Mudcat Café message #3473993 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #149338   Message #3473993
Posted By: Phil Edwards
31-Jan-13 - 03:38 PM
Thread Name: How do we remember the words?
Subject: RE: How do we remember the words?
I just do, I'm afraid. I think I've got an auditory memory more than anything. When I listen to a song and then learn it, it feels more like bringing back a memory than learning something new - as if there's a word-for-word recording in there somewhere, and I just need to bring it to the surface of my mind.

For shorter songs I have a very strong sense of what verse goes second, what comes last and so on - once I've learnt them they're really nailed into place. (Not necessarily the places they were in when I learned them!) For longer songs, the story is everything. I don't see pictures, but I am very conscious of a voice telling a story and making one thing come after another - so after Lord Allenwater's had his nosebleed the horse has to stumble on a stone, and after the little footpage has swum the wide water he's got to come to the green wood.

Songs with interchangeable lines are a sod. A while ago I learned Noel Coward's "There are bad times just around the corner", which is basically nothing but; the rhymes help you avoid getting the lines mixed up, but entire sections can float from one verse into another if you're not careful. For songs like that, you just have to rely on the three Rs - Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.