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Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?

GUEST,Jim 05 Jan 05 - 11:45 AM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,not Irish 05 Jan 05 - 12:01 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 12:03 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 05 Jan 05 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Jim 05 Jan 05 - 12:09 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 05 Jan 05 - 12:09 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 12:09 PM
Dave Ruch 05 Jan 05 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Jim 05 Jan 05 - 12:16 PM
TheBigPinkLad 05 Jan 05 - 12:26 PM
ard mhacha 05 Jan 05 - 12:33 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 12:33 PM
GUEST,Jim 05 Jan 05 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,Jim 05 Jan 05 - 12:37 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 12:39 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 12:53 PM
Big Mick 05 Jan 05 - 12:53 PM
woodsie 05 Jan 05 - 12:57 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 12:58 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 01:02 PM
GUEST 05 Jan 05 - 01:10 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 05 Jan 05 - 01:42 PM
Peace 05 Jan 05 - 01:51 PM
PoppaGator 05 Jan 05 - 01:59 PM
Swave N. Deboner 05 Jan 05 - 02:16 PM
John C. 05 Jan 05 - 02:17 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jan 05 - 02:48 PM
Alba 05 Jan 05 - 02:54 PM
Bert 05 Jan 05 - 03:03 PM
PoppaGator 05 Jan 05 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Paddy O'Vinyl 05 Jan 05 - 03:16 PM
Clinton Hammond 05 Jan 05 - 03:24 PM
Little Robyn 05 Jan 05 - 03:28 PM
DonMeixner 05 Jan 05 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,Com Seangan 05 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM
DonMeixner 05 Jan 05 - 04:48 PM
Big Mick 05 Jan 05 - 05:10 PM
Joybell 05 Jan 05 - 05:12 PM
Alaska Mike 05 Jan 05 - 05:34 PM
Shanty Filker 05 Jan 05 - 06:17 PM
Seamus Kennedy 05 Jan 05 - 07:43 PM
goodbar 05 Jan 05 - 08:52 PM
Bert 05 Jan 05 - 11:28 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 05 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Jim 06 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM
Grab 06 Jan 05 - 01:01 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 05 - 01:06 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 05 - 01:08 PM
Seamus Kennedy 06 Jan 05 - 03:31 PM
GUEST,JB 06 Jan 05 - 04:18 PM
Alaska Mike 06 Jan 05 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Eric 06 Jan 05 - 04:47 PM
Maryrrf 06 Jan 05 - 04:52 PM
Joybell 06 Jan 05 - 04:56 PM
PoppaGator 06 Jan 05 - 05:19 PM
Snuffy 06 Jan 05 - 07:47 PM
MuddleC 06 Jan 05 - 09:28 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Jan 05 - 03:10 PM
PoppaGator 07 Jan 05 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,Julia 07 Jan 05 - 07:24 PM
Snuffy 08 Jan 05 - 10:34 AM
EagleWing 08 Jan 05 - 12:34 PM
EagleWing 08 Jan 05 - 12:54 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Jan 05 - 01:00 PM
Bert 08 Jan 05 - 04:17 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 23 May 11 - 08:14 AM
dick greenhaus 23 May 11 - 11:51 PM
Mrrzy 24 May 11 - 12:24 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 24 May 11 - 02:12 AM
DrugCrazed 24 May 11 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,Desi C 24 May 11 - 08:25 AM
meself 24 May 11 - 03:06 PM
Brian May 24 May 11 - 04:24 PM
Will Fly 24 May 11 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 24 May 11 - 10:48 PM
GUEST,Patsy 25 May 11 - 02:44 AM
MGM·Lion 25 May 11 - 03:35 AM
Gurney 25 May 11 - 04:36 PM
John P 25 May 11 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 25 May 11 - 10:36 PM
Rob Naylor 26 May 11 - 04:57 AM
Alan Day 26 May 11 - 05:53 AM
MikeL2 26 May 11 - 06:06 AM
Rob Naylor 26 May 11 - 07:26 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 26 May 11 - 07:29 AM
Will Fly 26 May 11 - 12:16 PM
Will Fly 26 May 11 - 12:25 PM
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GUEST,meself lost his cookies 26 May 11 - 02:54 PM
Trevor Thomas 27 May 11 - 08:40 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 28 May 11 - 06:36 AM
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Subject: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 11:45 AM

Never mind the "Irish songs that aren't Irish" theme - what about Irish singers who aren't "Iorish"?

For example - Patrick Walker - brilliant fiddle player, questionable singer, but might sound better if he sang (and spoke) in his native (Sheffield) tongue.

Why do they do it?


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM

Because they want to sound "Oirish"?   If so, that's enough reason, seems to me.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,not Irish
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:01 PM

short answer: they are wankers !

more considered answer: they are self deluded/oportunistic wankers..


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:03 PM

or the realy comical ones..

German Irish covers band singers..


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:06 PM

In my own case, because I'm part Oirish 'tho raised in England, and, more importantly, because some songs DO sound better in their native dialect. I'm very careful to ensure that the accent is as authentic as possible, using my father's brogue as a model. This is the main reason why I never attempt Geordie songs, much as I would love to do so.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:09 PM

Songs like "Dirty Old Town" for instance?


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:09 PM

P.S. Funny how anonymous "Guests" always seem to post the crudest personal attacks. I would answer "It takes one to know one"

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:09 PM

If it sounds good, the only wankers are the critical morons in the crowd


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:12 PM

I know that for me personally, being American, if I have learned a song from an Irish, English OR Scottish source, it is very hard for me to not hear it that way in my head as I sing it, and therefore it comes out sounding, well, like a really bad version of the song. This is all to say that perhaps SOME of what you are hearing is unintentional.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:16 PM

"This is the main reason why I never attempt Geordie songs, much as I would love to do so."

