Marie Osmond presents a brief history of Dada, recites Hugo Ball poem


Originally published at:


She took some liberties with her reading. “blamba” instead of “bambla”? “egaga” instead of “egiga”? And I could go on…

Makes no sense that way.


Reminds me of blackface. I think she’s trying to channel something vaguely “African” there.

The rest of her delivery is slick, friendly whitefolks hucksterism.


I saw some previews. She is AMAZING in Game of Thrones Season 7.


She’s a little bit country, and I’m a little bit sick.


I. . . I. . . don’t. . . believe it. . .


Sounds like she’s reading an atlas of New Zealand towns.


[quote=“SamWinston, post:7, topic:81750, full:true”]
Sounds like she’s reading an atlas of New Zealand towns.


The rhythm sounds African to my ear, but the phonemes sound Maori. Anyway, my first impression was pretty much along the same lines as yours, but I also have to question how much of that is my own bias as a native English speaker, and how much those biases were really in her mind or the the mind of the author.


She didn’t write the damn poem.

Osmond has had kind of a shitty life, including chronic depression and a child committing suicide. She’s also an outspoken supporter of gay rights, impressive given her background. I think maybe we can cut her some slack here.


Why doesn’t she put her head down inside a 13 tube? I might like her better.




I think a lot of it comes from her interpretation (such as it is) of what the phrases “mean” (though she knows they don’t mean anything). By giving it a more or less dramatic reading, she makes it sound like some unused incantation summoning the giant gorilla in the 1933 version of King Kong.

Though I don’t think she was consciously trying to act “black” or otherwise “ethnic.” I have no idea if Ball intended it to be read with any particular dramatic inflection or not, or indeed if he ever intended it to be read by anyone other than himself. Maybe the syllables themselves, with no particular inflection, were music enough to his ears.


Perhaps. I actually found it more or less impossible to read any sort of meaning into it…as opposed to something like Jabberwocky where there’s a clear mental movie I see, this was just sounds to me.

I should run it by my wife (linguist and professional translator) and see what her impressions are.

Yup, I’d say that tracks.




Thank you. Now I know where this weird 30-second mp3 I’ve had for years comes from. It’s hard to identify nonsense syllables that don’t have proper tags.


I also have this version, but it was correctly identified.

You can get it yourself here, like I did:


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