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#782332 - 12/29/09 08:08 AM Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song?  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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So I am sitting here and have decided to write a happy jolly song that everyone will sing along to.
Let me see.

It's fun to laugh, and roar
untill my body is no more.

No..No..No...

Start again.

Happy, Happy, Happy,
It's a happy day,
Lets all go away,

Naw, I cant do it.

Why is it so much easier to write about sadness, death, hate, lost love etc.
Even songs that are about the joys etc arn't what I call happy, happy, jolly.

Any clues.

Roy





'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782335 - 12/29/09 08:29 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Kevin Edward Rose Offline
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I'm reminded of the old Steve Martin bit about not being able to do sad songs on the banjo...(Banjo music plays) "Oh murder and death and grief and sorrow.." (banjo break).

Anyway, it's hard for me to relate. All of my songs are happy. Here's an example: http://kevinedwardrose.com/2009/06/16/song-of-the-week-doe-eyes-in-the-headlights-original/ whistle


Kevin Edward Rose
Celtic, Americana, whatever the folk.
Hailed by Performing Songwriter magazine as a "valued subscriber".
More music sold than Elvis and the Beatles combined!*
http://www.KevinEdwardRose.com
http://www.youtube.com/KevinEdwardRose
#782338 - 12/29/09 08:46 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Kevin Edward Rose]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Kevin you are naughty, but I like you.

Your song brought a tear to my eye.

If that's one of your happy songs, I would hate to try to be happy at one of your really sad songs.lol.

And you look so happy singing it.

Nice try though

God Bless Roy


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782340 - 12/29/09 08:54 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Kevin Edward Rose Offline
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Kevin Edward Rose  Offline
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Well Roy, I try to keep things upbeat! BTW, you have some really nice music yourself and I have greatly enjoyed your videos.


Kevin Edward Rose
Celtic, Americana, whatever the folk.
Hailed by Performing Songwriter magazine as a "valued subscriber".
More music sold than Elvis and the Beatles combined!*
http://www.KevinEdwardRose.com
http://www.youtube.com/KevinEdwardRose
#782342 - 12/29/09 08:56 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Kevin Edward Rose]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
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HiDee Bro Roy!

Hmmm...

"Smile
Though Your Heart is Aching
Smile
Even Though It' Breaking
When there are Clouds In The Sky..You'll Get By......"

(I didn't realize Charlie Chaplin'd penned those words 'till I Googled these lyrics...)

Anyways, that One-Word-Hooked BEAUT of a Song says it all. It's "Mindset". Like a good actor, who can cry ya a river On-Cue, a good writer's gotta Deliver The Goods, Come Rain or Come Shine...(yet Another great hook I wish I'd thought of first!)

While there DOES seem to be a preponderance of Sad Ones making the Charts.."Consider Me Gone"...etc..with the amount of Misery in the Economy, there's certainly a NEED for some Happier Fare..even if it's about "The Good Old Days"..(Which we Oldsters already know Weren't All THAT Good..heh!).

Study some of the 1930's Hits for clues..."Puttin' On The Ritz"..."Come Rain or Come Shine"..."Pennies from Heaven"...(Some of these mighta come later...I'm not dead-sure..but that's the General Idea...)

"C'mon, Get Happy!" (It's Do-able!)

Good Luck with the New Assignment, Amigo!
Best Wishes, Big Guy-Hug,
Stan

#782343 - 12/29/09 09:12 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Kevin.
Thanks for your good comments.. What does BTW mean. I keep seeing it.

Stan:
Nice to see you today.

You mention:
---------------------
"Smile
Though Your Heart is Aching
Smile
Even Though It' Breaking

Is it me, or is that song sung sadly? hehe.

I am a happy fellow Stan, and I can get into a happy mindset, it’s just finding happy words and continuing with them that elude me a bit.

Are songs like .."Puttin' On The Ritz"..."Come Rain or Come Shine"..."Pennies from Heaven"...etc
Songs from a bygone age I wonder.

Maybe as you say, the state of the world dictates.

I will try and then probably take the path of least resistance and write a real tear jerker hehe.

God Bless to all Roy and Helen


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782346 - 12/29/09 09:24 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Kevin Edward Rose Offline
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Kevin Edward Rose  Offline
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Originally Posted by OskaSeason
What does BTW mean. I keep seeing it.


BTW = by the way.


