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What did he say?
October 18, 2013 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Dan Lewis, writer of the blog, Now I Know reveals this little gem: In 1963, a group named the Kingsmen covered the song “Louie Louie,” originally recorded by Richard Berry eight years prior. The Kingsmen’s version is a classic and you’ve almost certainly heard it (but if not, here you go) and likely can sing the whole thing — kind of. You probably have no idea what the actual words are because they’re a garbled mess which is impossible to understand. But that didn’t stop an angry parent from writing to then-U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and insisting that the lyrics were obscene. For some reason, this lead to an FBI investigation (!) which concluded, no, the lyrics are just unintelligible. The FBI was right, but they missed something.

At about 0:53 into the song, Lynn Easton, the band’s drummer, dropped a drumstick and yelled out the f-word. It’s audible (but not obvious) in the recording (which if you didn’t click to listen to before, you probably will now ).

Previously
posted by JujuB (84 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't hear anything. Did this Dan Lewis just make this up?
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:11 AM on October 18, 2013


In this vein - you know in "Hey Jude", right before they go into the "Na na na na" bit, the last time they're running through the chorus? That time they run through, right after the line "remember to let her into your heart", you hear what sounds like someone saying "whoa!" in the background.

I bet you probably thought that was one of the other Beatles getting into the groove or something. But no - it is actually all you can hear of John Lennon cursing because "I played the wrong fucking CHORD!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on October 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


I can't hear anything. Did this Dan Lewis just make this up?

I've heard it. It is quite hard to hear, and easy to lose in the midst of the instrumentation.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:12 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can hear it.
posted by JujuB at 9:12 AM on October 18, 2013


I can hear someone vocalize something right at the 0:53 mark, but I don't notice any change in the drumming. He doesn't drop his right stick because the ride cymbal is still going, and he doesn't miss a snare hit on either side of that moment.
posted by elmer benson at 9:13 AM on October 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


There's definitely an expletive there, but only if you're listening for it.
posted by pokoleo_runs_with_wolves at 9:13 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, the king is naked.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:14 AM on October 18, 2013


Never knew about the audible curse. Interesting! Also, after the guitar solo at around 1:54 you can hear the vocalist come into soon and abruptly stop.
posted by mcmile at 9:15 AM on October 18, 2013


Nice fucklyric tag! Can't listen right now, but sounds interesting. Thanks!
posted by trip and a half at 9:16 AM on October 18, 2013


....I actually may be wrong about "I played the wrong CHORD"; TV tropes indicates that it may simply have been "Fucking HELL!"

(Warning: TV tropes link.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:17 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Grrrrr! Always last to the party! I can never find those fucking Easter eggs!
posted by lumosh at 9:18 AM on October 18, 2013


mcmile, I never noticed that before. So does this mean when we sing the song for karaoke, the tiny bit of vocal needs to be sung?
posted by JujuB at 9:19 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are we sure this isn't pareidolia?

Not saying it isn't genuine, just wondering.
posted by aramaic at 9:32 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can hear it, but it just sounds luke "uh." The consonants are not clear at all.

Now, "Beat It," on the other hand. There is no way Michael Jackson is saying, per the liner notes, "funky." It's used as an expletive: Showin' how funky strong is your fight. That doesn't even make any sense! He's definitely saying "fucking." About a dozen times. In the chorus of the most played song in history.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:37 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


But no - it is actually all you can hear of John Lennon cursing

Geoff Emerick confirmed that it's Paul saying 'fucking hell' in his book. That's absolutely where the singalong begins at Mintcake Towers.
posted by mintcake! at 9:37 AM on October 18, 2013


JujuB: So does this mean when we sing the song for karaoke, the tiny bit of vocal needs to be sung?

Depends on which version you're performing. There are over a thousand cover versions.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:41 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's definitely saying "fucking." About a dozen times. In the chorus of the most played song in history.

Country-blocked where I am (SF, USA) :(
posted by slater at 9:42 AM on October 18, 2013


Also, after the guitar solo at around 1:54 you can hear the vocalist come into soon and abruptly stop.

