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singing with american accents

The Sandman 29 Jul 16 - 12:59 PM
GUEST,HiLo 29 Jul 16 - 01:50 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jul 16 - 02:28 PM
Bat Goddess 29 Jul 16 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Modette 29 Jul 16 - 03:02 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jul 16 - 09:11 PM
Backwoodsman 30 Jul 16 - 06:59 AM
Leadfingers 30 Jul 16 - 07:56 AM
meself 30 Jul 16 - 10:16 AM
leeneia 30 Jul 16 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Modette 30 Jul 16 - 02:59 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jul 16 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 30 Jul 16 - 07:55 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 03:59 AM
Allan Conn 31 Jul 16 - 04:38 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 04:57 AM
alex s 31 Jul 16 - 07:18 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 07:51 AM
Jim Carroll 31 Jul 16 - 07:56 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 09:37 AM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Desi C 31 Jul 16 - 10:02 AM
meself 31 Jul 16 - 10:34 AM
Jack Campin 31 Jul 16 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,HiLo 31 Jul 16 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,Jim Moran 31 Jul 16 - 12:11 PM
GUEST,Ross Roberts 31 Jul 16 - 12:25 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 01:06 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 01:08 PM
Jim Carroll 31 Jul 16 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 31 Jul 16 - 02:43 PM
CupOfTea 31 Jul 16 - 03:24 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 04:11 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Jul 16 - 04:17 PM
meself 31 Jul 16 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,SussexCarole 31 Jul 16 - 06:54 PM
Joe Offer 31 Jul 16 - 07:51 PM
The Sandman 31 Jul 16 - 08:19 PM
Jack Campin 31 Jul 16 - 08:40 PM
Joe Offer 31 Jul 16 - 09:37 PM
leeneia 31 Jul 16 - 11:35 PM
Backwoodsman 01 Aug 16 - 01:03 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Aug 16 - 03:10 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Aug 16 - 04:05 AM
Will Fly 01 Aug 16 - 05:27 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Aug 16 - 06:21 AM
Will Fly 01 Aug 16 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Jon Bartlett 02 Aug 16 - 01:07 AM
The Sandman 02 Aug 16 - 08:11 AM
Phil Cooper 02 Aug 16 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Joe Moran 02 Aug 16 - 10:33 AM
leeneia 02 Aug 16 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 02 Aug 16 - 02:23 PM
meself 02 Aug 16 - 05:35 PM
Joe Offer 02 Aug 16 - 07:38 PM
GUEST,HiLo 02 Aug 16 - 08:02 PM
meself 02 Aug 16 - 08:23 PM
The Sandman 03 Aug 16 - 10:50 AM
The Sandman 03 Aug 16 - 10:52 AM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 16 - 12:04 AM
Backwoodsman 04 Aug 16 - 01:49 AM
leeneia 04 Aug 16 - 08:50 AM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 16 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 04 Aug 16 - 02:21 PM
Joe Offer 04 Aug 16 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 07 Aug 16 - 11:42 AM
FreddyHeadey 07 Aug 16 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Ebor Fiddler 07 Aug 16 - 04:46 PM
Joe_F 07 Aug 16 - 06:19 PM
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Subject: singing with american accents
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 12:59 PM

Jst recently, I have noticed the amount of guiatarists/singers in Ireland, who are not american, singing with some class of an attempted american accent, i do not notice concertinist singers doing this or unaccompanied singers, any ideas anyone?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 01:50 PM

I think, though I could be wrong. that there have been a number of threads on this Good Soldier. I seem to recall someone suggesting that it may not be deliberate but just the way the song is...Could that be so ?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 02:28 PM

On my first trip to the West of Ireland, about 15 years ago, I had a hard time finding traditional music. Everywhere we went, performers were singing American Country music, complete with the twang. We walked into one place, and the band leader said, "Uh-oh, here are some Americans. We'd better play some Irish music." So, they launched into "Black Velvet Band." At the time, the Big Hit seemed to be "Las Vegas in the Hills of Donegal," by Goats Don't Shave. I didn't get traditional music until I met up with Martin Ryan in Dublin, and he took me to a vocal session (with Frank Harte singing), and to an instrumental session (lots of young, Asian fiddlers, but they were good).

