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Andrei in the office


Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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Andrei in the office

So.. if you had to choose

I came up with one of those questions that is "The lesser of two evils"

I realize that this really won't effect everyone. Some people just don't mind this at all. So I was curious... 'if you had to pick...."

Poll #1124955 So if you had to choose... when it comes to someone singing a song

Which tends to bug you more

When someone knows the melody but gets some of the words wrong
When someone knows the words but gets some of the melody wrong

This has to do with friends singing songs that are fairly well known socially. Disney, Musical, Gaia Pixie (sic), etc.

So, flip a coin if necessary.. but try to find one. Comments on the poll and your opinions are welcome.

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As a musician, I voted for no. 2, but it's more complicated than that. If someone get some of the notes wrong but gets the *shape* of the melody (Animaniacs enthusiasts will know what I mean), that doesn't bug me so much.

On the other hand, I'm known to be anal about the words, too. When somebody's misquoting something, my initial reaction is to say (silently, if I'm feeling polite that day), "Well, actually it's ..." -- even is difference is excruciatingly minor.

On the other ... er, thirdly, it depends on the context.

what bugs me most is playing a verrry popular song and having a soundman who doesn't have the wits to realize that, um, Alec's mic needs to come up when the audience is louder than we are....*hem*...inside voice, outside voice?

in the case of the poll, harmony is acceptable. honking is not.

I have to admit, it drives me batshit crazy when people get the words wrong. Mondegreens, I think they call those.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey. A kiddley divey do, wooden shoe.

I tend to be bothered by completely different things.

1) Purpose of the singing: If people are singing to have a good time and it's not a performance, I get really pissed off when someone becomes a fascist about pitch. (Example, if you're singing someone "Happy Birthday" or people are singing along on a car ride, it's just rude to interrupt the fun to correct someone's pitch.)

2) Appropriateness of the singing: If most of the people in the room want to sing, great. That can be loads of fun. If part of a group wants to sing while the other part of a group has conversation, no problem. People are having the kind of fun interaction they like and are able to enjoy the time spent together. If part of a group wants to sing while the other part of a group wants to have conversation and the singers are spread throughout the room or otherwise singing so loudly that conversation is impossible, not so good.

The answer to that question relies heavily on context:

Where, when, and why are they singing it? Because I don't care at all if it's in the shower. Otoh, if it's at an audition, if they don't know the melody, I consider them incompetent, but I might give them a pass for bobbling a word.

It's a hard call, but went with words.

"She may get wooly
Girls they do get wooly
Cause of all the stress.
Oh yes.
When she gets wooly
Try a little tenderness."

- "Nuke" LaLouche, in Bull Durham

I went with knowing the tune but not the words. Yes, I have had that problem at times. I have great tonal memory, alas not with the words.


Now to overcome this..

I think in general the tune is more widely recognizable than the words; plus I am an old hand in the world of filk, not to mention folk, which generally tend to have five gazzilion billion verses, depending on where you hear them. Why just this past November, at Castle Wars, I heard what must have been sixteen new verses for the Completely Inappropriate Pirate Song (sung to the tune of When Johnny Comes Marching Home), also known as "Get In, Get Out (Quit F***ng About)", etc.

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