Mudcat Café message #1779999 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #92871   Message #1779999
Posted By: Charlie Baum
09-Jul-06 - 11:49 PM
Thread Name: What's wrong with this song?
Subject: RE: What's wrong with this song?
Years ago, I remember going to a festival in New York State (I hesitate to call it a "folk festival," but others often did) at which many people sang songs which were terrible songs but politically correct, and performers got vast amounts of applause for political correctness alone. I was inspired by this experience to try to see if I could write a decent song from a political viewpoint I disagreed with--to see if I couldn't put together a good song that explained something, had insight into a peculiar political viewpoint, particularly one that was as politically incorrect as possible. I tried writing a song defending apartheit from the perspective of a white South African, trying to get into his mind and exploring the fears that led him to his convictions. I think I did a creditable job (though the lyric sheet has diappeared to the bottom of some pile of papers and I can't locate the words easily enough to present them here tonight).

Let me ask you what insights and wit your song conveys to people who might not agree with your political viewpoint? What interesting and non-obvious perspective(s) or clever phrasing of shared knowledge does it offer those who DO agree with your political viewpoint?

It's not enough for a GOOD song to merely deliver a point of view. You must do so with wit or cleverness, or suffer the pangs of ordinariness.

--Charlie Baum