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  1. #101

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    The lyric, rhythm, and melody work well together on that line. That's a great hook.
    Thanks, Frank.
    My younger brother----who has heard a lot of my stuff over the years---thinks that is one of my most effective hooks.

    One thing we haven't talked about here is the distinction between 1) writing lyrics for a composed melody and 2) coming up with words and music at the same time. I tend to do the latter and am sometimes surprised later to see how the lyrics look typed up naked on a page. (1 and 2 do not exhaust the possible options.)

    I do keep a notepad handy and jot down titles, lines, ideas. I guess others here do too.

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  3. #102

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    English/American song lyrics is really special..
    somehow in English the things that in other languages seem too simplistic or pretencious in English sound ok..

    When The Beatles sang "I wanna hold your hand' it sounded like a young boy trying to express his sincere wish as good as he can... it was very simple but very convincing... in Italian, French, Russian, German translation it sounds funny and stupid (by the way I heard The Beatles' Gnrman version) but in English it works...

    We should not forget that it's not real poetry - it should work with music - so it's difficult to judge lyrics without music..
    and unfortunately professinal lyricists often produce quite poor works when they run out of time...

    Just to name a few - Cole Porter was really special lyricist - his lyrics is so true that they sound almost like a natural monologue, imrovization.. he always has a phrase in his song that moves it all... he could find this phrase...
    And he was not afraid to eb too low too conversational
    you'd be so nice to come home to.. I've got you under my skin...

    I like also Randy Newman's lyrics... he's dramatist, he is not afraid to sing from the name of different characters... his songs are monologues of very different people

    'Body and Soul' is very simple but it just nails it all... 'you know I am yours for just the taking..' - 'body and soul' - with a good singer it can just tear you apart

    'But beautiful' - there's so suddenly a switch from general specualation about what love is to such a personal: If you were mine I'd never let you go... very impressive and works great with music.

    'Polka Dots and moonbeams' is also coll, to me it renders very well the feeling of this first meeting at the dances... suddenly I saw polka, dots and moonbeams all around a pug-nosed dream.. what else do you need?

    Lots of songs.. I can't name it all

  4. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Thanks, Frank.
    One thing we haven't talked about here is the distinction between 1) writing lyrics for a composed melody and 2) coming up with words and music at the same time. I tend to do the latter and am sometimes surprised later to see how the lyrics look typed up naked on a page. (1 and 2 do not exhaust the possible options.)
    Music first was the natural way for me to write lyrics. Now though, I think it's best to write lyrics first and then write the music to the lyric. And, naturally the lyric is still free to evolve once the music is being added.

    And this reminds me of an episode from 'In the Actors Studio' with Elton John. Bernie Taupin writes the lyrics first and then Elton John puts the music to the lyrics. Elton John works really fast, often less than 15 minutes to set music to a lyric.


  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    We should not forget that it's not real poetry - it should work with music - so it's difficult to judge lyrics without music..
    and unfortunately professinal lyricists often produce quite poor works when they run out of time...
    That's a good point. Lyrics that might not seem like much by themselves can be magic in a song. (And lyrics that read fine might come from songs, for whatever reason, just don't work.)

  6. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep

    And this reminds me of an episode from 'In the Actors Studio' with Elton John. Bernie Taupin writes the lyrics first and then Elton John puts the music to the lyrics. Elton John works really fast, often less than 15 minutes to set music to a lyric.
    Those two were something. Wrote a lot of great songs. Seem as different as night and day, but the results!

  7. #106

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    Great lyrics?

    "What a swellegant, elegant party this is"

    Cole Porter strikes again. Written in the 30's and recorded in the 50's ? By Frank and Bing for the film "High Society"
    One of my fave songs.

    I still find myself saying ......"well, did you ever?"

  8. #107

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    Your lips were like a red and ruby chalice, warmer than the summer night

    The clouds were like an alabaster palace, rising to a snowy height

    Each star its own aurora borealis, suddenly you held me tight

    I could see the midnight sun


    Leave it Johnny Mercer to rhyme "aurora borealis"; how'd he do that?

  9. #108

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    This song is part of my youth. It was everywhere. I didn't really like it that much (I was too cool to like mainstream!) and never really listened to the lyric......apart from the chorus.....some crap about a Yellow Brick Road. I really had no idea what it was about.

    But my daughter played me this version and it really moved me. It allowed me to hear the lyric. And what a brilliant lyric it is. One of my favourites right now.