I sing a number of Jez Lowe songs, and I love his accent (as well as his songs) but I'd feel such a fraud singing them in a Geordie accent (which I am quite able to do) - am I wrong being so sensitive?


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:26 PM

Jez is not a Geordie but a County Durham lad. Durham has several quite different accents to the Tyneside creole.

I don't mind someone having a go at an accent so long as they don't balls it up. Some have failed spectacularly: Dick van Dyke's cockney in Mary Poppins and Robin William's 'English' Mrs. Doubtfire spring to mind. What about Mick Jagger whose normal accent is an effette South London and sings like he's from the US Mid-West?


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: ard mhacha
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:33 PM

All of the pop singers from Britain and Ireland sing in a US accent, old rubber lips Mike isn`t on his own, Van Morrison and Cliff Richards are two outstanding examples.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:33 PM

yeah.. alright.. my even more considered view
is that it is no more or less valid/invalid
than actors attempting accents to perform as a character other than themselves..

most often not very convincing, frequently distracting,
and occasionaly downright bizarre and hilarious.

but for the rare few with a highly developed
and sensitive talent accents..
[and help of expert voice coaching specialists]
who can pull it off convincingly.

something to be admired..

but.. i dont know..
in terms of singers..
especially in specialist styles like ours,
and mor often when you personaly know in day to day real life
the individuals attempting to fake it..
still seems an unacceptably distracting/alienating/embarrasing stylistic artifact..


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:34 PM

Thanks for pointing out my error BigPinkLad - I did know Jez's origins of course, and I have a friend who's a mad keen Boro fan who hates me referring to his "Geordie" accent! I'll try to be more discerning in future.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:37 PM

I don't think Cliff Richard is an outstanding example of anything - except banality


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:39 PM

when you personaly know in day to day real life
the individuals attempting to fake it..
still seems an unacceptably distracting/alienating/embarrasing stylistic artifact..

Mister Perfect above.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:53 PM

Dick van Dyke..???
you wanna hear Russell Crowe do a Welsh accent in one of his
early movies back when he was a young 'un..!!

now in theory an Aussie should be able to do 'Welsh boyo'
reasonably accurately..

there is probably not much mystery why this film disapeared in recent years..
i do believe at one point he sings in a Welsh accent..

sorry cant remember the title


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:53 PM

The question for me comes down to whether or not the song needs it, then whether I can pull it off. The Night Before Larry Was Stretched, and Finding of Moses come to mind. If you can't do the dialect, neither will come off as it should. In the Scottish tradition, there is a certain amount of brogue required to be able to do a number of Burns songs. But if a performer is trying to bring credit to the song, as opposed to trying to be something that (s)he is not, then it is incumbent on that person to research and practice mightily in order that they pay the proper respect to the people they are trying to emulate. Unfortunately many do not do this.

Some of the accent is natural for some folks, as in my case. I was raised around, and associated my whole life even up until now, with so many Irish and Scottish emigrants that certain small inflections are very natural to me. There is nothing phoney about it, it is akin to someone who lives in the Southern US, or Canada, after a while they pick up certain things.

But I do agree that there are far too many folks that have identity crises in their lives, and affect terrible accents. Feel bad for them.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: woodsie
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:57 PM

Don't know what the big deal is - Irish songs are sung with Irish accent 'cos that's what people want to do!

Carribean Songs ditto
Cockney songs ditto
U.S. songs ditto

Who cares, if it sounds good, it's good. If it's crap it's crap!


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:58 PM

BTW..

yes i do know there is debate as to Russell Crowe
being aussie or kiwi..

to date I dont Know if hes done Irish yet for a movie..

But i sure would'nt want to be the bloke
who has to tell him if he does it badly..

not without good medical insurance and a waiting ambulance


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 01:02 PM

"I belong to Glasgow" with a cockney accent.
"Una Paloma Blanca" with a ...........cockney accent?


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 01:10 PM

there are too may guests here..
its getting very confusing..


..so just as long as no one starts typing here in an Irish accent..


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 01:42 PM

Woodsie, a breath of fresh air. Yer roight of course. If it's good it's good

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Peace
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 01:51 PM

Why is it that when people perform Hamlet they always use a British accent? (yes, I am aware that there are lots of accents in Britain.)


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 01:59 PM

In some cases, it would be difficult to deliver a lyric *without* using some approximation of the song's original accent/dialect.

As an analogy, consider acting in an Irish play as corollary to singing an Irish song. I performed in a couple of John Millington Synge one-act plays as a college student, and believe me, you cannot recite those lines *without* your voice falling into some kind of "brogue" or "lilt"; some element of native west-of-Ireland speech seems to be built right into the syntax, phrasing, etc. of Synge's work. The trick, I suppose, is to find a way not to overact to the point where you become a cariacture of yourself.

When I was in those plays, I was an Irish-American kid who had never been to Ireland, and who was not even aware that there are *different* Irish accents in different areas of Ireland. I got the roles because my voice sounded appropriate to the equally-ignorant director and audience. I'm sure that standards for such an accent would be *much* higher in the UK (and of course in Ireland itself), where the general public is more aware of the real accents of their actual neighbors.

I'm sure that part of my accent came from my mother's "stage Oirish" -- she did lots of amateur theater back before I was born -- but I'd like to think that I also incorporated a degree of more authentic influence from having lived next-door to a family of recent Irish immigrants, whose parents were native Irish speakers from County Galway who spoke English with notably "thick" or heavy accents. So perhaps my put-on speech patterns were not too terribly wrong for Synge's Aran Islands settings, after all.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Swave N. Deboner
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 02:16 PM

I agree with Big Mick and Woodsie. If the dialect is on the mark, then more credit to the non-Irish/Scottish singer. Since there are so many different regional dialects in both countries, if a person that isn't from either place goes to the trouble of being aware of the region that the song is from, and then does their best to get the dialect right, then I'd say good on them. Even if they're not so slick at it, they don't intend any offense, and don't deserve to be called wankers, unless of course they really are wankers.

