It's just when it's a melody I particularly like, this great wave of joy overcomes me, I become totally immersed-- and there's nothing left to do but sing... SING... SIIINNNG!

But as I caught myself doing this again this week-- much to the horror of my fellow commuters and the innocent people standing on the sidewalk--

(good music requires projection)

--I realized HOW MANY artists I like without having any concept of what I'm singing. I mean, I could look them up... but then that would ruin the fun, wouldn't it?

Here are a few:

Def Leppard, the Rock of Ages album. This is one of my guilty pleasures. There's this great powerful chorus of voices that gets me all inspired and ready to sing along, with NO CLUE what the actual words are. (Which is just as well, because I'm pretty sure they're not the musical equivalent of Shakespeare).

Like my favorite song on the album, "Rocket":

Rocket
Yeah
Meah-liiiiii-ba-da-numble-nah

This, of course, gets normalized to the point that I forget "Meah-liiiiii-ba-da-numble-nah" isn't the real lyrics. And then I sing it with gusto in front of friends who don't view gusto as a great substitution for, say, talent.

Or like the opening of "Pour Some Sugar On Me":

Bomb-ee-domba-bomb (with echo).

Bomb-ee-domba-bomb and
come on get it on
Yomba domba domba domba
Red eye phone

Man, I love that album!

Dave Matthews is another one. Dave has some really interesting work. But the wrap-around lyrics and singing style which make him so distinctive, also make certain songs a bit challenging. I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out "Satellite":

Sa-till-lite
Nin-my-liiiiie
Lyga-dyma-inna-guy
How I wonder

And I DID wonder. I finally broke down and read the lyrics on that one.

And then there's Steve Winwood. I LOVE Stevie's stuff, because his melodies are sharp, his early work has an interesting use of keyboard, and he's not bad lookin', either. But as for understanding half of what dear Mr. Winwood sings...

The key to singing with Steve Winwood-- if you were looking for some tips (you WERE, weren't you? fess up!... Okay, nevermind)-- is to make up the lyrics as always, but:

Do it with a Cockney accent. Also, don't move your lips or jaw when you sing.

In terms of World music, Om Shanti Om has been one of my recent favorites to scare the locals with. This is a Bollywood soundtrack to a film of the same name which a guy on BlogCatalog got me into. It's hugely fun-- very upbeat-- terrific to sing to... IF you know Hindi.

I myself do not know Hindi.

I know people who KNOW Hindi, who have tried hard to teach me to pronounce a few assorted words properly so I do not embarrass myself. Because they're considerate that way.

But this doesn't really lend itself to singing loudly in the car. My consolation is, that in looking online to see what the songs are actually about, there seem to be a number of people in India who also don't speak Hindi and are confused. I also noticed some American kids of Indian descent posting online who like the album, and don't know what the singers are saying.

So I don't feel quite as bad about that one. Not knowing brings us all together!
All hot girls put your hands up and say, 'Om Shanti Om!'

Woo-HOO!! (I know: I'm a big dork.)

Lastly, Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" of a few years ago had me totally baffled. I could have SWORN there was a line in it that sounded like:

Mr. Mom is stinkin'

In retrospect, that didn't seem quite right. I mean, why the harsh words for ol' Mr. Mom, dudes? What's Keaton done to you? So I went online and looked up the lyrics:

This time I'm mistaken.

OH. Sure. I knew that. (Okay, not really.)

So tell me folks-- are there musicians or particular songs YOU like without actually knowing the lyrics? Do you sing along? Have I inadvertently made your eardrums bleed at some point because I've driven past you while singing "Rocket"? (If so, my apologies.)


-------------------------

The folks at Humor-blogs LOOOOVE karaoke.

24 comments:

markstoneman said...

That's the greatest disadvantage to not owning a car anymore. I do not have a space where I feel free to sing wildly with utter disregard for those outside my car. The things we give up for the sake of the environment.

Jenn Thorson said...

Well, Mark- based on what you say, you're cutting down on noise pollution AND exhaust fumes. :)

I can only imagine the looks of folks on public transit if you decided to give a li'l concert there.

Alice said...

I'm sure there are lots of songs that I sing incorrectly, but I choose to remain in the dark and sing my own version.

I also checked out that Indian album on iTunes. I love that music! One of the best wedding receptions I ever attended was half Indian and probably the most fun I ever had on the dance floor. Woo hoo!

Jenn Thorson said...

Alice- Very cool! Someone else who gets the great fun that is the "Om Shanti Om" album. :) I've Netflixed the film, so I hope to at least see it with subtitles.

chyna said...

I can't believe that you actually drove all the words to Pour Some Sugar on Me out of my head. And I can't even hear you! LOL

Oh I'm sure there are lots of artists out there I've slaughtered. But some like Ozzy Osbourne are just looking to be mashed up. Honestly the guy can't speak in any way or form that anyone can understand him beyond his family! Well except the F-bomb, he has managed to say that one quite well.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- I looked the Pour Some Sugar on Me lyrics up today, and have decided I am taking Alice's tactic (above) and I like my own version better.

I did get the word "bomb" right-- though that was about it.

"Red-eye phones," whatever they would be, apparently have nothing to do with it.

I am so proud! :)

John Painz said...

While I don't have a car, while living in NY I would sing while listening to my ipod... it was an experience singing and then turning around to see two or three people behind you, listening intently...

Jenn Thorson said...

John- That's a terrific visual image!

