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Spoken Word in Music

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Studio recorded music sometimes contains barely audible pieces of lo-fi recording. This may be used for an intro or outro, or it might be used to make a long instrumental sequence more interesting.

This generally is done by tacking on spoken word recordings.

So what counts? It should fall into one of these categories:

  1. The bit was recorded by someone other than the original artist at the time of the recording.
  2. The bit is created by the original artist, but likely recorded separately from the song (this is where Pink Floyd and experimental music gets confusing.)
  3. The bit is from radio or television, or other media.

And of course, it has to be spoken word. It does not include hidden tracks and outtakes. It doesn't include noise from live performances. As always, feel free to rework any of this.

A variant of this is used in classical vocal works, especially those of the Baroque era. Such works are broken up into movements, some of which are recitatives, or spoken sequences as opposed to the singing in the rest of the work. Occasionally, longer recitatives may have singing, but for the most part, recitatives are just spoken parts with added musical accompaniment to emphasize the ends of sentences.

Compare Sampling and Voice Clip Song.


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  • Barenaked Ladies:
    • "Enid" is the perfect example of this trope: right before it launches into the song, there's a very brief snippet of some sort of Depeche Mode-esque radio recording ("The silence, the terror, the pain, the horror / As your mom comes downstairs"). As a bonus, this little joke wasn't actually performed by the band themselves — it's the album's producer, Philip Wojewoda.
    • "Peterborough and the Kawarthas" has a weather report during the instrumental breaks.
    • "Maybe Katie:" "I'll set the metronome."
    • The better part of "Crazy" is meaningless words under instrumental music.
    • Steven Page's solo album The Vanity Project has "Hit and Run" fade out with a traffic collision report.
  • It would almost be easier to list the songs in which Pulp doesn't have an interlude using this trope, but we'll stick to listing examples for the time being:
    • "Love is Blind" from Separations: "We held hands and we looked out of the bedroom window . . . "
    • The very beginning of "Acrylic Afternoons", on His 'N' Hers.
    • "I Spy" and "F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E." off of Different Class
    • "A Little Soul" from This is Hardcore.
    • A few tracks, such as "Wickerman" from We Love Life and "David's Last Summer" from His 'N' Hers, are entirely spoken word over background music.
  • Gwen Stefani's "Long Way to Go" samples an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • Some of the lyrics for Blur songs "Ernold Same" and "Essex Dogs" are in spoken word. "Parklife" has all its verses spoken by actor Phil Daniels.
  • Fort Minor's "Kenji" begins and closes with clips from an interview with Mike Shinoda's father and aunt about their experience during their family's internment at Manzanar during WWII. Justified as the song was inspired by those events.
    • As for Linkin Park, their latest album contained samples of speeches by J. Robert Oppenheimer, Mario Savio, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Jawbreaker's "Jet Black" starts with a bit of Christopher Walken's morbid One-Scene Wonder monologue from Annie Hall ("I tell you this because as an artist, I think you'll understand..."), then continues with more of it during the bridge. Interestingly,in the context of the movie, the scene played as Black Comedy, setting up a one-liner from main character Alvy, and a few scenes later, a Brick Joke - the song doesn't allude to either and seemingly re-contextualizes it as a straight depiction of True Art Is Angsty.
    • "Condition Oakland" features excerpts from Jack Kerouac's book Lonesome Traveler being recited by Kerouac himself, apparently sourced from a TV appearance.
  • Kate Bush:
    • "Hounds of Love" opens with a sound clip from the film Night of the Demon: "It's in the trees...It's coming!"
      • More accurately, it was a re-creation of the clip.
    • There's a long, eerie instrumental break near the end of "Breathing" with a recording of a man describing the effects of a nuclear bomb.
    • "Houdini:" "Rosabelle, believe!"
    • "Experiment IV:" "I'll bet my mum's gonna give me a little toy instrument!"
    • "Lily":
    ''Oh thou, who givest sustenance to the universe
    From whom all things proceed
    To whom all things return
    Unveil to us the face of the true spiritual sun
    Hidden by a disc of golden light
    That we may know the truth
    And do our whole duty
    As we journey to thy sacred feet''
  • Creature Feature loves these. "The Greatest Show Unearthed" opens with a talker's spiel for a Circus of Fear; "Buried Alive" begins with a quote from Edgar Allan Poe; "Aim For The Head" contains dialogue from Night of the Living Dead (1968); "A Gorey Demise" opens with a bunch of corpses having a party... There are fewer Creature Feature songs without spoken word than with.
  • Fastball's "The Way" opens with a radio tuning and snippets of various stations before the song starts playing. For the first few lines, it sounds like it's playing on a low-quality radio.
  • The Bloodhound Gang's "The Bad Touch" opens with a line from a documentary: "This is called the act of mating! But there are many other differences between humans and animals that you should know about."
  • Beck uses this on occasion - "Where It's At" features several clips from a Totally Radical 70's sex education record ("We're all part of the total scene!"), while "Truck Drivin' Neighbors Downstairs" starts with two men engaging in a Cluster F-Bomb filled drunken shouting match. Scarily enough these are the actual downstairs neighbors the song was written about - they were being so loud he accidentally picked up their argument on his four-track while trying to record home demos.
    • The b-side "Zatyricon" is probably his most extensive use of the trope, as the vocals consist entirely of prank calls to cosmetic surgery practices made by Tony Hoffer (who was a member of Beck's backing band at the time).
  • "Critical Acclaim" by Avenged Sevenfold features the singer shouting criticisms of the right-wing and those who put them in place.
  • Eels' "Manchild" from Beautiful Freak contains samples from a depressed-sounding answering machine message left by Jill Sobule ("I'm not having any fun...")
  • "Selfish" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin includes a repeated sample of Reginald VelJohnson from Die Hard ("Why don't you wake up and smell what you're shovelin'?").
    • "What Gives My Son?" has a couple of different samples of fathers yelling at their sons to get a haircut and a job ("you want to be a bum all your life, be a bum, but not under my roof!"). They both seem to come from different movies or shows, but no one seems to have figured out the original sources.
  • "Car Seat (God's Presents)" by Blind Melon ends with a poem written and recited by Shannon Hoon's great grandmother set to a fairly lengthy instrumental jam.
  • Sonic Youth's "Providence" consists entirely of feedback, piano, and an answering machine message from Mike Watt, which apparently concerns Thurston Moore accidentally throwing equipment in the trash while stoned.
  • Slint's sophomore album, Spiderland, has almost all of its vocals recited rather than sung, in part because the song lyrics were penned at the last minute. For example, the opening track, "Breadcrumb Trail", features a spoken word segment of the narrator reciting his visit to an amusement park and having his fortune rea before courting the telle,r all set to a slow and brooding instrumental that alternates between sparse acoustic guitar and loud, screeching bursts of electric guitar.
  • Sublime's "April 29, 1992 (Miami)", a song about the Los Angeles riots in 1992, is interspersed with recordings of police communications on that day alerting officers to break-ins and looters.
  • Ben Folds Five's "Your Most Valuable Possession" is a message Ben Folds' father left on his answering machine, set to loungey backing music.
  • Foo Fighters' "Everlong" features some faint and semi-unintelligible whispering over the quiet part of the interlude after the second chorus, supposedly taken from sources including a love letter and a technical manual.
  • One of the gimmicks of the Manic Street Preachers' album The Holy Bible is that a lot of the songs have quotes lifted from various sources as intros. This gimmick is revisited on the "sequel" to the album, ''Journal for Plague Lovers."
  • Madness' Cover Version of "Lola" by The Kinks was originally meant to be sung the whole way through, but a problem in the studio resulted in Suggs speaking the last lines of the song instead.
  • Radiohead's "Fitter Happier" revolves around a bunch of increasingly sinister mock neoliberal slogans being read off by the "Fred" voice in the text-to-speech program MacinTalk. This is overlaid atop a sound collage of unsettling noises that add on to the slow-burning sense of dread that the song is meant to invoke.
  • They Might Be Giants were somewhat fond of this trope for their first few albums. "Snowball In Hell" features a segment of a motivational tape for salesmen, while "I'm Def" and "I'll Sink Manhattan" feature messages left on the answering machine used for their Dial-A-Song phone line.
  • Mary and the Black Lamb's song "Emily" has a phone call reenactment just before the final chorus.
  • Green Day throws one in at the start of "East Jesus Nowhere": "And we shall see how godless a nation we have become."
  • Godspeed You! Black Emperor does this often, perhaps most notably in "The Dead Flag Blues."
    • Blaise Bailey Finnegan III from the EP Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada, contains a lengthy excerpt involving an interview, a long rant about an encounter at a traffic court over a parking ticket and finally a “poem” which is basically the slightly plagiarized lyrics of Iron Maiden Virus all set to a slowly ascending, post-rock crescendo.
    • Sister project Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra also occasionally does this as well, notably in He Has Left Us Alone But Shafts Of Light Still Sometimes Grace The Corner Of Our Rooms... where the same narration spans across most of the first half of the album.
  • Mike Watt's "Heartbeat" ends with an answering machine message from Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna about how she refuses to appear on the album because another, unnamed guest on the album raped her friend when she was 13, as well as because the rest of the contributors are "just doing the whole, like, big-white-baby-with-an-ego-problem thing". The clip stirred up some controversy at the time of release, both over its content and over Watt possibly using the revealing message without permission. However, Hanna eventually revealed that she was the one who offered to be on the album in the first place, but she then opted to submit a faux answering machine monologue as an "art piece" instead.
  • Self's Gizmodgery is an album recorded entirely using toy instruments (and noise-making toys in general), so talking toys are occasionally used this way. For instance, in "Pattycake" the lyric "So you called the chief of police" is followed by a computerized voice cheerfully announcing "This is the pig! This is the pig!".
    • "Cinderblocks For Shoes" starts with an answering machine message from someone who is either a genuine Loony Fan (at one point she gushes "I know where you live and everything, ha ha ha ha!") or just someone playing a prank on Matt Mahaffey.
  • The Divine Comedy uses this quite a lot. Generation Sex has clips from Katie Puckrik on a talk show, Becoming More Like Alfie contains a clip from, well, Alfie and The Certainty Of Chance has Neil quoting La Dolce Vita.
    • There's also Dexter Fletcher's contribution to "Here Comes The Flood".
    • He continues this with future songs, including To Die A Virgin starting off with an appropriate exchange from The Camomile Lawn. Taken to the extreme in The Lost Art of Conversation, where the end of the song is comprised of near-indecipherable conversation between groups of people while the music plays out (even at live shows, he encourages the audience to start talking to one another as the song ends).
    • Their album Promenade is rife with this. The album begins and ends with this trope; the first track, "Bath", opens with Neil quoting from the hymn Our God, Our Help in Ages Past, and the final track, "Ode to the Man", is a recording of Micheál Mac Liammóir reciting one of Horace's odes (taken from the British film Tom Jones). "The Booklovers" and "When The Lights Go Out All Over Europe" use clips from Audrey Hepburn and Breathless respectively, and the last minute of "Don't Look Down" consists of the narrator having an argument with God.
  • Too Much Joy's Son Of Sam I Am included these as introductions for most songs. In a somewhat infamous infringement case, a sample of a Bozo The Clown record ("I found something in one of my pockets. It was about as big as your shoe, but it was shaped like a rocket!") had to be removed from the song "Clowns" after the band were sued by Larry Harmon, one of the performers to portray Bozo himself.
  • Cake's "Thrills" is what seems to be an old-time sermon set to music, quite good actually.
  • The Gorillaz song "Fire Coming Out Of The Monkey's Head" from Demon Days narrated by Dennis Hopper, is basically a spoken word track with a little music spliced in.
  • The Starflyer 59 song "First Heart Attack" ends with what sounds like a couple of surgeons conversing mid-operation.
  • The Mighty Mighty Bosstones' cover of "Detroit Rock City", from the Kiss tribute album Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, starts out with an answering machine message from Gene Simmons: Ironically enough, it's Simmons telling Bosstones singer Dicky Barrett that they should cover something else, because "Detroit Rock City" was already being covered by another band for the album.
  • The verses of Nada Surf's "Popular" are spoken adaptations from a 1964 "Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity." By the end of the song, the singer is shouting the words.
    You can go out with whoever you want to! Every boy! Every boy in the whole world could be yours! If you'll just listen to my plan — the teenage guide to popularity!
  • The Paper Chase really loves this trope. It might be easier to list their songs that don't qualify.
  • Quite a few of Space's songs qualify. 'No One Understands' has a sample from The Elephant Man as its middle eight; 'Bastard Me Bastard You' has an Alfred Hitchcock sample; 'I Am Unlike A Lifeform You've Ever Met' is entirely spoken word and ends with an American radio announcer talking about a zombie attack; 'Disco Dolly' starts with a car horn and a group of Scousers talking outside a club; 'The Man' and 'Juno' are instrumental tracks with sampled speech scattered throughout; and other songs have fragments of unintelligible speech, some apparently from the band themselves.
  • Soul Coughing's "$300" has a slowed-down loop from a Chris Rock bit functioning as the chorus ("how much? she said for three hundred dollars I'll do an-"). Chris Rock's album Roll With The New had a track called "My Favorite Joke", where the joke itself is back-masked, and after loading the track into his sampler just to play it backwards, Mike Doughty also ended up making a loop and building a song around it.
  • Because it's about The Great Ape-Snake War, Third Eye Blind's "If There Ever Was A Time" begins and ends with the sounds of protesters at Zucotti Park.
  • Mick Jones' post-Clash band, Big Audio Dynamite, frequently used audio clips in their music.
  • Weezer's "Undone - The Sweater Song" has a couple of sections of simulated crowd dialogue, although one of the participants is in fact a band member: bassist Matt Sharp is heard alongside band archivist Karl Koch and fan club co-president Mykel Allan. There's also a particularly bizarre Unplugged Version where they got their friend Tim "Speed" Levitch to recite his poetry during these sections instead.
    • There's also "Falling For You", where a snippet of a radio broadcast in Korean slipped into the recording due to interference with an amplifier and they decided to Throw It In.
    • "I Need Some Of That" begins and ends with lo-fi chatter: The beginning is pretty much indecipherable, but the ending is a clip of drummer Patrick Wilson filming during production of The Blue Album, complete with Record Producer Ric Ocasek telling him to stop recording and making a joke about his face being under copyright note . It's something of a tribute to Ocasek, who had passed on a couple years earlier - "I Need Some Of That" was a Cut Song from an earlier Weezer album he'd produced, and he was apparently a fan of the song.
  • Black Grape's "Get Higher" includes samples of Ronald and Nancy Reagan speaking about drugs, which of course have been manipulated to sound pro-drug-use ("And there's one more thing, Nancy and I are hooked on heroin..."). The audio came from an edited video that made the rounds as a bootleg years earlier, while Reagan was still president.
  • "Fantastic Fabulous" by Luscious Jackson has Deborah Harry on guest vocals, and it also includes a sample of an answering machine message from her about singing the song itself:
    Hello, Tony note ? This is Debbie Harry calling. I think we did say something about tonight to sing or something for Luscious Jackson...
  • 65daysofstatic utilized this in many of their earlier songs, best exemplified from their song "Retreat! Retreat!":
    "What kills me only makes me stronger. We will never retreat: This band is unstoppable!"
  • Fall Out Boy's "Get Busy Living Or Get Busy Dying" has a spoken word outro ("From day one I talked about getting out/But not forgetting about/How my worst fears are letting out"...).
  • During Poets of the Fall's "Hounds to Hamartia," after a spate of static, a tinny, muted lo-fi commentary can be heard as vocalist Marko Saaresto explains that "Hounds" is a polished rehash of the first version of their earliest song, "Late Goodbye."
  • EMF's hit "Unbelievable" included repeated samples of Andrew "Dice" Clay delivering his Catchphrase "OHHH!" as well as saying "What the fuck?" - the latter sample was distorted enough that the song managed to get uncensored airplay anyway. The album it's from, Schubert Dip, featured a few other songs that opened with spoken word samples:
    • "Girl Of An Age" starts with a sample of Ernie from Sesame Street: "Okay Bert, I'll clean it up so clean you wouldn't recognize it!"
    • "Longtime" starts with an uncredited voice reading from T. S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men": "This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, not with a bang..."
    • On the first pressing of the album, "Lies" opened with John Lennon's assassin Mark David Chapman saying "People say I'm crazy..." (sourced from a recording made while he was in police custody, in which he was quoting the lyrics from Lennon's single "Watching The Wheels"). Yoko Ono objected to the sample, and all subsequent pressings of the album removed it.
  • Coldplay has poet Coleman Barks reciting part of Rumi's poem "The Guesthouse" on "Kaleidoscope". A snippet of it briefly appears again in "Colour Spectrum".
  • "Loaded" by Primal Scream begins with a clip from the film The Wild Angels in which Peter Fonda declares that all he and his friends want is to "be free to do what we want to do" and "get loaded."
    • Mudhoney used the same clip at the start of their song "In 'n' Out of Grace".
  • "Intro," a track on the Matthew Sweet album Altered Beast, is a clip of dialogue from the film Caligula.
  • Big Audio Dynamite's "E-MC2" includes samples from movie director Nicolas Roeg's Performance.
  • This is simply what Anne Clark does. She neither sings nor raps; her entire output (apart from one bona fide spoken word album and a handful of instrumentals) is reciting poetry to music.
  • Passion Pit's "Better Things" opens with a lo-fi recording of a 5 or 6 year old Michael Angelakos doing stage patter for an imagined audience:
    That was our fifth song
    And I hope you enjoyed it
    Now this would be our best song
    That you have ever heard
    The dirt bike's going on stage
    Thank you
  • The White Stripes' "Little Acorns" starts with a clip of narration from a radio program, talking about a woman who had fallen on hard times but was inspired by the sight of a squirrel gathering nuts one by one to break her problems down into small pieces and solve them that way. Someone had given the band old tape reels to record over, and one tape happened to have the radio program on it, so Jack White wrote his lyrics around the voice clip.

