Tasks 2009

 

The 'song factory'

It occurs to me that we haven’t blogged any information about the tasks. Here’s some background. There are basically five methods we use (at Burnsong and at the UK Songwriting Festival in Bath). They are, in no particular order;

 

  • Analysing your own songs.
  • Analysing ‘successful’ songs i.e. songs that have demonstrably moved an audience, shown through commercial success or longevity.
  • Peer review – trying songs out in front of other writers and getting comments
  • Practice i.e. lots of writing.
  • Tasks that are designed to break habits and increase a writer’s range.

This week’s tasks are;

1. Write a lyric in its entirety and pass it to someone else for setting to music.
2. Write a chorus-form song suitable for audiences to sing.
3. Write a song without using a musical instrument (or for writers who usually work this way, to use an unfamiliar instrument).
4. Write a song in AABA form.
5. Write a song about a place or inanimate object.

The MP3s will be coming thick and fast now. Chris and I will be meeting our session drummer Blair today, then rehearsing the Parliament set for the next 48 hours. Busy!

Everything’s Changed

Everything’s Changed (MP3 download)

Everything’s Changed
Emily Ebert
I get the feeling when I open up both of my eyes
I steal the morning start at smilin’ on the moment I rise
I must have had a dream that brought me right back down to my size
I wasn’t sure before but all of a sudden I realise

Everything’s changed
Everything’s changed
Everything’s changed now

There’s something reeling me in, it’s got me feeling alive
I was afraid for my heart but now I’m not going to hide
But down my weapons machine and throw away my disguise
Been waiting here for a while I guess it’s finally time

Completely different, my life’s been since you are here
Broken the system I’ve been locked to for years

Everything’s changed (etc)

Hey Honey I’m Home

Lisa Rigby

Hey Honey I’m Home MP3 download

Lisa Rigby

My journey began
I can’t remember when
As for a destination
I didn’t know it then
I’ve travelled this earth a thousand times
Felt the joy and the sting
Of a voyage to wha’s mine
Of a time when I can sing
Hey honey I’m home
Ma ain one, ma dear
Through ages I roamed
To get myself here
From near and from far
O’er sea and o’er land
It says who you are
It says who I am
My skin it is white
My skin it is black
My skin it is olive
And strong is ma back
I come fae the land
I come fae the scheme
I’ve travelled through war
But peace is ma dream
Hey honey…
But when I’m far away
from my heart
I know I can’t stay
Kept apart
From a part of me
That’ll always be
From this wee place
I stretch ma hand
Touch every face –
Every woman, child and man
From Palestine, Guyana, Afghanistan, Italy
I live in the hope
Some day everyone can say
Hey honey…

A Man’s A Man For A’That (Robert Burns)

This Robert Burns lyric, set to a traditional tune, is the song we’re going to perform at the end of the gig at the Parliament on the 30th Nov. The group is currently discussing how they want us to perform it – current suggestions include Gaelic, choral, rock and reggae versions!

A Man's a Man for A'That

Is there for honest poverty,
That hings its heid an’ a’ that,
The coward slave we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Its toils obscure an’ a’ that,
The rank is but the guinea stamp,
The man’s the gowd for a’ that

What tho’ on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden gray an’ a’ that?
Gie fools their silk an’ knaves their wine,
A man’s a man for a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their tinsel show an’ a’ that,
The honest man tho’ e’er sae poor,
Is king o’ men for a’ that.

Ye see yon birkie ca’d a lord,
Wha struts an’ stares an’ a’ that,
Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
He’s but a coof for a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their ribband star an’ a’ that,
The man o’ independent mind
He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

A prince can mak’ a belted knight,
A marquis, duke an’ a’ that,
But an honest man’s aboon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
Their dignities an’ a’ that.
The pith o’ sense an ‘ pride o’ worth,
Are higher rank than a’ that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
It’s comin’ yet for a’ that,
That man to man, the world o’er,
Shall brithers be for a’ that.

The Click Of The Door

Yvonne Lyon

The Click Of The Door (download MP3)

Words by Lisa Rigby
Music by Yvonne Lyon

Click
This time I’ve been shown grace
Life’s provided a space just for me
I never know what my fate will be
When I hear…

Click
When he stops all the clocks
I absorb all the shocks as before
Either mother or whore
When I hear the click of the door

This house is not a castle but a fortress
Locked inside – fear and self doubt
A beautiful façade, the rictus-grinning mask
Will they ever let the truth fly out?

Click
And so the dance begins
I atone for your sins once more
My gaze turns down to the floor
When I hear the click of the door

This house is not a castle but a fortress
Locked inside – fear and self doubt
A beautiful façade, the rictus-grinning mask
Will they ever let the truth fly out?

Click
And so the dance begins
I atone for your sins once more
Lay my life out on the floor
When I hear the click of the door

Tightrope walk

Alex Hodgson performs the song on this recording. He also wrote the music (words by Emily Elbert).

Tightrope Walk (MP3 download)

Words Emily Elbert

Music Alex Hodgson

24 Nov 09

Tightrope walk
Tiptoe so delicately
Think and talk
All simultaneously

Got to say what you mean in the most polite of ways

Balance beam
You’ve got charisma and you’re so p.c.
Ought to be on television

Colgate whites prob’ly glow when you turn out the lights

But how many pins can you juggle ‘fore they all come crashing down?
That mind must get awfully muddled with so many voices spinning round

Tightrope walk
Tiptoe so delicately
Think and talk
All simultaneously

Got to say what you mean in the most polite of ways

Portraits

Burnsong 2009 – The Songwriters