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Writing lyrics that arent sung but told as a story

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  • Writing lyrics that arent sung but told as a story

    What do you think about such thing?

    I mean something a la Primus's Tommy the Cat.

    Do you write such stuff?

  • #2
    Like talking blues or those country songs that have the spoken stuff or some Tom Waits? I don't know the Primus tune.

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    • #3
      I think you need A LOT of charisma to be able to pull that off as a vocalist. I do love it in a couple of country songs where the vocalist talks the third verse instead of singing it, but then it's always written as a verse, properly metered and rhymed.
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      • #4
        I was just listening to Cream's delightful "Pressed Rat and Warthog." It combines something of the tone of Wind in the Willows with a distinctly twisted sensibilty.

        I've fooled around with a few spoken word type things over guitar. Particularly with regard to preamble type stuff in front of a more conventional song. It's not my forte, delivery-wise.
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        • #5
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          • #6


            Something like this.

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            • #7
              I like some of Primus' stuff. You can beat them for bass lines of course. But I don't like this song at all. The drums and bass is cool but the "singing" is awful.

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              • #8


                Something like this.
                I enjoyed that quite a lot... at least until around the three minute mark, after which it seemed like it was just recycling itself. One thing about in your face music -- you've got to have a good feel for how much is too much. And what works in a sweaty club in the heat of the moment is not necessarily optimal for a record.

                I loved the Felix-the-Cat inspired illustration/animation.
                .

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                • #9
                  I enjoyed that quite a lot... at least until around the three minute mark, after which it seemed like it was just recycling itself. One thing about in your face music -- you've got to have a good feel for how much is too much. And what works in a sweaty club in the heat of the moment is not necessarily optimal for a record.

                  I loved the Felix-the-Cat inspired illustration/animation.


                  Well, you get what I meant in the OP, right?

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                  • #10
                    To me, the best example of that is Guy Clark's The Randall Knife.



                    You'd better have some solid lyrics and tons of charisma, not to mention a hell of readin' voice to pull it off...
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                    • #11
                      I like this one...

                      ">" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">

                      but then again, there's a singing chorus in this.

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                      • #12
                        i would think the hardest thing about that would be the coordination, how to play a melody or rhythm on the guitar while speaking, i've worked on it a couple of times, posted a tune here called The River via my soundclick a while back, that took a lot of vocal experimentation to get right, i worded a lot of gibberish before settling on a clean story.

                        http://soundclick.com/share?songid=7960578


                        EDIT: that Guy Clark tune is Really Nice, thanks for posting it!
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                        • #13


                          You'd better have some solid lyrics and tons of charisma, not to mention a hell of readin' voice to pull it off...


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                          • #14
                            How about Johnny Cash's "A Boy named Sue" or you might place "One Piece at a Time" in the category though the chorus is sung, the verses are more spoken with a sing-song inflection.

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                            • #15


                              You'd better have some solid lyrics and tons of charisma, not to mention a hell of readin' voice to pull it off...


                              Wow, that was just beautiful.
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