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#1154051 - 06/13/19 10:38 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Regarding Tears in Heaven...
I've read over the years where some people think that Clapton was just an empty guitar machine who used drugs and people easily and meaninglessly discarded the later. Some people went on to say that he considered Offspring incidental to the lifestyle of a rockstar. Those same people would say that his actual feelings weren't all that profound, it was essentially just using his offsprings death as something to write about and get on the radio.
Other people would write that he meant every word of it profoundly. Other people would write that he meant every word of it but was incapable of being profound.
The truth is probably a hybrid


But he was extremely profound, he moved millions of listeners. You can do with with melody and music too.


FD

Following up to that. One point of view could be that the profoundness of the song derived from the real life circumstance that a parent lost a child. But given that, Clapton's lyrical description of his pain was not very profound at all.

And you think...?


Well, I hear the pain in the music and his voice. Is Clapton a great lyricist? I don't think so, but hes still a better lyricist than a lot of people here, and he's one of these guys that came up as a jammer. You know, there isn't much to raw blues songs, they are made for jamming. But he adapted, reinvented himself numerous times, became a writer, became a singer, became an artist, most people would be happy with being a great jammer.

But lets say the words were different to "Tears in Heaven" would the song have the same impact on the listener? We don't know

But I bet if one of us rewrote the lyrics, it may fall short. I think Tears in Heaven was a great hook too


Last edited by Fdemetrio; 06/13/19 10:39 AM.
#1154058 - 06/13/19 11:10 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
FLyric writing is not golfing!

There are a myriad of ways to approach a lyric. If you grew up with Kerouac and Be-Bop in your head, then you might hear more syllables, just naturally, per line. Joni Mitchell for instance.

I think it's because great songs can come in all shapes and sizes that makes them even greater than they would be if they all had the same shapes and sizes..


I very much agree. There is a lot of confusion of terms in our community, and one of them is when we call a lyric a song. A lyric, like a libretto, services a melody. Economy is not the goal, but rather the matching of words to melody—totally different function. Ideally the lyric flows naturally without unnecessary information, but adding an "oh" or a "yes" before "I get by with a little help from my friends" is melodically demanded, and the unnecessary oh and yes are welcome additions, because music. Terse writing isn't always better writing, especially in lyrics. Joni Mitchell...she just blew my mind last night as I watched “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” on Netflix. There is a scene at a party at Gordon Lightfoot's house where there is an epic jam, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Roger McGuinn, Mick Ronson, and Joni Mitchell starts teaching them "Coyote" which she'd just written on the tour about a random fling with Sam Shepard...just amazing. Her lyrics are designed to ramble like a brook, just beautifully matched to her melody. The end result of a lyric is a melody that sings pictures and stories. Economy of purpose is good, and a perfect selection of phrases, weighted to the rhythm of the melody is necessary. It sure is weird doing it backwards...to write a lyric and THEN find music...it always feels a bit paler as a concept than the ones that were created together, or when the music presented itself first. I guess it's because people don't read songs.

#1154059 - 06/13/19 11:16 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
FLyric writing is not golfing!

There are a myriad of ways to approach a lyric. If you grew up with Kerouac and Be-Bop in your head, then you might hear more syllables, just naturally, per line. Joni Mitchell for instance.

I think it's because great songs can come in all shapes and sizes that makes them even greater than they would be if they all had the same shapes and sizes..


