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Match the Melody Discussion Summer 2010 Discussion thread

#1 User is offline   jonie Icon

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 04:30 PM

Time for another Match the Melody contest. As we all have our summer plans, I'm setting a long deadline for entries.

In this contest, you have a music track to write a lyric for, supplied by one of the best musicians on this board. If you have never done this before, then give it a go, it's a challenge and rewarding as well. It's also great practice for collaborating with musicians.

Summary of rules:

Write a lyric to match the melody you hear in the music. The Song (generously provided by Zeek) can be found here.

Either post your entry in this thread, or if you want to keep it anonymous, PM the lyric to me and I will post it for you.

The deadline for entries is midnight July 25th.

Scoring will take place after that (one score, from 1-10, on how good the lyric is and how well it matches the song).

Deadline for scoring will be midnight July 31st. Winners will be announced on Sunday Aug 1st.
Non contestants are encouraged to vote. Contestants must have at least 25 posts to enter.

Good luck. B)
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Posted 05 July 2010 - 11:18 PM

Is the lead guitar playing the melody line? Or do we create our own melody to the chord progression, in between the lead guitar?

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 08:19 AM

Very nice instrumental but there's no clear melody. Can Zeek do a la, la, la reference track to highlight the melody? The comp won't be fair if each lyricist comes up with a different melody.
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Posted 06 July 2010 - 11:14 AM

I have mixed feelings about that. I'd certainly be happy to have a supplied melody, but having the music supplied in this way is probably closer to what I'd be used to getting from a collaborator and I think it's a good test!

If there is no supplied melody (as opposed to backing music), I'd recommend that all entrants supply a time at which each segment starts and ends.

The difficulty, even with supplied melodies, is often that we cannot hear quite the same rhythms that another person hears (or this is how these competitions often go), so non-competitor scorers are especially welcome!

I found the music supplied made it fairly easy to hear where each part starts and ends and where I should sing - which is good.

I'll go with the flow, obviously, but do people really need a melody? The results might be more interesting without one! :lol:
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Posted 06 July 2010 - 12:06 PM

My problem with having no melody is this:
On another thread there is a video of a songwriting tutorial by Pat Pattison in which he stresses the importance of lyric and melody matching. He talks a lot about accented syllables and words and how important it is that the lyric is as close as possible to normal speech inflection and that the melodic emphasis is on a meaningful words and not on a prepositions or articles of speech. Coincidentally, these are most common songwriting errors I see on the muse.
Those of us who might want to judge this comp cannot do that from a printed page. Unless each contestant is able to have a singing entry, it's just words on paper. Having a set melody eliminates that problem. One of the original purposes of this comp was to force lyricists to write to a set melodic pattern so they can see the importance of matching those accents.
Besides, if the comp is called "Match the Melody" and there's no melody, where's the match?
If this comp is "who can write a melody to this arrangement", that's a whole nother thing.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
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"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
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#6 User is offline   jonie Icon

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 12:30 PM

You're both right and though ideally it would be great if everyone entering could post up a recording of how they hear the melody with the arrangement, that is not what this contest is aimed at. For that very reason, I asked for a track with an evident melody when I originally put the request out there. The only response I received was from Zeek who supplied me with 4 tracks to select from.

I listened to them all in length and chose the one I thought would work best for the competition, fully aware that though I ''heard'' a melody right off, someone else would surely hear a slightly different one. I went forward with it anyway, deciding to ''wait and see'' if anyone had a real problem with it.

I'll ask Zeek if he wants to go back and put a la da da over it. If not, I would be glad to put up the one I hear, if he doesn't mind. I'm grateful to him for supplying such a great recording for the contest and don't really want to nag him to the point he regrets making the offer.

But it really would be more helpful to have a set melody, especially for those who've never attempted this before.

Stay tuned. :)
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The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.
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#7 User is offline   Zeek Icon

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 03:50 PM

Quote

If there is no supplied melody (as opposed to backing music), I'd recommend that all entrants supply a time at which each segment starts and ends.

The difficulty, even with supplied melodies, is often that we cannot hear quite the same rhythms that another person hears (or this is how these competitions often go), so non-competitor scorers are especially welcome!

I found the music supplied made it fairly easy to hear where each part starts and ends and where I should sing - which is good.

I'll go with the flow, obviously, but do people really need a melody? The results might be more interesting without one! :lol:


Great points....I would be happy to supply start/end points for the melody but supplying an actual la la la defeats the purpose IMO. Even though we won't get to actually hear what you've come up with, I personally would like to hear it afterward to see if you've come up with something better than I already have (I do have lyrics/melody for this). I think that with just start/end points it would be interesting to see what everyone comes up with. I emailed Jonie already and will do whatever the general population wants!

