Do you ever have a hard time understanding lyrics? For some songs, it could be because the language is imaginary.

Inspired by the release of what could be the final Sigur Ros album, UWA linguist Daniel Midgley looks at music in invented tongues on this episode of Talk the Talk.

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Show notes

A very good Slate article on this topic:

Hildegard von Bingen was an early writer of music and a conlanger

Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five with “Heebie Jeebies” — from 1926, it’s one of the first scat songs ever recorded.

Though Ella Fitzgerald’s “One Note Samba” is fun and very clever.

Is it English, or is it gibberish? It’s Prisencolinensinainciusol — Oll raigth!

Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins talks about what she’s singing.

Sigur Rós says Vonlenska (or Hopelandic) is “a form of gibberish vocals that fits to the music”.