On my second trip, I spent a long weekend in Dublin and sang with several Mudcatters at sessions. And I spent a great day birdwatching with Martin on Galway Bay, with an afternoon session at Kinvarra.

But that first experience of hearing country music all over the West of Ireland, was quite a surprise. The singers sounded very American when they sang, and very Irish when they spoke.

Stay away from that country music, Dick. It's not healthy for you. But hey, let the people sing how they want to sing. They seem to enjoy it, so what's the harm?

-Joe-
P.S. I sing with an American accent myself. It works for me, and I'm not very good at any of the other ones. I do try to speak German with a Berliner accent, though.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 02:36 PM

I think it's probably most indicative of from whom the singer learned the song -- especially from a recording.

Tom (Tom Hall, Mudcat's Curmudgeon) used to confuse Brits who heard him sing because they couldn't place his accent. In actuality, his "accent" changed with the song, depending on whose recording he was listening to while learning it.

Linn


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 03:02 PM

'Asian fiddlers'in Dublin? Where was this, Joe?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 16 - 09:11 PM

Hi, Modette - this was during the "Celtic Tiger" era - maybe 2005 or so. As I walked through the streets of Dublin, it felt that everybody there was under age 30, and they came from all over the world - and they all got drunk on weekends and vomited on the streets.

In the fiddle session Martin took me to, most of the fiddlers were young, and many were Asian - and they were very good. Not so with the singing session - all the singers there were old and Irish, but I could hardly hear them because of the noise from the young people sitting at the bar.

My second experience of Dublin music was about 2012, and it was far better.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Jul 16 - 06:59 AM

I don't find British people singing in a fake 'American' accent any more irritating, in fact considerably less so, than the fake-'rural-English' sing-through-the-nose style affected by many folkies during the Great British Folk Scare of the late '60s/early '70s and beyond. That 'accent' wasn't a true regional accent at all, but was invented by Trad singers, I'm guessing, in a misguided attempt to sound 'authentic'.

When I'm singing 'folk-type' songs, I sing in my natural English accent. If I'm singing Rock, Country etc., I have a tendency to lapse into 'Mid-Atlantic'. Fake American accents seem to be more of a 'thing' amongst young singer/songwriter, teenage-angst,TheVoice-wannabe kinda people in the area I reside in.

Each to his/her own, AFAIC it's just a 'fashun'. It's the song that matters, not the singer's accent (no matter whether it be real or assumed).


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Jul 16 - 07:56 AM

I tend to learn songs from other people's recordings , but when I have a rough arrangement sorted , and it sounds at all like the original , I leave it for while , until I can definately make it MINE


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: meself
Date: 30 Jul 16 - 10:16 AM

Simple answer: guitarist/singers are trying to sound American; concertinist/singers and unaccompanied singers are not.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Jul 16 - 11:01 AM

I read a book once about singing in present-day culture. I forget the name of the book. The authors did research that involved hiring subjects to come in and sing pop songs they had learned from recordings.

Invariably the subjects imitated the pop singer's technique exactly. Every nuance was duplicated. If that's how people sing popular songs nowadays, I'm not surprised that people imitate the recorded accent as well.

Really, how much is there to an accent? A different kind of R, a few vowels modified...
================
I was on a cruise last year and had to get medical care. The nurse didn't realize I was American till I told her at the end of the visit.
She was suggesting OTC medications I had never heard of, and she didn't understand why I seemed so confused.

When I explained that I was American and had never heard of any of the medications, she was surprised and embarrassed. I have never tried to sound British. I just talk my own Wisconsin-Missouri hybrid.

I tell the story to show that accents aren't as deep-dyed as we think.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Modette
Date: 30 Jul 16 - 02:59 PM

I was at Trinity from 2002-2007 and played the fiddle regularly in all manner of sessions. The only Asian musicians I ever encountered were 'Paddy' and 'Bridget'. What on earth were you drinking, Joe?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jul 16 - 07:36 PM

Through my lifetime, a lot of musicians from the UK have done extraordinary performances of classic blues from black US performers from the first half of the 20th centuries. Most have used an accent that sounds quite American, and I think that's quite appropriate.

Same for singing Country songs - works better with an American accent.