Zeek


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Posted 06 July 2010 - 04:47 PM

Quote

but supplying an actual la la la defeats the purpose IMO.


Things change and if that's what's happened, I'm ok with that but when this comp started, the purpose was to give lyrics-only writers a chance to try a writing to an existing melody. Hence the name, "Match the Melody".
It started when I made the statement on one of the discussion boards that many of the lyrics only writers didn't understand the concept of writing regular lyrics that matched from verse to verse. In other words, the first line of each verse matching in accents, syllables, meter, etc. The second line matching the same way, the third, and so on. One of the exercises that every lyric only writer needs to try is writing to an existing melody, even a well known one like London Bridge is Falling Down. It's what you and I already do, Zeek, when we write songs. Once that first verse is established, every other verse has to match for the song to sound good. But yet, I've seen many lyrics here that don't meet that basic requirement. So, way back when, I issued a challenge to any lyricist who wanted to try. I supplied that first one and it's gone on from there.
I don't understand the judging criteria, otherwise. Are you judging the one that feels best, or best matches the tone of the arrangement? I don't understand that criteria at all. Are you judging who writes the best melody? We have no way of doing that. Without the melody to prove it, you're back to judging each lyric as it reads on paper. That's just another lyric comp.
Again, if it's the consensus opinion that the comp has changed then I'm ok with that but having been involved in the creation of this comp, I felt the need to throw in my .02.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


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Posted 06 July 2010 - 05:19 PM

View Postdaddio, on 06 July 2010 - 12:06 PM, said:

Besides, if the comp is called "Match the Melody" and there's no melody, where's the match?



Way too logical Don - Are you related to Spock or something? B)
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#10 User is offline   Bruce N Icon

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 05:55 PM

Hi Jonie, and welcome to Contest Moderator Hell 101. Posted Image

In response to Daddio's postings, I think he makes a good case about there being two slightly different contests being proposed here.

If I'm reading Don right, I fully understand and appreciate how the objectives of the original M.T.M. were used as valuable song-crafting writing skills, and while those skills are important to learn, I think there's also just as equal and valuable skills to learn besides connecting the dots. Which how I viewed the original contest as being, you more or less had La Di La Da place holders where you would drop the words in.

Now what I like with what's being proposed in this contest by Jonie and Zeek, is to me, more of an challenge to the lyricist. The important skill set to learn here would be counting, the lyricist has to learn to count, listen to the music, count the beats, figure out where the stops and starts are, the music will tell you where the verse, chorus and bridge is. Once you got an idea of the measured beats, then you can get creative with the words.

As I listened to Zeeks idea, I wasn't even thinking of words, I was counting the beats and breaking the music down into sections, I think in that way it actually allows you to be even more creative in your lyric writing, or at least more of an challenge to the lyricist. Heck I might even enter this contest myself, as long as I don't have to sing. Posted Image

I think Zeek has provided a excellent background to the painting, and it's up to the lyricist to add the bowl of fruit.

My thoughts.
Bruce
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Posted 06 July 2010 - 06:08 PM

Quote

In response to Daddio's postings, I think he makes a good case about there being two slightly different contests being proposed here.


I totally understand where Daddio is coming from and respect that. But I do think that this gives the lyricist a chance to spread his/her wings. If it's a stagnant lyric with no melody in the writer's mind, then it's a poem, correct? This way they are forced to at least hum some semblance of a melody to make it work. The song is laid out as easy as it gets: V/Lift/C x2 B/Solo/C.



Quote

Now what I like with what's being proposed in this contest by Jonie and Zeek, is to me, more of an challenge to the lyricist. The important skill set to learn here would be counting, the lyricist has to learn to count, listen to the music, count the beats, figure out where the stops and starts are, the music will tell you where the verse, chorus and bridge is. Once you got an idea of the measured beats, then you can get creative with the words.


Fantastic, Bruce. If a lyricist wants to grow into melody and music then they have to start somewhere, right? The music is already there!

Zeek


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Posted 06 July 2010 - 06:17 PM

Why not give this contest a new name, befitting the exercise?

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 12:44 AM

View Postdaddio, on 07 July 2010 - 10:47 AM, said:

Quote

but supplying an actual la la la defeats the purpose IMO.


Things change and if that's what's happened, I'm ok with that but when this comp started, the purpose was to give lyrics-only writers a chance to try a writing to an existing melody. Hence the name, "Match the Melody".

I have to say that, as primarily a musician, I agree with Daddio here. In the "real world", it is more likely that a musician would supply a lyricist with a complete piece of music, including a distinct melody, and ask for lyrics to be put to that existing melody (albeit, perhaps, with a little artistic licence in the process). If they lyricist is just given a backing track and is expected to come up with a melody as well as a lyric, then their role is changed to musician/lyricist. If they are only required to come up with a lyric, then the end result is not a completed song and becomes a little meaningless.


