19 votes

Share a link to good singing in a language that you don't understand

I thought maybe we'd play this game again? This time the "iron chef" ingredient is good singing, but in a language that you don't understand.

Ground rules:

  • One song per comment, so we can vote for them individually.
  • One top-level comment per user, so pick your favorite song.
  • If you want to post more than one song, reply to yourself to add more comments.

Previously in this series:

53 comments

  1. [4]
    DougM
    Link
    Does this count? Sigur Ross - Untitled.

    Does this count? Sigur Ross - Untitled.

    ( ) is the third full-length album from Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, first released in October 2002. It comprises eight untitled tracks, divided into two parts: the first four tracks are lighter and more optimistic, while the latter four are bleaker and more melancholic. The two-halves are divided by a 36-second silence, and the album opens and closes with a click of distortion. Lead singer Jón Þór Birgisson ("Jónsi") sang the album's lyrics entirely in "Hopelandic", a made-up language consisting of gibberish words. ( ) reached No. 51 on the Billboard 200 and received acclaim from music critics, although some reviewers found the album weaker than the band's previous album Ágætis byrjun.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      seizethegoddamngap
      Link Parent
      #8 (Popplagið) is one of their 5 best songs, and is incredible live.

      #8 (Popplagið) is one of their 5 best songs, and is incredible live.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        JRandomHacker
        Link Parent
        Popplagið is one of my favorite songs of all time, and my wife and I walked down the aisle to Hoppípolla - I'm very glad to see some Sigur Ros here.

        Popplagið is one of my favorite songs of all time, and my wife and I walked down the aisle to Hoppípolla - I'm very glad to see some Sigur Ros here.

        2 votes
        1. seizethegoddamngap
          Link Parent
          Heh, my wife used Hoppípolla for her entrance song as well. It's just too damn pretty!

          Heh, my wife used Hoppípolla for her entrance song as well.

          It's just too damn pretty!

  2. [3]
    Cycloneblaze
    Link
    This request made me think of Infected Mushroom & Tuna - Lost in Space (feat. A-Wa). Tuna is an Israeli (as are Infected Mushroom) rapper, and the lyrics are in Hebrew, which was the first time...

    This request made me think of Infected Mushroom & Tuna - Lost in Space (feat. A-Wa). Tuna is an Israeli (as are Infected Mushroom) rapper, and the lyrics are in Hebrew, which was the first time I'd heard any Hebrew singing (or spoken Hebrew at all) and it really caught me! There's a section sung by A-Wa at the end which is in Arabic and makes a nice contrast.

    5 votes
    1. SuperGracchiBros
      Link Parent
      I love A-Wa! I recommend their song Habib Galbi. I don't know about the Infected Mushroom song, but they typically sing in Judeo-Yemeni, which (as you can probably tell by the name) is a dialect...

      I love A-Wa! I recommend their song Habib Galbi. I don't know about the Infected Mushroom song, but they typically sing in Judeo-Yemeni, which (as you can probably tell by the name) is a dialect of Arabic spoken by Yemenite Jews.

      2 votes
    2. spit-evil-olive-tips
      Link Parent
      Infected Mushroom's cover of Send Me An Angel was likewise the first singing in Hebrew I'd ever really heard. The original music video is also...interesting.

      Infected Mushroom's cover of Send Me An Angel was likewise the first singing in Hebrew I'd ever really heard.

      The original music video is also...interesting.

      1 vote
  3. [4]
    skybrian
    (edited )
    Link
    Here is some good singing that nobody understands. (Nonsense lyrics that sound like American English.) Adriano Celentano & Raffaella Carrà - Prisencolinensinainciusol. And here's another version....

    Here is some good singing that nobody understands. (Nonsense lyrics that sound like American English.)

    Adriano Celentano & Raffaella Carrà - Prisencolinensinainciusol. And here's another version.

    Wikipedia has some background on this song.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Curses! You got to it first!

      Curses! You got to it first!

      1 vote
      1. skybrian
        Link Parent
        I had an unfair advantage, since I just happened to see this song on Twitter yesterday and it inspired me to start the topic. :)

        I had an unfair advantage, since I just happened to see this song on Twitter yesterday and it inspired me to start the topic. :)

        3 votes
  4. [3]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    Garmarna - Vänner och fränder Lyrics in Swedish, and English translation
    4 votes
    1. spit-evil-olive-tips
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Carabao - Sam Cha Carabao (cheating a bit, but I'd recommend this entire "20 Years Carabao" album. I spent a month in Thailand ~15 years ago, heard this album, and it's stuck with me) Lyrics in...