I would rather hear non-Irish singers sing in an Irish accent than non-Scottish singers murdering the Scots dialects. I'm Scots/Irish by blood, though not actually from either. I'm just a Yank. But when I sing a proper Irish song like Grace, Fields of Athenry, or Red is the Rose, I sing it in what I've been told is a pretty damn good "Oirish" accent by those qualified to judge (Irish folk from Ireland). I can readily tell the difference between an Ulster accent and a Dublin accent, and I find both much easier to emulate than any of the Scots dialects. I absolutely cringe when I hear some ignorant twit trying to sound Scottish. It embarrasses me. Mel Gibson did a decent Scots accent in Braveheart, or at least I thought so. And Richard Gere was right on as Declan Joseph Mulqueen in the remake of The Jackal. I'd say it's more difficult to speak with an unaccustomed accent than it is to sing with one.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: John C.
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 02:17 PM

Personally I believe that singers should always aim to sing in their native/natural accent/voice unless they happen to be very good mimics who can bring out the passion/emotion in a song whilst imitating someone else's accent.
I recently heard a recording of a singer who had an accent which was extraordinarily like that of a very well known singer on the British Folk Scene (I'm far too well brung up to mention any names!). As the well known singer has a very distinctive voice I found this very distracting. Perhaps I am misjudging the first singer - perhaps they were born and raised in the same street - but probably not!
I also remember, many years ago, hearing a singer, who sounded identical to Harry Cox, sing Harry Cox's songs in front of the great man himself! This could be construed as great flattery - but I just found it crass and embarrassing!!


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 02:48 PM

I don't mind someone having a go at an accent so long as they don't balls it up. Some have failed spectacularly: Dick van Dyke's cockney in Mary Poppins and Robin William's 'English' Mrs. Doubtfire spring to mind.

Two things: Most importantly, Mrs. Doubtfire isn't really English; she's the hero's conception of an Englishwoman. So if the accent is mucked up, it's the character's fault, not Robin Williams's.

Secondly, I thought (from my American viewpoint) (s)he sounded more Scottish than English.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Alba
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 02:54 PM

Actually Mrs Doubtfire's Character was supposedly a Scot!!:>)
Blessings
Jude


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Bert
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 03:03 PM

And how would you be singing "Begorrah" widoutan oirish accent?


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 03:14 PM

An hour or more elapsed between when I started writing my last post and when I completed and submitted it -- I *am* at work, after all -- and quite a few messages appeared in the meanwhile. So, I have more comments.

This argument has popped up before, and as likely as not I've said the same things before (as have several others, I'm sure). No one is likely to change their mind.

There seems to be even more indignation about "false" (non-native) Scots-accent singing than there is about the Irish issue, but rarely any problem at all expressed over white and/or foreign singers performing blues, reggae, etc. Isn't it all the same thing? If John Mayall, Paul Butterfield, etc., can sing the blues in voices that are to some degree their own but also to some degree dictated by the tradition from which the songs arose, why can't Mick from Michigan or Tom from New Jersey perform Irish songs with the appropriate set of vowel and consonant sounds? Seems to me that part of a song's intended and traditional "sound" is a basic approach to the way words are pronounced.

True, a non-native's "song-Irish" (as opposed to "stage-Oirish") accent won't be truly authentic, because it's a *generic* accent, not specific to one Irish city or county as opposed to another. It's most obvious features will be basic elements common to *all* (or most) true regional Irish accents. But if it's heartfelt and appropriate to the singer's natural voice and to the material, not obviously "stagey" or put-on, I don't see any problem. Not unlike pop/rock/blues sngers using a "soul" accent that can't be specifically identified as Mississippi African-American or south-Alabama Caucasian, etc.

On the subject of bad accents in movies, let me observe that the *worst* examples of wildly incorrect accents have been Hollywood's efforts to portray New Orleanians. Trust me on this. "The Big Easy" may have provided the largest collection of different off-the-mark accents by a large cast of badly-coached actors (with plenty of help from the writer[s], who provided some embarrassingly patronizing and inappropriate dialog), but I think the single most abysmal single effort of all time was by Lawrence Harvey in some black-and-white film adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Paddy O'Vinyl
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 03:16 PM

anyway.. surely by now

"Plastic Irish"

is a well established and distinct
dominant international cultural and musical tradition in its own right....

the authentic Irish are just a minority historical sub-variant..

We Plasic Irish will conquer the world..

..anyone else think Guinness would be much improved
if it was lighter coloured and watered down
to make it more palatable to us plastic paddys..????


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 03:24 PM

I'm siding with the "don't Do It" crowd... Sing in your own voice.. in your own accent...

Leave mimicry to the birds...


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 03:28 PM

How about Jimmy Miller from Salford singing in a broad Scots accent?
We all grew up believing Ewen McColl was Scottish.
And we used to chuckle when a Scottish friend sang blues - 'I got the weerie bleews'.
I agree with PoppaGator - but sometimes you feel cheated when you find out your hero is a fake.
Robyn - who sings most songs with a Kiwi accent but adds a touch of 'colour' when necessary.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 03:45 PM

We have covered this very topic many times in the past. Do search in the database for those replyies. I think it is a good idea to recirculate this stuff now and then. New blood equals new ideas.

In this case however, unless it is a broad burlesque of a song I view false dialect as pretetious as singing as song in a laguage that neither you, the singer, nor you audience speaks or understands.

