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A great melody first, then lyrics,(only) THEN 'vocals'

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  • "You're Nearer," a Rodgers and Hart gem, not well known, but fabulous.



    Intro.
    Time is a healer,
    but it cannot heal my heart.
    My mind says I've forgotten you
    but then I feel my heart.

    The miles lie between us
    but your fingers touch my own.
    You're never far away from me
    'cause you're too much my own.

    1.
    You're nearer
    than my head is to my pillow,
    nearer
    than the wind is to the willow,

    2.
    nearer
    than the rain is
    to the earth below,
    precious as the sun
    to the things that grow.

    3.
    You're nearer
    than the ivy to the wall is,
    nearer
    than the winter to the fall is.

    4.
    Leave me
    but when you're away
    I'll know
    you're nearer
    for I love you so.
    “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

    Comment


    • Annie Lennox has a new album coming out. It's mostly jazz and blues tunes from the "golden era" of songwriting, though there are a few newer items, like "I Put a Spell on You."

      She seems to favor Hoagy Carmichael tunes; there are three on the LP, including this little-known gem, with lyric by Paul Francis Webster, Hoagy's go-to lyricist when Johnny Mercer wasn't available.

      Last edited by LCK; 10-16-2014, 01:52 PM.
      “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

      Comment


      • "Blue Room," Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart, written in 1926 for the musical The Girlfriend. Done here by Perry Como.



        VERSE 1
        All my future plans,
        Dear, will suit your plans.
        Read the little blueprints.
        Here's your mother's room.
        Here's your brother's room.
        On the wall are two prints.

        Here's the kiddies' room,
        Here's the biddy's room,
        Here's a pantry lined with shelves, dear.
        Here I've planned for us
        Something grand for us,
        Where we two can be ourselves, dear.

        REFRAIN
        We'll have a blue room,
        A new room, For two room,
        Where ev'ry day's a holiday
        Because you're married to me.

        Not like a ballroom,
        A small room, A hall room,
        Where I can smoke my pipe away
        With your wee head upon my knee.

        We will thrive on, Keep alive on,
        Just nothing but kisses,
        With Mister and Missus
        On little blue chairs.

        You sew your trousseau,
        And Robinson Crusoe
        Is not so far from worldly cares
        As our blue room far away upstairs.

        VERSE 2
        From all visitors
        And inquisitors
        We'll keep our apartment.
        I won 't change your plans-
        You arrange your plans
        Just the way your heart meant.

        Here we'll be ourselves
        And we'll see ourselves
        Doing all the things we're scheming.
        Here's a certain place,
        Cretonne curtain place,
        Where no one can see us dreaming.

        REFRAIN
        We'll have a blue room,
        A new room, For two room,
        Where ev'ry day's a holiday
        Because you're married to me.

        Not like a ballroom,
        A small room, A hall room,
        Where I can smoke my pipe away
        With your wee head upon my knee.

        We will thrive on, Keep alive on,
        Just nothing but kisses,
        With Mister and Missus
        On little blue chairs.

        You sew your trousseau,
        And Robinson Crusoe
        Is not so far from worldly cares
        As our blue room far away upstairs.
        Last edited by LCK; 12-05-2014, 10:47 AM.
        “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

        Comment


        • Chet Baker, "Blue Room."


          Solo vocal, no backing track.

          “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

          Comment


          • "This Time the Dream's on Me," music by Harold Arlen, lyric by Johnny Mercer.



            A gorgeous tune that, unfortunately had an iffy lyrical concept.

            Mercer himself said, "It's one of Harold's nicest tunes. It's kind of a poor lyric, I think. Built around the thing about 'this time the drink's on me.' I think it's too flip for that melody. I think it should be nicer. I was in a hurry ... I remember the director [of the picture it was written for] didn't like it ... I could have improved it, I really could. I wish I had. But, you know, we had a lot of songs to get out in a short amount of time, and we had another picture to do..."

            Me? l like it anyway ...

            So do a lot of other people, apparently.

