Friday, February 27, 2009

Four gang tries to do it - lyrical monstrosities

Yes, I'm reliving October 2003, when I wrote posts like this. Back then I often used a service called Yahoo - perhaps you've heard of it - and frequently participated in a Yahoo group called Silliness and Nonsense. And...silliness and nonsense would happen.

It started when I talked about how Ivan of Men Without Hats would wear a hat, and I observed:

P.S. "Living in China" was Men Without Hats' best song. Best line:

"And the Gang of Four
Tryin' to make it as a Western band"

Eventually I wrote an altered version of the lyric.

What Mao of President say
if it knew that what its people think of him today
the revolution is out of any reflexion
the troop of four, trying to do it like bandages Western
China, which have you need
for you have very your head scruffy with the dirty feet
China that you want to dance
carry the make-up and listen to Adam and the ants

As far as I can tell, I probably ran the original lyrics through a translator (at that time, probably Babelfish), translated them into another language, then translated them back into English.

But that was then. And this is now. And now we have Google Translate. And it supports Finnish. So let's take the lyrics, translate them into Finnish and back, and see what happens.

What Chairman Mao say
If he knew what his people think of him today
The revolution is out of hand
Four gang tries to do it in the West, the band
Chinese, you need
You have all your scruffy head dirty feet
Chinese want to dance
You are wearing makeup and listening to adam and the ants

So silliness and nonsense is no more, unless I go to Scrine. And when I do, I keep the translator in the closet.
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