And then there's Lonnie Donegan. He sang lots of American songs, always in an unmistakable Lonnie Donegan accent.

Accents can be very effective - if they are done credibly.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 30 Jul 16 - 07:55 PM

It is my grand pleasure, to travel the world, almost from inseption, and I find the inflection of an accent in "dodgey places" to be an invaluable tool.

Scottish is my "go to resource." Most English speakers do not have a clue...and keep asking for translation...Irish is the next "fall back." Aussie, New Zealand, and South African are my final choice...for obfusication

Now...when in New Zealand .... pure, thick, USA southern Georgia drawl is sure to confound and compound the returns.

We are all actors.

Sincetely,
Gargoyle

Public folk seem to like that which is exotic...in the past six years I avoid Arabic phrases...in all places.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 03:59 AM

You're right, Joe - certain accents are appropriate for certain types of music.

And I agree with the poster(s) above that those of us who learn songs from recorded material tend to sing them with at least a hint of the accent of the artist(s) whose recordings we use for reference. I 'do' a number of songs by Canadian artists - James Keelaghan, Stan Rogers, et al), and I find myself 'hearing' the lyrics in my head in a Canadian accent as I'm singing them - it's quite a feat to try still to sing the words in my 'natural' accent, and I confess I don't always succeed!


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Allan Conn
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 04:38 AM

I'm not so sure. Personally for instance I much prefer The Proclaimers doing "King of the Road" in their Scottish accents than Lena Martell putting on a mock American accent for "One Day At A Time". Suppose that is just a personal thing. And it depends on the singer as to how over the top the American accent is! I know there is a mid-Atlantic thing which many do and get away with - but then there is the likes of two different guys at out club who are both quite good but have way over the top exaggerated American accents when singing which really spoils it. This is admittedly maybe going way too much in the other direction but this was me just having a wee bit fun trying to not sound American on an American song.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAZvus5Hh1o


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 04:57 AM

I like the Proclaimers doing anything! I love the way they don't try to hide their Scottish accents (most Scottish 'pop' singers sound just as 'American' as their English and American counterparts, IMHO).

I try very hard not to do the mid-Atlantic thing on songs I've learned from North American artists' recordings, but it occasionally inadvertently slips through, I guess for the reasons I gave above. I steer well clear of Scottish stuff - my 'Scottish' accent sounds more like Scouse!


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: alex s
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 07:18 AM

A lot of English singers affect Oirish accents when singing songs from across the water


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 07:51 AM

Not me!

I've noticed some English singers affecting 'Oirish' accents no matter what the origins of the songs they sing!


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 07:56 AM

"A lot of English singers affect Oirish accents when singing songs from across the water"
Happens a lot with tourists here - never ceases to amuse the locals
I've heard Americans refer to Am-English accents as "Mid Atlantic" - in other words, neither fish nor fowl.
It seems to me that, if you wish to interpret a song and make it your own, you sing it in your own accent - otherwise, you are just aping the person you heard it from.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 09:37 AM

"It seems to me that, if you wish to interpret a song and make it your own, you sing it in your own accent - otherwise, you are just aping the person you heard

Good point Jim, and I agree completely. Unfortunately, I think that many singers actually wish to do precisely that - maybe not so much in the field of folk-music (although it does happen), but definitely in other genres.

Having said that, I personally try hard to sing in my 'Yellowbelly' accent but, if I sing a song I learned from, say, a recording of James Keelaghan, I find odd 'Canadian-sounding' words creeping in, and I have to concentrate very hard to avoid them.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 09:38 AM

And by 'do precisely that' of course I mean ape the person they heard!


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 10:02 AM

This is a very old accusation. In fact it's very rarely deliberate. Without going into a uge long history. American Country music is largely influenced and drerived from trad Irish ballads. And of course many American settlers were irish or of Irish descent. Now irish people pronounce their R's very strongly as do most Americans for the obvious reasons above. Hence much Irish music and country songs led to an accent heavy on the R's. cut a long story short most song in particular Pop has evolved from Country and you get most singing accents derived from these rather American/Irish lyrics. I've heard Folk sang with thick Brummie accents take it from me it sounds dreadful


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: meself
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 10:34 AM

It seems to me, though, that most American Pop/Country/Folk singers affect soft r's, whether to imitate southern Af-American accent (so 'go' can rhyme with 'door', for example), or to avoid the 'harsh' sound of the hard r, as 'trained' singers do.

