Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

English songs in non-english countries

jawtheshark (198669) writes | more than 6 years ago

Music 24

While driving, I usually listen to the radio. Either Radio-ARA which is English (from 6h to 24h) which is funny and refreshing, but also RTL Luxembourg which is in Luxembourgish. The latter is very useful to pick up the news so I tuned into it on my way home.

While driving, I usually listen to the radio. Either Radio-ARA which is English (from 6h to 24h) which is funny and refreshing, but also RTL Luxembourg which is in Luxembourgish. The latter is very useful to pick up the news so I tuned into it on my way home.

Well, they played "Hotel California" by the Eagles and the DJ commented something along the lines of "How nice it would be to be there now.". Ehm? Do they have even listened to the lyrics? Hotel California isn't a place you want to be ever. It's a nightmarish place, probably referencing to drug addiction (or something more weird like a place in the Twilight Zone).

Yes, I know it's probably their lack of English, but couldn't you at least *try* to understand what it's about? Please? Sure, I understand she probably meant "it would be nice to be in California", but still.

Another example is "Moon Over Bourbon Street" by Sting. (Just popped in my mind, there are others.)

How is it in the English speaking world? Do people actually sing along without understanding what it's about and am I perhaps just a pedant intellectual wannabe? (Okay, those are of course not exclusive *grin*)

Reminds me of this.

cancel ×

24 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The US has no equivalent (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23859173)

of EuroVision! ;-)

However, lots of songs are glossed in their meaning, or completely [amiright.com] misunderstood. [sfgate.com]

Re:The US has no equivalent (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23859601)

EuroVision!

Oh, God... I don't even watch that anymore. It jumped the shark a long time ago!

However, lots of songs are glossed in their meaning, or completely [amiright.com] misunderstood.

Reminds me of a German comedian talking about "Annelise Brown" [lyricsbox.com] (Look at the first sentence. If you know a bit German, it might get clear to you).

Re:The US has no equivalent (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23860457)

Anna Lise!

Lyrically Challenged (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23859183)

I rarely listen to lyrics. I'm not musically inclined, so its something in the background to me. Couple that with my difficulty understanding lyrics in the first place and... well... I'm from California so yes, i am very much looking forward to going back;-)

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23859485)

Okay, makes sense.... But this was a DJ. One would at least expect a DJ to listen to what (s)he plays, no? A DJ is by definition musically inclined.

I'm from California so yes, i am very much looking forward to going back

Make no mistake. I'd love to go back to California and show it to my wife. Someday, if our finances allow it. (Okay, they do allow it, but I put priority to saving for a house.) However, going to "Hotel California" isn't the same as checking in into a Best Western. ;-)

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23860129)

Out of curioisty, which parts did you visit? I'm from Santa Cruz originally (about ~100 miles South of San Francisco), but have spent much time in the Bay Area and also in the Southern parts. (Los Angeles, Sand Diego, and Santa Barbara.)

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23860701)

The Bay Area, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Death Valley (And some others, I need to look it up). On the way back we went to Santa Barbera and took Route 1 North back to San Fransisco. We pretty much stayed north of Los Angeles. No, I did not go to Vegas (I know that's not in California) nor Los Angeles. We only had two weeks.

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23861845)

If you swing through the Bay Area again, let me know and I'll buy you a beer (I don't know if it'll compare to what you've got in Europe, but I do like the California micro-brews).

Oh, and about lyrics, yeah, most people I know who I talk to about music are surprised about what the songs are actually saying. They hear some of the words, but miss the overall meaning most of the time. I don't think it's an ESL thing, I think it's a lazy listening thing (not that you need to know what the lyrics say when you're listening to music, but if you're going to comment on them like the DJ did, you should be aware of what they actually are).

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23863759)

It's quite unlikely that I'll be back in California anytime soon. I tried some microbrews in California. Actually, I usually asked for local beers, but that seemed to be one of the strangest questions a tourist could ask ;-)

Oh, and I said "we" in the post. That was me and my brother [slashdot.org] . Next time it'll be me and my wife of course...