I would love to make a compilation of all the songs I know with egregious mistakes. I gather these were more common in the sixties when an entire album might be recorded in a day or three and there was little time or money to go back and fix any gaffe that did not wreck the song entirely: Denny Doherty coming back in a bar too early in a Mamas and Papas song (2:43), a Supreme hitting an odd note and mutating the backing vocals to a weird, never-repeated -- I think -- ninth chord (2:28), a session horn player on a Bee Gees track messing up his embouchure and sounding a brief blaaat (2:58)...
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:43 AM on October 18, 2013 [11 favorites]


Bah! Humbug!

The 'controversy' mystified me then as it does now. I didn't have any difficulty understanding the words in 1963 over a transistor radio with a two inch speaker. I don't understand the more recent obsession that manifests repeatedly on the internet.

As for this new revelation, a better drummer than me will have to tell you whether he's playing one handed for any period at the appointed moment. There is definitely a shout there, but to my ears it does not have the audio profile of the f-bomb.

Is there another source on this?

Now if you will excuse me, I've got to go kiss this guy, eat some cranberry sauce, keep on dancin' and a-prancin' and get a job.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:43 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are over a thousand cover versions.

...and a pretty good answer song as well.
posted by mintcake! at 9:44 AM on October 18, 2013


Also, after the guitar solo at around 1:54 you can hear the vocalist come into soon and abruptly stop.

I have often wondered if this incident is the source of the 'obscene lyrics' myth. To me it's obviously a blown cue, deftly covered by the drummer with a fill.

This was a bar band, playing live in the studio. You can't fix things with overdubs. The performance was deemed OK otherwise, so they printed it.

 
posted by Herodios at 9:47 AM on October 18, 2013


I love little recording imperfections like this and the others mentioned in this thread. Another one I never noticed before reading about it in Soulsville U.S.A.; at 1:03 in "Hold On, I'm Coming" by Sam & Dave, trumpeter Wayne Jackson forgets to come in when they repeat the chorus, but the take was so strong it was decided to just leave it be.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:48 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you tell someone in advance that some garbled or indistinct sound is somebody saying "such-and-such" then chances are they'll hear it as "such-and-such." This is the phenomenon that drives "if you play the album backwards you'll hear..." rumors. The problem is that if you don't cue people up in advance to what it is they're supposed to hear, they'll say "that just sounds like gobbledegook" or they'll propose other, more or less randomized possibilities.

Is someone saying "fuck" in the background of "Louie, Louie"? It's really impossible for us to judge because we've all already had someone propose that to us, so that if we listen we'll be actively, if unconsciously, trying to hear the indistinct sounds as "fuck." What we need is a body of people who have not had that expectation foisted upon them, who listen closely to the track and tell us what they do and don't hear. Luckily, in the case of "Louie, Louie" we have run that experiment thousands upon thousands of times--including the instance of the FBI investigation. And for thousands and thousands of unbiased listening events, no one heard anybody say "fuck" where we're now being asked to hear it. I think the conclusion is pretty obvious.
posted by yoink at 9:48 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's so strange how someone could come away from this song with the conclusion it's somehow obscene even though they clearly could not have understood the words. And convinced of it enough to write to the FBI about it. You'd have to be so sex-obsessed to see dongs and butts anytime you didn't understand something.
posted by Hoopo at 9:49 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


That Italian song really had me straining because my brain wanted to make out the words.
posted by pointystick at 9:49 AM on October 18, 2013


Mistakes in famous songs
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:51 AM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


If we're going to have a post from Know I Know, someone has to plug Dan's new book which just came out today.
posted by slogger at 9:56 AM on October 18, 2013


I will say that whatever the sound is, it definitely sounds as if the singer is singing through a laugh for a couple seconds afterward until he gets it back under control.
posted by Inkoate at 9:58 AM on October 18, 2013


My untrained non-drummer ears didn't notice any hiccup or discontinuity to the drumming near the outburst. Certainly nothing that would result from a dropped stick.
posted by rocket88 at 9:59 AM on October 18, 2013


Sys Rq: "Now, "Beat It," on the other hand. There is no way Michael Jackson is saying, per the liner notes, "funky." It's used as an expletive: Showin' how funky strong is your fight. That doesn't even make any sense! He's definitely saying "fucking ." About a dozen times. In the chorus of the most played song in history."

