A while back, when we were discussing this "line" from Phil Rizzuto's "poem" titled "Glasses,"
You just flip the tip of your cap
I suggested that the "line" — really just words spoken by Rizzuto while calling a Yankees game — illustrates the unconscious poetry of everyday speech. To put this another way, many of the things that poets do with language are not unique to poetry but are pervasive in ordinary talk. In his description of how a ballplayer, when everything is just right, effortlessly lowers his sunglasses, Rizzuto creates the impression of ease and simplicity through simple, one-syllable words whose rhythm lays special emphasis on the key words flip, tip, and cap, as well as through the internal rhyme of flip and tip.
It would be absurd to suppose that this happy concordance of sense and sound was the result of careful craftsmanship on Rizzuto's part, but it would be wrong to suppose that it was purely accidental. Without stopping to think, we constantly take advantage of language's inherently rhythmic quality in order to underscore our meaning.
As of this writing "The Backin Up Song" has had 10,729,135 views on YouTube. This video, an autotuned version of a real interview with a witness to a bungled convenience store robbery in September 2010, merely highlights and foregrounds how the rhythms in Diana Radcliff's account of the robbery contribute to the account's vividness.
"The Backin Up Song" was created by the Gregory Brothers, who also produced the better known, and more controversial, "Bed Intruder Song" (over 90,000,000 views). As this New York Times article explains, the Gregory Brothers call what they do "songifying" the inherent music of ordinary speech. Of course, as the article goes on to point out, some people's speech is certainly more musical than others':
the best candidates for songification are usually speakers who fall into a subjective category the Gregorys call "unintentional singers."
"It's not necessarily an inherent melodic nature in their voices," Evan said, "although that can be there. It's that their use of their speaking voice is more physically akin to the way a singer would use their voice, in terms of projection and delivery and enunciation."
For example, Andrew said that when they tried to create Auto-Tune videos using Obama's debate footage or stump speeches, "he was really bad, because he's so" — he imitated Obama's clipped delivery — "He's just. So. Thoughtful."
Looking at the vice-presidential race, however, Andrew said: "Biden and Palin were not like that at all, even in front of a small crowd. They were just yelling, like, 'Gaaaawd bless America!' or 'Ten million gallons of crude oil!' "
Michael agreed. "Biden is one of the top unintentional singers of all time," he said. "I mean, like, honestly, not even an exaggeration. He's had some of the best hooks."