I very much agree. There is a lot of confusion of terms in our community, and one of them is when we call a lyric a song. A lyric, like a libretto, services a melody. Economy is not the goal, but rather the matching of words to melody—totally different function. Ideally the lyric flows naturally without unnecessary information, but adding an "oh" or a "yes" before "I get by with a little help from my friends" is melodically demanded, and the unnecessary oh and yes are welcome additions, because music. Terse writing isn't always better writing, especially in lyrics. Joni Mitchell...she just blew my mind last night as I watched “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” on Netflix. There is a scene at a party at Gordon Lightfoot's house where there is an epic jam, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Roger McGuinn, Mick Ronson, and Joni Mitchell starts teaching them "Coyote" which she'd just written on the tour about a random fling with Sam Shepard...just amazing. Her lyrics are designed to ramble like a brook, just beautifully matched to her melody. The end result of a lyric is a melody that sings pictures and stories. Economy of purpose is good, and a perfect selection of phrases, weighted to the rhythm of the melody is necessary. It sure is weird doing it backwards...to write a lyric and THEN find music...it always feels a bit paler as a concept than the ones that were created together, or when the music presented itself first. I guess it's because people don't read songs.


But I dont think economy is something you sit and consciously try for. "Oh i better be more economical here" it's just the result that can be observed.

Name a hit song that didnt have some element of lyrical economy? Devil Went Down To Georgia, perhaps, but thats country.

Other genres like folk and old country were designed for more lyrical content. But Economy is in everything the Beatles ever wrote.

#1154060 - 06/13/19 11:19 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Rocky Racoon?

I read the news today?

#1154061 - 06/13/19 11:29 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Rocky Racoon?

I read the news today?



We Can Work It Out

here's a lyric nobody would think much of. Classic Classic memorable song.

Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone.

We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Think of what you're saying.
You can get it wrong and still you think that it's alright.
Think of what I'm saying,
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night.

We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it's a crime,
So I will ask you once again.

Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long.

We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Life is very short, and there's no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend.
I have always thought that it's a crime,
So I will ask you once again.
Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

#1154063 - 06/13/19 11:45 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio

But I dont think economy is something you sit and consciously try for. "Oh i better be more economical here" it's just the result that can be observed.

Name a hit song that didnt have some element of lyrical economy? Devil Went Down To Georgia, perhaps, but thats country.

Other genres like folk and old country were designed for more lyrical content. But Economy is in everything the Beatles ever wrote.


Yes, economy of a lyric in a finished release of a song is guaranteed—the words are permanently bonded to the notes, and the very best lyrics are simple, focused and direct.

#1154064 - 06/13/19 11:45 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Just putting my $.02 in. I agree with Fdemetrio. For me, Clapton is not only a great guitarist but also a great songwriter. He is not among my favorite songwriters (Springsteen, Petty and Elvis Costello hold that spot), but he is certainly a great one. Tears in Heaven and My Fathers Eyes are classic father son songs. Although I have to say my favorite father and son songs are Leader of the Band by Dan Fogelberg and Father and Son, by Cat Stevens. Some might call them schmaltzy … I don't.

#1154066 - 06/13/19 11:53 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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We Can Work It Out is a truly great song for a lot of reasons.

#1154067 - 06/13/19 11:56 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: GocartMoz]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
We Can Work It Out is a truly great song for a lot of reasons.

Originally Posted by GocartMoz
Just putting my $.02 in. I agree with Fdemetrio. For me, Clapton is not only a great guitarist but also a great songwriter. He is not among my favorite songwriters (Springsteen, Petty and Elvis Costello hold that spot), but he is certainly a great one. Tears in Heaven and My Fathers Eyes are classic father son songs. Although I have to say my favorite father and son songs are Leader of the Band by Dan Fogelberg and Father and Son, by Cat Stevens. Some might call them schmaltzy … I don't.


Those are 3 of my top 3 writers as well. Cats in The Cradle gets me every time

#1154068 - 06/13/19 11:57 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
We Can Work It Out is a truly great song for a lot of reasons.


But you have to wonder what reception it would get HERE.

#1154070 - 06/13/19 12:00 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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.
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio


Name a hit song that didnt have some element of lyrical economy? Devil Went Down To Georgia, perhaps, but thats country.



Hot Rod Lincoln wink

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 06/13/19 12:02 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1154073 - 06/13/19 12:29 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
.
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio


Name a hit song that didnt have some element of lyrical economy? Devil Went Down To Georgia, perhaps, but thats country.



