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APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

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Interesting discussion (again). :) It's been contended and pretty much agreed - in the March Lyrics Contest thread as well - that some people might score a lyric not so much on the basis of any craftsmanship on the part of the writer, but on how much they like - and agree with - the subject matter, or dislike a particular genre or even a writing style (i.e. poetic vs. non-poetic). 

 

So many factors, eh? I don't worry though about low scores. 

 

As regards subject matter: I kind of grinned to myself when I posted the Medusa piece, because I presumed someone might take offence at the bridge, which mentions the abbreviation for pre-menstrual syndrome - which is a fact of life for most of half the planet's population. ;) 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, 9thStLine said:

Yes, but there are abnormal scores for just about every lyric. Even the ones toward the bottom receive a few good , or very good scores, so its hard to spot the smoking gun in it all. 

 

Fwiw, I agree, that's an ignorant score for a lyric such as Feeling Like Medusa, which I had as a toss up between that and your lyric as best.  

Hmm it seems not only am I ignorant, I try to rig my scores in the chance of winning. These allegations are ridiculous. I usually love DonnaMarilyn's lyrics, in this case I didn't. But I don't think that she will believe I was trying to derail anything. :(

 

Please don't tell me how I should vote, what my views should be, or insinuate anything about my character. Last time I checked I was allowed my humble opinions.:P

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Congrats to the winners! My favorites were:

And Wedding Bells Chime

No present Like The Time

 

I knew mine was going to be scored low. It was a first run and wasn't very well developed. I will post the current version in lyrics critique forum for comments.

Tony

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1 minute ago, DonnaMarilyn said:

As regards subject matter: I kind of grinned to myself when I posted the Medusa piece, because I presumed someone might take offence at the bridge, which mentions the abbreviation for pre-menstrual syndrome - which is a fact of life for most of half the planet's population. ;) 

 

 

Ha ha ha...that hit my funny bone. I really liked your lyric also!

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21 hours ago, RobertK said:

It would also eliminate the all-too-human temptation to skew the results by rating what one believes is one's closest competition with an unduly low score, as I think much of the results currently show.

 

Man....I hope that's not true. sad.

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1 minute ago, Tracy somebody said:

Hmm it seems not only am I ignorant, I try to rig my scores in the chance of winning. These allegations are ridiculous. I usually love DonnaMarilyn's lyrics, in this case I didn't. But I don't think that she will believe I was trying to derail anything. :(

 

Please don't tell me how I should vote or insinuate anything about me. Last time I checked I was allowed my humble opinions.

Well, again, no personal affront to you in particular was meant as far as the skewing of scores go.  I should have been more granular myself in making the delineation between low-balling in an attempt to hinder one or two of the particular competition versus having an opinion that is less an objective discernment of songwriting craft and more "I think" or "I feel". 

 

Everyone knows their own heart and motivations, so if one's conscience is clear, then let that suffice.

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4 minutes ago, RobertK said:

versus having an opinion that is less an objective discernment of songwriting craft and more "I think" or "I feel". 

 

I don't think you are helping. :P

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6 minutes ago, Tracy somebody said:

I don't think you are helping

 

I guess not... maybe I'm too pedantic and take this critiquing business too seriously to have any fun. :D

 

Now that I've made myself a few friends around here, I'd best relegate myself to just scoring any future contests. :blush:

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19 minutes ago, RobertK said:

I'd best relegate myself to just scoring any future contests

Don't be silly! You are obviously a talented dude that we can all learn from :)

If it makes you feel any better, when I first entered these contests, I wondered about whether any shenanigans with scoring could happen, but having hosted a few times I realize how little impact outlier scores have. For example, if you apply the average of a scorer's scores to his/her lyric (meaning if you give a low average, you get a low score for your own song) it rarely effects the outcome. If my own entry gets a low score, I assume it didn't work for that scorer, not that he/she is trying to cheat the system. Besides, not everyone has my impeccable tastes :)

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1 hour ago, PaulCanuck said:

Don't be silly! You are obviously a talented dude that we can all learn from :)

If it makes you feel any better, when I first entered these contests, I wondered about whether any shenanigans with scoring could happen, but having hosted a few times I realize how little impact outlier scores have.

 

Well,I appreciate the kind words.

 

But looking over March and April, a mere two points separates the awards from the also-rans, and the difference between gold and silver is one point in April and half a point in March.

 

So if just one person gives a poor or below average rating on a lyric that can inarguably be more fairly judged above average or good, that determines the outcome.

 

But of course if it all comes back to "it's just an opinion", then it's tough to maintain a serious workshop environment. 