  • Some of the songs recorded by Parachute Express has spoken dialogue recorded by the band members themselves.

  • John Elefante's "If You Just Believe" starts with a snippet of somebody saying "Sit down, please."
  • Two tracks from the second album from For King & Country, Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong., have spoken-word sections. "Shoulders" opens with a spoken-word section that foreshadows the song's theme, and the album's final track, "O God Forgive Us", closes with a spoken-word section that riffs on the album title.
  • Bryan Duncan with ShineMK's "Left Behind" from the LEFT BEHIND: The Movie soundtrack album has a voice in the instrumental intro saying "There's always the possibility".

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic:
    • "Jerry Springer" has a mock argument during the instrumentals.
    • "Grapefruit Diet" has a take-out order at the end.
      • "Skipper Dan:" "And there it is, the back side of water...what have I done with my LIFE?"
    • "I Lost On Jeopardy:" "That's right, Al, you lost. And let me tell you what you didn't win..." Courtesy of original Jeopardy! announcer Don Pardo.
    • "You're Pitiful": Al starts the song, then stops and asks if he was too early, and when to actually start singing.
      • The song he was parodying—James Blunt's "You're Beautiful"—does the same thing.
    • Albuquerque is — besides the choruses — almost completely spoken word, with Al telling a surreal story of a man's life growing up and going to Albuquerque. And it is awesome.
    • "Craigslist:" "An open letter... to the snotty barista... at the Coffee Bean on San Vicente Boulevard..." This is, of course, in homage to Jim Morrison's vocal style, as previously mentioned.
    • "Confessions Part III:" "You don't know how hard it is for me to tell you this... but remember that shirt you got me for my birthday? Well... I returned it for store credit. That-that thing was hideous, what were you thinking? ..."
    • "Whatever You Like:" "Hey girl, you know our economy's in the toilet, but I'm still gonna treat you right!"
    • "TMZ" has a series of celebrity gossip reports announced by Tom Kenny.
  • The Bonzo Dog Band used speech a lot, beginning their song "Shirt" with a lengthy man-on-the-street interview, and using nothing but in "Rhinocratic Oaths", as Vivian Stanshall narrates four very odd slice-of-life stories.
  • The full version of "The Touchstone", from the soundtrack to the Animated Adaptation of Soul Music, has a slightly portentious sounding spoken word section by a young girl with lots of Meaningless Meaningful Words ("By the time of the meridian we had discovered the secret of her ascendance..."), as befits a pastiche of psychedelia.

