Bumping And Bomping Along With Your Favorite Songs – (Especially When There Are No Lyrics)

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Most of us sing along with the lyrics to our favorite songs.

We don’t have to be in tune (thank goodness).

We don’t have to know all of the words.

It’s perfectly acceptable to sing “la la la’s” or random collections of vowel sounds to fill in those gaps that we don’t quite remember. 

But what about those songs where just singing the lyrics isn’t enough?

Where we feel the need to sing along with the instruments, as well?

As Virgindog pointed out in the comments for Jon Deutsch’s excellent Flash Friday Review of “Tequila…

…it’s nearly impossible not to sing along:

“Baa daht da da daa daht dat da! Baa daht da da daa daht da!”

I’d never really thought about it before.

But there are just some songs where it seems necessary to vocalize the instruments.

The first one I think of is “Baba O’Riley:”

I am going to sing, “bommmm… bom bommmm…” along with the piano part in the intro. Every time.

Every. Single. Time.

It’s the same with “Seven Nation Army:”

Except that one is, “bommm… bom BOM bom bom bommm… bomp…”

Huge difference. Really. I promise.

“lovethisconcept gets it.”

“Low Rider” (the one by War) always gets: “bump bump bump bump bump bump bump – bump bump bump bump bummmp… ” when the blues harp comes in.

{Parenthetical query:}

Why, in that particular song, is it “bump,” when the others are clearly: “bomp”?

I don’t know. I didn’t write them, I just sing them.

No worries Love. We’re here to help.
Maybe this will answer the ques– WAIT, WHAT? AN HOUR LONG VERSION???

Hello, Goodbye always gets a “waaaohhh” along with the guitar after the “I don’t know” lyric. 

I’m not sure why this happens for certain songs and not others.

I only know it’s unavoidable for those songs.

And V-Dog and I are not the only ones to participate in this phenomenon.

It’s now possible to hear stadiums full of people on both sides of the Atlantic sing “woh, oh, oh” to “Sweet Caroline.” It’s become an unofficial lyric.

Movie and TV show themes seem particularly prone to this phenomenon.

“Nana nana nana nana nana nana nana nana…”

…and you know what comes next.

(Yes, this is vocalized once at the end. But everyone sings it with the instruments as well).

Have you ever gone swimming in the ocean without someone in your group singing “dunn dunn, dunn dunn, dunn dunn, dunn, dunn”?

If you have, your friends have more restraint than mine.

And even people who were not yet born in the 60’s know:

That when something weird or unexplainable happens, you immediately sing “doot, doot, doot, doot, doot, doot, doot, doot…”

I mean, I think it’s some kind of rule.

I could go on and on, but I will have mercy and stop.

You are probably going to have at least one of these stuck in your head all day. I can’t be responsible for any more.

Can you think of any other songs where everyone sings along with the instrumentation?

Or do you have any that are personal to you?

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cstolliver
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June 15, 2023 5:21 am

Prince’s “Purple Rain” has me going DOO-doo, DOO-doo, DOO-doo, DOO long before he does so near the end of the glorious full-length album version. Thanks for helping me conjure it! A lovely way to start the day.

Phylum of Alexandria
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June 15, 2023 6:21 am

One of these I gotta do is the wah-wah intro to U2’s “Mysterious Ways:”

BOwmp, BWAYum-BOWmp.

And I can’t really transcribe this one, but I get a kick out of emulating Jimmy Page’s sliding guitar in Zep’s “In My Time of Dying.” Suggestions welcome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scpqae3P7Dg

Virgindog
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June 15, 2023 9:07 am

Good work, LTC, and serendipitous timing. My article slated for tomorrow mentions the same phenomenon. Da da da daaaaah!

Virgindog
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June 15, 2023 9:15 am

Funny that it’s “da” and not “ba” or “na.”

Pauly Steyreen
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June 15, 2023 10:28 am

Everybody does this one… even if you’ve never seen the show before.

The tune that’s played over Final Jeopardy!

It’s in our cultural DNA, like the Twilight Zone Theme or Batman Theme (which I would argue is more of a “neener neener” vs “nana nana”).

https://youtu.be/vXGhvoekY44

Phylum of Alexandria
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June 15, 2023 12:48 pm

Such perceptual differences remind me of the different onomatopoeic renderings that different languages have for the same sounds.