 

That's why I recommended a simpler scoring system, so more eyes and ears would take the time to render an opinion.  True, sometimes that makes things even more of an amateur hour, but more often it shows a better consensus of judging quality from both a peer artist standpoint as well as a "listening audience" perspective... the latter being, after all, what we're all striving for if this songwriting stuff is to be more than an amusing hobby. ;)

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I think I am inclined to agree with RobertK in regards to a scoring system.  Top 3 goes into the pot with a secondary ranking scoring of 1 for the top song in order to break any ties.  It is really too tedious to read 25 songs and give each a separate score.  You can probably get a top 5, very quickly, after the first read. Everyone always seems to say the obligatory "so many great entries this month" when they very well know this is not the case - look at all the 3.5 and 4.0 scores. I, personally, did not feel there were any 1 or 1.5 entries and that would be the case for virtually any month in my opinion (going by the recommended scoring guide). I don't really know who goes to the trouble of analyzing each lyric and adjusting their scores - I mean, who has the time for that kind of nonsense. However,  there might be a sub-conscious element in scoring so picking the top 3 may eliminate that temptation. Wasn't me, I didn't give any 4.5's this month.  I was feeling generous.:D 

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Congratulations to Patty and Robert K.  I'll have to go read Patty's a few more times. I didn't score it at the top and must surely have missed something.  :lol: I had Robert's Catch Me on the Rebound and Kuya's How Bad You Got the Blues tied for my 1st place. I found them both unique in subject matter and could hear them both easily fitting with music. Well crafted and clever. Good job, guys.

 

I had a bunch in my second slot as I felt all were worthy: Feeling Like Medusa, Comic Girl Life, Wanda Saves, Sun is King, Evening Echo, Miss Green and I Don't Want to Dream Tonight. 

 

25 lyrics. Wow. 

 

Thank you to the voters who liked All I Want to Do (Woo Hoo). It was fun to write and I still chuckle when I think of poor Eddie and Danny running out of that bank wondering what the hell happened to their getaway car. :lol:

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5 hours ago, DonnaMarilyn said:

I presumed someone might take offence at the bridge, which mentions the abbreviation for pre-menstrual syndrome - which is a fact of life for most of half the planet's population. ;) 

This just in, PMS is a fact of live for way more than half of the planet's population.  Just ask anyone that lives with someone from that half of the population.  

 

Why do I suspect I have a Medusa Stare coming?  and it doesn't look like a good hair day!

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8 hours ago, Barneyboy said:

I think I am inclined to agree with RobertK in regards to a scoring system.  Top 3 goes into the pot with a secondary ranking scoring of 1 for the top song in order to break any ties.  It is really too tedious to read 25 songs and give each a separate score.  You can probably get a top 5, very quickly, after the first read. Yes, this is likely so. Everyone always seems to say the obligatory "so many great entries this month" when they very well know this is not the case - look at all the 3.5 and 4.0 scores. I, personally, did not feel there were any 1 or 1.5 entries and that would be the case for virtually any month in my opinion (going by the recommended scoring guide). I don't really know who goes to the trouble of analyzing each lyric and adjusting their scores - I mean, who has the time for that kind of nonsense.

 

Actually, I do. ;) (And am sure I'm not the only one.) During my first cursory read-through, I jot down scores based on initial impressions. Then a bit later, perhaps a day or two, I read each lyric carefully (usually twice or more), and invariably the scores are adjusted, generally upwards. It's not easy making distinctions. I don't find it 'nonsense' or 'tedious', but yes, it certainly is time consuming. Nevertheless, once a month isn't a deal breaker. ;) 

 

However,  there might be a sub-conscious element in scoring so picking the top 3 may eliminate that temptation. Wasn't me, I didn't give any 4.5's this month.  I was feeling generous.:D 

 

Well, thank you. :P

 

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6 minutes ago, Ty Cobb said:

This just in, PMS is a fact of live for way more than half of the planet's population.  Just ask anyone that lives with someone from that half of the population.  

 

Why do I suspect I have a Medusa Stare coming?  and it doesn't look like a good hair day!

:D Ty, I intentionally chose not to add '...and their partners'. :P

 

(BTW, I really liked your 'Always Believe'. It's uplifting, and made me smile.)

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44 minutes ago, jonie said:

 I had Robert's Catch Me on the Rebound and Kuya's How Bad You Got the Blues tied for my 1st place. I found them both unique in subject matter and could hear them both easily fitting with music. Well crafted and clever. Good job, guys.

 

 

Most kind. 

 

If you're curious about how Rebound sounds to music, I posted it over in the song critique subforum.  See if it fits the sounds you were hearing, ;) and thanks again for your kind words.