  • Sugarland's "Happy Ending" also samples MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, along with Neil Armstrong's first words stepping onto the moon. Baby's born in the ghetto... "I have a dream that one day..." Baby's born with a silver spoon... "That's one small step for man..." One tells his mama I have a dream/One tells his mama I'll walk the moon...
  • Eddie Rabbitt's "American Boy" includes samples of speeches from Martin Luther King Jr., Neil Armstrong, and John F. Kennedy.
  • "This Ain't No Rag, It's a Flag" by the Charlie Daniels Band includes a recording of a kid reading the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Mark Wills' "And the Crowd Goes Wild" has snippets of sports play-by-plays done by George Plaster before the final chorus.
  • The Johnny Cash song The Man Comes Around opens and closes with Cash reading from Revelation.
  • Sherrié Austin's "Put Your Heart into It" opens with backing vocalist Donna McElroy saying, "Okay, honey. Girl, you don't even... you're too young to know what this song's talking about!" followed by Austin laughing. This was removed from the radio edit.
  • Eddy Raven tended to ad-lib spoken lines in the fade-outs of his songs, including "Operator, Operator", "Joe Knows How to Live", "I'm Gonna Get You", and others.
  • Lee Roy Parnell's 1994 cover of Hank Williams' "Take These Chains from My Heart", recorded as a duet with Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn, features the two having an offhanded conversation about going to Mexico at the end.
  • Mark McGuinn's "Mrs. Steven Rudy", the first track on his debut album, opens with a female voice saying "play ball".
  • Marcel's "Country Rock Star" is Book Ended by a kid saying "I wanna be a country rock star".
  • Garth Brooks does it three times in In the Life of Chris Gaines. In the middle of the chorus of "Way Of The Girl", Chris says "it's just the way it is, can't do nothing 'bout it." And near the end of "Right Now", he says "you know, if we don't talk about it, it ain't going to get better." There's also a spoken section in the bridge of "My Love Tells Me So."
  • Dean Miller's "I Feel Bad" opens with country radio and TV host Ralph Emery announcing "You're listening to good music recorded in the country and western style, here on Capitol Records."
  • Cowboy Troy's album Loco Motive has a spoken interlude by Larry the Cable Guy in between "If You Don't Wanna Love Me" and "My Last Yee Haw".
  • Jerrod Niemann included short comedy sketches between some of the tracks on his major-label debut album Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury.
  • Sara Evans' "I Keep Looking" opens with a baby laughing and Evans saying, "That cracked me up."
  • An alternate mix of James Wesley's "Thank a Farmer" includes snippets from Paul Harvey's "So God Made a Farmer" speech.
  • The end of Marie Sisters' "Real Bad Mood" features the sisters (Chaz and Kessie Marie) ad-libbing a discussion about "having one of those days" and laughing, while the guitarist starts making random noises on the talk-box and a voice (possibly the record producer) says "Come on, guys, quit messing around in there!", followed by one of them saying "Was he just talking to me?"
  • Tommy Shane Steiner's "What We're Gonna Do About It" is about a man hitting on a woman in line at a Starbucks. Throughout, the song is interspersed with actress Bridgette Wilson-Sampras having a phone conversation with someone else about what is happening:
    Bridgette: You're not gonna believe this story. Picture this: I'm standing in the world's longest line at Starbucks. I'm half asleep, I have no make-up on, and this guy I've never seen before taps me on the shoulder. I turn around and he says...
    Tommy: (singing) Did you know there's 35 Starbucks and 3 million people in Atlanta
    The odds of you and me being in the very same line are staggering
    Is it coincidence, or is there a power bigger than you and me
    That made us both crave a three dollar cup of coffee...
  • "Backwood Bump" by Waterloo Revival features a random line from Siri after the line "Ask Siri where the good times be".
  • Toby Keith's "Cryin' for Me (Wayman's Song)", a tribute to late NBA player and jazz musician Wayman Tisdale, opens with a snippet of Tisdale's answering machine greeting.
  • "4th of July" by Shooter Jennings. The album version of the song features George Jones singing the chorus of "He Stopped Loving Her Today", after which he says "When we gonna get paid for this?" followed by Shooter laughing.
  • George Jones has done this twice:
    • His and Tammy Wynette's "The Ceremony" features the voice of a pastor conducting a wedding ceremony, to which Tammy and George respond by singing.
    • "The Telephone Call" features dialogue from Jones's stepdaughter, Tina.
  • Trace Adkins' "Rough & Ready" opens with him saying "Yeah. All right, boys, follow me. Mostly in A. Stay with me now. Listen up, this is philosophical." Then again at the end: "That's me and my buddies. We're all just alike. We say, 'hey, y'all, watch this!' Well, that didn't turn out too good. You okay? Yeah... What are you lookin' at? Yeah, that's a real gun in that gun rack. No, I don't have a permit for it. You got a permit to ask stupid questions like that? Gonna get hurt, boy." along with singer name drops of session musicians Jonathan Yudkin and Gordon Mote before their respective solos.
  • "Girl in a Country Song" by Maddie & Tae opens with a male voice saying, "No country music was harmed in the making of this song. This is only a test."
  • The Cole Swindell-Dierks Bentley duet "Flatliner" has Cole say "Tell 'em 'bout it Dierks" before the latter's verse, and the two have a conversation before the last chorus.

  • "Move On" by ABBA starts with Swede Bjorn Ulvaeus affecting an American Southern drawl saying:
    "They say a restless body can hide a peaceful soul.
    A voyager, ad a settler, they both have a distant goal.
    If I explore the heavens, or if I search inside.
    Well, it really doesn't matter as long as I can tell myself
    I've always tried."
  • Diana Ross's version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
  • "Ma Baker" by Boney M. does this three times. It starts with a clip of Ma Baker during a stick-up, then in the middle of the song is a news bulletin from the police asking for any information on Ma Baker's whereabouts, and this is followed by a second clip of Ma Baker.

  • This is one of noise rock band The God Bullies' trademarks - they particularly seem to like using samples of religious records for irony's sake. For instance, "Fear And Pain" starts with a sample from Flight F-I-N-A-L, a record that compared going to heaven to traveling by airplane ("...your captain is the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am your Chief Stewardess, The Angel Of Mercy")
  • Cracker's cover of The Residents' "Blue Rosebuds" includes some barely audible speech due to a Throw It In moment from the producer: An inmate from a nearby prison dialed the studio's phone number to make an obscene phone call while the band was recording, and the producer very quickly patched the phone line into the mixing board during an instrumental break. It certainly did add to the uncharacteristic creepiness of the cover.
  • Negativland's infamous "U2" EP consisted of 2 versions of an instrumental/spoken word track which combined samples of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2 with a profane rant by American Top 40 disk jockey, Casey Kasem.
  • The album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Brian Eno and David Byrne is full of this. All tracks are electronic textures incorporating sampling from other media; some of the tracks use a radio call-in show, a radio evangelist and a Paul Morton sermon.
  • Crispin Glover's lone 1988 album, The Big Problem, contains readings from two of his books, Rat Catching and Oak Mot, set to ambient music.
  • The Drunken Boat track "Lisa's Dream" is a short interlude where a woman (presumably Lisa) recounts a nightmare she once had - the recording is manipulated with a lot of echo effects, but isn't set to music. "Dream Boat" starts out with an un-credited man and woman reading absurdist dialogue for a couple of minutes before segueing into an instrumental piece: the text was apparently written by vocalist Todd Colby, but not performed by anyone within the band, and seemingly recorded separately from the music.

  • UNKLE's "Rabbit In Your Headlights" has a sound clip from Jacob's Ladder in the middle.
    • Also from Outro, "I... I feel... that this has been the most incredible and wonderful thing to have ever have happened... and also the worst. It's... it's a mixed bag. I've been taken to the depths of extreme... terror by this... on the one hand. On the other hand, this experience has been about finding great... joy"
    • On the album Psyence Fiction, the songs "Bloodstain" and "Unreal" are linked by a sample of The Star Wars Holiday Special - specifically the animated segment that first introduced Boba Fett. "Bloodstain" ends with Boba Fett asking "You are alone?", while "Unreal" starts by having him continue "...Maybe I can help you".
  • "Frontier Psychiatrist" by The Avalanches is all spoken word.
  • Math The Band's "Hang Out Hang Ten" and "Almost!" both end in what seems to be nonsensical Quote Mining of some kind of self-help tape: "You've probably also realized that fears and anxieties are one of the most important skills you can acquire", and "I've had students tell me they have thousands of years of experience, which dates back twenty-five thousand years, which means forty million discoveries of ancient wisdom and of new insights".
  • "Little Fluffy Clouds" by The Orb relies heavily on an interview with Rickie Lee Jones.
  • The Ess Zed song 'Life and Death' features small interludes of the narrator discussing death and mourning with his grandfather, with the grandfather pleading the narrator to not be upset, because once we were all parts of suns, and we'll die, but we'll go on and become stars again, and maybe even be reborn as life on a new planet.
  • Daft Punk's "Giorgio by Moroder" has a two-minute-long spoken intro by the eponymous man, out of a nine-minute-long track.
  • Music/ÓlafurArnalds incorporated synthesizer voices into his album Dyad 1909, in which the voice refers to someone who has left them despite the voice having begged them not to leave.
  • VNV Nation's "Goodbye 20th Century" begins with a speech from General Motors' "Futurama" ride/exhibit at 1939 World's Fair.
  • Technotronic reuses various spoken sound samples (including those not spoken by the band members) in their instrumentals.
  • Bomb the Bass' "Beat Dis" includes samples from Thunderbirds and Dragnet.
  • Apollo 440:
    • The lyrics of “Diamonds In The Sidewalk” are a recording from Jack Kerouac, reciting the 228th chorus of his poem "Mexico City Blues".
    • “Love Is Evil” uses clips from a speech by philosopher Slavov Žižek.
    • “Fuzzy Logic” begins with Robert Anton Wilson describing an exercise taught by a Buddhist monk, as described in one of Aleister Crowley's books.