      Carabao - Sam Cha Carabao

      (cheating a bit, but I'd recommend this entire "20 Years Carabao" album. I spent a month in Thailand ~15 years ago, heard this album, and it's stuck with me)

      Lyrics in Thai, and English translation

      2 votes
    2. ohyran
      Link Parent
      Just thought you might get a kick out of this one then Garmarna - Varulven

      Just thought you might get a kick out of this one then Garmarna - Varulven

      2 votes
  5. moocow1452
    Link
    Crowds - White Ash The Japanese lyricist was going for a song in a foreign language that you could try to sing along to but didn't really mean anything. It's a really interesting effect when the...

    Crowds - White Ash

    The Japanese lyricist was going for a song in a foreign language that you could try to sing along to but didn't really mean anything. It's a really interesting effect when the song is using recognizable English language but is still incomprehensible.

    4 votes
  6. [5]
    Gyrfalcon
    Link
    Trio Mandili - Pidmanula
    4 votes
    1. [4]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      If you're going to link to Trio Mandili (who I also love!), the original song/video that made them a bit of a viral sensation is worth mentioning too: Trio Mandili - Apareka BTW, the other two...

      If you're going to link to Trio Mandili (who I also love!), the original song/video that made them a bit of a viral sensation is worth mentioning too: Trio Mandili - Apareka

      BTW, the other two girls in that original lineup who are no longer in Mandili have their own trio now too:
      Trio Lavdila

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        Gyrfalcon
        Link Parent
        I actually hadn't seen that one before, since I discovered them rather recently and have only listened a little. A whole other trio is good too, plenty of great not English singing there!

        I actually hadn't seen that one before, since I discovered them rather recently and have only listened a little. A whole other trio is good too, plenty of great not English singing there!

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          cfabbro
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Oh. Cool to see they are still getting new fans. Out of curiosity, how did you first hear about them?

          Oh. Cool to see they are still getting new fans. Out of curiosity, how did you first hear about them?

          1 vote
          1. Gyrfalcon
            Link Parent
            I think it was just a lucky youtube recommendation of one of their other videos, but I'm not sure now. I wish they would put more on Spotify since that is where I do most of my listening, but such...

            I think it was just a lucky youtube recommendation of one of their other videos, but I'm not sure now. I wish they would put more on Spotify since that is where I do most of my listening, but such is life.

            1 vote
  7. bhrgunatha
    Link
    From Egypt - Philip Glass from Powaqqatsi There's something so plaintive and yearning in the vocals that I had literal goosebumps all over my arms in the movie theatre when I first saw this and...

    From Egypt - Philip Glass from Powaqqatsi

    There's something so plaintive and yearning in the vocals that I had literal goosebumps all over my arms in the movie theatre when I first saw this and this music came on.

    My best guess is that it's a field recording of a call to prayer. A couple of other random examples on youtube for comparison:

    On the album it's nestled between 2 other tracks call Mr. Suso #1 and Mr. Suso #2 With Reflection so I always imagine the vocalist is called Mr. Suso.

    4 votes
  8. herson
    (edited )
    Link
    Yelle - Tristesse / joie This song got me into Yelle, I love their music. Also I have no idea what they sing about (beside what the title suggests)

    Yelle - Tristesse / joie
    This song got me into Yelle, I love their music. Also I have no idea what they sing about (beside what the title suggests)

    3 votes
  9. boredop
    Link
    Letta Mbulu - Mahlalela According to the youtube comments, the language is IsiXhosa, which is spoken in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

    Letta Mbulu - Mahlalela
    According to the youtube comments, the language is IsiXhosa, which is spoken in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

    3 votes
  10. [3]
    nutax
    (edited )
    Link
    Wardruna and Aurora - Helvegen (Live) Apparently they are singing in old Norse. There's something wild and primal in those long, sustained notes.

    Wardruna and Aurora - Helvegen (Live)
    Apparently they are singing in old Norse. There's something wild and primal in those long, sustained notes.

    3 votes
  11. [3]
    floweringmind
    Link
    https://youtu.be/YqyVP5bN7hw Pe4enkata ft.Desislava Todorova – Petar Plet Plete Arrangement by Adriana Nikolova – Pe4enkata Mastering: ANP Director: Daniel Delchunkov Camera : Lora Topalova &...

    https://youtu.be/YqyVP5bN7hw

    Pe4enkata ft.Desislava Todorova – Petar Plet Plete

    Arrangement by Adriana Nikolova – Pe4enkata
    Mastering: ANP
    Director: Daniel Delchunkov
    Camera : Lora Topalova & Daniel Delchunkov
    Editing: Adriana Nikolova-Pe4enkata & TIMELESS

    The arrangement of the composition is inspired by music works of “Trakiiska suita” and ” Ruchenica” written by Petko Stainov and Libomir Pipkov.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      That was great. Kinda reminds me of Imogen Heap a bit. Also worth noting, Pe4enkata is apparently a Beatbox World Champion too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1AXdM0Ro_o

      That was great. Kinda reminds me of Imogen Heap a bit.

