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The Beatles, Squeeze and the Queen's English


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I listened to a lot of my old Squeeze CDs and albums over the holidays, I've always enjoyed their everyman stories, octave vocal harmonies and precision musicianship. One thing I really noticed this time is how many British-centric words they use, like "packet of crisps", "a compact case", the "tellie", etc, words that are common in Britian but not the U.S. I'm trying to think of cases where the Beatles, or any British band for that matter, do the same thing, and I can't really come up with anything. Any ideas why? :confused:

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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From "Penny Lane" ..and the banker never wears a mac in the pouring rain. Also mentioned in "The Ballad of John and That Japanese B_tch" ..the man in the mac said you got to go back.
"Politics are like sports, where all the teams suck"
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[quote]Originally posted by Botch.: [b]Any ideas why?[/b][/quote]I loved Squeeze, and coincidentally was just talking about them the other day with some of my TASCAMite pals. The reason per your questionabove is simple: the U.S. is the biggest market in the world to sell things...anything. Music is no exception. It's long been the impression of U.K. artists and record labels that they should use British colloquialisms so that they'd be easier to accept in the U.S. market. You may also note that many British artists sing in an "American" accent. Two reasons for that: first is similar to what I described above. The second is that many of them were influenced by American singers, and adopted the vocal stylings (along with the accent) when they sing pop and rock. Make sense? - Jeff
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From Jethro Tull's "Mother Goose": "Then the chicken-fancier came to play -- with his long red beard (and his sister's weird: she drives a lorry)." "Saw Johnny Scarecrow make his rounds in his jet-black mac (which he won't give back) -- stole it from a snow man." ---------- From The Kinks "Well Respected Man": "And his mother goes to meetings, While his father pulls the maid" "And he likes his own backyard, And he likes his fags the best, 'Cause he's better than the rest, And his own sweat smells the best, And he hopes to grab his father's loot, When Pater passes on." ---------- And then there's The Monks where everything is very British, but if you need something specific - from the tune "Spotty Face" "Seven stone, four pound spotty face weakling you ain't goin' out tonight You never go out with your mates when they're balling 'cause you give the girls a fright" -- Rob
I have the mind of a criminal genius.....I keep it in the freezer next to mother.
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There's a few in Penny Lane, but some are rather vulgar. :eek: Macca's got one in the reprise of Venus and Mars... "...starship two one Zed N A nine, a good friend of mine, studies the stars" Jeff said [b]"You may also note that many British artists sing in an "American" accent. Two reasons for that: first is similar to what I described above. The second is that many of them were influenced by American singers, and adopted the vocal stylings (along with the accent) when they sing pop and rock."[/b] I find myself doing the same thing, except from the other side of the pond. It's just natural for me, and I find I do it oftentimes without even thinking about it.... and that my pitch is normally better when I do (and my vocals need all the help they can get!)
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More Beatley idioms: (also from "Penny Lane")"...4 of fish & finger pie..." That's a standard way of ordering fish & chips...except the finger pie is a reference to what teenage boys might explore... :eek: Also, the phrase "..it's time for tea & meet the wife..." from "Good Morning, Good Morning" is not a note that it's time to get to the cafe but a name drop of a then-popular TV programme---[b]Tea & Meet the Wife[/b]. Available on some extended versions of "Yellow Submarine" is a long recitation (& true news story) by Ringo about a man that embarked on a foot-walk all around the Isles. There's also some suggestion that "...the man in the motor trade..." ["She's Leaving Home"] was a contemporary slang reference to an abortionist. Those wacky "lads"! :rolleyes: Catch, on bootlegs(maybe on Anthology?), Lennon's sly count-ins, such as [delivered with rhythmic emphasis]"Sugar Plum Fairy/Sugar Plum Fairy"---a term for a drug dealer. "Jumping Jack Flash", the Rollin' Stones's song, is named after an English folk-tale about a giant who supposedly terrorized Olde London Towne. PS, those interested in picking up a bit more English flavor are encouraged to vist the Mojo magazine site message-boards at [url=http://ubb.mojo4music.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi]www.mojo4music.com.[/url] Quite entertaining...& "vedy British".
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[quote]Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe: [b]I find I do it oftentimes without even thinking about it.[/b][/quote]Yes, I'm sure the reverse is mostly true for our English counterparts. When I was a youngster and [i]Frampton Comes Alive[/i] was the hot album, I asked my dad why "Do You Feel Like I Do?" didn't sound like a British guy singing. He really had to stop and think, and then had no answer! :) - Jeff
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David Bowie's Hunky Dory(one of my top ten albums)is sung entirely in an English accent.Possibly copied from Anthony Newley('arf a pahnd of tuppenny rice...) Another Beatles English moment: "Man you've been a naughty girl,you let your knickers down" - (I am the Walrus) - one of very many moments,post Rubber Soul. I think it was Ray Davies who pioneered the use of colloquial English in pop music,paving the way for the Beatles,XTC and Squeeze.It's this "Englishness"that means these bands have a special place in our hearts,and mean something different to us here than in the US.Because it's our music.This is possibly why Joe Strummer's passing got little attention on this board - in the US,the Clash are percieved by some as a loud,talentless bunch of wideboys,whereas to us Brits,they are celebrated for politicising a whole generation,and promoting multi-cultural urban life.Which is possibly why they had so much impact in NYC.

