Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The lyric writing process.... (the way M1 sometimes does it)

I'm going to open up a little bit (I'll probably never do this again) and show you one of the ways that I create lyrics (especially when I'm in kind of a writer's block mode). Sometimes a lyric comes out of my head whole, but usually not. Sometimes (but more rarely) Brad and I work on a tune together and contribute lines. Even when I have a good idea, it takes a lot of revision to get down what I want. Brad often revises even further when he sings the song. In this example (Capital People), my approach was to just dump out whatever came into my head. I don't worry much about how stupid it sounds. I do try to dump it out in a "rock-metered" format. I then review it to see what ideas I have if any and then pick through them (kind of like dumpster-diving...looking for diamonds in the rough... or whatever you might want to call it). Sometimes, this will go on for days and I'll review a bunch of stuff to pick out a whole song. (In fact, I see some more songs in this brain dump... or at least some stuff for songs). Usually, once I've got some of the main lines, I then will add more lines and revise the brain dump stuff. Sometimes a song gets started from a single line. Of course, this is just one way to write and works for me, although slowly and painfully. Some people just dump out songs whole all the time... but for me, most of the time, that just doesn't work. Anyhow, here's the brain dump that became Capital People:

All the heart you have in you
As you react to all the world

Millions of bricks
And the trees the growing tall
Walking the days go on and on
Falling around the same old notions
Making the choice, tell yourself something else.

Down the wire of crinkled thoughts
On the tip, of the lonely old creaking rock
I'm around, but I'm never quite here or there.
Positioned for the dance around the truth on each Saturday
Haven't seen you for a long time now
Turning around to fight it out

Venting the thoughts that are eating me up
You're mine to support, with a half sh*t cup

Please from skinny knees
With the trip to the end of a new beginning

I'm asking nothing and nothing's returning.

Poor, in cold white knuckled dawn
With the dreary onward song
Of the trancelike garage state
Sleeping on the winds of hate.

Wrestle down the dusty path
With trundle back bruise and questions to ask

Bee on the all the time
Bee all the buzz
Bee all the honey
Run the fuzz

She got nothing that you got on you
Wrecking the latch to the burning down lean too
Sleep on the cardboard from the fear of the home
I got limped, ass weak set emotional drones

Bringing the sack from the drive at the light
Smell the do-dads and playing tricks on the mic.

You could go on, but you can go away
Tied the drag of the emotional state

Wait now,
Wait now,
You got something
Turns you heart's
More than nothing
And dreams are not fool of bread stuffing
You're a rocket on your way to somewhere

All I can say, is these things in my head
I walking around I'll those things that you said
I know you don't trust me, cause you think that I need you
And you keep all your distance
Cause it helps with you ego

You trying trip me, into think another
Feeling is something that I want from another
Begging you darling with the most of my heart
Pulling around, making way for the start

Capital people with their haughty ideas
Turn out they need you for some help with their fears
Herd them all up in a limitted way
For the trash on the street is here for the day

Sammy got nothing, out of trying to live
He slipped off the edge when she just couldn't give
Saturday's nothing like Sunday at all
Where sitting there lonely cause you've nothing at all

Breaking the sticks on the sidewalk again
Cashing the notes with a bottle of gin
Feeling so used up like the back of hand
Keeping the sun up on the way that you ran

And here's Capital People in its final version:

Capital People

Verse 1
Millions of bricks
And the trees growing tall
Walking the days
Around the same old walls

All down the wire
Of twisting thoughts
Wrecking the latch
To the burnt out lean-to

I know you don't trust me
Cause you think that I needed you

Verse 2
Holding the dead phone
It's cold to the hand
Clipped to perfection
As we trip through the bland

Capital people
With delicious ideals
Hauntingly empty
In their excellent rooms

I know you don't trust me
Cause you think that I need you

Never quite here
Never quite there
Positioned to dance
The truth around here

BTW, Capital People did not make the cut for Strip Mall Heaven, but it will get re-done and added to another disk at a later date.

1 comment:

Brad O. said...

Kewl post....wanted to add to that the music that finds it's way into a set or lyrics or vice versa has a huge effect on the final form. Looking at the original lyrics I'm trying to get a handle on how so many got chopped.

It may be that the music select wasn't the right fit for those lyrics afterall...??