Hot Rod Lincoln wink


I would also suggest Boys are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy has zero lyrical economy but is a killer song imo

#1154074 - 06/13/19 12:35 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Have to say also Blinded by The Light is short on lyrical economy

#1154077 - 06/13/19 12:41 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Also on the Clapton thing. My cover band does Wonderful Tonight, among many other ballads. No song we do is a sure fire way to get people on the dance floor slow dancing, than that tune. Works every time!

#1154084 - 06/13/19 02:08 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Martin Lide Online content
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Martin Lide
We Can Work It Out is a truly great song for a lot of reasons.


But you have to wonder what reception it would get HERE.



Who knows?

There is a "prone to complain about anything" factor that goes on with forums.
But if you take a snapshot of pop music decades back when the song came out and compare the very pleasing and unusual melody and the clear and exquisitely descriptive lyrics and the seamless coupling of lyrics and melody...it's impossible to not consider it a great song....imo.

Martin

#1154123 - 06/14/19 12:52 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
FLyric writing is not golfing!

There are a myriad of ways to approach a lyric. If you grew up with Kerouac and Be-Bop in your head, then you might hear more syllables, just naturally, per line. Joni Mitchell for instance.

I think it's because great songs can come in all shapes and sizes that makes them even greater than they would be if they all had the same shapes and sizes..


I very much agree. There is a lot of confusion of terms in our community, and one of them is when we call a lyric a song. A lyric, like a libretto, services a melody. Economy is not the goal, but rather the matching of words to melody—totally different function. Ideally the lyric flows naturally without unnecessary information, but adding an "oh" or a "yes" before "I get by with a little help from my friends" is melodically demanded, and the unnecessary oh and yes are welcome additions, because music. Terse writing isn't always better writing, especially in lyrics. Joni Mitchell...she just blew my mind last night as I watched “Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese” on Netflix. There is a scene at a party at Gordon Lightfoot's house where there is an epic jam, Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Roger McGuinn, Mick Ronson, and Joni Mitchell starts teaching them "Coyote" which she'd just written on the tour about a random fling with Sam Shepard...just amazing. Her lyrics are designed to ramble like a brook, just beautifully matched to her melody. The end result of a lyric is a melody that sings pictures and stories. Economy of purpose is good, and a perfect selection of phrases, weighted to the rhythm of the melody is necessary. It sure is weird doing it backwards...to write a lyric and THEN find music...it always feels a bit paler as a concept than the ones that were created together, or when the music presented itself first. I guess it's because people don't read songs.


Hi Mark,

What a Holy Grail this movie is. Thanks for pointing me to it!!!

I've heard bits and pieces of these performances on various bootlegs, but all the commentary and background stuff is priceless, and imagine how much fun it was for me after reading in a recent Joni bio the account of teaching McGuinn and Dylan "Coyote" --to actually see that! She gives T-Bone Burnette (I think it's him) the stink-eye at one point, like "what are you playing, dude?" Another funny moment for me was watching Baez seemingly under the influence of Bolivian marching powder, whipping out some dance moves that looked like they were inspired by Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. And Dylan carefully choosing his words when recalling the event, "I don't know what happened..she was doin' the boogaloo!"

Dylan's another that can hear long lines in his head. "Tangled Up In Blue" creates a tangled web with it's prosody as well as lyrical content.

It was great seeing Ratso, for the first time, as he's been a character in most of Kinky Friedman's detective novels, which I love. He's also apparently a well thought of playwright.

Another doc well worth seeing is the recent Showtime doc called "Eric Clapton: A Life In Twelve Bars" which recounts his horrible childhood, growing up with his grandma, meeting his mom at nine and having her reject him again, him turning to music as a source of salvation, him revering and copying the old blues masters, his torch for Patti Harrison, his drug and alcohol abuse and subsequent racist rant, and laced throughout it all, footage from one of the most technically gifted guitar players to grace the planet. I only wish there was a recounting of him and Pete Townshend seeing (for the first time) Hendrix performing and them turning to each other and saying, "we're done.."

