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I wish I could

This is what I wrote for Marcell on top of my own template. The words in brackets would require an upbeat note, they can be omitted, yet, on the other hand, might add a little variety. Marcell's choice - IF he will use the lyrics. Content-wise the lyrics are very similar to at least two of my other lyrics that I have written for dance or party music. No harm in that: different musicians, different music, different songs (and there are even quite a few songs that share the very same lyrics).


(I) watch her dancing at the party
Gosh, she blows my mind away
I think she is the very one
I think I should, maybe I would
I wish I could
I'm at a loss how to approach
so insecure

I'll try to get her attention
(with) no idea what I would say
how could I get it on with her
I think I should, maybe I would
I wish I could
I must not let my longing show
but play it cool

this night ends as I expected
I remain available
maybe next week I'll try again
I think I should, maybe I would
I wish I could
I'll give myself a second chance
and learn to dance

(I) watched her dancing at the party
Gosh, she blew my mind away
I thought she was the very one
I thought I should, I hoped I would
I wish I could
was at a loss how to approach
I wish I could

"when I saw you in the bathroom"

This is yet another post on the subject "using templates" - which saves time you'd spend listening into the music back and forward to check if your words match. Instead, I write down some nonsense text for each structural part of the music - verse, chorus, bridge - that I then use as a template for the real text.

André and Marcel sent the music for a song with an AAA structure - only verses, which means I only need one template for the whole song. The 'vocal line' is represented by some MIDI instrument (I prefer having it actually sung using any nonsense lines that I'd only have to put down). There are four verses. After listening a couple of times I wrote down this text:

when I saw you in the bathroom
I just took a piece of soap

when suddenly your mother called
"the tea is done, where have you gone
what have - you done
you cannot do such things to me
and anyway"


The first two lines a well distinguishable single lines, the other part flows together like an 'endless' stream of text. I had to stop and go listening to the music quite a few times before I getting the words right (the hyphen represents a little rest within the melody). This part will be a tough nut to crack. The focus will have to lie in the section represented by "the tea is done, where have you gone, what have you done" as there is an increased intensity in the tune. You may have noted that I already have thought of using internal rhymes (un - un - un). Maybe I can even repeat that part in a second verse (or even in all four verses?) to make it more 'hooky' - once I have come up with proper words.

Ronson: 2nd shot

When a partner rejects lyrics that I have written to his music I give it a second try. Then that's it. It is not that I would feel offended or consider my lyrics useless - about 200 of my lyrics have not been set to music yet anyway - but that they match a given meter and structure that may not be universal or generic enough to give them a good chance to be picked by someone else. Outside a collaboration I tend to use a common song structure (see my post on song structure), prefer even line numbers, simple meters etc. Too many lyrics with an 'exotic' structure or meter - and sharing the very same exotic structure and meter as well! - would indeed not make much sense. Nonetheless, two of formerly rejected lyrics actually have been picked by other musicians over time.

An advantage of writing a different text for the same music is that I can apply my template method, the first text serving as a template for the second: it has sentences (hopefully) with a natural flow that I can replace with new lines or phrases with the very same intonation. I don't have to refer to the music all the time. Only when finished do I check the words against the music. It's like fitting a new shoe: you know the size is right but it still might pinch here or there.

This is my 2nd shot on Ronson's song (the 'template' I used was "eyes wide open"):

you steered your way through life
no regard
for anybody else
looking down at
everyone

exhausting the patience
of your friends
you often skewed the truth
you schemed and lied
so you'd get
all you want

it was a matter
of time that your lying
some day would recoil
on you

you're in a fix now
don't think that I give a damn
you're in the shit now
I will keep watching from where I am

once you called me your friend
and maybe
that once you'd got it right
till you stretched things
much too far

you thought you could fool me
never thought
that I could look through you
through your pretence
to your core
yes I did

it was a matter
of time that your lying
some day would recoil
on you

you're in a fix now
don't think that I give a damn
you're in the shit now
I will keep watching from where I am

my 'template method'

As I mentioned I often write lyrics that match a given tune. At best, my partners have already sung real words to represent the vocal tune. Words that need not make any sense but that have a real-life flow. I then simply replace these words with others that actually do make sense. That's all there is to it. It's harder if there is only a MIDI-track to mark the tune, or the singer sings "na na na". I then have to first draw some kind of chart marking the stresses and go from there (see my other post "working for Ronson").

Ronson rejected the lyrics that I have written to his melody ("eyes wide open"), he rather wants something dark and fiery. This means that I now can use my own lyrics as a template for new ones, simply replacing each line with a different one that has the same intonation:

(your) eyes wide open
I watch you head for a fall
(your) eyes wide open
I don't wanna see you break down and fall

(now) storm clouds gather
the time's come for our demise
jammed together
we stand and watch the dark forces rise*

*I'm omitting the first syllable/note - the lines fits nicely anyhow