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7 minutes ago, Ty Cobb said:

This just in, PMS is a fact of live for way more than half of the planet's population.  Just ask anyone that lives with someone from that half of the population.  

 

Why do I suspect I have a Medusa Stare coming?  and it doesn't look like a good hair day!

 

Yeah, if anyone gigged the song because they were offended by the mention of PMS, they certainly misjudged something, because she was using it in the sense that men aggravate women even more when they slough off their rightful annoyance or anger as due to PMS... heck, the writer was very explicit about that, and used it for the play on words of ZMS.

 

If anything, that was one of the songs more clever twists, not something to be offended at or to tank the song, contest-wise.

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8 hours ago, Tracy somebody said:

Hmm it seems not only am I ignorant, I try to rig my scores in the chance of winning. These allegations are ridiculous. I usually love DonnaMarilyn's lyrics, in this case I didn't. But I don't think that she will believe I was trying to derail anything. :(

 

Please don't tell me how I should vote, what my views should be, or insinuate anything about my character. Last time I checked I was allowed my humble opinions.:P

Sorry, a bad word choice on my behalf. Just for the record though I never accused you of rigging anything, nor did I tell you how to vote. People are also allowed opinions about opinions, last time I checked, but I should have been more diplomatic. My apologies.

 

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RobertK said..... let's just say that, contrary to the maxim, not EVERYONE has the right to an opinion. :P

 

Apparently not. :mellow:

 

And....

It should, in a perfect learning/feedback environment, be more a matter of judging complete craftsmanship rather than one's being enamoured with a title or phrase, or one's heartstring's pulled merely on the topic.  After all, a lyric isn't truly a lyric unless it presents itself to musical composition and performance.  Until then, it's merely an idea for a "song poem", more or less worthy, and the world is full of ideas.

 

Good luck with that. :P

 

And....

IMNSHO, your song hit on all cylinders but one and should have scored higher.

 

Well maybe, since you're so superior to us regular folk, you should get 3 votes instead of one. Or even better, I can give you my vote next time so that it can get done properly. ;)

 

 

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1 hour ago, 9thStLine said:

Sorry, a bad word choice on my behalf. Just for the record though I never accused you of rigging anything, nor did I tell you how to vote. People are also allowed opinions about opinions, last time I checked, but I should have been more diplomatic. My apologies.

Apologies accepted. Thank you. :) :D

 

Sorry if I got too quickly offended at all of this, it's that time of the month 😈:rolleyes:

 

One thing I do want to say is that the winning lyric is not being spoken about enough.

 

Congratulations on a wonderful lyric Patty, you came up with a great hook, eeked everything out of it and made it work. Magic. :D

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10 minutes ago, Tracy somebody said:

One thing I do want to say is that the winning lyric is not being spoken about enough.

 

Congratulations on a wonderful lyric Patty, you came up with a great hook, eeked everything out of it and made it work. Magic. :D

Very well said!! It can spoil it a bit when you win one of these things and everyone is sour grapes - So apologies for my own sour grapeness!

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      One of Robert's premises for changing the voting rules is that voting for just the top three would eliminate the temptation to skew the results. That is absurd. It would make it easier.  A, B and  C are the three best in Robert's impeccable opinion and Robert's is D. The three most mediocre in Robert's impeccable opinion are E, F and G, so he votes for E, F and G as the 3 Best. The results are skewed. Even further. You can not eliminate the temptation to cheat in a human being, Robert, but often times it's the cheaters themselves who project their own bad behavior onto others. 

        Robert's other premise is that tempting more  people to vote who couldn't be bothered to vote in the first place  (the non- participants-not you, Iggy!)  by changing the rules would increase the participation rate. This may very well be true because someone will suddenly be able to vote in less than a minute just by a very cursery glance of the entries. But how does this improve the quality of the votes whatsoever?  It doesn't. It dillutes the quality of the votes.  Because there is no investment of time required. It also makes it far easier to cheat. Robert could join the Muse with five or six dummy accounts and skew the results so he wins every month just by voting for his entry with these dummy accounts. In less than five minutes!  I use you Robert, strictly as an example. 

      If you already have disdain for the judgement of your fellow contestants who each have already invested a considerable amount of time in these contests,  often for years,  imagine how horrible it could get if the 'unwashed masses' suddenly had an easier time voting with no investment at all?  

           If you take the time to review a couple year's worth of entries you'll see that as the number of entries increase the more work voting becomes, and so  non-contestant voting decreases. Many months though, we've had 3 or 4 or 5 non-contestants vote. All names we recognize as respected Muse members, not dummy accounts.  Participation fluctuates. You can't reach sound conclusions on the mechanisms of these contests after only three weeks. It's presumptuous. 

