Singing in Sign

One of the things that drove me up the wall about a certain popular television show that I’m not going to talk about was the scene with the “Deaf Choir”. I put “Deaf Choir” in scare quotes here because, while the members of the choir showed in that show were Deaf, that didn’t look much like any of the Deaf singing that I’ve seen.

But hey – don’t take my word for it.

Auslan is the language of the deaf community in Australia. Here’s a video of a deaf woman signing “Madly Truly Deeply” by Savage Garden (lyrics below video).

Lyrics:

I’ll be your dream / I’ll be your wish / I’ll be your fantasy.
I’ll be your hope / I’ll be your love / Be everything that you need.
I love you more with every breath / Truly madly deeply do

I will be strong I will be faithful /’Cos I’m counting on a new beginning.
A reason for living.
A deeper meaning.

I want to stand with you on a mountain. / I want to bathe with you in the sea. / I want to lay like this forever. / Until the sky falls down on me

And when the stars are shining brightly / In the velvet sky,
I’ll make a wish / Send it to heaven / Then make you want to cry..
The tears of joy / For all the pleasure and the certainty.
That we’re surrounded / By the comfort and protection of
The highest power.
In lonely hours.
The tears devour you.

I want to stand with you on a mountain, I want to bathe with you in the sea. I want to lay like this forever, Until the sky falls down on me

Oh can’t you see it baby? You don’t have to close your eyes
‘Cos it’s standing right before you. All that you need will surely come.

I’ll be your dream / I’ll be your wish / I’ll be your fantasy.
I’ll be your hope / I’ll be your love / Be everything that you need.
I’ll love you more with every breath / Truly madly deeply do

American Sign Language is used throughout the US & Canada (although Canada also has Quebec Sign Language (LSQ: (langue des signes Quebecoise) & Maritime Sign Language).

This video features a variety of people Signing Michael & Janet Jackson’s Scream. The video is subtitled, and lyrics follow:

lyrics:

[Michael]
Tired of injustice / Tired of the schemes/ The lies are disgusting
directed at me.
Kicking me down/ I got to get up / As jacked as it sounds
The whole system sucks

[Janet]
Peek in the shadow / I Come into the light / You tell me I’m wrong
Then you better prove you’re right
You’re sellin’ out souls but / I care about mine/ I’ve got to get stronger
And I won’t give up the fight

[Michael]
With such confusions don’t it make you wanna scream
You’re bash abusin’ victimize within the scheme
(Janet)
You try to cope with every lie they scrutinize
[Both]
Somebody please have mercy / ‘Cause I just can’t take it
Stop pressurin’ me / Just stop pressurin’ me/ Stop pressurin’ me
Make me wanna scream
Stop pressurin’ me / Just stop pressurin’ me/ Stop pressurin’ me
Make me wanna scream

[Michael]
Tired of you tellin’ the story your way / It’s causin’ confusion / You think it’s okay

[Janet]
You Keep changin’ the rules / While I keep playin’ the game / I can’t take it much longer / I think I might go insane

[Michael]
With such confusions, don’t it make you wanna scream / Your bash abusin’ victimize within’ the scheme
(Janet)
You find your pleasure scandalizin’ every lie
[Both]
Oh father, please have mercy ’cause I just can’t take it
Stop pressurin’ me / Just stop pressurin’ me / Stop pressurin’ me
Make me wanna scream
Stop pressurin’ me / Just stop pressurin’ me
Stop fuckin’ with me / Make me wanna scream

[Janet]
“Oh my God, can’t believe what I saw / As I turned on the TV, the city
I was disgusted by all the injustice / All the injustice”
[Michael]
“All the injustice”

[News Man]
“A man has been brutally beaten to death by Police after being wrongly identified as a robbery suspect. The man was an 18 year old black male…”

[Michael]
With such collusions don’t it make you wanna scream / Your bash abusin’ victimize within the scheme
[Janet]
You try to cope with every lie they scrutinize
[Both]
Oh brother please have mercy ‘Cause I just can’t take it / Stop pressurin’ me
Just stop pressurin’ me / Stop pressurin’ me/ Make me wanna scream
Stop pressurin’ me / Just stop pressurin’ me / Stop pressurin’ me
Make me wanna scream / Stop pressurin’ me
Just stop pressurin’ me / Stop pressurin’ me / Make me wanna scream
Stop pressurin’ me / Just stop pressurin’ me / Stop pressurin’ me
Make me wanna scream / Stop your pressure!

(lyrics from Elyrics)

British Sign Language is used throughout the UK. I first learned about it by watching Paddy Ladd’s vids.

