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closet-folkie Help-I might have written a protest song (39) RE: Help-I might have written a protest song 18 Jul 07


I'd be remiss if I didn't thank everyone for their wonderfully varied opinions on the track in question. I really appreciate everyone taking the time to listen and comment.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not from the "explicitly expressed lyrics" school. I should also confess upfront that my background is probably closer to pop than folk. My favourite songwriters (Neil Finn, Ron Sexsmith, Andy Partridge to name a few) tend to be more shadowy/vague in their approach; I just find it more interesting and it keeps me coming back for more listens.
I always liked the sound of words as much as anything. Sometimes a phrase just sounds good to me and when married in a certain way with the melody and/or the sound of the voice, it'll just feel right to me. For example, there are songs that Neil Finn has written that might confound me if written on paper and analysed; indeed, many of his lyrics remain a mystery to me, but they may have a beautiful lilt to them, and when sung against a certain instrumental backdrop, or are phrased in just the right way, they can stop me cold. It's something that can defy analysis; a happy accident perhaps? I'm not comparing myself to Mr Finn of course; just trying to explain my own particular taste.
Another favourite of mine is Neil Young, but I have to tell you that when I heard his "Impeach The President" thing, which is about as direct and uncluttered as lyrics get, I could barely even get to the end; I found it excruciating. Different strokes, as they say.
Having said this, I totally understand where SharonA and Bill D are coming from and found their comments stimulating and thought-provoking. It made me want to pick up the guitar and write something better, whatever the style. To have someone take the time to offer heartfelt, constructive criticism like that is really rewarding. To get a spirited reaction like ...
" I think he has the capacity and the talent to do that. I can't adequately convey here how strongly I am saying this... I'm ready to drive down the coast and shake him by the shoulders and say, "Do it, man!!! Make me feel what you felt in that moment of inspiration!" THAT is what his song is evoking in me!"

...I mean, how could I not be jazzed by a response like that? I don't ever remember writing a song that made anyone want to shake me by the shoulders, so this is a first for me! Brilliant.
As far as re-recording the song goes...well, it's a bit late for that really. The CDs have been pressed, delivered to retail outlets, reviewed etc. Some poor misguided souls have even bought the bugger, so although it is tempting to somehow be able to insert the word "fart" into the song, it's just not really practical at this stage.
In closing, I should add that on reflection, I agree with Amos's comment on the way the thread was introduced. It was a little cheesy and cute, as well as unnecessary. The song should be able to stand(or fall) on its own merits. The critics be damned indeed!
Thanks again folks. All the best then,
Steve R.


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