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What's easier - Positive or negative songs?
Last Post 22 Oct 2003 08:49 AM by Q2. 18 Replies.
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Q2User is Offline
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22 Oct 2003 08:49 AM
    Hi all, Just an idea from an earlier post I was on, a question for all you song-writers out there, do you find it easier to write a negative or positive song? Or even somewhere in between? I personally find it much easier to write melancholy negative type songs (usually with some positive quirks in them though). I find that the more positive songs I write, I dump a lot of them 'cos they usually end up sounding too corny or something. I think in everyday life, people find it easier to talk about what upsets them or pisses them off, but you rarely hear people talking about why they're happy or in good form. It's a trait that comes out in my song-writing personally, and I'm just wondering if anyone out there has thought on this. Q2
    DromedUser is Offline
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    22 Oct 2003 12:54 PM
    I thinks it's always easier to write a melancholic song, usually because it's in that kind of mood you feel the need to 'get s**t off your chest' so if you're inclined to write, or compose, it's your primary way of doing that. When life's great you don't seem to feel the need as much, to relieve yourself of overloading emotion. Well at least that's what i think. Any time I've sat down and said, 'right, I'm going to write a song' it's been a bag of s**te most of the time. But you could be washing the bleedin' dishes humming a melody or lying in bed half asleep and then it's there, you've to get it down and the song pours out - and they ususally turn out to be the gems when they come like that. It's hard to write upbeat songs that aren't 'meaningless' as such, but then there's enough room for all kinds of songs...thank christ we don't have to listen to only shoe-gazing self pitying songs all the time. Sometimes you just want a bit of 'lily the pink' y'know! I love Jarvis Cocker's lyrics for making witty observances.... "The trouble with your brother, he's always sleepin' with your mother, and I know that your sister, missed her time again this month" - Pulp, Razamattaz and you have to hand it to Morrissey - the guy is an amazing lyricist...you're trying to write songs and you hear something like 'Stop me if you've heard this one before' or 'There is a light' and you just think Jaysus how can I beat that? But it keeps you on yer toes, keeps you inspired. The point is there's room for us all...good and bad!
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    22 Oct 2003 02:36 PM
    I create electronic music as a hobby, and would not class myself as a songwriter so I'm not sure I'm qualified to offer an opinion, but here goes anyway. Its true that its hard to write meaningful upbeat songs, but perhaps meaning and sincerity are slightly over-rated by songwriters today. I'm not talking about writing songs that are silly or cynical. Sometimes its good to pick words for their sound or the atmosphere the create. "Sound and Vision" by David Bowie is really good example of this. The lyrics are too unspecific to be meaningful (at least to anyone else other than the writer) but the lyrics, music and production combine to create an atmosphere, something that does not need to be stated explicitly. Micheal Stipes early songwriting in R.E.M. helped by his evocative vocals is another good example of this school of thought.
    hillbillyUser is Offline
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    22 Oct 2003 04:19 PM
    Its some thing you should think about it should be how you feel and that will come out in a negative or positive real feeling which can all so be melancholy! But what would i know love or feeling with IQ
    EarthhorseUser is Offline
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    22 Oct 2003 08:30 PM
    I agree entirely with what Dromed said. When you're happy you'd rather go outside and play than sit around writing songs. I also agree that the best kind of upbeat songs are witty and intricate. I don't particularly like Pulp but I think The Lemonheads do a good job with songs like The Outdoor Type and It's All True. Actually they're not that upbeat come to think of it but they're not melancholic either.
    duncanUser is Offline
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    23 Oct 2003 09:07 AM
    Ive only just started writing full songs for my band and they all seem to be about drug paronoia or getting f**ked or polictics..i dont think its easy to write positive or negitive, what matters is if you belive what your saying, the sad thing is most people write throw lyrics about love and s**t and think it means something to them, bollocks..I cant think of one Clash song with the word love in it, can you? Hate is much more interesting!
    DromedUser is Offline
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    23 Oct 2003 09:30 AM
    Ahh Duncan you and your circle of hate theory!!! My point is just that generally song writing is a reaction to an extreme feeling of emotion, a way of expressing those feelings in an art form, the way a painter is compelled to paint etc. and i guess these feelings can fall into a 'positive' or 'negative' category. So if you write about paranoia it comes from feelings of negativity. If you write about politics it's coming from a strong passion or belief which could be positive or negative depending on your views!! And the same goes for writing love songs, it still comes from an extreme feeling. The question here though is whether it's easier to write positively or negatively and I think as humans it's inherently easier for us to be negative then to be positive. It's easier to be cynical then to be optimistic. I don't know why, maybe it's in our brain chemistry. Maybe it's a safty thing so we don't all go around like happy spas? Wanna throw out a theory here? Binokular: 'Sound and Vision' is a fantastic song. Have you ever heard The Sea and Cake's cover version, it's good. Apparantly though Bowie wrote that song while holed up in his room emerging from a drug haze and finding himself a bit disorientated and overwhelmed, so while the lyrics are quite abstract they're no longer meaningless when put in that context.