           I think rather than change the rules because someone didn't win, it would make more sense to not take this contest so seriously. Maybe switch to decaf? Your turn will come, I'm sure. The other thing that would improve the quality of the voting is to continue this discussion on what each of us believes our own internal criteria is and should be in voting.  We may be able to influence each other in this way and thus improve the overall quality of voting. 

             LyriCal said a while back something along the lines of  the most important quality of a lyric for him is that it be singable. (Hope I didn't mangle your thought Doug) I agree. If I can't find any way to sing the lyric no matter how hard I try then it is not a lyric in my book. This is make or break for me. 

                Another important criteria for me is would anyone (other than the author) actually want to hear this lyric sung more than the obligatory first time?  If I wrote the most well-crafted of lyrics but my subject matter precluded anyone ever wanting to hear it, then it is diminished as a lyric for me. I feel confident others disagree with me here. 

               After those first two on my checklist, my scoring criteria is probably very similar to what others have already spoken about. Overall craftsmanship. Etc. 

               Another contestant here admitted recently that he/she tends to reward lyrics closer to his/her own style of writing with higher scores. Hmmm. Still another contestant today admitted they couldn't be bothered giving each of two dozen entries the careful  time and consideration they deserved. Tedious nonsense! Wow!  I myself look at the lyrics at least a half dozen times and I try to write down scores at least a couple times. Later if there's a disparity between my votes I generally give the lyric the better of my two or three votes.  But later on, I sometimes wish I had given a lyric an even higher score in retrospect. Some lyrics grow on you. 

                I think voting criteria is ripe for discussion as long as we can agree to disagree respectfully. Nobody is right if that means the rest of us are wrong. It could be a learning process for all. It would make a great topic for a blog if it was done respectfully.  

                 Patty wrote a very nice lyric and the rest of us collectively voted it April Lyric of the Month, for good reason, fair and square. You did good, girl! Congratulations! Well done! 

                 To be on the podium with Patty and Jonie, followed by Donna is rarified company indeed, Robert!  

  

 

 

          

        

          

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Well, whatever the owners of the forum wish to do, that's what will happen. 

 

But don't try to justify to me the idea that it's okay or "just part of the deal" to judge something like Medusa a "poor" lyric, or Catch Me On The Rebound "below average".

 

There are only two explanations for that sort of travesty, and I've outlined them already, so that will be my last word on the issue.

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20 minutes ago, kuya said:

      One of Robert's premises for changing the voting rules is that voting for just the top three would eliminate the temptation to skew the results. That is absurd. It would make it easier.  A, B and  C are the three best in Robert's impeccable opinion and Robert's is D. The three most mediocre in Robert's impeccable opinion are E, F and G, so he votes for E, F and G as the 3 Best. The results are skewed. Even further. You can not eliminate the temptation to cheat in a human being, Robert, but often times it's the cheaters themselves who project their own bad behavior onto others. 

        Robert's other premise is that tempting more  people to vote who couldn't be bothered to vote in the first place  (the non- participants-not you, Iggy!)  by changing the rules would increase the participation rate. This may very well be true because someone will suddenly be able to vote in less than a minute just by a very cursery glance of the entries. But how does this improve the quality of the votes whatsoever?  It doesn't. It dillutes the quality of the votes.  Because there is no investment of time required. It also makes it far easier to cheat. Robert could join the Muse with five or six dummy accounts and skew the results so he wins every month just by voting for his entry with these dummy accounts. In less than five minutes!  I use you Robert, strictly as an example. 

      If you already have disdain for the judgement of your fellow contestants who each have already invested a considerable amount of time in these contests,  often for years,  imagine how horrible it could get if the 'unwashed masses' suddenly had an easier time voting with no investment at all?  

           If you take the time to review a couple year's worth of entries you'll see that as the number of entries increase the more work voting becomes, and so  non-contestant voting decreases. Many months though, we've had 3 or 4 or 5 non-contestants vote. All names we recognize as respected Muse members, not dummy accounts.  Participation fluctuates. You can't reach sound conclusions on the mechanisms of these contests after only three weeks. It's presumptuous. 

           I think rather than change the rules because someone didn't win, it would make more sense to not take this contest so seriously. Maybe switch to decaf? Your turn will come, I'm sure. The other thing that would improve the quality of the voting is to continue this discussion on what each of us believes our own internal criteria is and should be in voting.  We may be able to influence each other in this way and thus improve the overall quality of voting. 

