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CRAFT CHAT: songwriting genres -- let's list as many as we can

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  • CRAFT CHAT: songwriting genres -- let's list as many as we can

    Not thinking about commercial or stylistic genres so much as the underlying songwriting, which I hope to suggest by these (easy and obvious) examples, which I'll throw in the ring to get things started... 


    [examples optional, as you think necessary]


    girl name songs


    murder ballads


    teen tragey songs ("Teen Angel," "Leader of the Pack")


    sea shanties


     


    I'll add a couple more from my youth...


    hot rod songs


    surf instrumentals ("Pipeline")


    beach lifestyle songs ("Surfin' Safari")


    biker instrumentals, soundtrack themes ("Blue's Theme")


    biker lifestyle songs ("Born to Be Wild")


     


    ... take it...



    music and social stuff

  • #2

    Love songs.
    Pirate drinking songs.
    National anthems.

     

    That's all there is.

    Comment


    • #3

      Protest songs

      Convoluted story songs

      Stoner songs (see Pink Floyd)

      T&A songs (see the last 20 years of hip-hop)

      Beware of deepities.<br>-- Daniel Dennett

      Comment


      • #4

        blue2blue wrote:

        Not thinking about commercial or stylistic genres so much as the underlying songwriting, which I hope to suggest by these (easy and obvious) examples, which I'll throw in the ring to get things started... 

        [examples optional, as you think necessary]


        Moms and dads: "Mama Tried," "Bugged at My Old Man," "Dance With My Father..."

        Brothers and sisters: "He Ain't Heavy," "Don't Hurt My Little Sister," "We Are Family..."

        Wanting to grow up: "When I Grow Up to Be a Man," "Summertime Blues," "Jack and Diane..."

        Songs about school: "Wonderful World," "Ring, Ring Goes the Bell," "Smokin' in the Boy's Room..."

        Summer vacation: "All Summer Long," "It Might as Well Rain Until September," "School's Out..."

        Teenage angst: "At Seventeen," "My Generation," "Welcome to My Life..."

        Songs about the rain: "Singin' in the Rain," "Rainy Night in Georgia," "Rain" (the Beatles)...

        Songs about summer: "Summertime," "Your Summer Dream," "Under the Boardwalk," "Summer Breeze..."

        Songs about autumn: "The Autumn Leaves," "Moondance," "September," "September in the Rain..."

        Songs about winter (non-Christmas): "Hazy Shade of Winter," "California Dreamin'," "The Coldest Night of the Year..."

        Songs about spring: "Here Comes the Sun," "April in Paris," "Waters of March..."

        Songs about Sunday: "Groovin'," "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," "Sunday Will Never Be the Same..."

        Songs about Saturday: "Saturday in the Park," "Saturday Clothes," "The Heart of Saturday Night..."

        Songs about Friday: "Black Friday," "Friday on My Mind," "I Wish It Was Friday..."

        Songs about other days: "Monday, Monday," "Tuesday Afternoon," "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM," "Jersey Thursday..."

        Songs about trains: "City of New Orleans," "Downtown Train," "Midnight Train to Georgia..."

        Songs about planes: "In the Early Morning Rain," "Silver Wings," "Jet Airliner..."

        Songs about cars: "Old '55," "409," "Mercury Blues," "Little Red Corvette," "Maybelline..."

        Songs about trucks: "Six Days on the Road," "Phantom 309," "White Line Fever..."

        Songs about food: "Bread and Butter," "Brown Sugar," "Eggs and Sausage..."

        and probably the most relevant category of all...

        Songs about wasting time: "Daydream," "Wasting Time," "Busy Doin' Nothing..."

        "I write from a different place. I do not even know what it is called, or if it has a name. It just comes and I sculpt it. But it is also a lot of hard work." —Van Morrison

        Comment


        • LCK
          LCK commented
          Editing a comment

          More topics:

          songs about outlaws,

          prostitutes,

          good girls gone bad,

          bad girls who are really good at heart,

          songs about friendship,

          songs about wanting to move to a new town or city,

          songs about being stuck in a new town or city,

          songs about sailing (metaphorical),

          songs that are actually about sailing,

          songs about buses (The Who, The Beatles),

          songs about being stuck in train stations and airports,

          songs about traveling in general,

          songs about actual highways,

          songs about reunions,

          songs about family life,

          lullabies,

          songs about ancient history, mythology, battles, etc.,

          songs about dying,

          songs about killing someone or someone being killed,

          songs about small town life,

          songs about big city life, neighborhoods, streetcorners, etc.

          songs about cronies/homeboys,

          songs about dead musicians,

          songs about playing sports,

          songs about sports (non-metaphorical),

          songs about drinking some form of alchohol,

          songs about songs,

          songs about writing songs,

          songs about music,

          romantic-advice-to-a-friend songs,

          songs about states,

          songs about cities,

          songs about dogs,

          songs about horses,

          songs about horse racing,

          songs about poker, gambling, etc.,

          songs about feeling lucky,

          songs about feeling unlucky,

          songs about waking up in the morning,

          songs about going to sleep at night,

          songs about evil record-company executives and/or business managers,

          songs about the mountains,

          songs about the desert,

          songs about the ocean,

          songs about rivers,

          songs about fish or other forms of underwater life,

          songs about dreams (metaphorical),

          songs about actual dreams,

          songs about technology,

          songs about musical instruments,

          and that doesn't even include songs about feeling states: "I Feel Fine," "I Can't Get No Satisfaction," etc.

