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-   -   Does it ever seem to you that songwriters get more credit than they deserve? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=601563)

mc1 12-20-2020 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mandobart (Post 6581269)
One way I look at it is sure, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney and John Lennon have been lionized in popular culture for the past 50 some years.

But look at other great songwriters who have devoted, but smaller followings/accolades: Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, John Prine, Steve Goodman to name just some of the better known ones. Many of these didn't get much attention until after they died.

And there are other awesome current songwriters you'll never hear or hear of:
Slaid Cleaves, Joe Pug, Jeffrey Martin, Chris Knight....

Its like when I was in the service and we'd roll our eyes at getting medals just for doing our job. The Chief would say "this isn't just for you - its also for all the other squids who work hard everyday and never get any recognition."

IMO the "superstars" help keep it alive for everyone else, though Dylan et al do deserve credit, too.

You are correct that I haven't heard of the songwriters on your lesser known list, but I'll enjoy checking their songs out.

mc1 12-20-2020 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DukeX (Post 6581298)
Combine them and you get something mewsical, like Cats.

My girlfriend and I went and saw cats many, many years ago in Toronto.

My reaction was kind of, "Away, you starvelling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's-tongue, bull's-pizzle, you stock-fish!"

Ok, not really, but also not really for me. I liked your pun.

KevWind 12-20-2020 07:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mc1 (Post 6581487)
I must say that was a tough read of high diction (like a Joseph Conrad reply, and not a Johnny Cash reply). But if I get you correctly, you are saying that because it's prose put to music, it's harder.

If that is correct, my reply would be that song lyrics generally fall short of prose, and the addition of a musical requirement doesn't make up the gap.

High diction hey ? That's a first :D.

Your reply that song lyrics fall short of ordinary language ,,, is a tough read . Honestly is a bit baffling and certainly went right over my head , considering prose is the use of ordinary language :confused:

So no, you are not getting me correctly. I said nothing about putting "prose to music". Let me see if can use less high diction and be more clear

What I said (Or perhaps , what I was trying to say was)
Achieving "Prosody"........ not "Prose" (two very different things ) that evokes the intended emotion and actually works in context , involves twice the complexity in songwriting, as it does in poetry, simply because it involves twice the elements, language and music, as opposed to just language (note I said language not "prose" ) Simple math, 1 is 50% less than 2. .....Hope that is more clear

mc1 12-20-2020 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Feste (Post 6581322)
All this comparison is a bit premature ... if any of these writers, regardless of the genre, form, etc. are still being read and/or listened to as Shakespeare still is today, then, I’d say we have room to say they are of all time. Then again. We’ll never know. If it means something to you, that is the true measure today. I know there are things I listen to again and again and have for decades. Similarly, I also re-read certain authors works in the same manner. It makes no difference if others do.

cut to 3030, when the world has decided that Milli-Vanilli are the greatest literary genius' of all time - who saw that coming, but girl you know it's true!

Does longevity equate to quality? Often, but not always.

Clearly, I find deeper meaning and higher talent in prose and novels than I do in songs, but I'm not so sure it's all as subjective as you imply. There is definitely a consensus here that my thoughts about this are misguided, although I'm not convinced I'm getting them across as clearly as I'd wished.

mc1 12-20-2020 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Jelly (Post 6581332)
When you say there isn't much there I'm not sure what you are trying to say. What is much? Granted anybody can write a song. The popularity of a song does not mean it is any good. It just means it's popular and there can be many different reasons for that. The idea that some or many give something or somebody credit or whatever means just that. Many obviously don't. When I look at the result of an artists labor my personal litmus test is if I can do as well or better in expressing myself in the same way. If I think I can I feel I have a right to voice my opinion. If not I can only state whether I like it or not. But that's me ....

What I meant by "there isn't much there" is that a song is often pretty short. Remove the repetition and it can be a couple of verses and a chorus.

As Mycroft pointed out, some short works of poetry are very skillfully crafted, and so to use the length as a measure of quality maybe isn't the best.

I guess when I wrote that was thinking the work that went into Mr. Tambourine Man wasn't that much work. But it really isn't the length, it's the quality, although writing King Lear would take a lot of time. So perhaps we should compare Mr. Tambourine Man to Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening or something like that.

mc1 12-20-2020 08:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pattern (Post 6581421)
When done by one with skill, running a rack of nine ball should make the average person watching think “this is so simple, I can do it”

I feel like the same is true for songwriting. To make a powerful statement, a vivid picture, tell a story etc, with just a few sentences that seem so simple you think you could’ve written them yourself. That’s when you know someone is a master

True, the greats make it look easy. But also applies to poets and novelists.

mc1 12-20-2020 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JonPR (Post 6581449)
Shakespeare died in 1616. The Nobel Prize for Literature was established in 1901.

It's not awarded posthumously ;).

Yes, obviously my joke there with a wink didn't come across. Google tells me it was, in fact, award posthumously once, but sadly, not to Shakespeare. And it was in the same year the author died, so a bit of a technicality.

mc1 12-20-2020 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljguitar (Post 6581476)
Hi mc1
I could not DISAGREE more.

You need to cover a writer's catalog (song or literature) in it's entirety, and in context to be able to measure why they are considered relevant, or poignant.

Dylan is not considered 'profound' or 'relevant' because he was popular. He has remained 'profound' and 'relevant' through many phases of society. His lyrics are amazing.

And we won't know for at least 404 years after he dies (that's where we are marking time with William Shakespeare's place in history in 2020)

I don't think lyricists are overrated at all.

Hi Lj,

But then we both need to read all of Shakespeare and all of Dylan to compare. I haven't read all of either.

I don't think I ever brought up popularity as a criteria. Dylan is profound and relevant.