  • The Portal 2 fan-made song, 'You Monster', was made with auto-tuned voice samples from GLaDOS' dialogue, however, it opens with Cave Johnson's spoken word about how he intends to turn his assistant Caroline into GLaDOS.

  • Loreena McKennitt's Dicken's Dublin has a lot of this, with a child speaking intermittently during the song.
  • Jonathan Coulton's song "Shop Vac" has a brief spoken word portion under the last verse, a mock-up news broadcast which is then cut off by static. It is difficult to hear it in its entirety but it appears to say, "... the case of two men who have come up with an idea for ads reaching a captive audience. The ads can now be seen inside public bathroom stalls. 'It may seem silly,' says ... A forty-nine-year-old, unidentified man went berserk last night, opening fire with a twelve-gauge shotgun in a crowded, downtown..."
  • The Mechanisms' Rock Operas alternate sung tracks with spoken word tracks that clarify the narrative. Some of their longer stand-alone songs switch back and forth in a similar way in one track.
  • Shawn Mullins' Signature Style is spoken verses and sung choruses. In an interview, he said it came from his earlier days when he would play in noisy clubs, and he'd speak some of the lyrics to get the audience's attention.
  • The Simon & Garfunkel song "Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night" has the duo singing the Christmas carol over a rather downbeat news broadcast.
  • Van Morrison plays with the idea on tracks like Rave On John Donne, and especially on the Sense of Wonder album. This is as near as he gets to rap; Sense of Wonder incorporates lyrical nostalgia for a Belfast upbringing, and a later track involves Morrison reciting a William Blake poem set to his own music.
  • The Israeli song about the Battle of Ammunition Hill is traditionally sung with the soldiers' recollections of the battle read out between the stanzas.
  • Steeleye Span's "The Good Witch", from the Concept Album based on the Discworld novel Wintersmith, ends with Sir Terry Pratchett saying "A good witch never cackles" followed by the section from the book beginning "Cackling is not just nasty laughter".

  • The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron is a groundbreaking album that influenced rap, despite being nothing of the sort. It's just Scott-Heron dictating poetry, with some percussion in the background, but sounds awesome!
  • Spill the Wine by War (Band) contains both a lengthy introduction and interlude which describes the singer-narrator's dream/psychedelic trip/erotic fantasy.

  • Many Bright Eyes albums begin like this.
    • The song An Attempt To Tip The Scales concludes with a ten-minute mock-radio interview parodying the melodramatic nature of the album and Conor Oberst's musical persona.
    • Also, Oberst's Desaparecidos side project. The band's only album begins with a tape recording of a group of teenage girls' superficial opinions on what makes "an ideal man".
  • The creepy guy speaking at the beginning of 1940 by the Submarines
    Creepy Man's Voice: The year is one thousand nine hundred and forty... and something... isn't... right...
  • Stars' "The Woods" features samples from Grey Gardens, specifically "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale talking about accidentally dropping her scarf off the porch and into the massively overgrown backyard ("It's a sea of leaves, s-sea of leaves... if you lose something you can’t find it again, lost at the bottom”).
    • Also by Stars, from the beginning of "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead", "When there's nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire." Apparently a recording of one of the band member's fathers. Doubles as an Album Title Drop since it's the opening track on the album Set Yourself On Fire.
    • The band did the spoken-word title drop again on the song "The Theory of Relativity," from the album The North, which begins with a voice saying, "Well, the only way I see this happening is in an extended ride north."
  • The beginning of Kate Nash's Mansion Song.
  • Say Anything... goes meta with this in "Belt."
    Max: I have to record the spoken-word introduction to the record. It's only a few lines, but I'm having anxiety about it.
  • The outro of Belle and Sebastian's "I Could Be Dreaming" features Isobel Campbell reading from Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle in the background.
  • Sebadoh's "Open Ended" ends with a looped snippet of an announcer saying "It's weed against speed!" (it's really an intro to the next track, an instrumental called "Weed Against Speed")
    • The band's first two albums, The Freed Man and Weed Forestin, also have quite a lot of spoken word in them.
  • Ride's "Cool Your Boots" starts with Paul McGann's narration from Withnail and I: "Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day".
  • Sidewalk Driver's For All The Boys And Girls has two tracks that end in lo-fi spoken clips: "Radio" ends in a clip of stage banter from one of the band's concerts, run through studio effects to make it sound like it's being heard on a crackly radio broadcast ("Well, this is our last song. Thank you, everybody, for comin' out..."). The clip in "Small Talk (Social Butterfly)" is hard to make out, but sounds like it's a woman at a noisy train stop discussing traveling all around the Boston area over the course of a day (intelligible bits include "...Jamaica Plain again" and "...Go out to Cambridge, and hop around Harvard, and wind up at M.I.T.?"), which would fit the lyrics about trying to find the time to catch up with a friend who seems to always be on the go.
  • Islands' "Volcanoes" starts with a very strange monologue from someone who introduces himself as Oscar, claiming to be a demon and warning that the world will end in 2007 (the song being released in 2006). This was taken from a Coast to Coast AM caller - Nicolas Thorburn happened to hear this call on his car radio late one night, and it inspired the song's lyrics, which deal with the world ending due to natural disaster.
  • Most of the songs on Bastille's Wild World album include a spoken word part, whether in the beginning or middle. This isn’t even all of the examples from the album:
    • "Good Grief" begins with a clip of Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science: "So, what would you little maniacs like to do first?"
    • “Fake It”: “And I don’t think that’s a selfish want, I really don’t. I'm not saying that I have this capacity, because it's hard to develop that capacity on your own when you're being stopped at every turn”, from the 1971 short film Changing.
    • “The Currents”: “When anybody preaches disunity, tries to pit one of us against the other, you know that person seeks to rob us of our freedom and destroy our very lives!” from the 1948 cartoon Make Mine Freedom.
    • “Warmth”: “When the event happens, there is little time to think of those things that people would like to have remain private. Getting caught up in the circus-like atmosphere, feeling less responsible to conventional ethical practices", from a video about the media made by the Department of Justice.
    • “Send Them Off!” has two: “It was a slight on my honor, so he deserved it. But we're talking about the most brilliant mind this world's ever seen!” and “Your mind exists somewhere altogether different; it lives in a world where feelings simply cannot be defined by words”, both inspired by Cosmos, a 1977 Italian sci-fi film.
    • Easily the most effective is “Four Walls (The Ballad of Perry Smith)”, a song about executed criminal Perry Smith and what the days leading up to his execution may have been like. It ends with a recording saying “This is a collect call from Kansas State Penitentiary- Being brought up one way and trying to see another way is very difficult…”
  • "Heaven's On Fire" by The Radio Dept. begins with a voice complaining that rock music and youth culture are being "monopolized by big business" and arguing that youths should "destroy the bogus capitalist process that is destroying youth culture."
  • The Killers firsts experiments this with "The Calling" which opens with Woody Harrelson reading from The Bible before the bass drops and the song kicks in. Then the 2021 album Pressure Machine has a spoken word intro for nearly every song, recorded from field interviews with inhabitants of Brandon Flower's hometown Nephi, Utah.
  • Panchiko's "D˃E˃A˃T˃H˃M˃E˃T˃A˃L" samples Burning Rangers, though the clip they used is never heard in-game: if you were to insert the Burning Rangers disc into a conventional audio CD player and press play, you would hear one of the game's voice actors reading a warning not to do that lest you damage your stereo equipment - the band cut up and looped part of that audio and used it in place of an actual sung chorus:
    Do-Do-Don't, Do-Do-Do-Don't
    Do-Do-Don't, Do-Do-Do-Don't play the track...

  • Marilyn Manson's "Para-noir" from "The Golden Age Of Grotesque" has a woman repeating various versions of the sentence "I fuck you..." including "I fuck you for fun", "I fuck you because I am your whore" "I fuck you to fuck you over", "I fuck you so you will protect me" and "I fuck you so I have a place to stay".
  • My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult uses this constantly, citing and repeating lines from cult films to really up the strangeness.
  • "Defense System" by Monster Voodoo Machine starts with Wesley Willis saying "Rock over London, rock on Chicago" - while they could have easily just used a sample from one of the many times Wesley has said this in one of his songs, they actually had hired him to come to the studio and speak his catchphrase.