    karlvinUser is Offline
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    23 Oct 2003 11:49 AM
    quote:
    Originally posted by Dromed My point is just that generally song writing is a reaction to an extreme feeling of emotion,
    I totally agree with Dromed , I think that it's much easier to feel really negative than really happy , and even when you do feel really happy there's always a negative side in the background. That's why a lot of the best happy songs have a negative / sad undercurrent to them . It doesn't seem to work in reverse however as many negatvie songs don't have happy undercurrents. So there musn't be a background feeling of optimisim when you're really down... this kinda makes sense to me. ?
    hillbillyUser is Offline
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    23 Oct 2003 04:18 PM
    ya duncan thats what i was trying to say but you know what im like when it comes to me trying to put things into words.Duncan what clash are you talking about cause the clash i know talk about love in there songs p.s. love you
    Q2User is Offline
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    24 Oct 2003 11:43 AM
    Alright hillbilly, I withdraw the IQ remark I made on the other post. Just didn't really appreciate your sentiment on the other post, even though you were only having a laugh. Plus I was having a crap day in work. Sorry! Peace Q2
    hillbillyUser is Offline
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    24 Oct 2003 09:40 PM
    thats ok i am that kind of person that people take the wrong way so thank you for your last post love hillbilly xXx
    cosmic let downUser is Offline
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    25 Oct 2003 02:42 AM
    you know what dromed your head is way to up your own arse sorry but you seem to like to but everthing in a catagory for f**k sake why dont you write a song and let it be if its sad its sad if its not its not and what a silly think to say about shoe gazing what the f**k is that suppose to mean get a f**king grip for gods sake. i thought you would have more sence.All i'll say is just f**king write and write if your a song writer its what your good at and keep on at it its what your good at and if someone starts putting you in to catagories f**k them yeah exactly f**k them do what feels good!
    dirtypropagandaUser is Offline
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    25 Oct 2003 12:57 PM
    i like to write songs about spar, the GAA, the credit union, gettin the hole raped off ya in prison cos u were wrongly sent there for murdering your wife and some golfer that she was riding at the time, the irish famine and its effect on colin farrell, selfish drug abuse, my friends and how important they are, my failed love life......the more thought u put into songs the less interesting they will end up...positive or negative..who gives a f**k...just let it happen.
    hillbillyUser is Offline
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    25 Oct 2003 12:59 PM
    Here here!But no one here is a song writer well hope no one here is vain enough to say they are!But what would i know i cant even write an also i dont know what its like to have lost some thing i'ev loved so i'ev been told poor me Boo hoo hoo
    DromedUser is Offline
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    28 Oct 2003 07:15 AM
    Ooohhhh wrong sides of the bed all over the shop wha? First of all Q2 actually started this thread with a question about what we thought was easier writing positive or negative songs and in the spirit of conversation I gave my opinion - if that means I have my head up my hole then that's grand, it can stay there cosmic. My point about shoe gazing was in reference to an earlier point about songs that are 'light hearted' and songs that are more 'serious' - the point was that sometimes it's good to have nonsensical lyrics, upbeat melodies and irreverant notions to blow away the 'ole cobwebs, I'm not always in the mood to listen to something dark and serious and 'meaningful' - my attitude to 'shoe gazing' bands that upset you so much, is my own opinion and I'm not really bothered if you agree with me or not - Is my head up my hole cos I don't like 'shoe-gazing' bands or just cos i have an opinion on them?
    DromedUser is Offline
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    28 Oct 2003 07:43 AM
    Hillbilly why is some one vain if they call themselves a song writer? And the reason why I'd said it would seem like you'd never lost anything important to you was because I would have thought that if you had you'd have had a bit more sensitivity on the subject then calling people that were being nice a pack of lick arse c**ts. Boo hoo hoo indeed.
    Q2User is Offline
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    28 Oct 2003 07:58 AM
    Dromed, have you got a bullseye painted on your forehead? Q2
    dirtypropagandaUser is Offline
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    28 Oct 2003 01:49 PM
    all songwriters are wasting their time...some people may be good at it, they might make a few bob, they might even get their if somebody of the oppsite sex or same sex likes their song but at the end of the day nobody will ever write a song that will better WILLIE THE WILD ONE BY WILLIAM THE WILD ONE. some day willie is gonna arrive on this site and sort every f**king one of us out, hes gonna rob our gaffs, our birds, our wallets, our motorcycles, our cars, hes gonna hurt the ones we love and in a lot of cases hes gonna cut us up......and there is nothing none of us can do about it 'the angels are my buddies the girls they dig my style my hair is long and purple maybe thats why im wild' dig those f**king lyrics
    peace03User is Offline
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    29 Oct 2003 03:37 PM
    Oh Willie the Wild One....you are dangerous....there's no doubt about it, I heard you eat Kerry GAA players for breakfast. I also hear you've been riding the hole off Ann Doyle the newsreader, please tell me it isn't so because I fancy the hole off her.....??
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