Got Something to Say [version 3.14]

Ask me about the weather,
Ask me what I think’s taboo,
Ask me if I would wear leather,
Or Who do I pray to?

Ask me any question, any day
Ask me cause you know I’ve always,
Got something to say!

Ask me how I’d solve global warming,
Ask me how I’d get world peace,
Ask me how I’d end world hunger,
Or inequality?

Ask me any question, any day,
Ask me cause you know I’ve always,
Got something to say!

But having an opinion, without discussion,
Thinking one is right, day and night,
Is a plan for, fights and war,
Hot heads, blood shed, lost heads and tears shed,
If we discuss our problems, I believe,
We can find the answers that would be,
Good for you and me!

So won’t you please tell me something,
What do you have to say?,
On any one of those things,
Or what strikes your fancy today?

Tell me your opinion, so that we,
Can mutually find the answers that would be,
Good for you and me…

And for humanity.

07.02.08 – 07.23.08

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Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.

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Notes to this poem…

Version 1.0 and 1.1 of these lyrics was all about me and my opinionated self, as mentioned in the annotations with those lyrics.

Version 2.0 was a combination of this version and version 1.0, with more verses than here and in a different order. I had this bridge in place of the one in version 1.0, so that was the major switch accounting for version 2.0, with 4 verses, still, because of the change in tone to be more inclusive to ask the listener for his/her opinion. I thought that in changing the perspective, that made the song a little more interesting again to afford me two more verses to say a few more things and sing that catchy chorus. That extra verse was an invitation to the listener to talk about the global warming, world peace and such and try to solve it together. Good idea, but unfortunately, all I had to do was sing it once in front of Ember Swift, a professional singer/songwriter guest teaching at the Humber College Songwriting Workshop 2008 which I attended, and I could tell it didn’t work. Odd how it seemed OK, not great but OK, when I had tried it in my room prior to the critique session. My best memory of that critique session, though, was Ember telling me that line in the bridge about “hot heads, bloodshed, lost heads and tears shed” was way too violent for her tastes. It is violent, but was meant to illustrate a point and I thought the cute rhyme I had used had diffused it a bit, but apparently not enough for her. I respect the opinion but I liked the cute rhyme too much to let it go. What’s the word you would use to describe someone who chooses cute rhymes over removing violence, even if it illustrated a point? 🙂

So back to the drawing board I went and two days later, I had a session with James Linderman, to which I brought the same song. He was a lyric specialist and this had been getting near to driving me crazy. I brought version 3.0 that was essentially what you see here, but with yet another extra verse and not in this same order. Again, as I played it for James and in front of the group, it sounded worse than it did when I had tried it in my room. That’s what happens after you spend hours on something. You can disillusion yourself into it sounding better than before and at least OK, although I’ll say it was just OK cause if I had felt it was good, I’d have brought something else to James’ session. Goodness only knows I have enough other incomplete songs and lyrics to take my pick.

James immediately picked up on the fact this should really be two songs, one covering me being opinionated, and then another song covering a very different and much bigger topic of promoting communication with each other as a way to exist in harmony and prosperity. In a way, he is absolutely right. However, it was my idea to illustrate by example of myself being one way but understanding another way is needed, and willing to change. Talk is cheap. Actions and examples work best for me and mean most for me, and that’s why I stuck with keeping this to one song.

Amazingly, as I finished and quickly talked things over with James and others of the class, the restructuring of the song became clear to me, leaping from the paper. I have the paper somewhere still, but essentially, it was like slash 2nd and 3rd verse, move last to new 2nd except to keep the extra ending to the verse to end the song and leave that where it was, and just change a few words to make things flow. Honestly, it wasn’t anything super, but it was a nice little epiphany moment.

Version 3.1 was then some alteration of little words in the lyrics. Version 3.11 to 3.14 were chording changes after some advice by Rik Emmett, formerly of Triumph, who was the Artistic Director of the Humber College Songwriting Workshop 2008. Geez, this song’s had input from people at songwriting camp, some from Humber, Ember Swift, James Linderman and Rik Emmett. Who else would like to weigh in? Thanks so much to everybody!

I sung this song, version 3.14 at the Humber class showcase the morning before the last day, and was really smug when Rik Emmett offered to play guitar with me… improvising, of course, cause I had not written any extra parts. I was satisfied with it, but after a few more tries, I can see I still want to do more work with it. When I will do this, we’ll see. However, I do have some ideas and it’s looking like it’ll be enough for version 4.0 as I am determined to get both bridges in (from this one and version 1.0), so beware of the next version!

Please click here to see version 4.1 of this set of lyrics.

2 thoughts on “Got Something to Say [version 3.14]

Add yours

  1. Nice poem, nice message–particularly apt for the political scene in the US these days, where people seem so divided…try to avoid talking to people they don’t agree with, or if they do it’s to hurl insults…and I’ve got to admit, I’m as bad as anyone when it comes to that…so thanks for giving me something to think about….

    Like

  2. Thank you very much for your comment. I very much appreciate it. I think what you are referring to is a world problem, though, not just an American one. The irony is that we’ve got more means to communicate and use it more often than have ever done so in human history. We’ve just somehow lost the ability to truly communicate, when looked at en masse. How odd life sometimes is… eh? 🙂

    Like

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