Gang fight

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I've gotten several requests from readers for a phonetic analysis of Rebecca Black's mega-viral hit Friday. I'm still thinking about that, but meanwhile, here's the Bad Lip-Reading version:

This is my new favorite Friday parody, nosing past the Bob Dylan version. But there are lots more


  1. Gang Fight « said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    […] —————— HT: Language Log […]

  2. m.m. said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    Gang fight > Bob dylan version for me. I can't stand the voice for the latter version.

  3. Bobbie said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

    I just listened to the Bob Dylan version and thought he said, "Gotta kick my butt" when he said "Gotta catch my bus!"
    Guess it's time to have my hearing checked….

  4. Dan Lufkin said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

    Have you noticed how life is becoming a live-in Mondegreen?

  5. Faith said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    This is a massive improvement over the original.

  6. Jacib said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    In a similar vein to the bad lip reading version, I want to recommend "buffalaxed" music videos:

    [(myl) Yes, etc.]

  7. Amy Stoller said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

  8. Andrew Dowd said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

    One thing that separates this kind of manipulation from the original auteur-du-mondegreen examples is that they actually overdubbed it with the putative lyrics, to avoid the problem of having the audience unavoidably understand the intended lyrics. It's interesting to see the effect this has. I think it makes it seem strained and less funny in a music video scenario like this, but it's the same technique used in, for instance, "Happy in Paraguay," which doesn't seem to suffer for it.

  9. J. Lee said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

    bad lip reading indeed..i see clearly misattributed bilabial closures and interdentals. my link is the best so far, especially to illustrate the effects of the subtitles.

  10. Tom S. Fox said,

    March 27, 2011 @ 1:30 am

    Why does this song warrant a phonetic analysis?

  11. Nick said,

    March 27, 2011 @ 2:17 am

    This is still the best version of the song:

    I seriously cannot watch this one enough times.

  12. Jason said,

    March 27, 2011 @ 2:21 am

    @Tom S. Fox

    The high-rising nasal inter.. whateverits.

    The [i]Friiiiidays, Friiiiiidays, Friiiiiiidays, Friiiiidays[/i].

    Also: I feel sorry for the girl, and particularly now I discover the lyrics may have actually been written for her by Ark Music Factory. Still, may have a happy ending insofar as her interviews suggest she's actually no dummy, understands this is her big break no matter how mortifying, and knows how the fame game is played. I see a long and "successful" career in reality TV in her future.

  13. Leo said,

    March 27, 2011 @ 5:34 am

    Andrew Dowd – a skilled lip-reader can do that sort of thing without overdubs:

    Michael Jackson's Thriller – translated.

  14. Graeme said,

    March 27, 2011 @ 5:52 am

    # 2. "Only time will tell
    If we stand the test of time"

    Ok. I'm not hailin' van Halen. But isn't that a first draft of a famous Auden poem?

  15. Ray Girvan said,

    March 28, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    My current favourites of the bunch are the Meat Loaf cover and Handsome Mike's Acting Masterclass. There are some fine parodists out there.

  16. S. Norman said,

    March 28, 2011 @ 9:08 am

    This guy make a whole career out of this:

    His Rolling Stones one is great but blocked in the US.

  17. Andrew (not the same one) said,

    March 28, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Surely this is is different from the regular Mondegreen phenomenon, because it is based on lipreading, not on sound – no one is claiming that 'Friday' sounds like 'gang fight'. It is, therefore, different from the Michael Jackson case, which is reinterpreting Jackson's sounds, so can use the original soundtrack.

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