Phonetic Trills in Pop Music
This post is in regard to a problem I have been aware of for at least 15 years but have never had the language at my disposal with which to describe it. What I am about here is a discrepancy, a mismatch, between a classic rock and roll song of 1964 and an almost perfect cover of that song dating to 1982. Of course, I am talking about Roy Orbison (1964) and Van Halen (1982)'s "Pretty Woman". The mismatch occurs in the following lyrics:
Pretty woman, Oh you look lovely as you could be,
Are you lonely just like me
The problem is this: Roy Orbison's interpretation of "Adrrrrr...", I now know (thank you, Phonetics 120) is a Uvular Trill. Diamond David Lee Roth does not do a Uvular Trill, but in fact he performs an Alveolar Trill. Anyone familiar with the two songs will know instantly that to which I refer. This is something that has bugged me for years, and I now know why. Thus, no matter what the eventual outcome of my linguistics education, I am that much the better for it!