Sunday, June 13, 2010

Save The World

I've edited this post to include a link to the song and I've modified some of the comments. No need for Bob Dole to thank me. The song's also on our Bandcamp page, and any improvements to the music will simply replace what's there. The lyrics have also changed slightly, but that's the way of lyrics.

Second Edit: I've added the YouTube Video:

Song Fu is dead. But Travis Langworthy of SpinTown has kept the spirit of Song Fu alive by sponsoring a new competition, SpinTunes. I've been doing a play and felt I needed some time off, so I didn't enroll in the first iteration of this... that's probably for the best, as I think the competition is very stiff. However, when the first challenge was posted (yesterday) I couldn't help myself... I had to write a shadow.

As it turns out, this first challenge was tailor-made for Dr. Lindyke. "Write a song from the point of view of a super hero or super villain. (2 minute minimum)". I read over the requirements carefully, and they seemed to me to be simple and clear. You're explicitly allowed to make up a hero... you don't have to use a pre-established one, and there is no stated requirement in the rules to name the hero within the song (instead you're specifically told that you can name the character in an email). That only makes sense. The song is not about the hero or villain, per se... it's from that person's point of view, and people don't normally walk around singing, "Hi, I'm Amazing Man" about themselves. Unless they're Bob Dole. If we ever write a song about Bob Dole, he'll name himself.

We'd already written Yesterday Hero, which was about a super-hero. With a little prodding from Number One Son, and some inspiration from The Incredibles, here's a second song which is sung from the hero's perspective (while he was still alive, natch). These are his last thoughts as he goes off to his doom. The hero's name is, of course, Hero, as is established on his tombstone. As he's the only hero his world has, there's no confusion. (By the way, if you think that's a weird name, you might want to brush up on your classical Greek).

Since this is a shadow, and I was SUPPOSED to be resting when it was written, the track is pretty rough. It's live piano+voice + a pretty wimpy live electric piano track that really should have been horns or something. Maybe I'll fix it before the competition, but in the meantime here's the work in progress. I'd write music in a glass store window if they'd let me. It's on

<a href="">Save the World by Dr. Lindyke</a>
Save the World
by Dr. Lindyke

I wish I had a day off
I wish I had some time to myself
Maybe I could kick my feet up
Maybe I could take a book off the shelf

Maybe I could watch some TV
Maybe I could watch a movie all the way through
I'd like to stop and write some poetry
I know a million things that I'd rather do ---

But I've got to save the world
But didn't I save the world yesterday?
I've got to save the world
I thought I saved the world yesterday!

But no!
Some loony made a death ray
Some other fool is trying to freeze D.C.
Some villain wants everything his own way
Some other only wants a piece of me

Maybe I should've listened to my poppa
Maybe helped the family business grow
'stead of playing universal copper
'stead of trying to vanquish some super foe...


Then I realize I'd be dead with everybody else
If I didn't stick my neck out
If I didn't take a chance
If I didn't own the problem
If I didn't dance the dance
We'd be cinders on a cinder
We'd be blood upon a lance ---

So I'm going to save the world
Though I saved the world yesterday
I've got to save the world
Got to save the world
'Cause nobody else is gonna do it, I might as well get to it

Gonna save the world
Though I saved the world yesterday
I've got to save the world
Got to save the world ...
'Cause nobody else is gonna do it, I might as well get to it

I've got to save the world
Got to save the world ...
I've got to save the world
Got to save the world ...
I've got to save the world
Got to save the world ...


Spin said...

I'm really looking forward to hearing the final product Dave. It's awesome that you're shadowing.

Spin said...

You edited, so I'm commenting again. :p

It sucks trying to avoid hearing the entries before they're sent to me as a finished product. However since I don't have to 'judge' shadows officially I had to listen to this. It would not surprize me if your shadow is my favorite from all the songs in R1. It will at least force people to up their game if shadows like this are entered.

Dave Leigh said...

Y'know, on the one hand, I understand where Ken Plume was coming from with his preference for keeping the entries a secret prior to the listening party and unveiling. On the other hand, I personally like treating songwriting the same as when I write open source software... you release early and often, and revise liberally based on feedback. I think it makes a better product. I'm a bit like the contestant in "Junkyard Wars" who peeks over the fence.

For instance, I don't think "Summer Rain" would have been as good had I not gotten early feedback from Russ Rogers and changed the rhythm accordingly. Russ was also competing, yet had no problem giving me tough, constructive criticism. That's what I like... somebody who'll taste the soup and tell me it needs more salt.

I also understand where some of the competitors would either want to keep their own product a surprise, or not be influenced by other entries. Edric's famous for his highly theatrical "big reveals", and I respect him for it. I also respect him for the discipline he shows in holing himself up to avoid exposure, though I couldn't do it myself.

Travis, you never mentioned whether you preferred to keep entries under wraps prior to the listening party, so I'm assuming it's not a big deal to you. IF it is, say so, and when I'm competing I'll follow the rule. But today I'm happy to be "just shadowing" and free of the constraint.

Dave Leigh said...

BTW, In addition to tipping my hat to "Yesterday Hero" and "The Incredibles", I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the influence of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog", which set a standard for first-person superhero/villain songs.

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