      Also worth noting, Pe4enkata is apparently a Beatbox World Champion too:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1AXdM0Ro_o

  12. FishFingus
    Link
    Generals Of The Civil War, by Zoe Yaschenko. A mournful song about the Russian Civil War. I looked up the lyrics online, and now I can understand a word here or there.

    Generals Of The Civil War, by Zoe Yaschenko. A mournful song about the Russian Civil War. I looked up the lyrics online, and now I can understand a word here or there.

    2 votes
  13. [6]
    Kelsier
    (edited )
    Link
    Parvaaz - Katyi Rov , Language - Kashmiri

    Parvaaz - Katyi Rov , Language - Kashmiri

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Kelsier
      Link Parent
      Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Manam Mehve Khayal-e-oo, Language - Persian This is a Qawwali (which is a form of sufi/devotional singing). The style is probably not something most of you might be used to...

      Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Manam Mehve Khayal-e-oo, Language - Persian
      This is a Qawwali (which is a form of sufi/devotional singing). The style is probably not something most of you might be used to and they are usually very long (15-20 minutes) but worth it :p

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        People might remember Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from the club remix of Mustt Mustt, and here is a live version of the song. I actually got to see him in concert in Berkeley. I went with a friend who...

        People might remember Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from the club remix of Mustt Mustt, and here is a live version of the song.

        I actually got to see him in concert in Berkeley. I went with a friend who was a big fan of his music.

        2 votes
        1. Kelsier
          Link Parent
          I love Nusrat. He usually sings in punjabi (my language) or urdu. If anyone's interested, I highly recommend to check out his album Night Song with Michael Brook.

          I love Nusrat. He usually sings in punjabi (my language) or urdu. If anyone's interested, I highly recommend to check out his album Night Song with Michael Brook.

          2 votes
  14. [2]
    fifthecho
    Link
    Baba Yetu, Language - Swahili

    Baba Yetu, Language - Swahili

    2 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      Yes of course! (Known to some as the theme from Civilization IV in 2005, but this is a newer recording.)

      Yes of course!

      (Known to some as the theme from Civilization IV in 2005, but this is a newer recording.)

      1 vote
  15. [3]
    hungariantoast
    Link
    Nena - 99 Luftballons, Language - German Kind of surprised no one posted this yet, or maybe I'm just misunderstanding the game 😂

    Nena - 99 Luftballons, Language - German

    Kind of surprised no one posted this yet, or maybe I'm just misunderstanding the game 😂

    2 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      That's a good one! I think there are a zillion songs that fit in this category, but sometimes you don't think of them right away.

      That's a good one!

      I think there are a zillion songs that fit in this category, but sometimes you don't think of them right away.

      2 votes
    2. skybrian
      Link Parent
      Today I realized that "99 Luftballons" and Heart and Soul use the same chord progression. (With a different rhythm.) No mashups yet that I could find.

      Today I realized that "99 Luftballons" and Heart and Soul use the same chord progression. (With a different rhythm.)

      No mashups yet that I could find.

      1 vote
  16. cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Pápai Joci - Origo One of my all-time favorite Eurovision tracks, from Hungary. I don't understand a damn word (other than "Samurai" ;) but it still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

    Pápai Joci - Origo

    One of my all-time favorite Eurovision tracks, from Hungary. I don't understand a damn word (other than "Samurai" ;) but it still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

    1 vote
  17. [2]
    pseudolobster
    Link
    I'm not really into opera, so I haven't really listened to much of his music and can't recommend a specific song, but a friend recently introduced me to Dimash, a Kazakh singer with the most...

    I'm not really into opera, so I haven't really listened to much of his music and can't recommend a specific song, but a friend recently introduced me to Dimash, a Kazakh singer with the most incredible vocal range I've ever heard. His singing is truly beautiful.

    1 vote
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      What's one song you liked?

      What's one song you liked?

      1 vote
  18. deing
    Link
    Oh, this got bumped, so i'm going to use the opportunity to sneak another one in :) Did you know that before the revolution, Iran had pretty good rock music? Kourosh Yaghmaei - Havar Havar

    Oh, this got bumped, so i'm going to use the opportunity to sneak another one in :)

    Did you know that before the revolution, Iran had pretty good rock music? Kourosh Yaghmaei - Havar Havar

    1 vote