They were either really enjoying your musical stylings or were going to have something VEDDY interesting to share with their families later...

Hopefully you introduced them to some new bands! :)

Sujatha said...

My daughter danced to the 'Deewangi' song from Om Shanti Om (it was in an act titled 'Bollywood Blast' with a group of 5 girls in her elementary school talent show.) They really did have a blast!

The film is quite hilarious(at least the first half is a spoof of practically all famous Bollywood movies of the 60's through the '80's.) I think you will enjoy it, even with the subtitles.

Jenn Thorson said...

Ah, Sujatha! "Deewangi" is one of my favorites off that album!-- I can see where your daughter would have had a "blast" for sure with that. WAY too fun!

I'm all excited now about seeing the film. It's somewhere in my Netflix queue. I don't mind subtitles anyway.

I'd love any other music/soundtrack recommendations for Bollywood films, if you have any to share.

Da Old Man said...

I spend every Saturday morning watching Showbiz India. I have no idea what they are singing about when they do a song in Hindi, but who cares.

By the way, as far as not knowing the words, many years ago my ex-MIL, asked, Why does Boy George want to become a comedian?

Ummm, it's "Karma Chameleon, Mom."

Lastly, does anyone really know the words to "Blinded by the Light."

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- I'll have to see if I get that on my cable stations. That would be a wonderful start to my Saturday mornings. I find it impossible to not be happy during my commute when I'm playing the Om Shanti Om sountrack.

Re: Boy George-- "Become a, come-a, come-a comedian... You come and go... you come and go..." Sure! It's clearly about stand-up comedy touring. :)

And let's see... "Blinded by the light... revved up like a deuce, another roamer in the night..." (Okay, years ago I cheated and looked it up... but even KNOWING doesn't really help UNDERSTANDING... :)

Tommy Buettner said...

You think YOU have it tough with music lyrics?

Try being a fan of Death Metal, and figuring out the words without them written out. lol

Jenn Thorson said...

Tommy- See, I just always assumed folks who liked Death Metal had super-lyric-hearing or something-- a special sense evolved far beyond the rest of us-- and KNEW what the singers were saying.

I'm SHOCKED and SURPRISED (okay, maybe just mildly amused) that you have the same issues with lyrics as everyone else.

Thank goodness for CDs that come with lyrics, is all I can say! :)

chyna said...

We do have an advantage since alot of the songs just involve screaming, mention somethng about sex and/or drugs and then done.

And then you have groups like Def Leppard who make up words and convince us all that they are words in another language only for it to come out later on that Mutt Lang just liked making up words. Gooben Gleepen Gloppen Globen. Those four words alone had ot have messed up many a German language class.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- Ah, I see-- so you have some pre-determined genre cues. :)

The "German" on the Def Leppard album was enthusiastically used by my classmates at the time. I recall kids in marching band camp trying to teach it to other kids. It was pretty funny.

Of course, as always, I had NO idea what it was about at the time... YEARS later I got to hear the full album and it all made sense.

Sujatha said...

Sorry Jen- no rocking soundtrack recommendations here- I actually tend to fast forward through the songs because they don't really match my taste in music (I prefer the older Bollywood soundtracks from the 40's through the 80's- when we would see a film for its music rather than the other way round.) Of the recent crop, I must say that the music of Jodhaa Akbar grows on me, though it is a quieter soundtrack, the story being set in 16th century India. Do catch it if you like that genre.

Jenn Thorson said...

Ah, that's okay, Sujatha- But thanks anyway! And thanks for the quieter recommendation. I will check it out.

rethoryke said...

I think the earliest lyric I remember mangling was from the soundtrack to _Hair_. Somehow my young mind managed to change "Let the Sunshine In" to "Yay for Snoopy", but considering I was perhaps 4 at the time, I think it's excusable.

Back then, I only heard pop music like that when we'd be driving into NYC for church events, or to pick up my mom at work.

Jenn Thorson said...

Rhet- "Let the Sun Shine in"... "Yay for Snoopy..." sure, I can see where you could have gotten that confused. :)

Of course, now I'll never be able to unhear "Yay for Snoopy" when that song comes on.

Oh, well-- Everybody loves Snoopy!

chyna said...

Let the Snoopy in, let the Snoopy in, the Snoopy in.

Yep that song is hopeless mangled now. LOL

Heh Jen, I was so proud that I know 4 words in German until I found out YEARS later they are just nonsense. Talk about a let down! I never listened to hair metal until I was a senior and even that was Poison (hardly heavy metal). Though someone did smuggled Twisted Sister on the basketball bus once and on a trip to a music festival (ie festival for the teacher, hell for the music class students) someone brought on Motley Crue and another I don't remember the name of. That was such sweet ambrosia since all I ever listened to was pop music like Wham!

I was like a kid from a commune set free into the big world once I graduated. Let me see here, I was one of the Witches of Ashleigh Hall (because of the music I listened to), wore pumps alot, had the big hair, yup I went wild. Oh those were the days. Now I just blast Motley Crue in my car on the way home. ;(

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- some great images there.

You know, I had an Alice Cooper CD in my car and one of my coworkers spied it- I think it entirely ruined for him his image of me. I felt bad about that but... can't a girl like Victoriana and Alice Cooper, too? I think there's room for both. :)

washwords said...

thanks - love this! and your blog in general, I've "reddited" you

Jenn Thorson said...

Washwords-- hey, thank you. I appreciate the, er, Redditation, and your individual reading and stopping by.