             LyriCal said a while back something along the lines of  the most important quality of a lyric for him is that it be singable. (Hope I didn't mangle your thought Doug) I agree. If I can't find any way to sing the lyric no matter how hard I try then it is not a lyric in my book. This is make or break for me. 

                Another important criteria for me is would anyone (other than the author) actually want to hear this lyric sung more than the obligatory first time?  If I wrote the most well-crafted of lyrics but my subject matter precluded anyone ever wanting to hear it, then it is diminished as a lyric for me. I feel confident others disagree with me here. 

               After those first two on my checklist, my scoring criteria is probably very similar to what others have already spoken about. Overall craftsmanship. Etc. 

               Another contestant here admitted recently that he/she tends to reward lyrics closer to his/her own style of writing with higher scores. Hmmm. Still another contestant today admitted they couldn't be bothered giving each of two dozen entries the careful  time and consideration they deserved. Tedious nonsense! Wow!  I myself look at the lyrics at least a half dozen times and I try to write down scores at least a couple times. Later if there's a disparity between my votes I generally give the lyric the better of my two or three votes.  But later on, I sometimes wish I had given a lyric an even higher score in retrospect. Some lyrics grow on you. 

                I think voting criteria is ripe for discussion as long as we can agree to disagree respectfully. Nobody is right if that means the rest of us are wrong. It could be a learning process for all. It would make a great topic for a blog if it was done respectfully.  

                 Patty wrote a very nice lyric and the rest of us collectively voted it April Lyric of the Month, for good reason, fair and square. You did good, girl! Congratulations! Well done! 

                 To be on the podium with Patty and Jonie, followed by Donna is rarified company indeed, Robert!  

  

 

 

          

        

          

You mean to tell me it took you a half dozen reads to score a lyric 3.5 or 4?  Really?  I've got no horse in this race so maybe it's easier for me to speak my mind. Well, I speak my mind anyway.  Please, if you are speaking of me just say so rather than refer to my comments generically.  Also, please quote me correctly.  I did not say I couldn't be bothered giving each lyric careful time and consideration.  I read each lyric completely.  I usually know from v1 and the ch whether or not my interest will be piqued.  If my interest wanes I still read the lyric completely to see if that changes. 98% of the time it does not and 99% of the time it only gets worse. My definition of time and consideration is reflected in the score I assign. Yes, reading 25 lyrics is quite tedious - it usually takes me 2 to 3 days to go through each and I do keep score. I will go back to re-read some where I feel there is a 1/2 point difference and sometimes give those the benefit.  I can't remember when I ever scored 2 lyrics tied for the first spot.  Ok, I've explained my voting practice.  I am not going to read each lyric 3 or 4 times because it is not in my best interest to spend my time reading things that do not grab my attention. If you cannot separate the top 5 on your first read that is fine, that is your choice.  Please don't  condemn me for how I score lyrics - that is not high on my priority list. 

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6 hours ago, jonie said:

I had Robert's Catch Me on the Rebound and Kuya's How Bad You Got the Blues tied for my 1st place.

Jonie,

 

Funny!  As a side bet with myself on these lyric contests, I try to guess who wrote which one.  I had "Jonie" written down for "Rebound."  So you can feel flattered since you had it tied for 1st place!

 

7 minutes ago, Barneyboy said:

Yes, reading 25 lyrics is quite tedious

It takes me forever to rate the lyrics. I read them several times, and write down a score the first time, and then often change it on subsequent reads.  I hesitate to encourage non-contestants to vote because it is such a time commitment.  So I think most of us, maybe even all of us, take the voting seriously.  I know I respect the time and effort (and courage) it takes to craft a lyric and then post it, so I always try to vote responsibly.  I don't even want to think that anyone sabotages the voting by down-voting who they think their competition is.  That probably wouldn't work anyway, since we have such a wide range of opinions on which lyrics are good.  You could be down-voting one that other people didn't like that much anyway!

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1 hour ago, Tracy somebody said:

Apologies accepted. Thank you. :) :D

 

Sorry if I got too quickly offended at all of this, it's that time of the month 😈:rolleyes:

 

One thing I do want to say is that the winning lyric is not being spoken about enough.

 

Congratulations on a wonderful lyric Patty, you came up with a great hook, eeked everything out of it and made it work. Magic. :D

 

55 minutes ago, kuya said:

 Patty wrote a very nice lyric and the rest of us collectively voted it April Lyric of the Month, for good reason, fair and square. You did good, girl! Congratulations! Well done! 

Thanks, Tracy and Kuya.  I am honored.  I did post the lyric on the Lyrics Critique and have received a lot of helpful advice and comments.  Valuable stuff that will help me make this better.  I really appreciate the talents and advice of my fellow Musers.

