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fool for two (yet another re-write)

When I create my own music I normally begin with the backing track. I love strumming on my guitar. When I have the impression that it might lead up to a song I begin recording the backing track. Guitar first, because I love doing that most. Next I do the (MIDI) drums to get the rhythm right. Often I have to redo all or parts of the guitar tracks after that. No harm in that because I still love playing the guitar ;-) The bass comes last. It's not the optimal order (drums and bass should come first), but it suits me better.

Once I have the backing track completed I browse my ever growing lyrics collection for a suitable text. If I don't seem to come across anything useful, I write new lyrics that fit the track. That is what happens most of the time. This time I discovered a close match in "fool for two". The main difference was that the original version of "fool for two" has a bridge whereas my backing track hasn't. It doesn't even have a real chorus as it actually just consists of a chord progression that is repeated over and over - 19 times, to be exact. I only alter the guitar sound to stress certain parts that stand for a real chorus. If you view it as such the song's structure would be:
Verse - Verse - Chorus - Verse - Verse* - Chorus - Chorus - Chorus
* the former bridge

Here are the original bridge and the new verse:

when I fell in love with you
I found you open-hearted and outspoken
I'd no idea there'd be a risk
of a family life out in the open


when I fell in love with you
I found you honest, upfront, frank
I'd no idea there'd be this risk
that I just might have drawn a blank


I had to adapt the meter (stress on the last syllable in the second and fourth line). Apart from that I tried to retain the character of a bridge, bacause the content still does vary from the other verses (looking back in time versus 'speaking' about current events). I even kept the different rhyme structure - XAXA instead of ABAB. I believe that this last verse actually can serve as a kind of bridge particularly as I sing the verses two and four (the former bridge) slightly differently from the verses one and three.

Here is the resulting song:
fool for two

there's something => one thing (about rewrites)

Note: there is a publisher involved in this song, hence my "creative commons" license does NOT apply to this text.

It is true that once you've completed a text it has become your Baby, and it hurts to throw it away, change it all over, or maybe only modify it. But rewrites often are necessary to adapt lyrics to the tune or make them easier to sing, apart from the little approvements you come up yourself anyway.

I had already replaced the word "mate" with "pal" to make the text to "there's something" sound less 'Australian' (I later had to scrap the line anyway for I had lost the rhyme due to another modification). I had also already considered replacing the line "there's something that's on my mind" with "there is one thing that's on my mind" to make it stronger. This obviously also required changing the title.

Then the singer that the song is meant for asked for changes to make the song better singable. Namely the line "we're as thick as thieves" with its succession of "s" and "th" proved to be a tongue twister. For another line "what was on our minds" I suggested "what preyed on our minds" as an alternative. I would still prefer the original version, though, because it's the more common phrase.

This is the result (that still awaits it's approval):

faithful lover
we've been getting along
like a house on fire -
my longtime partner

looking into your face
I feel your trust
but one thing
keeps feeling wrong

love seemed so much easier
in my days of youth
to make up for my little sins
I'd use my charm

would you still love me
if I told the truth
that once there had been
another man
to hold me in his arms

not one secret
sharing heaven and hell
what was on our minds -
out in the open

now I'm watching you frown
I sense your doubt
there's one thing
I need to tell

love seemed so much easier
in my days of youth
to make up for my little sins
I'd use my charm

would you still love me
if I told the truth
that once there had been
another man
to hold me in his arms

love seemed so much easier
in my days of youth
to make up for my little sins
I'd use my charm

would you still love me
if I told the truth
that once there had been
another man
to hold me in his arms

if (working title that might stick)