Dave Ruch is correct tho'. I think we all tend to sing songs in much the manner we first hear them. There is no other way to explain 250 lb. baritones singing Neil Young songs as if they were bargain counter tenors.

Don


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Com Seangan
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 04:03 PM


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM

..." Sing in your own voice.. in your own accent...

Leave mimicry to the birds" ...


Well said Clinton.

Trust me, as a native Scot, there is NOTHING quite as cringe-making as to hear an American affect a Scottish accent when singing a Scottish song. I am SO tempted to name names here, but my natural sense of chivalry prevails...

If you ever get a chance to catch one of Debra Cowan's gigs, (Mudcatter Deb C) you will witness an object lesson in how an American can sing Scottish and Irish songs while refraining from affecting a cod accent.

In fact, I would sooner listen to Deb singing Irish songs than 99% of the current crop of "real" Irish songstresses.

And the same goes for Scottish songs.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 04:48 PM

"I view false dialect as pretetious as singing as song in a laguage that neither you, the singer, nor you audience speaks or understands."

This belief also holds true with a persons ability to type and spell in his own language.

Humble Don, (sigh)


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 05:10 PM

I absolutely agree that, done badly, it is akin to nails on a chalkboard. But remember that some of us learned this stuff from family members. Hence the brogue, regional variations and all, is somewhat intact. And it is no more phoney to me than speaking is. It is the way my family passed it on to me. To be sure, it is inflected with my status as a Yank, but I am not doing this to be pretentious. It is how I learned to sing this music over a lifetime. Testament to how well it is done can be found in the very large numbers of ex-pats who come to my shows on a regular basis.

In fact I think therein lies a clue to the answer. If a person's reason is a pretentious one, then they shouldn't be doing this. These are the one's that make someone like Murray cringe. Some of us, despite being raised in the States come from a very ethnic background heavily influenced by the immigrant population around us.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Joybell
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 05:12 PM

I'm also with the sing in your own accent crowd with an exception - for doing "theatre". When I sing "Wouldn't it be Loverly", as part of a two-person show we perform, I use a fake Cockney accent. Singing traditional songs it's always been my own accent that I use.

DonMeixner has touched on another point that I think about a lot. The singing of songs in a language that isn't understood by the audience. Apparent here at so called "Folk Festivals" which are becoming more and more "World Music Festivals". Granted that the overall sound might be wonderful. BUT! If a song has words, usually (Mouth music excepted), words are very important to a SONG. Even telling an audience what the song is about is not the same as hearing the poetry as it's sung.
Again there are probably a few exceptions. There have been times we've performed for audiences in restaurants and sung a few Italian songs at a table of Italians, a German song for Germans etc. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 05:34 PM

I sing all of my songs with a distinctive Alaskan accent. With the exception of my hit "Evil Freddy" where I sing in a horribly exagerated accent of a Mexican bandito. I have used dialectic nuances such as this whenever I thought I could get away with a cheap chuckle without offending to many people. Count me in the "if its good, its good; if its crap, its crap" crowd.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Shanty Filker
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 06:17 PM

Well . . . I often sing "The Diamond Ship," the 4th verse of which just does not rhyme in my own generic Ammurican accent, but which does rhyme in Scots. I generally sing it in my own voice until I get to the 4th verse, and then sing it with just enough Scots to make "home/hame" rhyme with "name." I feel uncomfortable singing it without even a nod to the Scots rhyme, and I also feel uncomfortable singing the whole song in what I am sure is a terrible faux Scots.

If it makes others feel uncomfortable the way I do it, well, they can go out for coffee while I sing. (grin)


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:43 PM

Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
Because I'm Irish....
Alaska Mike, I thought I do a damn fine Alaskan accent on your song Wilderness Letters, and on Hobo Jim's Fishin' For Chickens. *G*
And your Evil freddy Mexican accent is right up there with Speedy Gonzales.
See you in a couple of weeks.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: goodbar
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 08:52 PM

i sometimes sing with an accent. it's just that i've always heard the songs with a different accent so it just sort of comes natural. but truly trying to fake it is just gay.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Bert
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 11:28 PM

What's all this rubbish about a "cockney accent".

For those who don't know, Cockney is the language spoken by the people of the City of London. London is the capital city of England.

England is where the English language comes from. Therefore Cockney is the DEFINITIVE version of the English Language. Same as Parisian French is the definitive version of the French language.

So Cockney therefore is NOT an accent. If you don't speak Cockney then it's YOU WHO HAS THE BLEEDIN' ACCENT MUSH.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 11:44 AM

avin a larf or sumink


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM

Some very interesting responses to my (tongue-in-cheek) thread. No-one yet though has suggested any financial reasons.
Around these parts you can get good money gigging with a repertoire of Irish/Irish popular songs sung with the obligatory Irish accent. It's amazing how many musicians I know have learnt how to jump on the bandwagon - Ahh well, dare y'are, and good luck good luck to 'em


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Grab
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 01:01 PM

It's got to be unconscious in most cases. Like a Brit playing blues or rock may get a slight US accent bcos the songs sound better sung like that. Similarly an American playing English folk may get a slight English accent (or at least tone down the American-ness). So ditto Irish.

So, a challenge. Find someone with a Deep South accent who sings "Matty Groves" in their original accent. Or find a cockney who sings in French without adjusting their accent. Any other nominations for "compare-and-contrast" exercises? :-)


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 01:06 PM

GUEST,not Irish
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 12:01 PM

I did..!!!

"...oportunistic wankers..."

both tongue in cheek and just a little bit disdainfull


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 01:08 PM

Oi mate.. wot abaht Billy Bragg doin' Woody Guffree..


