I spent my day assembling lyrics to all of the songs that we're licensing for a new game so that they can be submitted to the ESRB.
Since we're licensing pop tunes by established acts, you'd think that the lyrics to these things would be online. Well, about 50% of them are. The rest aren't.
Thankfully, the vast majority of the singers enunciate to the point that I can transcribe the lyrics without any problems.
But then there's The Redwalls.
The Redwalls is a band from Illinois that sound like they're from England 30 years ago. When it comes to the lyrics, however, it's straight-up Illinoise. I don't know how this guy does it, but you can barely understand a single syllable of what he's singing.
Remember that Weird Al cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with the lyrics:
It's hard to bargle nawdle zouss
With all these marbles in my mouth
Well, the Redwalls are pioneering new realms of bargle-zouss.
The first verse of one of their tunes sounds like he's saying:
Well, Tobliss takes the 55 dollar PA
He let that chick go down, he get away
And he stay alive, it don't miss a thang
Because the place that he eats is better than a wedding field
In reality, that lyric is:
Well, Dublin take the 55 diamond PA
He let that ship go down he get away
And he's saying now he don't miss a thing
Because the place where he is is better than where he been
So, thankfully I don't have to wonder about what a "wedding field" is. Still, it's nearly impossible to understand this stuff and it's not online. So what do we do for the ESRB? What if the lyrics are just a string of curses strung together by places this guy eats at?
Well, I contacted Capitol Records through our legal department and requested a lyric sheet. Now, you'd think that the record label would be able to furnish us with a complete list of lyrics.
The list they sent was incomplete and, quite frankly, pretty half-assed; or as the Redwalls would say, "hay stacked" or someshit. So, I had to sit there today replaying sections over and over and over again until I figured out what the hell this jerk was saying.
Not since I phonetically transcribed the lyrics to Queen's "Mustapha" at the age of 13 have I had more trouble understanding the lyrics to a song.
So, thanks, Redwalls. Or as Freddie Mercury kinda' maybe said: moh hoh maht deh yeh loh eh-shehlee. Whatever that means.