I can accept that a dog might say “wan wan” instead of “bow wow,” but I still don’t understand why Japanese people think a bee goes “bun bun.” That’s pretty much objectively wrong!

Virgindog
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June 15, 2023 2:20 pm

Haven’t you ever heard of a honey bun?  🙂 

Virgindog
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June 16, 2023 10:50 am

In so many ways.

mt58
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June 15, 2023 11:08 am

^
 🙏 

JJ Live At Leeds
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June 15, 2023 1:07 pm

I was reading along thinking Jaws theme and sure enough, you didn’t disappoint!

I nominate this one from my childhood. When the sax comes in there’s no way you can’t join in.

https://youtu.be/HhHwnrlZRus

LinkCrawford
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June 15, 2023 7:38 pm

Q:What did the Pink Panther say when he stepped on an ant-hill?
A: Dead ant! Dead ant! Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead ant, dead aaaaaaant!

mt58
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June 15, 2023 9:10 pm
Reply to  LinkCrawford

IMG_4875.jpeg
Pauly Steyreen
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June 15, 2023 9:14 pm
Reply to  LinkCrawford

I wasn’t expecting a Revenge of the Nerds joke from you today Link! You’re full of surprises… 😀

LinkCrawford
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June 15, 2023 9:35 pm
Reply to  Pauly Steyreen

Uh-oh…I’ve never even seen that movie

Pauly Steyreen
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June 15, 2023 10:05 pm
Reply to  LinkCrawford

https://youtu.be/aXpS8eSQeh4

First place I heard that joke anyway…

DanceFever
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June 16, 2023 12:50 am
Reply to  LinkCrawford

That was one of my father’s favorite as well as the legendary “Want to Disco? Disco foot here and Disco foot there?” We all don’t appreciate “Dad” jokes until there gone. And I’ve made sure my children have a dozen of them!

rollerboogie
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June 15, 2023 2:38 pm

This is very specific, but in the car once, my younger sister and I sang along with the entire Phil Woods saxophone solo at the end of Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”, much to the extreme annoyance of our older sister who was driving.

LinkCrawford
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June 15, 2023 7:38 pm
Reply to  rollerboogie

This is perfect.

cappiethedog
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June 15, 2023 6:05 pm

“Main Titles” for Star Wars. It’s Star Wars, not A New Hope, Last Jedi haters.

I always hear the echoes of my cousins inventing lyrics about the awesomeness of Ewoks after seeing Return of the Jedi…on the bus. I was the kid pretending not to know them.

Logan Taylor
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June 15, 2023 7:27 pm
Reply to  cappiethedog

You can’t really improve on yub nub

Aaron3000
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June 15, 2023 8:42 pm
Reply to  cappiethedog

Star Wars made me think of Bill Murray’s “lyrics”, which start around 5:55 in this clip. But right at the beginning we’ve got another good one, from Twenty-Oh-One:

https://youtu.be/ljiVRV5B5i8

cappiethedog
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June 16, 2023 2:01 am
Reply to  Aaron3000

Thanks, Aaron3000. I watch so much Bill Murray 2.0, I forget sometimes why I was so excited about Murray’s comeback in Lost in Translation. Judd Apatow referencing Caddyshack in the pilot for Freaks and Geeks was such a spot-on period touch. I loved that gopher so much. Meatballs would have worked, too. Which reminds me, I haven’t seen Stripes.

Aaron3000
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June 17, 2023 12:01 am
Reply to  cappiethedog

Our cable company at the time had a whopping 12 channels. Two NBC stations, two ABC, one CBS, two PBS, two local independents, a sort of computerized news teletype channel, WTBS, and The Movie Channel. Not sure if we had to pay extra for TMC or if it was included in the service, but I saw several movies at age 10-11 that I probably shouldn’t have… and this was back when they’d rotate through the same handful of films several times a day. I must’ve watched Stripes and Blow Out at least ten times each during one week of school vacation.

dutchg8r
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June 20, 2023 3:33 pm
Reply to  cappiethedog

Just like Pee Wee’s dance is obligatory during Tequila, doing the gopher twist is mandatory every time I hear I’m Alright by Kenny Loggins.

Logan Taylor
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June 15, 2023 7:25 pm

cappie just reminded me of the “Dun dun dun dun..” sound I’ve often used to Munich Darth Vader’s theme from the Star Ware movies.

