The supposed "SH" sounds in "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" | Recording and musicology | Fab forum | The Beatles Bible

A A A

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search:

— Forum Scope —



— Match —



— Forum Options —




Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Topic RSS
The supposed "SH" sounds in "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"
24 February 2013
4.31pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1687
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline

This topic is, in a way, more about the annoying fact I often experience, where some Beatles fans describe some detail about a Beatles song, then I listen carefully to that song and I CAN'T HEAR IT!!!

Example:  From an old discussion in the Songs section (not in the Forum here) about "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" --

Quote:

Why did they sometimes say "sh" instead of a clean "s" sound? Was it just more rock and roll or was it just joking around?

Reply

Joe Friday 7 May 2010
Good question. I think they were trying to establish a little motif or gimmick or their own, perhaps similarly to Buddy Holly's trademark vocal hiccups. They abandoned it pretty quickly though – I don't think it occurs after 1963.

Reply

Deadman Saturday 8 May 2010

Saying "sh" instead of "s" avoids excessive sibilance, particularly when using a close microphone. These days, of course. you can just turn on a "de-esser" effect.

'As I listened to the playbacks of "Misery" that afternoon, I was also struck by the way John and Paul sang the word "send" as "shend"…. Changing an "s" to an [sic] "sh" was an affectation on some American records…

[End Quote]

I just listened to the song twice.  I can't hear any "SH" sounds.  A couple of times, there is a very subtle pronunciation of the S that borders, perhaps, on an SH sound, but nothing clearly so.  And most of the time -- THEY ARE UNMISTAKABLY SINGING THE S SOUND!!!  Or am I in the freaking Twilight Zone?paul-mccartney

Sorry for twisting and shouting, but man, this annoys me!

 

Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
24 February 2013
4.34pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1687
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline

Also, a P.S. -- concerning that "SH" affectation alluded to by the commenters quoted above, I would observe that indisputably, Cher was (and remains) the World Champion of that affectation.

 

Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
24 February 2013
7.13pm
robert
Hollywood Bowl
Forum Posts: 349
Member Since:
19 April 2010
Offline

In "I Want To Hold Your Hand" the SH sound is added to the word "understand" as in "I think you'll undershtand"  – I remember reading either Paul or John saying they did it on purpose in a few songs (Misery being the most obvious) because they sought it sounded cool and different. My friends and I picked up on it right away and always laughed when we'd sing those spots.

"She looks more like him than I do."
25 February 2013
12.12am
...ontherun
Massachusetts
Ed Sullivan Show
Forum Posts: 180
Member Since:
3 March 2012
Offline

The de-esser thing sounds right.  Bono does it a lot when singing live.  Where the SHtreets have no nammmeeeee…..

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...
25 February 2013
6.47pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1687
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline

The S in "understand" is slightly SH-ish, but not as marked as other singers have done it, to my ears.

The de-esser theory doesn't seem logical:  why would they leave so many other esses intact throughout the song, if they were worried about that sibillation?  Doesn't make sense they would only pick one word to be worried about.

I think the slight SH sound is all Paul's affectation, by the way.

In addition, I have noticed that the SH sound is a black thing, and has influenced many whites.  I don't know how long this influence has been going on, and if it was going on in the 50s-60s context by which to influence Paul when he was listening to those Little Richard songs etc.

 

Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
25 February 2013
7.10pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1687
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline

An example of extreme sibillation is how John Lennon sharply enunciates the esses in "666" in his song "Nutopia" (from the Mind Games album):

 

We understand your paranoia

but we don't wanna play your game

You think you're cool and know what you are doing

SIX SIX SIX is your name…

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubech…..cid=963768

Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
27 February 2013
6.46pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1687
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline

Incidentally, it's interesting if not ironic that in the German version of the song (Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand), the line translating the "understand" part has the German approximate Verstand --

Du nimmst mir den Verstand

-- and with Verstand, to be accurate, you really DO want to emphasize the SH sound!

 

Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
27 February 2013
9.44pm
Linde
The Netherlands
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1466
Member Since:
21 November 2012
Offline

Never heard that SH sound either, but I'm really bad with those things. I found this anomalies website, and when you know what's there, most of them are really obvious and you hear them right away, but if I don't..well then I don't hear it, like now.

Will pay attention to it next time I listen to it, now I'm curious. So it's during the ''I'll think you understand'' part?