The three-line chorus rested a while on my computer. It's where the title comes from. Today I used my good old (printed) rhyming dictionary a lot to make out viable words for the verses ans bridge. For some reason it would not rhyme "other" with "bother", though. But it sounds okay if you read or sing it with my accent ;-)


you know how to sweet-talk
you know how to charm
used to getting your will
you don't mind to cause harm

you cheat your way through
you're coming off well
how long you'll succeed
you never can tell

if what you said would ring true
if I weren't a liar like you
maybe I would fall for you, too

deceiving your best friend
say, how did that feel
you have caused hurt
that time will not heal

now you say that you need me
you pledge undying love
but I sense your selfish will
in velvet glove

if what you said would ring true
if I weren't a liar like you
maybe I would fall for you, too

can't we just leave it at
what we just had
with no fuss and bother
'cause we see through each other
so we won't have to regret
things that we said

if what you said would ring true
if I weren't a liar like you
maybe I would fall for you, too

there's something

Note: there is a publisher involved in this song, hence my "creative commons" license does NOT apply to this text.

Written for Wolfgang to his music. Female vocals:

faithful lover
mate and pleasure combined
we're as thick as thieves
my longtime partner

looking into your face
I feel your trust
(but) there's something
that's on my mind

love seemed so much easier
in my days of youth
to make up for my little sins
I'd use my charm

would you still love me
if I told the truth
that once there had been
another man
to hold me in his arms

not one secret
we've shared heaven and hell
what was on our minds -
out in the open

now I'm watching you frown
I sense your doubt
there's something
I need to tell

love seemed so much easier
in my days of youth
to make up for my little sins
I'd use my charm

would you still love me
if I told the truth
that once there had been
another man
to hold me in his arms

love seemed so much easier
in my days of youth
to make up for my little sins
I'd use my charm

would you still love me
if I told the truth
that once there had been
another man
to hold me in his arms

How lyricists are being paid

My fast and maybe slightly cryptic answer: just like composers.

The comprehensive answer:
Composers and (not necessarily) lyricists are the creators of songs that musicians play (i.e. perform or record). Musicians may create their own songs, of course, like singer-songwriters, for example. They then assume different roles that are treated differently in the business world. Primarily musicians receive fees for their performances, and make a profit from sales of CDs, DVDs. Creators license their works and receive royalties. This is handled by PROs (performing rights organizations). Whenever songs are performed, produced on CD, or played on the radio licence fees are due that are distributed among the creators by the PROs in proportion to their parts in creating the songs.

From the business or licensing perspective there is no difference between covering songs or playing one's own. In the latter case the musician simply plays two different roles, he is performer as well as creator. As performer he gets his fee, as creator he gets his royalties.

Hobby lyricists sometimes try to sell their works. That is not exactly how things work in real life. What exactly do they think they are selling? Maybe some are willing to wave their ownership as creator of a text? They would be hugely dissapointed if their song (well, just its lyrics) becomes a huge hit - while somebody else claims its ownership. On the other hand, what would be the use for the musician should the song just go under in the mass? He would have paid for something that is not used. Neither scenario seems fair, does it? Professional songwriters (staff writers) may get down payments from publishers or a guaranty amount, but basically they are still being paid from licenses.

Should a musician have read this post this far, yes, you presume correctly that musicians never pay for using songs. An exception would be if you produce and market your own CDs - in that case you have to pay license fees just like a label. Maybe, effectively, you would even have to pay yourself.

What does my creative commons license mean in this context? Nothing much, actually. If you do business as described (perform songs publicly, have CDs produced, are being played on the radio...) everything is supposed to work as mentioned. The songs will have to be registered with a PRO in that case. Should my songwriting partner, the composer, not (wish to) be a member of a PRO, I can look after this. Normally, the composer would register songs. Should you want to just use my lyrics for hobby music productions that you intend to publish on the internet (non-commercially) you simply may do so. You need not ask. That's the only difference my licensing model provides. Nearly all my lyrics - all that are published here or in my collections - are non-exclusive, too, so you need not even bother if there are songs that are being used commercially that use the same lyrics. As soon as your music is being performed and might actually make some money, you will want to become a member of your country's PRO in your own best interest (contact me if you have any questions).