Friday, May 18, 2012
A Writing Experiment: Part 2
I'll admit that sometimes I get fixated on things, but I feel like when I do I have good reason to do so--then again I'm biased. On my Wednesday post I presented two versions of the same story. You may wish to go back to read these very short pieces before continuing with today's explanation of the origin of the story.
One of my latest fixations came about while putting together a post for the Sad Songs Blogfest hosted by L. Diane Wolf at Spunk on a Stick. Anyone who knows my blogs well knows that I enjoy writing about music. This Sad Songs Blogfest was something I liked so much that I put together lists for all four of my blogs.
One song in particular stuck with me well after the blogfest was over and I decided I wanted to make sure more of my readers had an opportunity to listen to this song. I included this song on my Sad Songs entry at A Faraway View. When I first heard Steve Forbert's "Make It All So Real" back in the early 1980s it impacted me immediately not only with the quality of the song and melody, but I found the story rather powerful.
It's a simple tale that consists of snapshots taken from a few different perspectives. We don't get much detail, just enough to show us that we don't always know a complete story. Our perceptions of others can be very deceptive when we don't know all of the facts.
In my Wednesday post I first presented my hastily slapped together version of a prose narrative that is essentially a summary of what is depicted in the song. The second version is the actual Steve Forbert song written in a narrative fashion, although I think it was probably pretty obvious to most readers that this was a song or a poem. You may want to read through the comments to Wednesday's post to see some of the reactions to my two story examples.
If you had read the two versions prior to reading this explanation did you guess that the second version was a song or poem? What are your thoughts on this song and the songwriter's approach to telling a story? Have you ever written a story based on a story told in a song? Can you think of an example of a story you have read that was based on a song? Am I being overly obsessive about this song? If you'd like to listen for yourself here it is:
Here are the lyrics to "Make It All So Real" by Steve Forbert:
Take your seat in the table
watch the cabaret fill
Ted came down for the singer
He saw the name on the bill
how the minutes were draggin'as the audience grew
Ted was growing impatient as he swallowed his brew
" It's time to welcome the artist " he heard somebody say
saw a face in the floodlight an' ev'rything
Singer man do your work. Sing your song. Make it hurt.
Sing the tears. Sing the pain. Make it all so real.
Then the singer was singing all his serious songs
and his Band wa a-playing ; Ted was hummin' along.
Meanwhile back in a corner there was a table
Where sat the singer's cute lover snd she was
drinkin' a few,
all snuggled up with a stranger who had his hand on her tigh,
she was receivin' his message an' gazing into his eyes...
So the sound came a-rollin',tumblin' into the night
an' all the people were ravin', sayin' " Man our singer's allright ! "
An' " Such a burnin' performer ! " " What a fabulous show ! "
Little lover was stirrin'. She was ready to go.
An' while the singer was wailing she got up to depart.
The crowd was stompin' an' cheering. She was breakin' his heart...
Ted was feelin' terrific as the crowd filtered out
ravin' on 'bout the hero, there were whistles an' shouts
There was a guy with his sweetheart.
Ted came walkin' on past.
he could hear what was spoken. He could hear what she asked.
( She said ) " Don't you envy the hero ? "
An' the fella answered his girl
" Yes. He's the ultimate singer. He's on top of the world ! "