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Learning to love a 'bad' song

25 Apr 06 - 04:24 PM (#1727277)
Subject: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Wesley S

Recently our trio started working on a song that I've never liked. Our guitar played picked the song – it's for a gig where we are basically backing him up. It's a show for a social group of his. So even if I didn't like the song I felt obligated to work on it regardless.



To me it's one of those songs that's been done too many times by too many people. The chorus is sappy and many people hammer it into the ground until it sounds like a dirge. It's my least favorite song by this particular composer – anything else in his catalog is an improvement.



Well we've worked on it for a couple of weeks – and it's starting to grow on me. First I started enjoying the chord structure { I'm only singing on the chorus } and then I started listening to the words. I started enjoying the story and structure of the song itself. And once we settled on a tempo that was a little faster than what I'd heard before it started to loose it's dirge type quality. Now I'm actually enjoying the song.



It makes me think that there are different ways to look at songs. Some – but obviously not all songs – can be transformed with a little work. Have any of you had similar experiences ?


25 Apr 06 - 04:25 PM (#1727280)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Wesley S

That title should have been "Learning to love a bad song"

I hope one of the clone can fix it.

done a clone


25 Apr 06 - 04:34 PM (#1727292)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: M.Ted

And that song is......????


25 Apr 06 - 06:27 PM (#1727398)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: michaelr

Let me guess -- "Willie McBride"?

It's amazing what a bit of rearranging can do for a song. We've recently started doing a reworked version of "Flower of Magherally". It rocks!

Cheers,
Michael


25 Apr 06 - 08:18 PM (#1727451)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: McGrath of Harlow

Listening to the words and get behind them is the key, and recognising ways in which the tune can carry them along. Songs are telling stories, almost always, even the songs that just seem to be just playing with words.

Of course there are songs whch aren't much use at all, but if it's "one of those songs that's been done too many times by too many people" that's a pretty sure indication that it is actually a pretty good song in its way, and one which deserves to be allowed to come alive. And that may mean doing it rather differently from the way you heard it.

Sometimes a song gets imposed on it a way of singing it that runs clear against what it's trying to say - I'm thinking of the way people sing "The Titanic", or "The Leaving of Liverpoool", or "All for me Grog" as happy jolly singalong stuff, when in truth they are pretty dark songs.

Typically with songs like that, if you go back to the earliest collected versions, they way the singer sang them wasn't like that at all. Not that the way a song was first collected is necessarily the beginning and end of how it should be sung. "the right way", but it's always a way that deserves to be taken into account.


25 Apr 06 - 08:42 PM (#1727470)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Big Al Whittle

perhaps you are fickle and changeable in your affections. one day the song will let you down and you'll never speak its name again, and declare a separation

some men are a bit like that - women too.


25 Apr 06 - 09:01 PM (#1727482)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: McGrath of Harlow

And some aren't. Once I love a song it's for life, so far as I know.


26 Apr 06 - 02:46 PM (#1728099)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: muppitz

I've always hated "The Wild Rover", however, The House Band did a version that had a diferent melody and a different tempo which I really like and have learnt to play myself.

I think my point is that a reworking of a song can give you a different view on it and maybe bring you around to liking it.

muppitz x


27 Apr 06 - 07:49 AM (#1728671)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Mo the caller

I agree about the jolly sing-around versions. Three-score and ten comes to mind


27 Apr 06 - 08:42 AM (#1728697)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: GUEST,redhorse at work

In a non-folk context the title song from Cabaret springs to mind. The whole pont being that life is not a cabaret"old chum" seems to go straight over the heads of most of the people who sing it.

nick


27 Apr 06 - 09:29 AM (#1728726)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: McGrath of Harlow

"Born in the USA" has the same kind of problem with people who just hear the title and miss the words. Whether that means they hate it or love it, they miss it just the same.


05 Jun 06 - 06:59 PM (#1753604)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: GUEST

The more I listen to Johnnie Cash's last song reflecting on his life, the more I like it. Hated it at first


06 Jun 06 - 12:20 PM (#1754197)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Den

There ain't enough money on God's green earth to ever persuade me to change my mind about the Unicorn.


06 Jun 06 - 12:31 PM (#1754205)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: GUEST,DonMeixner

Den

I feel the same way about "The Old Man" and "The Voyage" truly a couple of clams.

Don


06 Jun 06 - 12:32 PM (#1754207)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Scoville

I've been singing the one about George Fox in his old leather britches and shaggy-shaggy locks for 25 years and still hate it. That, and "Old Joe Clark". I will never like that tune.

Sometimes a fresh arrangement--not based on a popular one by someone else, but really rehashed--helps. That's what saved "Whiskey Before Breakfast" for me. Or, i try to find something positive--"John Stinson's #2" is boring but the chords are OK, so I focus on messing with that instead of how much I dislike the melody.

Sometimes songs grow on me. Sometime, though, I just hate a song, and no turning back.


06 Jun 06 - 12:42 PM (#1754211)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Midchuck

What Den said.

Peter


06 Jun 06 - 11:19 PM (#1754663)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: GUEST,leeneia

Most commercial music is so lifeless. If you are singing on the chorus, vary the choruses as much as you can. You can change volume, tone and emphasis without throwing other musicians off. Sing with expression - that'll confuse them.

I wouldn't admit this to most people, but lately I took to singing "Puff the Magic Dragon" in the kitchen, and I decided to sing it as if I were telling the story to an actual little kid. It was fun.


07 Jun 06 - 10:30 PM (#1755419)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: The Fooles Troupe

It's called 'Brainwashing' in some circles...


08 Jun 06 - 02:20 PM (#1755695)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Leadfingers

Back in the 'Bad old Days when I was in 'Fool's Gold' there were a number of occasions where a song was suggested , and initially turned down flat by one of us . However , by the time we had thought about a key , a tempo , and basic instrumentation , MOST songs became totally acceptable , and in the case of a couple , mainstays of most sets !


08 Jun 06 - 07:56 PM (#1755900)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: EBarnacle

In Rod MacDonald's "Sailor's Prayer," the first line has "...and my mast be turned about" which has always ruined this song for me, even though the rest of the song is pretty good.


08 Jun 06 - 08:04 PM (#1755905)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: Bobert

...take a bad song and make it better...

But if it's Bobby Goldboro's "Honey", yer gonna need Oral Roberts....


09 Jun 06 - 09:03 PM (#1756401)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: The Fooles Troupe

... or Oral Sssss...omething...


29 Mar 09 - 01:38 PM (#2599898)
Subject: RE: Learning to love a 'bad' song
From: GUEST,Capn'Rob

As for Rod's "mast be turned about". Does the line "Our main mast sprung" in the song "Rollin' Down to Old Maui" have the same effect on your salt encrusted ears?