Kevin Edward Rose
Celtic, Americana, whatever the folk.
Hailed by Performing Songwriter magazine as a "valued subscriber".
More music sold than Elvis and the Beatles combined!*
http://www.KevinEdwardRose.com
http://www.youtube.com/KevinEdwardRose
#782347 - 12/29/09 09:25 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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My Stunt Brain Offline
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Okaseason

It's math. Songwriters are tuned into the cosmos and are sensitive to it. The more advanced the songwriter, the further out into the cosmos your feelers can reach. The fact that you're finding it tough to write the happy means your feelers may not be getting beyond the stratosphere of earth--where life is miserable for the majority of the planet. There is still hope; you'll need to put filters on your feelers so you're more apt to tune in the happy, and tune out the sad. Adjust your filters based on what kinds of songs you want to write.

Kevin

I also went to view the video you posted, and I loved your song as well. I'm a fan.

JD


http://www.myspace.com/agiftedidiot

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Humilis humilibus Inflectens Arrogantibus
(Humble to the humble, Inflexible to the arrogant)

#782348 - 12/29/09 09:39 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: My Stunt Brain]  
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Kevin Edward Rose Offline
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Originally Posted by My Stunt Brain

Kevin

I also went to view the video you posted, and I loved your song as well. I'm a fan.


Thanks, JD. Well, that's one! cool


Kevin Edward Rose
Celtic, Americana, whatever the folk.
Hailed by Performing Songwriter magazine as a "valued subscriber".
More music sold than Elvis and the Beatles combined!*
http://www.KevinEdwardRose.com
http://www.youtube.com/KevinEdwardRose
#782351 - 12/29/09 10:02 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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JD:

I see.

I do see the happy and can tune into it quite well.

Its happy words and rhymes that elude me.

I will try to do some filtering but may just revert to type and carry on with what I do now
and b??ls to the happy songs…hehe

Thanks for having a read and commenting

God Bless Roy


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782379 - 12/29/09 01:24 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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DukeWill Offline
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I dunno, maybe listen to a John Denver record and steal some vibes.

#782386 - 12/29/09 01:48 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Thanks, Bill

Good idea, but but arnt vibes copyrighted...

God Bless Roy


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

Our Record Label

Our Personal Website
#782387 - 12/29/09 01:53 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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DukeWill Offline
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NOOOOOooooooo, please tell me that vibes aren't copyrighted! Oh, nooooooooooooo. I quit.

#782390 - 12/29/09 02:36 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: DukeWill]  
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Dave Rice (D) Offline
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Hi Roy:

This ground has been "plowed" previously... and I'm not certain anybody knows the real answer. From my point of view... it's just that most of us experience more disappointments than "events of joy"... LOL! In mentally trying to think about my little catalog... I believe the ratio is about 5 to 1 in favor of sad songs. I know that the "market" demands those upbeat, uptempo three minute wonders but I simply have to write about what I know or how I feel about a given subject.

If I could, I'd write nothing but happy songs but in reality, it's not about to happen for me. What's really strange... is that I believe I am a very well-adjusted and happy person. My financial situation is fairly secure, I have a great marriage and I get to write alot of songs... and play a little golf every now and then. What else is there in life...LOL????

Happy New Year, gang!

#782392 - 12/29/09 02:41 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: DukeWill]  
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Joe Wrabek (D) Offline
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Roy, I think music reflects life. If you've got a happyhappyjoyjoy life, more power to you. I don't. I work with what I got. I decided a long time ago there was a connection between Inspiration and Pain, and accordingly I am satisfied with a certain amount of discomfort in my life. I would not want to live with the trade-off.

Most of the time, I'll settle for uptempo if I can't be upbeat--even my songs about death are good swing-your-partner tunes. (Actually, I suppose they're swing-your-partner-oops-should've-noticed-that-car tunes.) I can hide the dark stuff behind a good bloody veil of dead animals, and people will even consider it happy (and I'm happy they do).

I don't think vibes are copyrightable, but as far as I'm concerned, John Denver can keep his in the grave with him. I would consider being that sweet and happy all the time a curse. (Which it may have been. He died, didn't he?)

joe

#782395 - 12/29/09 02:47 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: DukeWill]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Bill,

Good question. One of the things about songwriters is they generally write from a position of pain. Every one has pain. If you get dumped in high school, don't get that job you want and need, have too much month at the end of the money, etc. So songwriters, by very definition most of the songs are going to be sad. There is a lot of crap going on. Christmas brings a terroist trying to blow up an airliner. The economy sucks. War is everywhere with other countries, Politics is insane with people spending us into the toilet. What is good to write about?

If you have a car that is a good one, you generally don't write letters talking about how good it is. You just drive it. But if you have a lemon? EVERYBODY KNOWS IT! You write letters and call the Better Business Bureau, you picket the dealership. Letters to the editor. Some people stick a "Lemon" sign on it and sit it in their front yard so all the neighbors know it.

The problem when it comes to writing is that everyone has their own pain. Every writer, every artist, every listener. So if you are not writing about THEIR pain, they are not interested. It is the same old same old.

