High C

High C

Hey Jude, have you heard,
There was once a piano
That achieved far more than you and I shall ever.
It’s a little bit funny, if that’s the word,
How much this piano
Made more people smile than most of us together.

Sure, it’s all just circumstance,
Such a perfect day,
Such a god-awful small affair.
We’ve fallen for the neat romance
Just because it’s true,
But ought we disbelieve it, if we dare ?

With a hub-cap diamond-star halo,
And with dynamite with a laser beam,
And how can we ever compete with such a daydream ?
Let it go.
But if living is without you
Then you think the song’s about
But the thing is, this isn’t our show.

We’re committing the crime of the century, otherwise,
Holding-up standards that we can never realise,
What reasons do we need to be told ?
So cheer up, dude.
It’s just a piano that rocked and rolled –
Don’t make it bad, hey, Jude.

Sing For The Year

First of all, a Note Sounded by Riccardo Cuppini

Sing For The Year

This music’s sounding all the same,
I must be getting old.
The world moves on, the fashions change,
The old and known is new and strange
Of course, there’s nobody to blame,
But now it leaves me cold
And really, this makes perfect sense –
I’m not the target audience.

But once I was the golden ears
The bands would want to please –
A guarantee my mind would blow
Each time I tuned the radio
I thought, despite the passing years,
Their music tastes would freeze –
But tunes move on – the future tense
Will be the target audience.

This music’s sounding all the same,
I must be getting old.
And all the tunes from in my prime,
I’ve heard them far too many times.
We get one chance to play the game
To be that big and bold –
And then, we’re drifting in suspense,
Beyond the target audience.

When we are puzzling out our teens,
The music matters most –
It comforts us, it lights our fires,
It strengthens us against the liars
But as we grow and gain the means,
We can’t remain its host –
It must move on, to bring defence
To a brand new target audience.

What Makes the Diamonds Sing ?

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What Makes the Diamonds Sing ?

Pop – music for optimistics,
Music for singing at two ayem.
Vinyl that wears its gist on its sleeve,
And makes us believe in them each times we play them.
Sure, we may attempt to rebel,
Claiming to be serious nerds,
But when we hear its tempo swell,
We find we still know all the words.
Cos pop music is just so poppy,
Music for yelling “There’s no-one can stop me !”
It’s music for happiness,
Music for crying to,
Brings out our best when it’s not even trying to.

Pop – music for earworm farmers,
Music for dancing the daily commute.
It pierces our armour, it captures our cortex,
Deep down in the vortex and never be mute.
Our parent, they just don’t get it,
Just as their folks just didn’t get our parents in turn,
And we likewise just can credit
What turns-on our kids these days – but no cause for concern.
So keep the upbeat up, we’ve learned,
For ballads and minor keys have to be earned.
Some say it’s artifice,
Some say it’s cash –
A flash in the pan, they insist – but oh, what a flash !

Miming

Miming

Don’t tell me that you don’t use backing,
You’re out of breath but your voice ain’t cracking
You’re throat is rough but you still sing higher
You don’t fool me, you’re a liar liar !
I know, I know, you don’t havta stand stock still
To still be making a sound,
But the more you move, the more you end up shrill
From all that jumping around.
There’s a reason op’ras are static,
No-one wants their divas asthmatic
As half their notes are drowned.
You can wave your arms,
You can shake your butt,
You can flash your charms,
You can jiggle and strut,
But if you wanna be clear and pure
Then keep one foot firm on the floor. 
And don’t pretend to be a flyer –
You don’t fool me, you’re a liar liar !

Now I agree that the single’s better,
And sometimes live you lose the odd letter,
But don’t pretend you’re a multitrack choir –
You don’t fool me, you’re a liar liar !
I know, I know, you’re not on the radio now,
You need to put on a show –
But the more you move, the more you moo like a cow,
The more you croak like a crow.
There’s a reason Broadway has dancers,
So the singers aren’t breathless prancers
Swallowing their mi re do.
You can do the bop,
You can do the bump,
But not the hop,
The skip, or jump,
If you wanna be belting-out that solo,
Then don’t be bouncing around like a yoyo.
And don’t pretend that you never tire –
You don’t fool me, you’re a liar liar !

Underproduced

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Underproduced

Stripped-down and unplugged,
Going back-to-basics –
These are words that fill my ears with dread.
Guitars strummed and harps tugged,
Waxed and polished double basses,
Drummers told to stay at home instead.

I don’t want your simple sound,
I want music complicated
I want synths that growl and pound,
Electrified, not automated.
Full of intricate design,
Not simply autotuned and gated –
I want music of its time,
Not scared of being dated.

