Sing Gibberish to the Lord

I’ve posted a fine example of Ansiktsburk song lyrics before: listen to a song in a language you don’t understand, and try to imagine that it is actually sung in your own language though with a funny accent. Then write down whatever words you can half make out. Thus the Swedish drinking song “Helan gÃ¥r” becomes “Hell and gore, shun hope Father Alan, lay!”.

Now Paddy K directs my attention to a new permutation of this idea. Here’s a piece of choral music sung in English in such a way that the real lyrics are difficult to make out — and the ansiktsburk poet has set new English words to it. Look at the ladies toward the end — their lips are actually synching with the nonsense!

Recently deceased Swedish entertainer Povel Ramel called this method fÃ¥netisk skrift, for instance in his memorable version of a classic high-school graduation song. “Sjung om Fru Svenssons lyckliga karl…”


8 thoughts on “Sing Gibberish to the Lord

  1. Actually, blogged on this before back in 2007 – I’d suggest that people interested in using that video in lessons may find it a far better example of backmasking than the old examples that pop up again and again at Skeptic conferences:

    The creator Adam Buxton, is willing to send a copy if you send a SAE to him.
    I’ve also included the original lyrics, if people are interested in using it to compare.

    I would also suggest checking out the joy which is ‘Minor Bun Benny Lava’!



  2. Oh, so that is what it is? They’re running the audio backwards? I thought it was just difficult to make out the words because of too many people singing at the same time.

    Benny Lava is the song I link to above! Great stuff!


  3. I wonder why the English ones have a lot more sexual content than the Swedish ones? Freud would love this.



  4. That’s the first hymn I ever heard that wasn’t depressing. Now I see what Xtianity is sorely lacking — a sense of humor!


  5. S’funny- in twenty years of working in recording studios I’ve had to listen to a lot of backwards radio comercials (we duped ’em tha way for technical reasons). My way of describing the lugubrious tone of backwards English speech was always “depressed Russians speaking Swedish”.


  6. No, it’s just indistinct, like you say – they’re not singing backwards.

    But when people talk about ‘backmasking’, it’s rather like what is happening there. We allow ourselves to be fooled by the text into believing that’s what it’s saying, much like what presentations of backmasking does.


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