So when every other song that comes through publishers, writers, writers' nights, etc. It gets VERY boring. and yes, a few of them make it to the radio. But percentage wise they are very few. And when they do it is quite a piece of writing. There was a song last year by a group called "Sugarland" The song was called "Stay." about a woman dealing with a guy who was having an affair. That happens a lot. But the chorus is the same but means three differnt things. The first two are to "Stay" with the singer instead of going to the affair. The last is "Stay with the affair, and don't come back. Well written, not something we have heard quite that way before and most important, the singer, Jennifer Nettles, wrote it. That trumps everything else. The song won a bunch of awards and made a bunch of money and pushed Sugarland into a few more tax brackets and into being a headline act.

So the point is not so much writing a "happy song" but writing something in a different way than we have heard a million times before.

"Smile' written by Chaplin, is a great example and kind of backs up his character the "Little Tramp." that character was always in tough situations, having to eat shoes in a snow shack in the Yukon, falling off a cliff, facing danger through dozens of short films. But he always smiled and walked into the sunset with his little cane and hat. The song reflects that. The melody is happy feeling, but even "While your heart is breaking" you have to "smile." Clapton does one of the best versions of that song.

Nashville is the king of "Twist on the tale" songs. Some on these pages claim there is no soul, but I find that nonsense. They tell things in a different way. A song a couple of years ago by a group called "Emerson Drive" was called "I've Had Moments." It tells the story of a homeless guy approaching the singer for money. We've all seen that a million times.But the singer narrates that the homeless guys says "I wasn't always like this, I've had moments, days in the sun.."
In the second verse we find out the singer or narrator was going to commit suicide. In the end the homeless guy talks him out of it.

Now we have all seen the homeless guy but how many have heard about a homeless guy being a guidance councilor?

And that is the point. So in your own songs, you have to analize "Have I heard this a million times before, or is their a twist?"

On the negative or more somber songs, the twist is called a "Rope of hope." It is where there is some redeeming part at the end, not nessasarily a happy ending, but not a depressing ending. This is no longer the "He stopped Loving her Today' guy dies in the song, days. People have heard that. That is the easy way. We can all write pain. We have to learn how to find some hope through the pain. That is what people want to hear.

Examples:

Jesus Take the Wheel
Live Like You Were Dying
The Little Girl

I am sure people will come up with some more.

Complaints about current country are that there are nothing but drinking, pick up songs on the radio. I agree. There are. That is why I try to get people to avoid writing those. Most of what you hear on the radio were written and recorded sometimes three years ago. So that train has already left the station. We are on to other things. That will be coming up in the next year.

Try to find the twist. Search your deeper feelings. Use your powers of observation. Is there a nice retired couple in the neighborhood? They did something right. A kid get something he wanted for Christmas? I am pretty sure that happened somewhere.
Did some woman get an engagement ring, have a baby, find out their cancer test was negative? I bet that happened.
Or did some Grandparent pass away but the family was drawn closer together, learned lessons and benefitted greatly from what they learned from that Grandparent? I bet it did.

That is what you have to work for. You don't have to write "happy songs." But if you write "Debbie Downer songs" you have a LOT of competition, and they are not going anywhere either. Depends on what line you want to stand in.

MAB

#782398 - 12/29/09 02:52 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Dave Rice (D)]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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It's a bit like the newspaper - people want drama, excitement, and emotion. Unfortunately, most drama and emotion stems from negative events and feelings. But you could write a song about sky diving or scuba diving or??????????


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#782411 - 12/29/09 03:41 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Mike Caro Substudio Offline
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Hi Roy

I think Marc really nailed the point perfectly,about the car.

I feel that when we are happy in general we just use the time to "enjoy it"
When we are down we "reflect" about it a lot more. Hey keep thinking and thinking and feeling badly about something, and even a non song-writer will write that stuff down smile
Bad,sad and angry gets a bigger rise out of human beings.

From a creative and songwriting stand point:
If I as a stranger walk up to you and say "Hi, Happy Holidays, take care" you may forget about me later that day or by tomorrow.
If I walk up call you "Biotch" than slap you across the face you'll NEVER forget me lol...

Seems a bit extreme I know, but aren't personal feelings of HURT seem very real and extreme when we are in them?
A breakup, a loss of a loved one, seeing others in pain or un happy etc.... You bet they are!

As we develop as songwriters we start to be able to broaden our songs. Usually at the start of our writing we write heartbreak songs only, and love songs in general.
Then we later still write about heartbreak and love but put it in a different way, then we did when we started writing. We grow
so that we disguise our love songs better smile
Also we think and write about other things as we develop the gift of using words in a song.

My wife a long long time ago heard one of my songs and said..
"Do you really mean that? Is that how you feel? did that happen to you?"