  10. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philco
    This song is part of my youth. It was everywhere. I didn't really like it that much (I was too cool to like mainstream!) and never really listened to the lyric......apart from the chorus.....some crap about a Yellow Brick Road. I really had no idea what it was about.

    But my daughter played me this version and it really moved me. It allowed me to hear the lyric. And what a brilliant lyric it is. One of my favourites right now.
    You know, there's a lot of Elton John lyrics that I've heard many times yet never fully understood because of the way Elton sometimes accents words in an unexpected way, leaving to think, "Wha???"

  11. #110

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    Well, heck, here's the lyric in full.

    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

    By Elton John

    When are you gonna come down
    When are you going to land
    I should have stayed on the farm
    I should have listened to my old man
    You know you can't hold me forever
    I didn't sign up with you
    I'm not a present for your friends to open
    This boy's too young to be singing the blues
    So goodbye yellow brick road
    Where the dogs of society howl
    You can't plant me in your penthouse
    I'm going back to my plough
    Back to the howling old owl in the woods
    Hunting the horny back toad
    Oh I've finally decided my future lies
    Beyond the yellow brick road
    What do you think you'll do then
    I bet that'll shoot down the plane
    It'll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
    To set you on your feet again
    Maybe you'll get a replacement
    There's plenty like me to be found
    Mongrels who ain't got a penny
    Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground
    So goodbye yellow brick road
    Where the dogs of society howl
    You can't plant me in your penthouse
    I'm going back to my plough
    Back to the howling old owl in the woods
    Hunting the horny back toad
    Oh I've finally decided my future lies
    Beyond the yellow brick road
    Songwriters: JOHN, ELTON / TAUPIN, BERNIE
    © Universal Music Publishing Group
    For non-commercial use only.


    I never knew Elton was singing "(Back the the) howling old owl in the woods / Hunting the horny back toad."

  12. #111

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    Bernie Taupin was always the real deal. The chord progression and melody are also stellar of course.
    When pop was art.

  13. #112

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    Oh and Elton responds to Sara's version and sings a duet with her!
    This is her own song, Just beautiful.Sorry it's not jazz but........good is good.

  14. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philco
    Bernie Taupin was always the real deal. The chord progression and melody are also stellar of course.
    When pop was art.
    A fascinating thing about that pair of songwriters is that Elton sang a lot of lyrics that didn't sound like things one could see him doing, such as "crocodile rocking" or being called a "honky cat" or "hunting the horny back toad" or going to bars looking for fights ("Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting").

  15. #114

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    True. It's usually said that a songwriter should write about things that they could at least imagine themself doing.

  16. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    On a lark, I sent an email to Pat Pattison (-the songwriter / lyricist / professor that fep mentioned above.) I asked Pat about 'awful' and 'troughful' in "Lush Life." Not that his response would be Gospel but I should like to hear it in any case. If I hear from him, I'll pass it along here.
    I took Pattison's Berklee online course, the free one. I like his approach to rhyme and his method of preparing the materials before doing the actual writing. His concept of stable vs unstable is OK in theory, but in practice it sometimes seems a little arbitrary. The book that Frank mentioned is the textbook for the course. I didn't buy it. After I was a few lessons into the course, I saw the book at a friend's house, flipped through it, and decided the book wasn't necessary. Pattison is a good teacher.

  17. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcee
    True. It's usually said that a songwriter should write about things that they could at least imagine themself doing.
    I think that's generally true, if only in the sense that if you're going to sing it for an audience, you have to be able to 'deliver' it. Randy Newman---who was mentioned above---writes a lot of lyrics "in character", so the audience doesn't think they are hearing "his" viewpoint but rather one that he is satirizing (-as in "Rednecks", "Short People", "It's Money That Matters" "I Love LA" and so on.)

    Here's one I always liked, "It's Money That I Love."



    Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (Steely Dan) have written a lot of lyrics that are not (generally) taken to be about themselves but rather about scenes they wryly observe. But of course, they can 'deliver' those kinds of lyrics.

    And then there's Blue Oyster Cult (-a fave of my teenage years). I wouldn't call these great lyrics but they were not the average fare either. ("Hot Rails To Hell", "Seven Screaming Dizbuster", "Baby Ice Dog", "Career Of Evil")


  18. #117

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    Isn't defining good lyrics and lyric writing methods a totally subjective topic? Who is to say Don Van Vliet's line "Magnet draw day from dark, sun zoom spark, sun zoom spark" isn't as great as something written by Harold Arlen?

