Stutter Songs

B-b-b-baby, You Ain’t Seen N-n-nothin’ Yet!

Have you ever thought about stutter songs? Maybe you have. Perhaps you sing them in the shower.

For you doubters, there are lots of them out there. Stutter Songs. Successful stutter songs. Hits. For some reason, while vocalists take voice lessons and study elocution and dialect, some guy named David Bowie can come along and make a mint singing about Ch-ch-ch-changes (can’t these superstars even read?)

Seriously, it’s a widespread phenomenon, here. I mean we’re T-talkin’ ‘Bout My G-generation, and dozens of well-known music artists incorporate stuttering. Even Bob Dylan croaked that the Ugliest Girl in the World told him, B-b-baby I L-L-love You. I‘m not F-F-F-Foolin’.

Some stutter songs rock us hard: B-B-B-B-Bad to the Bone. Some, like the Kinks’ La-La-La-La-Lola, delve into the dark side, while B-B-B-Benny And The Jets might be a just little too soprano to be “bad” or dark (admit it, there was a time you wanted to smash your car radio if they played B-B-B-Benny even one more time.) Speaking of felony radiocide, how about the Trashmen’s Surfin’ Bird: Bird, Bird, B-Bird is the word? Look up the lyrics. I dare you. Read them. Read them all. Yes, now you remember.

Some stuttering serves as a harmonic introduction: Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Barb’ra Ann. And that’s not the only stuttered girl’s name: don’t forget M-M-M-My Sharona. And Buddy Holly mastered stuttering in the middle and end of a word in Pe-eggy Su-u-ue.

For some of the rest, I’ve complied a little Awards List…

  • DIDN’T KNOW WHEN TO QUIT: Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Far
  • MOST LETTER Ks: K-k-k-k-k-Katmandu
  • MOST STUTTERED WORDS (4); Second Place For Most Letter Ks: K-K-K-Katy
  • LEAST INNOVATIVE: Kickstart, with ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-baby (Come on, guys; BTO beat you by decades)
  • CREEPIEST: Temptation eyes looking through my-my-my soul
  • MOST MEANINGLESS: You gotta Ma-Ma-Ma Belle, before I get you
  • MOST EXOTIC SPELLING (and no one knows what it means): Pseu-Pseu-Pseudio

But hey, you should never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mind. You might have a  heart attack, ack, ack, ack. (or get sued because it sounds too much like you should never argue with a crazy man ma ma ma.)

But I-I-I-I-I’m not your stepping stone.

All this to show that if something is worth saying, it’s worth saying twice. Or three times.

Th-Th-Th-Th-They say the heart of rock ‘n roll is still beating.


About Bill Davis

Writer, speaker and translation and language learning consultant. I write technical articles, poetry and humor, and I am working on my first novel which is set on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.
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4 Responses to Stutter Songs

  1. Carol Rives says:

    Gotta love the Ch-ch-ch-Changes!!!! One of my all-time favorites. Actually saw it incorporated into one of my favorite greeting cards for parents-to-be. It went something like, “Congratulations and welcome to the world of ch-ch-ch-changes!”

  2. Don says:

    Hey Bill, great post. Loved it.
    You missed a couple of big ones though. How about Karma – Karma – Karma – Karma – Karma Chameleooooooon?

    And, of course, this man right here, who turned an emotionally traumatizing and chronic stutter into successful singing career and even made a song about stuttering.

    Also, please tell me that sign is real and not photoshopped. Epic.

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