Mike


Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 06/14/19 01:26 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1154125 - 06/14/19 02:35 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,493
Mark Kaufman Offline
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Minneapolis
Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski

Hi Mark,

What a Holy Grail this movie is. Thanks for pointing me to it!!!

I've heard bits and pieces of these performances on various bootlegs, but all the commentary and background stuff is priceless, and imagine how much fun it was for me after reading in a recent Joni bio the account of teaching McGuinn and Dylan "Coyote" --to actually see that! She gives T-Bone Burnette (I think it's him) the stink-eye at one point, like "what are you playing, dude?" Another funny moment for me was watching Baez seemingly under the influence of Bolivian marching powder, whipping out some dance moves that looked like they were inspired by Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. And Dylan carefully choosing his words when recalling the event, "I don't know what happened..she was doin' the boogaloo!"

Dylan's another that can hear long lines in his head. "Tangled Up In Blue" creates a tangled web with it's prosody as well as lyrical content.

It was great seeing Ratso, for the first time, as he's been a character in most of Kinky Friedman's detective novels, which I love. He's also apparently a well thought of playwright.

Another doc well worth seeing is the recent Showtime doc called "Eric Clapton: A Life In Twelve Bars" which recounts his horrible childhood, growing up with his grandma, meeting his mom at nine and having her reject him again, him turning to music as a source of salvation, him revering and copying the old blues masters, his torch for Patti Harrison, his drug and alcohol abuse and subsequent racist rant, and laced throughout it all, footage from one of the most technically gifted guitar players to grace the planet. I only wish there was a recounting of him and Pete Townshend seeing (for the first time) Hendrix performing and them turning to each other and saying, "we're done.."

Mike



I know! What a flick. Joan Baez was out of her head having fun, on another plane, freaking people out. What a wild one. And Dylan just channeled madness the whole time, often silly, very physical and Neil Young-like when jamming down. What a time. I read Sam Shepard's account long ago, so these images are really unexpectedly jarring to see now.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall at the Rainbow Concert where Townshend got Clapton back on his feet and gigging again. What lives those people lead.

#1154128 - 06/14/19 02:45 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Oct 2017
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Fdemetrio  Offline
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Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski

Hi Mark,

What a Holy Grail this movie is. Thanks for pointing me to it!!!

I've heard bits and pieces of these performances on various bootlegs, but all the commentary and background stuff is priceless, and imagine how much fun it was for me after reading in a recent Joni bio the account of teaching McGuinn and Dylan "Coyote" --to actually see that! She gives T-Bone Burnette (I think it's him) the stink-eye at one point, like "what are you playing, dude?" Another funny moment for me was watching Baez seemingly under the influence of Bolivian marching powder, whipping out some dance moves that looked like they were inspired by Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. And Dylan carefully choosing his words when recalling the event, "I don't know what happened..she was doin' the boogaloo!"

Dylan's another that can hear long lines in his head. "Tangled Up In Blue" creates a tangled web with it's prosody as well as lyrical content.

It was great seeing Ratso, for the first time, as he's been a character in most of Kinky Friedman's detective novels, which I love. He's also apparently a well thought of playwright.

Another doc well worth seeing is the recent Showtime doc called "Eric Clapton: A Life In Twelve Bars" which recounts his horrible childhood, growing up with his grandma, meeting his mom at nine and having her reject him again, him turning to music as a source of salvation, him revering and copying the old blues masters, his torch for Patti Harrison, his drug and alcohol abuse and subsequent racist rant, and laced throughout it all, footage from one of the most technically gifted guitar players to grace the planet. I only wish there was a recounting of him and Pete Townshend seeing (for the first time) Hendrix performing and them turning to each other and saying, "we're done.."

