Date: Thu, 4 May 1995 21:22:15 -0400
From: Stewart Mason masons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ZIAVMS.ENMU.EDU
Subject: Re: Business/[bIdnIs]
On Thu, 4 May 1995, Beth Lee Simon wrote:
The C&W duo, Brooks & Dunn, from Texas, wrote a tune, "I'm A Hard-Workin'
Man," in which they sing, quite distinctly,
"Come Monday mornin' I'm the first to arrive [=at a work place where he
a hammer and also paints]
I ain't nothin' but [bIdnIs] y'all from nine to five.
I'm a hard-workin' man."
In an interview, about the time this album/cd came out, the one of them
who is the lead singer said, several times, "I love this [bIznIs]."
and "The music [bIznIs] is the only thing I ever wanted to do."
nothing but [bIdnIs] = serious, hard-working
business = business
I wonder if this is a legitimate attestation of the meaning distinction
between the two forms, or if it is rather an example of dialect
switching, using one for the song and another for an interview. I.e., would
the singer also use "ain't nothin'" in an interview, and would he use
"hard-workin'" or would he switch to "hard-working"?
I agree. Pop music lyricists often use constructions and idioms in songs
that they would never use in conversation or other written communications,
often as a way to quickly identify the song's characters in the listener's
mind. Using [bIdnIs], "ain't nothin'" and "hard-workin'" is a shorthand
way of letting the listener know that the character is just folks.
Also, as an amateur lyricist, I noticed that [bIdnIs] takes slightly but
noticeably less time to say or sing than [bIznIs]; shorter words are much
easier to fit into a vocal melody.
Stewart Allensworth Mason
PO Box 4056
Portales NM 88130
***MORE GREAT EPs***
1. _Afoot_--Let's Active (1983)
2. _Lights Out with the Sneetches!_--The Sneetches (1985)
3. (tie) _Beat Surrender_/_The Bitterest Pill_--The Jam (1982)
4. _Run Now_--Tommy Keene (1987)
5. _Baroque Hoedown_--The Three O'Clock (1983)
6. _Chronic Town_--R.E.M. (1982)