Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Song #248 of 9999 - Cold Comfort by Frankie Big Face

Just two more days of writing about my own music (as mentioned in my post of July 20) and then back to my normal blog!
Song #248 of 9999 

Title: Cold Comfort
Artist: Frankie Big Face
Year: 2012
Album: Nur Ein 7

Click here to listen!

One of the judges from Nur Ein 7 compared songwriting of this nature (title and challenge provided) as the exercises for actual songwriting. I think he may have even called it "homework." While I can understand that perspective, I have quite the opposite view. I know full well and from experience that the songs I write for this competition are way better than the songs I write on my own. And I finish them because there's a deadline. The titles and challenges coax me into areas I would not go on my own and all kinds of crazy creativity results.

Cold Comfort is a perfect example. We were asked to incorporate a tongue-twister. This is something I would never consider doing on my own because a) what's the point? and b) I think the challenge of a tongue-twister is reduced or even eliminated when supported by a melody. (I would compare this to the way that stutterers often lose their stutter when singing.) But since I was forced to work in this context, I came up with what I think is a clever tale of comic irony: a man loses his woman because she is repulsed by his stammer, which she most assuredly caused. The "cold comfort" of the title is revealed in the bridge: "Though I'm glad to see it go, I'm sorry to discover/The girl and the impediment: I can't have one without the other." The chorus (which is a pretty vicious tongue-twister when not sung!) offers proof of his ability to speak with ease while simultaneously lamenting the fact that he can't shake the feelings he has for his lost love, who of course he can never get back because then he will start stuttering again. It's a pretty complex song (even though one friend called it "silly"—the nerve!) and it doesn't really matter that I wrote it in a day or as "an exercise." In fact, my only regret is that I said "I pressed the screen" instead of "I touched the screen." Because it's called a "touch-screen." Not a "press-screen." I'm still slapping my forehead over that one.

No comments:

Post a Comment