Interesting video

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Neville Briggs
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Interesting video

Post by Neville Briggs » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:57 pm

This is an interesting presentation by Australian poet Joe Dolce ( of Shaddup you Face fame) on the difference between poetry and lyrics.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLUmTgRQglA
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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: Interesting video

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:57 am

Yes, very interesting. Thanks for drawing it to my attention, Neville. He's right. It's not a subject that is formally discussed very much.
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Re: Interesting video

Post by Shelley » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:18 am

I've only just had a chance to view this, Neville. Very interesting and informative.

I agree with Stephen - not something discussed in many forums, yet it is a discussion I have personally had with other poets. I absolutely agree that there is a significant difference between a lyricist and a poet.

That comment he made about poetry being able to "stand alone" on a page is very true, I think. I have heard some poets say that a particular poem is not very good on paper, but will be OK when performed. I wonder about that. I don't know if it is possible to successfully camouflage obvious errors. It's a bit like thinking that a coat of paint will fix a building's structural flaws.

It is also true that some song lyrics can "stand alone", yet others need their music to make them "whole". He mentioned Leonard Cohen as being a poet. I also think of Eleanor Farjohn's "Morning Has Broken", which is a beautiful poem in itself and doesn't really need music. In saying that, it is certainly enhanced by the lovely melody that has been paired with it.

I've often wondered how musicians and lyricists work together - for example, when creating a stage musical. Which comes first, the music or the lyrics? I believe I read somewhere that Gilbert wrote his words first and Sullivan (who yearned to write serious music) struggled to set them to appropriate "show tune" songs.

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Shelley
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Re: Interesting video

Post by Terry » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:36 pm

Thanks Neville

I have been thinking for a long time of trying to write lyrics,
I have had a couple of poems turned into songs by some very talented people and that whetted my appetite so to speak.

This is also timely, as I have made up my mind that this is the last year of writing mainly for competitions.
For a start I getting pretty long in the tooth and would like to expand my mind in other directions why it's still functioning.

I don't mean that poetry comps. don't play a very important role, especially for writers starting out and wish to improve their skills;They have been invaluable to me in this regard.

Cheers Terry

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Re: Interesting video

Post by Shelley » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:14 pm

Go for it Terry! I think lyric writing is a really interesting field, and one I would also like to explore if the opportunity ever arose.

I know what you mean about competitions. I've thought of letting them pass (and I do with some) but I guess our entries also give support to the poetry clubs and other organisers who put the work into running them.

I've been criticised a bit for continuing to enter written competitions, and told to "move on" by some poets, but the question is ... move on where? For us writers, there are so few opportunities to really get exposure for our work. Competitions give us that opening - and also, as you say, are a great tool for improvement. I know my skills have been honed and enhanced by learning in the competition environment - and that in turn has given me more creative satisfaction and fulfillment in my writing.

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Shelley
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Re: Interesting video

Post by Neville Briggs » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:26 pm

G'day Stephen, Shelley and Terry. It's good to see some interest in this item. I would love to be able to write songs but I fear my experience and ability falls far short of the requirements.

Stephen, It is a pity that the subject is not formally discussed much , as far as I can tell, there is a very strong tradition of poets work set to music. Dare I suggest , that includes bush poetry which I think Slim Dusty used.

Shelley. If I dare, I disagree with Joe Dolce slightly, in that I think that poetry is firstly spoken word. The rise of modern literacy and printing seems to have turned the emphasis onto the written page. But we find that some contemporary poets write stuff that has various " clever" elements on the page that are totally lost in a vocal presentation. For me that weakens the concept of poetry.

What is the aim of poetry or songs, the sound and the emotion or clever page design .

It has been attributed to various people, but someone is supposed to have famously said " Richard Wagner's music is better than it sounds " hhmmmm. :o :lol:

Though I always believe, ( just my quirk ), that the written version and the spoken version should be exactly the same wording. I mean that the written page should be constructed to facilitate the spoken word flowing right. I don't think it is poetic integrity to fudge either writing or vocal on the premise that the spoken is less artistically demanding than the written.
Am I being contradictory...probably :lol:

Terry. Sounds like a great idea Terry. Go for it. Maybe just tweaking what you already have written, to fit musical demands, like your friends have done, is the way to go.
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Re: Interesting video

Post by Terry » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:23 pm

G/day Neville

You do tend to get into a grove so to speak I suspect.
I think you also tend to stagnate after awhile, you need new challenges to expand the mind, or what's left of it anyway,
I don't kid myself that it will be easy. I also sense that the longer you do one thing, the harder it will probably be to change.
You need to learn new techniques etc. and to think differently, and all that takes time.
Anyway thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

Cheers Terry

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Re: Interesting video

Post by Shelley » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:55 pm

Though I always believe, ( just my quirk ), that the written version and the spoken version should be exactly the same wording. I mean that the written page should be constructed to facilitate the spoken word flowing right. I don't think it is poetic integrity to fudge either writing or vocal on the premise that the spoken is less artistically demanding than the written.
Am I being contradictory...probably
No, Neville, you are not being contradictory, and I totally agree with you. A poem should generally be able to stand alone as both spoken and written word.

Obviously, some poems are more suited to "performance" (as opposed to "recitation") than others. Catchy narratives and humour, for example, always do well in a performance setting - probably more so than descriptive pieces. Then others, perhaps written specifically as a "play on words" with homonyms, may have more impact on paper.

But in the main, a good poem should keep its integrity on both the written page and via the spoken word. Both are equally important, and equally demanding.

Cheers
Shelley
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Re: Interesting video

Post by Neville Briggs » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:21 am

:)
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Re: Interesting video

Post by r.magnay » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:52 pm

Well that rocked me a bit, Joe Dolce....all I had ever heard of him was the shaddup your face thing, I had no idea he was such a serious musician!
I, like Terry have written a couple of things which have been put to music, as in written to be lyrics but in the style of bush poetry, Warren H Williams put one to music and another muso in Alice that I never met and can't remember his name. They went onto an album which the local Afghan community put together to celebrate an anniversary of the the cameleers....I'm not too sure which one, 150 years I think. Anyway, I wasn't all that impressed with the way they came out, as poems they were not too bad but lost a lot in the transition from a poem to lyrics. I think it is pretty hard to write lyrics for someone else to put to music. I did like the music and backing that Warren put to the one he did but fitting the words to the music wasn't too successful, I have thought about re writing the words to suit the music he wrote for it which I believe could be a lot more easily done than the other way around...especially for someone like me with pretty much no music in me...despite playing drums in a band for quite a few years!
Apart from all that, I pretty much agree with the sentiments of the rest of you, keep us informed as you go Terry!
Ross

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