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Gratuitous English / Music

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  • This Peelander-Z song.
  • Most Eurobeat songs. It's produced mostly in Italy and sold mostly in Japan, and of course, neither are English-speaking countries. English covers of Japanese songs, such as "Hot Limit", are especially gratuitous. A few singers, eg Domino, sometimes sing in Gratuitous Japanese.
    • That's because a lot of dance music (from non-English speaking European countries) have songs in English. To be fair, the English is often a bit better than what Japanese music has in regards to English song lyrics.
  • The French band Mademoiselle K has a song called "In English" parodying this trope. It's in perfect English but the lyrics go:
    I wrote a song,
    My first song in English.
    I wrote a song,
    To talk about nothing.
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  • This is where the Eurovision Song Contest gets weird. Once the language requirement was removed again in the 90s because of Ireland winning by showing up, countries where English is not widely spoken at all started using it for their songs. It's now at a point where songs in your native language are the exception and not the rule. Unless, you're Italy or Portugal.
  • Most Japanese Vocaloids are pretty bad at pronouncing any English word (except for Lukanote , who actually has an English voice bank). Try Miku's "Cinderella romance" (SUPAA POWAFURU SINDERRA, LOVU LOVU LOVU LOVU LOVULII DAHLEEN! SUPA POWA FURU LOVU ATTAKKU!)
  • The German a capella group Wise Guys sing a song remarking on this phenomenon in German, aptly titled "Denglish": "Oh Herr bitte gib mir meine Sprache zurück" slowly becomes "Oh Lord please give mir meine Language back" as the song goes on.
  • The theme song to the Anime version of Witchblade KICKS ASS! The couple of English lines are still gramatically terrible, though. ("It's all over" and "Break out" are OK, but "Give me your XTC" is just wrong.)
    • It's pronounced ecstasy, the song title, XTC, is just a pun.
  • The soundtrack album for Eternal Sonata (by Motoi Sakuraba) has such track titles as "Underground for underhand", "Seize the artifact for tallness", "Your truth is my false", "Embarrassment consistency", and "No No I don't die Noooo!"
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series has tracks named "Bad Taste Aquarium", "Funky Groove Makes U Hot!?", "Tornado Scramble", "Skydeck A Go! Go!", "Vengence (sic) is Mine", "For True Story", "Mr. Unsmiley", and "Keys The Ruin". Also, the name of the Sonic Adventure OST is Digi-log Conversation!
  • Brazilian singer Ednaldo Pereira likes to insert some randomized English words in some of his songs. Some examples here. His northeastern Brazilian accent just makes this trope better.
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  • The Black Metal band Immortal is known for their grammatically questionable lyrics, using phrases like "throned by blackwinds," "kingdom of evil fight" and "the mountains which I heart".
  • Polysics. Many of their songs have titles that're just plain Gratuitous English, and some (i.e. the infamous New Wave Jacket which became famous due to Memetic Mutation by way of an Animutation by Neil Cicierega) has lyrics that falls squarely into this trope.
  • Falco's new-wave/rap song "Der Kommissar" starts with him counting in English ("two three four") and then in German ("eins zwei drei"), and contains some gratuitous English in the verses. In the version that is loosely translated into English by After the Fire, they reversed the languages of the first part, so it starts "zwei drei vier" and then "one two three". The gratuitous English was left in English, but the refrain "Alles klar, Herr Kommissar" was kept, producing Gratuitous German.
    • Most of his (comparatively) better known song "Rock Me Amadeus" is in German, but also has bits of English (including the chorusnote ). Example: "Es war um siebzehn hundert achtzig und es war in Wien/No plastic money anymore die Banken gegen ihn".
  • Con te partirò. The lyrics are entirely in Italian, but in most performances a couple of lines are replaced with the English line: Time to Say Goodbye.
  • Japanese heavy-metal band Maximum the Hormone have a habit of invoking this trope regularly (as if their name wasn't evidence enough). Choice song titles include Policeman Fuck and Anal Whiskey Ponce, as well as lyrics regularly including English words and phrases that only just about make sense:
    • Saa tomerarenai eraser rain
    • Pink shambles speaker chu! mega lover, Aneki lover sign
    • Vinyl vinyl vinyl vinyl vinyl vinyl sex, Aluminum aluminum aluminum aluminum aluminum
    • Kuso breaking no breakin lilly
    • Beat you! get you! toorima chuunen ossan renchuu
    • Aside from this, though, their songs are actually pretty catchy, despite the lyrics not making sense even in Japanese.
  • Essentially anything by the Japanese band BACK-ON. The best part about it though is that most of it is rapped perfectly (pronunciation, grammar, etc). From Blaze Line, the theme song to Eyeshield 21:
    Hey, cheerleaders!
    Come on, shake your ass!
    Shake your tits for me!
  • Santana/Maná's "Corazón Espinado" received a "Spanglish version", featuring sentences such as "how it hurts el corazón".
  • A surprisingly good, very popular Japanese band has what might be the ultimate Engrish name — Mr.Children. There is no space in that name.
  • Another Japanese band name: King Fucker Chicken. Dave Barry himself declared it "a good new name for a band."