Hashed out and doped up,
Family-friendly faceless,
Perfect songs for sending off the dead.
Slowed-down and moped-up,
Going back to basics –
These are words this fill my soul with lead.

Tinny Tonic

Pet Work Translation Tools by Son Luu & Pedro Oliveira

Tinny Tonic

When songs go on too long,
When six minutes should be three –
Well, that’s when they change key.
Your skeleton-solution,
Revolution-by-indentikit –
It doesn’t pick the lock, but bludgeon it.
Nothing says you’ve run out of ideas
Like modulation,
Crunch-changing gears by slurring-up the speed –
Won’t you spare my tears
From your pinched-throat oration,
Your goodness-me vibration to make my ears bleed ?
I wish it were an octave that you’d shifted,
Or used harmonies,
And not just drifted-up a third
For yet one more reprise.
And please, don’t start ad-libbing
Like a gibbering MC –
There’s a reason why they call this bullshit ‘scat’.
Your climax won’t excite me
By just singing out of key –
The sparkle in your tonic has gone flat.

The Rhythm of Life

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The Rhythm of Life

I cannot dance to seven-four,
It always sound so incomplete –
The lines are rushing, overkeen,
They jump the gun, they crash the scene.
It’s never seven-to-the-floor
That jolts me up out of my seat –
We talk in trochees, think in rhyme,
We walk and breathe in common time.

Heartbeats are waltzes, though –
Three-four and quick-quick-slow,
Atrium, ventricle,
In-out-rest metrical,
Pulse and diastole,
ONE two (three) ONE two (three)…

I cannot dance to seven-four,
I nod along, but off the beat –
It may be close enough for jazz,
But lacking somehow in pizzazz –
For music isn’t just the score,
We have to feel it in our feet –
And I have two, not one or three,
So what use surplus notes to me ?

My hips ain’t sound technicians,
My feet ain’t math’maticians,
So they’re losing their positions,
When the bar keeps on clipping,
When the beat keeps on slipping,
Till my sole fills the hole
With the wrong sort of tripping.

I cannot dance to seven-four,
I don’t possess such odd-timed feet,
I’m not a pro, I’m just a guy
Who wants to groove, not reason why –
And dancing shouldn’t be a chore,
I shouldn’t have to count the beat,
So call me boring, call me white,
But four-four lets me dance all night.

No Cover, No Sample

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No Cover, No Sample

Ev’ry thing I’ve ever heard is in me,
Running through me,
Lying low.
Ev’ry song and ev’ry word within me
Helps renew me,
Helps me grow.
I honour all who came before me,
Credit all who built my story –
Don’t forget and don’t ignore –
For without them, then I would not be me,
I’d have no core.
But all their work is cogitated,
Filtered, altered, complicated –
All I ever loved and hated,
Melts and bonds and stirs the pot of me
In which they pour.
Inspiration is no sin,
But make it ours, and make it new –
So add some flesh beneath the skin
And add some point of view.
All I saw and all I heard,
I freely borrow, freely quote –
But never, never word for word
Or note for note.

Unclip the Capo

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Unclip the Capo

We discovered her
As she busked beneath an underpass –
Homeless, I believe,
But her singing was pure class –
Just the sweetest voice of waifdom
And a simply strummed guitar
And we saw a mutual benefit
In crafting her a star.

We set a mic before of her
And we let her sing her soul,
And marvelled at her innocence
Undimmed by cold and dole.
And as she left us weeping,
So she turned and said with half a grin
“I’d like to try all that again,
But this time plug me in.”

She blagged a beat-up Fender
And she risked a power chord,
And suddenly her eyes were bright
As if she’d seen the Lord.
She spidered up the neck and slid back down
With whammy and sustain,
And asked the box crank her up
With tremolo and gain.

So by the time of bass and drums,
We couldn’t well refuse.
But oh, where was our angel
In this devil with the blues ?
“It’s always sounded this way in my head”
She said, “That’s how it swings,
But I’ve only had two hands before,
And only had six strings.”

Silicon Sideman

Silicon Sideman

The trouble with a drum machine
Is that it hasn’t got an ego,
Trouble with a drum machine
Is that it always keeps in time:
The fourth beat goes where the first three go,
As do the crash and click and chime.
Ev’ry beat created
Is so beautifully weighted
And it comes along precisely
When a beat’s anticipated.
With never a roll and never a fill
It just keeps beating,
Beat-beat-beating,
Beating on and on until
At last the plug is pulled, the button pushed,
The damn thing overruled and hushed,
And finally each tireless brush and stick is still.
The trouble with a drum machine
From marching boys to jazz to pop,
Is knowing when to make a noise,
And knowing when to stop.