I do agree that the mimicry is not 'deliberate' - in the sense that it's not thought-out. For most singers, it apparently goes without saying - or thinking - that you want to mimic what you're hearing, if you like it - in the same way that so many guitarists will try to imitate what's on a recording, and judge their own performance by how closely it corresponds to what's on the recording - as opposed to, for example, doing it their own way.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 10:37 AM

Does it ever happen that British singers use American accents when singing material of traditional British origin (as opposed to faux-American singer-songwriter stuff)? I can't think of an instance.

The nearest I can remember was a truly ghastly performance of an Eric Bogle song by Janet Russell when she used some mangled mid-Atlantic atrocity of an accent under the impression that her audience wouldn't be able to distinguish it from Australian.

American Country music is largely influenced and drerived from trad Irish ballads

...except for the 90% of it that's derived from English and Scottish ones.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 11:02 AM

I don't think that there are many English speaking countries that have only one "accent". There are Many accents in America, Canada and the Uk as well as in Australia and New Zealand. They all seem to borrow from each other when it comes to singing, even within countries. And I believe that much of it is unintentional. It is only when it goes over the top that it is jarring, otherwise does it really matter ?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Jim Moran
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 12:11 PM

DesiC said:

"I've heard Folk sang with thick Brummie accents take it from me it sounds dreadful"

It might sound dreadful to you, but it would sound terrific to me!

Authenticity! That's what we want!

But most people - it would seem - are very content with just the opposite.

Take Adele, who is currently the world's biggest pop star.
She comes from London, you know.
Well, you might not know because she sound American when she sings.

Totally phoney!


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Ross Roberts
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 12:25 PM

Being someone who speaks estuary English I find it difficult singing
English songs ( 90%of my repertoire) which are written in dialect.
Probably I should not have learned them in the first place...
That said my grandfather was a coal miner and I found myself attracted to mining songs but something like The Collier's Rant is impossible to sing without using the words as they were written.
Moral: only learn songs in your own vernacular.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 01:06 PM

That's precisely why I steer clear of Scottish songs, Ross. I can't do the accent, and Scottish dialect sounds ludicrous in an English accent, and worse in a bad fake-Scottish accent!

I do think there's value in some of the comments others have made above - that accents are absorbed by performers by a sort of process of auditory osmosis, and it could possibly be that some don't detect the difference between the American accent and the Irish one, and think they're singing in the latter when they're actually using the former.

Why it should be that unaccomperated singers don't lapse into mid-Atlantic (according to GSS, although I've never become aware of that myself), I'm really not sure, unless it's because they have less to think about that a singer who plays an instrument concomitantly.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 01:08 PM

Than a singer.....


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 01:15 PM

Can't speak of other genres, but as far as folk songs are concerned, most work perfectly in any accent - the themes are universal and the language usage tends to be neutral enough to be perfectly understandable wherever the songs occur - it is why we have over 200 versions of Barbara Allen from every corner of the English-speaking world.
There is the problem of vernacular usage - I've learned a number of Irish and Scots songs which include these - if they are not essential, or are too beautiful to abandon, I will try to sing the particular words in the way I would speak them naturally.
If that doesn't work, I regretfully don't sing them (in public) and leave them to the people who have a greater claim on them than I have.
Too many attempted accents become parodies.
Peggy Seeger sings a beautiful Appalachian version of the ballad 'Fair Rosamund' (concerning the poisoning of Henry II's favourite mistress by Eleanor of Aquitane)
I used to ask her to sing it every time I saw her on stage until (fed up, I suspect) she suggested I learn it myself.
I found I'd heard it so often I already knew it and now sing it whenever I get the opportunity - works perfectly (for me, at least).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 02:43 PM

Try reading TS Eliot with a broad Lancashire accent. It doesn't work, as I found out at 17 years of age.
Whatever works, whatever flows - is the rule. God alone knows why so many people don't get it, or can't accept it.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: CupOfTea
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 03:24 PM

I definitely sing with an American accent, Midwestern regional variant.

