Do you have difficulty hearing the words in Songs?

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Rocket123
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08 Feb 2014, 5:51 pm

OK. This might sound strange. But…

When listening to music, I have always had a hard time “picking up” the actual words to a song. I mean, I can pick up some of the words (especially the chorus). But typically, if I want to know most (or all) of the words to a song, I need to look it up on the Internet. As a result, while I may find the tune catchy, I never actually know what a song is about.

My wife, on the other hand, can listen to a song a couple of times (or so) and know all the words. And, then start singing along.

Anyone else have this problem? Is this some form of auditory processing issue? Is it related to executive functioning (i.e. being unable to listen to tune + words simultaneously)?

As an aside, because of this this inability to figure out the words in a song, I typically make up my own words to just about every song I hear. LOL.



Kaedra
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08 Feb 2014, 6:04 pm

Me too. That never occured to me as strange before though.



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08 Feb 2014, 6:05 pm

I've always listened to words in songs as another instrument playing in the music. I don't hear them unless I focus hard on them, or have the lyrics in my hand. I was a little surprised when I finally realized what the words to "Wild Side" and "Lola" were.



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08 Feb 2014, 6:09 pm

I usually make my own words up. Or not even words to be honest, just sounds dressed up as words.


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08 Feb 2014, 6:12 pm

I was just thinking about this a couple of days ago and wondering if it was an ASD/auditory processing thing. I have the same issue. I think it has something to do with understanding language when the pronunciation is different than usual (sung instead of spoken). It's difficult to match the syllables up with what I'm used to hearing words sound like.


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hanyo
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08 Feb 2014, 6:29 pm

It depends. Some songs are clear, some I have trouble knowing what they are saying.



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08 Feb 2014, 6:32 pm

Sometimes I have difficulty picking out words in songs and I can come up with some pretty funny alternatives to the actual words because of what I think I am hearing. :D


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08 Feb 2014, 6:34 pm

Yes I have that problem, trying to understand songs and TV shows especially. Temple Grandin mentioned it in a speech I saw on YouTube – apparently it's an auditory processing problem where you don't hear the consonants very well (only the vowel sounds), so it's hard to understand what's being said.



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08 Feb 2014, 6:56 pm

All the time. This is why I always need to read the lyrics to get a song and why I like music only because of the sound usually.
Even in kindergarten I wasn't able to understand the simple doggerels the teacher sang, think about the more complicated songs.
It's that I tend to mishear what is said a lot. I have a good hearing in the sense that I can hear they're speaking and I hear people even if they are just whispering but it is difficult for me to get which words they are saying. I can hear them, but I can't understand them. It's weird.
My father has the same problem. My mother thinks both me and him have auditory processing disorder.



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08 Feb 2014, 7:09 pm

I generally do not get lyrics unless I purposefully try to get them. Most music I listen to I have not a clue what it's about. This is probably why I can enjoy music in a range of languages I do not understand.



Willard
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08 Feb 2014, 7:10 pm

Rocket123 wrote:
typically, if I want to know most (or all) of the words to a song, I need to look it up on the Internet.


Dangerous. Well over half the pop song lyrics I have checked on the Internet, were FULL of GLARING errors. It's worse than Wikipedia, they way they will let anyone upload their interpretation of a song's lyrics and nobody bothers to check it, even when the original album or Cd CAME WITH A PRINTED LYRIC SHEET. Then every other lyric site online will just copy what the first site had, so now they're ALL wrong. And if you were inclined to fix the mistakes, you'd have to become a member of every single lyrics site on the Internet and I just refuse to babysit a planet full of morons. :roll:

Rocket123 wrote:
My wife, on the other hand, can listen to a song a couple of times (or so) and know all the words. And, then start singing along.


Don't feel bad, if those lyrics sites are any indication, she's probably getting a word or two out of every other line wrong.


Rocket123 wrote:
Is this some form of auditory processing issue?


Mostly it's a music production issue. Some production engineers intentionally mix the vocals so far down in the music that words get lost, especially if the singer slurred a bit while singing it. Again, you'd be shocked at how many "commonly known" lyrics the public has been hearing and singing along with incorrectly for years.

There's an amusing scene in 'The Long Kiss Goodnight,' in which Sam Jackson is singing along with the car radio and botching the lyrics to an England Dan and John Ford Coley song from the late 70s and Geena Davis corrects him, but he doesn't seem to care. If I remember, he's singing something like:

"I'm not talkin' 'bout the linens..." when the line is actually "I'm not talkin' 'bout movin' in..." Happens all the time.

OTOH, I can hear a song many times and simply not pick up on the lyrics because I'm not paying attention. When The Who released 'Who Are You' in 1978, I must have played that song a hundred times on the air, before one of the other DJs made some casual reference in a staff meeting to how many times it used the F word. Between the request line and loading commercials and writing jokes and reading weather forecasts, I hadn't even noticed. And I was wearing headphones :oops:



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08 Feb 2014, 8:27 pm

If you mean lyrics, then yes. Since I could remember (around age 4).


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EzraS
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08 Feb 2014, 8:47 pm

Yes I do. But this is common with NT's as well. I was reading a discussion recently about a song called Lola by The Kinks, and so many people were saying they had no idea the song was about transgender. i have to look up the meaning of many songs I like if i want to know what they are about.


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JSBACHlover
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08 Feb 2014, 8:50 pm

I don't think this is an ASD issue per se.



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08 Feb 2014, 8:59 pm

EzraS wrote:
Yes I do. But this is common with NT's as well. I was reading a discussion recently about a song called Lola by The Kinks, and so many people were saying they had no idea the song was about transgender. i have to look up the meaning of many songs I like if i want to know what they are about.


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Yes, I have this problem sometimes too, and I listen to a lot of music.

One of my favorite websites is SongMeanings (not sure if that's what you were talking about Ezra). I like reading the comments about how the songs affected people, especially if really affected me. People always read different things into songs though which is what makes it interesting - but they also sometimes hear different lyrics.