Lyrics in phonemes

‘Why?’ You ask? Well because it’s fun and ‘fun’ is always the best reason to do something. But also because I had to study the 44 meaning-distinctive sound elements in ‘BBC English’ (Received Pronunciation) and I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up to. I passed the exam with an 81% score and a gold star, but what motivated me most was the challenge one of our tutors had put on Facebook (of all places). So: guess that tune? Spoiler alert: after some hints, you’ll find the answer when scrolling down.
 

hɪə wiː stænd ɔː hɪə wiː fɔːl
histəriː wəʊnt kɛə æt ɔːl
meɪk ðə bed laɪt ðə laɪt
leɪdɪ mɜːsɪ wəʊnt biː həʊm tənaɪt
 

juː dəʊnt weɪst nəʊ taɪm æt ɔːl
dəʊnt hɪə ðə bel bʌt juː ænsə ðə kɔːl
ɪt kʌms tuː juː æs tuː əs ɔːl
wɜː dʒʌst weɪtɪŋ fɔː ðə hæmə tuː fɔːl
 

əʊ evrɪ naɪt ænd evrɪ deɪ
ə lɪtəl piːs ɒf juː ɪs fɑːlɪŋ əweɪ
bʌt lɪft jɔː feɪs ðə westɜːn weɪ
bɪld jɔː mʌsəls æs jɔː bʌdɪ diːkeɪz
 

təʊ jɔː laɪn ænd plaɪ ðɛə gaɪm
let ðə ænəstætɪk kʌvə ɪt ɔːl
tɪl wʌn deɪ ðeɪ kɔːl jɔː neɪm
juː nəʊ ɪts taɪm fɔː ðə hæmə tuː fɔːl
 

rɪtʃ ɔː pɔː ɔː feɪməs
fɔː jɔː truːθ its ɔːl ðə seɪm
lɒk jɔː dɔː bʌt reɪn ɪs pɒrɪŋ
θruː jɔː wɪndəʊ peɪn
beɪbɪ naʊ jɔː strʌgəls ɔːl veɪn
 

fɔː wiː huː gruː ʌp tɔːl ænd praʊd
ɪn ðə ʃædəʊ ɒf ðə mʌʃruːm klaʊd
kənvɪnst ɑː vɔɪsəs kænt biː hɜːd
wiː dʒʌst wɒnə skriːm ɪt laʊdə ænd laʊdə
 

wɒt ðə hel wiː faɪtɪŋ fɔː
dʒʌst sərendə ænd ɪt wəʊnt hɜːt æt ɔːl
juː dʒʌst gɒt taɪm tuː seɪ jɔː prɛə
waɪl jɔː weɪtɪŋ fɔː ðə hæmə tuː fɔːl
 

(gɪv ɪt tuː miː wʌn mɔː taɪm)
 

Hint one: this song was written by a dear friend of mine, whom I very much admire.


 

Hint two: here’s an awesome version of the song from the tour with Paul Rodgers:
 


 

Yes of course this was ‘hæmə tuː fɔːl’ written by Brian May! Obviously, Queen owns all the rights and credits. The above transcription was done by me and if you spot a mistake, please don’t hesitate to get your red marker out and e-mail me. Cheers!
 

Hammer to fall – Queen
 

Here we stand or here we fall
History won’t care at all
Make the bed, light the light
Lady Mercy won’t be home tonight
 

You don’t waste no time at all
Don’t hear the bell but you answer the call
It comes to you as to us all
We’re just waiting for the hammer to fall
 

Oh every night and every day
A little piece of you is falling away
But lift your face the western way
Build your muscles as your body decays
 

Toe your light and play their game
Let the anaesthetic cover it all
Till one day they call your name
You know it’s time for the hammer to fall
 

Rich or poor or famous
For your truth it’s all the same (oh no, oh no)
Lock your door but rain is pouring
Through your window pane (oh no)
Baby now your struggle’s all vain
 

For we who grew up tall and proud
In the shadow of the mushroom cloud
Convinced our voiced can’t be heard
We just wanna scream it louder and louder
 

What the hell we fighting for?
Just surrender and it won’t hurt at all
You just got time to say your prayers
While you’re waiting for the hammer to fall
 

(Give it to me one more time)

 

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