This linguistic analysis of "The Pop-Punk Accent" is absolutely fascinating

Originally published at: This linguistic analysis of "The Pop-Punk Accent" is absolutely fascinating | Boing Boing


This appearance by The Animals on Ed Sullivan in 1963 might be the Ford Model T of Brits singing American. Now it seems almost a bit comical, a little kid from Newcastle singing like this? But that’s glamour on its first run. I read that “glamour” was originally a Scots variant of “grammar” used to refer to the English, lying.


This reminds me there was a time when every teen-age American sang Rock and Roll with a Liverpudlian accent. Don’t know how that happened.


This reminds me of a documentary I watched about The Kinks years ago (maybe the old History of Rock that aired on PBS?). They drew a direct line between them being banned from the USA and the very British records they subsequently released, native accents and all. Bowie was one of the artists they featured and he said that listening to their transition gave him the confidence to sing in his own voice.


Or Fish from Marillion who speaks with a rough strong Scottish accent yet sings in a high, clear English voice.


Very interesting. Now I have a scientific basis by which to evaluate my particular distaste for pop-punk vocals. Mostly, it’s the expansion of words like “right” into “roiight” that grates, along with the "een"ing of -ing words. I got about 25 seconds into that Blink-182 song before I had to stop.


I’d never noticed it was a specific accent, I guess I just thought of it as a west coast US accent.
Mind you, I can get behind the suggestion from one person in the article, that part of the “pop-punk accent” is just singing in a way that makes your vocals audible above the rest of the band. After all, singers who don’t do that will be harder to hear, so it’s harder to tell what accent they have.

1 Like

Fixed that for you!


I think there’s a direct line of accepting your Brit accent going from the Kinks, to Bowie, to Johnny Rotten, and then to this fellow, who embraced it:


Controversial to link in a Prestwick lad with a bunch of Londoners!

Using your Northern accent would have been considered like the next step on from using your Southern accent like the Kinks did (and Anthony Newley before them - his early songs don’t have a cockney accent but by 1963 it’s emerging).

I don’t really hear Liverpool accents in the Beatles songs.(as someone pointed out that US acts started singing like them). Maybe they sound English but kind of homogenised down in a Southern direction.


blink-182 wtf GIF

Guess they’re not for everyone.


1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.