  19. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Isn't defining good lyrics and lyric writing methods a totally subjective topic?
    No, it is not totally subjective.

  20. #119

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    unlikely lyrics would get 'dinged' because so many sites post them. Yay!
    Look out.
    Those lyric sites have pretty much all been pursued successfully to get properly licensed.
    They were easy to spot because that's all they do - publish lyrics.
    jazzguitar.be is less easy to identify as a place for such breaches.
    So they just haven't noticed.

  21. #120

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    you fail to realize: "troth full" does NOT rhyme with "awful." "Trough full" does.
    Reminds me of all the fun I had disagreeing with Gene Lees.
    "Talk", for him, rhymes perfectly with "clock" for instance.

    I ran into similarly swamp-land once working up some Français for a song section.
    A handy French writer-pal, helping me through the process, baulked at much of my rhyming.
    "Tu t'en vas, adieu, amour et moi" worked quite happily with my pronunciation, but offended his more rigorous pedantry. Simile with "pluie" and "aussi", or "veux-tu" and "perdu". To him there was an illegal difference. But I couldn't hear it.

    With the English-style ready conflation of "F" and "TH", "troth-ful" rhymes very easily with "awful".

    You fail to realise: accent, tone, pronunciation.

  22. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz
    With the English-style ready conflation of "F" and "TH", "troth-ful" rhymes very easily with "awful".

    You fail to realise: accent, tone, pronunciation.
    I haven't heard you speak and do not know your accent. Accents do vary. But I think it fair to say this: if Johnny Hartman sang "troth full" in "Lush Life", it would not rhyme with "awful". But the larger problem with "troth full" is that it makes no sense (in this context) to anyone but you. It would be a hindrance. "A troth full of hearts? What does that even mean?"



    By the way, is there a recorded version of "Lush Life" in which you think the singer is actually saying "troth full"?

    (There's a difference between arguing that "troth full" could have worked and that "troth full" is what Strayhorn actually wrote. He may well have written it. If he did, I think it a poorer choice than "troughful".)
    Last edited by MarkRhodes; 08-15-2015 at 08:56 PM.

  23. #122
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz
    With the English-style ready conflation of "F" and "TH"..
    I realise that it's a common phenomenon in non-standard varieties of English, but I was surprised when I first observed the conflation of those sounds among upper-middle-class Brits - I still find it a grotesque affectation.
    But I can't reconcile it with Lush Life. Please could you expand?

  24. #123
    destinytot Guest
    'The thot plickens'...

    To my ears, there seems to be some unusual elision at @01:49. As the 'f' is enunciated in two instances earlier in the song ('life' and 'awful'), I rather suppose it's quite deliberate.

    It sounds both odd and affected to me, but I do think Mr Strayhorn not only wears it well but makes it appear quite stylish. (Compared to other recordings, Billy Strayhorn's pronunciation sounds - er - distingué...) And, to me, that would be consistent with what Lazz has explained. EDIT Listening again, I do think the elision is deliberate - he's making the rhyme as close as he can.
    Last edited by destinytot; 08-16-2015 at 12:30 PM. Reason: addition

  25. #124

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    Sondheim should be mentioned too I think

  26. #125

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    i think there's difference between

    1) professional lyricist - those to whom composer or producers come with ready melody or a sketch asking to write words for it. These guys have to elaborate some approach, they should know tricks and use a lot of cliches.. and often it has nothing to do with self-expression or art or whatever... sometimes they do it better, sometimes worse - but what's important about them - they hire them because they can do it anyway

    2) song-writers - those who compose it together words and music and for it's not the lyrics for melody but a song.. these would probably reject a job of just writing lyrics - especially if they do not feel like doing it... they are closer to poets, or 'bards', singing poets... they could be more pop in style like Cole Porter or Elton John, or closer to real poetry like Bob Dylan or Jonny Mitchell...

    For example I mentioned The Beatles... obviously that MacCartney mostly wrote lyrics using lots of cliches - something about love, babe,... a couple of catchy lines and it's ok... more fun.. not too much obliging.. yt is closer to type 1

    For Lennon in most cases it's personal experience - not necessarily direct - but still there's always something special behind his lyrics - even simple songs sound like 'true stories'.. like confessions.. he is more into type 2

  27. #126
    destinytot Guest
    Bacharach & David.