In thinking about all this, I find myself thinking about the old "Yesterday/scrambled eggs" McCartney story. Paul had a tune in his head that he had dreamt. The phrasing of that melody was very distinct, but he was struggling to identify the words that would best marry with it. "Scrambled eggs" was his "prototype" phrase until he found the perfectly apt word, "Yesterday". In doing so, he married his melodic idea with the the ideal lyrical partner. I think that one of the problems with a competition like this is that few of us have particularly developed skills in writing original and effective melodies in isolation. It's actually quite a difficult thing to do, even for trained musicians (which, perhaps, is why so much music of today tends to be quite weak, melodically). McCartney was one of those relatively rare individuals who seemed to be able to come up with a brilliant melody in its own right.

If this is to become a (renamed) competition for a lyricist to come up with both a melody and a lyric to fit a certain arrangement, the only way it makes any sense is if they then record and submit the end result so we can hear the words, tune and backing together. I can't see this happening, as I get the impression that few lyricists have either the skills, the equipment or the inclination to put together such recordings.

All the above comes with the over-riding disclaimer of "my thoughts, for what they're worth".

Cheers

Simon

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 01:52 AM

Like Jonie, I came up with a melody fairly quickly (I'm not saying it's a good one, mind you! I'm not one of the board's better melodists). However, I suspect that "my" memlody and Jonie's might be different and there could be parts that she would sing over and I wouldn't, and vice versa.

If we could post our recordings of the sung lyric, it might be very interesting. However, I do agree that most people who are likely to enter this competition probably can't/won't do that. I also agree that it would be very difficult to judge by simply reading it off the page.

We will be getting a melody, if I understand Jonie correctly, so that's resolved.

However, I think Zeek would have liked to have heard what others "heard" in their heads. If you like, Zeek, I could send you a recording of what I "heard", melodywise.
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Posted 07 July 2010 - 07:29 AM

View PostSimple Simon, on 06 July 2010 - 11:44 PM, said:

...few of us have particularly developed skills in writing original and effective melodies in isolation. It's actually quite a difficult thing to do, even for trained musicians (which, perhaps, is why so much music of today tends to be quite weak, melodically).

I'd love to see a "Melody" forum on this board, like the "Lyrics" forum, so melodies could be posted, critiqued and tweaked.

View PostAlistair S, on 07 July 2010 - 12:52 AM, said:

However, I think Zeek would have liked to have heard what others "heard" in their heads. If you like, Zeek, I could send you a recording of what I "heard", melodywise.

It would be pretty cool to hear the melodies everyone came up with, including Zeek's original one! (if Zeek doesn't mind having them posted to his backing track)

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 07:53 AM

Quote

I'd love to see a "Melody" forum on this board, like the "Lyrics" forum, so melodies could be posted, critiqued and tweaked.


What a wonderful idea!
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


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Posted 07 July 2010 - 09:13 AM

Zeek email

Quote

However, I think Zeek would have liked to have heard what others "heard" in their heads. If you like, Zeek, I could send you a recording of what I "heard", melodywise.
It would be pretty cool to hear the melodies everyone came up with, including Zeek's original one! (if Zeek doesn't mind having them posted to his backing track)


Would love to hear what you and anyone else come up with...send to Zeek email via yousendit or something like that. Anyone can feel free to do the same. I'll post my original version at the end of the contest.

Do you still want a la la la melody now or not?

Zeek


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Posted 07 July 2010 - 01:25 PM

View PostZeek, on 07 July 2010 - 10:13 AM, said:

Do you still want a la la la melody now or not?

Zeek


I think it's the only way forward for this particular contest, zeek. Everyone, contestants and voters alike, need to be on the same page. There's really no getting around it. Judging would be too difficult if the melody each lyricist was writing to was unknown.

I'm all for a Match the Music competition for those looking for more of a challenge but this particular contest was designed as an introductory to putting words to music. If we removed the contest aspect of this and offered it simply as an exercise for those interested, then holding to a single melody wouldn't really matter. I'm not suggesting we do that, though. I think everyone prefers these sorts of things when there is a bit of competition.
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Posted 07 July 2010 - 01:45 PM

I'd like to see a match the music contest too. It would be very interesting to see what everyone came up with.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


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Posted 07 July 2010 - 03:05 PM

I will have something by this weekend...with my schedule cannot be sooner...ok?

Zeek

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 03:42 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 08 July 2010 - 01:29 AM, said:

I'd love to see a "Melody" forum on this board, like the "Lyrics" forum, so melodies could be posted, critiqued and tweaked.

In many ways, I see that as something as a subset of the instrumentals forum, although it's interesting how many pieces are posted there that don't really have any discernible melody.




