You might think people would know the words to popular songs. The words would be clear, and with repeated listens, we’d get to know them by heart. Sometimes this is true. I know a lot more Depeche Mode lyrics than I ought to, for instance. I also know all the words to Mexican Radio. Then there are other songs: The ones we like and know only a handful of words, at best. The classic example, of course, is Louie, Louie (the video claims to have the lyrics, but I know there aren’t any really):
The Doors even got in the indecipherable act with the semi-drunken slurred lyrics of The Alabama Song.
Other songs just have bland lyrics with a memorable line or two. Like the song most people call the Forty-Five song, or Bosom For a Pillow, but which is actually called Brimful of Asha by Cornershop.
Sometimes speed is the key. Informer, by Snow, has only a few words sung at human speeds. Hummingbirds might know the rest.
What’s your favorite song that you (barely) know?
- “If I told you the words, you wouldn’t believe them anyway.” — R. Berry (metafilter.com)
- Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time: 400-391 (factorydiaries.com.au)