Monday’s Music Moves Me: SONGS IN SIGN LANGUAGE

It’s Monday so you know what that means: MUSIC! Today’s Monday’s Music Moves Me theme is totally different than any other that I’ve ever done and I’ve really enjoyed diving into it. Our Conductor for the month of July has been Michelle at Musings and Merriment with Michelle and she’s chosen a unique and challenging theme of presenting songs in sign language.

My first exposure to sign language was when I was in high school. I was hanging out at my friend Lee’s house, spending the night on the weekend. I loved hanging out over there because first of all she was/is absolutely hilarious and, secondly, it comes naturally because her whole family was extraordinarily funny and just a blast to be around. I can’t remember exactly the year but it was back when Saturday Night Live was the shit. It was when the series was at its height and its comedic talent reigned supreme. This was back in the days of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players (Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi. Chevy Chase [final episode: October 30, 1976], Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray [first episode: January 15, 1977], Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner), the Coneheads, that family of aliens with their bald conical heads (Dan Aykroyd as father Beldar, Jane Curtin as mother Prymaat, and Laraine Newman as daughter Connie), and Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna as the consumer affairs reporter on the Weekend Update segment. I bring this up only because Lee did an amazing incredible imitation of Gilda Radner doing Roseanne Roseannadanna and every time I think of her, I inevitably think of the many nights spent over at her house watching SNL and all of us cracking up when she’d do her Gilda impression.

Anyway, it was through Lee that I experienced up close and personal the beautiful language of signing. Lee’s cousin (I believe it was her cousin) was deaf and she committed to completely learning sign language so they could communicate. Watching the two of them talk, using these beautiful hand gestures, incorporating their fingers and arms with facial expressions, and to see how effectively they communicated and understood each other without uttering a single sound was just fascinating to me. Even more beautiful was seeing the genuine laughter shared between the two of them and how through their sign language, he became part of the group conversation and so naturally joined in the fun we were all having.

That was my first exposure to sign language but certainly not the last. My church employs an interpreter for the deaf and hard of hearing and I always find myself captivated and completely mesmerized by the signing of the sermons and the songs.

Michelle asked us to present songs in sign language. I found some really cool songs to share with you. Some of them I’m familiar with and a few others are new-to-me. Although most are not my typical genre of choice, I really like them all. I hope you enjoy listening to and watching them as much as I did. A list of the playlist songs follow. After that I’m sharing some videos of a really cute couple who sign a few of their favorite songs. They will certainly put a smile on your face. And then there’s one more surprise that I just had to share so be sure to read all the way to the end.

  1. Rolling in the Deep by Adele
  2. She Drives Me Crazy by the Fine Young Cannibals
  3. Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars
  4. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
  5. My Valentine by Paul McCartney, featuring Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp
  6. Imagine by John Lennon
  7. Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus
  8. We Will Rock You by Queen
  9. Happy by Pharrell Williams
  10. The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars
  11. I’m Deaf by Sean Forbes
  12. Hell No by Ingrid Michaelson

And here’s one that I would almost never listen to because, well, it’s Marilyn Manson (whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner, born 1969 in Canton, Ohio), that heavy metal shock rock-er who came up with his stage name by a juxtaposing two opposing American pop cultural icons: Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson. His style of music doesn’t appeal to me at all BUT I have to say that I really dig his 2003 song “This is the New Shit” — It’s actually quite catchy. And it’s extremely enjoyable to watch B. Storm interpret it for us. See what you think. Note: the first minute or so is a disclaimer and message from B. Storm, delivered in silence.


Here is this adorable couple I found on YouTube. Tina Cleveland is an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and her fiancé Paul Sirimarco is learning to sign so they could make these super heartwarming videos.


Finally, I just had to share this! From a week ago (7/18/2018) on the site of Boston’s Classic Rock station WZLX 100.7fm: The headline reads:

Sign Language Interpreter Owns This Slayer Concert

Followed by this:

You have to love someone who throws themselves into their work. Take this sign language interpreter at a Slayer concert. She could just sign the words, but she wants the hearing impaired to feel the bombastic 120 decibel sound storm, scream fest that is a Slayer concert. Bravo!

And here she is: I’m no Slayer fan but I sure did appreciate her interpretation.


So that’s my Songs in Sign Language post for this week’s Monday’s Music Moves Me. So what did you think? Do you know sign language? If so, how and why did you learn it?

Did you know that it is unclear how many sign languages currently exist worldwide? A common misconception is that all sign languages are the same worldwide or that sign language is international. Each country generally has its own, native sign language, and some have more than one (although there are also substantial similarities among all sign languages). The 2013 edition of Ethnologue lists 137 sign languages. It is important to note that just because a spoken language is intelligible transnationally, such as English in the United States and the United Kingdom, does not mean that the sign languages from those regions are as well; ASL and British Sign Language (BSL) were formed independently and are therefore not mutually intelligible. Interesting stuff!

