The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90945   Message #1727451
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
25-Apr-06 - 08:18 PM
Thread Name: Learning to love a 'bad' song
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
Listening to the words and get behind them is the key, and recognising ways in which the tune can carry them along. Songs are telling stories, almost always, even the songs that just seem to be just playing with words.

Of course there are songs whch aren't much use at all, but if it's "one of those songs that's been done too many times by too many people" that's a pretty sure indication that it is actually a pretty good song in its way, and one which deserves to be allowed to come alive. And that may mean doing it rather differently from the way you heard it.

Sometimes a song gets imposed on it a way of singing it that runs clear against what it's trying to say - I'm thinking of the way people sing "The Titanic", or "The Leaving of Liverpoool", or "All for me Grog" as happy jolly singalong stuff, when in truth they are pretty dark songs.

Typically with songs like that, if you go back to the earliest collected versions, they way the singer sang them wasn't like that at all. Not that the way a song was first collected is necessarily the beginning and end of how it should be sung. "the right way", but it's always a way that deserves to be taken into account.