Nope, don't buy it. The word "funky" is used in an adverbial capacity like that all the time, just probably not in the dialect you speak, which would account for the misinterpretation.
posted by invitapriore at 10:06 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's a whole website cataloguing the glitchy bits and mistakes in Beatles records:

http://wgo.signal11.org.uk/wgo.htm

Ringo's bass drum pedal can be heard squeaking throughout about a dozen of the early songs. 'Any Time At All' is perhaps the worst.
posted by colie at 10:08 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The list of mistakes in Guided by Voices songs must be nearly as long as a list of Guided by Voices songs.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:09 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The word "funky" is used in an adverbial capacity like that all the time, just probably not in the dialect you speak, which would account for the misinterpretation.

Is the n silent?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:11 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


just probably not in the dialect you speak, which would account for the misinterpretation.

I've also never heard a use like "how funky strong" and I listen to a lot of funk.
posted by Hoopo at 10:19 AM on October 18, 2013


Michael Jackson redefined the word 'funky.'
posted by colie at 10:20 AM on October 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


There are so many song lyrics I would like the FBI to investigate but I don't want them to get malware installed in their Internet Explorer 4s.
posted by srboisvert at 10:21 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"funky fresh," just one example I came up with off the top of my head. Not sure what funk music has to do with the word itself. Anyway, it'll sound like "fucking" if you're primed to hear that. I think that's totally implausible and so I hear "funky" in that vocal track, but I guess it'll never be settled entirely, since the man's gone.
posted by invitapriore at 10:22 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well then, clearly every recording of this filthy song should be purged from our national consciousness.

A blue eye, blue eye
Oh, oh oregano


SMUT!
posted by BlueHorse at 10:22 AM on October 18, 2013


"funky fresh," just one example I came up with off the top of my head

Can you come up with any others?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 10:26 AM on October 18, 2013


Other classic errors: Cannibal (of Cannibal and the Headhunters) improvised "na, na, na, na..." when he forgot the lyrics to Chris Kenner's "Land of a Thousand Dances." Wilson Pickett (and everyone since) kept it in his cover version. Roy Orbison forgot the opening riff for "Oh, Pretty Woman," but liked the suspended note so much, he made it part of the recording.
posted by ogooglebar at 10:28 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is there another source on this?

Wikipedia cites three sources, including this 1987 quote from Jack Ely, the lead singer:
"There is only one expletive [in 'Louie Louie'], and that happened when Lynn (Easton) said 'f—' after he hit his drumsticks together," said Ely. "That is the only dirty word in the whole song."

Attig, Rick. "Ex-Kingsman brings act to C.O." The Bulletin [Bend, Oregon] no. 207, 4 August 1987: p. B1.
posted by stebulus at 10:28 AM on October 18, 2013


falafel hair
posted by mintcake! at 10:28 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is the n silent

It's certainly not in Jackson's song--he definitely has "nk" not "k" in his pronunciation. I'm sure he chose the word because it sounded like "fucking" but he's very clearly not actually saying "fucking."
posted by yoink at 10:29 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


It never occurred to me that MJ was singing anything other than funky. On the other hand, I am maybe in a minority of people that clearly hear "FUCK the Casbah, FUCK the Casbah". Every single time.
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:29 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


How many afternoons did we spend slowing winding records backwards on the turntable to hear the secret messages?