Most of the time.

Likely cause that's where I come from.

However, there are times when bits of other accents creep in. I don't think anyone has accused me of a Mid-Atlantic sound, but as Backwoodman mentioned earlier, "that accents are absorbed by performers by a sort of process of auditory osmosis" I am also most certainly of that ilk.

I can't "do" accents, and also tend to sadly agree I can't do justice to a song, no matter how much I love it, if it's in a fairly thick accent. Yet when I go places, I find myself unconsciously absorbing the linguistic quirks of where ever I am & the longer there, the longer it takes to wear off when I'm home. Two weeks in Wyoming had me talking like a cowgirl for about 2 weeks back in Cleveland.

Singing with an English or Irish or Scottish flavor comes out in some of the songs I've absorbed from particular singers, and the kind of phrasing and stress and musicality of language that are part of how the words come out owe much to them. When I have the chance, I will introduce a song with "I learned this from the singing of..." I do not TRY to sound like my source, or "put on" an accent, but as Jim mentioned, there are words and phrases that need to be part of some songs where saying them in one's own voice is the way to go. But sometimes that may sound like there's a foreign accent creeping it, and you take hell for it from someone who just wants to take umbrage. I shall never forget, as a wee girl in first grade in Cleveland, explaining that my aunt was my primary caregiver. I said "aunt" in what I later learned was a Philly Mainline accent, where my aunt was from."You mean your ANNNNT?" sez the nun in a harsh, flat Midwestern voice, "don't put on airs here, missy!"

Those who put on strong accents unsuccessfully and sound fake are likely to have other bad habits in what they sing. I try to behave myself.

Joanne in Cleveland


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 04:11 PM

What is 'Estuary English' - anyone know?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 04:17 PM

It's OK, don't bother, I googled it...


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: meself
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 06:35 PM

"Those who put on strong accents unsuccessfully and sound fake are likely to have other bad habits in what they sing." And other bad habits generally, in my experience!


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,SussexCarole
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 06:54 PM

...not just about American accents, but the whole American song persona here.....I remember so well to have been with the lovely (late) Barry Finn, a fantastic shanty singer from USA at a Festival in North Wales. Barry was just so, so frustrated at hearing American style songs sung in 'American accent' here in Wales he stood up and said he'd travelled 2,000 miles or more to hear and learn British songs but was just hearing a ***** take on some of the 'popular' songs from USA.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 07:51 PM

It seems to me that there are a lot of people in the UK who like old-time music, which has primarily American roots. Many are fans of my friend and neighbor Debby McClatchy. I've heard some of them sing, usually in an American accent that's appropriate to the song. And they sound good.

Would it be right to sing "Waterbound" or "Tom Dooley" or "My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains" in a British accent?

Many singers take on various accents to fit the song they're singing. If they can make it work, good for them.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 08:19 PM

"Would it be right to sing "Waterbound" or "Tom Dooley" or "My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains" in a British accent?"
yes if that is your natural accent


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Jack Campin
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 08:40 PM

Would it be right to sing "Waterbound" or "Tom Dooley" or "My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains" in a British accent?

The only one of those I know is "Tom Dooley", and the only version of it I've ever heard was by Lonnie Donegan, whose accent was mostly Liverpool, I think.

There are no distinctively American expressions in it, are there? The story might as well have taken place in Wigan.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 09:37 PM

I suppose the Kingston Trio recording of "Tom Dooley" is the version most people know. I think the earliest known rendition of the song is the recording of Frank Proffitt by Frank Warner. Can't find that one right off, but this recording of Frank Proffit (click) was collected by Sandy Paton. It's about a murder that took place in North Carolina.



I had a bit of trouble find a recording of the traditional song titled "Waterbound" (also set in North Carolina), but here's one:And there's a song titled "Waterbound" by Dirk Powell that wouldn't work that well in a British accent, either:
And I don't think any of the Carter Family songs, including My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains (click) would work with a British or Irish accent - or even with my Californiaized Wisconsin accent...



-Joe-


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: leeneia
Date: 31 Jul 16 - 11:35 PM

There are at least 3 R sounds.

The scratchy, voiced sound in the back of the throat: as in 'harsh' or 'red'.

