Grandpa Bob liked to think he was a rockstar. He also loved to play that play-a-song-and-guess-the-name game. Known outside the family exclusively as Mr Deau, the weirdest thing he left behind when he died was a self-recorded album on CD. I can't seem to get the CD to play - all I have is the liner notes, with what I assume are the lyrics for one track on each page, along with some art.

One of the pages is weird. I've scanned it and put it here. If you ask me, the lyrics seem practically meaningless, but I feel that if I could only hear Grandpa's recording, with the pitchless cacophony that was his voice singing to the beat, I might be able to figure out the song's name at least, if not its meaning. I wouldn't be surprised if the old fella stuck his own name in there too, somehow.

So I ask you, please, to help me. Can you get the CD to play this track, and tell me what is the name of this song?



One of Grandpa Bob's old friends was one of those 'rock music is evil' conspiracy theorists. Bob thought he was a loon, but reckoned he got some inspiration from his ideas sometimes.

As a side note, guessing from the genes I inherited from him, I don't think Grandpa Bob was blessed with great singing ability. I'm sure he did his best at making this track, but for all his efforts he did make some mistakes - if you figure out the crux of the puzzle, don't second guess yourself by getting too hung up on vocal inaccuracies. They are not where the solution to the puzzle lies.

Hint 2:

Among Grandpa Bob's possessions when he died, we found a number of records, including the Beatles' White Album and their single Paperback Writer, Pink Floyd's album The Wall, and "Weird Al" Yankovic's Bad Hair Day.

Hint 3:

Some astute puzzlers (especially @LannyStrack) have analysed this interesting track to the point of realizing that Grandpa's vocals sound (as far as he could manage with his limited singing ability) the same played forwards or backwards, making the song an audible palindrome. I'm convinced he did this for a reason, perhaps to show us how to look for meaning in the strange song. I can't help but notice also that all analysis hitherto has focused on his vocals, leaving half the contents of the track by the wayside. Perhaps Grandpa's palindromic vocals merely hint towards an analysis of the rest of the song...

  • $\begingroup$ For those who can't read the liner notes, the lyrics are as follows (as printed): Oh, your face it is switching o' me/A boat on water - Yes!/Oh, you know I saw your law/My will was seeming inert? Oh yeah!/I want to know, why are you turning my soul?/Oh I'm all yours!/I (when you say it) I'll not obey/Amen! I choose it I say for you. $\endgroup$ – Anon Apr 24 at 12:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Since this was posted I've been 90% sure that the secret to this puzzle lies in rot13(erirefvat gur genpx naq urnevat jbeqf va gur 'onpxznfxvat' (erirefrq fcrrpu). Uvag 2 frrzf gb pbasvez guvf (nyy gurfr ). Ubjrire, V nz fgehttyvat gb znxr bhg gur jbeqf! Gurer frrzf gb or fbzrguvat ng nebhaq 45f (fbzrguvat yvxr "JUB JNF VA GUR...") naq ntnva ng 1z12f va gur erirefrq genpx, ohg V'z abg fher jung...) $\endgroup$ – Stiv May 3 at 11:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stiv Thanks for posting your comment! I obviously wasn't sure what people had tried. There's a lot of bias listening to something you've already created, and I obviously thought the vocals were better than they were. Perhaps this project was a little advanced for Grandpa Bob's vocal abilities. I'll post a vocal-only version, to see if removing the distraction of the percussion helps, and if that still doesn't help, then I'll give a big clue to get onto the final stage of the puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Anon May 3 at 12:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stiv Looks like I missed it, and Lanny Strack just made a big advance without the vocal-only version in the answer comments. You can probably ignore the B-side ;) $\endgroup$ – Anon May 3 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ I've deleted the third hint, since I only included it because I thought that the original .mp3 file may not have been clear enough to solve the puzzle. Now that @LannyStrack has shown that the second .mp3 file is not necessary, I have removed it as it was not part of the original puzzle, and may just prove a distraction. $\endgroup$ – Anon May 4 at 12:16

Partial answer - got the CD to play!


Taking the hexadecimal value of all the colours using a colour picker, we get the following string:



If we convert this to ASCII we get 'GD file/d/1DcMRtyKjVrh-hPI7dK0xIkqTMw4kQSsp/view'

So now

The GD stands for google drive. Going to 'https://docs.google.com/file/d/1DcMRtyKjVrh-hPI7dK0xIkqTMw4kQSsp/view' we get an MP3 recording, called 'What is the title of this song.mp3', of what I assume is the song. The lyrics are the same as the lyrics underneath in the picture.

It seems to be a Granpa Bob self made song, so I'm not sure where to go next. There must more hidden in the lyrics...

Also note that

As @LannyStrack and @sarsaparilla have noticed, if you play the song backwards, the lyrics sound the same. This makes the song palindromic, but this apparently is at most a pointer for the next step.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Guvf vf jurer gur pehk bs gur chmmyr vf - fbyivat gur urk jnf n cernzoyr. V jba'g tvir nal uvagf whfg lrg ;) $\endgroup$ – Anon Apr 24 at 12:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Anon I probably don’t have the software to be able to do much with the recording, not sure many will. I’m not very good with my musical understanding so I don’t know what to do next, sorry :) maybe someone else will $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Apr 25 at 0:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Gur svefg xrl fgrc znl or cbffvoyr whfg ol erpbtavgvba, be ng zbfg hfvat fvzcyr shapgvbanyvgl bs serr fbsgjner (rira vs lbh'ir arire hfrq vg orsber). Fbzr gurbergvpny xabjyrqtr jvyy or hfrshy ng n yngre cbvag gubhtu, urapr gur gnt (nygubhtu fubhyq fgvyy rffragvnyyl or fbyinoyr ol fbzrbar jvgubhg guvf xabjyrqtr). V'yy tvir n uvag n ovg yngre vs vg erznvaf hafbyirq. $\endgroup$ – Anon Apr 25 at 0:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LannyStrack rot13(Tvira gung Tenaqcn'f sevraq jnf bar bs gubfr 'ebpx zhfvp vf rivy' pbafcvenpl gurbevfgf, jr zvtug unir gb cynl gur zhfvp onpxjneqf gb urne n 'fngnavp zrffntr' uvqqra va vg. Nyfb, gur erpbeqf naq fbatf va Uvag 2 ner fhccbfrq gb pbagnva fngnavp, onpxjneqf zrffntrf!) $\endgroup$ – sarsaparilla May 3 at 12:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ rot13(V hfrq uggcf://jjj.zc3-erirefre.pbz/ra/ gb erirefr gur zc3, ohg pna'g znxr nalguvat bs gur ylevpf. Tbg tbbfrohzcf ubjrire ....) $\endgroup$ – sarsaparilla May 3 at 12:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.