I smiled and said "No I made that all up"

She said - I thought when you wrote songs they were always real. and really only about how the writer felt personally.

I replied - "well they are always in a way, but no, I fabricated this whole song. If I only wrote about ME and personally, think of how boring or uneventful my songs would be to OTHERS!

So right there you have broader songs and better songs, and DEFINITELY a much better chance at a hit song.

Songwriters MUST use there imagination. And then they can interject some of there personality and feelings into that as well.


Thanks!
Peace Mike
Sub

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#782420 - 12/29/09 03:58 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
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Hummingbird Offline
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Good thread. We have all had happy moments in our lives, but I also find it difficult to write songs that are 'all happy'. If I was asked to do so, I would maybe explore children's music and write a quirky song about dogs or something.

I have the same struggle to write happy or positive instrumentals - I was always being told there was an underlying sense of sadness or tension, lol. So I have to watch myself and make sure I keep things upbeat smile

~

PS - I think Joe's 'Naked Space Hamsters in Love' is a pretty happy song. Strange, but happy grin



Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

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#782424 - 12/29/09 04:05 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Hummingbird]  
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Joe Wrabek (D) Offline
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Thanks, Vikki. There is loss in that song, though--the aliens take the radio, remember.

joe

#782426 - 12/29/09 04:06 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
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Kevin Emmrich Online content
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I just went through the 1st 25 songs listed at my Soundclick account and tried to quickly categorize them:

10 -- were upbeat/uptempo songs
3 -- were downer/sad tunes
12 -- were harder to categorize, Partially sad/happy, in-betweeners.

The bottom line is that if you are going to write a depressing tune, then make it a great one. For the most part, though, no one wants to hear too much about your troubles. So make sure they think it is their trouble.

Kevin


"Good science comes in peer reviewed journals. Conspiracy theories come in YouTube videos. "
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#782427 - 12/29/09 04:07 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Joe Wrabek (D)]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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please please give me a link.. I want to be happy even without
the radio

Roy


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#782430 - 12/29/09 04:17 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
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If you find you're always writing sad songs it could be for a number of reasons - and of course, all of this is JMO. There's lots of bad news out there - disease, war and that whole Jon & Kate Gosslin thing can really bring a person down. Sad love songs, I think, come easy to even the most inexperienced writer and happy love songs are easiest to write when you're actually in love...and happy. The other thing is, maybe you're a person who is prone to depression or who, without even knowing it, you could be writing sad songs as a way of cleansing yourself; getting rid of it. Writing sad songs could be therapeutic for you, therefore, you write sad songs to feel better. Getting out of the sad-song rut? Well, someone mentioned Steve Martin in a previous post, so I will quote him: "Get small" - and learn how to play the banjo. smile

#782431 - 12/29/09 04:27 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Duncan Wells]  
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Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#782433 - 12/29/09 04:37 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Duncan Wells]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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IMHO, not often correct, it is easier to write sad songs because most people are miserable unhappy creatures who can rarely relate to anything happy or jolly.
We see pain, corruption, death, and misery, everywhere we go and rarely see anything that really makes us smile.
Most go through the day just trying to survive. We have mortgage payments, car payments, cell phone bills, Cable tv bills, hospital bills, children that grow up to disappoint us. Clergy that destroys our faith in fellow human being because even they are pedophiles. Preachers that lie and cheat on there wives and do nothing but take money a live elaborate lifestyles. Cops taking Bribes, lawyers that sue everyone for anything just to make a buck, Politicians that are corrupt and will tell you anything just to get elected then get rich off their own agendas.
Elected officials that don't pay their taxes but want to put you in jail if you don't.
People that want to kill you just for your beliefs.
Need any more reasons, I can think of a bunch.

Last edited by Bill Robinson; 12/29/09 04:38 PM.

Bill
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#782435 - 12/29/09 04:54 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Bill Robinson]  
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Most of my songs tend to be on the "downer" side,{with more than a few social commentary songs} for all the reasons Marc mentioned. Strangely enough, my 2 best decidedly "Happy Songs" are the ones that have been placed on T.V shows and made me a little extra $$$. The strange thing is I feel much more comfortable playing the downer songs live than the happy ones.

Last edited by Bob Cushing; 12/29/09 07:19 PM.

bc
#782437 - 12/29/09 04:57 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Hi Dave.
Thanks for your comments, which are always appreciated.
I am sure that this must have been "ploughed" previously, but nether the less, from the responses and comments: maybe it was time to plough the field again.

I wonder how many topics have been covered since the birth of JPF.

Like you I am a very well-adjusted and happy person. No hang ups on gloomy thoughts.
Strange. Maybe its in out nature to look for the downers, sort of survival thing.