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 03:31 PM

I think most wankers are opportunistic...I mean you've gotta seize the moment, as it were.
I know I never turn down an opportunity for a....never mind.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:18 PM

And now for the other side of the coin!

Have you every heard Irsh bands (especially country bands) playing American country songs faking disgusting American accents.

Excuse me please while I just reach for the nearest bucket!

JB


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:22 PM

I personally know an Irish singer who sings "Danny Boy" in various "voices". He'll sing a verse in a southern blues style of Blind Lemon Pledge, then the next verse will be sung like Elvis (complete with hip gyrations), then its Willie Nelson, Slim Whitman, etc. The guy has no sense of shame whatsoever. And I can't wait to sing with you again in a couple weeks, Seamus.

Mike


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:47 PM

As an amateur, singing mainly for his own pleasure [though in public sometimes] I have found this a problem recently. In the last 5 or 6 years I have started to attend a few folk based solo singing courses and found them generally excellent but I have come across a lot of opinion that I should be singing in my local accent [just about the same as Jez Lowe's]. For the previous 30 years I have sung songs for the joy of emulating what I have heard others do and I naturally try and sing the songs the way they do. I accept the premise that putting yourself into a song is a good thing but I am struggling as many of them simply do not sound right - is a bluegrass song better done with a US inflection or like a Durham lad etc, etc?


Eric


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Maryrrf
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:52 PM

I think the key is, as guest said "inflection" rather than accent. There is a cadence to bluegrass music that makes it almost impossible to sing without a little dose of Southern twang - but no need to go overboard on it. This could hold true with other songs/types of music, too.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Joybell
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 04:56 PM

On the fake American idea - why do non-Americans think that "love" is pronounced "lerve" in American? Or is that just an Aussie phenomenon? True-love has never, ever said "lerve". And I've never heard any other American say it like that either. Just wondering. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 05:19 PM

An observation from the American South: I've only heard "love" pronounced "lerve" in two contexts:

By *really* back-country southern black folks; and

By Woody Allen in "Annie Hall," emphasizing how helplessly and drastically his character loves Diane Keaton's.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Snuffy
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 07:47 PM

Or you can do it with an anti-accent. I could never reproduce Noel Coward's terribly, terribly upper class English vowel sounds, so when I sing Mad Dogs and Englishmen I use an exaggerated version of my native Cheshire/Lancashire accent to emphasise my lack of breeding.

Try for instance bluegrass in broad Scots, or an Irish song in Hispanic. Just occasionally it might work.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: MuddleC
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 09:28 PM

There are songs/melodies that improve with an accent, sometimes the accent is so heavy that even the words can't be understood by people born outside a three miles radius of where the bloke comes from.... but does it still have the melody?
We all have accents that we hate to hear, but you don't have to listen to the words, just their tune.... and if it's that bad, drink deep of human kindness, or 'Marston's' as it's known....
pass the cheese board Evette...


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 03:10 PM

MuddleC said, in part:

We all have accents that we hate to hear, but you don't have to listen to the words, just their tune.

Depending what you mean by the above, I may have to strongly disagree with you.

If you mean that the "tune" of the words and the cadences of the words go a long way toward helping with understanding a set of words whose pronunciation or enunciation is difficult, then I'll agree with you. Sort of. It's true that even with speech the "tune" of a sentence and the rhythms with which a sentence may be said conveys (or at least helps convey) much of the message.   But I don't really think that's what you meant.

If you mean (as I think you may)that even if you can't understand the words of a song it's not important because you can just treat the whole thing as music without the meaning of the words, I must object. Strenuously. A song has words for a reason; a song is meant to communicate meaning, which is why it has words. If one just dismisses the meaning that might be intended, then the piece might just as well be only an instrumental. That's why I intensely dislike most operatic singing: either it's in another language, so that the words are lost, or even if it's in English most opera singers have attitudes toward words and habits of pronunciation which are geared almost exclusively toward making a nice noise, at the expense of intelligibility.

If you listen to "just their tune" you're losing much (and I would say most) of the value of the song.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 05:09 PM

Despite the fact that I am a somewhat verbally-oriented person (I make my living as a technical writer), and despite the fact that I've always been a better singer than instrumentalist, I have no problem with my occasional failure to understand all the words of a song.

Also, some of my favorite songs are ones with minimal, nonsensical, or even "scat" lyrics, for reasons that I don't completely understand myself. Part of the reason may be that I've come to regard my own voice more and more as an instrument, not unlike a horn, and by extension to listen to the voices of others in the same way.

I suppose that I am one of those people guilty of greater interest in the "sound" of a song than in its meaning. I do prefer songs sung in English (the only language I understand), and I dislike opera singing as much as the next guy, for the same reasons as Dave-O (with whom I am expressing a degree of disagreement here). But as long as I understand the basic gist of a song, as expressed in the chorus/refrain or in a repeated title-line, I'm not worried about understanding every single word. In fact, there are songs I recognize and enjoy for years without ever clearly hearing and understanding every word, or even every verse.

And, to get back to the original topic, part of the "sound" of a song ~ which to me is more intrinsic and more important than every detail of its literal meaning ~ is the "accent" or inflection or tone-of-voice in which it is sung. So yes, as far as I'm concerned, songs from a given tradition should be performed with an intelligent and tasteful approximation of the appropriate vocal accent, be it Irish, African-American, Cockney, or whatever. It's up to the individual artist to exercise the proper restraint and avoid cariacture, self-parody, etc.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 07:24 PM

Cuppla things- nobody has mentioned sea shanteys. Everyone sings them with an "English" accent. Most people don't know why they do this, they just do. Well, the shanty craze/ revival was fueled by two Brits- Stan Hugill and Louis Killen and everyone imitated them even though they were singing American songs (American crews historically used shantys far more than the Brits. In fact on British war ships shantys were forbidden- they used a fiddle or a fifer)

I remember Stuart Franke addressing the issue of accents on stage when he sang a Child Ballad in a Bronx accent.. Hilarious!!

