Friday, December 16, 2016

Poetic License or... In Other Words: #2

Once upon a time there was a song, a song featured in many live performances upon the release of an album by a band that had managed to ascend the charts and critical consciousness of the music industry in the early 2000s. Up to the moment of this song, their lyricism of their material wasn't put under much scrutiny, but in retrospect, "Yellow" is worthy of a little scorn.  That said, when the most prominent couplet in the song is the most offensive to poetic sensibilities, it's a lightning rod for further scrutiny. That being said, Coldplay's "Fix You", initially my favorite song on X & Y before it got incredibly overplayed and lost the power of sentiment it held, is up to bat.

The offending line goes:

"Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones..."


I honestly have mulled over a number of improvements to this line. It's not at all difficult since it already employs a slant rhyme.  I opted to use a true rhyme and a phrase that fit the context and added significance and come up with:

Deepening the relationship between the light and the journey
"Lights will guide you home, fading as you roam"

Focusing on the journey specifically retaining the slant rhyme
"Lights will guide you home, when you're lose and alone"

but initially when I first heard the song back then I thought the easiest fix was changing one simple word:

Lights will guide you home, and ignite your soul

In reality, for my writing still the first line works better as the closing line, and opens up the flow of the lyric as a declaration of devotion.

"If you're lost and alone lights will guide you home "

or more poetically

"When your hope is is all but gone lights will guide you home... and I will try to fix you"

Friday, December 9, 2016

Poetic License or... In Other Words: A new series.

For a while now I've wanted to rework lines from songs that I enjoy that have left me a wishing they were put another way, so I figured, that's a good theme for my blog. So here goes:

The first line I want to tackle comes from Eisley's "Marvelous Things", in the second verse they sing, "I followed a rabbit, through mermaid entwined shrubbery." It's a mouthful, the meter and melody force the words to be sung faster than any others in the song, and the word play has been the subject of a little embarrassment from the band, as depicted in this fan shot video.

Now, I love this song, but I won't deny that I always take a breath (mentally and physically) before I sing that lyric. They have a couple of doosies like that.  Needless to say, that's part of the charm of the band, the whimsy they had early on.  But being a lyricist, I was always curious if I could find a way to augment the line to flow rhythmically and poetically. I thought of a few versions, but here's what I came up with:

"I followed a rabbit, through sirens entwined, arranged in lines..."

That said, enjoy the "Marvelous Things" as I first experienced it.