           


      • #5
        Songs about life
        Songs about songs
        Songs about buildings and food
        Lyrics Songs Demos Videos Covers Facebook Tumblr

        Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

        -Coco Chanel

        Comment


        • Oswlek
          Oswlek commented
          Editing a comment

          Are lyrics what really determine genre?  Classic rock, metal, grunge, cock rock, rap - this is what I think of when I think of genres and it isn't as if each category shares storyline content.


        • Marshal
          Marshal commented
          Editing a comment

          rsadasiv wrote:
          . . . , Songs about buildings and food

          Songs about buildings and food ?


      • #6

        I'll kick in another -- actually, the genre that got me thinking: epistolary songs -- letter songs. 


        One of my favorites is Iron & Wine's "Upward Over the Mountains," in the form of a rambling letter from a wayward son to his mother filled with sunny optimism but peppered with dark hints to his troubled lifestyle.


         


        One song that takes the epistolary format and turns it on its head with cheeky cleverness is "Take a Letter, Maria." (If you're not familiar with it, it's in the form of a boss giving his loyal secretary dictation. In the course of the dictation, we hear the guy's story, his ungrateful underserving wife the letter is to, the loyal secretary he's really in love with. It's a very nicely constructed little thing.)



        music and social stuff

        Comment


        • Lee Knight
          Lee Knight commented
          Editing a comment

          The clothing song

           

          Devil With a Blue Dress

          Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat

          Blue Suede Shoes

          Weezer's The Sweater Song (Undone)


        • LCK
          LCK commented
          Editing a comment

          blue2blue wrote:

          I'll kick in another -- actually, the genre that got me thinking: epistolary songs -- letter songs. 

          One of my favorites is Iron & Wine's "Upward Over the Mountains," in the form of a rambling letter from a wayward son to his mother filled with sunny optimism but peppered with dark hints to his troubled lifestyle.

           

          One song that takes the epistolary format and turns it on its head with cheeky cleverness is "Take a Letter, Maria." (If you're not familiar with it, it's in the form of a boss giving his loyal secretary dictation. In the course of the dictation, we hear the guy's story, his ungrateful underserving wife the letter is to, the loyal secretary he's really in love with. It's a very nicely constructed little thing.)


          Or "P.S. I Love You" by Johnny Mercer:

           

          What is there to write? What is there to say?
          Same things happen every day.
          Not a thing to write. Not a thing to say.
          So I take my pen in hand and start the same old way:

          Dear, I thought I'd drop a line.
          The weather's cool. The folks are fine.
          I'm in bed each night at nine.
          P.S. I love you.

          Yesterday we had some rain
          but all in all I can't complain.
          Was it dusty on the train?
          P.S. I love you.

          Write to the Browns as soon as you're able.
          They came around to call.
          I burned a hole in the dining room table.
          And let me see, I guess that's all.

          Nothing else for me to say.
          And so I'll close, but by the way.
          Everybody's thinking of you.
          P.S. I love you.

          I do my best to obey all your wishes.
          I put a sign up: "THINK!"
          But I've got to buy a new set of dishes
          or wash the ones that are piled in the sink.

          Nothing else to tell you, dear,
          except each day seems like a year.
          Every night I'm dreaming of you
          P.S. I love you.


      • #7
        It's the title of a Talking Heads album.
        Lyrics Songs Demos Videos Covers Facebook Tumblr

        Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

        -Coco Chanel

        Comment


        • nat whilk II
          nat whilk II commented
          Editing a comment

          The hobo song has been worked pretty thoroughly.  Seems to me that the 50s and 60s sentimentalized the image of the hobo from the Depression 20-odd years back.  It's a long way to Red Skelton from Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home".  The fantasy of the carefree happy wanderer (King of the Road) got taken up by the hippies and of course that meant all ties to reality were severed for good.  

           

          But some goods songs were written anyway....

           

          King of the Road is probably the best known.

           

          But there's also:

          Gentle On My Mind - I love that line "I dip my cup of soup back from the gurglin' cracklin' caldron in some train yard"

           


          Early Morning Rain - Gordon Lightfoot.  

           

          Big Rock Candy Mountain - O Brother Where Art Thou brought this out for newer generations to hear again...

           

          The Hobo Song - John Prine

           

          Hank's Ramblin Man

           

          Jimmie Rogers wrote a whole bunch of hobo songs...

          and a late bloomer and a really good song, James Taylor's "Captain Jim's Drunken Dream"

           

          Any knowledgeable folk fan would know a hundred more I'm sure...

           

          nat whilk 

           

           



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