{ IN MEDIA RES }

A song

Posted in Band, Lyrics by netscheri on September 26, 2007

I said earlier that I had formed a band. Well, now we’re at one singer, a guitarist and a drummer. Slightly better than the previous situation of two singers and a manager, but the thing is, you see, that the singer can’t really sing (yet – or ever?), the guitarist needs to learn how to play the drums, and the drummer needs to learn how to drum. But we’ve given ourselves a time span of five years to develop and improve as a band, and hopefully, that will be sufficient.

The first piece of equipment that we bought for the band was a notebook. Members would take turns at keeping it and writing directly into, and the contributions from the other members would then be pasted in. We thought it would be like a creative scrapbook, with each person writing their own lyrics, music and thoughts into it.

We’ve yet to think of a band name, but what we do have are some (possible) lyrics for a (possible) song written by yours truly.

 Pivot

The harsh scent of aloe
The rasp of silk
A golden amber falls with the rain
Sitting on a doorstep, watching 100 beetles scurry past,
The world passes me by.

The glow of dusklight
Cream against pale rose
Fortune falls imperceptibly
Framed by a windowsill, watching the progress of 1000 nights.
The multitude presses forth against me.

One, light my way
Two, blow out the torch
Three, point me to the path

CHORUS: Unable to discern by the sky
if the sun is rising or setting
I’m walking beside roads that never end.
Lifting my eyes to the clouds, I see a sea of waves
Hands twined at my sides, caught within the repetition
Unsure of how the lightning fades;
For let me know where uncertainty ends

Searching for cliffs with no incline
Yet strayed by fleeting glimpses
Moments with no names
Balancing on the rooftop, walking with 1000 coals
I’ll let the world pass me by.

Painting ships in the air
Each stroke a stilled morning
Carrying the memory of once
Reaching for the gate, travelling with 100 cranes
I’ll press forth amongst the multitude.

One, blow out the torch
Two, light the way
Three, break the needle

Repeat CHORUS
 

—-Ideas: The main idea of this song was indecision, and I tried to convey this throughout the song by using both antithesis, duality and contrast. Okay, I know that sentence there sounded too formal, but it is what I mean. I was also thinking of something like ‘Stop-Turn’ for the title; not quite decided yet.

Shall we play a game? It’s called Spot the Imagery. Try to find the different motifs and symbols used throughout the song, and then look below to see if you were able to find all the ones that were intended. And if you found any that weren’t.

  1. In each of the verse sections, the first stanza is the indecisive one and the second is the decisive one.
  2. The antithesis in the first two lines of the first stanza. The conventional softness of aloe (vera) and silk is placed against the pungent scent, as well as the rasp of silk against silk.
  3. Even in certainty there’s uncertainty, and even in uncertainty there’s certainty. Expressed in the first two stanzas. Golden amber falling with grey rain (echoed with ‘Fortune falls imperceptibly’), and then the thorned roses in the second line of the second stanza. Dusklight is also a mixture of light and dark.
  4. The lack of symmetry in the bridge – three as opposed to four. Once again, suggesting a lack of balance or decisiveness.
  5. The two sets of connected and opposing ideas in the bridge. The first set is “light my way”/”blow out the torch” and the second set is “point me to the path”/”break the needle” with the connection being between “point” as in compass point(er) and then the breaking of the compass needle.
  6. Images of the sky and the weather run through the chorus. The “sea of waves” in the sky as opposed to a sea of clouds represents how everything seems to be turned upside down. “Lightning fades” – lightning is unpredictable, and transitory, where does it fade away into nothing or turn into something tangible?
  7. “For let me know where uncertainty ends”. For-Four. This is in a way, finishing off the bridge. The central message of what the singer wants. Be it lit paths and pointed compasses or dark torches and broken needles, what is wanted is an end to the indecision and uncertainty of which one it is.
  8. “Cliffs with no incline”. Paradox.
  9. “Painting ships in the air”. Ships-cliffs. Echoing.
  10. In each stanza in the verse section, the singer-narrator-lyricist is in a different part of the house that reflects the mood of that stanza. First stanza, indecision – doorstep, neither in nor out. Second stanza, decision – window, window of opportunity, but since it’s early in the song, the singer-narrator-lyricist is still in the house. Third stanza, indecision – rooftop, dangerous, also outside the house now as the song progresses. Fourth stanza, decision – gate, going outside the house now, but only reaching for the gate, not completely decided yet.
  11. The use of ‘100’ and ‘1000’ and the line of reflection in the middle of the song. In the first verse section, 100 comes first. 100 beetles has no particular meaning, but 1000 is a reference to Sen no Yoru wo Koete as well as Scheherezade. In the second verse section, it’s reversed. 1000 coals has no particular meaning and just signifies a large amount. The number 100 is now the one that has meaning. 100 cranes comes from the belief that if you fold 1000 paper cranes, a wish will be granted. But since this is the uncertainty stanza, it’s only 100 cranes which is both far and close to 1000 – close as only one more 0 is needed to make 1000, and far because in reality, 900 more are needed.
  12. Okay. Maybe 11 is a bit too much, even though I didn’t initially intend to introduce so many ideas into the song. They all just seemed to come naturally. But I don’t really want to change anything, you know?
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7 Responses

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  1. shmee said, on September 26, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    sounds more like a poem than lyrics to me =.=
    i don’t wanna sound like a -*insert description*, but simple does it. You need a key word/phrase, and everything else revolves around that. That way, u get a song, instead of an opera ^^

  2. ephemery said, on September 26, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    Haha, if it was a poem it would have 50 language devices. Just joking. I think.

    Well, I did have the idea of poetry-as-music, but maybe I’m trying to cram too much into one song. Perhaps five different continued devices or motifs is too much. Though I don’t really know what I should lose.

  3. shmee said, on September 26, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    hmm everything i suppose. You shouldn’t really write lyrics by simply scribbling down all the ideas u have. it’s more like (sorry if im ranting), brainstorming ideas, choose one u like, write lyrics about it.

  4. ephemery said, on September 26, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Mm, I know what you mean.

    But with this one, there is one main idea. Maybe just too many sub-ideas?

  5. shmee said, on September 26, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    haha, then the main idea itself is probably too complex then.
    read some random pop-song lyrics and u’ll prob get what i mean. (not jap, cause after it’s translated into english, it becomes complex =/ )

  6. Barachiel said, on November 8, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    hmm maybe we could just translate and sing it in japanese to make it simpler? although that may not work…*ponder*

  7. leerin said, on July 13, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I still like ‘paperchase’ as a name…although we’d probably get sued for stealing both the governemental services name as well as the stationary brands name.
    darn.


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