Sometimes the "accent" is pronounciation of the dialect appropriate to the song.

And finally a quote from Gordon Bok- singing in a fake accent will give you lockjaw

Best- Julia


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 10:34 AM

Everyone sings them with an "English" accent?

Well, yes - if they're singing them in English. But I've not heard many sung with a "Mary Poppins" English accent. Hugill was from the North West and Killen from the North East, but I don't hear many Yanks singing like a scouser or geordie either.

Hugill also makes the point that many shanties were sung with real or fake Irish accents, and that many ships had multi-national crews: Liverpool-Irish, American Irish and Ireland-Irish crews as well as Swedes, Germans, Negroes.

And I think you'll find that both navies shunned shanties, while both merchant marines used them. If Americans used them more, it was probably that they used smaller crews, so needed more shanties to get the work done.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: EagleWing
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 12:34 PM

Uncle DaveO said "Two things: Most importantly, Mrs. Doubtfire isn't really English; she's the hero's conception of an Englishwoman. So if the accent is mucked up, it's the character's fault, not Robin Williams's.

Secondly, I thought (from my American viewpoint) (s)he sounded more Scottish than English."

I reckon that first bit is a load of codswallop!

But as to what the accent sounded like, I agree. From an Englishman's point of view it sounded more like bad Scots than any kind of English.

I would imagine, though, that no Scotsman would agree with either of us. :-)

Frank L.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: EagleWing
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 12:54 PM

Seems to me, reading this thread, that there are more issues here than "accents". People have used the word "inflection" and I seem to think that "dialect" has also been mentioned. I think we have to differentiate between these three things.

I love the Scottish song (Breton tune!) Twa Corbies. I have heard it anglicised and even the great Dransfields seem to emasculate it that way. I picked it up from Scots singers and I endeavour to sing it in Scots _dialect_ but I wouldn't dare to attempt a Scots accent. I'd be very surprised, however, if my rendering does not have some Scots inflection in it. I came into this folk thing at a time when Scottish groups were in the ascendancy (eg Hall and McGregor) and my earliest repertoire was, therefore Scottish. Some of those great songs stay with me. I hope I don't sing them in an ersatz Scottish accent but in most cases anglicising them seems wrong.

Frank L


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 01:00 PM

EaglesWing, what I meant is that the hero (I forget the name of the character) may well not be able to do a thoroughly convincing authentic accent--and indeed, given the comic nature of the movie and the situation, it is perhaps better that the accent is not 100% accurate.

If Robin Williams were actually impersonating an authentic Scotswoman, then one could expect a fine approximation of a Scots accent. But he's impersonating an American who is impersonating such a woman. I believe there's a big difference.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Bert
Date: 08 Jan 05 - 04:17 PM

I usually try to sound as much like me as I possibly can when I sing.

But many songs need to be sung with some attempt at reproducing the words as they were written. Try singing Manura Manyah and you'll get what I mean. Also try reciting any Stanley Holloway stuff. It just doesn't come off in American or Cockney.

That's the penalty we pay for learning songs from outside our own village or town, and we have to go along with it.

What is really horrible are all those Dylan or Woody singalikes.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 23 May 11 - 08:14 AM

Jamaican folk songs, for example, need the singer to pronounce the dialect for them to work in any way. But in dialect songs, you have to know what the words mean and how to do without mocking the song.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 May 11 - 11:51 PM

Whatever works.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 24 May 11 - 12:24 AM

I sing in the accent I heard the song in, chameleon-like. If alone, I also oompa tink dink the instruments, since I recall them as well as the lyrics, in both senses, usually.

Although, I do recall singing train songs on a train ride and having my couchette-mate, an American friend (this was in West Africa) say that I was singing them in an Irish accent too - we had been singing Irish songs earlier. I denied it and didn't hear it myself even when pointed out, so I'm not sure if it was my unintention or his un-ear.

(Thread Creep) Odd little thing, I have remembered this train ride for years, and then got back in touch with a different friend from those days who turns out to have been the person on this train, NOT the mutual friend to whom I would have referred to above had this story predated the getting-back-in-touch. That is, he WASN'T a different friend, he was THAT friend, but I'd edited him out and photoshopped in someone else we both knew instead. With whom I *had* taken a different train ride... well, a different ride on that same train... and would never have realized I'd conflated the two if not for him recognizing my sister's last name in some random State Department email.

Dig the Internet even in little ways.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 24 May 11 - 02:12 AM

I agree with Dick. and more importantly - whatever works for you personally.

When I was very young, I had a thick almost impenetrable Lancashire accent - learned from my parents, I was Lincolnshire born and brought up. When i started my A level English course, i was horrified to find out that i was excluded by my accent from western culture - declaiming TS Eliot's poetry simply didn't work with a Lancashire accent.

let's go then, hugh and Ah
Wen't moon is spred oot cross t't sky

Is it coincidence that all these smart arses who say sing in your own voice have nearly all got nice middle class voices and sing like Long John Siver/Walter Gabriel? i mean , lets face it, it is all bollocks isn't it? You have to make an effort to engage with the song or the poem. do what seems right to you. if people are unsympathetic to your efforts - well that's their loss, and their snobbery that's stopped them from engaging with you as an artist.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 24 May 11 - 04:14 AM

I'm in the process of learning Broomfield Hill (the Malinky version). It's rather difficult to avoid some twang, even with me attempting to "translate" the words into non-scottish.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 24 May 11 - 08:25 AM

This one of the most mis understood topis on here. I don't know Mr Walker but as a class artist I'm sure he wants to play and sing songs as well as possble, and be true to the genre in question. To sing a trad Irish song well, you have to first realise that Irish songs are written in a way that makes then SOUND irish, the use trad chords and lilts to give hat irish sound. If one tries singing them in a Sheffield, Birmingham, Geordie accent rtc they'd sound ridiculous. I don't believe good singers ever adopt an 'oirish' accent any more than an American accent when doing a Country song, the songs are written in a way that if you sing them proprly i.e as they are meant to sound, then you SHOULD hear that accent. I heard a beautiful Irish ballad sung recently in a thick Brummy accent, killed the song stone dead!