  • Many extreme metal bands will do this as a contrast to the loud, often violent intensity of their music. They also can sum up the lyrical attitude of the musician in question.
    • Skyfire's Spectral - "This is not a dream."
    • At the Gates's Slaughter of the Soul - "We are blind, to the worlds within us, waiting to be born."
    • I'm In A Coffin's One Final Action - "The best day of my life."
    • Caïna uses this a lot, typically of the third variety.
  • Iron Maiden uses this sometimes, like at the beginning of "The Number of the Beast", "The Prisoner", and the bridge of "Rime of The Ancient Mariner", which directly quotes the Coleridge poem.
  • Ayreon has the mysterious voice at the beginning of several songs in Into The Electric Castle and has excerpts of a few different speeches during "Unnatural Selection" on 01011001.
  • Blind Guardian has these between several songs on the Concept Album Nightfall in Middle Earth, presumably to make it easier to understand what each of the songs is about - though it still probably won't help much if the listener hasn't read The Silmarillion.
  • Many Ministry songs have these: Earlier on they were mainly from movies, though "NWO" included many samples of George W. Bush. As they essentially released three straight albums of protest songs after the election of George W. Bush, a lot of out of context samples of him came in too. And "End Of Days Part II" ends with a lengthy excerpt from Dwight D. Eisenhower's famous speech about the military-industrial complex.
  • "Your Touch" by The Black Keys (at least the music video) has the two band members talking over a guitar solo. "So, how do you feel about...y'know, being dead?" "I dunno, my neck hurts."
  • Rob Zombie seems pretty fond of using movie samples in songs: For instance, every song on White Zombie's La Sexorcisto featured at least an instrumental break or two with clips from horror films, exploitation films or b-movies, along with Iggy Pop making a guest appearance to recite Word Salad Lyrics in a monster truck rally commercial announcer voice (in "Black Sunshine" and "Soul-Crusher"). These have shown up plenty of times in his solo career too, and the song "House of 1000 Corpses" featured extensive dialogue from his directorial debut film of the same name, despite coming out two years before the film itself did note .
    • White Zombie's Cover Version of Kiss' "God Of Thunder" starts with three humorously juxtaposed voice clips: An announcer saying "You wanted the best and you got the best...the hottest band in the world" from Alive II is interrupted by Mike Nesmith exclaiming "Hey, wait a minute!" (from Head, which in turn is interrupted by Travis Bickle saying "Suck on this!".
  • tool with Bottom, done by spoken-word artist and previous Black Flag vocalist Henry Rollins
    • There's many other examples that this band has done. First, there's "Third Eye", which uses spoken-word excerpts from Bill Hicks routines, then there's "Message to Harry Manback", which consists of an angry answering machine message with somber piano music in the background; "Faaip de Oiad" which includes a sample of a prank call sent into the Art Bell radio show, and finally "Disgustipated", which ends with another (very creepy) answering machine message.
  • Liberate by Disturbed features the lead singer quoting the book of Isaiah during the bridge: "Out of Zion shall come forth the law (Isaiah 2:3) And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3) Nation shall not raise sword against nation (Isaiah 2:4) And they shall not learn war anymore (Isaiah 2:4) For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken (Isaiah 1:20)."
  • Countless bands of the National Socialist Black Metal subgenre sample Adolf Hitler's speeches in their music.
  • Metallica brings us the "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" prayer in the middle of "Enter Sandman", and the monologue/freeverse poem at the end of "To Live Is to Die"
  • Our Solemn Hour by Within Temptation contains a few lines of a speech by Winston Churchill at the very start.
  • Nightwish:
    • "FantasMic", the seven-minute-long Epic Rocking nerdgasm about the Disney Animated Canon, has a sound clip from Beauty and the Beast in the middle of it.
      Beast: Because... I love her.
    • "Creek Mary's Blood" (from Once) features a poem in Lakotan, spoken by John Two-Hawks.
    • "Dead Gardens" (also from Once) has a spoken-word section performed by Tarja Turunen.
    • The track "Once" opens with a few spoken lines.
    • The second half of "Song of Myself" from Imaginaerum is entirely made up of these.
    • "Scaretale" from the same album has a brief moment of Marco Hietala imitating a circus ringmaster.
    • "The Greatest Show On Earth" from Endless Forms Most Beautiful has a spoken-word part performed by Richard Dawkins.
  • "Foreclosure Of A Dream" by Megadeth and "Semblance Of Liberty" by Epica both use the "Read my lips" quote by George H. W. Bush.
  • The bridge of Type O Negative's "Haunted".
  • Many black metal bands have experimented with this.
    • One classic example would be Darkthrone's "Snø og granskog." The lyrics are spoken, and actually a recitation of a poem by Tarjei Vesaas.
  • Living Colour's hit "Cult of Personality" contains clips of speeches given by Malcolm X, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy
  • Occurs in a few Stratovarius songs.
    • "Visions (Southern Cross)" (from Visions) has someone reciting the verses of Nostradamus's prophecy on which the song is based.
    • The live recording of "Hunting High and Low" opens with a deep voice saying "Welcome... to the soul... of... Stratovarius!"
    • "Dreamspace" (from the album of the same name) features a creepy little girl's voice in the middle of the song. (She says "Who's there? ...Mother? I'm losing my mind...", followed by evil laughter.)
    • The otherwise-instrumental "Metal Frenzy" (from Twilight Time) starts with someone counting "1, 2, 3, 4!" and ends with maniacal laughter.
    • "I'm Still Alive" (from Elements Pt. 2) ends with a conversation between what is presumed to be two of the band members (though it's hard to make out what they're saying). Strangely enough, they're speaking English, even though the band themselves are Finnish (though at the time they had a Swede and a German as part of their lineup).
    • "Back to Madness" (from their self-titled album) ends with a long, surreal and mildly-creepy spoken word section (which sounds like it's done by the same person who did the spoken-word sections in "Visions (Southern Cross)", judging by the similar-sounding voices).
    • "Event Horizon" (from Elysium) ends with an automated voice warning about an approaching black hole, with warning sirens playing over it.
  • Sonata Arctica have also done this occasionally.
    • "...of Silence" (from Silence) is entirely spoken-word and instrumental.
    • "The End of This Chapter" (also from Silence) starts off with a phone call between the stalker main character and his ex. Includes a bit of Gratuitous French (part of which is repeated in the song proper).
  • Cormorant have a few examples along with some Sampling, but the most noteworthy example is the bridge of "Scavengers Feast" which not only has many people reciting passages but in different languages too.
  • The final track of Avenged Sevenfold's seventh album The Stage is concluded by a 3-minute speech from Neil Degrasse Tyson over a repeating synth melody and an ever-changing drumline. To a lesser extent, "The Stage" and "Simulation" on the same album have characters talking in the background between the verse and the chorus.
  • Cattle Decapitation: The various transition tracks from Death Atlas ("Anthropogenic: End Transmission", "The Great Dying, Pt. 1", "The Great Dying, Pt. 2" and "The Unerasable Past") feature spoken dialogue styled like the scripts of news reporters on television. The dialogue is about the worries of what's to come for the end of the world as caused by humanity.

    New Wave 
  • ABC:
    • "The Look of Love": "Martin, maybe one day you'll find true love."
    • "Poison Arrow": "I care enough to know I can never love you"
  • The Information Society song "What's On Your Mind" had snippets of Mr. Spock saying "pure energy" from a Star Trek: The Original Series episode.
  • Squeeze used snippets of The Shining in the intro to The Last Time Forever, including Jack Nicholson's line "A momentary loss of muscular coordination" and Shelley Duvall shrieking.
  • Most of the vocals on Tom Tom Club's autobiographical "Atsababy (Life Is Great)" are spoken by drummer/founder Chris Frantz.
  • Peter Schilling's "City Of Night (Berlin)" contains a portion of American President John F. Kennedy's "Ich bin eine Berliner" speech. "The Noah Plan" begins with a spoken intro setting up the situation that the people in the song are facing.
  • Culture Club's "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" begins with a person saying "Popularity breeds contempt" on the version that appears on At Worst...The Best Of Boy George And Culture Club.
  • A voice that says "Telephone call for Mr. Bones" introduces the Duran Duran song "To Whom It May Concern" from The Wedding Album.
  • The Police's "On Any Other Day" begins with Stewart Copeland's voice saying "The other ones are complete bullshit."
  • On Daniel Amos's Doppelgänger, the Book Ends "Hollow Man" and "Hollow Man (Reprise)" are both spoken monologues set to music. And "Autographs for the Sick" has four or five different speakers talking over each other, with music in the background.
  • Men Without Hats' "Pop Goes The World" has a female voice at the beginning of the song saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, 'Pop Goes The World' by Men Without Hats."

  • Spark Plug Entertainment's Spider's Web: A Pig's Tale features one near the beginning, when the main character Walter tries to explain to his mother how her pie went missing after he had eaten it.
  • Happens frequently on the soundtrack album for Natural Born Killers - dialogue from the movie will frequently get layered over instrumental sections of songs. A few songs used in the movie were instrumentals, and they tend to especially get this treatment - for example, the track "Totally Hot" is a brief excerpt from the song "Kipenda Roho" by Remmy Ongala with pseudo-Vox Pops interviews from the movie laid over it.
  • The nonsensical song "Chicken Bone" from Cowboy Bebop is peppered with various sound effects and voices, such as a bullet ricochet. They're very faint, and hard to completely decipher through the lyrics and music. They're not listed in the lyrics either. Among them is a doctor saying "Proceed with the operation" and a villainous voice giving an Evil Laugh followed by "DESTROY!"
  • Armageddon: The Album uses Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" as musical Bookends... but the second time it appears, under the title "Animal Crackers", Steven Tyler only sings in the beginning and ending - the rest of the vocals consist of clips of dialogue between the characters A.J. and Grace, with the track title coming from a Seinfeldian Conversation in which A.J. argues that animal crackers don't qualify as "crackers".
  • Sonic the Hedgehog CD has the Metallic Madness Bad Future mix which has robotic lyrics from a distorted Synthetic Voice Actor discouraging the player from going further.
  • Deltarune has Spamton's theme and his two boss themes, NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A and BIG SHOT: while the former two have a funny voice saying "Now's your chance to be a big shot! Be a big - be a big - be a big shot!", the latter adds muffled lyrics interpreted as someone asking a salesman what they're really selling.

  • Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" opens with part of Michael Buerk's BBC TV news report which inspired the creation of the single. The song is still played at Christmas, but for some reason, this part is omitted.
    Dawn: and as the sun breaks through the piercing chill of night on the plain outside Korem, it lights up a Biblical famine - now, in the twentieth century. This place, say workers here, is the closest thing to hell on earth.
  • The Cowsills' "The Prophecy of Daniel and John the Divine" contains a spoken word section.
    Then, finally one day, she was cast back into the sea from where she came, so that she would never torment man again.
  • The beginning of the "Yuletide Slegh Mix" of the Jason Donovan song "When You Come Back to Me" begins with this spoken-word monolouge from the singer himself:
    "I guess it happens all the time. The things we have to do takes us miles apart when we should be together, especially at this time of the year when everyone wants to be with thier loved ones. And though we're miles apart, not a minute goes by without me thinking of you, nor a day goes by without me wanting you. So, I keep thinking of you, and it keeps pulling me through, cause I know, it's just a matter of time."
  • "My Strange Addiction" by Billie Eilish includes several clips from The Office (US) episode "Threat Level Midnight" - one of the lines coincidentally mentions a first name that's a homophone of the artist's, sort of turning it into a Singer Name Drop ("No, Billy, I haven't done that dance since my wife died").
  • The song "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado involves her speaking with Timbaland during the first few seconds of the song.
  • "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson features a brief spoken introduction, in which he asks about "the force." (No, not that Force — but it is incredibly similar.)
  • La Roux's "Tigerlily" has a similar interlude as a homage to Thriller.
  • "Steal My Sunshine" by Len opens with two band members talking about how another member looks down. Later in the song is another segment, this time talking about how another member looks like she had a rough night. The radio edit removes the spoken bits and just leaves those sections instrumental in part because the first section alludes to LSD use.
    • The music video also drops those spoken sections but adds one of its own - as members of the band joust each other with inflatable sticks, some commentary on what's happening on screen is overlaid on top of the music.
  • "Everybody" by Madonna, from her debut Madonna starts with a heavily synthesized and spoken introduction with Madonna taking a loud intake of breath.
    • "White Heat" from True Blue has spoken bits of dialogue from the titular movie.
    • "What It Feels Like For A Girl" has a spoken intro that comes from The Cement Garden.
  • George Michael's "Too Funky" begins with a snippet from Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate:
    I am not trying to seduce you. Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you're trying to tell me?
    • And at the end, a line from The Tony Hancock Show episode "The Radio Ham":
      Will you stop playing with that radio of yours? I'm trying to get to sleep.
  • "Grace Kelly" by Mika opens and closes with Grace Kelly dialogue from The Country Girl.
  • The Partridge Family's "Doesn't Somebody Want to Be Wanted" contains a spoken word section. David Cassidy found the passage so embarrassing, he refused to do it at first, and shooting of the show stopped so his handlers could put pressure on him. When he finally caved and recorded the song, he begged the record label not to release it.
    You know, I'm no different from anybody else. I start each day, and I end each night. But it gets really lonely when you're by yourself. Now where is love? And who is love? I gotta know.
  • The Spice Girls' "Naked" has this at the beginning of the song, after the first chorus, and the middle is done as a phone conversation heard on Emma's end: "'s me...I thought you'd understand...well, maybe I should give it my best shot...I keep seeing such a pretty picture...But I don't want to be hated or pitied either...maybe I should leave it up to your imagination...I just want to be me..."
  • The Veronicas Insomnia, Cold, Untouched and more.
  • A Kanon Wakeshima song ends with what sounds like Wakeshima singing the song in the shower.
  • The second hidden track on the Robbie Williams album I've Been Expecting You (officially named "Stalker's Day Off (I've Been Hanging Around)") features two spoken word segments in the form of answering machine messages left by the eponymous stalker on his victim's phone, done by Robbie himself. "Win Some Lose Some" on the same album starts with a woman's voice saying "I love you, baby!" twice, and ends with the same clip played once. "No Regrets" (also from that album) ends with a spoken-word segment by Robbie, which sounds like he gave up on singing and just decided to speak the rest of the lyrics instead.
    • On his album Sing When You're Winning, the hidden track "Outro Message" is a 13-second long track featuring a message spoken by Robbie saying that this album doesn't contain any hidden tracks.
    • The hidden track "Hello Sir" on the album Life thru a Lens is a poem written and performed by Robbie dedicated to one of his old schoolteachers (ostensibly, anyway).
  • "Hailey" by Wrenn has a clip of a conversation in the bridge, which the artist herself has described as the real-life sound of her ex cheating on her:
    "Are you gonna tell her?"
    "There's no point"
    "She's gonna find out eventually"
    "I mean it doesn't matter if she does at this point"
  • "Clouds Across the Moon" by The RAH Band, sung from the perspective of a woman sending a message to her husband, who's apparently fighing in a war, includes conversation between the woman and the telephone operator which establishes that the war is on Mars, something not really mentioned in the actual song.

    Progressive Rock 
  • The Alan Parsons Project gives us "Let's Talk About Me" with baseball commentary in the background.
  • Pink Floyd:
    • Some songs from The Dark Side of the Moon include samples of people talking, who were answering questions such as "When was the last time you were violent?", "Were you in the right?", "Are you afraid of death?", or "What is the dark side of the moon?". Among the people interviewed were:
      • Wings bandmate Henry McCullough (who supplied the "I don't know, I was really drunk at the time" heard in the segue between "Money" and "Us and Them");
      • Roadie Chris Adamson (the Precision F-Strike in "Speak to Me": "I've been mad for fucking years...");
      • The band's road manager Peter Watts (whose crazed laughter is heard in "Brain Damage" and "Speak to Me");
      • Watts' wife Patricia (who says "I never said I was frightened of dying" in "The Great Gig in the Sky" and describes a violent encounter in the segue between "Money" and "Us and Them": "that geezer was cruisin' for a bruisin'");
      • Roger "The Hat" Manifold (who appears in "Us and Them" and says "live for today, gone tomorrow, that's me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA" in "On the Run");
      • and Abbey Road Studios' doorman Gerry O'Driscoll, responsible for some of the more iconic quotes (the second one in "Speak to Me" about being mad, the line that ends the closing track "Eclipse", and the discussion about death in "The Great Gig in the Sky").
      • Paul McCartney and his then-wife Linda were also interviewed, but their answers were considered generic and/or trying too hard to be funny, so they were left unused.
    • Wish You Were Here begins with the sound of an AM radio flipping through the stations until it settles on a station playing the beginning of "Wish You Were Here". Then the "listener" begins playing along (this is where the second guitar comes in).
    • "Sheep" from Animals contains a vocoded parody of Psalm 23 ("When cometh the day we lowly ones, through quiet reflection and great dedication, master the art of karate...")
    • The Wall includes a number of spoken-word passages meant to add onto the filmic nature of the Rock Opera. These include, among other things, Roger Water imitating a Sadist Teacher, Trudy Young portraying a groupie that Pink brings over to his hotel room, and excerpts from The Dam Busters and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C..
    • A Momentary Lapse of Reason features Nick Mason reciting a brief monologue about the death of innocence partway through "Signs of Life" and providing radio chatter during the instrumental bridge in "Learning to Fly", as well as samples from Casablanca in "Yet Another Movie".
    • In "Keep Talking" from The Division Bell, there's an excerpt from a Stephen Hawking commercial he recorded for British Telecom. Another snippet of audio from the same commercial is used in "Talkin' Hawkin'" on The Endless River.
  • Dream Theater uses this a lot. About a third of their songs have either spoken word sections or sound samples from movies or something.
  • "The Necromancer" by Rush starts with the narration of the story of Prince By-Tor, spoken by Neil Peart (possibly with an edited voice).
    • Also, "Countdown" includes snippets of radio talk from a Space Shuttle launch.
    • "Double Agent", from the Counterparts album, contains lyrics spoken instead of sung by Geddy.
    • The end of "2112" has "Attention, all planets of the Solar Federation ... We have assumed control" repeated as if from a speaker, several times, supposedly suggesting that the song's hero eventually led a successful uprising against the Temples of Syrinx.
    • The title word in "Subdivisions" is spoken in the song's chorus.
  • Mike Oldfield's one-song album Amarok caps off with a monologue from Scottish comedian Janet Brown, who performs an impression of Margaret Thatcher.
  • Supertramp's "Fool's Overture" includes a clip from Winston Churchill's most famous speech.
  • Sound Horizon's works, which albums tell stories through singing, narration, and characters speaking. Since their major debut, they have also invited mainstream voice actors to speak lines, such as Norio Wakamoto, Hikaru Midorikawa, and Marina Inoue.
  • Bay Area progressive/death/black/folk/etc. metal band Cormorant has the interlude of their song Scavenger's Feast includes layered samples of members of the band (and other people who were at the studio at the time) reading from different books (in various languages). Good luck trying to out the words, though.
  • Robert Fripp's 1979 album Exposure featured several tracks with extraneous speech mixed with the music:
    • "NY3" includes the tape of a quarrel by the three neighbors next to Fripp's apartment in New York one night. They were so loud that they kept him from sleeping, so he got up and recorded their voices, and later added music around them.
    • "Exposure" (a Cover Version of a song he co-wrote and produced for Peter Gabriel's Scratch) and "Water Music 1" include excerpts from J.G. Bennett's inaugural address at Sherborne House, the International Academy for Continuous Education. (The complete 40-minute address also appears as a track on the album, condensed into only 3 seconds of white noise.)
    • "Disengage" includes a tape of Fripp interviewing his mother.
  • King Crimson itself has several examples, but the most interesting is "Thela Hun Ginjeet" from Discipline. The spoken word is Adrien Belew recounting being threatened by gangsters; it was recorded minutes after the assault. He walked into the studio in a state of obvious distress, and as he told Robert Fripp what happened, Fripp signaled for the engineer to start recording.
  • Asia's "Countdown To Zero" from Astra has an ominous voice speaking during the bridge section and the ending.
  • The Moody Blues often included a poem read by one of the members in one or two songs on their early albums, most famously the "Breathe deep, the gathering gloom ..." one (titled "Late Lament") near the end of "Nights in White Satin."
  • Roger Waters' Amused to Death, which revisits the style of his material with Pink Floyd, includes both snippets of TV broadcasts relevant to the album's themes and a monologue performed by Charles Fleischer in-character as a Greedy Televangelist.

