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  #11  
Old 04-21-2017, 07:56 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Walter, meet mashup artist Cassetteboy.
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  #12  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:30 PM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Orwn, It's odd to me to hear a poet say no lyrics ever inspired them. I became interested in poetry as a result of hearing music while I was growing up, and having a father who liked to talk about song lyrics with me, when I was very young. My first heroes were Bernie Taupin, Keith Reid (Procol Harum) Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, John Denver, Carly Simon, Neil Diamond, The Beatles, and The Stones. Later on I was inspired by Ian Anderson more than anyone else, though Frank Zappa was a strong second.

I didn't catch the OP's last bit about wondering which songs may have been mine stylistically. Hmm. I probably have (or had) more in common stylistically with Keith Reid and Ian Anderson than any other lyricist. I remember deliberately imitating Reid in my own song lyrics, and doing the same later on with Anderson.

I'll offer one from each, as an example of something I may have written, were I good enough:

***

Grand Hotel


Tonight we sleep on silken sheets
We drink fine wine and eat rare meats
On Carousel and gambling stake
Our fortunes speed, and dissipate.
It's candlelight and chandelier,
It's silver plate and crystal clear.
The nights we stay at Hotel Grand

Tonight we dine at Hotel Ritz.
(A golden dish with every wish).
It's mirrored walls, and velvet drapes,
Dry champagne, and bursting grapes.
Dover sole, and Oeufs Mornay,
Profiteroles and Peach Flambe,
The waiters dance on fingertips
The nights we dine at Hotel Ritz

One more toast to greet the morn
The wine and dine have danced till dawn
Where's my Continental Bride?
We'll Continental slip and slide
Early morning pinch and bite -
(These French girls always like to fight)
It's serenade and Sarabande,
The nights we stay at Hotel Grand
Les nuits qu'on passe a l'Hotel Grande.

— Keith Reid

***

from A Passion Play (part II)


[The Foot Of Our Stairs]

We sleep by the ever-bright hole in the door,
eat in the corner, talk to the floor,
cheating the spiders who come to say "Please",
(politely). They bend at the knees.
Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs.

Old gentlemen talk of when they were young
of ladies lost and erring sons.
Lace-covered dandies revel (with friends)
pure as the truth, tied at both ends.
Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs.

Scented cathedral spire pointed down.
We pray for souls in Kentish Town.
A delicate hush, the gods floating by
wishing us well, pie in the sky.
God of ages, Lord of Time, mine is the right to be wrong.
Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs.

Jack rabbit mister, spawn a new breed
of love-hungry pilgrims (no bodies to feed).
Show me a good man and I'll show you the door.
The last hymn is sung and the devil cries "More."

Well, I'm all for leaving, and that being done,
I've put in a request to take up my turn
in that forsaken paradise that calls itself "Hell"
where no-one has nothing and nothing is...well meaning fool,
pick up thy bed and rise up from your gloom, smiling.
Give me your hate and do as the loving heathen do.

[Overseer Overture]

Colours I've none, dark or light, red, white or blue.
Cold is my touch (freezing).
Summoned by name — I am the overseer over you.

Given this command to watch o'er our miserable sphere.
Fallen from grace, called on to bring sun or rain.
Occasional corn from my oversight grew.

Fell with mine angels from a far better place,
offering services for the saving of face.
Now you're here, you may as well admire
all whom living has retired from the benign reconciliation.

Legends were born surrounding mysterious lights
seen in the sky (flashing).
I just lit a fag, then took my leave in the blink of an eye.

Passionate play, join round the maypole in dance
(primitive rite) (wrongly).
Summoned by name, I am the overseer over you.

[Flight From Lucifer]

Flee the icy Lucifer. Oh he's an awful fellow!
What a mistake! I didn't take a feather from his pillow.
Here's the everlasting rub... neither am I good or bad.
I'd give up my halo for a horn and the horn for the hat I once had.

I'm only breathing. There's life on my ceiling.
The flies there are sleeping quietly.