  28. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot
    I can't reconcile it with Lush Life. Please could you expand?
    Apologies. I blame the pursuit of brevity. I was attempting to suggest that the blurred boundary twixt F and TH sounds enable both words in question to fall easily upon the ear without impeding the possibilities of rhyme. (At least I think that’s what I was getting at.)

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I haven't heard you speak and do not know your accent.
    That doesn't matter - my point is only that there is stylistic latitude.

    if Johnny Hartman sang "troth full" in "Lush Life", it would not rhyme with "awful"
    Nonsense.
    "Troth" and "trough" quite comfortably sound exactly the same. The vowels in each are sounded in the same way. The difference is that one finds closure in an F sound while the other ends with TH. "Full" meanwhile, is perfectly equivalent to "ful". Ergo - we have rhyme with no problem: meaning that, if “troughful” works happily with “awful”, then equally so does “troth-ful”.

    What Johnny Hartman might make of it, neither of us will ever know.

    But the larger problem with "troth full" is that it makes no sense (in this context) to anyone but you.
    Also nonsense.
    Every pro jobbing player I know who loves the tune, even two who were close to Strayhorn back in Pittsburgh, is persuaded that my little hypothesis has legs – i.e that it makes sense. So, if this is merely a numbers game, I could be equally dismissive and assert that the only person to whom it makes no sense is you.

    "A troth full of hearts? What does that even mean?"
    A troughful of hearts - what does that even mean?”
    Both are metaphors which require parsing and interpretation. You are happy to recognise “hearts”, even gathered in a trough, as being a suggestion of romance. So what’s the problem with reading my alternative in the same light? It’s easy to do – “A troth-ful of hearts” indicates “A promise of romance”. In the context of the song’s narrative, it suggest that our protagonist is so world-weary that, in spite of the guarantee of more loving on offer, he or she (I have always felt it as feminine, by the way) simply can’t be bothered.

    I think it a poorer choice than "troughful".
    You are the first and only person I know to hold that opinion.

    There's a difference between arguing that "troth full" could have worked and that "troth full" is what Strayhorn actually wrote.
    Correct.
    As for the first, “troth-ful” not only could have worked but does work just fine.
    As for the second, that is indeed my hypothesis.

    I am suggesting that mis-hearing upon mis-hearing of the song’s non-colloquial vocabulary, as it is transmitted aurally, have compounded an easily understandable error. Similarly, for those to whom distingué is new and unknown, hearing it as “distant grey” is quite common.

    I further suggest that this mistake, if true, may have been the reason for Strayhorn’s deep unhappiness with Nat Cole’s recording of it.

    Support for the idea was also given freely (and with some relief) by Wyatt Ruther and Linton Garner – both Strayhorn school-mates. They shared neighbourhoods and musical associations. Linton carried his compositional influence and Wyatt played in the orchestra alongside him and went on to record a number of his tunes. From their own personal familiarity with the man, each found “troughful”, especially given his assiduous attention to such detail, to be a most unlikely choice for such an aware and sensitive soul, and they were both pleased to be offered a more likely and satisfactory possible alternative in “troth-ful” – even though the relatively arcane “troth” was at first unfamiliar. To them, at least, the idea made sense. And they were glad on his behalf to erase the unfortunate stain of “troughful of hearts”.

    (Perhaps “troth” is new to you, too – which may account for your reluctance)

    Testing the idea against concrete documentary evidence has never seemed particularly urgent for me. It would require trips to New York and Pittsburgh and negotiation with gatekeepers of two estates to try and unearth manuscript and notes. So I haven’t got around to it. Maybe one day, I will. Perhaps contact with Furia and with Strayhorn's biographer would be productive.

    By the way, is there a recorded version of "Lush Life" in which you think the singer is actually saying "troth full"?
    Andy Bey, live in Zagreb.
    Lovely.
    Last edited by Lazz; 08-16-2015 at 03:12 PM. Reason: clarity

  29. #128

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    if Johnny Hartman sang "troth full" in "Lush Life", it would not rhyme with "awful"


    Nonsense.
    "Troth" and "trough" quite comfortably sound exactly the same. The vowels in each are sounded in the same way. The difference is that one finds closure in an F sound while the other ends with TH. "Full" meanwhile, is perfectly equivalent to "ful". Ergo - we have rhyme with no problem: meaning that, if “troughful” works happily with “awful”, then equally so does “troth-ful”.

