Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Turn That Frown Upside Down

Have you ever really wanted to like a song, but there was just a line or two that rubbed you the wrong way? So you sat there frustrated? Or maybe you love the tune of one song out there, but you just don't agree with the lyrics?

This used to happen to me. It used to be that I would listen to some song that really got me going, happy, up, soothed my soul. Then when the lyric part that bugged me or just did not quite sit right with me came along, I would sit in silent protest, growing frustrated and more frustrated each time until I just decided I would give up listening to the song altogether. Here's how I got over my frustration.

I remembered listening to Rogers and Hammerstein when I was eleven, absolutely loving to sing along to "I've Got Rhythm." My friend and I would dance along as we sang it out on the deck, and one day my mom was our audience. As we sang the line, "I've got my man, who could ask for anything more?" my mom's face clouded over. She said, "Do you think there's another way to phrase that? So it's not like a man's completing your life?" And it dawned on me! "Friends--I've got my friends, who could ask for anything more?" I said. And it became our anthem. You could even make it, "I've got myself, who could ask for anything more?" or "I've got my dog, who could ask for anything more!" The options are endless!

So when I was going through my recent song frustration, I flashed on that change in mindset that the change in lyrics had allowed. I was allowed to shift and let myself like a song! Happiness could replace frustration, and all I had to do was shift my thinking and get to be creative in the process. One that I tried and really loved was for "The Water Is Wide." My mom and I had decided to learn some sing-aloud songs together, and this one was on a favorite folk album. "The Water Is Wide" goes, "When love grows old, still it carries on, then sometimes fades, like the morning dew." Well, I just was not keen on this, so I shifted to what I did want out of the feeling of that line. I experimented, and one I liked was, "...still it carries on, and grows stronger with each passing day." Come to think of it, I think I just created that one. I had always found the syllables a challenge there--proof that sometimes you just have to keep working at it until you find the right one for you!

So, enough of my changes, I want to know about your creative solutions for frustration in the musical realm! With so many songs out there, and so much brimming energy from your brilliant minds, I know you have some truly innovative ways to turn around the messages we hear on a daily basis (if you listen to music on a daily basis or just hear it in public). Maybe you go to the grocery store and seem to always hear the same song with a woman pining about a relationship she has lost. Can you turn around the lyrics in your head to make it a song about a woman discovering how strong she is on her own? What about a male singing about his lost female love? Does hearing that song just tick you off? Next time you hear it, what if you experimented, gave a chuckle, and turned that song around into an impassioned ballad about his process of discovery of a the innate power, independence, and capability of all girls and women? How he is thankful that his girlfriend established her boundaries by breaking up because it truly showed him what his relationship patterns had been, and he learned a thing or two about control?

What are your lyrics for change? I want to know, from a single word reversal that makes all the difference to a whole song rewritten to your specifications. Send one, send all (or leave one as a comment), and I will share selections on the blog. Maybe it's not even for a lyric of a song, but a poem or a common nursery rhyme. What's your vision?

When I started to shift our focus from frustration to creativity and excitement about what I wanted to hear, it made a world of difference! Your creativity can change the world, and I mean that. All it takes is a change of tune...or lyrics!

Oodles of creative passion, Bissy (Elizabeth!)


piglet said...

wow! there aren't nessisarly any songs i really dislike! i see what you mean though! the songs i listen to are like high school musical-there aren't really anything bad on them! thanks for your interesting artictle!

Anonymous said...

I think that you shouldn't change a song.That changes the meaning which changes the point of singing
it. If the authour meant the song to have apoint stick to that point.