            Last edited by LCK; 03-27-2015, 10:33 AM.
            “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

            Comment


            • Well. I have no creds whatsoever on this. I'm 63, have been writing songs since I was in high school, and still haven't sold one. (And I'd sell 'em cheap!) So I acknowledge preemptively that what I think is wrong. But as you might have noticed, that's never stopped me. What I think is:

              There are lots of ways to write a song. Some people usually start with the words, some usually start with the music, some usually come up with them both at the same time. Some only write words or only write music. Some (like me) don't have a pattern. I have words-first, music-first, words-and-music-at-the-same-time, words-only, and music-only pieces.

              I really, really, REALLY doubt that you can listen to an unfamiliar song and tell whether the words or music came first. And you especially can't decide based on whether you liked it or not.

              Del
              www.thefullertons.net
              ( •)—:::
              Del
              www.thefullertons.net
              ( •)—:::
              Sent on my six-string jumbo ukelele

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Delmont View Post

                I really, really, REALLY doubt that you can listen to an unfamiliar song and tell whether the words or music came first. And you especially can't decide based on whether you liked it or not.
                ( •)—:::
                First of all, the title of this thread goes back a long, long way.

                Secondly, actually, you can.

                I attended an ASCAP songwriting workshop years ago and there was this songwriting wannabe duo who presented 4 or 5 songs. And while every one of their songs was pretty good, there was a place where the rhythm of the words and melody weren't in synch, particularly where there were internal rhymes.

                I puzzled as to why these cleverly written lyrics didn't gibe with the tunes, and it hit me. The lyrics must have been written first. That's why the tunes were out of synch with the words.

                So when they were finished, and the floor was open to comments, I asked who wrote the words.

                The lyricist said, "I did."

                Then I said, "And I'm guessing you wrote them first and gave them to your partner?"

                He said, "Yes. How did you know?"

                "Because you've got some great internal rhymes that are falling flat because they don't match the rhythm of the tunes. You have to go back and rewrite them to fit the melodies..."

                He had no idea what I was talking about. He even seemed pretty adamant that there was no need to rewrite anything.

                When I wrote the book and lyrics for my musical It's Only Money, I came up with the lyrics first for a few of the songs my partner and I wrote. And every single time I had to rewrite them to fit the tune.

                There are exceptions to this "rule." Richard Rodgers always wrote the music first when he worked with Larry Hart. But when he began collaborating with Oscar Hammerstein, Hammerstein wrote the words first, and Rodgers (who later wrote lyrics for some of his own tunes) wrote the melodies in such a way that the two components fit together perfectly.
                Last edited by LCK; 03-29-2015, 09:16 AM.
                “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                Comment


                • Carmen McRae, "Cloudy Morning." A wonderful, yet little-known tune written by Marvin Fisher (famous for "When Sunny Gets Blue") with a lyric by Joseph McCarthy (famous for "Why Try to Change Me Now" and "Ramblin' Rose").


                  Tony Bennett's version.

                  Last edited by LCK; 05-06-2015, 05:03 PM.
                  “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                  Comment


                  • "Emily," the title song from the 1964 film, The Americanization of Emily, starring James Garner and Julie Andrews.

                    Music by Johnny Mandel, lyric by Johnny Mercer.

                    Sung here by Jack Jones (who doesn't quite sing the lyric correctly).


                    Emily, Emily, Emily,
                    has the murmuring sound of May,
                    all silver bells, coral shells, carousels
                    and the laughter of children at play.

                    They say, "Emily, Emily, Emily..."
                    And we fade to a marvelous view:
                    two lovers, alone and out of sight,
                    seeing images in the firelight.
                    As my eyes visualize a family
                    they see dreamily, Emily too.


                    Here's Bill Evans' and Stan Getz' version.







                    “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                    Comment


                    • Frank Sinatra's first hit song. "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," by Jimmy Van Heusen (music) and Johnny Burke (words).


                      Bill Evans Trio.

                      Last edited by LCK; 08-13-2015, 04:09 PM.
                      “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                      Comment


                      • "I Found a Million Dollar Baby in a Five and Ten Cent Store," music by Harry Warren, lyric by Billy Rose and Mort Dixon.