    What Johnny Hartman might make of it, neither of us will ever know.
    To be true the feel of 'correct' rhyme is changing with time (and nations, languages too)...
    Ear is also changing...
    But I would not go as far as calling any opinion on this ' a nonsense'.

    English verse in general does not operate much with complex rhymes or 'not exact rhymes' - even in modern poetry I think only Derek Walcott used it extensively...

    so in my - in this case especially humble - opinion 'troth full/awful' is still very exotic rhyme..

    But as far as I remember in Lush Life it's not actually the main rhyme - it's assonance inside the line...

  30. #129

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    [QUOTE=Lazz;558683]

    Support for the idea was also given freely (and with some relief) by Wyatt Ruther and Linton Garner – both Strayhorn school-mates. They shared neighbourhoods and musical associations. Linton carried his compositional influence and Wyatt played in the orchestra alongside him and went on to record a number of his tunes. From their own personal familiarity with the man, each found “troughful”, especially given his assiduous attention to such detail, to be a most unlikely choice for such an aware and sensitive soul, and they were both pleased to be offered a more likely and satisfactory possible alternative in “troth-ful” – even though the relatively arcane “troth” was at first unfamiliar. To them, at least, the idea made sense. And they were glad on his behalf to erase the unfortunate stain of “troughful of hearts”.

    QUOTE]

    This is not support for your idea. It is the opposite. You are claiming that two people who knew Strayhorn well and heard this song many times NEVER thought the lyric was "troth full".

    What they "support" is your need to find a substitute for "troughful" because you (and they) think Strayhorn too sensitive and aware to use such a word. And yet in the same song he used "mush" and "rot" and "dive" (-to refer to a bar where hardcore drinkers waste their days). "Trough" is neither vulgar nor slang. It is fine that you 'cannot believe he would use such a word' but that is evidence only of your psyche, not of Strayhorn's actual writing.

  31. #130
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz
    Nonsense.
    "Troth" and "trough" quite comfortably sound exactly the same. The vowels in each are sounded in the same way.
    The fact that many, depending on local accent, pronounce them the same, doesn't change reality. For example, in the southern US, where I live, "pin" and "pen" are often pronounced the same. That doesn't mean that they rhyme.

    Our mid-western brethren claim to have no accent at all, while pronouncing "cot" and "caught" the same way. Each can ridicule the other, but it's the same mistake in either case. Both examples can be easily verified by referencing a dictionary, and the same appears to be true with what you're saying. Looking at a dictionary, the "o" vowels in "Troth full" and "trothful" represent 2 different vowels (the "au" in the other word represents a 3rd vowel sounds BTW).

    You're entitled to your opinion, but it seems silly to suggest that evidence easily found in a 3rd-party reference is "nonsense".

    Whatever... It's the internet... Vowel shmowel...

  32. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    What they "support" is your need to find a substitute for "troughful" because you (and they) think Strayhorn too sensitive and aware to use such a word. And yet in the same song he used "mush" and "rot" and "dive" (-to refer to a bar where hardcore drinkers waste their days). "Trough" is neither vulgar nor slang. It is fine that you 'cannot believe he would use such a word' but that is evidence only of your psyche, not of Strayhorn's actual writing.
    I don't remember you being at that meeting.

    The issue has absolutely nothing to do with vulgarity or slang.
    Neither is it about one single word.
    It is about metaphor and imagery.
    And perceptions of an aesthetic.
    No?

    The "support" which you are so keen to dismiss, is evidence that Wyatt and Linton, informed by their personal familiarity, found the hypothesis credible. You disagree with their assessment - as is your right - and appear steadfastly opposed to giving it much consideration, Aristotle notwithstanding.

    So we disagree (and there between us lies the dead horse of Lush Life, flayed and tormented) but why so upset?

    Mark - You seem so balanced and reasonable in your other posts I have seen yet I am becoming reluctantly tempted to read some elements of exasperated dismissiveness verging on slight contempt in your recent tone. Please tell me I am mistaken. Even knowing that it expresses my own psyche, it is something I sincerely wish not to be true.

  33. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Our mid-western brethren claim to have no accent at all
    I had always believed that to be solely a Canadian characteristic.

    Each can ridicule the other
    No ridicule here (I love accents), but recognition of elasticity.

