September 12, 2006

The Surrender Hymn Of The Republic

The title of this post is also the title of a song I've been trying to write for some time. The music has been finished for months but the lyrics are really stumping me. I spent last night tracking guitars on the four-track for the final demos to be sent to Mike today after I finish the vocals. Which meant I also had to finish some lyrics. I was pleased to tighten up and complete lyrics for one that's been sitting around in various forms for over two and a half years, and I also did a little polishing of a new one I wrote the night before last. But the Surrender Hymn has me stumped. It's a shame too, because the song is set up in a way that leaves a lot of room for the type of lengthy, syllable-filled lines I tend to favor while still coming across as rigidly structured. It's the type of song that just cries out for clever-ish smart-assed lyrics. These types of songs are not only really fun to write, but they're usually pretty easy too; I always tend to end up with a ton of leftover material that I couldn't manage to fit in. Left to my own devices with no commercial considerations, a song like this would, in my self-indulgent hands, end up with about 12 verses plus 3 different bridges or so. Thank God for the marketplace.

The idea for the song is to discuss giving up on a relationship. This would be done in the form of a series of sarcastic little barbs designed to mock the standard Leftist line on 9/11, the Iraq War and pretty much anything Bush says or does. Whether this comes across as an attack on the narrator's part or whether it's the narrator himself (or herself) who is the Leftist in question is irrelevant - I just need a couple of great lines to get going. I've actually written several songs on the theme of modern Leftist idiocy since 9/11 but they were all pretty straightforward attacks on dumb-bell ideology and I've not made a record since then on which a song like that would fit (including the new one). Besides, the new record is all about relationships gone bad and I really want to make it more about the relationship than the politics.

Not that the political angle isn't interesting. It is, especially the notion that Islamic fundamentalist terrorism wouldn't be a problem if we'd simply sit down and talk with the terrorists. It's that angle that's making me think that the song's narrator probably needs to be the clueless one - the one who doesn't want the relationship to end and who truly believes that all their problems could be ironed out if both parties would just sit down and have a good old fashioned heart to heart. Who among us hasn't been on both sides of that coin at one time or another?

In any case, I'm hoping that inspiration strikes soon because Mike has only a small window of time in which he can take my bedroom demos and turn them into, if not formal dining room demos, at least couch-in-front-of-the-fireplace-in-the-living-room demos. Back to the saltmines.

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Posted by benweasel at 09:27 AM