Also, you know that scream on Love Rollercoaster by the Ohio Players? That's the model on the cover of the album screaming because the honey is too hot.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:38 AM on October 18, 2013


Both of those links say the scream was by Billy Beck, the keyboardist.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:41 AM on October 18, 2013


Footage of the FBI's "Louie Louie" investigation.
posted by theodolite at 10:47 AM on October 18, 2013


Speaking of Now I Know, Dan's book just came out today!
posted by Rhaomi at 10:52 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


one of my all-time favorite studio background things is in gimme shelter by the rolling stones... the female vocalist in the middle of the song sings (or more accurately, belts out) her verse so enthusiastically, that her voice cracks, at which time you can hear a guy in the background say "whooo!". i've always loved that.
posted by rude.boy at 11:00 AM on October 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


My favorite in-studio mistake of this kind: if you listen very closely to this album, you'll notice that several of the songs actually don't contain the f-word. I've wondered for a long time whether they were just winkingly messing with the record stores and fans when they did this, or whether it's a genuine oversight. Either way, crazy how that happened. Who would've thought?
posted by koeselitz at 11:04 AM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's easier to hear with a good set of studio headphones.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:04 AM on October 18, 2013


one of my all-time favorite studio background things is in gimme shelter by the rolling stones... the female vocalist in the middle of the song sings (or more accurately, belts out) her verse so enthusiastically, that her voice cracks, at which time you can hear a guy in the background say "whooo!". i've always loved that.

Merry Clayton. She legendarily sang the backing vocals in the middle of the night, after being called at home by Jack Nitszche and arriving at the studio hugely pregnant and in curlers. She was an R'n'B and gospel singer so unconnected to pop music that she apparently barely knew who the Rolling Stones were. And she absolutely knocks it over the outfield wall with that vocal part.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:07 AM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


How many afternoons did we spend slowing winding records backwards on the turntable to hear the secret messages?

"Goooo to church … Saaay yoour prayers...Tithe! Tithe!"
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:11 AM on October 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Can you come up with any others?

I heard Medina was funky cold. Too funky cold.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:23 AM on October 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


There are several Who songs where you can hear Moon screaming on the drum track. On "A Legal Matter", you hear Moonie shout at the start of the second chorus just after Pete sings "Maternity clothes and baby's trousers" (1:05 here). On "The Kids Are Alright," Moon cries out at the end of the first bridge, after Daltrey sings "I had big plans but her folks wouldn't let her" (1:23 here). And on "The Dirty Jobs" off Quadrophenia, you can hear a holler at the start of the bridge, right before the line "My karma tells me" (1:58 here).
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 11:29 AM on October 18, 2013


Pum pum, pa-dum-pum, didadum didadum, pum . . .

I sawr yer!

posted by Herodios at 11:35 AM on October 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Art Garfunkel sings "I love you" at about the 4:46 mark of The Boxer.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 11:39 AM on October 18, 2013


What key is this in?!
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 11:57 AM on October 18, 2013


"What key, what key!?!" (Ans.: C minor)
posted by ogooglebar at 12:07 PM on October 18, 2013



What key is this in?!

It can apparently be notated in either of the enharmonically related keys of "blocked by EMI-#" or "blocked by UMG-b".
 
posted by Herodios at 12:08 PM on October 18, 2013


one of my all-time favorite studio background things is in gimme shelter by the rolling stones... the female vocalist in the middle of the song sings (or more accurately, belts out) her verse so enthusiastically, that her voice cracks, at which time you can hear a guy in the background say "whooo!".

I've heard that that guy saying "Whoo!" is Mick.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:09 PM on October 18, 2013


What key is this in?!

Sting-key, obviously.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 12:09 PM on October 18, 2013


you can hear a guy in the background

I've heard that that guy saying "Whoo!" is Mick.


What other guy had a microphone to 'woo' into?
 
posted by Herodios at 12:11 PM on October 18, 2013


I sawr yer!

My favorite one like that - in the middle of the instrumental break for the Clash "Should I Stay Or Should I Go", you hear Mick Jones saying "Split!" at one point. ....Rumor has it that that's because Joe Strummer had jumped out from a door to scare him and Mick was telling him to get lost.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:12 PM on October 18, 2013


Sting-key, obviously.

Very.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:28 PM on October 18, 2013


No. Just No.