    • A note about Japan's apparent love affair with the word "fuck". The combination of straights and curves it presents is aesthetically pleasing to them, so people who don't know what it means might throw it on somewhere just to have some nice-looking detail, oblivious to what American viewers are going to think.
  • The name of the Japanese rock band Bump Of Chicken is actually a translation error that the band decided to keep because they found it amusing.
  • All J-Pop. Seriously.
  • K Pop is a MAJOR offender of injecting meaningless English into its songs. There are so many examples of this trope for K Pop alone it practically needs its own page, however here are the best examples of it.
    • When she isn't singing in English, South Korean pop singer BoA's songs are still littered with English.
    • The band Exo's debut. "Careless, careless/Shoot anonymous, anonymous/Heartless, mindless/No one who care about meeee..."
      • Don't forget "Shawty I'll party till the sun down" and "Roll like a buffalo, whoops they already know..."
    • SHINee deserve a special mention: "Fantastic, elastic, fantastic, elastic..."
    • Generally speaking, the level of Gratuitous English use varies from company to company. SM Entertainment (who represents both BoA and EXO) tends to use more than other music companies (i.e. YG Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, etc.), where the song writers actually speak a decent amount of English.
    • PSY breaks out into a chorus of "HEYYYYYYYYYYYYY, SEXY LADY" in his famous "Gangnam Style" video. There's also phrases like "baby, baby" and "You know what I'm saying?!" before the final chorus; justified in his case, since he speaks fluent English.
  • Rie Fu is known to subvert this trope, though living in North America for the first few years of her life did a lot to help her enunciation, the songs Life is Like a Boat, I so Wanted and I wanna go to a place are all good examples.
  • Joe Inoue is also known for this; in fact his Japanese is actually more accented than his English. The music video for Closer, the fourth Naruto Shippuden intro, had him having a fairly decent conversation, in English, with the resident leader of the town.
  • Anything by Laugh and Peace. Even worse is that the songs tend end up sounding incomprehensible instead due to the heavy accent.
  • The Japanese Power Metal band Versailles uses this relatively sparingly, but when they do...
    • They released "The Revenant Choir" as their debut single, which is written and sung more-or-less entirely in English, with only two lines in Japanese. Not that you could tell with Kamijo's heavy Engrish, which is only slightly better in the album's re-release, and the damn near incomprehensible lyrics ("It's a night when the moon laughs at lover", "poured crimson admiration into Holy Grail"). To make things weirder, the original release has an English voiceover at the start and end of the song by native speaker Leah Riegle.
    • Their third studio album, Holy Grail contains "Love will be born again", which is entirely in English. It's considerably more comprehensible than "The Revenant Choir", with the English and pronunciation being greatly improved, but there's still a smattering of Engrish in there. (However, more than a few fans have noted that Kamijo sings it better live, compared to when it was recorded for the album.)
  • Kaizers Orchestra mostly sings in Norwegian, but on "Die Polizei" they slip into gratious English.
  • The J-Rock band 403Forbiddena. Most of their songs are all in accented Gratuitous English, which makes it hard to figure out the lyrics for both English and Japanese-speakers.
  • Tommy Heavenly 6 has done this with at least one of her songs: "Black Paper Moon"
    Fairy Blue kimi no tame ni
    hoshi wo kudaki
    Black Paper Moon!
  • The Japanese rock group Beat Crusaders sing exclusively in English even though none of them speak the language. This leads to lots of Engrish (a cover of "I can see crearly") and terrible grammar, but with song titles like "Joker in the Crotch", who can complain? Also, their songs are super catchy.
  • Exaggerated and Played for Laughs in "Why this Kolaveri", a Tamil song that went viral.
  • "It's My Life Whatever I Wanna Do" by Vennu Mallesh.
  • A lot of Utada Hikaru Japanese songs have an English title or a few English sentences in the lyrics. Although they are always grammatically correct and make sense, as she was born in America.
  • Brazilian rock at times employs this.
    Essa menina tá dizendonote  "Don't worry, cause everything is gonna be all right
    Everything, every tune Will be played by night..." Uiêê.. ê Oh Oh!"
  • Los Shakers were a Uruguayan rock band of the sixties who were heavily influenced by The Beatles, and despite the fact that they primarily played to a South American audience, recorded most of their songs in grammatically shaky English. For instance, "Break It All" has the refrain "But when the music start / don't stand there like a fool / and break it all / you listen me, break it all".
  • Brazilian Black/Thrash Metal band Sarcófago are possibly the greatest example of this trope in history.
    If you are a false don't entry
    Because you'll be burned and died
    The nuclear drums will chrush your brain
    Slaughtering all with intensive pain
  • In Mexico, there was a very famous and respected musician and entertainer named Francisco Gabilondo Soler, who was best known by his character "Cri-Cri, El Grillito Cantor ("Cri-Cri, the Singing Cricket".note ) This happens in his song "El Ratón Vaquero", when the titular "Cowboy Mouse" asks the singer to let him out of the "ratonera" (mousetrap):
    "What the heck is this house / For a manly cowboy mouse? / Hello, you! Let me out / And don't catch me like a trout!"