Twist my right arm in the dark.
I would give two or three for
one of those days that never made
impressions on the old score.

I would gladly be a dog
barking up the wrong tree.
Everyone's saved, we're in the grave.
See you there for afternoon tea.

Time for awaking, the tea lady's making
a brew-up and baking new bread.

Pick me up at half past none,
there's not a moment to lose.
There is the train on which I came.
On the platform are my old shoes.

Station master rings his bell.
Whistles blow and flags wave.
A little of what you fancy does you good
(Or so it should).

I thank everybody
for making me welcome.
I'd stay but my wings have just dropped off.

— Ian Anderson


I'd give up my halo for a horn and the horn for the hat I once had. - I'd give up my left leg (and my codpiece) to have written that line.

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 04-22-2017 at 10:18 AM. Reason: edited out something stupid
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2017, 10:50 AM
Orwn Acra's Avatar
Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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Thanks, Julie. That was fun. It reminds me of Brian Williams doing Rapper's Delight.

I should thank Andrew for starting this thread; I spent the evening experimenting with noise-haiku.
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2017, 11:50 AM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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I really like a good refrain and am sometimes "inspired" by seeing how songs use refrains and they seem to take on greater or different meanings as the song progresses. Three great refrains from three truly great songs:
  • "Why can't I free your doubtful mind, and melt your cold cold heart?"
  • "Don't think twice, it's alright."
  • "Hard times, come again no more."
I should also mention Dylan's refrain, "You left me standing in the doorway, crying," which changes in tone from verse to verse, and which also is noteworthy for coming in the penultimate line of each verse rather than the final line.

(Dylan's great refrains are too numerous to mention. "The only thing that I did wrong/ was stay in Mississippi a day too long"; "Trying to get to heaven before they close the door" . . . I'll stop now.)
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2017, 07:27 PM
Gregory Palmerino Gregory Palmerino is offline
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I dunno nuthin bout nuthin, but if I could write a poem the way Kay and Gordon write lyrics and then sing it like Sinatra, I'd die a happy man. My, my....

That's life (that's life) that's what people say
You're riding high in April
Shot down in May
But I know I'm gonna change that tune
When I'm back on top, back on top in June

I said, that's life (that's life) and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks
Stompin' on a dream
But I don't let it, let it get me down
'Cause this fine old world it keeps spinnin' around

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate
A poet, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life (that's life) I tell ya, I can't deny it
I thought of quitting, baby
But my heart just ain't gonna buy it
And if I didn't think it was worth one single try
I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate
A poet, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out
And I know one thing
Each time I find myself layin' flat on my face
I just pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life (that's life) that's life
And I can't deny it
Many times I thought of cuttin' out but my heart won't buy it
But if there's nothing shakin' come here this July
I'm gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die
My, my
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2017, 12:46 AM
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Tony Barnstone Tony Barnstone is offline
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For me, Tom Waits, esp the red stuff in the song below

The Ghosts of Saturday Night

A cab combs the snake,
Tryin' to rake in that last night's fare,
And a solitary sailor
Who spends the facts of his life like small change on strangers

Paws his inside pea coat pocket for a welcome twenty-five cents,
And the last bent butt from a package of Kents,
As he dreams of a waitress with Maxwell House eyes
And marmalade thighs with scrambled yellow hair


Her rhinestone-studded moniker says, Irene
As she wipes the wisps of dishwater blonde from her eyes
And the Texaco beacon burns on,
The steel-belted attendant with a ring and valve special
Cryin' fill'er up and check that oil
You know it could be a distributor and it could be a coil

The early mornin' final edition's on the stands,
And that town cryer's cryin' there with nickels in his hands
Pigs in a blanket sixty-nine cents
Eggs, roll 'em over and a package of Kents
Adam and Eve on a log, you can sink 'em damn straight
Hash browns, hash browns, you know I can't be late