    You're entitled to your opinion, but it seems silly to suggest that evidence easily found in a 3rd-party reference is "nonsense". Whatever... It's the internet... Vowel shmowel...
    You are right, of course.
    Instead of "nonsense", I should have retained "That is untrue".
    But what is this "evidence easily found in a 3rd party reference"?
    Last edited by Lazz; 08-16-2015 at 05:23 PM. Reason: formatting

  34. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz
    The issue has absolutely nothing to do with vulgarity or slang.
    Neither is it about one single word.
    It is about metaphor and imagery.
    Okay, then: "a troth full of hearts" is not an image. (It is not even an image in the sense used in apocalyptic literature where the thing described---such as a man with seven swords coming from his mouth----is to be understood symbolically and not to be visualized as, well, a man with seven swords coming from his mouth.)

    "A troth full of hearts" is also not a metaphor.

    I have had all I care to say on this subject.

  35. #134
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz
    You are right, of course.
    Instead of "nonsense", I should have retained "That is untrue".
    But what is this "evidence easily found in a 3rd party reference"?
    I just looked at some online dictionaries. Off the top of my head, I think "trothful" was a long O, "troth" (as in troth full?) was a short o, and they had different meanings as well. "Trough" is an Aw sound. Again, "coughin' " and "coffin" aren't the same vowel sounds. They're pretty different. If they're the same for you, that's probably a regional thing. In studying choral music at university, we were kind of "all up in" stuff like this. [Southerners who study classical singing or choral music are particularly focused on vowel purity in singing because we have so little of it in our daily speech.] :-)

    If we were to be seriously nerdy about this stuff we would have to reference an actual standard pronunciation based on something like the International Phonetic Alphabet materials. "TH" and "F" are very different in pure, standard English, as are "ah" and "aw".

    What pronunciations did you find when you looked it up?

  36. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    What pronunciations did you find when you looked it up?
    I did not look it up.
    As a life-long native English speaker already familiar with the word and its useage, I didn't feel I needed to.
    You prompted me to do so.

    On-line reference sources are so often sad and misguided - like the majority of guides to music theory, for example - that I tend to avoid them. This old geezer sticks to the Oxford. It is etymological, and sits handily on a nearby shelf. It gave me both a short "o" and a rounded one - short as in "cop" and rounded as in "cope". The word's journey from Middle-English involved assimilations and variable stress-shifting. That's what it seems to be saying to me at the moment (the small print of illustrative examples plays havoc with my vision and urges a magnifier onto my shopping list).

    I am a guy of rough and lowly London working-class wrong-side-of-the-tracks origins who learned survivalist fluency in "standard" English as articulated by toffs and stage-actors. I can "pass". And, if you can indulge the impertinence, let me assure you that in standard English English the "o" vowels of "cough" and "coffin" are absolutely indistinguishable. You couldn't insinuate a cigarette paper in between them. From where I stand on the Queen's English, I can see the differences that you are hearing as a regional dialect thing. And more evidence of the rich elasticity we accommodate.

    A recent entertaining example might be the music department I mess with where professors keep using the word "motive" in a fashion that makes no sense at all to a proper-English-speaking person for whom "motive" indicates purpose, intent, or reason. I figured out after a while that they really mean "motif" - for a pattern, or repeated figure.

    I like the American versions of English well enough mind, and often adore 'em, but I am certain many of you guys are unaware how odd and sometimes offensive it is to be instructed about my own beloved language by hegemonic Merkans. Just sayin' - as you guys say.
    Last edited by Lazz; 08-17-2015 at 03:30 PM. Reason: mistakes

  37. #136
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz
    On-line reference sources are so often sad and misguided
    How about the on-line OED?

  38. #137
    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot
    How about the on-line OED?
    For $295/mo. I'll have to take your word for it. :-)

  39. #138
    Quote Originally Posted by Lazz
    And, if you can indulge the impertinence, let me assure you that in standard English English the "o" vowels of "cough" and "coffin" are absolutely indistinguishable. You couldn't insinuate a cigarette paper in between them.
    I'll retract that one. Lost my head. We wouldn't pronounce those differently either.

    Out of curiosity, what about the "caught/cot" pronunciation? Are those the same vowel as well?

    Those can be either different or the same in North American English, depending on region.

  40. #139

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    Chambers 20th Century Dictionary is pretty good, I have the 1973 edition. It says 'troth' is a noun, and is an archaic variant of 'truth', meaning faith or fidelity. It can be pronounced either with a long or short 'o' sound.