 

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Posted (edited)

Interesting!  

       Please re-read your last comment Robert. You're upset that some contemptable person gave your lyric a 4 but you're not in the least upset (no mention whatsoever) that Patty's superior first place lyric received two 4s?  I say superior not only because it won, but she received a very rare 1. Ones were rare around here at least before Patty joined. But you've made no mention of Patty's 4s? Interesting indeed! 

        If your 4 could be changed by magic to 2.5 you would have won, but if Patty's 4s were also changed to 2.5 she would beat you by even more!  Ouch! 

         I think that perhaps you can't handle the fact that you missed out on first place by a mere point. We call that poor sportsmanship. The better lyric won. Man up. 

        I'm going to give you one last bit of information about the voting that might crush you. Brace yourself. People here generally tend to skew votes more positive than negative. Yup!  People are oftentimes reluctant to rate something a 4 (below average) or worse because some people's egos are more delicate than others, and so a 3 here (nominally Above Average) is actually closer to average, using the actual definition of word 'average'.  

         A score of 3 here is closer to the real average score, in other words. That [edit-probably] means  that seven of us politely or perhaps subconsciously thought your lyric average, four thought it below average, and one thought it poor. It's subconsciously happening probably for the majority of us but it's easy to verify. People generally skew their scores positive not negative whether they realize it or not. Call it good will. A curtesy half point. But a rising tide lifts all boats, so to speak. No harm, no foul. 

           We could have another discussion on what average means. Is the average of all lyrics we've seen here at the Muse what we define average as? Or is average the average of all lyrics we generally see entered in the lyric contests? Or is average so fluid that each month the definition of average changes based on what is entered in that month's contest? See? It's tricky. 

               

          

Edited by kuya
Typos , clarity

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1 hour ago, Tracy somebody said:

 

Sorry if I got too quickly offended at all of this, it's that time of the month 😈:rolleyes:

 

:D:D:D

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I think we need to have a discussion somewhere here on how to responsibly critique lyrics.  I know I am put off by certain things (racist comments for example) or really foul language and would have a hard time giving a high score to a lyric that offended me in those ways.  I don’t think that’s unreasonable, but I get the impression that maybe it is unfair to the writer.  I don’t want to be unfair to the writer, nor do I want to give a high score to a lyric that turns my stomach.

 

So, that could make for an interesting discussion.

 

For example, suppose there is a lyric that is filled with four-letter words and offensive propaganda, but that rhymed really well and had good meter.  What number, 1 to 5, are we supposed to give that one?

 

As for whether you can hear a melody in your head when you read a lyric?  As I have admitted before, I can never hear a melody when I read a lyric; I just don’t have that gene.  So I would hate to be obliged to down-rate every single lyric just because of my own failure to hear a melody. That’s not the writer’s fault.

 

The discussion could talk about “What is a good song?” Naturally, I have Googled this and the answers are what we would suppose:  Good hook, universal appeal, good rhyme scheme, relatable topic, fresh rhymes, etc. But we all know there very popular hits that don’t check all those boxes.   So, what to do?

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I think we each do the best we can, each of us a little differently, and assume the best of intentions in others as well. 

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1 minute ago, kuya said:

I think we each do the best we can, each of us a little differently, and assume the best of intentions in others as well. 

I believe that as well. :)

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RobertK said..

 

"But don't try to justify to me the idea that it's okay or "just part of the deal" to judge something like Medusa a "poor" lyric, or Catch Me On The Rebound "below average".

 

There are only two explanations for that sort of travesty, and I've outlined them already, so that will be my last word on the issue."

 

Robert there is a third possibility, please refer to a thread urgently, l know l refer to it often.... it's by Alistair S and it's called...."Unrecognised Genius and What to do About it". 😕 it helps.👍

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1 hour ago, Peko said:

As for whether you can hear a melody in your head when you read a lyric?  As I have admitted before, I can never hear a melody when I read a lyric; I just don’t have that gene.  So I would hate to be obliged to down-rate every single lyric just because of my own failure to hear a melody. That’s not the writer’s fault.

