You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs…
I mentioned last week that I’m working on a silly doo-wop and I have to stop and ask: Is there some limit to how silly a song can be? Because I think I may have crossed it.
I met a man from Katmandu
He kept his hair in a Batman “do”
This fella, like Ella, kept listeners in thrall
The pure bull he’d warble impressed most of all
Who knew a hep-cat could hail from Nepal
And do what the greatest of scatmen do?
I look at this stanza, of the song-in-progress and have this overwhelming impulse to point out all that’s wrong with it. My friend Kimberly Vaughn would identify this as the Limiting Editor. And as long as we’re defining terms, I’ve matched the Limiting Editor with something called the Spewer.
There are two parts of every creative person: the Spewer spits out a bunch of ideas, indiscriminately, and doesn’t get bogged down by any “Is this any good?” question. Eventually, the Editor shows up to excise or fix whatever’s substandard about the creation. For a lot of people, the Editor arrives prematurely, and cuts off the Spewing before enough good ideas have spun out of all this madness.
I try to maintain very high standards for my songs. But I’m always worried I’m letting my Limiting Editor in too early, cutting off the madness before there’s enough wacky goodness on the page. So, on the road to Katmandu, all I’ve got so far is a bunch of spew. I’ll let you know how it turns out, and whether the part of me that edits leaves any of this in:
He asked if I’d read the Kama Su … (Tra!)
And I once knew a girl who majored in drama, Sue
In college, we had carnal knowledge – that’s sex
She turned fairly white when I showed her my pecs
But you’re sure to cause tension if you mention your ex
As fast as a French thief can palm a sou