- Prisencolinensinainciusol: 👍🏻
Like when I listened to Devastatin’ Dave, today is another one of those days that feels like cheating, but after this song came to my attention again today I knew I had to listen to it. I spent about an hour trying to track down a streaming copy of the entire album it’s on (Nostalrock) before giving up and just listening to the single.
In episode 79 of Hello Internet, the hosts spent a while talking about what English must sound like to non-English speakers, and how they can’t experience it because they already are English speakers. It reminded me of this post I’d seen on Boing Boing ages ago, but I was listening to it while driving so I couldn’t look it up. I promptly forgot about the whole thing until this morning when I listened to Hello Internet episode 80. They actually discussed the song because someone else had written in about it.
If you haven’t clicked any of the above links to figure out what I’m getting at, Prisencolinensinainciusol is a song written by an Italian who doesn’t speak English but who wanted to write a song that sounded like it was in English so he just sang nonsense that sounds like English.
It’s extremely difficult to describe what listening to this song is like for an English speaker, so just give it a listen:
I found myself struggling very hard to try to understand the lyrics even though I knew they were gibberish for two reasons: A) it sounds a lot like it actually is English even though it isn’t and 2) every now and then you hear a word that actually is English. Every time that happened, it made me struggle to pay closer attention to try to discern the rest of the lyrics even though I knew they weren’t words. I know it doesn’t make sense but I couldn’t help myself. It was completely instinctual. Like when you’re talking to someone in a bar and it’s really loud but you’re still trying to follow what they’re saying. And it gave me a headache in the exact same way.