I’m in awe of how professional songwriters have the ability to paint verbal pictures for the rest of us and match it to notes that convey a certain mood. As a professional copywriter, I know that words have to be carefully crafted in order to tell a story, but it’s even harder to match it to a fast or slow tempo and to come up with notes arranged in an original way.
Artists such as Dan Fogelberg and Jim Croce were especially good at painting a picture through their words. With evocative songs such as “Same Old Lang Syne,” “Leader of the Band” and “Time in a Bottle,” you can almost see the scenes they’ve created.
But these songs have to be performed in the right way so that the words are in sync with the music. Singers also have to enunciate properly, or the audience will get confused. I was recently reminded of this fact when one of my relatives posted a link to a CNN story on Facebook. The story said that Spotify, a music-streaming service, published an informal list of the most commonly botched lines from popular songs.
Of course, I had to go see that, since I love singing. Here’s a sample:
- The Clash’s “Rock The Casbah” is often heard as “Rock The Cat Box.”
- In Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising,” the lyric “Don’t go out tonight/It’s bound to take your life/There’s a bad moon on the rise” is heard as “Don’t go out tonight/It’s bound to take your life/There’s a bathroom on the right.”
But the most classic line came in the comments. One person mentioned that Eddie Money’s “I’ve got two tickets to Paradise” sounds like “I’ve got two chickens to paralyze.” Another person said, “I’ve got two ticks and a parasite.”
I’m still chuckling over the paralyzed chickens. How on earth would you paralyze a chicken, anyway? Hypnosis, maybe? Any ideas, fellow bloggers?