Choral group given £60,000 to investigate science behind misheard song lyrics

The Wellcome Trust finances investigation into the technicalities of a mondegreen

Choral group given £60,000 to investigate science behind misheard song lyrics

Photo: Sukita

The Wellcome Trust has given £60,000 to The Clerks choral ensemble to explore the science behind misheard lyrics.

The project will be called Tales from Babel: Musical Adventures in the Science of Hearing and will see the choral ensemble speaking to members of the public in the UK and trying to establish why they can understand some song lyrics and not others. The research aims to aid the Trust's understanding of music perception among the hearing-impaired.

Speaking to The Times, Edward Wickham, director of The Clerks, said audience members will listen to the ensemble sing different lines simultaneously, using an electronic handset to record which words they can hear clearly and which lines they cannot.

Prior to experimenting with the public, the Wellcome Trust has conducted a survey into the most commonly misheard song lyrics in popular music, discovering songs by David Bowie and Oasis among the most commonly misunderstood.

The line "Making love with his ego" on David Bowie's 'Ziggy Stardust', was heard as "Making love to a seagull" by some while some believed the "You’re gonna be the one that saves me" line in Oasis' hit 'Wonderwall' was actually "You’re gonna be the one at Sainsbury’s."

A misheard song lyric is known as a 'mondegreen', so called in homage to the mishearing of the words "laid him on the green" as "Lady Mondegreen" in a Scottish ballad.

What's Your Funniest Misheard Song Lyric?

Read More On This Artist

More News
L7 announce reunion and European gigs
Drenge announce new album 'Undertow'
The Charlatans to play Brits Week gig at London's Brooklyn Bowl
East India Youth announces new album 'Culture of Volume'
BBC dismisses Brian Harvey 'peado protecting' comments as 'absurd and offensive'
Disclosure and Rudimental to stage their own festival in Brighton
'Avi Buffalo is over', frontman confirms
Taylor Swift disqualified from Triple J's Hottest 100 list after online campaign
David Bowie to release French-language version of 'Heroes' on red and blue vinyl
Alan McGee lends support to 12 Bar Club occupation
Bill Clinton turns down offer to play saxophone on US band Firework's album
Ian Brown tells court weatherman and teacher Fred Talbot made class watch gay porn film
Wu-Tang Clan members team up for documentary about Raekwon's solo album
Royal Blood, Jamie T, Sleater-Kinney confirmed for 6 Music Festival
Fans react to news of Tom DeLonge's departure from Blink-182
Possible early Aphex Twin demos posted onto Soundcloud by mystery user
Carl Barât on new Libertines album: 'I'm proud of what we've written so far'
O2 Priority Tickets for The Vaccines, Elbow, Nicki Minaj and more available tomorrow
Alabama Shakes, Django Django and Slaves announced for The Great Escape 2015
Chris Robinson on The Black Crowes' split: 'It's more complicated than Rich's...
Blink-182 confirm split from 'disrespectful and ungrateful' Tom DeLonge
Stereophonics, Van Morrison, Paul Weller, The Who, Noel Gallagher to headline Teenage Cancer Trust

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM