To D-an-ce or to D- ar-nce that is the question.

I'm sure most of will be thinking, it's (insert your pronounciation of dance here) of course...but for some of us this is a difficult decision.

I would normally pronounce it D-ar-nce but when it comes to singing I find this often doesn't deliver the sentiment as well, it sounds a little reserved, a bit too 'stiff upper lip', a bit too British, dare I say!

I have had occasion to question this as I am currently writing a song that uses 'dance' twice in the chorus and in fact the second use rhymes better as D- an-ce rather than D-ar-nce.

So this got me thinking, what songs are there where the rhyming of the song actually depends on your pronounciation or accent?

Also, I tend to find some songs where I can't avoid singing in an accent, they just don't seem to work otherwise (Our Gard is greater- Chris Tomlin or Mydee to save- my Hillsongs impression). Does anyone else experience this or is it just me?

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In one of my songs my singing teacher got me to pronounce 'have' almost as 'halve'  to make improve the sound of the song.   

"Halve you got what you need?"

instead of

"Have you got what you need?" 

This is to do with my northern English vowel sounds

Not the same thing but one of the my favourite rhymes in my writing is:

Actors want eternal reruns

On TV til the kingdom she comes

Stars are dying to be remembered 

Needles,  Guns shots and stomachs distended

 ‘Lord of the Dance’ singing ‘darnce’ throughout.....far too posh for my liking.

Chris Tomlin’s 'God of this City' :

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city – pronounced Citay ay ay ay ay

Doesn’t come natural for me to sing it like that but Citee ee ee ee ee is definitely a no go.

It's just you, Joe. ;-)

But d-an-ce is fine if you're from somewhere north of Birmingham.

True, but you don't want to go overboard and end up sounding like a caricature of Stevie Wonder ("Livin' For The Citayyy").

I always try to sing that chorus with sort of a blank vowel sound (somewhere between ee and ay) at the end just to avoid over-pronouncing it.
 
Lorraine Doswell said:

Chris Tomlin’s 'God of this City' :

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city – pronounced Citay ay ay ay ay

Doesn’t come natural for me to sing it like that but Citee ee ee ee ee is definitely a no go.

You don't have to line up the sounds perfectly - half rhyme is a recognised technique in poetry. The clearest example I can think of from the worship canon is Praise is Rising (Baloche / Brown). The first half of the chorus goes:

Hosanna, hosanna

You are the God who saves us

Worthy of all our praises

I can't think of an accent that would pull 'saves us / praises' into perfect alignment without sounding mangled, although often people try. That said, I don't use the song very often and part of that is that we are so used to natural rhyming that this pairing can tempt the eye from the glory of God to the intricacies of a language. Of course, maybe that's just me ;-)

Wulf

Alex, ha yes, I also sing it exactly the way you have described, somewhere in between.  Maybe we have invented a new letter sound!

Alex Morris said:

True, but you don't want to go overboard and end up sounding like a caricature of Stevie Wonder ("Livin' For The Citayyy").

I always try to sing that chorus with sort of a blank vowel sound (somewhere between ee and ay) at the end just to avoid over-pronouncing it.
 
Lorraine Doswell said:

Chris Tomlin’s 'God of this City' :

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this city – pronounced Citay ay ay ay ay

Doesn’t come natural for me to sing it like that but Citee ee ee ee ee is definitely a no go.

Ok here's another one of my dilemmas! C-an-'t or c-arn-'t.

https://soundcloud.com/joeaikenmusic/cant-fall-out-of-your-love-by-...

In this case of course you can sing whichever way suits you and it should have little influence on the song.

Also, set a fire down in my soul, that I carn't contain that I carn't control....someone even mentioned afterward using this song about how I had 'englished' the song (bethel music for those who don't recognise it)

I once spent a lot of time thinking about "Jack and Jill", rhyming "water" with "after", coming to the conclusion (as a Yankee) that the Britisher would say "waughhtuh", and thus "auhfghtuh" would be no-different to the average ear, and thus would be make an acceptable rhyme.  On the reverse side, "Amazing Grace" rhymes "come" with "home" in the third verse [or wherever it is in your hymnal]; but many in the UK, if my "Hobbit" trailers are any indication, would say "hem" or "hame."  Does "come" follow suit?  And again, there are preachers in the US who will pronounce "God" in three syllables at least, any one of which may be chosen to emphasize in order to rhyme with "blood", "food", "good", or "road." :)

There were two baseball players on the Pittsburgh Pirates, Paul Waner and his brother Lloyd.  Paul eventually made the Hall of Fame, and was called "Big Poison."  Lloyd, of course, was "Little Poison."  I assumed it was because they were "poison" to opposing pitchers; but the truth was that the nickname first was applied because Paul was a "big person", and where he lived, Joisy or someplace, it became "poy-son."

Greg Newhouse said:

When you pronounce the sound you describe as "ar", I hear "aw" or "ä". When we over here see "ar", we think "arrrrr" like a pirate. I'd heard a New Yorker explain how to pronounce the name of chessmaster Max Euwe: "The "eu", it's "ir" like in Irving." Which to me sounds like he said, "It's "oy", like in Oy-ving. We are speaking the same language aren't we?

And all the pirates said Arrrrr father who arrrrrrt in heaven.... Newsboys 'gods not dead' album has a song using the phrase 'here we stand in awe' but the pronunciation sounds to me like 'here we stand in are'!


Greg Newhouse said:

When you pronounce the sound you describe as "ar", I hear "aw" or "ä". When we over here see "ar", we think "arrrrr" like a pirate. I'd heard a New Yorker explain how to pronounce the name of chessmaster Max Euwe: "The "eu", it's "ir" like in Irving." Which to me sounds like he said, "It's "oy", like in Oy-ving. We are speaking the same language aren't we?

The two Gregs - sorry I still haven't got used to the new reply system

What about 'Amen' then?  Are you Arr-men people or Ay-men people? 



Greg Moore said:

There were two baseball players on the Pittsburgh Pirates, Paul Waner and his brother Lloyd.  Paul eventually made the Hall of Fame, and was called "Big Poison."  Lloyd, of course, was "Little Poison."  I assumed it was because they were "poison" to opposing pitchers; but the truth was that the nickname first was applied because Paul was a "big person", and where he lived, Joisy or someplace, it became "poy-son."

Greg Newhouse said:

When you pronounce the sound you describe as "ar", I hear "aw" or "ä". When we over here see "ar", we think "arrrrr" like a pirate. I'd heard a New Yorker explain how to pronounce the name of chessmaster Max Euwe: "The "eu", it's "ir" like in Irving." Which to me sounds like he said, "It's "oy", like in Oy-ving. We are speaking the same language aren't we?

Ha, Jack and Jill.....how some of these nursery rhymes stood the test of time I'll never know.  Even the British can't make  'water' and 'after' rhyme. 

Greg Moore said:

I once spent a lot of time thinking about "Jack and Jill", rhyming "water" with "after", coming to the conclusion (as a Yankee) that the Britisher would say "waughhtuh", and thus "auhfghtuh" would be no-different to the average ear, and thus would be make an acceptable rhyme.  On the reverse side, "Amazing Grace" rhymes "come" with "home" in the third verse [or wherever it is in your hymnal]; but many in the UK, if my "Hobbit" trailers are any indication, would say "hem" or "hame."  Does "come" follow suit?  And again, there are preachers in the US who will pronounce "God" in three syllables at least, any one of which may be chosen to emphasize in order to rhyme with "blood", "food", "good", or "road." :)

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