Big Hat. No Cattle.

http://www.theshrinks.com/

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Just curious to inquire of our Brit friends Lakeside and Rog to list some Yankee colloquialisms you all find odd. I'm sure we use tons in our music, whereas you all are thinking regarding some of the Brit colloquialisms listed, "Doesn't everyone say that?" Dwarf, you can join in, too, as there are a few slang differences between the U.S. and Canada as well.
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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[quote]Originally posted by Tedster the sad 'Nole: [b]Just curious to inquire of our Brit friends Lakeside and Rog to list some Yankee colloquialisms you all find odd. I'm sure we use tons in our music, whereas you all are thinking regarding some of the Brit colloquialisms listed, "Doesn't everyone say that?" Dwarf, you can join in, too, as there are a few slang differences between the U.S. and Canada as well.[/b][/quote]I think American English is so pervasive now that there aren't too many I find odd; mainly sporting ones because we don't share the same sports. Aside from sports, we seem to be used to most US slang because we get a lot of TV shows and films from the US. One thing I have noticed is that the BBC newsreaders are starting to use American English more and more which REALLY pisses me off. The Beeb should use British English (i.e. English!) exclusively. An example would be a sports reporter using the 'word' [i]topscored [/i] which I believe is used over the pond but not by ANY normal person over here. I heard a newsreader on TV last night use the word [i]lousy[/i] again, no-one uses that word over here so why did he use it? :mad: Trying to change what words the public use is like trying to stop the world turning but I think the BBC (publically funded and recognised worldwide) should do the right thing and use language appropriate to the people it addresses. /rant off :D
"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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[quote]Originally posted by Rog: [b]One thing I have noticed is that the BBC newsreaders are starting to use American English more and more which REALLY pisses me off.[/b][/quote]How ironic that Rog refers to these people as "newsreaders", which is exclusively a British term. It's a much better term than the US-based "anchorperson" or "reporter" since, after all, most of these folks do just [i]read[/i] the news...not write it! - Jeff
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[quote]Originally posted by Geenard Skeenard: [b]Humble Pie's "Soppy Prat"......whatever the hell that is! :) [/b][/quote]Soppy = sentimental, emotional. said more in the South, esp. London. Prat = I think this means fool or arse. It's an old Saxon term. Hope that helps :D
"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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I like Squeeze a lot. I saw the lead singer being interviewed (forget his name) and he was saying something like "we're a pop band b/c we like pop. there's nothing wrong with pop" which I though was cool b/c way back then, folks looked down on pop and I've always liked pop and still do. OK, so here's what I think is the right Brit-to-American translation: mac = raincoat fag = cigarette lift = elevator knickers = underwear loo = bathroom So what are the other ones like lorry and the starship reference mean? :confused: Someone also told me "Pulling Mussels from a Shell" = masturbating. True?

aka riffing

 

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[quote]Originally posted by riffing: [b]mac = raincoat fag = cigarette[/b][/quote]So the other day, when some guy called me a "Mac Fag", he wasn't slandering my computer platform of choice or making insinuations about my sexual orientation? Good to know. :) [quote][b]So what are the other ones like lorry and the starship reference mean?[/b][/quote]A lorry is a delivery truck. And I have no idea about the "Pulling Mussels from a Shell" thing, but it's a great song. - Jeff
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[quote]Originally posted by Tedster the sad 'Nole: [b]Just curious to inquire of our Brit friends Lakeside and Rog to list some Yankee colloquialisms you all find odd. I'm sure we use tons in our music, whereas you all are thinking regarding some of the Brit colloquialisms listed, "Doesn't everyone say that?" Dwarf, you can join in, too, as there are a few slang differences between the U.S. and Canada as well.[/b][/quote]You know,I've been wracking my brains over this,but,as Rog says,our little island has been overrun with American culture and specifically films and TV shows since the 1950's,so there are few surprises.Which is why Squeeze,XTC,the Kinks et al are so precious to us. Which is not to say that I don't find your colloquialisms strange and/or amusing.Especially food terminology.And wonderfull examples of newspeak like "friendly fire","collateral damage" and "democratically elected government" :D

Big Hat. No Cattle.

http://www.theshrinks.com/

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[quote]Originally posted by lakeside studios: [b] [quote]Originally posted by Tedster the sad 'Nole: [b]Just curious to inquire of our Brit friends Lakeside and Rog to list some Yankee colloquialisms you all find odd. I'm sure we use tons in our music, whereas you all are thinking regarding some of the Brit colloquialisms listed, "Doesn't everyone say that?" Dwarf, you can join in, too, as there are a few slang differences between the U.S. and Canada as well.[/b][/quote]You know,I've been wracking my brains over this,but,as Rog says,our little island has been overrun with American culture and specifically films and TV shows since the 1950's,so there are few surprises.Which is why Squeeze,XTC,the Kinks et al are so precious to us. Which is not to say that I don't find your colloquialisms strange and/or amusing.Especially food terminology.And wonderfull examples of newspeak like "friendly fire","collateral damage" and "democratically elected government" :D [/b][/quote]"real estate" still amuses me, are you buying a house or what? :rolleyes: :D
"That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously." - Banky Edwards.
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[quote]Originally posted by Yuri T.: [b]Beatles - You Never Give Me Your Money "Any jobber got the sack Monday morning turning back Yellow lorry's slow Nowhere to go..."[/b][/quote]These were the words that Paul sang (during the recent "Back in the U.S." tour... "And now comes the part where I don't know the words And I'm not going to relearn them Before the end of the tour..."
"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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