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Song lyrics with extreme expressions of emotion


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This only just occurred to me.

When you write your songs and song lyrics, what are your left-and-right-limits for expressions of emotion, either positive or negative?

And further, are your song-writing ambitions limited by that which is the socially-accepted norm of pop radio?

And if so, is that even a relevant convention in this life and these times?

When I was in the Army, my mates and I spoke in extreme and often outrageous terms, especially when we were joking around, riffing philosophic, or just talking story.

"Man oh man. She is gorgeous. I would crawl through five miles of broken glass to hear her fart through a walkie-talkie."

"I hate that guy. I wouldn't cross the street to p1$$ on him if he were on fire!"

See, those are extreme expressions of emotion.
But you rarely see such examples in rock, pop, country, jazz, soul, or mainstream radio-friendly music.

There seems to be a tight left and right limit for expressions of emotion.

Prince declared that, "I would die for you."
(I Would Die 4 U, technically.)

You never once thought for a minute though that his Purple Royalness would ever want to lay down and die for her. So you knew it was a lark. A song-writing hook.

Robert Palmer.
"Doctor doctor, give me the news, I got a bad case of lovin' you".
Same thing.
A clever lyric, and great hook.
But it never crossed that line.
That line of impropriety.

Rick Derringer.
If I Weren't So Romantic, I'd Kill You.

A great and clever concept, and even the title of an album.
But it never took off.
He had a cult and minor sensation with it, but not exactly a radio hit.

So help me out here.

Are there, or were there, song writers who pushed the envelope of weirdness and offensiveness, and yet still made a hit out of it?

I'll start it off by naming Ted Nugent, for example.
Cat Scratch Fever.

Never in a million years would I think that that would go.
But there it was.

Your thoughts, and offerings?
ūüėĎ

 

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1 hour ago, sparquelito said:

This only just occurred to me.

When you write your songs and song lyrics, what are your left-and-right-limits for expressions of emotion, either positive or negative?

And further, are your song-writing ambitions limited by that which is the socially-accepted norm of pop radio?

And if so, is that even a relevant convention in this life and these times?

When I was in the Army, my mates and I spoke in extreme and often outrageous terms, especially when we were joking around, riffing philosophic, or just talking story.

"Man oh man. She is gorgeous. I would crawl through five miles of broken glass to hear her fart through a walkie-talkie."

"I hate that guy. I wouldn't cross the street to p1$$ on him if he were on fire!"

See, those are extreme expressions of emotion.
But you rarely see such examples in rock, pop, country, jazz, soul, or mainstream radio-friendly music.

There seems to be a tight left and right limit for expressions of emotion.

Prince declared that, "I would die for you."
(I Would Die 4 U, technically.)

You never once thought for a minute though that his Purple Royalness would ever want to lay down and die for her. So you knew it was a lark. A song-writing hook.

Robert Palmer.
"Doctor doctor, give me the news, I got a bad case of lovin' you".
Same thing.
A clever lyric, and great hook.
But it never crossed that line.
That line of impropriety.

Rick Derringer.
If I Weren't So Romantic, I'd Kill You.

A great and clever concept, and even the title of an album.
But it never took off.
He had a cult and minor sensation with it, but not exactly a radio hit.

So help me out here.

Are there, or were there, song writers who pushed the envelope of weirdness and offensiveness, and yet still made a hit out of it?

I'll start it off by naming Ted Nugent, for example.
Cat Scratch Fever.

Never in a million years would I think that that would go.
But there it was.

Your thoughts, and offerings?
ūüėĎ

 

guitar-posture.jpg

What?

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1 hour ago, sparquelito said:

Prince declared that, "I would die for you."
(I Would Die 4 U, technically.)

You never once thought for a minute though that his Purple Royalness would ever want to lay down and die for her. So you knew it was a lark. A song-writing hook.

 

But the hook has context, from the simplest "darling if you want me to", and we know she doesn't want him to, so no, he wouldn't die for her.  All the way to the spiritual context of not being even human and being love.

Bad example.

Hyperbole is what you are talking about.  Hyperbole is often interpreted as silly, and is often regional.  Silliness is something universal, but regional silliness is not.  So if you are writing songs to appeal to people for any reason, you would want to pretty much limit silly hyperbole and stick to easily recognizable word play, no matter the locale.