Joe:
Maybe I will do as you do, a good ‘death swing-your-partner song. Sorry friend, I gotta laugh.

I was jesting about the vibes being copyrightable.

And as for John Denver, wrong country for me and maybe wrong era.

Marc:

You make a lot of real good points and I wont try to answer them all.
The only thing is that for me, I don’t write from a position of pain although I have had life’s pains of course.
I usually try to put myself in others shoes and write songs about
what I feel they suffered. So maybe my songs are to a degree ‘made up’ emotionally.

I will read your comments a few times later because I think you have given me a lot to think on.

Colin:
Thanks for your offering.

Maybe I should read comics then write. No wait a minute, most of them have down stories as well,
But always a good ending.

Mike:
‘If I walk up call you "Biotch" than slap you across the face you'll NEVER forget me lol’
was that a misspell to avoid the censers Mike.

'My wife a long long time ago heard one of my songs and said..
"Do you really mean that? Is that how you feel? did that happen to you?"

I get that sometimes when I write a fantasy song Mike and the wife gets a sneak at it. Lol

Thanks for your interesting comments.. I will look though later.


Vikki:

Thanks for your input, I can relate to what you say.

Kevin:
‘The bottom line is that if you are going to write a depressing tune, then make it a great one. For the most part, though, no one wants to hear too much about your troubles. So make sure they think it is their trouble’.

Makes real sense to me.

Thanks for your comments

Duncan:
‘maybe you're a person who is prone to depression or who, without even knowing it’
No, Not me. Not at all.

‘without even knowing it, you could be writing sad songs as a way of cleansing yourself’
No, Not me. Not at all.

‘Writing sad songs could be therapeutic for you, therefore, you write sad songs to feel better’
No, Not me. Not at all.

I really mean that Duncan. I have no hidden feelings or sadness. I live for the day.

But I will look a bit deeper at my psyche just in case.
Thanks again Roy


Bill:

I think I am depressed now, and am going to write a dozen sad sad songs.

Seriously, you could be right.

Thanks for your input

Roy


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782439 - 12/29/09 05:00 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Bob:
So your 2 best "Happy Songs" are the ones that have been placed on T.V shows and made extra $$$.
WOW

That really makes you think.

Thanks for your comments

Roy


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782442 - 12/29/09 05:05 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Kevin Emmrich Online content
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Bob,

Quote
Most of my songs tend to be on the "downer" side, ... The strange thing is I feel much more comfortable playing the downer songs live than the happy ones.


I was surprised that you said this and I said to myself "No one would go hear him play if he did a bunch of downers all the time". So, I just sampled your new CD -- and your songs don't come across musically as "downers". They might be "down" songs, but you music doesn't give that away. So your songs are more filled with irony than sadness (I guess).

Kevin


"Good science comes in peer reviewed journals. Conspiracy theories come in YouTube videos. "
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#782444 - 12/29/09 05:22 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Joe

I had a look / listen to your song / video.

'Naked Space Hamsters in Love'

It is a sort of happy song, but as Vikki said, a bit strange.
I did like it a lot though.

Maybe It's me, but I think you may have a naturally sad voice anyway.

Thanks for sharing

God Bless Roy







'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782449 - 12/29/09 05:48 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Colin,

Yeah. Goes like this:

"I went Sky Diving,
Rocky Mountain Climbing,
Did two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Manchu."

Live Like You Were Dying- Tim MaGraw.
Written by Craig Wiseman, and Tim Nichols
Number one for three weeks. Nominated for song of the year and a Grammy Award.
Interesting twist on the hardest, most depressing subject of all.

Death.

I rest my case.

MAB

#782453 - 12/29/09 05:55 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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I think there are a lot of happy songs but the main theme is not so much about being generally happy but being happy because of some person or situation in particular that is making one happy.


Here are some that I think are just about general happiness:

Don't worry, be happy
Feeling Groovy
Happy Days Are Here Again
What A Wonderful World

The other ones are upbeat songs usually about love or finding the right person etc.
Or maybe songs like School's Out For Summer.

For some reason happy lyrics often sound so shallow unless there is some sort of contrast to them - like looking on the bright side. So, perhaps the best way to approach the happy song effect would be not to write about happiness in general but for a specific cause or perhaps even for a list of causes. I suppose one could start by making a list of things that inspire happiness. I probably prefer funny songs. Really funny songs make me laugh and feel happy even if the humor is satire or very dark humor.



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#782464 - 12/29/09 06:28 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Joe Wrabek (D) Offline
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Thanks, Vikki. I had lost that recording after The Collaborators' Soundclick page shut down. Loved the alien harmonies. These days, the song gets played quite a bit faster than that--I got into that habit, I think, playing with the punk-rock band Screamin' Gulch (NSH was one of two of my songs they regularly performed). It ain't bad done furiously maniacal.

