You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Cay-Pos

Jamie Brown has posted and excellent video about using a capo in keys you wouldn’t normally think of. Go watch it now!!!

…but…as this is the Internet allow me a little rant.

I know England and America are two nations separated by a common language.

I’m prepared to cut our US brothers all kinds of slack when they feel the need to remove letters from words to make ’em easier to spell.

I’ll turn a deaf ear to the stumbling over UK place names (Lie-sester-sheer?).

I’ll even grit my teeth and remain silent when they invent new words with exactly the same meaning as a perfectly good words that already exists.

But I can’t take hearing another worship leader say they use a CAYPO!


It’s a Ca – Po. Hard ‘A’.

Please understand me my transatlantic brethren. It’s not a UK vs US disagreement. Other nations are upset too.

The root of the word is Italian. It comes from Capo tasto meaning ‘head fret,’ sometimes also known as capo d’astro/capodastro. 

That’s “capo tasto”. Go on, say it with hard a’s in your best Italian accent. 

“Ca-po Tas-to!”

 Even the name sounds musical! Isn’t it beautiful. Fantastico!

Now say it in American.


Sounds like a really bad fast food chain, doesn’t it.

I rest my case.

Jamie could you please re-dub a version for the UK market?

About mattblick

Songwriter/Singer from Nottingham, UK. My 2nd EP, Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky, is out now. I'm blogging (& podcasting) through the entire Beatles catalogue at Beatles Songwriting Academy. In my spare time I wish I had some spare time.
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10 Responses to You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Cay-Pos

  1. Eric Olsen says:

    haha. As another from the States, I had no idea we were messing it up. Thanks for the guilt…and the video, Matt.

  2. Matt Blick says:

    @Eric – thanks for taking it in good humour (or should I say humor?)

    You have Jamie to thank for the vid…but the guilt is all mine. Enjoy!

  3. Rich says:

    the first time I heard it called CAP-O was in a video with Matt Redman. It grated on my ears. It's been CAYPO ever since I was a youngin. I'm from middle america. Missouri to be exact and we call things different round here. We say St. Louis not 'St. Louee' and we pronounce Versalles how it's looks…Versails.

    Why would we trust people who spell Timms 'Thames'? Sorry bro. I'm sticking with CAYPO. We won the war so we get to decide. We're Americans. We just take everything the Brits have and make it better. ;)

    Good post man. Loved it!

    Speaking of the colonies vs the empire, did you check out my American Revolutionary War post?

  4. says:


    You'll be glad to know I've posted a "British version" of the video for, as you say, the "UK market" over on my blog.


  5. Ali Smith says:

    Nice post matt, hearing it pronounced caypo is like fingernails down a blackboard to me!

    @Rich – way to miss the point! It's not really about pronunciation, but the etymology and origins of the word.

    @Jamie – really nice video (both of them!). Almost make me want to start using a capo a bit more. Almost!

  6. Rich says:

    @Ali – it's about neither (that's neether..not n-eye-ther). It's just the spoils of war…


  7. Phil says:

    This and the Jamie's reply are the funniest thing I've read (/watched) in a long while! Keep up the good work guys.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Matt, you joke about Caypo Taysto but I spent a few years in the south east (of the States) and there was a family owned restaurant called just that!

    They were legendary because they would fry anything a customer brought in and put it in a bun. Their motto was

    "CAYPO TAYSTO – It's not just the burgers that are in bread"

    Roy, NYC

  9. Matt Blick says:

    The response to this post has been such a window into the American mindset!

    I raised a point of pronounciation supported by etymological data and one US citizen says "well we won the war, we can do what we like" and another records a video of him singing his national anthem at me!

    There's so much I could say, but I will hold myself back as much as is possible.

    1) I am looking forward to using the national anthem argument the next time I discuss global warming with an American

    American: There is no proven link between any rise in global temperature and human activity

    Me: GOD SAVE OUR GRACIOUS QUEEN! (pauses to move capo) LONG LIVE OUR NOBLE QUEEN! (pauses again) GOD SAVE OUR QUEEN!

    American: After all haven't the findings of British scientists been discredited by the recent climategate scandal?

    Me: SEND HER VICTORIOUS! (nearly at the 12th fret now) HAPPY AND GLORIOUS!!!

    and so on…What a boon to debating this will be.

    2)The American War of Independence was not fought over anything so trivial as the right to mispronouce and misspell words.

    It was to avoid paying 3p tax on a pound of tea. So enjoy your cheap tea and stop mangling our language.

    3) "We take every thing the Brits have and make it better"

    No I think you're confusing 'better' with 'simpler'.

    If I can just make people aware that there is a different (and correct) way to say Capo that will be a start…

    (BTW Rich I've sailed down the Tems. Have you ever visited Alberkwerkwee?)

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