22 Mar 2012

Song Titles

A lot of writers start with a song title, and that gives them an idea of what the song might be about, and therefore what sort of music would go with it.  Plus, it's an advertising line for the song.  If you're flicking through an album and you're faced with the following track list:
  1. Breakup song
  2. Love song
  3. I love you
  4. Captain Corelli's Buggered Off
  5. Sad song
  6. Song for my father
... which track are you going to skip to first?  Exactly.

So where's a good place to find a song title?  Well, my current favourite source is newspaper columnists.   Newspaper headlines aren't always poetic enough (from various newspapers today: "Murdochs to Testify"; "Betty Ford's Son Eulogizes Former First Lady"; "Indonesian Volcano Erupts"; "Met Chief Under Pressure"; and, of course, "Brooking Good" - another story about Kelly Brooks in her pants).

Columnists, on the other hand, and especially editorials, don't need to sum up the news story (the readers will already have read about it earlier in the paper), so they just have to sound enticing.  For example: "Fixing The Holes"; "The Sky Falls In"; "Fade To Grey"; "Absolved Of Blame"; "Wrong Target"...

But pick up any book and you'll find something.  Here are a few from a random page in Speak, Memory, the autobiography of Vladimir Nabokov: "Linden Avenue"; "Conventional Ghost"; "Persons Unknown"; "Some Mysterious Stranger"... or 1791 - Mozart's Last Year by H.C. Robbins Landon: "Rewrite The Second"; "Outside The Line"; "Language Misleading"; "New Intrigue"; "Dresden 13"... or even the classic Collectible Spoons of the 3rd Reich by James A Yannes: "Diamond Colours"; "Sleeping Carriage"; "For All Intents And Purposes"...

However, I have to say the award for greatest song title of all time has to go Joe Tex for the absolutely superb (and totally genuine) You Might Be Digging The Garden (But Somebody's Picking Your Plums).

I Gotcha!
Whether they're poetically elegant, ball-grabbingly direct, or just make you grin, what are your favourite song titles? 

9 Mar 2012

Live Music Act passed!

The Live Music Act means venues in England and Wales with a capacity of under 200 will no longer need local authority permission to hold performances of live amplified music between 8am-11pm.
Are there people out there in the know who can tell me if this will help put a stop to the disgraceful amount of Pay To Play scamming that goes on across the country (and especially in the capital)?  God knows the Musicians Union have been as much use as an ash tray on a motorbike in this matter...

Read more on MusicWeek.
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