Why does Tiffany sing "I can change your heartbeef?"
June 6, 2017 7:10 PM   Subscribe

At the beginning of the music video for Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now," there's a short introduction whose final line is: "I can change your heartbeef." Anyone know why?

For reference, click here, which takes you to the intro of Tiffany's music video. At around the twelve-second mark, you can hear and see her sing "I can change your heartbeef." I'm not sure why, and am looking for answers.

I know that there are recording/singing techniques people use to avoid certain sounds (eg: "mayve" instead of "maybe"), but I can't think of a reason why anyone would say "beef" instead of "beat."

Tried Googling/Binging, but can't find anything that matches the phrase, whether I separate "heartbeef" out into two words or not. I'm not very familiar with Tiffany's career, either, and don't know if this was her way of rebelling against the industry, her agent, or the tedium of recording a video.

Thanks ahead of time for any insights or, hopefully, definite answers!
posted by herrdoktor to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I really think she's singing "heartbeat" but her mouth is curling up a bit at 0:12. The lip curl makes it look more like "beef" but I'm still hearing "beat".

Anecdotally, I've had similar certain distinct alternate interpretations/hearings of songs before - specifically a Cinderella song about "Cindy Cinderella in her golden galb" which I full on tortured my family about for a number of months in my youth. Once I heard galb, there was no going back. I had a definition for galb, use case sentences for galb, and an explanation as to why galb wasn't included in the dictionary. When I hear the Cinderella song, I'm still pretty sure I hear galb (not "gown") even when no other human on earth does.
posted by countrymod at 7:25 PM on June 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

I think that what is happening is that it is "heartbeat" in the song, but for the video, she is biting her lip for a sexy or flirtatious effect. With her looking directly in the camera like that, it seems like the kind of direction she might be given.
posted by to recite so charmingly at 7:35 PM on June 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: If you close your eyes, you will hear she is singing "heartbeat", not "heartbeef".

The audio in music videos is not recorded at the same time as the video, but at a studio, and then overlayed with the video, so what she was actually singing during the video shoot is quite irrelevant. She was probably just told to go back to smiling sooner, so in that shot she didn't even finish the line.

You're experiencing the McGurk Effect.

Another example here.
posted by Promethea at 7:37 PM on June 6, 2017 [23 favorites]

Best answer: It definitely sounds like "heartbeat" to me, but "heartbeef" is clearly the better word and should be used any chance we get.

Relatedly, Joe Jackson's "Got the Time" is a very good song, but it's better with a "chicken on my head!"
posted by asperity at 7:42 PM on June 6, 2017 [20 favorites]

She's singing "heart beat." I don't see how you think it's heart "beef," but I also suspected the McGurk Effect. (EDIT: This helps explain it.)

Also, people sing differently than they talk. You may notice in songs "me" sounds like "may" and so on. You may not notice it if you're American, but singers also often sound like they have American accents, even if they don't.
posted by AppleTurnover at 7:44 PM on June 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for the quick responses, even if they make me feel like I'm delusional (I really do hear the "fff" sound, independent of the visuals). Regardless, I'll trust the consensus and acknowledge that my brain could be playing tricks on me!
posted by herrdoktor at 7:45 PM on June 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: listen to this link
posted by WCityMike at 8:12 PM on June 6, 2017

Best answer: what you're hearing is the hiss of the cymbal or outdoor nature noise that's happening at the same time as Tiffany is pronouncing a very de-emphasized "t", almost a glottal stop, and your brain is processing it as an "f". Listen earlier and you can hear that same faint hiss repeating earlier in the intro at a constant interval.
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:49 PM on June 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I had that Tiffany album and listened to it about five thousand times; she often doesn't enunciate well when she sings, and some of her lines come out really mumbly and slurry. I still can't figure out half of Promises Made unless I have the lyrics in front of me. (Your was a still, still looko in my memory?)
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:59 AM on June 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I've known choral directors to have singers to tweak pronunciation - pronouncing a "t" as a "d", for example, as an artistic choice. The audience isn't intended to notice it. The goal is generally to make sure the song is understandable but that sounds that can be harsh, like exploding "t"s, are dealt with judiciously and in a non-distracting manner.

To me it sounds like she's just stopping the air, not putting on a final consonant at all. That's just pop enunciation, IMO.
posted by bunderful at 4:57 AM on June 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, she's talking about your heart bee. Everybody has one, she can change yours.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:34 AM on June 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Not a great answer, but related, my brother and I used to sing 'I think I'm a bone now/there doesn't seem to be any meat around' in place of the real lyrics. So 'heartbeef' totally fits in that scheme.
posted by TheRedArmy at 9:18 AM on June 7, 2017 [8 favorites]

I think that the backing track (are those crickets?) has a tchtch sort of noise right then that might make you hear her heartbeef.
posted by freezer cake at 10:03 AM on June 7, 2017

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