Regarding SNL: this is a message to my hometown friend, mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Hey Lee G, this one’s for you! Miss ya tons Girlfriend…


Monday’s Music Moves Me (4M) is a blog hop hosted by Marie of X-Mas Dolly, and co-hosted by Cathy of Curious as a Cathy and Stacy of Stacy Uncorked Two other co-hosts recently joined the fun: Alana of Ramlin’ with AM and Naila Moon of Musings & Merriment with Michelle. Be sure to stop by and visit the hosts and the other participants listed below:





10 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: SONGS IN SIGN LANGUAGE

  1. Michele,

    You came up with some good songs performed in sign. I’m totally not a Marilyn Manson fan. My youngest two love him. He just creeps me out! The guy signing that song looks almost as scary as Manson and the song…well, I couldn’t listen to it but for only a few seconds. The couple signing was a lot of fun and I enjoyed seeing them interact. What I really liked here is the SNL Roseanne Rosannadanna segment. That was in the day when they wrote fabulously funny skits for the show. Today their idea of funny means stupid and embarrassing routines. Anywho, the vintage SNL video really made me smile. Thanks for sharing the dance floor with the 4M gang, my friend!


  2. Great memories of the days when Saturday Night Live was actually worth watching! All of them were very talented comedians and actors. The show was good through the ’80’s, started slipping in the ’90’s, and now I’d rather watch reruns of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “The Saint,’ or better, go to bed.

    You really outdid yourself with this one. Nice choices!


  3. Hi, Michele!

    This theme, presenting popular songs translated into American Sign Language, is fascinating. The first person who comes to mind when I think of deafness is actress Marlee Matlin who made a splash in movies and TV starting in the mid 80s. I never knew there are so many people today recording sign language interpretations of popular songs, nor did I know that there are an estimated 137 different sign languages worldwide. It is also very interesting that British sign language is significantly different from American. I enjoyed your ASL playlist. I am always moved deeply to hear John Lennon’s song “Imagine,” and I enjoyed watching the translator do the song. I also especially enjoyed Miley’s “Wrecking Ball” and that entire group of young people doing a sign language interpretation of “The Lazy Song.” I suppose I was most surprised by deaf rapper Sean Forbes doing “I’m Deaf.” I am learning that it isn’t enough to get the signs right. These signing artists need to be good actors, too. They use body language along with sign language to “sell” the song. Unlike you I dig just about everything Marilyn Manson ever recorded including your featured song “This is the New Shit.” B. Storm did a spot on impression for the hearing impaired. Hats off to Tina and Paul for making a name for themselves as a song signing couple. I enjoyed their version of Carpool Karaoke doing “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease. I also love Slayer and got a kick out of that girl conveying the band’s sonic intensity along with the words to their song. I enjoyed your clip from SNL’s glory years featuring a Roseanne that made you laugh instead of cringe, even when she was poking fun at the straight laced Dr. Joyce Brothers.

    Thank you very much for another entertaining post, dear friend Michele!


  4. HOLY COW Girlfriend, you really put some work into this one for sure… but then you always do.. it’s so fun to come over here. I usually do the short ones first and then I do my longer ones so i can sit and read it all and hear. So, here I am listening to your tunes… a couple of favorites (like Bruno Mars hehehe), and a couple of newbees (I never heard before) & a couple I just don’t have an opinion or don’t care for, but as they say, “Ya just can’t please everybody, right?” ~hehehe~ Now getting down to y’all lovin your Post today I must say. Lotsa favorites… very cool. Also I enjoyed your sign language tunes pick immensely. Adele’s video was awesome. I never seen that one before & it was truly fab!!! Your other pickins had me boogieing in my chair for sure. It was truly fun here today! Totally agree about Marilyn Mason… that guy is just a waste of time in my book. I couldn’t believe that Rose McGowan of Charmed dated that guy. I even saw her walking with him with some sort of net dress, nothing else on and high heels so sad & now she’s bald for some crusade she’s on. Just totally sad. Anyway, Saturday night live… love, love, love way back when when the greats were on there & Gilda my total favorite young lady who had more talent in her little finger then they all did combined. So sad to lose her so young. She was definitely one of the greats & his name escapes me at the moment (her husband-who loved her immensely & played Willy of the Wonka Chocolate Factory, yet another great) really loved her sooooooo very much practically lost his own life when she died. He was so lost!!! So sad. The couple was adorable love her hair.. I totally agree with you, and the Wow, you sure stirred up some great memories in me. Love the added feature you put with Gilda had me rollin’ on the floor in a matter of speaking. She’s so dam funny!!! bwahahaha GREAT JOB… GREAT POST! THANK YOU FOR A FUN TIME! Soooooooo, I better stop or we’ll both be here all day! hahahahaha What a great Post my friend and sooooooooooo F-U-N!!! Keep up the good work. When I go to the hospital I shall have my laptop so once I start to feel better I’ll be back… hahaha can’t stop the BOOGIE in ME!!!! Big hugs have a rockin’ week and stay as sweet as you are!!! Thank you for sharing so much wonderful info and your great music pickins’!!!! HUGS///


  5. When I was touring with a theater production we’d sometimes have a signer at one side of the stage when groups of deaf people came to the show. I was always fascinated watching them which was easy for me since I was usually running the spotlight.

    When I saw your theme the Breton Wood song “Gimme some kind of sign girl” popped into my head. Then I read the premise.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  6. You ROCKED this one. Wow. I do listen to that hard stuff now and again (especially because hubbie likes it) but neither of us knew that Marilyn Manson song – that ASL signer did a great job, I thought, costume and all. And the Slayer ASL lady – she so rocked it with her air guitar and all. Well, I’ve said “rocked it” enough times, so I’ll leave ya now., after saying the ASL intepreter and her fiance was so cute! Thank you for waking me up!!


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