Sunday, August 15, 2010

I'm such a Duh

I'm such a 'Duh' sometimes.
I've been working on this novel Top Ten, for what? months? over a year? And it's only when I'm this far into it that I realize what it has needed from the very beginning.

Here's a story about a kid who loves to sing. He sings everywhere he goes when he is a kid and later on in life his singing gets him recognition, fame, fortune (and trouble!). So I'm making it longer and now I finally realize that what it needs, and what will make it much more readable for kids, is song lyrics...

Of course! Song lyrics all the way through it - they will illustrate moods he is in, reveal through the words hidden fears and feelings, & they will add humour to the story which is otherwise fairly serious in places.
So it's about a kid who is very short. Somewhere early on he will hear the "Short People" song by Randy Newman and be really offended about it; until someone points out that it is a not-so-subtle attack on prejudice.

I mean, check out the lyrics:

Short people got no reason
Short people got no reason
Short people got no reason
To live

They got little hands
Little eyes
They walk around
Tellin' great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet
Well, I don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
`Round here
(copyright Randy Newman 1978)
or catch Randy doing his thing on Youtube.

Another song which came to mind to use at a critical heartbreaking point of the story was the R&B song 'Return of the Mack' by Mark Morrison. The Internet is great, because as I was searching for this song, the only part of it I could remember was the refrain "You lied to Me" repeated over and over. Typing that on the search engine got me my results in less than a second and I found out (after listening to the same song on Youtube to be sure it was the right one) that he keeps saying "Return of the Mack" when I always thought he said "Return unto me"

Now I defy anyone to listen to the song and hear him saying "Return of the Mack". Go ahead and try it. (I'll wait right here for you. Here's the link.)

Now do you agree with me?
Anyway the internet is SO GOOD at finding little bits of things like song lyrics. Instantly.
How cool is that?

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