10 thoughts on “Nectarine? Soup Tureen? Sex Machine?”

    1. It’s fun isn’t it? You’ll like the Russian Police singing ‘Get Lucky’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P08B_lBUL0E

      They’ve got lovely voices, but they do fall into the trap of loading the song with an unsettling level of innuendo. They look like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ona-RhLfRfc

      I was watching Pharrell Williams singing it here just to check what he does https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoB9OiTJw40 He looks well aware of the double meaning of get lucky or I’m up all night to get some but he’s subtle. He sings it like a healthy young man thinking about going out with a woman. The Russian Police look too ‘knowing’. It’s an intangible difference, but it’s there. Lots of non-native singers make that mistake when they sing in English. They find it hard to know ‘how’ to sing a word like sex Or a swear word.

      Do the Spanish Police Force have a choir? Do they sing foreign pop songs?


      1. Hey!
        You’ve made a whole post here just for me! Really got some kicks out of it,Thanks!
        Anyway, I don’t think the band is a real Russian Police band; it just can’t be! The video is so ridicuolous on all levels, I personally think they sound just the way they want to i.e.” nudge nudge wink wink”.
        I really don’t know anything about Spanish military or police bands but I’m sure you’ll enjoy this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxAkKB-U9vE
        You can write a million posts for your blog just analysing the way this guy doesn’t care the least about English pronunciation. BTY that attitude is quite generalised is some parts of Spain.
        Have a nice day!


      2. You’re right, it’s hard to believe, but they are ‘real’ Russian police. The choir’s been going since 1939. They sing all over the place, for the Pope, at the Sochi Olympics etc. I think they attracted special attention just because of their choice of song and the way they sing it.They’ve got lovely voices.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jenny. 🙂

      Yes, he didn’t have many other options, for the sound and the rhyme and the mood of his song. ‘Get on up like a trampoline?’ No. I can imagine him singing ‘sex machine’ as an improvisation, realising that it worked and enjoying himself with the risqué nature of it.

      My son reminded me that they have a compliment in Spanish: ‘Eres una maquina’ (You’re a machine) which is pure praise and speaks of a person who works hard and keeps going until the job is done. In English, if you said ‘You’re a machine’ it wouldn’t be a compliment, would it? ‘A machine’ sounds unemotional and relentlessly, unthinkingly automatic. Which, I think, is one reason why James Brown sang ‘sex machine’ as he did: to be sure that his listeners were understanding the word as he wanted them to understand it – in a more ‘Spanish’ way.

      By the way, did you see the Russian Army Choir singing Sex Bomb? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJPgveHnMd0 They look a bit like a group of teenagers who’ve been asked to sing a slightly ‘naughty’ song in public. There’s far too much of this kind of thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT3_UCm1A5I going on. It’s as if they don’t know quite how to sing the word ‘sex’and they can’t just leave it be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahaha – I do like the trampoline alternative!

        No, that Spanish phrase just doesn’t work the same in English. One of the risks of literal translation and usage.

        I watched the Russian Army Choir. What a sight! I was mortified just watching it! I wonder if they felt at all embarrassed at how seedy the whole thing was, or if they just thought it was the appropriate delivery style?


      2. Oh my! That rendition of Get Lucky is astonishing (the dancing was literally making me grimace, besides anything else!)!

        Although I do think you may be getting me hooked on these dodgy covers – it is dangerous the way youtube throws other similar suggestions at you!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi Jenny – yes, it’s a whole hidden world, isn’t it? The thing that surprises me most about the Russian Police or Army choirs is that the men look so cuddly and unthreatening when they’re singing. It’s hard to imagine them shooting enemies or arresting people. Maybe they were all behind desks doing filing and humming English songs.

        Just to show that it’s not a one way street as far as singers singing in foreign languages goes – have you seen Eartha Kitt singing in ‘Turkish’ back in 1967? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYQLB-fnZT8 I don’t speak Turkish and she certainly goes all out to emphasise the ‘foreign’ sounding aspects of the language, but I get the impression, from comments I’ve read, that only a few words are recognisably Turkish. Maybe, to somebody from Turkey, Eartha Kitt is just like the Russian Police or Army to us. She does move better though!

        Liked by 1 person

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