  • Apropos hearing a melody: I wouldn't worry about not hearing a melody in your head. After all, it's not a song contest. ;) The way I interpret the notion of singability is in terms of whether I can imagine the lyric in a song at all, being performed in front of a receptive audience. And contributing to this would be things like consistent metering, good flow (I'll sometimes speak the lyric aloud to hear/feel a rhythm if the metering looks inconsistent),  interesting storyline, believable & sympathetic narrator, appropriate word choice, universality, good & varied rhyming, dynamic chorus that supports the verses, dynamic bridge that offers a fresh perspective or a resolution, attention-grabbing title and good use of the hook, and so on (i.e. the craftsmanship, which includes all the things NealK mentioned in his 'formula'. ;) ). And these are all elements that you no doubt take into account anyway.
   1 hour ago,  Peko said: 

Jonie,

 

Funny!  As a side bet with myself on these lyric contests, I try to guess who wrote which one.  I had "Jonie" written down for "Rebound."  So you can feel flattered since you had it tied for 1st place!

 

Patty, just for fun I also try to guess who wrote which lyrics. This time I had you down for 'Rebound', Paul for 'No Present Like the Time',  and Iggy for 'All I Had to Do'. :P (Wonderful lyric by the way, Jonie. ;) )

 

Goes to show what happens when one tries to pigeonhole people's work, eh? ;) 

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Personally, I think they should just run this contest for the fun of it and forget the cash prizes. Less contention over the results and all.

 

Oh wait! They already do! :lol: 

 

 

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@kuya, you quoted me accurately. And @Peko, for me singability has nothing to do with hearing a melody in my head, as @DonnaMarilyn pointed out. I rarely hear a melody in my head when I'm rating lyrics but it really isn't that hard to tell if a lyric will be easy to sing or not. Rhythm, meter, flow, etc. If Verse 1 has one rhythm and Verse 2 has a completely different rhythm that's usually a bad sign already. Granted, not all lyrics have to have a Verse 1 and 2 with the exact same rhythm. But I find it's often the case that when Verse 1 and Verse 2 are really different in rhythm, the rest of the song is often like that. Again, an amazing lyric writer could conceivably pull off a song with three verses that have three completely different rhythms but I think that would be an exception rather than a rule. I suspect if the lyric were like that, the writing would be so good that its singability might still be evident.

 

Even worse, and I hope I'm not being a snob here but just telling it like it is, some lyrics don't really have much rhythm at all, at least not that I can discern. And if I can't discern a rhythm then I'm going to give the lyric a low score. Because lyrics are written to be sung and they really need a rhythm for that to be possible.

 

--Doug

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Donna and Doug,

 

Good points!  I agree, and you're making me feel better about being Melody-Challenged!  Thanks!

 

And Jonie--you're right.  Those big cash prizes can really get in the way!  :D

 

Patty

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6 hours ago, lyriCAL said:

@kuya, you quoted me accurately. And @Peko, for me singability has nothing to do with hearing a melody in my head, as @DonnaMarilyn pointed out. I rarely hear a melody in my head when I'm rating lyrics but it really isn't that hard to tell if a lyric will be easy to sing or not. Rhythm, meter, flow, etc. If Verse 1 has one rhythm and Verse 2 has a completely different rhythm that's usually a bad sign already. Granted, not all lyrics have to have a Verse 1 and 2 with the exact same rhythm. But I find it's often the case that when Verse 1 and Verse 2 are really different in rhythm, the rest of the song is often like that. Again, an amazing lyric writer could conceivably pull off a song with three verses that have three completely different rhythms but I think that would be an exception rather than a rule. I suspect if the lyric were like that, the writing would be so good that its singability might still be evident.

 

Even worse, and I hope I'm not being a snob here but just telling it like it is, some lyrics don't really have much rhythm at all, at least not that I can discern. And if I can't discern a rhythm then I'm going to give the lyric a low score. Because lyrics are written to be sung and they really need a rhythm for that to be possible.

 

--Doug

Yes, for me, flow and meter verse to verse and throughout are key. If they're missing, I will generally score lower. It can work in a song if the musician has enough chord changes to go around but this is not a song contest. 

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4 hours ago, HoboSage said:

 

Respectfully, it really has nothing to do with chord changes, and everything to do with the way it's sung.  :)  I think it's interesting though.  What many lyricists and songwriters mostly see as a strength - cookie-cutter verses in terms of meter and "flow" as you read the words - is something I often hear as a weakness in a lead vocal performance.  

 

P.S.  Per your nudge, I binged Billions.  Love it!  Looking forward to Sunday's episode.

Glad you like it. Two very strong characters who constantly have me wondering who I should be rooting for. 