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Posted 07 July 2010 - 03:56 PM

View PostSimple Simon, on 07 July 2010 - 04:42 PM, said:

View PostSalley Gardens, on 08 July 2010 - 01:29 AM, said:

I'd love to see a "Melody" forum on this board, like the "Lyrics" forum, so melodies could be posted, critiqued and tweaked.

In many ways, I see that as something as a subset of the instrumentals forum, although it's interesting how many pieces are posted there that don't really have any discernible melody.


You could always set restrictions like is done for other comps. For example, the verse and chorus could have a specified number of bars. The melody could either be one follows a specific song structure (V1-Ch-V2-Ch-Br-Ch) or is a sung through melody like My Funny Valentine. Or if you wanted to be really wicked but very inclusive, have a comp that's naked melody only, no arrangement allowed. Anybody who can hum into a mic can enter.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


"I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


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Posted 07 July 2010 - 04:26 PM

In previous competitions, it was easier to judge whether the lyric fit when we had the la-la-la track -
This one might produce some nice lyrics, but who would be able to judge if the lyric actually fits or not if we cant hear the melody?
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#24 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 09:19 PM

View Postdaddio, on 07 July 2010 - 02:56 PM, said:

View PostSimple Simon, on 07 July 2010 - 04:42 PM, said:

View PostSalley Gardens, on 08 July 2010 - 01:29 AM, said:

I'd love to see a "Melody" forum on this board, like the "Lyrics" forum, so melodies could be posted, critiqued and tweaked.

In many ways, I see that as something as a subset of the instrumentals forum, although it's interesting how many pieces are posted there that don't really have any discernible melody.


You could always set restrictions like is done for other comps. For example, the verse and chorus could have a specified number of bars. The melody could either be one follows a specific song structure (V1-Ch-V2-Ch-Br-Ch) or is a sung through melody like My Funny Valentine. Or if you wanted to be really wicked but very inclusive, have a comp that's naked melody only, no arrangement allowed. Anybody who can hum into a mic can enter.

As for having a melody comp, this sounds really good. There could even be several "tiered" comps... start with a naked melody, followed by a "match the melody" lyric comp, followed by an arrangement/performance comp.

I can definitely see a melody forum as a subset of the instrumentals forum.

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 08:08 AM

tidepool,

This is a good example of how a lyric that is well structured and follows the rhythmic patterns of the music can be seen to fit even though the exact melody it was written to is unknown. Great job.

Don't worry about removing this, I will be pinning up a thread specifically for entries once Zeek has added the la di das.
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Posted 08 July 2010 - 02:21 PM

There's a lot to like about this lyric and I'd love to hear tidepool sing it but it's a perfect example of how hard it would be to judge this comp without a melody. When I sing it to the melody I hear, it has about twice as many words as I can fit in.
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#27 User is offline   tidepool Icon

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 06:11 PM

Daddio,

I couldn't agree more, but trust me, you ab-so-sloot-ly do not want to hear me sing this! Think, garbage disposer and cat's tail, you would still have to have the cat squall out of tune to get there. :lol:

Now the voice in my head...he's one slick lounge lizard... :P

Seriously, for this to be fair to everyone...the la la's gotta be there...

Jonie, thank you for your comments. You're too kind. :)

To me, I heard music that sounded kind of like "Lake Of Fire" by, Nirvana...

That's the way I worked the melody out. :ph34r:

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 12:56 PM

Ok...here is the new version with a melody reference--not perfect pitch, but easy to follow.

Zeek



http://soundclick.co...?songid=9382312

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 02:11 PM

Way cool, Zeek...

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 05:56 AM

Very cool, indeed.

I'll leave this thread open for comments and discussion but am now pinning a thread (above)for actual entries and ultimate scoring.

Thanks again, zeek for your song and melody. Can't wait to see what words it inspires.
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Posted 20 July 2010 - 04:38 PM

It appears that my Muse's mailbox was full. Anyone who tried to PM me their lyrics and was unable to, please try PM'ing them again.

Sorry about that.
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Posted 22 July 2010 - 04:49 PM

I am thoroughly frustrated! This time around, I have been determined to produce something for this contest! Between the plumbers, electricians, and hazmat team involved in my home repairs I was able to come up with a story idea and one "perfect" line so far... no way will I make the deadline this Sunday, as I'm still wending my way through my home combat zone...

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 05:50 PM

2 days left to enter a lyric.

As you can see, the competition is mighty stiff.

No pressure, really.
We have now sunk to a depth at which re-statement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
George Orwell

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.
Arthur C. Clarke

Don Martin Lyric of the Year 2008 & 2009
1 + 1 Song of the Year 2009 Ain't That True

My Soundclick Page
My lyrics and songs hosted by Lyricadia

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