Beautiful Losers (A song about society’s outcasts who are the real winners)...

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Jun 22, 2017, 08:07 PM

This lyric must have been gestating in my head for years, the title anyway. It came to fruition today after learning yesterday that my long-time friend the great jazz guitarist Eddie Diehl died on Friday. Eddie was brilliant, complicated and—-sadly—-had almost no friends left at the end (we broke up months ago, after 40 years).

I was thinking of all the near or actual geniuses I’ve known in the jazz world, near-penniless outcasts with great talents and souls. But it can apply to so MANY people.

My gut tells me this is my best lyric to date—-or anyway the one that might resonate with the most people. I’d like honest opinions, if for no other reason than to bring me back down to ‘Earth’:


BEAUTIFUL LOSERS Joel Fass © 2017 Exemplar (ASCAP)

A1
‘Loser’—-what a loaded word! People throw it
Around, forever cutting down
Those lacking life’s ‘prizes’—-but no compro-
Mises——for the ‘beautiful losers’——maddening confusers!

And fools say:
A2
‘Never tell what’s in your heart—-just isn’t
Smart’—-we’re told from birth
‘Always keep your guard up, if you don’t you’ll be
Hard up, explaining why you don’t possess
All of life’s worth

B1
Beautiful losers: misunderstood by
Those all around you
Beautiful losers: so jealous are they, as their souls
Decay, they continue to hound you

B2
Beautiful losers: how well I know you!—I’ve gotten my
Blows, too (Well, haven’t I?)
Beautiful losers: don’t change a
Thing, my heart takes wing watching you fly

A3
Some day, those fools may come to know
Slamming you’s only a show, to cover their
Jealousy——-and
Some day they may wake up and see
That at what life has to teach us all
They’re not even beginners, and
Beautiful losers: we’re the real winners
Last edited on Thu Jun 22nd, 2017 08:04 pm by fasstrack

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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Jun 22, 2017, 08:27 PM

I thought, after looking at the ‘finished’ product, that it needed a bit more development to show how the ‘losers’ think, and why others may be envious.

How does this strike you for B1 (moving all the other Bs one # ahead):

B1
Beautiful losers, caring not for the material
Living lives ethereal, only your souls to guide you
Beautiful losers, may not have a dollar
But I for one wouldn’t holler if I were
Right there beside you

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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Jun 22, 2017, 08:31 PM

So, I think my work may be (nearly) done. Final (I HOPE) cut:


BEAUTIFUL LOSERS Joel Fass © 2017 Exemplar (ASCAP)

A1
‘Loser’—-what a loaded word! People throw it
Around, forever cutting down
Those lacking life’s ‘prizes’—-but no compro-
Mises——for the ‘beautiful losers’——maddening confusers!

And fools say:
A2
‘Never tell what’s in your heart—-just isn’t
Smart’—-we’re told from birth
‘Always keep your guard up, or you’ll be
Hard up, explaining why you don’t possess
All of life’s worth

B1
Beautiful losers, caring not for the material
Living lives ethereal, only your hearts to guide you
Beautiful losers, may not have a dollar
But I for one wouldn’t holler if I were
Right there beside you


Misunderstood by all those around you, so
Jealous are they, as their souls
Decay, their only pleasure is to hound you

B2
Beautiful losers: how well I know you!—I’ve had my
Blows, too (Well, haven’t I?)
Beautiful losers: don’t change a
Thing, my heart takes wing just watching you fly


A3
Some day, those fools may come to know
Slammin’ you is just a show, to cover their
Jealousy——-and
Some day they may wake up and see
When it comes to what life’s about
They’re not yet even beginners, and
Beautiful losers: we’re the real winners

[ Edited: 25 June 2017 09:19 AM by joel fass]

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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Jun 27, 2017, 08:47 PM

Did this not resonate with even one person here?

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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Jun 27, 2017, 08:57 PM

I’m just guarding against taking it into a full blown “THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH”
direction lol :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Jun 28, 2017, 08:03 AM

Hi Joel. So sorry to hear about your friend. You’ve written a beautiful lyric inspired by him. It’s definitely a “thinking man’s” piece though. I just wonder if you might simplify it some so that the main ideas are there for all to see without much effort. In particular, I found following the changing pronouns was quite a challenge (who is he referring to now?). Yes, it might be that it’s midnight and I’ve had a long day so bed is not far off for me, but really, I think a song shouldn’t be hard work. Symbolism is great, complex word pictures also a treat, but confusing pronouns are not such a hit. It’s such a great theme for a song. You should have no trouble finding folks who relate to the subject. I remember a couple years ago when Alicia Cara released “Here” which is a song about outcasts. It was such a different angle for a song to take and it resonated with so many people that it became a massive hit. Nice one.  :)

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQCYB0H83cE0nC7qpe_lbXA

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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Jun 28, 2017, 08:59 AM

B1
Beautiful Losers, caring not for the material
Living lives ethereal, only your hearts to guide you
Beautiful Losers, may not have a dollar
I for one wouldn’t holler if I were
Right there beside you
Two Beautiful Losers (or: just ‘Beautiful Losers’)

Getting THE Hook in there one more time to strengthen the ‘hook factor’. Hearing the music can make a great difference for a Lyric.