Or not.

rct

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I've always been a music guy and didn't even listen to lyrics until someone informed me that the Dylan song they loved was world defining. My psychologist wife on the other hand judges a song by it's lyrics. We both think the goal posts are changing. What might have been offensive in it's extremeness at the time it was written help set the standard and therefore is no longer shocking or extreme through the glasses we wear today. Take any misogynistic violence encouraging rap song from the 90's. People became numb to it.

On the other hand a song taken fairly lightheartedly as tongue in cheek pushing the boundaries bravado in the late 60's and early 70's would get you cancelled today. e.g. Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields, sold in a market down in New Orleans.....How come you taste so good.

So yea there were songs that pushed the envelope but it wasn't the envelope that we have grown into. So Sparquelito, it's open season.

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9 hours ago, sparquelito said:

Rick Derringer.
If I Weren't So Romantic, I'd Kill You.

If I Weren't So Romantic, I'd Shoot You.

Music by Rick. Lyrics by Alice Cooper and Bernie Taupin.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
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I try to write as directly as possible. What's written is less important than the way it makes you feel.

These are a couple of lines from my 'It Doesn't Matter What I Sing'. 

 

"It doesn't matter what I write.

Even though I write with all of my might.

It won't matter what I write in spite, of what I wrote for you."

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Yeah, like Evans up there, I usually try to be direct too, all depending on what type of song I'm trying.  Sometimes direct emotion fits, and usually I try for some word play.   And metaphor  is good too.   Like a line from a blues tune I jotted down near 20 years ago;    " The first music that I heard was Mama's crying and the rhythm of the rain".  [cool]

Whitefang

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Sort of related to that concept ...

I remember when Sublime had a big hit with 'Santeria' - the music has a happy vibe that does NOT match the lyrical content:

I don't practice Santeria, I ain't got no crystal ball
Well, I had a million dollars but I'd, I'd spend it all
If I could find that Heina and that Sancho that she's found
Well, I'd pop a cap in Sancho and I'd slap her down
What I really want to know
Ah, baby, mm
What I really want to say
I can't define
Well it's love that I need
Oh, my soul will have to wait 'til I get back and find a Heina of my own
Daddy's gonna love one and all
I feel the break, feel the break
Feel the break and I got to live it up, oh yeah huh
Well, I swear that I, well I really want to know
Ah, baby, what I really want to say, I can't define
That love, make it go, my soul will have to
Ooh, what I really want to say, ah baby
What I really want to say, is I've got mine
And I'll make it, yes, I'm going up
Tell Sanchito that if he knows what is good for him
He best go run and hide
Daddy's got a new .45
And I won't think twice to stick that barrel straight down Sancho's throat
Believe me when I say that I got something for his punk ***

What I really want know, my baby
Ooh, what I really want to say is there's just one way back
And I'll make it, yeah, my soul will have to wait

 

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Most of Roger Waters work

I held the blade in trembling hands prepared to make it BUT... Just then the phone rang, I never had the nerve to make the final cut.....

 

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20 hours ago, brad1 said:

I didn’t know this was a contest

19 hours ago, Mr. Natural said:

Me neither.

Apologies -  on reflection that was probably the wrong thing to write ](*,) - it isn't really a contest - just a figure of speech......[wink]

 

How about Ice-T?  "Cop Killer"....that's extreme!

https://www.google.com/search?q=ice-t+cop+killer+lyrics&client=firefox-b-d&ei=o1-dYIzXI5-GjLsP1tK0oAY&oq=Ice-T%3F+"Cop+Killer&gs_lcp=Cgdnd3Mtd2l6EAEYAjIJCAAQsAMQBxAeMgUILhCwAzIFCAAQsAMyBQgAELADMgUIABCwAzIHCAAQsAMQHjIHCAAQsAMQHjIHCAAQsAMQHjIHCAAQsAMQHjIHCAAQsAMQHlAAWABggyZoAXAAeACAATuIATuSAQExmAEAqgEHZ3dzLXdpesgBCsABAQ&sclient=gws-wiz

Edited by jdgm
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On 5/14/2021 at 8:21 AM, Whitefang said:

An extreme expression of emotion doesn't necessarily mean anything violent, but can be heard in this much covered song by BADFINGER----

 

Whitefang

Made all the more poignant by the band's double suicide.

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