28 February 2013
2.52am
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1687
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline

Linde said

Will pay attention to it next time I listen to it, now I'm curious. So it's during the ''I'll think you understand'' part?

I only hear it very slightly.  But in the German version it's more pronounced (as it should be).

Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
28 February 2013
7.18pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1775
Member Since:
1 December 2009
Offline
10

I've never heard it either, but I just figure its my own ears, or the way my stereo's set up, or something equally subjective. Enough people on that Songs page have commented on it to make it a "thing". (shrugs) I don't think there's necessarily anything "Twilight Zone" about it – it's not like people are commenting about an entire phantom lyric or guitar part that somebody claims exists or doesn't exist.

I like black music, disco music. I like the disco music that's out now - John Lennon, 1975
28 February 2013
7.27pm
RunForYourLife
Paris Olympia
Forum Posts: 150
Member Since:
18 November 2011
Offline
11

It's on a bunch of the early songs. I believe Geoff Emerick mentions it in his book.

"Well she was just, sheventeen…"

It's there but it's very subtle. They don't do it on every "S" either.

28 February 2013
8.26pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1775
Member Since:
1 December 2009
Offline
12

I guess there's no definitive answer – there's a bit of a grey area where "s" begins and "sh" leaves off. No two people have the identical interior landscapes in their mouths.

I like black music, disco music. I like the disco music that's out now - John Lennon, 1975
28 February 2013
10.59pm
Linde
The Netherlands
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1466
Member Since:
21 November 2012
Offline
13

Okay I've listened to it again and I clearly heard it this time. That's funny.

There's also this bit where one of them goes ''I wanna hold your hand'' and the other one sings ''I'd like to hold your hand'' (or something like that..anyway, it's not ''wanna'&#39a-hard-days-night-george-10 That always annoys me, it's a bit sloppy.

28 February 2013
11.32pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1775
Member Since:
1 December 2009
Offline
14

Yeah haha, John forgets what verse it is and starts to sing "You'll let me hold your hand" or something! Just like him to mess up a lyric! I actually like that, that they kept it in.

I like black music, disco music. I like the disco music that's out now - John Lennon, 1975
1 March 2013
1.01am
Egroeg Evoli
Across the universe
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1672
Member Since:
6 December 2012
Offline

a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Those kind of mistakes happen in some of their other songs, too. But I can't think of any right now… curse my forgetful brain.

Do you want to know a secret? Read my username backwards. ~ ~ ~ - - - . . . - - - ~ ~ ~ Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy...

☮ & <3

1 March 2013
4.27am
RunForYourLife
Paris Olympia
Forum Posts: 150
Member Since:
18 November 2011
Offline

I believe that "I'll Get You" has a few of those mistakes. They're much more common in the '63 and early '64 songs.

1 March 2013
7.33pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1775
Member Since:
1 December 2009
Offline
17

Yeah, those earlier songs had more instances of John & Paul singing in unison, so it makes sense that you'd find more examples. Also I presume they were more rushed in the studio, less committed to "perfection" in those more innocent days.

I like black music, disco music. I like the disco music that's out now - John Lennon, 1975
1 March 2013
11.10pm
I Me Mine
Under the sea, in a Yellow Submarine
Ed Sullivan Show
Forum Posts: 177
Member Since:
15 June 2011
Offline
18

In I Want To Hold Your Hand, around 1:20, you can hear them sing "when I shay that somethings". 

Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble.
Forum Timezone: UTC 0

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: meanmistermustard, salviandres, buick6, imtheTaxman
72 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
Today None
Upcoming None

Top Posters:

meanmistermustard: 7153

mr. Sun king coming together: 6972

mithveaen: 4678

parlance: 3620

MeanMrsMustard: 2803

Ron Nasty: 2517

skye: 2295

LongHairedLady: 1891

IveJustSeenAFaceo: 1885

Von Bontee: 1797

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 87

Members: 2329

Moderators: 5

Admins: 1

Forum Stats:

Groups: 3

Forums: 33

Topics: 3060

Posts: 109557

Newest Members: imtheTaxman, Ani, onlyanorthernsong

Moderators: Ahhh Girl (3292), fabfouremily (2941), Zig (3292), Joe (3200), Ellie (1)

Administrators: Joe (3200)