Finally, my problem is with ranking Dylan up with Shakespeare, which isn't done by me. I don't have an issue with the time gap, since I'm just giving my opinion on the two, as those who rank him so highly have also done.

mc1 12-20-2020 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevWind (Post 6581531)
High diction hey ? That's a first :D.

Your reply that song lyrics fall short of ordinary language ,,, is a tough read . Honestly is a bit baffling and certainly went right over my head , considering prose is the use of ordinary language :confused:

Prose was the wrong choice of words. I thought it meant unrhyming poetry, but I see it really just means words without metrical structure. That's not what I( meant.

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevWind (Post 6581531)
What I said (Or perhaps, what I was trying to say was)
Achieving "Prosody"........ not "Prose" (two very different things ) that evokes the intended emotion and actually works in context, involves twice the complexity in songwriting, as it does in poetry, simply because it involves twice the elements, language and music, as opposed to just language (note I said language not "prose" ) ...

Prosody (linguistics): In linguistics, prosody is concerned with those elements of speech that are not individual phonetic segments (vowels and consonants) but are properties of syllables and larger units of speech, including linguistic functions such as intonation, tone, stress, and rhythm.

Prosody (music): In music, prosody is the way the composer sets the text of a vocal composition in the assignment of syllables to notes in the melody to which the text is sung, or to set the music with regard to the ambiance of the lyrics.

But my reply still stands. It may be more complicated to write words to music, but if the words aren't nearly as good, I don't think the musical prosody make up for that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by KevWind (Post 6581531)
Simple math, 1 is 50% less than 2...

Really, that's where we are here? I feel insulted.

mc1 12-20-2020 08:33 PM

I appreciate everyone working to help understand my point, but it's alright, I'm only bleeding.

I'm trying to remember what Holden Caulfield said on his way out of Percy Prep.

DukeX 12-20-2020 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mc1 (Post 6581593)
...I'm trying to remember what Holden Caulfield said on his way out of Percy Prep.

"Frankly, my dears, what we have here is a failure to communicate. Good night, ya morons! I'll be back!":D

KevWind 12-20-2020 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mc1 (Post 6581590)
Prose was the wrong choice of words. I thought it meant unrhyming poetry, but I see it really just means words without metrical structure. That's not what I( meant.

OK , can only go on what you said.

Quote:

Prosody (linguistics): In linguistics, prosody is concerned with those elements of speech that are not individual phonetic segments (vowels and consonants) but are properties of syllables and larger units of speech, including linguistic functions such as intonation, tone, stress, and rhythm.
Yes and as I said is complex element #1



Quote:

Prosody (music): In music, prosody is the way the composer sets the text of a vocal composition in the assignment of syllables to notes in the melody to which the text is sung,,,,,, or,,,,,, to set the music with regard to the ambiance of the lyrics..
Well and also "the intonation, tone, stress, and rhythm" in the music and the lyrics . But no it is not "or ",In a song it is and )not "or" .....and as I said= is complex element #2) twice the complexity.....


BTW I know what the basic definition of Prosody is, in poetry and song, and exactly why I used the term. And I'll add that in music/song yes its"ambience" and more,,, when done well it as I said, evokes an emotion in the listener that is a function of the context of both the music and lyrics. The poet does not play in that emotional field....... the poets emotional field is 1/2 that.

Quote:

But my reply still stands. It may be more complicated to write words to music, but if the words aren't nearly as good, I don't think the musical prosody make up for that.
"but if the words aren't nearly as good," is a totally subjective opinion.
I have a different opinion, if the words of poem "aren't nearly as good" no amount of calling it "poetry" makes up for that, either ....


Quote:

Really, that's where we are here? I feel insulted.
Really? You feel insulted because the endeavor songwriting involves two complex elements is twice as complex, as the endeavor poetry that involves only one ? . I guess I have nothing to say to that... Except "Car--ry,,on,,,, lo--ve is coming,,,,,,, ,lo--ve is com-ing to us all"

Hoyt 12-20-2020 09:41 PM

Blowin in the Wind is one of the greatest sentiments in the world. I guess you had to live then to understand it’s impact.

Feste 12-20-2020 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mc1 (Post 6581535)
cut to 3030, when the world has decided that Milli-Vanilli are the greatest literary genius' of all time - who saw that coming, but girl you know it's true!

Does longevity equate to quality? Often, but not always.
.

My point was not that “Longevity” determines quality. The primary reason Shakespeare’s (or whoever wrote those words attributed to Shakespeare) is still revered and relevant today, is that his works convey the human condition like no other works, consistently and artistically. Will the works we revere today, still hold that place with people of 2420? That is a significant measure of artistic worth, value or quality. Consider also that in his day, Shakespeare was playing to the his audience. He gave the what they wanted in the same way that’s Steven Spielberg does today. But again, as I mentioned before, it matters not unless what is cultural significant is what you gravitate to artistically. In other words if the music of Bob Dylan moves you today, then that is what matters. To put it perspective- when I was a youngster, the Beatles didn’t do much for me. Yet, most of the western world thought they were the greatest music ever. To me, that was The Who. And I still feel the same way. Yet, 400 years from now it is unlikely either will be still relevant. To that I say, so what!

JonPR 12-21-2020 06:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mc1 (Post 6581571)
Yes, obviously my joke there with a wink didn't come across.

Quite. It looked like you were making a quite different point. As if the wink was implying that those people at the Nobel prize considered Yeats and Dylan equivalent, but not Shakespeare; meaning they didn't think he was equivalent to - or as good as - them.
The "joke" (the reference to Shakespeare) doesn't make sense otherwise. It seems a few others misunderstood it as well... ;)


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