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: meself
Date: 24 May 11 - 03:06 PM

So, for example, does this singer kill this song stone dead by not singing it in some manner of British accent? If not, why not? (Seriously).


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Brian May
Date: 24 May 11 - 04:24 PM

I also agree with Dick

I mean, what's wrong with that?

I'm awaiting the new version of 'I belong to Dublin' by Paddy O'Bama - that should be worth waiting for.

Some songs are better for it.

If you read across to acting (which we all do when/if we perform), the only actor I've never heard do an accent is Sean Connery (apart from a reasonably passable Scottish one). The rest act in accents because they're appropriate for the part.

Works for me . . .


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 May 11 - 04:50 PM

As my Irish great-grandma used to say, "Have what you will - and pay for it".

Sing any way you like - do what the devil you want - and take the consequences.

So much fuss about nothing.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 24 May 11 - 10:48 PM

'I heard a beautiful Irish ballad sung recently in a thick Brummy accent, killed the song stone dead!.

The thing is Desi, there are green passport carrying Irishmen and women all over the UK, probably in America as well for all I know. But certainly every big city in England has Irish people who speak in an English regional accent - Brummies, Cockneys, loads in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds - all the big Lancashire towns, Derby, certainly Nottingham. Just about everywhere I've ever played, I've met 'em.

Are these people disbarred from singing their own folksongs cos they don't sound like Val Doonican or The Dubliners?


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 25 May 11 - 02:44 AM

I sing in whatever accent is required for the song be it Irish, American, Scottish, Jamaican or Wurzeleze for that matter. As long as it isn't too exaggerated and ridiculous I don't see the problem.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 25 May 11 - 03:35 AM

Meself ~~ Barbara Allen is such a widespread ballad {Cecil Sharp found over 100 versions to about a dozen different tunes in Virginia alone} that I don't see why you think that any singer of it should use "some manner of British accent", even if it did originate in Scotland - or was it England? Disputed! Samuel Pepys, in his Diary, 2 Jan 1666, called it a "little Scotch song".

So I don't think that is one of the location-specific instances with which this thread essentially deals. Beautifully sung, mind; I do not dispute that.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Gurney
Date: 25 May 11 - 04:36 PM

Why? Why not. Pretty much all Irishmen sing songs from other nations with an Irish accent! :-)
Unless they are taking the p*ss out of the English.

Seriously, though, surely most singers can imitate accents with some accuracy, because of vocal ability and because they listen!

I remember seeing an interview of Lulu where the interviewer asked her about how she came to speak in almost accentless english, rather than her native glaswegian. She said "I have an ear, -obviously..."


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: John P
Date: 25 May 11 - 05:51 PM

Singing with a non-native accent always sounds to me like the singer thinks acting is more important than singing. If there's a good reason for it, sure, but most of the time I'd like to hear people singing in the same accent they use for talking.

Songs in dialect can be done in their original accents if you are trying to do some sort of reproduction, but using a language the audience can understand easily is better if you're trying to communicate the lyrics. Dialect words and phrases can be changed to "normal" language, unless they are just too interesting to do without. But then the song introduction often needs to include a language lesson.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 25 May 11 - 10:36 PM

Just glancing through the start of this thread and horrified to see that it started out by slagging off Patrick Walker. Any country would be honoured to have Patrick performing their music - any way he wanted.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 26 May 11 - 04:57 AM

John P: How can you get across the essence of a song like "Povery Knock", eg if you *don't* use the dialect words? And it sounds terrible to me if sung in a "Received Pronunciation" accent or similar:

Poverty poverty knock, mi loom it is sayin all day
Poverty poverty knock, t' Gaffer's ter skinny ter pay
Poverty poverty knock, allus one eye on the clock
Ah know Ah can guttle when Ah 'ear mi shuttle guh
Poverty poverty knock

Although I've lived away from the West Riding area for several decades now and have a pretty neutral accent, I'd revert to the broadest dialect I can if I sing this one.

What gets me though is people putting on "cod Oirish" accents when singing *English* songs. There's a guy I know who spreaks with a strong South London accent, but who *always* sings "Fiddler's Green" in "cod Oirish"...because he's convinced it's an Irish song, despite having been put right several times by different individuals.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Alan Day
Date: 26 May 11 - 05:53 AM

Interesting point raised about London Cockney accents , anyone who has lived in London a long time can almost pinpoint what part of London you are from.I spent twenty years in Clapham.(South West)
Al


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: MikeL2
Date: 26 May 11 - 06:06 AM

Hi

I agree with Will <" So much fuss about nothing. ">

Just get out there and do your thing. You will always get the "critics" - who usually can't do anything. Just ignore them and do it like Frank Sinatra " My Way".

If taken to it's logical conclusion are we saying here that ony Irish songs should be sung by the Irish and Scottish ones by the Scots etc etc...

How boring is that ??

