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Mortar Jungle -- first song / help wanted :-)

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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Okay.... SD, I don't know much about you; I don't know what languages you speak,
or what music you've been exposed to....
I'd like you to give this song a listen though; and ideally you will have no idea who she is, or what she's singing about.
I'd like you to listen to her without googling her or the song or looking at any info on the youtube page,
and when you're finished, I'd like you to tell me what you think the song is about, or more accurately, how it made you feel.
I'm more interested in feelings! :D
I'll let you know what it's about after you answer.... Ok? - no cheating
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npg7oU2uEHY

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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(@strangedata)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 39
Topic starter  

Hey Ken,

I don't know how to thank you for all the good lessons you've been giving me. I really appreciate it!

First let me tell you about the song you directed me to. Even though I don't speak French, I could understand a few words, so I suppose she's singing something about children. Apart from that, by the intensity of some parts of the song and the way she performs it, I may assume she's telling that there's something bad/wrong going on. But some other times she sings very lightly, and I assume that these parts tell us that there's hope or something good that contrasts with whatever is wrong.

Hope I'm not too far from the target here :o I really had to push myself not to google her/the song.

Now, moving to the song I'm trying to write, I'm finding it really hard to come up with a melody to it, let alone an arrangement. It feels like the lines of the verse don't fit musically together, as if their metric is wrong... I mean, each line is not equally distributed across the bars. Maybe I should've come up with a melody while writing the song, and now I'm trying to modify it so that it may have some symmetry. Let's see how that works out.

I'm also working on another song, having the melody in mind while writing it, and trying to apply what I could learn from the posts here. It's progressing quite fast and maybe next week I'll be able to post it along with an mp3 :D

Thanks again for being so kind in helping me out.

Cheers!


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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Hey :D

Souad Massi's song is wonderful, isn't it?
Goes to show just how inconsequential lyrics really are :P
That's a whole 'nuther' discussion though

SD wrote:
"I'm curious, where did you find inspiration for it? It seems so hard for me to find something nice to write about. Most of my inspiration leads to revolt/revolution lines and rise-against-the-system thoughts and I really don't want to write just about that, but nicer things instead such as what you did."

Souad Massi's Beautiful song; 'Bladi', is.... a protest song.
http://www.rfimusique.com/musiqueen/articles/060/article_6524.asp

Protest songs don't always have to be about violent revolution.

I can see that you are disturbed a bit by your gravity toward protest songs....
Though, like the John Lee Hooker song goes: "It's in him.... and it got to come out!"
I think that you probably wont be ready to move on til you compose a really good protest song (or two).
So, as far as your Muse goes.... "Let that boy - Boogie Woogie!"

Now, a new songwriter is usually always going to write a song about one thing -
me, Me, ME!

A good protest song is about anything BUT "me" though.
Some great protest song topics:
The Labor Movement/Class Struggle
The Economy
The Nuclear Age, and the dangers of Nuclear Technology
Civil Rights
War
Politics (could be anti-"party" as well as Pro-"party" anthems)
Feminism
Environmentalism
Hypocrisy
Consumerism
Basic Injustice (Social or individual)(Though dont forget that one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is just a statistic).
You can write about revenge, or you can write about peace.
You can write about what's happening in your own city or country;
what's happening in other countries like Northern Ireland, Cuba, Algeria or anywhere that you feel injustice
is occuring.
You could make it Global.

It could be a blues song, a folk song, a rap song, a soul song, a reggae song (lots of good reggae protest songs).

I think you just need a bit more focus, and you'll be happy writing protest songs.
Look for protest songs in different genres and artists and see what makes them tick.

The world can always use another good protest song!

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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(@citizennoir)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1248
 

Ken Wrote:

"Also notice: Something VERY important (not to mention, interesting)....
In each song, the 'action' in the resolution verse HAS NOT HAPPENED.
It's not a SOLID conclusion, rather - what the storyteller wishes IS going to happen."

I'd like to furthur explore this line -

When I was in Accelerated English, freshman year of HS, my teacher (Doc Nelson, Doctor of English), gave me a big-fat
ZERO on a paper that I spent quite a bit of time writing.... simply because I used an 'I' in it that didn't match the
rest of the perspective.

Since then, I have dedicated my writing style to getting even with 'Doc'
I flip flop around with perspectives, POV's, and even switch narrators.... sometimes without the reader even knowing it! LOL!

Some people believe that if you start writing something, that it has to move in a striaght line from there.
I'm not one of those people! :P

Now, I'm not saying that anyone has to get as radical as I do....
though, you can see that in something like JC's Folsom Prison Blues, that he starts with an establishing shot,
then goes backward to include his past, then the present situation, throws in some 'probablies', then finishes with
a look toward the future or possibilities.

In moving around like that, the song is very 'dynamic' and invites the listener/reader into the story/situation....
As opposed to a 'static' look back at a WHOLE story that's already happened.

Perhaps writing an outline might help out....?

As for the origianl song not meshing with melody.... Yeah, that's what usually happens
Most of the songs that I have writen without melody, usually never end up as a finished song.

Hope you don't feel that you've wasted your time with it though....
everytime you write something, you learn something new :D

SD wrote:
"I don't know how to thank you for all the good lessons you've been giving me. I really appreciate it!"

Hey, no problem.
I'm having a great time with it all - I'm just glad that you haven't told me to shut-up yet! :P
I'm not sure if I've mentioned it already - My mom always wanted me to be a teacher! LOL!
If you knew me, you'd know how absurd that is! :P
Though I continually find myself playing the role of teacher somewhere in my life.
I guess I kinda like it this way - informally, that is.
I was always a big fan of Socrates 8)

If you wanna thank me.... there's only one way I can think of:

WRITE ON!

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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