Some people listen to melodies, some to lyrics. I always blame the fact that no-one ever recognises the songs I am singing beautifully on being a ‘lyric listener’. So I feel that I am perfectly qualified to set out these basic guidelines. Also, I have Grade 2 Piano.
1. I was just listening to Chase & Status ‘Let you go’. Starts off fine, it’s the end of a relationship, couple decide to part, tough choices etc. Nice bit of schadenfreude to keep me going til lunch. Then everything changes:
‘There’s nowhere to run,
No place you can go,
Nowhere you can hide,
Where you won’t be found,
There’s no place on earth,
Where you could lay low,
Wherever you are,
I will track you down’
Look, I’m all for trying to hold on to the things you love, but this is just freaking creepy. The girl probably just wants to go away, have a little cry, watch some MTV reality show to feel smug that at least she hasn’t decorated her home like that/ let her parents choose her boyfriend/had her room invaded/become a member of the Jersey Shore. Then she might like to invite some friends over, drink some vodka and cry a bit more. Except she can’t, because ‘there’s no place on earth/ Where you could lay low’. Imagine if she wanted to go dancing.
2. You’re a singer. Don’t act like you could quite easily do something else entirely. For instance, Drake asks Rihanna:
‘The square root of 69 is 8 something, right?
‘Cuz I’ve been tryna work it out,’
Drake seems like a perfectly affable singer. A mathematician he is not. Equally, I understand that Lil Wayne is only recently out of prison. And as we saw with Paris Hilton’s post-prison press tour (she wore skirts below her knees, carried a book and swore a year of celibacy) prison can change a person. But when they say a little hard time really gives a person perspective, they probably don’t mean this:
‘Im here to distinguish the bears from the penguins’
I’m just certain The Aspinall Foundation will be calling Lil Wayne immediately. Finally, a zookeeper who knows what he is doing.
3. Not really a guideline, more of a request- would be absolutely smashing if people could start writing songs where the melody was so simple even I could sing it recognisably. What I’m basically suggesting is that all new songs take ‘Happy Birthday’ as their central fugue.