The trilled sound as in 'three' or in Irish or Scottish. English speakers the world over may trill the R after th, especially in 'three.'

The inaudible R, as in posh English accents or some American southern accents, where the letter is avoided after a vowel. (Then they make up for it by putting R where it doesn't belong, as in 'area-r.')

There's a comedian who does monologues told by working-class black man named Cla'ance. Some people haven't figured out that Cla'ance is Clarence.

Does anybody know of any other R sounds?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Aug 16 - 01:03 AM

"The only one of those I know is "Tom Dooley", and the only version of it I've ever heard was by Lonnie Donegan, whose accent was mostly Liverpool I think"

Lonnie's accent was mostly London. He was a Glaswegian by birth, but his family moved to the East End of London when he was two or three years old. He did spend some time in Cheshire when he was evacuated during WW2. But he spoke with a definite London accent.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Aug 16 - 03:10 AM

"What is 'Estuary English' - anyone know?"
As I understand it, it's a recently developed accent which has evolved in the south east to replace the disappearing regional accents.
It appears to emanate from regular media exposure and is, in my opinion, evolving unpleasantly by replacing word endings with glottal stops.
NOT POSH AND NOT COCKNEY
If anybody hears of a memorial service to commemorate the death of the letter T in our language, I would very much appreciate if they would pass on the details
Was highly amused to hear a communications system - Broadband - turned into something the Highland Scots disapproved of - "braw ban" - but it wears very thin when repeated half a dozen times on the same television advert - ugly, ugly, ugly!!
Jim arroll


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Aug 16 - 04:05 AM

I linked to that YouTube clip in my subsequent post, Jim! 😄
It's a new one on me, never heard the expression 'Estuary Emglish' before. As a description of an accent, it makes no sense, of course - there a lots of estuaries around the British Isles, the accent of the (Humber) Estuary English (my local) is very different indeed to the (Thames) Estuary English in that clip, and the (Clyde) Estuary English is different again.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Aug 16 - 05:27 AM

I thought this old chestnut had been done to death several threads ago.

Your repertoire is what you feel most comfortable with. Your way of singing it is what you feel most comfortable with.

I don't sing English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh folk songs - because I simply don't feel comfortable with them or have any empathy with them. I love the songs of Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, Doc Watson, Norman Blake and others of that ilk. So I sing those in a mild and non-exaggerated non-British accent.

As Joe Offer said above, it's perfectly possible to sing in an accent not your native one with practice and effort. And as I said in a previous thread, when I sing French songs I sing with as good a French accent as I can muster. French is a foreign language - but you could argue that North American English and British English are foreign to each other in some respects!


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Aug 16 - 06:21 AM

Sorry I missed your link B
I think, in this case, it refers specifically to the Thames Estuary - we all know that if it doesn't happen in the Home Counties in Britain, it just doesn't happen!!
Same with Dublin, in Ireland
Take your point Will (as your own).
Personally, I've never been able to empathise with a singing brakeman singing about steam trains while dying of TB - far beyond my own experience as much as I enjoyed Jimmie Rodgers and once owned all his records
Wonder if you ever heard the recording of African tribal women singing "Oh Jeemmy Roger" - on Bert Lloyd's 'Songs of the People' series, wonderful, and very erotic.
Happy to pass on the series to anybody interested.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Aug 16 - 06:59 AM

Yes - I know the record of the African women - wonderful!

As it happens, my grandfather worked on steam locos and my great-grandfather drove one - many years ago. And several ancestors dies of TB! Must be in the genes...

It;s difficult to explain why one feels an affinity with one particular style of music and not with another. As far as upbringing goes, I was born in Lancashire, raised in Glasgow, returned to Lancashire, at college in Leeds, back to Lancashire, off to London in my mid-twenties, and then in Sussex for 40 years. But through all that time, I loved jazz, blues, early country music, ragtime and other American musical forms - as well as English music-hall, opera and classical music.

I've never had much time for folk songs from Great Britain - but I love folk tunes from Great Britain, and spend a huge amount of time playing them in sessions and for dancing.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Jon Bartlett
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 01:07 AM

Most Canadian pop singers sound like they're from Tennessee: we call that "cultural colonialism" here.