This guy is Signing Lady GaGa’s Poker Face (subtitles, lyrics follow):

Lyrics:

Mum mum mum mah / Mum mum mum mah

I wanna hold em’ like they do in Texas please / Fold em’ let em’ hit me raise it baby stay with me (I love it)/ LoveGame intuition play the cards with Spades to start/ And after he’s been hooked I’ll play the one that’s on his heart

Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh / I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got
Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh, / I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got

Can’t read my, Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)
Can’t read my, Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face / (Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face / (Mum mum mum mah)

I wanna roll with him a hard pair we will be / A little gambling is fun when you’re with me (I love it)
Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun / And baby when it’s love if its not rough it isn’t fun, fun
Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh / I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got / Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh,
I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got

Can’t read my, Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)
Can’t read my / Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face (Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face (Mum mum mum mah)

I won’t tell you that I love you / Kiss or hug you / Cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin / I’m not lying I’m just stunnin’ with my love-glue-gunning / Just like a chick in the casino / Take your bank before I pay you out / I promise this, promise this / Check this hand cause I’m marvelous

Can’t read my, Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)
Can’t read my / Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)

Can’t read my, Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)
Can’t read my, Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)

Can’t read my, Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)
Can’t read my, Can’t read my / No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face / (Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face / (Mum mum mum mah)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face / (Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face / (Mum mum mum mah)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face / (Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face / (Mum mum mum mah)

(Lyrics from azlyrics)

By 6 March, 2010.    media and pop culture  , , ,  



17 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting these, they’re so awesome. I love the last guy especially. I’m obsessed with YouTube for a variety of reasons but one of the best is that it gives marginalized people an opportunity to express ourselves and show what we can do, in ways that are rarely portrayed in the mainstream media.

  2. Poker Face actually looks like a poker game, that’s so awesome.

  3. I *love* the Poker Face rendition. It really does look like a poker game! I just love the joy on everyone’s faces. So much fun to watch! I tried it with the sound muted, and I was still dancing along in my own awkward way, 🙂

  4. Who needs interpretive dance with stuff like this around?

  5. These are amazing! I subscribed to the guy using BSL and sent my mom the Poker Face video. (She taught my sister and I ASL years ago when she worked with deaf children, and, like her the Japanese she picked up while on base, it still pops up from time to time.)

    And I felt so happy watching the “Love Story” one because I was like, OMG I recognize that sign! (The one for yes.)

    The last guy’s profile is interesting – he’s not deaf, but using ESL helps him with his “tics”
    http://www.youtube.com/user/lovesbth

    Not taking requests. Oh man, now I need to find someone signing to a Bollywood song… off to go lose some hours down the rabbit hole!

  6. yeah, I was excited to find that the guy I liked the most has ASD and Tourette’s. I’ve considered trying to learn sign language for ASD reasons; I think it would be nice to have an excuse to move my hands around instead of trying to keep them still all the time.

  7. Thank you so much for posting these. They’re really, really neat.

  8. Wow, the Poker Face guy is very, very cool. It’s kind of nice to see someone else who has ASD and Tourette’s who uses sign for the same reasons I do.

    Not alone! :3

  9. These are excellent. My friend just introduced me to some of these other guys:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/MichaelDiMartino – does some awesome (and hello! sexy!) renditions of songs.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/CaptainValor – check out the Party in the USA one – adorable!!

  10. I could be wrong, but I think the Scream video is just two people with wardrobe and hair changes. It is still AWESOME, though, and makes me grin. They clearly put a LOT of work into the video and it really shows.

    And the Poker Face one… man, that’s just fantabulous and I am gonna go link that all over the place now. Because: holy crap. (I did not watch the first one because I can’t stand that song. XD um.) But thank you for putting this together! <3

  11. Wow, those were awesome! I called my sister over from the couch, and we just sat here and watched, mesmerized! Those are truly expressions of beauty.

  12. I sent them to my mom, and do you know what she said? She turned it up.

    Love ya, Mom!

  13. @Rosemary – I checked out the Captain Valor one, and OMG, even though Party in the USA isn’t a favorite, I had to share it. The vids have the lyrics and a translation of the ASL. I love that. That is beyond amazing.

  14. These are awesome.

    I saw a concert at the Hollywood Bowl last year and was surprised to see they had people signing the songs. I think it must have been the Bowl’s doing rather than the band, as they were doing it for both the opening act and main act. They were really impressive and fun to watch (we were sitting not that far above one of the balconies where they were signing).

  15. There is a guy on youtube who captions his stuff in ASL and English, AND he does Jonathan Colton songs. His name is CaptainValor, and http://www.youtube.com/user/CaptainValor#p/u/14/UQYjZc7gKXc is my personal favorite.

  16. Those are cool. I have a friend who was certified in ASL, and sign the songs playing in the club when she’d go out dancing (it allowed her to move her body and keep up on her skills when she was no longer working with deaf kids). We are learning some ASL with my daughter right now, but my first exposure to ASL was through signing songs – via a show on public television called Signing with Cindy.