Roy, if you had a voice like mine, you'd be sad, too. Yes, I highly recommend the dead-swing-your-partner (or is that swing-your-dead-partner?) songs. Not enough people writing 'em these days.

Joe

#782470 - 12/29/09 06:55 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Hi Roy

Yeah "Bi-o-tch" is just a slang way of saying "bitch" I'm sure you've heard it, I do have a unique way of making a point, but the point is undeniable. People can forget nice stuff more easily than PAIN and hurt.

I always remember what nice things people say and do for me. I always have but since being plagued by a health issue I see and appreciate EVERYTHING so differently now and always will regardless.

Well you said you like examples, here is a link to one of my older songs. It is a bit of a novelty type tune but I get lots of positive comments on it from You Tube. 18,000 views
I shot a little in home studio video for fun to put with the song.

I'm Like Brooklyn
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4sx-k-bszU

Soundclick
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=482602&content=videos&vidID=11827

The song is loosely based on a relationship but the emphasis is spread out. I was not born in Brooklyn or ever lived there. It is completely fabricated smile


Thanks!
Peace Mike
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#782473 - 12/29/09 07:23 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Jean Bullock]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Jean:

Thanks for you comments.

Don't worry, be happy
Feeling Groovy
Happy Days Are Here Again
What A Wonderful World

Even the names make me smile.

Thanks Roy


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782474 - 12/29/09 07:25 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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Mike:

What a great happy song.
I watched the video and the editing was bril...
Did you do it.



thanks for sharing.

God Bless Roy


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#782479 - 12/29/09 07:40 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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I don't think it's hard.. just meaningless, and that's why motivation sometimes might fail grin

Well, in country they want songs with a positive outlook. The market for silly songs seems quite small, as artists are concerned about their image. A song like "I don't care if the sun don't shine" might not ring too good these day (especially after our ridiculous Copenhagen environmental summit whistle ) So silly does not go too well, but female empowerment or rowdy stuff does.. I think John Rich's "Hicktown" is a good example of a song where 'rowdy' and 'happy' complements each other well.. a little edge in the music along with fun lyrics..

Also happy songs tend to be meaningless if the subject matter is not selected carefully, and there still must be some conflict ground in the set up, to avoid cliché.

It's the same everywhere in worklife these days, songwriting no different, 'positive' is part of the job description. I agree it adds to the load of crap you have to take as part of a job, yet it poses some interesting challenges of turning subjects upside down.

The magic formula is to angle something negative to be positive, like an emotion "I don't care". They you might say "So what, shoot me", and you use "Shoot me" as a positive figure of speech in a song instead of the literal negative connotation. Like..

I don't care if you're a snake
Im going to ask for your hand
I wanna love ya, not be your friend
And if you don't like to go there
Don't make the ammends
Just SHOOT ME

laugh

#782482 - 12/29/09 07:45 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Kolstad]  
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Roy Cooper Offline
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The songcabinet:

Thanks for your comments which are well thought out.

A lot to read, which I shall go through later.


Much appreciated

God Bless Roy


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#782581 - 12/30/09 12:17 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
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Hi Roy!

"Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song?"

You know, I think about that, and maybe the answer is somewhere inside the question. It's hard to just make yourself feel happy and jolly all of a sudden, and then channel that feeling into a song. It sort of feels like forced laughter. Like shouting "HA HA HA!" with a deadpan expression.

And when we sit down to write something, we usually feel thoughtful and introspective...which is like an invitation to tackle something serious. Like death, or sadness, or taxes. smile

That's WHY I think it's hard. But I think there are lots of workarounds as to HOW to write a happy song.

Instead of happy, I prefer to think in terms of UPBEAT. Not even uptempo, just upbeat. You can write a downer of a lyric to an upper of a song structure, and you might be fine. Some of my favorite upbeat songs are moaning the blues lyrically, but the feel of the song is uplifting. Hank Williams was pretty good with that..."Your Cheatin' Heart" is definitely not a downer...but the lyrics are. So is "Dead Skunk" for that matter.

I write most of my songs from a musical start...I'll get a rhythm and a chord structure and a melody to go with it, and it tells me what the song feels like. From there, I can choose some subject matter. Sometimes I'll match the lyrical topic to the mood, and other times, I'll contrast it with a lyric that feels different, moodwise. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But my main point is that it's not just the lyric, but the overall song that will dictate whether it's upbeat or depressing. That's why people who sing and dance to "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" tend to nod their heads and smile and scowl all at once. laugh

#782586 - 12/30/09 12:24 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Dave Rice (D) Offline
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Great point, Mark. You have wisdom beyond your years.

