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Old 29th September 2013, 02:15 PM
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Default Jimmy-Songwriting

RBC said in the piece about FFT that band members bring lyrics and they are put together with already existing backing tracks.

When you wrote,for example,Rainbow Nation did you know which backing track you intended it for or was that decided later?
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Old 29th September 2013, 03:15 PM
kate13 kate13 is offline
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Good Question Tom.

How do you write a song, Are they just in your head, or have you got to think about them.............Or are they like buses arrive 3 at a time.
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Old 30th September 2013, 04:04 AM
Baggariddim Baggariddim is offline
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Both good questions Tom and Kate. I can't wait to hear the answers!
Peace,
Bagga.....
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Old 30th September 2013, 04:25 PM
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A good question tom. And not that easy to answer.

The problem I have personally is that there are two opposing forces at work here.

On the one hand we have the way the music business appropriates good causes. it has obviously become a way of bands and artists promoting themselves. A good cause gives them extra publicity, it's a marketing tool that they don't have to pay for, and it's an opportunity to showcase a new song or album release. And with that comes the hubris of the artist. Do we really need pop stars to tell us to have a conscience? How can these privileged, pampered ego's possibly think their opinions are worth anything ? Do we really need phjil collins to tell us to 'think twice'?

On the other hand, for me, there is the fact that song writing can be a platform for ideas and protest. Musicians have made a difference in the past. South africa is a good example of that. Many south african musicians were forced to leave their home in SA because the authorities knew they were a threat. And musicians from outside SA observing the cultural boycott definitely put pressure on the SA government.

So I have always been aware of walking a tight-rope between this. My interest in politics pre-dates the band. It goes back to my school days. So I've got plenty to say on the subject.

That's why I have always made a conscious effort NOT to preach. I would never write a song that tried to tell the record buying public to 'think twice'. that just seems so arrogant. How can a pop star have more conscience or 'care' more than everyone else.? My approach to song writing is, what would I say to someone in power if I had the chance.? I'm not trying to educate the british public, that would be ridiculous, I'm usually off-loading some grievence I have towards [usually] politicians. There are plenty of things to complain about, and I think lots of people would love to have this kind of platform to give our leaders a piece of their mind. from that perspective NOT addressing political subjects seems a bit of a waste of an opportunity. In the end, you never know exactly WHO might listen to your songs. Who knows, maybe a politician will hear a song over breakfast one morning and it will make THEM 'think twice'?

So what usually informs my songs is an anger and frustration with the stupid and criminal decisions made by our masters. It's a bottomless pit of inspiration.

As far as knowing which backing track. I don't have a clue how the song will end up. I just concentrate on the rhyming and timing and let the singer do the rest.

I'd like to emphasize that this is just MY approach to song writing. i'm sure you would get a completely different answer from BT or RBC.

Last edited by JB40; 30th September 2013 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 30th September 2013, 07:10 PM
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Great answer,thanks very much Jimmy.
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Old 30th September 2013, 08:25 PM
Lambsbread Lambsbread is offline
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Great stuff thanks for that JB

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Old 1st October 2013, 08:32 AM
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Interesting answer JB, although I do think that songs can 'educate' people or at least open their minds to new ideas and things. Promises and Lies was the first full album that I bought at about the age of 11, and it really opened up my eyes to the fact that art could actually MEAN something and say something.

I might not have become a politician but I do think that the more aware the general public are about things then the less 'they' (the politicians and their 'chums') can get away with screwing us all!
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Old 1st October 2013, 02:24 PM
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I'm not convinced that art can change anybody's mind. I think it's more likely that people find things that resonate with their own view of life.

For me it's about sending out messages to attract like-minded people.

I feel very frustrated when the media peddle their lies and prejudices, so when we come across something that chimes with our own view of the world it restores a bit of your faith in human nature.

being the eternal optimist I believe that there are plenty of people out there that feel the same way that I do about how our lives are controlled by a feral elite. But it can only be a BELIEF because the only way we have of understanding what people think is through the media. And we know that isn't reliable. And we can't just go by the people around us because that is just anecdotal.

When I hear someone say 'people think this. . . ' or 'people think that. . .' My immediate reaction is 'how do YOU know what people think? Have YOU personally met everyone to be able to make such judgments?'

In the absence of any reliable information about how 'people' live their lives, there can be a tendency to fill the vacuum with our own prejudices. Which is why I tend to avoid trying to 'enlighten' people. It's feels a bit arrogant. I prefer to think of it as communication rather than education.
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Old 1st October 2013, 09:12 PM
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Like you Jimmy I don't think a song can change someone's mind but I think it possible to make someone think about a subject they hadn't considered before.I'm sure many fans who love UB40's music have little interest in politics and there's nothing wrong with that.Always been an important part of the band's appeal for me though.
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Old 1st October 2013, 09:49 PM
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It's a hard one, Can they, depends on the song, Sing our own song, love is all, Did they educate or enlighten people or it it as easy as being like-minded and relating to a song............Time changes people, 1-10 in 2013 just wouldn't work, YET DUNC'S 1930'S TWEEKED UP SONG DOES, GO FIGURE.
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