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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday 7/22


When listening to pop radio, it doesn’t take long to realize that all the songs are the same.  Actually, there are about seven or eight varieties, but almost every song is one of those varieties.  There are only so many ways you can bend a melody or mix up a beat to try and change it up.  (Nowadays, you don’t even have to be a good singer.  You can just make your voice electronic and sing virtually anything!)  Basically, the one thing you definitely do have to change is the words.  But what if you have song-writer’s block?  Don’t worry.  There’s still hope:  Fillers.

Great and not-so-great songwriters alike all do this.  The cheesy filler.  Here’s an example I made up.  (Chances are, someone has already written this, but hey!  That’s the music business.)

            “I need a clue.
What am I to do?
            I’m falling in love with you…

Did you catch that?  “Clue” rhymes with “do”, okay.  Good.  “Do” rhymes with “you.”  Typical.  But wait!  Tonight?  That doesn’t rhyme with anything!  It’s like I still had some music left in the phrase, but I ran out of words.  I didn’t know how to finish.  So, I used one of the worst fillers ever: tonight.  (And even worse, I stretched it out.  It seems like whenever you hear “tonight” at the end of a phrase, it’s always “toniiiiiiiiiiight”.)  Need proof?  Just google how many song lyrics have “tonight” in them.  It’s completely overused. 

There is a pristine example on the radio currently.  Have you heard Hey, Soul Sister, by Train?  (Google that one, too, if you need to.  Or youtube, whatever.)  Not only does the song not make a whole lot of sense, Pat Monahan kills it with….. toniiiiiiiiiiight at the end of the chorus. 

There are other bad fillers, too, like “sometimes” and “again”, but none as noticeable and as widespread as “tonight.”  My advice is if you want to enjoy listening to the radio, don’t listen too closely, you might lose a few brain cells in the process.

By: S. Cole Garrett


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