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 26 May 11 - 07:26 AM

I'm with Will, too...but I DO think that *some* songs are hard to sing properly wthout reference to the accent or dialect they were originally performed in. I don't mind whether an Irish song is sung in an English or Irish accent, but can perfectly well understand that the *structure* of some Irish songs almost automatically generates a "lilt" in the singer, wherever (s)he's from. In the same way, northern English songs often *rely* on hard "a" sounds, peculiar pronunciation of some words and dropped "hs" to "sound right". Just 2 "frinstances" of many possible.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 26 May 11 - 07:29 AM

Exactly! Jamaican folk songs such as "Day Dah Light", "Hold 'Em Joe", and "Cudelia Brown" being three examples.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 May 11 - 12:16 PM

No, Rob - you're quite right about an appropriate accent. What I'm saying is: sing whatever you want, however you want - your audience will tell you quick enough whether it works or not! As granny said - "and pay for it"...

There are no rules - it's trial and error and how well what you do works out there in front of an audience. I happen to like singing material by Leon Redbone, Jimmie Rodgers, Doc Watson and the Delmore Brothers. I've no doubt that if I was totally crap at doing it, my audiences wouldn't be clapping.

I was brought up in Lancashire and Scotland, with a Lancashire-born father, a Suffolk-born mother and earlier generations from Kildare in Ireland, and have spent nearly two thirds of my life living in London and Sussex - with a lifelong love of American jazz, blues, ragtime and early country music - and English music-hall songs. So - all to play for!


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 May 11 - 12:25 PM

One of the things that has always amused me is when people stand up at clubs, singarounds, etc., and Stanley Holloway monologues such as "Albert and the lion", etc. Nearly all the people I've heard do them have never been without earshot of Lancashire - some of them do it well, others don't. The irony is, of course, that Holloway himself was a Londoner! And I have to say, he only did a very rough "stage" Lancashire accent in the monologues as recorded - but was still hugely successful.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish/Scottish Accent - Why!!?
From: Taconicus
Date: 26 May 11 - 01:02 PM

I'm a bit sensitive on this subject because many times after I sing someone will come up to me and say something like "I like the way you sang that with a Scottish accent," which bugs me because I'm not Scottish and I'm not trying to sing with a Scottish accent, and I know what Murray MacLeod (above) means about wanting to cringe when he hears an American trying to affect a Scottish accent when singing a Scottish song. And I know that because I've often found it hard to suppress a snicker when listening to some professional Scottish folk singers trying to sing traditional American folk songs like Shenandoah.

But I have to say that there are at least three reasons that this sort of thing can seem to happen even when the singer is NOT trying to affect an accent.

First, as Dave Ruch mentioned above, if you learn a song from someone who sang it with a particular accent, then if you (as I) tend to learn songs by ear, then you'll tend to sing it somewhat the way you heard it, without purposely trying to affect any particular accent.

Second, just as someone living in a foreign country will just naturally start to pick up some of the accent from living there, in the same way someone who spends a lot of time listening to and singing songs of another country will naturally start to develop a particular accent corresponding to that of the native singers of those songs. To give you an example, I recall back in the 1960s being surprised when I heard the Beatles speaking, because although they seemed to sing with a totally American accent, they spoke with a pronounced English accent which was absent from their singing. I don't believe it was because they were trying to pretend, or were purposely singing with an American accent. I think it was just a natural outgrowth of having loved, listened to, and sung American rock & roll so much and for so long. It's possible for singers to develop a singing accent which is different from their speaking accent. It's natural and doesn't require pretense, and can result in an accent which is not the same as a native accent, but can sound affected.

Finally, there's the matter of dialect. A lot of Scottish songs include lyrics in the Scots dialect, and there's nothing wrong with a non-Scottish singer trying to pronounce those Scots dialect words correctly, because in many cases to do otherwise would do violence to the song. So in that case it's not a matter of accent at all, but of pronunciation.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,meself lost his cookies
Date: 26 May 11 - 02:54 PM

'Just ignore them and do it like Frank Sinatra " My Way".'

Please don't do it like Frank Sinatra, unless you are Frank Sinatra - and even then, .....


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: Trevor Thomas
Date: 27 May 11 - 08:40 AM

I concur with Big Al Whittle about Pat Walker. He's an extraordinary musician, and can do what he likes.

However, in the 25 plus years I've known him, I don't think I've ever heard him sing (and certainly not speak) with anything approaching a put-on 'Irish' accent.

He does the odd American song in American, which is entirely appropriate. If you try singing American songs in Yorkshire accents, people just laugh.

Whoever this original (Guest) poster was six years ago was, I don't think his ear for accents is that good.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 28 May 11 - 06:36 AM

The thing about Patrick Walker is that he speaks in that Sheffield brogue - some people confuse with an Irish accent. There is a name for it but i've forgotten it.

Yorkshire is a big place - people talk about a Yorkshire accent - and they mean like Geoffrey Boycott. But there's lots of varieties of different Yorkshire accents.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: BobKnight
Date: 28 May 11 - 07:24 AM

Gatting back to the "Irish" question.I believe, especially in the UK, that most of it can be traced back to the Dubliners. Their influence was almost all pervasive in the mid-sixties. Many people sang their songs, and a standard-folk club voice seemed to develop around that time as well. Which thankfully seems to have died off.

Regarding Scots/Irish, it's easier for a non-Irish person to sing an Irish song, because the words are mostly standard English, with an Irish accent. Some Scottish songs are the same, but the majority have Scottish words that are unfamiliar to the rest of the world, or more archaic pronounciations. It's much more difficult to make that sound authentic, but hey, good luck to those who are willing to try.


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Subject: RE: Singing with Irish Accent - Why!!?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 28 May 11 - 01:38 PM

To Meself
Well that's a recording in what sounds like an american singing a largely American Song in an American accent, so I'm not sure what your point is?


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