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Some More Clarification on The Lyric Contest


Blog Posted:5/20/2013 3:55:00 PM

Okay, based on a recent soup mail I received and a recent comment from Reason relative to expectations and criteria, in addition to what I said in the contest rules, I must emphasize the acronym KISS “Keep it simple” (I’ll leave out the final ”S” cuz it’s offensive and doesn’t apply)  Now by simple I don’t  mean grammar school, I mean not complicated.  My guess is that more than 90% of poems would not work as lyrics but the obverse is that 90% of melodies could have lyrics written to them and usually do.  So what does that tell you---the melody is boss, the conductor, the drum major, like whoever is leading the dance you follow---or you lose.  I know there are exceptions, but there are exceptions to everything.  For example think, of what songs were “Our song” in any relationship over our lives usually we had a “Our song”---look it up and check out the lyrics. My first “Our song” was Moon River, the words are simple, but not simplistic and written by one of the most prolific lyricists of the 20th century.  Go ahead, check it out with your songs or check out the Oscar winners over the years or the most famous songs from broad way.  Don’t try to trump them---you can’t.  Never use words that most people would never know or have to think about, leave the thinking stuff for regular poetry.  Why do you think our poetry bores most people??  Because they don’t understand or have to think too much! The same goes with phrasing, not complicated but effective.  “I know, but it’s been said before and I want to write something new”.  Tell that to the lyric writers who make millions doing exactly what I’m talking about.

Another thing, if you listen to a song and want to write lyrics to it, think of it as a main course for dinner.  The main course is the melody, the rest of the song is either improvisation or interludes which are meant to embellish or otherwise enhance the melody, like the seasoning and sauce on your ‘entre.  It can and will also serve to add impact to your words like a pause in a speech.  Note that often (most of the time) the great song arrangements change the song from its instrumental version to one sung by----Oh here’s a perfect example—one of my favorite artists both as a jazz pianist and singer is Canadian Diana Krall. Now she doesn’t write the songs but she can blend in the improv. And then get back to the melody for singing the lyrics.  This should be enough—keep it uncomplicated (and if most people have to look up a word it ain’t workin).  LATER! 

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  1. Date: 5/20/2013 5:32:00 PM
    Isaiah has just set the bar very high--check it out!

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    rogers Avatar james rogers Date: 5/20/2013 5:50:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hmm, I know what you're thinking, "very unusual for a host to weigh in before the contest is over"---true but I'm trying to show you the magic that can be done with this and it ain't over till---unless you just want to give up---somehow I can't believe you will !
  1. Date: 5/20/2013 3:59:00 PM
    Don't write to every note in most songs but write to most notes in the melody.

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