The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46494   Message #691515
Posted By: Jeri
16-Apr-02 - 05:58 PM
Thread Name: Songwriting 101
Subject: RE: Songwriting 101
Bert, I happen to know you like short songs, and I don't notice length the same way you do.

"Shine" has four, and I could probably cut one of the middle ones - probably the "darkness and despair" one. Unfortunately, I've had people following me around with tape recorders for that one. On the other hand, I'm apt to forget a verse anyway, so if I start with four, I'll have it just right.

"I Am The Song" I don't sing this. At some point, I think it's a bit pretentious. I'll take a look at it in light of what you've said.

"Islip" got printed in SingOut! It's got the same number of verses as the original Kilkelly, which no one likes because it's too long. *G* Mind you, I don't think anyone's going to sing Islip - it's more of a novelty.

When it comes to cutting things down, I've usually tried my best. Once I've got them as short as I think I can, I need people to tell me what verses don't mean anything to them - which ones aren't necessary.

I think the line has wonderful potential, and I think you're very unlikely to convey that "oh, how special" feeling because it bugs you enough so you'd notice. I think you could write a song that makes the flying seem magical but not the person doing it. I think a lot of folks would be thinking "right on!" because we ALL have things we can't do, but we ALL have imaginations and creativity. You said "joy" isn't sentimental. Isn't that what you mean when you talk of flying?

Peter Pan gave up the idea of remaining young forever. He might have grown up (and doesn't look one bit like Robin Williams) and now can't walk. Didn't he tell people to crow, and they'd be able to fly? Maybe now he sings, maybe he just dreams he can crow, or maybe he just loves someone or something, and he can still fly, although maybe he didn't realise that for a while. Your "pet peeve" about flights of fancy would fit in there just fine. Maybe I'd better shut up before I start trying to write YOUR song, if I haven't already talked too much. I think it's a great line.