He didn't say fuck, he said "good luck (to Louie)" on account of how they had to leave. In this case, "leave" was just the existential metaphor for passing through this mortal phase of our spiritual journey to meet and sit at the feet of the Cosmic Muffin, and he was wishing Louie a successful transition. Why you people always have to overthink this stuff is a bloody mystery to me.

They wouldn't let us play that record at my high school dances. I think they were prejudiced against the Cosmic Muffin. Anyhow, Twist and Shout rang my bell.
posted by mule98J at 12:32 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"funky fresh," just one example I came up with off the top of my head.

Funky fresh was used a lot in old-school hip hop, but I really don't think "funky" got placed in front of any old adjective. Michael Jackson had a pretty novel use there with "funky strong".

But yeah I'm not sure Michael Jackson is dropping an F Bomb either. I'm thinking it was thrown in for the rhythm rather than because people liked to demonstrate their "funky strength" to intimidate people. For some reason I'd never even read the lyrics that way. I thought it was "Show them how funky, strong is your fight" like 2 different statements with one all Yoda'd-out.

Not sure what funk music has to do with the word itself.

I'm guessing you're not too familiar with Parliament/Funkadelic's mythology and lyrics, but even beyond those guys in funk music you will hear the word "funk" used a lot in a lot of ways that you won't elsewhere outside of maybe a certain era of hip hop.

And this concludes the most ridiculous thing I've ever typed. Thank you for reading.
posted by Hoopo at 12:43 PM on October 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not sure what funk music has to do with the word itself.

I believe credit goes to Dyke and Blazers for "Funky Broadway."
posted by ogooglebar at 12:48 PM on October 18, 2013


What other guy had a microphone to 'woo' into?

Here's a tip: when backing vocals are being recorded, it is not likely that the lead vocalist is anywhere near a microphone (or even in the same building, or even necessarily the same country for that matter).
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:13 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


he was wishing Louie a successful transition.

Would it help to point out that the song is sung from the point of view of a sailor, and that it's addressed to Louie -- his bartender?

The full story is in (deep breath) Louie, Louie: The History and Mythology of the World's Most Famous Rock 'n' Roll Song; Including the Full Details of Its Torture and Persecution at the Hands of the Kingsmen, J. Edgar Hoover's F.B.I., and a Cast of Millions; and Introducing, for the First Time Anywhere, the Actual Dirty Lyrics (1993) by Dave Marsh

In summary:
"Louie, Louie" was exactly what it sounds like -- a demo record, recorded in one take . . . Jack Ely's vocal is largely incoherent partly because the microphone was suspended too high above his head and partly because he wore braces. . . .

A 1985 Freedom of Information request unveiled the FBI's extensive file on "Louie, Louie," in which numerous people were interviewed, but not Jack Ely, the singer.

Ely could have told them the truth, that the lyrics tell the story of a homesick sailor who misses his girl back home in Jamaica and tells his sad tale to a bartender named Louie before shipping out again.

In his book Mr. Marsh was prevented by the copyright holder from reprinting the actual lyrics, so he offers instead the various filthy versions gathered by the FBI 30 years ago. And it's a funny thing. Listen to the record with the dirty lyrics in hand and, hey, they sound dirty.

-- Baltimore Sun, September 27, 1993

Yeah, I guess not.

(I can't believe I've been telling people this for fifty years.)
 
posted by Herodios at 1:20 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's a tip: when backing vocals are being recorded, it is not likely that the lead vocalist is anywhere near a microphone (or even in the same building, or even necessarily the same country for that matter).

Don't try to teach Granny how to suck eggs.
 
posted by Herodios at 1:21 PM on October 18, 2013


Ah, here we are: Metafilter's earlier discussion about Isolated tracks for "Gimme Shelter". Click through to the links to hear. I believe the clips are still there.

The vocals are all on the same track / clip.

