William S just sent me this amazing video.  Basically, someone has taken an innocent song from Sesame Street, and added BLEEPS.  Interestingly, we are so used to hearing BLEEPS cover up profanities that we start to hear parts of rude words that are not actually there.

Did you hear them?  Should children be allowed to listen to the clip?

Update: Oh, and here is the monkey goat video that I sent out on Twitter yesterday and has proved something of a hit….


  1. Awesome. I’ve seen similar things in the past. Our brain is absolutely trained to replace bleeps with profanity, but it does provide some humorous bits like this video.


  2. Similar thing happened when I heard a song on the radio one morning and I’d been used to hearing the unedited CD album version…

    The radio bleeped the major swear (‘She f***ing hates me’) – but my brain automatically replaced the original swear on the bleep – causing me to really think “did they just play that line straight?”

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  4. The guys from the radio show “I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again” did this many years ago with a selection of songs known as the “Julie Andrews Song Book”. You’ll never be able to watch the sound of music the same way again.

  5. I tried to listen very carefully – I may be mistaken, but I think the BLEEP has been copied from an actual bleeping-out of a rude word. There seems to be a clearly audible hint of an “f” at the beginning of the bleep. A kind of “fBLEEP”, rather than a pure tone. Worth repeating the experiment with a BLEEP from scratch.

    1. I think you might be right. Or is that just an illusion? I’m going to try and track down an original version of the song and add tone-beeps in myself to see if I can recreate the effect of the f..k sounds. I’ll be really impressed if this is just an illusion too.

      Then again, C-bleep-T would be a naughty word too, so why wouldn’t we naturally hear that. Makes me suspicious that the conspicuous F and K sounds are cheated in there.

      Will investigate and report back.

    2. You might be right. Sometimes I hear a f_BLEEP_k, that can’t be achieved by pure bleeps. If some one wants to add simple bleeps to the original:

      Original version with “count” not *Bleep*:

      Looking forward to your results!

    3. @Katy, I heard that too. However, it’s plausible that this is a variant of the McGurk effect. Except in this case, rather than our expectations being influenced by what we see (as in the McGurk effect), our expectations are influenced by our experience of BLEEPs in other contexts.

      Or maybe there really is a bit of a [k] there. We’ll see.

      And yes, regardless of the explanation, it’s a hilarious video.

    4. Yep, messed around with this at work (I’m a sound engineer) and I can confirm that the ‘f’ and ‘k’ sounds are definitely edited on.

      Bit of a shame, but still a pretty funny video.

      Oh yeah, and I see from the other comments that the creator of the video has confirmed this. Oh well.

  6. There’s a classic one done with John Denver that Danny Baker played on the radio some time ago:

    One of the funniest things I’ve heard. 🙂

  7. This used to be a popular game on “I’m Sorry I Haven’t a clue” called Self Censored Songs. It was uproariously funny at times.

  8. I’d be interested too in an independent replication. However, it’s not beyond plausibility to me (as a speech scientist) that we could re-cast some other sound as an [f] when that’s what we expect. Acoustically, a slight inhalation, or even the aspiration (burst of air) following the [k] might do the trick.

    Of course, it’s also possible that the person who bleeped this track cheated.

    I recommend, to whoever is trying this, that you play around with the starting position of the bleep, to see if there is a sweet spot where the [f] magically seems to appear.

  9. I think it would be no problem to show this to children.
    I even can think of a valid reason why it would be not a problem.

    It reminds me of an optical illusion experiment they did. It was a picture where were two adults naked in a erotic pose and when you looked it at the other way there were 9 dolphins.

    Adults usually saw naked people, children usually saw dolphins. So I would think the same would happen here with children. They would recognize this as vulgar.

  10. My boyfriend bought a ‘Count with the count’ t-shirt just because of the absolute genius of this video. Love how everyone instantly places the f word instead of the beep when it could be any profanity, and i love how the f word works absolutely perfectly in this song.

    e.g. “when i’m alone i *bleep* myself” haha!

  11. I’m a big fan of your work but was rather disappointed to see the lack of thought in promoting a piece of animal exploitation. What may often appear as a bit of fun doesn’t reveal the full picture of a lifetime of often harsh captivity, cramped and disgusting living conditions and cruel punishments when animals don’t perform on cue. Please don’t support this kind of *Bleep* *Bleep*

    Check out http://www.peta.org.uk/ for more info on ending suffering and exploitation.

    Thanks and keep writing, (enjoying 59 seconds)

  12. A friend and I did this decades ago with Rolf Harriss’ Two Little Boys:

    Two little boys had two little ****
    Each had a wooden ****
    Gaily they ****, each summer’s day; ****** but of course

    (you get the idea.)

    These days of course, one might get into trouble with this particular song…..

  13. I worry about how the goat might have been persuaded to perform in such a way. I’m not sure if the stick the woman is brandishing has anything to do with it.

  14. The that ***ing song is great!
    (see what I did there?)

    Reminds me of Armando Iannucci’s clips (might have been on “Time Trumpet” on the BBC) of David Cameron talking about some Labour C*ts.

    I’ve seen arguments started in forums too where replacing swear words with *’s makes things look so much worse.

    You knob! (relatively harmless)
    You ****!

  15. There’s something about corrupting children’s entertainers that’s inherently appealing.

    As ably demonstrated by the cast of Rainbow:

    No beeps required (made by the cast for a laugh):

    Make sure you put your **bleeping** toys away! (edited & beeps added)

    A nice Re-dubbed clip:

  16. PS. The monkey goat clip is not so funny when you know the truth behind it… I watched the same act live once and the goat was shaking. She guy standing below him is stood there with a whip which gets ‘cracked’ against the ground to frighten the goat into submission if it doesn’t perform the trick 😦

    I walked out of the circus when I saw it, because they were clearly using the fear of the animal to get it to submit to doing something that it clearly didn’t want to.

    I would personally prefer that you removed the latter video, as it offended me when I saw it performed, and would hate to think that it would encourage people to endorse that treatment of animals

  17. The goat was cute! Mountain goats are amazingly sure footed.
    And ofcourse when animals are trained they are beaten. Thats what happens in circuses. Just the carrot approach is unlikely to be used.

  18. I find the goat and monkey video disturbing, especially since at the end of a run they stick the monkey’s head through a hole in a table and the trainer eats its brains. (The goat is harder to replace.)

  19. Well I think goats should be naturally good at balancing in rocky terrains, but this kind of exploitation of animals makes me sad. I probably am an hypocrite because I enjoy eating meat, which is probably more cruel, but this looks so useless and gratuitous…

  20. The Count has always been one of my favourites and now he has me rolling with laughter. But the beautiful goat so cruelly treated for entertainment. I couldn’t watch for long. I too would be happier if it was removed from your otherwise fun and interesting site.

  21. The goat video is very disturbing and makes for quite uncomfortable viewing. I have often seen them on almost vertical cliffs. Their balance is extraordinary. However, I wouldn’t be happy watching something like that. I couldn’t make it through to the end of this video.

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