The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19577 Message #758295
Posted By: Doug Chadwick
01-Aug-02 - 03:20 PM
Thread Name: Song writing questions
Subject: RE: Song writing questions
Thanks for the workshop notes. Lots of good advice.
In the section on "Inspiration" you say Songs about our work can be rewarding (though there's probably more mileage in this if you're a chemical process operator rather than an accountant - and yes, I've been both). One my unfinished songs opens with the lines
I'll sing you songs of times gone by, of men who till the soil
Romantic songs of sailing ships or miners at their toil
For there isn't much romance when your job is boiling oil
I just don't seem to find oil refineries that inspiring. More likely, I can't imagine my day to day routine being that interesting. My biggest problem is coming up with an idea for a song that I think other people would be interested in. But then I found that you had written a song about Nunsthorpe and realised that anything is possible.
One of the earlier postings said you can tell when people write for a market, because the songs have no heart.
I enjoy writing for a specific purpose – a musical interlude in a sketch for example – as it gives me a sense of direction and, more importantly, it forces me to finish it. I've got a bag full of half finished songs that I would be really happy with if only I could find an ending.
In general, I go along with the 31/2 minute rule. I've spent festival weekends listening to a series of 17 verse songs that were so intense and serious that I was ready to top myself.
This is a great thread. It could be just the thing I need to give me a push into doing something constructive.
By the way, McGrath, I tried the link to your website that was posted back in March 2000 but it didn't work. Do you have an updated link?