    Trothful (adjective) just means truthful or faithful.

  41. #140

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    This pronunciation discussion is not terrible relevant to me as I'm not stuck on 'perfect' rhymes. Here's a quote from Pat Pattison (From this interesting interview of Pat Pattison on rhymes. Why Rhyme? An Interview with Pat Pattison | Berklee Online):

    Not understanding what your options are, or following the “rule” of perfect rhyme can be detrimental. It can lead you into saying something stupid because “Well, I needed a rhyme.” Or it can lead you into writing clichés: love/above, fire/desire, hand/understand, eyes/realize.
    I think Lush Life is a good example of that with the strange choice of using 'Troughful'.

    Here's an example of non-perfect rhymes in the two prechoruses (a Pattison example). Do you think because these are not perfect rhymes that the songwriting suffers? I think the exact opposite.



    Something in your eyes makes me wanna lose myself
    Makes me wanna lose myself in your heart
    There's something in your voice makes my heart beat fast
    Hope this feeling will last the rest of my life

    If you knew how lonely my life has been
    And how low I've felt for so long
    If you knew how I wanted someone to come along
    And change my world the way you've done

    It feels like home to me feels like home to me
    Feels like I'm on my way back where I come from
    Feels like home to me feels like home to me
    Feels like I'm on my way back where I'm from

    With your embrace down a long dark street
    And a sigh of wind in the night
    But I'm alright 'cause I have you here with me
    And I can almost see the dark feels light

    If you knew how much this moment means to me
    And how long I've waited for your touch
    If you knew how I wanted someone to come along
    I never thought I'd love anyone so much

    Feels like home to me, feels like home to me
    Feels like I'm on my way to where I come from
    Feels like home to me, feels like home to me
    Feels like I'm on my way back to where I belong
    Feels like I'm on my way back to where I belong
    Last edited by fep; 08-17-2015 at 08:36 PM.

  42. #141

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    This pronunciation discussion is not terrible relevant to me as I'm not stuck on 'perfect' rhymes. Here's a quote from Pat Pattison (From this interesting interview of Pat Pattison on rhymes. Why Rhyme? An Interview with Pat Pattison | Berklee Online):



    I think Lush Life is a good example of that with the strange choice of using 'Troughful'.
    I think perfect rhymes have their place.
    Here's a nice piece of work by Johnny Mercer: "I peeked through the crack / And looked at the track / The one running back to you / And what did I do? I thought about you." All perfect rhymes but they work well.

    That said, imperfect rhymes have their place too. I too am tired of self / shelf, love / glove, and maybe / baby.

  43. #142

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Out of curiosity, what about the "caught/cot" pronunciation? Are those the same vowel as well?
    They're different sounds in standard English.
    The late and lovely Gene Lees has 'em sounding the same - like the comparable "walk" and "wok".

    As a mere interesting aside, the American short "o" sounds as a short "u" to English ears.
    So that "dollar" comes across as "duller".

    I was trying to cajole some north American joker into pronouncing the second syllable of the country name "Colombia" as an "o" instead of as a "u" - as it should be - and I discovered that the difference was beyond his aural discernment - like a dog whistle. And I notice also that even the Colombian tourist board have caved in to US dominance with a philosophical shrug and now pronounce their country name as ColUmbia in their TV ads.

    But here's a shameful pedantic old git admission just for fun.
    Couple of weeks back I found myself actually on the phone to a college in Seattle trying to correct their pronunciation of "Le Cordon Bleu" on their TV ads.
    What a dick!

  44. #143

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    Presumably the official copyrighted sheet music for Lush Life is available from the relevant music publisher. Wouldn't this have the correct lyrics as submitted by Mercer/Strayhorn?

  45. #144
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I think perfect rhymes have their place.
    Here's a nice piece of work by Johnny Mercer: "I peeked through the crack / And looked at the track / The one running back to you / And what did I do? I thought about you." All perfect rhymes but they work well.

    That said, imperfect rhymes have their place too. I too am tired of self / shelf, love / glove, and maybe / baby.
    Especially at that point in the song (and, in that context, in such short utterances).

    I love that song, and I think those lines are a wonderful example of effective use of rhythm and rhyme to control pace: "I peeked through the crack / And looked at the track / The one running back"... extending "to you /" Perfect rhymes - and perfect rhythm, placed with skillful control at the threshold of song's climactic point.

