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Good lines/ bad song

Jerry Rasmussen 02 Mar 06 - 09:13 AM
GUEST,Joe_F 02 Mar 06 - 09:37 PM
Bobert 02 Mar 06 - 09:46 PM
Alba 02 Mar 06 - 10:06 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Mar 06 - 10:30 PM
alanabit 03 Mar 06 - 02:45 AM
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Subject: Good lines/ bad song
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 09:13 AM

This is a companion piece to Alan's "Wincers" thread. The flip side... lines we've written that we really like in songs that turn out to be less than memorable (or wincers, in themselves.)

A few I've written that come to mind:

(Mind you, these are not necessarily brilliant lines, but the lines remain even though the song is long forgotten.)

"Sombody told me that time was my friend"
"The difference between a bum and a good man is like the line on the beach between water and sand."

And a whole chorus of a song I had forgotten all about, that I came across on a tape the other day:

"What can you do when the last song is played
And the band is all packed up and ready to leave?
Just turn out the light, and bid them goodnight
And say a prayer for the sailors at sea."

One of the radio commentators during the second World War used to close his broadcast saying a prayer for the sailors at sea> I don't remember who...

Sometimes good lines live on long after the song is forgotten. (Or at least memorable ones; as "good" is in the ear of the behearer.)


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Subject: RE: Good lines/ bad song
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 09:37 PM

In 1959, when I began my 3 months at Harvard, I went to an orientation meeting where I was given, among other things, a sheet of Harvard football songs. In "Fair Harvard" I marked the line "First flower of their wilderness! Star of their night!" Some years afterward, I wrote:

This is a beautiful line, which some negligent muse saw fit to bestow on an incompetent who has not even bothered to provide it with a rhyme. Its charm lies in the parallel between the 2 metaphors -- one flower in the wilderness, one star in the sky. But in fact this effect was probably contrary to the author's intention: he spoils it by attaching a modifier in the next line ["Calm rising through change and through storm!"] that can belong only to the 2nd image (tho punctuated as if it belonged to both). Indeed, by "flower" he most likely meant not the concrete count noun (= organ of plant), but the abstract mass noun (= fair result). To rewrite the song around this line wd be a good exercise for the senior class some year.

--- Joe Fineman

||: Having a computer is like having a second mind -- one that is always on the verge of a nervous breakdown. :||

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Subject: RE: Good lines/ bad song
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 09:46 PM


I was just adding a post to Alan's "wincers" thread and talkin' about my song "Legend of the Churchill Tunnel" and hit submit and--- *bang* --- the post didn't take but Mudcat came back and here I had just attempted to say "good lines/bad song"...

I think you might have recieved a copy of that song, Jerry...



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Subject: RE: Good lines/ bad song
From: Alba
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 10:06 PM

Well I have to Thank Allan and now you Jerry as both your Threads have made me think. (Not something that happens often with me..*BG*)
Your Thread "wincers" Allan brought to mind scattered lines I wrote a while ago but I just didn't like what I was coming up with at the time and now this thread Jerry has got me thinking, yeah good lines...bad song..but perhaps fixable..(it isn't the song I mentioned on Allan's thread however:)
Thank you both very much.
Love and Light

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Subject: RE: Good lines/ bad song
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Mar 06 - 10:30 PM

Many years ago, I came up with the first line of the song, "Ooh-whee, wouldn't you like to be there, wouldn't you like to be there in the morning.?" Unfortunately, that's the only line my muse gave me so I have no idea what happened in the morning. Sure woulda liked to have been there, though.


"Old time two-steppers step on your shoes
Kids on the corner sing rhythm and blues
If you like music, there's plenty to choose
As we go turning around

And then a Baaad couplet in the same song..

"Moonlight Sonata or snot on your sleeve
If I had the choice, I'd rather leave with you"

It's the way the words roll off your tongue what did it. Don't blame me.


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Subject: RE: Good lines/ bad song
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Mar 06 - 02:45 AM

I have always wanted to be able to write songs full of stunning metaphors and apothogems, but they don't come out that way. I think my style is becoming closer to a form of dispassionate musical journalism, because it results in less cringingly bad lines. I occasionally come up with lines,whichI like the sound of,but which I can't fit into a song. These often end up as patter:

"There is no form of repentance more sincere than a hangover."

"I don't know any blues songs where the dog is still alive in the second verse."

It may just be that these lines need a different context to a song Jerry.

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