Got to thinkin’ ‘bout Stallone and his movie Rocky. I think I was pondering on how he brought his movie to something like 1000 producers and got turned down. They all thought it was a stupid movie. Yeah right, that’s what the box office said after five or six of them. There’s a songwriting lesson in persistence there, but anyway…
So, I got reminiscent and watched the first Rocky movie.
I’m chompin’ on some treats and, boom! There it was. A songwriting precept right out of the mouth of the Italian Stallion.
He was working as a small time loan shark’s thug, hired to collect money. The shark told Rocky to collect money from some factory worker, and if he couldn’t get the money Rocky was to bust the dude’s thumbs.
Rocky walked up to the guy, throwed the fear of life without posable thumbs into him, and got $170 of the $200 the guy owed. Right when The guy was crappin’ in his socks, Rocky let him off the hook with a promise of coughing up the rest of the dough next time.
A while later the shark pulled Rocky to the side and asked why he didn’t do what he was told, and how that makes the shark look bad, and all that mafia talk.
Rocky said, “Well I just figured if I break his thumbs, then he can’t work, then how is he going to pay the rest of the money?”
Of course, the small-time mobster told Rocky to let the thinking to him, the mobster. He just didn’t get the point. He was more interested in his ego, his rep, and throwing fear out there to be respected.
Fat lot’a good it’d do to send a guy to the unemployment line and expect him to make good on your IOU.
And that right there is your songwriting point.
It’s about applying stress in the right place at the right time to get the most out of your song.
There is a right way, and a wrong way to put stress in a lyric.
Do it wrong, and… well your writing is kind’a screwed. The more you keep it up, the more you just keep wandering from the mark.
In the past June issue of the 2016 TuneBooster you’ll see how a southern belle, Great Laker, and a nerd can screw up a lyric and the six wicked fixes which let you put the stress in just the right spot.
Don’t email me off the contact link if you already know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout or just want to continue writing lyrics that don’t work.
Meanwhile, you can still join up to TuneBooster for the measly sub rate which days are numbered. https://www.tunesmithtips.com/newsletter/