#782591 - 12/30/09 12:33 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Dave Rice (D)]  
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Lynn Orloff Offline
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Here's a happy little number, don't mind me, I wish life were one big musical and we sang instead of talked smile

“I’m Walkin’ On The Sunny Side”
©2008 Lynn Orloff

I’m walkin’ on the sunny side
I’m lookin’ at the funny side
I only see a sky that’s wrapped in blue
I’ve had enough of rainy days
I wanna’ watch parading days
My mind’s made up that’s what I’m gonna’ do

I’m singing out a happy song
I’m hoping that you’ll sing along
And if we sing off key no one will know
An attitude can make or break
So smile wide for goodness sake
You’ll soon be clapping hands and tapping toes

Life’s road has lots of bumps and gets a little crooked now and then,
But all you have to do is trade that frown in for a grin..


I’m skippin’ down the avenue
That rainbow’s comin’ into view
There’s nothin’ that can take my joy away
I’m walkin’ on the sunny side
I happy just to be alive
I’m walkin on the sunny side
I’m havin’ me a real good time
I’m walkin’ on the sunny side of life!!






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#782596 - 12/30/09 12:40 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Dave Rice (D)]  
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Douglas Murphy Offline
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Hello Roy.

Was onced cited by a poster here as, "The Writer Of Nice Songs" which prompted me to write a dark lyric entitled. "Jesse and Kate" (You can have a listen at my Soundclick page

www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?
songid=4461660&q=hi&newref=1

but enough self promotion).

I for one have no problem finding happy jolly songs. I enjoy writing them as much as the others. Maybe you are not very jolly when you try to write em?

I liked JD's explanation. Sometimes you've got to search beyond the bounderies you find yourself in.

Keep trying.

Doug


"Is this a practice? They are all practices." John Denver

www.soundclick.com/dougmurphy

Skype Contact: douglas.murphy8
#782599 - 12/30/09 12:51 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Douglas Murphy]  
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Lynn Orloff Offline
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Lynn Orloff  Offline
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PA of the great USA
Here's anoher "happy" smile song I wrote in a very short car ride (words and melody) when I felt a real surge/rush because it was just simply a beautiful weather day. Kind of sings in that "musical" genre. smile

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood
And I’m feelin’ so fine even better than good
It’s a beautiful view
When I’m looking at you
Could be I’m falling in love

It’s a beautiful song that I hear the birds sing
And each day feels as though it’s the first day of spring
It’s a beautiful song
And I’m singing along
I think I’m falling in love

Oh I never felt before this wonderful way that I’m feeling
Though my feet both touch the floor my heart is on the ceiling


It’s a beautiful time to be young and alive
And I feel I might burst from this joy that’s inside
It’s a beautiful view
With my dreams comin’ true
I think I’m falling
Could love be calling
I think I’m falling in love!



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#782602 - 12/30/09 01:07 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Douglas Murphy]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Hey guys,

I think one of the things about this thread demonstrates a little of the missconceptions of the subject. You don't really need to look at it as "Happy songs." That is really not what the point is. It is fine to write "Feel good" songs, humerous songs, ponient songs, life issue, or even somber songs, as long you find a way to keep it from being a sad, depressing song.

Have any of you ever had a reasonably bad day, paying bills, having relationship problems, things not working out, but then you find $20 in a pair of pants you washed? Or anything that might bring a glimmer of hope in an otherwise bad situation?

That is what we are talking about here. Just not being so down.

If you comment on all the troubles in life, the wars, depression, homelessness, anger, political troubles, whatever, you are only restating the obvious. You are adding to the pile. and although some people think that is helping or giving some insightful wisdom on the subject, it really isn't. It is just telling people the same thing they already know. That is why they tune out.

There was a recent survey done by Ralph Murphy of ASCAP on last year's number one songs. There were 47 of them. (I believe, I might be a couple of numbers off but the percentages are very close) All but 2 were up, or mid tempo, positive and portray the singer in a positive light. If you expand that survey to the top ten, the top twenty, top 100 songs of the year, you are probably going to find similar results. About 98% are going to be in those same catagories, up or mid tempo, positive and portray the singer in a positve light.

So the key to all of this is to try and find something that doesn't bring people down. Even though we might feel down. Acentuate the positive.

MAB

#782604 - 12/30/09 01:13 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Lynn Orloff Offline
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Lynn Orloff  Offline
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PA of the great USA

AMEN!!! smile


My Music at Soundclick
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=788266

~call it a blessing or call it a curse, but I see all of life in verse~

Always open to collaborations smile

God Bless Our Military!!!
#782608 - 12/30/09 01:22 AM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,911
Gary E. Andrews Online content
Gary E. Andrews  Online Content

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Posts: 1,911
Portsmouth, Ohio, USA
Sad songs and situations are more readily 'emotive,' easier to get emotional about.

