Genesis of a song, ME AND BOBBY McGHEE

 
       
 
Jul 05, 2018, 09:54 AM

Hello, happy Fourth of July weekend.

I see a lot of you over here writing lyrics and working toward getting help on your lyrics from others. Most of the time, while I know you are all trying, but the lyrics just seem to come up short, not enough difference from other songs, not enough unique ideas or usage of language. I know that everyone wants to get the best knowledge you can and put it into practice on your own songs.

Lyric writing is very hard. Especially in this day and age where people just tune songs out so quickly. And often certain styles of songs the music and production leads and the lyrics don’t even matter. I do understand that is a lot of today’s music. My point is that those of us who really study this can’t depend on the lower denominator. We have to work HARDER than the average writer because we are trying to elevate our craft.

A way to do that is to study the greats and things that have been around a long time. This is the break down of one of the all time classic songs, ME AND BOBBY McGHEE, written by Kris Kristofferson and made famous by Janis Joplin. It is a song that is still sung continuously and even recorded. Almost every time there is a talent show like “American (British) Idol”, and “The Voice” it will be performed by someone, to adoring crowds, and is one of those “KARAOKE CLASSICS” that is always going to get the biggest applause from the crowd. So it is CLASSIC. In every sense of the world.

To me, it is perfect story telling and this article tells the story of the story. Read along and see if you can use the process toward some of your own lyrics.
As always, good luck, MAB

http://www.historybyday.com/pop-culture/the-epic-story-behind-janis-joplin-and-me-and-bobby-mcgee/12/

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jul 05, 2018, 10:32 AM

Did you post the wrong link, MAB? That one leads to a poorly written bunch of ad-filled clickbait pages that tell nothing of the writing process for this song.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Jul 05, 2018, 01:25 PM

Gavin,

What are you not reading? Don’t click on any of the ads. Read each section and then go down to where it says “NEXT” and click on that. It has the entire story of the song, from Kris getting the idea from a publisher, who the song was about, “Bobby” was a female secretary of Felix and Boudeloux Bryant, (Rocky Top, Wake up Little Susie), to the recording of the song by Janis a few days before she died, different versions of the song, and even mentions one part most people don’t know, but doesn’t go into detail, that Kris actually played the song for Janis, while they were naked in bed together during a torrential affair they had. But it does mention the affair.
It’s all right there, you just have to skip over the click baits. I agree, that I don’t like those things, but some times a little patience and navigation can yield some pretty good information.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Jul 05, 2018, 01:43 PM

I see what happened. You posted the link to page 12 of the story. There are no “previous” buttons to click on, only “next.”

Here’s the correct link
http://www.historybyday.com/pop-culture/the-epic-story-behind-janis-joplin-and-me-and-bobby-mcgee/

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Jul 05, 2018, 01:49 PM

Hmm, sorry about that. I clicked the link and it took me right to it. but I see what you are talking about. Yep you got it. Sorry. As usual I’m in the middle of ten things at once. So had my mind one place and clicked on the wrong one. Thanks for straightening it out Gavin.
A lot of the story I heard from Kris himself. Was at a party one night, when he was in a room of writers and talking about some of this. Told us about being in bed with Janis and some of the other parts of it, but hadn’t seen that in print before. So that is what caught my eye. It’s a good study for all people trying to write song lyrics. I hope Jenny Stokes sees this. She is always interested in telling better stories.

Thanks for the help Gavin. Hope you are doing well.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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