    I admire the balanced use of stop consonant 'k' to close prominent syllables in the those phrases: peeked/looked. (The final 't' of 'peeked' can accommodate the much-maligned glottal stop - sorry, 'enry 'iggins - as it's followed by another unvoiced consonant.)

    But I particularly admire how the melody of each phrase is identical, except at the crucial point where 'peeked' and 'looked' - on the 3rd of each chord - highlight the change from IVmajor to IVminor.
    Last edited by destinytot; 08-18-2015 at 07:11 AM. Reason: typo

  46. #145
    destinytot Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mercosound
    Your lips were like a red and ruby chalice, warmer than the summer night

    The clouds were like an alabaster palace, rising to a snowy height

    Each star its own aurora borealis, suddenly you held me tight

    I could see the midnight sun


    Leave it Johnny Mercer to rhyme "aurora borealis"; how'd he do that?
    Wonderful.

    I hadn't realised just how many of my favourite songs have lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Quite a set list. (Hmm...I wonder..?)

    Midnight Sun
    Emily
    Too Marvelous for Words
    I Thought About You
    I Remember You
    Tangerine
    This Time the Dream's on Me
    I'm Old Fashioned
    Skylark
    Laura
    Days of Wine and Roses

    PS This clip is a gem:
    Last edited by destinytot; 08-18-2015 at 08:35 AM. Reason: addition & PS

  47. #146
    destinytot Guest
    I see Pat Pattison's Berklee-Coursera Songwriting course is now available (free) 'on demand'. (Like others here, I took that course, and I got quite a lot out of the experience.)

    Here's the link:
    https://www.coursera.org/learn/songwriting
    Last edited by destinytot; 08-18-2015 at 08:53 AM. Reason: spelling

  48. #147

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    I woke up with this lyric running through my head, by 'Yip' Harburg (to a Harold Arlen tune):

    Music by harold arlen.
    Lyrics by E. Y. (yip) harburg

    Say, it's only a paper moon
    Sailing over a cardboard sea
    But it wouldn't be make-believe
    If you believed in me

    Yes, it's only a canvas sky
    Hanging over a muslin tree
    But it wouldn't be make-believe
    If you believed in me

    Without your love
    It's a honky-tonk parade
    Without your love
    It's a melody played in a penny arcade

    It's a barnum and bailey world
    Just as phony as it can be
    But it wouldn't be make-believe
    If you believed in me

  49. #148
    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot
    Especially at that point in the song (and, in that context, in such short utterances).

    I love that song, and I think those lines are a wonderful example of effective use of rhythm and rhyme to control pace: "I peeked through the crack / And looked at the track / The one running back"... extending "to you /" Perfect rhymes - and perfect rhythm, placed with skillful control at the threshold of song's climactic point.

    I admire the balanced use of stop consonant 'k' to close prominent syllables in the those phrases: peeked/looked. (The final 't' of 'peeked' can accommodate the much-maligned glottal stop - sorry, 'enry 'iggins - as it's followed by another unvoiced consonant.)

    But I particularly admire how the melody of each phrase is identical, except at the crucial point where 'peeked' and 'looked' - on the 3rd of each chord - highlight the change from IVmajor to IVminor.
    Man, I'm a sentimental dude, I guess. That's probably my favorite tune. Beautiful, sweet melancholy. Great chord melody tune. I love the pairing of the lyrics with the feel of that melody.

    I've never even listened to anyone else sing or play it. Great old tune.

  50. #149

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Presumably the official copyrighted sheet music for Lush Life is available from the relevant music publisher. Wouldn't this have the correct lyrics as submitted by Mercer/Strayhorn?
    Mercer wrote the lyrics to "Satin Doll," which was a pre-existing instrumental. Strayhorn wrote both the melody and lyrics to Lush Life.

  51. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Presumably the official copyrighted sheet music for Lush Life is available from the relevant music publisher. Wouldn't this have the correct lyrics as submitted by Mercer/Strayhorn?
    I'm not sure of that. Sheet music is notorious for containing errors, both musical and lyrical. (Early on, sheet music was not meant to represent 'what the name player played' but rather, 'what the amateur should be able to play at home'.)

    This has changed somewhat in recent years----especially for those who want dead-on transcriptions of specific recordings, and are willing to pay for them as portions of a book---but in general, sheet music of forty-fifty years ago was often inaccurate. (Less often in the case of simple lyrics and simple melodies, but "Lush Life" was neither.)