The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46310   Message #3889788
Posted By: Big Al Whittle
22-Nov-17 - 01:38 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
Subject: RE: Origin: Saint James Infirmary Blues
well yes, of course theres lyricism in the border ballads and various folksongs,

however I can't see much wordcraft in The Streets of Laredo, or St James's Infirmary...cold as the clay in fact.

This aspect of songwriting i first saw pointed out by Stephen Sondheim.

If you started a short story "It was a beautiful day" Your creative writing teacher would say how hackneyed, can't you express that more powerfully?

And yet.... at the start of Oklahoma, when the young cowboys steps out from the backdrop cornfield and the painted backdrop and sings Oh What a beautiful morning!. Its powerful theatrically. It takes the audience right there.

Songwriting is a different craft to poetry and verse writing.