A lovely day for a stroll

Random thoughts while writing a song

Right before lights come up, quote Daisy Daisy so the audience can quickly grasp that they’re on a bicycle.

Previous note said “One shuffles or Sing” – indicating a plan to use the rhythm of one of their intros for this intro. I wrote up one to One but now think using Sing will be better. Thicker chords than Raposo used, hitting just about every white note.

“Vagaries:” Can I use this word? I’m aware that I’ve a larger vocabulary than a lot of people. It’s OK for me to sound like an egghead but this character shouldn’t. Can I use the word “egghead?” I don’t hear other people say it much. What does that say about me? Do I resemble an egg? Dislike. Anyway, I’ve one line of music to mention how weather can change quickly. “Vicissitudes?” I’ll stick with “the vagaries of the weather” until something better occurs to me.

In what ways has she changed from the start of the song to the finish?

This needs to build up audience sympathy for the character. God knows I’ll be spending that capital of good feeling elsewhere.

I’m currently loving the bridge. Very much sounds like something I’d write. Steven, upon hearing most of the score, said he was impressed by how the music went well beyond what he expected of me. A great compliment, that. So maybe I can afford to sound like me in this one.

Is “Birds of a feather” such a tired cliché it will take the listener out of the song?

Too much time between 8-bar sections: Cut final bar in half. A 2/4 bar here will keep listeners on their toes. Great solution!

As usual, the whole thing sounds like Dubussy’s Clouds to me.

Percussion part should imitate bicycle spokes.

“Girlfriend” is a word weighted down by many connotations. “Lover?” “Bosom buddy?”

I’m tired of writing this now. Switching back to a different song I never finished and haven’t touched for a year.

That one looks like it’s going to be good. This one may have too much space between the lines: How will an actress fill all that? I don’t want to makes this a challenge. Drop more beats?

Here’s an idea: If I gradually drop the number of beats between phrases, it might seem like the bike is going faster. Then, the ending might involve increasing the time between the lines. Lyric must support all this.

That other song – the one I took a break from this one to write – has an undeniable universality. Many people, and most of my audience, will have felt exactly the same way at some point in their lives. And this element is a quality that makes Maltby and Shire so great. The write the feelings everybody’s had, but somehow never made it into song before. Stop, Time

Our Story Goes On; One of the Good Guys. This bicycle song I’m working on, I think, will live or die on whether people in the audience feel what Lizzie is feeling. And my fear that the character might come off as unsympathetic – well, this is the time to address it. She’s imperfect, with some negative qualities, but if the audience feels “That’s me up on stage” they’re going to invest in her journey. Once I thought it was essential that this song gets the audience to love her. Now, I think the standard is, will they recognize themselves in her?

If I’d written this song earlier, before so many of her other songs were done, I don’t know that I’d be thinking about this degree-of-empathy issue. The first songs were written with a lot of confidence that the audience would love her. And the planned changes in the book chip away at the affection.

Time well spent. Is sitting through this song time well spent? Does it require an interesting visual that I’m relying on the director and set designer to provide? These questions are pre-mature. They can’t be answered until there’s a reading of the whole thing, in front of some people who haven’t seen it before.

That measure with the B-over-C chord. I’m going to put some chromatic bits in the accompaniment, like my favorite interstitial phrase – Stay With Me, Nora from A Doll’s Life. It’s a little steal from an obscure show tune nobody will ever catch. That is, unless I’m foolish enough to admit it in my blog.

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One Response to A lovely day for a stroll

  1. Peter J Casey says:

    A relief to know someone else is wrestling similarly.

    For what it’s worth, and without knowing a thing about the character, ‘vagaries’ is a lovely word; anyone who finds it too eggheady can go to another show.

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