  • Roky Erikson's "Creature With The Atom Brain" contains extensive dialogue snippets from the B-Movie of the same name... sort of. It's the original dialogue from the movie, but it's Roky reciting the lines instead of the actors.
  • Combined with So Bad, It's Good, this is essentially the basis for William Shatner's musical career, especially his cover of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds".
  • The Byrds' "2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song)".
  • Psonic Psunspot by The Dukes Of Stratosphear includes a little girl reciting odd, Alice in Wonderland-inspired prose at the end of a couple of songs ("The puffin sipped at his herbal tea and sighed 'you can't get the buttons these days!'"). Also, their song "My Love Explodes" ends with a an offended call-in radio show listener who sounds uncannily like Woody Allen complaining about a song played on air ("...What possessed you to write such a disgusting, degeneratized song as that? And I'm complimenting you by considering it a song...")
  • Hawkwind have a number of spoken-word songs, most of them on the Space Ritual album.
  • Shpongle's Vapour Rumours heavily samples a newscast from The Outer Limits (1963).
  • "Hole in my Shoe" by Traffic has a spoken word section by the producer's stepdaughter, where she describes travelling on the back of an albatross to a magical land.

  • Steel Pole Bath Tub frequently used television and movie clips in songs; "Train To Miami" uses a sample of Jack Nicholson sneering "yeah, yeah, yeah" from Five Easy Pieces for instance. When they put out their major label debut they were specifically cautioned against doing this by the label's legal department.
  • "Scary Picture Show" by Riot Squad opens with a line from Night of the Creeps: "Let's play a game! It's called 'Scary Noises'."
  • Schoolyard Heroes did this in a few of their very early demo songs, such as at both the beginning and end of "Living Dead (Ravers)".
  • At the Drive-In's "Enfilade" starts with a simulated ransom phone call, fitting its lyrics about a kidnapping. The "caller" is Iggy Pop, who also made a sung guest appearance on a different song on the same album:
    "Hello, mother leopard. I have your cub. You must protect her, but that will be expensive. Ten thousand cola nuts, wrapped in brown paper. Midnight, behind the box. I'll be the hyena, you'll see..."
  • The Clash's Capitol Radio One single consisted of the non-album single "Capitol Radio" and separately indexed lo-fi excerpts of an interview with the band. The version of "Capitol Radio" on the compilation The Story Of The Clash, which is the song's only official CD release note , puts one of those interview excerpts on the same track... Meaning there's three minutes of spoken word and a little over two minutes of actual song.
    • "Inoculated City" includes a clip of a toilet cleaner commercial - because the sample wasn't authorized, some editions of the album Combat Rock contain an edited version of the song without it.
  • The Dingees' song "Street vs. State" consists of several recordings of protesters played over dub reggae backing music.
  • "Divorced", the Melvins' collaboration with tool, splices in a phone conversation between Maynard James Keenan and Buzz Osborne, apparently regarding a mutual friend going out with a woman who Maynard describes as having "a voice like a fuckin' modem, dude!".
    • "Hog Leg" starts with a heavily quotemined Pat Robertson sermon ("Christians are commanded alcohol is good").
    • "Laughing With Lucifer At Satan's Sideshow" is entirely simulated phone calls over an instrumental track. The song is basically a Take That! to a former record label, including quotes like "You should consider yourself lucky, any other label would have dropped you by now".
  • Black Flag's "Armageddon Man", which is placed right in between an album side's worth of spoken word tracks and an album side's worth of instrumentals (album being Family Man).
  • Darkbuster's "Pub" begins and ends with vocalist Lenny Lashley reading from a pamphlet that warns about the risks of drinking alcohol, apparently recorded over the phone ("remember, just because others drink alcohol doesn't mean that you have to drink too"). It's done for irony's sake, since the song is one of their several odes to intoxication, and he sounds a little bit drunk while reading it.
  • Poison Idea's "The Badge" is bookended with dialogue sampled from Taxi Driver. When Pantera covered the song, they went so far as to use the exact same clips.
  • Henry Rollins lives and breathes this trope. He often blurs the line between this, singing and shouting. "Liar" is a good example (spoken-word verses, shouted/sung chorus). It helps that he's a spoken word artist as well...
  • Masked Intruder include a faked 911 call skit at the end of "Hello Beautiful", wherein a woman complains that some strange men (heavily implied to be the members of the band) keep breaking into her house and singing. It makes sense in context because Masked Intruder are a Kayfabe Band whose backstory involves being escaped burglars.
  • "Midnight Jam" by Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros is an instrumental with clips of Joe speaking laid over it (taken from from his BBC radio program Joe Strummer's London Calling). This approach might have something to do with the album Streetcore as a whole being a Posthumous Collaboration with Mescaleros members Martin Slattery and Scott Shields.
  • fIREHOSE's "4.29.92" is an instrumental puncuated with audio clips of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, with the title being the date said riots started.

  • Beyoncé recites poetry written by British poet Warsan Shire in the visual special for Lemonade (2016).
  • The Contours begin their signature "Do You Love Me?" by establishing the premise — that the singer has been dumped for not knowing how to dance. The song itself asserts that he does, indeed, know how to do the Mashed Potato, the Twist, and others.
  • Isaac Hayes' landmark album Hot Buttered Soul featured a cover of "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" that turned this trope into an art form. The song itself follows a man, having just left his wife, describing what he thinks she will be doing as he reaches certain destinations by car. Hayes turned this three-minute country song into an eighteen-minute soul epic, including an eight-minute spoken introduction of how the man came to his decision to leave his wife.
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller includes a soliloquy by Vincent Price.
    • Other MJ examples: "The Girl is Mine" and "PYT" (both are also from Thriller), "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (from Off the Wall), "Man in the Mirror" (from Bad), and the album version of "Heal The World" (from Dangerous).
    • "ABC" by the The Jackson 5.
    • The breakdown section of "Smooth Criminal" (also from Bad) has a male voice (presumably a police officer) shouting, "OK, I want everyone to clear the area right now."
  • Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done For Me Lately" on the album Control begins with Janet talking with a woman about the man she's in love with, with the woman asking Janet "what has he done for you lately?"
  • Prince opens the song "Let's Go Crazy"—and, thus, the entire album Purple Rain—with a sermon.
    Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called "life"!
  • Barry White has a spoken intro in "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love." In fact, he's often just speaking over the music.

  • "Ask For Janice" from Paul's Boutique by The Beastie Boys has a female receptionist talking.
    • Check Your Head includes a few songs that start or end with spoken samples. "The Maestro" is an interesting case because its spoken intro is indirectly related to the above example: "Ask For Janice" included a real phone number that was out of service at the time of release, but the band soon got the phone number registered themselves and hooked it up to an answering machine, with an outgoing message claiming that it was the number of a clothing store called Paul's Boutique. One fan left an angry message, seemingly peeved that he didn't get to speak to the Beasties personally. They apparently managed to find the fan and get his permission to use his message as an intro to "The Maestro":
      "Yo, Paul, this is Al. You can kiss my ass
      I ain't interested in you anyhow
      I'm just interested in the B-Boys
      So fuck you, my man!"
    • Early single "Cooky Puss" is full of this - the vocals are primarily clips of the band prank calling a Carvel ice cream store, along with some scratching of a Steve Martin comedy album.
  • A huge number of rap songs have a spoken intro, outro or both.
  • "Scooby Snacks" by Fun Lovin' Criminals extensively uses dialogue clips from Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. Enough so that they had to credit Quentin Tarantino as a co-writer and give him 37% of the song's royalties.
  • Drake has this in "Headlines", "Successful" and "Club Paradise" (which actually features a clip of Bob Marley talking).
  • Childish Gambino has a 3-minute long monologue at the end of "That Power", which is just him talking about an incident at summer camp (fitting, because the track is the last song on his debut studio album Camp).
  • Most rappers have done a song with them or someone else (usually their producer or a friend) talking over the beginning or the end.
  • Kanye West is an exception to the above example, using spoken-word in music frequently - the Intros to both The College Dropout and Late Registration have him being chastised by his high-school principal, "Last Call" has an 8-minute outro of Kanye explaining how he got to make The College Dropout, "Crack Music" and "Sin City" both have spoken-word poems by Malik Yusuf, "Never Let Me Down" has another one performed by J.Ivy. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy uses it as Bookends, the first track, "Dark Fantasy" opening with a poem (taken from Roald Dahl) performed Nicki Minaj (affecting a British accent), and the closing track "Lost in the World/Who Will Survive in America" ending with a poem/address performed by Gil Scott-Heron. This is also the case in the deluxe edition of the same album, since "See Me Now" ends with Kanye adlibbing various comments... including "Now I'mma let you finish, but I got Beyonce on the track".
    • He gets DJ Khaled and DJ Pharris to talk for the last minute (basically shouting out various people) on "Cold"
  • Hobo Johnson's entire style is inspired by spoken word poetry, and many songs include vignettes of him just talking about a subject tangentially related to the main song.
  • Eminem:
    • One of Eminem's catchphrases is to end a song with the spoken phrase, "ha ha ha, I'm just playin', [target of insult], you know I love you". This started with 2000's "Kill You" ("I'm just playin', ladies...") and shows up as late as 2018's "Killshot" ("I'm just playin', Diddy...")
    • "Hailie's Song" opens with a fairly extensive monologue from Eminem in which he expresses his happiness and confesses he wants to sing. Which he then does, for the majority of the track (apart from one rapped verse, in a rather pitchy, boyish little whine.
    • Some of Eminem's earlier work uses a flow so conversational that it sounds more like a spoken word monologue than rapping in places. You can hear this throughout "My Name Is" (particularly the "Hi kids!" scene) and "Stan".
    • "If I Had..." from The Slim Shady LP is delivered as Eminem reading a poem he's written ("'Life', by Marshall Mathers"), rather than 'rapping' in a strict sense.
    • Usually when Eminem adopts the role of another character in his songs, the other character raps back at him, but quite often they just talk. A good example is the interjection from his yes-man in "Beautiful" - "haaaa! You're soooo funny, Marshall, you should be a comedian, goddamn!"
  • Insane Clown Posse does this quite a bit:
    • "The Staleness" contains multiple quotes from Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
    • "Pass Me By" (which is about the afterlife) contains a long excerpt from the Estus T. Pirkle film The Believer's Heaven:
      "Does this excite you? Think about it! Does it not stagger the imagination? No builder on Earth can conceive any structure to compare to the mansions above. Won't that be something when you go to live in your own mansion? There'll be no concern about paying for it - it's already taken care of! There'll be no worry of being moved out of it. It will be yours forever!"