The poster who said it was impossible to read Eliot with a Lancashire accent: not so, IMHO. The essence of Eliot comes out better (sorry, be'er) wiv a Wes lunn accent - try it! Maybe I'll demonstrate on Youtube someday.

My advice to newby singers is to learn the song from whoever, and them sing it in a strong Punjabi accent - you'll never again be tempted to sound American.

Jon Bartlett (BAR'li')


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 08:11 AM

Jon, thats very funny thanks


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 08:36 AM

I try to sing in my own voice. I disliked hearing ren faire folks trying to sing in fake English accents. I recall being at an open mic in Chicago where a young man from Glasgow was visiting and he was trying to sing Woody Guthrie in a fake Oklahma accent. I agree with Jim Carroll that most songs can be sung without trying to be dilectic. There are some Scottish songs I love that I wouldn't try and sing because some of the lines would be lost without the accent. But there's not that many.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Joe Moran
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 10:33 AM

John Barlett said:

"Most Canadian pop singers sound like they're from Tennessee: we call that "cultural colonialism" her"

Now, I've asked this question before, but do American (USA) singers sing with regional accents?

For example, does Bruce Springsteen sound like he comes from New Jersey? Or does he just sound "American"?

Did Muddy Water sound like he came from Mississippi?

Or, could your average American recognise somebody from Texas, for example, just by their singing voice?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 01:05 PM

Actually, Bruce Springsteen and many others just sound like they've been living under a bridge. Any local accent is lost in the phlegm, raspiness and mumbling caused by years of poor health and substance abuse.

I bet sound engineers have a button that they push to make a guy sound like 'long-term homeless."

They think it sounds tough, I guess. Or like they've suffered and they really know what life is all about - it's dismal.
=============
Joe, I spend a week in Texas most years, and I have heard no special Texas accent. There can be a Western drawl, especially among whites who were born there, but the speaker could be from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona....

There's a saying on the east coast, "As soon as he opens his mouth, you know he comes from a square state.'" If you don't understand that, study a map of the lower 48 states.

Hispanics can sound different from Anglos. And it matters what the person's natural voice is like. An adenoidal, husky or nasal quality might be taken as part of the accent, when actually it's not.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 02:23 PM

Well, lots of US singers surely effected an singing voice that's not their own. Or anything like it.
For example, rich kid John Hammond Jr surely effects an accent far removed from his own natural voice when he sings Delta blues...or any blues.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: meself
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 05:35 PM

Canadians almost always sing in an 'American' accent, with a few notable exceptions: Neil Young, Stan Rogers, Randy Bachman (not much of a singer, but he sings 'natural'). Gordon Lightfoot straddles the border, dropping the hard r's.

And, yes, many if not most American singers affect some kind of faux Southern accent. I don't think Muddy Waters was putting it on, though!


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 07:38 PM

Come to think of it, my son thought he needed to sing in his punk band in a pseudo-British accent until he was 30. Now he's 42, and sings his techno music in American - mostly for European audiences.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 08:02 PM

Is there now a "rich" accent ? who knew.   Canadian singers sing in American accents ! John Allan Cameron, Rita Mac Neil, The Rankins, Well, west of New Brunswick they might! Joni Mitchell is pure Prairies as is k d Lang. I just don,t,t think it matters at all. Sing in a way you enjoy, easy as that.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: meself
Date: 02 Aug 16 - 08:23 PM

I didn't mean them - I meant all the others! ('Pure Prairies', though? I don't hear that - more like 'pure generic North American').


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Aug 16 - 10:50 AM

It is important imo to listen carefully to ones own singing, asnd try as much as possible to sing in ones natural accent.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Aug 16 - 10:52 AM

early bob dylan, sounds as if his accent is a larger bit of oklahoma and a smaller bit of his own


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 16 - 12:04 AM

HiLo - there IS something called a "Mid-Atlantic accent" used by some American elites - more-or-less equivalent to the "posh" accent of England, but perhaps more exclusive. Wikipedia suggests that William F. Buckley, Jr., Gore Vidal, Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, George Plimpton, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Norman Mailer, and others used the accent. Tyrone Power, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Vincent Price, and Cary Grant were Hollywood folks who affected the Mid-Atlantic accent. I'd say Grace Kelly would be another good example.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 04 Aug 16 - 01:49 AM

Joe, that's what my folks used to call the 'Posh American' accent - heard a lot in the old B&W films of the '40s and '50s. Sounds completely unnatural and rather stilted - not a pleasant sound at all.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: leeneia
Date: 04 Aug 16 - 08:50 AM

I think that article is full of baloney, Joe.