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23862037)

An excellent trip it sounds like! I went to UC Santa Barbara for my degree and really liked the area. I also lived in the Bay Area for about 6 years, but there were simply too many people, not enough affordable housing (my 400 square foot studio in the Bay Area was the same price as the mortgage on a 1700 square foot house with .25 acre in Oregon!), and far too much time spent in the car. But there were some good time while i was down there;-)

If you went by Highway 1 you would have run straight through Santa Cruz on your way back. Its the Northern part of the Monterey Bay, about smack in the middle of California. (You also would ahve passed through Monterey;-) I'm heading there in just under a month to visit my folks and some friends.

If you do come back to the States I'd be more than happy to share some Oregon beers with you, too. Portland is where the whole micro-brew trend really started AFAIK. (Personally I can't stand beer. I'm OK with wine, and while I don't care for the affects, I really like the taste of hard alcohol;-)

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23863863)

Well, I'm agnostic on what beverages I drink, though I try to avoid hard alcohol because I don't survive it for long. However, it's unlikely I'll head to the States anytime soon. I'll keep you guys updated though.

I'm OK with wine, and while I don't care for the affects

The effects of alcohol affect your behaviour... Catch my drift?

Oh, and I said "we" in the post. That was me and my brother [slashdot.org] . Next time it'll be me and my wife of course...

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23865565)

The effects of alcohol affect your behaviour... Catch my drift?

I can never remember which is which, so I just mentally alternate them throughout the day;-) I figure that gives me a 50-50 chance of it being right, but I'm not that well with statistics either. :-P

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23869585)

Well, look at it this way: with that little easy to remember phrase you now have a way to find out every time you need to decide. Effective method to affect your writing *evil grin*.

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877993)

Well, look at it this way: with that little easy to remember phrase you now have a way to find out every time you need to decide. Effective method to affect your writing *evil grin*.

I think you are overestimating how affective of an effect that will have on me;-) But I had to understand to make the joke- dammit!

Re:Lyrically Challenged (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23901181)

My ploy worked ;-)

Beautiful Day (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23864279)

One of my high school instructors was a major U2 fan, and complained that they played "Beautiful Day" at a wedding without realizing the lyrics weren't appropriate.

And this is in the Midwest US.

Maybe (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874041)

The DJ just meant "there" to be California?

Re:Maybe (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875805)

No shit? I think I even mentioned that in my journal...

Re:Maybe (1)

SamTheButcher (574069) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914933)

I checked and didn't see that when I replied.

Re:Maybe (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23921355)

No problem... Can happen to everyone.

I don't know if it's only language (1)

turg (19864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877075)

In my experience (which may not be representative), people in Europe don't seem to consider the content of the song (e.g. whether it's appropriate for the occasion) as strongly as in North America, even when it's in their native language. And it's not just a matter of not paying attention to the lyrics either -- it happens even when the chorus of the song loudly and clearly says something rude/crude. e.g. I've seen and heard of this at business conferences where a song is played as an introduction or between speakers and the North Americans are saying, "What? I can't believe they are playing that." and they Europeans go, "Oh, I guess now that you mention it, that is a little out of place."

Re:I don't know if it's only language (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877415)

Possible, but I do think that it's partially due to language. Over 75% of the songs played here are English. If you do not master the language, you automatically focus on rhythm and tunes. Since we actually do that so much of the time, we also tend to do it with songs that we do understand.

It's pretty much a conditioning to not needing to understand lyrics. In English speaking countries, this happens far less: they understand by default and are as such not conditioned to focus on something else than the lyrics.

I'm pretty much an exception: I understand virtually 99% of all songs played on the radio.

It's easy to check this theory: if people from the UK also disregard lyrics. I'm wrong.

heh (1)

tuxette (731067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23883255)

This [youtube.com] is the reason why "singers" should stick to their native language when "singing" (or whateverthefuck it is they do)...

Re:heh (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23883491)

Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster!
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>