  • Elvis Presley: Arguably the most notorious, yet atrocious concert album in his career is Having Fun with Elvis on Stage, a 35-minute collection of nothing but Elvis cracking jokes with the audience, without any music or context of what is going on? Not only is the record painfully unfunny, but a lot of it is technically not even a joke, just Elvis saying random things in interaction with his audience. Half of the time he is clearly just rambling, before deciding his jokes are falling flat or his story isn't going anywhere.
  • The Beatles:
    • "Yellow Submarine" from Revolver has some speech and submarine sounds in it: "Full speed ahead, Mr. Parker, full speed ahead!"
    • "I Am The Walrus" from Magical Mystery Tour features a few lines from a BBC Third Programme broadcast of King Lear.
    • One that sparked a conspiracy theory: John Lennon speaks a few odd lines near the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever" (also from Magical Mystery Tour), one of which sounds like "I buried Paul" due to his slur. It's "Cranberry sauce".
    • "Revolution 9" contains large amounts of external spoken-word throughout.
  • David Bowie's "Space Oddity" from the album of the same name has a countdown under the lyrics.
    • "All the Madmen" includes a brief recitation in the middle of the song.
  • There are a number of songs from Sophie B. Hawkins which contain indistinct conversations of people in public in places with exotic accents just for the heck of it:
    • "Mr. Tugboat Hello"
    • "Let Me Love You Up"
    • "I Want You"
    • "Savior Child"
  • Guns N' Roses take on "Knocking on Heaven's Door" contains one of these during the solo.
  • The Meat Loaf song "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" from Bat Out of Hell has the somewhat, umm... suggestive baseball play-by-play radio broadcast, courtesy of broadcasting legend Phil Rizzuto. Rizzuto reportedly had no idea that the commentary he was recording was going to be used as a sex metaphor.
    • The dialogue at the start of "You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth".
  • The Monkees' "Don't Call on Me" begins and ends with simulated nightclub chatter, complete with Micky playing an MC who introduces the song.
    • The soundtrack to Head (edited together by Jack Nicholson, of all people) contains many examples of this, most notably "Swami – Plus Strings, Etc."
    • ''Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)" has Davy doing spoken interjections during the instrumental breaks.
  • Tom Petty's "Even the Losers" begins with a woman saying, "It's just the normal noises in here." As it turns out, this is the voice of Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell's wife, Marcy, as accidentally captured on one of his home demos: She was responding to him complaining about a loud washing machine disrupting his recording. The band found it amusing and decided to put it in the song.
  • Jim Morrison of The Doors frequently did this. A lot of his spoken lyrics were actually his own poetry. For instance, in "The End" from ''The Doors
    "The killer awoke before dawn. He put his boots on."
  • Spin Doctors' "What Time Is It?" Also opens with a mock-up newscast, initially talking of Israeli jet fighters, then moving to the next topic "A forty-nine-year-old, unidentified man went berserk last night...".
  • The Wings album Back to the Egg has two songs dependent on these. "Reception" includes several spoken-word radio clips, and "The Broadcast" is a speech set to music — and no, Paul McCartney is not the speaker.
    • "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" has a short spoken section where Paul sounds notoriously like John Cleese.
  • The soundtrack album for Give My Regards to Broad Street includes sound bites of dialogue from the film, which are not always directly connected to the songs they're attached to.
  • Stone Sour, Omega and The Frozen. Be warned, the first is amazingly nihilistic, the second is highly cynical.
  • Vernian Process, "Her Clockwork Heart".
    • Many steampunk bands, in fact. Among them, Abney Park's "Until the Day You Die:"
    "Dr. Weird's Mysteries will be continued shortly. So by the way, doctor, is mystery your sole pleasure?"
    "Young man, what can be more pleasant than mystery?"
    "Well, music. I mean the kind of music a man can hum or whistle when he feels on top of the world."
    • A similar case occurs in Abney Park's "Herr Drosselmeyer's Doll,"
    "Gentlemen, this fallen angel is the illegitimate daughter of art and science. A modern marvel of engineering, clockworks elevated to the very natural process which even now is in your blood, racing, your eyes flashing at such irreproachable beauty. Here is Gaia, here is Eve, here is Lilith, and I stand before you as her father. Sprung fully-formed from my brow, dewy and sweet; she can be yours and yours again, for her flesh is the incorruptible pale to be excused from the wages of sin . . ."
    • "The Inventor's Daughter" by The Cog Is Dead segues into the next song, "The Death Of The Cog," with a spoken "report:"
    "We interrupt this broadcast to bring you breaking news. At approximately 2:05 PM this afternoon, an English clockmaker by the name of Hamilton revealed to the world a new kind of clock. This sick, twisted design displays the time digitally on a small backlit screen and is run entirely on electricity. Hamilton predicts that this new abomination is the way of the future, and believes that someday these hideous creations of his will be in every home in the world. It is with deep regret that we announce to you, dear listeners, that the cog is dead. We repeat: The Cog Is Dead."
    "Come on, boys — and girls — enjoy! Mr. Soot's Traveling Parade of Pulchritude! You will see such delights as you have never witnessed before. Come on, now, form a proper queue, that's right...if you have the money, we have the honey! Behind these curtains, you will see a frolicsome view that will leave your toes a-tingling and you brain aflame with desire!"
  • Everclear's "AM Radio" opens with some radio squeaks and squawks of the sort that might be made by tuning in, and then "Portions of today's programming are reproduced by means of electrical transcription of tape recordings."
    • "Wonderful" starts with a short montage of different people saying things are wonderful ("Say, ain't life wonderful?")
  • Guns N' Roses has done this once or twice - most notably, their song "Civil War" from Use Your Illusion opens with a soundbyte from Cool Hand Luke and, during an instrumental segment plays a rather chilling sample from an anonymous Peruvian militant general. ("As popular war advances, peace is closer.")
    • In the song "Madagascar" from their newest album, they reuse the Cool Hand Luke soundbyte, along with others.
  • Kiss' "Detroit Rock City" starts with a radio anchor reporting the car crash that inspired the song itself. "Finale", the song immediately following "I" on Music from "The Elder", closes out the album with The Order speaking to Morpheus about The Boy. And "Living In Sin" from the Gene Simmons 1978 solo album has Cher talking on the phone in the middle of the song.
  • Sam Black has one in "Religion Song (Put Away The Gun)".
  • The album version of Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" features a monologue by keyboardist Robert Lamm mixed into the final verse.
  • Boston's "Higher Power" has a female voice reciting the Serenity Prayer during the beginning of the bridge section.
  • Van Halen did this a lot when David Lee Roth was singing lead in their early years:
    • The end of "Beautiful Girls", where we learn he's a lousy pickup artist.
    • "Have you seen Junior's grades?" at the end of the "And the Cradle Will Rock" bridge.
    • The middle of "Everybody Wants Some!", where he seems to be giving instructions to a stripper.
    • There were two on Fair Warning: that whole "Hey man, that suit is you ..." bit, with Ted Templeman providing "C'mon Dave, gimme a break" in the bridge of "Unchained", and the more serious "See a gun is real easy, in this desperate part of town ..." interlude in "Mean Street"
    • The monologue in "Panama" about how he likes to reach down between his legs and ... ease seat back.
    • Sammy Hagar's era had some too. In the bridge of "Good Enough", Sammy seems to be calling out to a waitress for an order. Evidently, he likes what she has.
    • The song "Inside" has tons of this, with the band talking and clowning around in the background all throughout.
    • The "Say it isn't so, baby..." line from "Sucker in a 3 Piece" counts as well.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins' song "Glass and the Ghost Children" from the concept album Machina: Machines of God features an extensive lo-fi passage of various people talking about their worries that received "heavenly intuition" might actually be a sign of insanity. This is one of the clearest representations of the album's theme/plot, which is about a man who forms a band after thinking he heard the voice of God through the radio.
    • "The Aeroplane Flies High (Turns Left, Looks Right)" has a spoken word section in the beginning and another in the middle - the Title Drop is in the first spoken word section, rather than any of the sung lyrics. The spoken sections are lo-fi note , uncredited, and easily mistaken for Billy Corgan himself speaking, but apparently aren't: Corgan has said they were "courtesy of my friend".
  • Starship's "We Built This City" had a DJ (Les Garland) speaking typical things you hear on the radio during the latter half of the song before the final chorus.
  • Butthole Surfers does this quite a bit. "22 Going On 23" has extensive excerpts from a psychiatric call-in show the band members listened to regularly, while "The Last Astronaut" consists of someone playing an astronaut speaking to Ground Control as he realizes something disastrous has happened on Earth.
  • The Velvet Underground has "The Gift", which presents the band jamming in the right speaker, while in the left speaker violinist John Cale reads a short story written by Lou Reed for a creative writing class in college, featuring some Black Humour.

  • "N'yot N'yow" alternates sung verses by The Fontane Sisters, and spoken-word interjections by Perry Como. It is, to say the least, a very unusual song.
  • Pretty much every song by The Ink Spots features a monologue in deep bass tones, often while repeating the verse or chorus in a slower, more intimate, romantic way. Parodied with the Spike Jones cover of "You Always Hurt the One You Love", where the monologue interrupts the singer and starts embellishing the lyrics so much ("the, uh.... well, the very... kind of a sort of a heart...") that the song almost grinds to a halt.note 

Alternative Title(s): Talkie Bits


Beyonce, "Sorry" Intro

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