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The Final Countdown: case closed

And the correct transcription is...

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Letters Those of you who have been closely following the ongoing debate as to how exactly Europe's The Final Countdown goes (and let's face it, bird flu is a worry but this really matters) will be delighted to learn that we have the definitive answer.

Before revealing the astounding truth, let's recap. We originally offered the transcription thus:

Da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-daaaa...

Another reader then offered:

dah-duh-dahh-dumm dah-duh-dah-da-dumm

Before Simon Harpham chipped in with:

d d daa daa d d da da daa d d daa daa d d da da da da daaa d d daaa d d da da da da daa daa daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

That was not, however, an end to the matter. Try this:

I am a board member of HumanBeatbox.com and codeveloper of the standardised system of beatbox notation (SBN). Beatboxing is recreating music with your mouth (not just the singing, the drums and instruments as well, all at the same time). Our site is the largest international community of beatboxers, and as such I think I can have the final say on this.

SBN it is quite a loose standard but in my opinion "The Final Countdown" guitar part should be written like this:

[ _ _ / _ DIDL / UHR / DUR ][ _ _ / _ DIDL / UH DE / DEH _ ] [ _ _ / _ DIDL / UHR _ / DUR ][ _ _ / _ DIDL / UH DE / DE DE ] [ DUR _ / _ DIDL / UHR _ / _ DIDL ][ UH DE / DE DE / DUR / DEH _ ] [ DER _ / _ _ / _ _ / DEDL IDL ][ UHR _ / _ _ / _ _ / _ _ ]

and with a simple simultaneous hiphop beat it would look like this

[ b t / t DIDL / kUHR _ / DUR b ][ b t / t DIDL / kUH DE / DEH b ] [ b t / t DIDL / kUHR _ / DUR b ][ b t / t DIDL / kUH DE / DE kE ] [ bUR t / t DIDL / kUHR t / t DIDL ][ bUH DE / DE bE / kUR t / DEH k ] [ bER t / t b / k t / bEDL IDL ][ bUHR t / t b / k b / k k ]

More about SBN is available here: http://humanbeatbox.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21827

Mark Splinter

Good Lord. The time had now come to settle the matter once and for all before it got out of hand. Thanks, then, to Kevan Heydon who made a timely intervention with this:

You could try this site to see which one of the submitted versions is correct.

http://www.songtapper.com/s/tappingmain.bin

The url sort of gives it away - you simply tap in a song's rhythm on your space bar and viola! it will identify the song. Get the rhythm wrong and you've blown it.

Yes, yes, we know what you're thinking - this is a load of complete and utter nonsense. That's what we reckoned too, until we gave it a go and - by the Lord Harry and Saint George - it correctly named that song in just 20 taps, beginiing as follows:

Tap, tap, tap tap, tap, tap, tap tap taaap...

So, there you have it. The Final Countdown file is now closed. ®

Bootnote

There's always one, isn't there? Here's Simon Holt's contribution to the debate:

The vitally important question of how that boring poodle-rock song "The Final Countdown" goes is very similar to the more erudite old school play-ground conundrum of "How many 'D's are there in 'Match of the Day'?" to which the answer is of course "About 72 - D D D D DDDDD D D D D D D D D D D DDDDD D D D D D D etc".

Our extra-UK readers should note that Match of the Day is a venerable BBC football (=soccer) programme which actually begins: Da da da daaa da da da da da, da daaa da da da daaa...

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