Friday, September 7, 2012

I Can't Stand Counting Songs...and Ultrarunning

Pet peeve day.

This song has the potential to be THE anthem about running. Even though it deals with motorcycle transportation, not running per se, the sentiments about getting away with your love and freedom have running written all over them.

[YouTube link here if the embed above fails]

But I said "potential anthem." For me the song is doomed; while otherwise decent, I just intensely dislike it. Why?--because Bruce counts in the song.  I'm talking actual counting, out loud, as in 1-2-3-4.  Play the clip at 3:30 if you need a refresher.

See, counting in your song is just NOT an acceptable lyric, it's basically either song administration or just plain lazy writing.

Just sing the song, we don't need to hear you counting out loud, because either of these alternatives is unprofessional:

  1. What should be your behind-the scenes signals to the band to be in synch, or
  2. Failure to write decent lyrics so you have to fill the space with counting (this option is actually philosophically worse)

The other day on Sirius/XM Radio, the Coffeehouse (channel 31) I heard a Sheryl Crow tune--and I like Sheryl Crow--in which she actually begins the song by singing "One, two, ready, now...." I can't recall the tune and it's not worth the effort to try to find that version. You'll just have to trust me that it's real. And that, aggravated and annoyed by the song, I jammed my finger punching the button in a rush to change the station.  C'mon--you can't get the rest of the musicians to come in when they should with some silent cue?

I do have one example of a song in which the lyrics actually contain counting done the right way (countdown commences around :45) and it works:

[YouTube link here if embed above fails]

Of course, Bruce and Sheryl will take my advice and immediately change their tunes--literally--since I am a world class musician and all.

Fixing Bruce's lyrics to make an Ultrarunning connection:

The highway's trail is jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive run
Everybody's out on the run tonight
but there's no place left to hide
Together Wendy we'll live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl I don't know when
we're gonna get to that place finish line
Where we really want to go
and we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run

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