Buckle up kids, this is going to be a ride. Over Spring Break, I drove down to Marco Island, Fla. from my home in sunny Orlando to visit three of my Boston College roommates who had flown down for a traditional beach vacation. Four hours on I-75 and two Pub subs later, I had arrived. Greeting my three roommates, Max “Maximilian” Papile, CSOM ’20, Fran “Tennessee Whiskey” Hess, MCAS ’20, and Carter “Fortnite” Smith, MCAS ’20, as if I had not seen them literally four days ago, we ventured down to the beach. We spent the rest of the day giving sunscreen the ol’ college try and finally turned in for the night at the late hour of 11 p.m.
I, an intellectual, was lying in bed, reading my book, when from the corner of the room a sound unlike anything I had ever heard assaulted my ears.
“Oooooooooohhhh, I faahhhlllll appppaaaahhhhhhhhhttttttt!”
Max “Tall with Big Hair” Papile had begun singing. But he was not singing just any song. And he wasn’t really singing either. After he had finished this unholy melody, I asked him what song could possibly sound like that.
“It’s ‘I Fall Apart’ by Post Malone,” Papile said. “But with a Boston accent.”
This was, and continues to be, hilarious. Throughout the rest of the vacation, Max “my LinkedIn is a juggernaut” Papile could always guarantee a laugh from the three of us by launching into a rendition of Post Malone’s track as a citizen of the most populous municipality of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (that’s Boston).
But, while studying together one night this week, Max “my LinkedIn is really suffering right now” Papile again sang the chorus to “I Fall Apart” with a Boston accent, and something changed. He looked at me, and I looked at him, and we looked at each other, and we realized something. A Boston accent could probably ruin any song.
“Dream On.” Imagine Steven Tyler screaming “Dream ahhhhhnnn” alongside the high note he hits as elongated Bostonian “ahs.”
“Lose Yourself.” Eminem’s lyrics become “His pahms ah sweaty, knees weak, ahms ah heavy / Thea’s vahmit on his sweatah alreddi, ma’s spaghetti.” I cannot continue with this.
“Knee Deep.” Zaaac Brown Baand (guy) sings “Knee deep in the wahtah someweah / Gaht the blue skah, breeze and it don’t seem fahh / The only worry in the world / Is the tide gonna reach my chayah.”
“I Need A Dollar.” Aloe Blacc’s amazing soul song is immediately ruined from the fourth word.
“I need a dahlah, a dahlah, a dahlah is what I need.” Ruined.
We realized that every song, when joined with a Boston accent, is now a bad song. It was as if we had made Bill Burr do karaoke. At this point, our zeal for this newfound power turned to horror. Was there any song that wasn’t ruined by a Boston accent?
“Thriller” (Thrillah nights). “Survivor” (Ahm’a survivah). “Eye of the Tiger” (It’s the ahye of the tigah).
Our mounting concern for music as a medium only increased as we went down the lists. Rap, soul, R&B, country, rock, alternative, metal—whatever it is, Boston accents make it worse.
What were we to do? It seemed as if we had discovered the beginning of the end to “ahhl” music. “Could this really be it?,” we asked ourselves as we played song after song, playlist after playlist, ruining each and every one of them with dropped r’s and low vowels.
I scrambled through my pretentiously named Spotify playlists. Buried Treasure. K Billy’s Super Sounds of the ’70s. Post-Coffee Pre-Modernism. Nothing.
But then it hit me. If there is anything Boston hates, it’s pretentiousness. So I tried one more playlist. Work Playlist. It was a playlist I had made a year ago to listen to at work. It was mostly rap, hip-hop, and 2000s pop. But, right at the end, I found the song I needed.
“I’m Gonna Be” by The Proclaimers. This is otherwise known as “500 Miles.” This could be it. I hushed my roommates. I played the song. And we realized that this song couldn’t be ruined by the Boston accent. It couldn’t really be ruined by any accent. This song was so genuinely its own, that no matter how one sang it, it would be pretty much the same.
And I think that’s beautiful.
Featured Image by Wikimedia Commons