  • Japanese band Alice Nine does this. It's very obvious in their song Blue Planet.
    Suddenly, necessarily I began to find yourself
  • The whole intro to Su G's song P!NK masquerade.
  • The Gazette's song Cassis does this too.
    I will walk together
    The future not promised
    It keeps walking together
    To the future in which you are...
  • There exists a Cover Album that consists of classic punk songs being sung by famous Japanese voice actresses. Most of whom are not fluent in English. Draw your own conclusions as to how they turned out. Or better yet, let this set the tone.
  • Namie Amuro's "Neonlight Lipstick" is a weird case of this. The chorus and last verse are entirely in English, and the verses that do have Japanese involve a lot of code-switching between the two. It's not particularly bad English for J-Pop, but the song ends up having more English than it does Japanese.
  • A somewhat amusing case is "Elettrochoc" by Matia Bazar. Not enough that the only English word used in the song is "said", but the other singer also immediately translates into Italian ("dice"). Just in case an Italian hearer doesn't speak English...
  • i-dep's "Magic" featuring Cana (presumably on vocals) and "Rainbow" are entirely in English with dubious grammar (especially the latter). Between the accent and the autotune, you may wanna cue up a lyrics search.
  • Clazziquai Project has this all over the place with their lyrics. Sometimes it works well with the Korean lyrics, and other times it just seems like English for English's sake.
  • One or two of the songs by Kuba Sienkiewicz. "Leasing" is sung fully in English.
  • It seems as if J-Pop singers in the late 1970's-80s were obligated by contract to have at least one English song. Minako Yoshida, Junko Ohashi, Kimiko Kasai, and Tatsuro Yamashita all got in on it, the latter doing so multiple times. However, while the efforts from the previous four were actually pretty well done compared to the English in J-Pop today, this falls squarely into Gratuitous English.
  • Visual Kei / Melodic Death Metal band Blood Stain Child fell into this pretty hard, until they hired Greek singer Sophia for their album Epsilon, who happened to be a polyglot who spoke five languages, including English. The lyrics of Epsilon are vastly more understandable than anything else the band has put out. For comparison, the first single they released after her departure, "Last Stardust" with Japanese singer Kiki, included the lines "Find out a invisible myself/We will break down thousands darkness fear".
  • The Ayumi song Brave Heart is entirely in Japanese, except for the words "show me your brave heart", repeated twice, and the last line, "believe in your heart".
  • The Alternative Rock band BIGMAMA, as if their name weren't silly enough, are huge fans of using barely-sensible English. Recent examples include songs called "Why You Refrigerate Me?" and "Donuts Killed Bradford," and the line "Love is in chaos asshole and it's holy shit" in the middle of the subdued ballad "Ai wa Harinezumi no Youni". As odd as those sound, they've actually toned it down since their early days; hearing what they used to sing about in English (such as feeding a wedding ring to a dog and referring to genitalia as a "lethal weapon"), one has to wonder if they didn't resort to English to be less comprehensible on purpose.
  • The Russian trance song "" by Valday, despite its name, doesn't feature any Gratuitous German, but it does have a smattering of gratuitous English words such as "internet", "electronic", "megabyte", and "site".
    • In this case, this is not gratuitous English, but proper loanwords, because saying "vsemirnaya pautina" for Internet and "setevoe mesto" for "website" would sound really awkward, and Russian does not have local names for megabytes and electronics.
  • French Punk smash hit "Ca planenote  pour moi" by Plastic Bertrand. Since the text leans a bit into Word Salad Lyrics, it's probably moot to ask what "It's not today" refers to. ("I'm the king of the diwan" is pretty clear, though.)
  • Brazilian musician/singer/songwriter Carlinhos Brown likes to mix Portuguese and English, starting with his stage namenote : Carlinhos is a Portuguese hypochoristic for Carlos, and Brown is a homage to Henry Box Brown (not James Brown, as many people think), a slave who escaped slavery in a box. Some of the songs he writes also have this mix, like "Uma Brasileira" ("Deixe tocar aquela canção/ One more time, ime, ime") and "Covered saints" ("se ainda mora em mim não sei dizer/ in a beautiful way"). Ironically, when he cameod As Himself in English-langauage film Speed 2: Cruise Control, he sang a song with an all-Portuguese lyrics, "A Namorada".
  • Italo Disco, like the successor genre Eurobeat, is also riddled with Gratuitous English as demonstrated in the Italian songs.
  • Austrian pop star Julian le Play has a song called "Rollercoaster." It becomes very clear as the song progresses that he has no idea what the word means; he admitted in an interview that he thought the English term "roller coaster" referred to a moped or motor scooter. In this light, lines such as "Who cares about the gas, all I need is you / 'cause today you're my motor" Original German  make a lot more sense.
  • "I'm Horny" by Italian artist GionnyScandal features Maite singing in English. She gets lines like "Tonight I'm feeling to make you enjoy with a blowjob" and somehow makes "I'm horny, horny" sound like "I'm Ernie, Ernie".
  • The J-Pop group fripside, known for performing the theme song for A Certain Scientific Railgun (among others), was clearly going for "flipside".


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