The songs are familiar, the lyrics the same, but we guarantee you’ve never heard versions quite like this. A group of fair-use artists have created songs using the spoken pronunciation guides of words in online dictionaries. The result is an entertaining blend of computerized music and monotone singing. Bob talks to David Dixon about the tunes found at his website, dictionaraoke.com.
MAN: If you're--
WOMAN: Blue and--
MAN: Fashion sits--
BOB GARFIELD: So you might want to know what that is. We found that take on an Irving Berlin standard at a web site, Dictionaraoke.com -- home of the Singing Dictionary. If you're still confused, meet David Dixon, the man who registered that site. David, welcome to OTM!
WOMAN: Hi-- Bob--.
BOB GARFIELD: Okay, cut that out.
DAVID DIXON: Hi, Bob, how are you?
BOB GARFIELD: All right. A singing dictionary --dictionaraoke -- why?! What?! Why?!
DAVID DIXON: [LAUGHS] Well why not?! I'm on this mailing list called Snuggles who are fans of a band called Negativland who became somewhat famous or rather infamous 10 years ago when they sampled U-2 and were sued for it. Well anyway, a number of us also do the same kind of audio work, that is electronic cut and paste collage. And last summer a fellow named Jim Allenspach found that Merriam-Webster, the dictionary, on line has pronunciation samples for the words in the dictionary. All these little words were pronounced by real people, and he said you know we could do something with this. Here, here is an example. I Feel Good, by James Brown. [DICTIONARAOKE VERSION OF I FEEL GOOD] [MUSIC]