And the early dawn cracks out a carpet of diamonds
Across a cash crop car lot filled with twilight Coupe Devilles
Leaving the town in a-keeping
Of the one who is sweeping
Up the ghost of Saturday night
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  #17  
Old 04-23-2017, 12:49 AM
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Tony Barnstone Tony Barnstone is offline
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I also like the first two stanza's of "Kathy's Song" by Paul Simon, and, bonus, it's in iambic tet:



I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies

My mind's distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you're asleep
And kiss you when you start your day

And a song I was writing is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme

And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you

And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:46 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Far too numerous to mention and many good ones already (Tony -- Waits' lyrics are extraordinary and I think got even better than that Chandleresque Beat pastiche, good as it is. And I love Paul Simon's 'National guitar' too)

I listened to The Smiths again recently and my 80s adolescence came roaring back. Nothing beats the song 'Rusholme Ruffians', a tale of the danger and romance of travelling fairgrounds, for taking me back to those days of terror and wonder. Sample lyrics:

The last night of the fair
By the big wheel generator
A boy is stabbed
And his money is grabbed
And the air hangs heavy like a dulling wine...

The last night of the fair
From a seat on a whirling waltzer
Her skirt ascends for a watching eye
It's a hideous trait (on her mother's side)

Then someone falls in love
And someone's beaten up
And the senses being dulled are mine...

This is the last night of the fair
And the grease in the hair
Of a speedway operator
Is all a tremulous heart requires
A schoolgirl is denied
She said : "How quickly would I die
If I jumped from the top of the parachutes ?"


All set to a '(Marie's the Name) Of his Latest Flame' rockabilly beat.

Note: For US people, 'Rusholme' is a working class inner-city area of Manchester and 'waltzer', 'speedway' and 'parachutes' are fairground rides.
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  #19  
Old 04-23-2017, 02:23 AM
William A. Baurle William A. Baurle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Barnstone View Post
For me, Tom Waits, esp the red stuff in the song below

The Ghosts of Saturday Night

A cab combs the snake,
Tryin' to rake in that last night's fare,
And a solitary sailor
Who spends the facts of his life like small change on strangers

Paws his inside pea coat pocket for a welcome twenty-five cents,
And the last bent butt from a package of Kents,
As he dreams of a waitress with Maxwell House eyes
And marmalade thighs with scrambled yellow hair


Her rhinestone-studded moniker says, Irene
As she wipes the wisps of dishwater blonde from her eyes
And the Texaco beacon burns on,
The steel-belted attendant with a ring and valve special
Cryin' fill'er up and check that oil
You know it could be a distributor and it could be a coil

The early mornin' final edition's on the stands,
And that town cryer's cryin' there with nickels in his hands
Pigs in a blanket sixty-nine cents
Eggs, roll 'em over and a package of Kents
Adam and Eve on a log, you can sink 'em damn straight
Hash browns, hash browns, you know I can't be late

And the early dawn cracks out a carpet of diamonds
Across a cash crop car lot filled with twilight Coupe Devilles
Leaving the town in a-keeping
Of the one who is sweeping
Up the ghost of Saturday night
The poetry is exemplary, and the whole mood is wonderful, but it seems to me that Waits could have been reading/reciting almost anything to that repeated piano motif, and the effect would be similar. That's the impression I got, and always get from an artist like Waits or Lou Reed.

I think music critics fawned over people like Waits and Reed because it seemed like something they could do in their off hours. They generally hated and spat upon anything that they knew they couldn't do. They had an arsenal of cliches for that: pompous, pretentious, bombastic, egotistical, etc, etc.

Mark! I love the Smiths. Everything they recorded is epic. Will return...

Last edited by William A. Baurle; 04-23-2017 at 02:28 AM.
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  #20  
Old 04-23-2017, 09:45 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Roger, you like Dylan's penultimate line refrain: "You left me standing in the doorway, crying". I like one closing line especially there: "Suffering like a fool."
The Paul Simon is lovely, IMO, as he often is.
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