Happy songs, such as the two faux attempts you tried in opening this thread, have to find the same story-telling techniques, the same emotional investment, that a sad song would have.

They're not just about being happy, but why. And all the other questions, 'when,' 'where,' especially 'who.'

Who is the singer? Not the artist; the character in the song. Would we like to know more after we hear his first line? When the song is over, do we care about him and who and what he sang about?

We get to share sad songs, actually 'enjoying' the sadness, the bad luck, the bad situation, the loss of a lover we wanted to keep, without actually experiencing the sadness ourselves. We indulge in it for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and then it's over and we're not obliged to stay in the moment. We move on to the next song.

A happy song isn't just happy. It's happy about something, someone, a story, a situation, just like a sad song.

Someone asked, "Why do you write all those sad songs?"

I said, "I don't know. I wasn't sad when I wrote them."

Shortly after that I wrote, "Take It For A Ride" and a few years later, "Over The River Tonight." Both are uptempo and stories about being in love and everything going right.

www.garyeandrews.com


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#782890 - 12/30/09 07:21 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
Joined: Sep 2009
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Roy Cooper Offline
Roy Cooper  Offline

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Mark:

I see what you mean Mark. When writing my normal style of song I always spend a bit of time getting into the mindset of the character or event, but with a happy song, I don’t, as I assume that because I am happy, the words should come. Big wrong.

‘Acentuate the positive’.

I will remember that Mark..

You have given me a lot to think on in these comments and those further down the post.

Thanks so much for giving of your time

God Bless Roy




Lynn

Thanks for adding to this topic.
Your first lyrics I did sing along in my mind, and my key was perfect (in my mind) hehe.

The 2nd lyrics I liked as well…

‘Could love be calling’… great line.

Thanks again and God Bless Roy


Doug

Thanks for you comments, always appreciated.

I tried your link and it says ‘no such song’

I think that I will try to be Jolly, if I can’t get jolly at this time of the year hohoho, then I have no hope hehe.

And I will Keep trying.

Thanks again and God Bless Roy


Gary:

You made some good pointes and some good pointers as well.

‘A happy song isn't just happy. It's happy about something, someone, a story, a situation, just like a sad song’

Thanks again and God Bless Roy


'You Have To Kiss A Lot Of Frogs To Find A Prince'

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#782894 - 12/30/09 07:37 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Bill Robinson]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,909
Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline

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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,909
Saint Petersburg. FL
Originally Posted by Bill Robinson
IMHO, not often correct, it is easier to write sad songs because most people are miserable unhappy creatures who can rarely relate to anything happy or jolly.
We see pain, corruption, death, and misery, everywhere we go and rarely see anything that really makes us smile.
Most go through the day just trying to survive. We have mortgage payments, car payments, cell phone bills, Cable tv bills, hospital bills, children that grow up to disappoint us. Clergy that destroys our faith in fellow human being because even they are pedophiles. Preachers that lie and cheat on there wives and do nothing but take money a live elaborate lifestyles. Cops taking Bribes, lawyers that sue everyone for anything just to make a buck, Politicians that are corrupt and will tell you anything just to get elected then get rich off their own agendas.
Elected officials that don't pay their taxes but want to put you in jail if you don't.
People that want to kill you just for your beliefs.
Need any more reasons, I can think of a bunch.


Bill,

These are the people you read about in the paper and hear about on the news. But my friends are not like that and I don't believe the average person is either - just the noisy minority.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#782896 - 12/30/09 07:41 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Roy Cooper]  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 2,242
Sam Wilson Offline
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Sam Wilson  Offline
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Posts: 2,242
Nashville, TN USA
Maybe it's because art reflects life, and life ain't all fun and games?

Maybe it's because you have to try so hard to write a happy tune, and it ends up looking like it's forced?



Co-Write Friendly.....Look at my blog on My Space.

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#782911 - 12/30/09 08:14 PM Re: Why is it so hard to write a happy - jolly song? [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,388
Bob Cushing Offline
Bob Cushing  Offline

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Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 4,388
cincinnati oh usa
Originally Posted by Kevin Emmrich
Bob,

Quote
Most of my songs tend to be on the "downer" side, ... The strange thing is I feel much more comfortable playing the downer songs live than the happy ones.


I was surprised that you said this and I said to myself "No one would go hear him play if he did a bunch of downers all the time". So, I just sampled your new CD -- and your songs don't come across musically as "downers". They might be "down" songs, but you music doesn't give that away. So your songs are more filled with irony than sadness (I guess).

Kevin
I think that's a good assessment on your part Kev, and thanks for checking out my stuff!


bc
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