I always though that sometimes in songs, words like "me" were sometimes pronounced like "may", as in the month, but I was never a 100% sure and thought it could just be my ears not really recognizing the sound of a foreign word, which is totally possible. But then I could swear that I heard the word "misery", in a song, sung as it was supposed to be rhyming with the sound "ay", and it was really emphasized.

So is this a commong thing that singers do to make the songs have more rhymes?


2 Answers 2


It's very common for singers to pronounce /i:/ ("ee") sound like /ej/ ("ey", like the letter "a").

To give a few more examples off the top of my head:

In the Metallica song "Battery", singer James Hetfield pronounces "battery" like "batter-ey" -- /bætərej/ rather than /bætəri/

In the Guns 'n Roses song "It's so Easy" (NSFW), singer Axel Rose pronounces "easy" like "eezey" /i:zej/ rather than /i:zi/

But why do they do it? For reasons I cannot explain, it often sounds "weak" to sing the "ee" sound, especially at the end of a word.

For a non-singing example, "partay" or "par-tay" /pɑr'tej/ is a somewhat common slang-y spelling and pronunciation of "party", and my feeling is it's for the same reason -- that the /ee/ sound at the end feels weak. A "partay" is definitely not a children's birthday party.


Singers sometimes use regional accents, or distort the sound of a word for effect. Further, Middle and Elizabethan English vowels, in particular, were pronounced quite differently from that in modern English, so "olde ballades" may be pronounced differntly.

Don't use the pronunciation in a song as a guide to "correct" English. Consider how Gilbert and Sullivan had fun with "orphan" and "often", for example.

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