Jagger's 'audible' is at about the 3:05 mark.
 
posted by Herodios at 1:45 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Didn't quite hit the note, that wasn't such a good time."
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 1:51 PM on October 18, 2013


Prince, of course, says "we can funk until the dawn" but that's not what he's saying.
posted by chavenet at 1:53 PM on October 18, 2013


Herodios, yeah the vocal track with Mick Jagger and Merry Clayton is still there (and her take is just fucking chilling - the hair stood up on my arms listening to it again just now). But the other individual tracks have been taken down, and are lost, like tears in rain. Which is a shame because that isolated rhythm guitar part taught me something I had never really understood before about Keef: He's just fucking around. You hear him with the rest of the band and they're totally solid. You hear their isolated parts and you can tell Keith Richards is barely even trying. Mick Jagger and Merry Clayton are in there shrieking their heads off, Ron and Charlie are laying down this rock-solid groove, and Kieth Richards is just kind of half-assing it. Just dicking around in an open-tuning like "Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be playing on this song, right?"

And somehow making it the most killer guitar riff ever.

Yeah, I love the Stones, and Gimme Shelter in particular.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:42 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Denny Doherty coming back in a bar too early in a Mamas and Papas song (2:43)

Interesting that the gaffe occurs in "I Saw Her Again Last Night," the "gotcha" song that John Phillips wrote to let Denny Doherty know that he knew Denny was sleeping with his wife, Michelle Phillips.
posted by jonp72 at 3:23 PM on October 18, 2013


Interesting that the gaffe occurs in "I Saw Her Again Last Night," the "gotcha" song that John Phillips wrote to let Denny Doherty know that he knew Denny was sleeping with his wife, Michelle Phillips.

The song is written by John about Denny's affair with Michelle and sung by John, Denny, Michelle and Cass (who had a long unrequited crush on Denny). Everyone knew how everyone felt, which sounds like the most uncomfortable AskMe ever.

The vocals are all on the same track / clip.

Herodios, with all due respect, do you actually know much about how multi-track recording works? More specifically, how it worked in the days of four-track machines?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:44 PM on October 18, 2013


How many afternoons did we spend slowing winding records backwards on the turntable to hear the secret messages?

amateur - those old turntables, you know, the really cheap ones your big sister played 45s on - all you have to do is switch the wiring around to the motor*, and voila! - a backwards running turntable

*for pete's sake, unplug it first!
posted by pyramid termite at 5:24 PM on October 18, 2013


My mom, who graduated from Lincoln High School in Seattle in 1962, told me "We thought the FBI thing was stupid. Every kid in the Pacific Northwest knew the words to Louie Louie!"
posted by litlnemo at 8:21 PM on October 18, 2013


My fave gaffe-like sound on a recording:

::HammondOrganSegue::drums::bass::piano::guitar::

"I bought a toothbrush..."

::HammondOrganriff::

♪♫"I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste, a flannel for my face..."♫♪

I've never done this song at karaoke, but if I ever do, I'll mutter some nonsense that rhymes in time.



♪"I spied a wood thrush..."♪
posted by droplet at 8:29 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing you're not too familiar with Parliament/Funkadelic's mythology and lyrics, but even beyond those guys in funk music you will hear the word "funk" used a lot in a lot of ways that you won't elsewhere outside of maybe a certain era of hip hop.

I'm pretty well aware, yeah, but my point was that the word is by no means exclusively associated with the eponymous genre.
posted by invitapriore at 8:49 PM on October 18, 2013


"Eminence Front" by The Who has a mistake at about 2:25. Roger Daltrey sings "it's an eminence front" and Pete Townshend sings "behind an eminence front", so he finishes a beat behind Roger.

(It was corrected in the 1997 re-release of It's Hard.)
posted by Lucinda at 10:22 PM on October 18, 2013


If you play it backwards, you can hear, "Klaatu barada nikto!"
posted by samuelcramer at 2:02 PM on October 19, 2013


I was just playing through an authorized fake book arrangement of Beat It, and it reports the lyrics as "Showin' how funky and strong is your fight." I don't know whether this reflects Michael Jackson's actual intent, or whether whoever transcribed it just couldn't hear "funky strong" as a legitimate construction, but it does at least bring up another interpretation of what he is singing.
posted by enf at 8:43 PM on October 22, 2013


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