People of the N.E. United States often have a legitimate eastern accent. There's the Boston accent, the New Yawk accent, the Bronx accent, the sound of downeast Maine.

I believe it also occurs in Michigan and parts of New Orleans.

Think of your tongue. It has the tip, where we say T; it has the back, where we say hard G. In between is the center, the part we hardly think about. Now start talking English aloud and hold the center of your tongue flat and still. You will start talking with a NE accent.

It's called 'centering.'


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 16 - 01:57 PM

And is "New England" the accent Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant and Vincent Price spoke with, Leeneia? And William F. Buckley, Jr., Gore Vidal, and Jackie Kennedy? A standard New England accent just wouldn't fit them. I have plenty of New England relatives, and they don't talk like Vincent Price or William F. Buckley, Jr.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 04 Aug 16 - 02:21 PM

Well, Cary didn't move to the States - from England - until he was an adult, which probably accounts for his accent.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Aug 16 - 08:09 PM

Tunesmith, other things I have read posited that a "Transatlantic" accent existed among internationally posh people on both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in English-speaking expat communities in places like Paris and Cairo.
Cole Porter would be another good example of this Transatlantic/Mid-Atlantic dialect and culture.

There's an entertaining YouTube video on the Transatlantic/Mid-Atlantic dialect here: -Joe-


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 07 Aug 16 - 11:42 AM

I heard a song recently by a British rock band that was a criticism of British pop artists performing in a pseudo-American style.
Does that ring a bell with anybody out there?


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: FreddyHeadey
Date: 07 Aug 16 - 02:51 PM

NZ research by Andy Gibson



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/7922639/Rock-n-roll-best-sung-in-American-accents.html


"...singing in a local accent would sound funny and because American rounding off of words makes it easier to sing them.
Mr Gibson said, "There were huge differences between the sung and the spoken pronunciation of the same words.
"Consider the difference between 'I' (spoken) and 'ah' (sung), 'girl', pronounced without the 'r' in speech and with the 'r' in singing, and 'thought' with rounded lips in speech versus 'thart' with unrounded lips in singing.
"Studies in the past have suggested that non-American singers wilfully put on American accents but my research suggests the opposite – that an American-influenced accent is the default when singing pop."
Mr Gibson believed his findings also explain why so many of us end up sounding like cheesy rock stars when we sing our favourite songs in private.
"We do it automatically; it doesn't require any effort to sing with an American-influenced accent," he said.
"The American-influenced accent is automatic in the context of singing pop music, and it is used by people from all around the world.
"It actually requires effort to do something different. The American accent doesn't stick out in singing because we are so used to hearing it.
"To sing in a New Zealand accent takes awareness and effort, and it is usually quite noticeable because it is so uncommon.
"The American accent doesn't stick out in singing because we are so used to hearing it."
The accent people use in their singing is more about the style of music than about where they come from.
"For example when we sing reggae we are more likely to use a Jamaican accent but even someone from Jamaica might use a southern American accent when they are singing country and western type songs," Mr Gibson said."


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: GUEST,Ebor Fiddler
Date: 07 Aug 16 - 04:46 PM

I can't help it, but I tend to sing a song much as I hear it. I've even found myself singing songs learned from the singing of Mike Waterson, in his Hull accent. It's completely different from mine, even though the Watersons hail from less than forty miles from where I am from! I have checked myself singing songs from other "live" sources with the same result. Down with the Folk Police!

Chris B.


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Subject: RE: singing with american accents
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Aug 16 - 06:19 PM

People who use "mid-Atlantic" to mean some sort of mixture of U.S. & UK should be aware that in America "mid(dle) Atlantic" has a native meaning of the east-coast states south of New England & north of the south.

And as to what counts as an American accent, one might quote Ogden Nash:

    Every state is a separate star
    With a different approach to the letter R.


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