I find philosophical Songs don’t ‘work’ for me, don’t engage me, at least in Lyric-only form. I’m always looking for the ‘picture’, the ‘movie’, the characters on the stage.

Still, there’s a whole lot more to this for you than what it might do in me. Keep exploring mi amigo. Sorry for your loss.

By the way, there are probably a few more Songs in this event. Keep exploring and expressing your feeling. Nothing makes us look at life more sincerely than the passing of a beloved figure.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Jun 28, 2017, 09:27 AM

Did anyone else try reading this as a rap? That’s how it seemed to work for me.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Jun 28, 2017, 09:49 AM

Do you have a melody Joel?

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Jun 28, 2017, 02:34 PM
Gavin Sinclair - 28 June 2017 09:27 AM

Did anyone else try reading this as a rap? That’s how it seemed to work for me.

Oh to be a fly on the wall while Gavin did his best Slim Shady

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQCYB0H83cE0nC7qpe_lbXA

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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Jun 28, 2017, 02:51 PM

Jen, I hope you’re not suggesting I couldn’t.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Jun 28, 2017, 04:31 PM

Heaven forbid, no, Gavin. Just that it might lean towards the entertaining side of life.  ;)

https://soundcloud.com/jennystokes-nz
http://www.evansandstokes.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQCYB0H83cE0nC7qpe_lbXA

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”
- Bob Marley

 
     
Jenny Stokes Joined Sep 24, 2015
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Jun 30, 2017, 10:02 PM

wow, this kinda’ got weird…..... sorry joel.

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Jul 01, 2017, 10:09 PM
JAPOV - 28 June 2017 09:49 AM

Do you have a melody Joel?

Yes, an old-fashioned Hank Williams country melody on the ‘outsides’—-which only happen at the beginning and end. For every repeated ‘bridge’ it goes to the IV minor, then migrates other places like the bI (it’s in C, goes to Db for a minute).

It’ll be a while before this gets recorded, so what I’ll do is scan it in—-when I get a damn machine that WORKS (whaddaya expect for $10 at a thrift shop?) and upload it here…

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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Jul 01, 2017, 10:22 PM
Gary E. Andrews - 28 June 2017 08:59 AM

B1
Beautiful Losers, caring not for the material
Living lives ethereal, only your hearts to guide you
Beautiful Losers, may not have a dollar
I for one wouldn’t holler if I were
Right there beside you
Two Beautiful Losers (or: just ‘Beautiful Losers’)

Getting THE Hook in there one more time to strengthen the ‘hook factor’. Hearing the music can make a great difference for a Lyric.

I find philosophical Songs don’t ‘work’ for me, don’t engage me, at least in Lyric-only form. I’m always looking for the ‘picture’, the ‘movie’, the characters on the stage.

Still, there’s a whole lot more to this for you than what it might do in me. Keep exploring mi amigo. Sorry for your loss.

By the way, there are probably a few more Songs in this event. Keep exploring and expressing your feeling. Nothing makes us look at life more sincerely than the passing of a beloved figure.

Uh huh. Works pretty good w/the music, actually—-or I’d never let it see the light of day. It would go straight to my decades-old ‘unfinished’ pile—-waaay in back of my top file cabinet.

You know, I honestly don’t think in terms of ‘hooks’ or formulae per se. I figure the title and 1st paragraph oughtta tell folks what it’s about. They’re smart, don’t need big red arrows. Sometimes subtlety and inference work really well, to me better than beating people over the head every 30 seconds. Its part of 1.: trusting the listeners’ intelligence and life experience, and 2.: having your craft together enough, no matter how many rewrites it takes, that there’s no listener guesswork (unless you’re PURPOSELY being obscure, another topic for another day).

I read books on lyric writing by Sheila Davis and others. She especially is very good, but you can get pretty anal with the ‘rules’. Better to trust one’s instincts and ‘let it rip’—-and brave the inevitable criticism from some quarters. I mean, if you don’t believe in yourself, and aim for the fences, why bother?

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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Jul 01, 2017, 10:26 PM
JAPOV - 30 June 2017 10:02 PM

wow, this kinda’ got weird…..... sorry joel.

Nah, it didn’t. ‘All in the family’...

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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