Mike



I know! What a flick. Joan Baez was out of her head having fun, on another plane, freaking people out. What a wild one. And Dylan just channeled madness the whole time, often silly, very physical and Neil Young-like when jamming down. What a time. I read Sam Shepard's account long ago, so these images are really unexpectedly jarring to see now.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall at the Rainbow Concert where Townshend got Clapton back on his feet and gigging again. What lives those people lead.


Maybe this would be a common house fly... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewUlF-ka5qE

Always thought this was cool, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpEwAk6U42w

I dont know what Pete was worried about though. He was never under pressure for being a virtuoso guitarist Like Clapton and Page were. But he was clearly one of the best songwriters of all time, and a very VERY underated guitarrist. Listen to the who with headphones you'll see/hear what I mean

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 06/14/19 02:46 PM.
#1154129 - 06/14/19 02:48 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Martin Lide]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Fdemetrio  Offline
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Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Martin Lide
We Can Work It Out is a truly great song for a lot of reasons.


But you have to wonder what reception it would get HERE.



Who knows?

There is a "prone to complain about anything" factor that goes on with forums.
But if you take a snapshot of pop music decades back when the song came out and compare the very pleasing and unusual melody and the clear and exquisitely descriptive lyrics and the seamless coupling of lyrics and melody...it's impossible to not consider it a great song....imo.

Martin


hmm, well its possible here. Particularly if it wasnt recorded by The Beatles. If I wrote and recorded it id bet id get 7 replies, with some pats on the back and some nits about how "the lyrics needed more"

#1154130 - 06/14/19 02:51 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: GocartMoz]  
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Fdemetrio Offline
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Fdemetrio  Offline
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Originally Posted by GocartMoz
Have to say also Blinded by The Light is short on lyrical economy


I nearly mentioned Blinded, but I realized that alot of the success of the song came because of the manfred manns keyboard parts, and the total revamping of the tune. Effects and slick vocalizing made it a hit,,, that keyboard errrrrERRRRRRRRRR, "the caliope crashed to ground" all those keyboard hooks and the intro

They just made it a classic, Bruce's version I LOVE but it wasnt a hit calibre recording or piece.

But the dense lyrics work for that song it is true.




Last edited by Fdemetrio; 06/14/19 02:57 PM.
#1154134 - 06/14/19 07:19 PM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Fdemetrio]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,506
Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,506
Houston, Texas
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Martin Lide
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Originally Posted by Martin Lide
We Can Work It Out is a truly great song for a lot of reasons.


But you have to wonder what reception it would get HERE.



Who knows?

There is a "prone to complain about anything" factor that goes on with forums.
But if you take a snapshot of pop music decades back when the song came out and compare the very pleasing and unusual melody and the clear and exquisitely descriptive lyrics and the seamless coupling of lyrics and melody...it's impossible to not consider it a great song....imo.

Martin


hmm, well its possible here. Particularly if it wasnt recorded by The Beatles. If I wrote and recorded it id bet id get 7 replies, with some pats on the back and some nits about how "the lyrics needed more"



LOL

Who exactly is the "we" in the song? That's not clear enough.

#1154143 - 06/15/19 12:43 AM Re: Clapton The Songwriter.... [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,809
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,809
Indianapolis, IN USA
Originally Posted by Mark Kaufman
"Tears In Heaven" moves me. People love to loathe it. but it's a beautiful song that moves me.


That's why we have freedom of speech which protects people's right to consume and love or hate any music they please. Music will eventually become a target for authoritarians just like all other areas of speech from films to videos to posts on social media.

I agree with the comment that we might feel differently if not for the death of his son. We'll never know. For most people it helps their view on the song, for me it is the opposite. Impossible to know the effect if someone posted this on this message board in obscurity and not about a real event. But as it stands, I think it is one of his worst famous songs. If this was a different artist perhaps one less popular or that is known for sugary songs I wonder how everyone would feel then. I think I'd feel the same.


Brian Austin Whitney
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