 

When I said chord changes I was referring to verses that don't mirror each other all. As in a verse and a bridge a lyricist claims are V1 and V2.   There is no way to sing them to the same melody, where natural stresses can't possibly be adhered to and attempting to do so, results in unattractive vocal acrobatics. As they are all labeled as verses, one assumes in reading them that they will follow the same melody. Does it mean they will make a poor song? Not necessarily. I disregard my tendency to score lower for actual musicians such as fabkebab or Ironknee as I know they are more than capable of writing wonderful lyrics to their great songs, lyrics that don't follow a cookie cutter pattern, but even theirs will have an underlying rhythm and noticeable musicality. But as I said, this is a lyric contest and most lyrics are submitted by non musicians who don't have the luxury of throwing together something that appears unsingable, unique as it may be. It needs to convey a rhythm all on its own or else there remains little more than subject matter to judge. 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

And then we’re judging poetry, not lyrics.

 

Say someone submits a lyric like this:

 

The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard

And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,

Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.

And from there those that lifted eyes could count

Five mountain ranges one behind the other

Under the sunset far into Vermont.

And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,

As it ran light, or had to bear a load.

And nothing happened: day was all but done.

Call it a day, I wish they might have said

To please the boy by giving him the half hour

That a boy counts so much when saved from work.

His sister stood beside him in her apron

To tell them ‘Supper.’ At the word, the saw,

As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,

Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap—

He must have given the hand. However it was, 

Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!

The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh,

As he swung toward them holding up the hand

Half in appeal, but half as if to keep

The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—

Since he was old enough to know, big boy

Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart— 

He saw all spoiled. ‘Don’t let him cut my hand off—

The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!’

So. But the hand was gone already.

The doctor put him in the dark of ether.

He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.

And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.

No one believed. They listened at his heart.

Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it. 

No more to build on there. And they, since they

Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

 

(Credit: Out, Out - Robert Frost)

…………………………………………………………………………….

And then someone else submits one like this:

 

Turn it inside out so I can see 
The part of you that's drifting over me 
And when I wake you're, you're never there 
But when I sleep you're, you're everywhere 
You're everywhere 

Just tell me how I got this far 
Just tell me why you're here and who you are 
'Cause every time I look 
You're never there 
And every time I sleep 
You're always there 

'Cause you're everywhere to me 
And when I close my eyes it's you I see 
You're everything I know 
That makes me believe 
I'm not alone 
I'm not alone 

I recognize the way you make me feel 
It's hard to think that 
You might not be real 
I sense it now, the water's getting deep 
I try to wash the pain away from me 
Away from me 

'Cause you're everywhere to me 
And when I close my eyes it's you I see 
You're everything I know 
That makes me believe 
I'm not alone 
I'm not alone 

I am not alone 
Whoa, oh, oooh, oh 

And when I touch your hand 
It's then I understand 
The beauty that's within 
It's now that we begin 
You always light my way 
I hope there never comes a day 
No matter where I go 
I always feel you so 

'Cause you're everywhere to me 
And when I close my eyes it's you I see 
You're everything I know 
That makes me believe 
I'm not alone 
'Cause you're everywhere to me 
And when I catch my breath 
It's you I breathe
You're everything I know 
That makes me believe 
I'm not alone 

You're in everyone I see 
So tell me 
Do you see me?

 

(Credit: Everywhere - Branch/Shanks)

 

Which one are you going to give the higher score to in a lyric contest, @HoboSage?

 

Edited by Alistair S
Added credits to the quoted verses

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I vote for Door #2.

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#1 intrigues me a lot more than #2, but if I couldnt find a pattern to it I would not be able to score it above a 2

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         I think the fact you were even looking for a pattern in #1 just means that you don't get it Fab. It's way over your head.  Looking for patterns or structure is so lame and it says more about you or me than the author.  the author is obviously an unrecognized genius. Respect that even if we can't understand it. It must mean something really deep. Since we can't find any meaning at all just shows how deep it truly is. 

         Maybe the problem is you are too 'in the box'. I blame it on your cubicle at work. How can you be expected to think outside the box if you spend your entire work life in a cubicle?  

           #2 is just another relationship song.  Boring!  Every possible human emotion has already been covered to death! It's just the same old same old that everyone does. I mean how many ways can you say I love you?  Or I used to. Or you used to. Or why don't you. Or did you ever. Or never again. 

            Number one is the obvious better lyric. But here is where it gets really really tricky. By voting #1 the better lyric, we diminish #1 because if #1 is ever deemed popular, that just means the author of #1 has sold out. Not cool man. Way uncool. 

           So I'm going with #2 even though #2 is #2 (if you know what I mean). 

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@kuya You crack me up! I'm so damned earnest and you nail it with a nimble touch and great humor!

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8 hours ago, lyriCAL said:

@kuya You crack me up! I'm so damned earnest and you nail it with a nimble touch and great humor!

I'll be frank if you'll be earnest.

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@kuya

 

PERFECT!😃

 

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