The September installment of Art Live On is here!
Sometimes — actually rather often — I hear a string of words that amuses me in its content and possesses a natural rhythm. Often the rhythm of the string of words suggests the possible rhythm of the entire song.
The string of words, in the present case found at the end of the third verse, instantly suggested both a preferred musical genre (country music), the feeling of the song (comedy), and it identified itself as the “hook” or “punchline” that might reward the listener for sticking with the song through the first two and most of the third verse. I knew early on that I wanted a vocal track and guitar, bass, solo violin and percussion, and later I added a backup violin, banjo and some oohs and aahs. At its core, this is a bit of a relationship song, in which the tolerant singer identifies the limits of his/her tolerance.
As for the title, I decided that rather than use the entire eight-word hook, which would prematurely disclose the joke, I’d shorten it to just one word: “Lips.” The short title does not telegraph what’s coming, and rather might suggest a sensual love song. Surprise!
Songwriting for me is a labor of love. So, as Labor Day celebrations occur early in September, it seems fitting to have a bit of musical fun. So, clap yer hands and flap yer “Lips”!