The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19577   Message #202534
Posted By: KingBrilliant
28-Mar-00 - 07:47 AM
Thread Name: Song writing questions
Subject: RE: Song writing questions
Aine - that song was the good kind of simple! Even without hearing a tune the words worked fine (which is quite a feat in itself).

The only song I've written that my husband enthused about was very simple both lyrically & melodically. Its a melancholy little thing about death & the lyrics go:

Its been a year gone by wouldn't you think that I'd be used to it? a long long year, I am not used to it.

Oh you cold cold grave, oh you cold cold grave, oh you cold cold grave, I am not used to it.

Its been 10 years now, wouldn't you think that I'd be used to it? 10 long long years, I am not used to it.

Then it just goes on up the years to 15, 50, 85, with minor variations in the phrasing & melody. Til it gets to

And if it were a hundred years, wouldn't you know I'll not be used to it? one hundred years, I'll not get used to it.

Its probably the simplest lyrics I've ever written & it really needs the tune to put it in context. I recorded it onto a tape to give my dad, and really was just filling up space. I'd never have expected Mark to like it!!!! It just goes to show that simplicity & repetition can work. Mark is not one for compliments (swine), so I was really chuffed to have written something he liked. Especially as it was partly about feeling I'd never get used to losing him when we thought he might have been on his way out a while back - he's fine now though :).

On the three minute rule - I'd sort of reluctantly agree - ish. We went to a folk weekend recently where people were singing a lot of very long songs in the singaround, and it took a while to get used to it after the 3-min conditioning we get on the radio. Our initial reaction was to 'sit through' some of them, but as time got on we got more used to the length and it was lovely to take the time to listen & appreciate the stories in the songs. The weekend was run be a folk-club where the long songs seemed to be the norm. I think that in a more general audience the 'sit-throughers' would outnumber the 'appreciators' & so in general the 3 minute rule is safest. Hell of a shame though. Is it just a symptom of a less relaxed way of life that we don't feel we have the time to sit & listen? I feel like going & writing a 20 minute song just out of ockardness. Kris