And that in turn reminds me of the general “Dun Dun DUN” motif that people use when they’re evoking a dramatic twist, sometimes for comedic effect. I’m not sure of the origin, but we all know it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zrMykBnidM

Logan Taylor
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June 15, 2023 7:26 pm
Reply to  Logan Taylor

Eek, no edit? I meant mimic, not Munich

cappiethedog
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June 15, 2023 7:44 pm
Reply to  Logan Taylor

Your phone likes Jessie Ware.

And apparently, a semiotics feature you weren’t aware of.

A Freudian blip?

Oh, and I did the Coheed and Cambria deep dive.

Logan Taylor
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June 16, 2023 1:55 pm
Reply to  cappiethedog

Oh yeah? What’s your verdict on C&C (Prog) Factory?

LinkCrawford
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June 15, 2023 7:36 pm

I often am embarrassed by how often I don’t know lyrics to songs I have loved for nearly 50 years. Really, I should do better.

But I unapologetically sing along with instruments, often in a very nerdy way. My family has been subject to this and just deals with it. But there is nothing more fun than knowing an intricate instrumental part of a song and impressing someone around you with being able to sing it.

A few years ago I was in a gift shop in Costa Rica and “Dust in the Wind” was playing over the speakers. I quietly whistled along with the violin solo and a pre-teen girl next to me said, “Woah, that’s pretty good!” It MADE. MY. DAY.

I remember in 1982 singing along accurately with the syncopated piano solo at the end of Toto’s “Rosanna” and my dad asked me, “How can you remember all those parts?” It’s fun to do, but not just to impress people. It’s just fun to do even when I’m alone. I am totally with you, lovethisconcept!

cstolliver
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June 15, 2023 8:49 pm
Reply to  LinkCrawford

I’ve also sung along with that “Rosanna” solo. And, of course, who hasn’t with the lead-in to “Don’t Stop Believin'”?

blu_cheez
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June 16, 2023 7:17 pm
Reply to  cstolliver

Dunga-dun-dunga-da-dun-dun-dun-dunga-da-dun….

Pauly Steyreen
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June 15, 2023 9:18 pm

We can’t forget Ennio Morricone’s theme to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Eminently quotable.

“weenieweeniewii… wah wah wah
weenieweeniewii… wah wah WAH”

https://youtu.be/J9EZGHcu3E8

DanceFever
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June 16, 2023 12:56 am

My finest memory of this is when a a person who thought they were super cool walked into our local bar on a crowded Saturday night wearing a brand new cowboy hat and everyone started whistling the theme “From the Good, the Bad and the Nothing” and he immediately walked out, never to wear it again!

Zeusaphone
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June 16, 2023 9:12 am

I sometimes play for an audience so I’ve had to train myself not to do this

LinkCrawford
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June 16, 2023 11:34 am
Reply to  Zeusaphone

Probably the equivalent of watching a tv show and seeing the actor that isn’t speaking mouthing the words of the speaking actor. I’ve seen that a couple of times.

blu_cheez
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June 16, 2023 7:18 pm
Reply to  Zeusaphone

So many of the actors in Star Wars movies talk about how they had to stop making laser & lightsaber noises when filming their scenes.

Edith G
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June 16, 2023 6:26 pm

The first song I can think is the final part of “Happy Together” (the Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba part), probably because my siblings and I found funny the version that was made in an episode of “That 70’s Show”, but due to mondegreens and our accents it sounded more like “Pa-pa-pa-pa pa-pa-pa-pa pa-pa-pa pa-pa-pa-pa
Pa-pa-pa-pa pa-pa-pa-pa pa-pa-pa pa-pa-pa-pa”.

blu_cheez
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June 16, 2023 7:13 pm

I love, love, love singing along to guitar solos. You get to deploy all the “mews” and “bwews” and “nanananananas” and “eeeee-wooops”

Singing along with drum solos is also fun, but you need to get the arms involved, or else it’s not as good.

dutchg8r
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June 20, 2023 3:41 pm

I was always particularly fond of doing the “biw-ee-dooo” in Mission Impossible’s theme.

No surprise, but I still vocally sing the Rio bassline throughout most of that song. Or vocally bang out on the Simmons drums with Roger in Hungry Like The Wolf. Or the intro he does for Power Station’s Some Like It Hot. Obviously the air bass/drum motion accompaniment is a given. 😁

Led Zep’s “Rock n Roll” a doozy to vocalize along with the instruments as well. It’s a hell of a workout!

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