                        Last edited by LCK; 11-15-2015, 10:32 AM.
                        “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                        Comment


                        • "I'm Way Ahead of the Game," by Robert Emmett Dolan (music) and Johnny Mercer (lyric), from the short-lived Broadway play Foxy (1964).

                          Last edited by LCK; 12-11-2015, 04:41 PM.
                          “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                          Comment


                          • "I'm Through With Love," lyric by Gus Kahn, music by Matty Melneck and clarinetist Fud Livingston (original melody).

                            Gus Kahn was, in a lot of ways, one of the lesser-known lyricists of the "golden era," yet he had a knack for finding great melodies and writing great lyrics.

                            Cover Versions of "I'm Thru With Love"

                            Fud Livingston is especially renowned for his 1931 composition "I'm Thru With Love", written together with Matty Malneck and Gus Kahn. Bing Crosby recorded the song that same year.[1] Later renditions were given by Nat King Cole; Lorez Alexandria; Woody Allen; Ray Anthony; Chet Baker; Marjorie Barnes; King Cole Trio; Marlene Cord; Howard Crosby; Lester Deane & the Jazz Masters; Johnny Desmond; Vic Dickenson; Dion & the Belmonts; Ray Eberle & his Orchestra; Ziggy Elman & his Orchestra; Eileen Farrell; Helen Forrest; Johnny Frigo; Dizzy Gillespie; Genie Grant; Coleman Hawkins & his Orchestra; Lena Horne; Dick Hyman; Keith Jarrett; Etta Jones; Mike Jones; Sammy Kaye; Barney Kessell; Diana Krall; Jack Lemmon; Enoch Light; Magnolia Jazz Band; Govanni Mazzarino; Dave McKenna; Marilyn Monroe; John Pizzarelli; Arthur Prysock; Little Jimmy Scott; Ray Sherman; Dinah Shore; Maxine Sullivan; Russ Tomkins; Russ Tyrell; Steve Tyrell; Sarah Vaughan; Charlie Ventura; Roseanna Vitro; Per Henrik Walin; Ben Waltzer; George Wein; Joe Williams; and A Head In The Sky. Alfalfa from The Little Rascals.
                            "I'm Thru With Love" was also used as a leitmotif in Woody Allen's 1996 musical comedy Everyone Says I Love You. It is performed by both Woody Allen and Goldie Hawn in the film.
                            Marilyn Monroe sings the song in the 1959 film Some Like It Hot.[2]
                            Last edited by LCK; 03-04-2017, 02:25 PM.
                            “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                            Comment


                            • okay like you have all your elements in tiny drawers around the shop and you like have a vision for it and you rough out what the parts are and you go rummage around for 'em and see what works or not or not...
                              Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...








                              Write Something, or Drag and Drop Images Here...

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                              • Here's another great Gus Kahn lyric, this one with music by Walter Donaldson.


                                "Makin' Whoopee"

                                Another bride, another June,
                                another sunny honeymoon,
                                another season, another reason
                                for makin' whoopee.

                                A lot of shoes, a lot of rice.
                                The groom is nervous, he answers twice.
                                It's really killin'
                                that he's so willin' to make whoopee.

                                Picture a little love nest
                                down where the roses cling.
                                Picture that same sweet love nest.
                                Think what a year can bring

                                He's washin' dishes and baby clothes.
                                He's so ambitious he even sews
                                So don't forget, folks,
                                that's what you get, folks,
                                for makin' whoopee.


                                Another year, or maybe less,
                                what's this I hear? Well, can't you guess?
                                She feels neglected, and he's suspected
                                of makin' whoopee.

                                She sits alone 'most every night.
                                He doesn't phone; he doesn't even write.
                                He says he's busy. But she says, "Is he?"
                                He's makin' whoopee.

                                He doesn't make much money,
                                only five thousand dollars per.
                                Some judge who thinks he's funny
                                says, "You'll pay six to her."

                                He says, "Judge! Suppose I fail?"
                                The judge says "Budge, right into jail.
                                So don't forget folks, that's what you get folks,
                                for makin' whoopee.
                                Last edited by LCK; 03-07-2017, 10:38 AM.
                                “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                                Comment

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