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“All wrapped up with a river?”

May 10, 2007

Ugh. I am trying to finish this second song for the piano guy and I am having a hard time. Here’s the problem: writing lyrics for a song that is not yet written is completely different than doing the opposite. When the music already exists, you have so much more freedom with the concept of the lyrics — you just have to fit words in where they fit, knowing that it’s not 100 percent important that they make perfect sense. You can throw in a casual “baby” and “ooh” and whatnot to cover the spaces. Here’s an example: I’m trying to psych myself up for the whole romance theme, and thought it might help to look at some love song lyrics. This is a verse from the Celine Dion song “Declaration of Love.”

You are my knight in armor
The hero of my heart
When you smile at me, I see
A true world go up
The river is getting deep, believe it
You’re all these arms of mine wanna hold
All wrapped up with a river
Baby, I’m giving you this heart of gold.

Um… now what’s all this about a river? And a true world going up? Was that written in French first and then translated into English? Because besides being just generally terrible, the words don’t make sense. It’s much easier to accept something like that when you hear it sung, because you’re mostly paying attention to the music and the voice. I always notice the words, though, and I get so caught up in weirdness like “wrapped up with a river” that it just kills a song for me.

What I’m trying to do now is write about someone always “being there” for [the singer] and I just wrote a verse that, when I sing it, sounds brilliant. But, when I read it on the page, I don’t think it actually means anything. I mean, you get the concept, but technically, it’s not a complete sentence and only theoretically makes sense. I wonder if that’s okay. I know I’m overthinking it, and that I need to loosen up, but then again I don’t want to write anything dumb. BLARGH! Pride is the great strangler… wow — that will be a great album title some day.

 Okay. Back to it. I’m just going to try to put some stuff down and see what happens.

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