Monday, October 29, 2007

The Importance of Good Diction

When I was a choir director back in Champaign, I often told my choir members that they needed to over-enunciate their words to ensure the congregation understood the message we were attempting to impart. My favorite example of the strange mistakes in understanding caused by bad diction was always to sing them the opening line of "Lead On O King Eternal" and mumble enough so it came out "Lead On O Kinky Turtle."

Obviously someone in Britain thinks the same way I do and has posted this absolutely brilliant video that should be required viewing for all choir members:

Even watching the congregation's lips you would swear that they really were singing about Richard Gere. Anyone out there know what hymn they are actually singing?

5 comments:

Kyle said...

It works for Pearl Jam too (there are other similar vids of rock songs, but this is by far the best):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLd22ha_-VU

Stephen said...

Looks like it's "Westminster Abbey," according to this guy. He also has the correct words.

Stephen said...

Oho, and here's the original source of the subtitling.

jeanetta said...

its just the season for the little kids to start singing "round john burgison"
wait till you kids get a little older and sing with the radio. that gets really funny.
there was this old country song called "i love my red neck girl" and my sister would never listen to it becasue she thought they were sining "i love my red naked girl"

Andrew said...

Ah, Pearl Jam. Eddie Vedder mumbles so much that it is small wonder his singing makes for perfect mis-interpretation. And Stephen, thanks for the links. I'll never forget your mixup of Seal's song "Kiss from a Rose" where you claimed Seal was actually singing "I've been kicked by Thoreau's Uncle Dave." Ruined that song, you did!