ZOOLON & A SHADOW

Ballerina-With-Blue-Hair-Dancing-in-a-Surreal-Warehouse-127877

I wrote this song, ‘Just a Shadow on a Wall’ in 2012 and recorded this demo version early in 2013. It lives its time out on my old Soundcloud page from uni days. Whatever, I think this song is a good example of how a lyric differs from a poem; of how in some ways, like say the scope for repetition and dressed up in a melody my job as a lyrist is often a little easier than that of a poet. Poets have to write their stuff without anything to hide behind.

JUST A SHADOW ON A WALL 

You draw a line; a line in the dirt,

I ask you what it’s for,

I ask you what it’s for,

You tell me I can cross it,

You should have told me more.

 

You tell me that; you tell that it’s time,

For you to set me free,

For you to set me free,

Unshackled from these chains,

I might find my destiny.

 

Nothing is so precious,

That it cannot be undone,

By word or by the dagger,

Or a step towards the sun.

 

She’s just a shadow on the wall.

She’s just a shadow on the wall.

 

You tell me you; you tell me you got bored,

With the game that we play,

The game we that play,

That you want for me to move on,

You’d be grateful anyway.

 

I ask you if; I ask you if you’ll grant me,

Just one final wish,

Just one final wish,

‘Can the dancer travel with me?’

 

You take some time out thinking,

Then you treat me like a fool,

You laugh as you remind me,

She’s just a shadow on a wall,

A shadow on the wall.

 

She’s just a shadow on the wall,

She’s just a shadow on the wall,

She’s just a shadow on the wall,

She’s just a shadow on the wall.

 

I had posted just the song without the lyrics when I started blogging last year. It was only when chatting with the fine poet Mick E Talbot at https://mickhispoetry.wordpress.com/ the other day I got to thinking about the difference between our art forms.

Here’s link to my album ‘DREAM RESCUER’. It costs not much, and is available worldwide.  If you fancy buying it and feel able to post a review on Bandcamp, I’d appreciate it.

Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

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52 comments

  1. Okay , this is quite an informative post. Well, I am dying to write a lyric poem.
    Your lyrics are awesome, Lord Jurg. Catchy and peppy yet with that emotive kick. It stayed on in my mind after I finished it !

      1. Thank you , Lord Zoolon. Ah! You can’t go wrong on the lyric thing. You are a poet and a musician ! That is a lyrical combination.

        I will try write !

  2. Interesting post, and I like the song. I collaborated with a musician friend, John Mitchell, on a few songs last year and my biggest fear always was that he would ask for another verse. A poem is over when its over, and in poetry, less is always more, but a song has to fill a defined space. So I agree, in writing lyrics, language can be looser, but it has its own challenges. Always enjoy your posts….JIM

    1. That’s true Jim, yet don’t forget the lyricist has the option of line repetition and chorus development to save the day. Extra verses are not always necessary. As you rightly say, and the reason I respect good poets is that on completing a poem, the poem is ‘complete’, whereas I can play around with words all day if I have to.

  3. George, you’re right a song lyric and poem are different, plus you have to contend with the music as well. “Just a Shadow on a Wall”, is terrific. I think the following line is terribly sad, almost tragic, ‘Can the dancer travel with me?’ Great image, quite surreal. ~ Mia, RE&C

      1. You’re welcome, George. I think you did something so brilliant, personifying the shadow as a “dancer”, which suggests some sort of feelings exist for her. A very emotional separation.

  4. I love the way the sound moves in this one- from acoustic to the full sound and back again- and how it fits the lyrics! It may be that in some ways the lyricist has more flexibility than the poet working without music, but as I’ve been working on selecting music lately I find the lyricists who use it WELL stand out- how they make the music and poetry enhance each other. Thanks for sharing this one 🙂

    1. The hard bit for the lyricist is that – whether the words follow the melody, or the melody comes after – there’s all that recording, mixing and mastering to do. That can sometimes take days.

  5. Interesting. i have never thought about the difference between poet and lyricist. I have considered some songwriters as poets…..Bruce Springsteen for one and Stephen Sondheim for another ( although he did have some of his best work set to other’s music). Then there is the matter of Dylan and the Nobel prize. I shall be thinking about this ……. Thanks!

  6. Wanted to save this till today –got what we call a boggin’ cold– anyway,w anted to come by and listen when I was feeling a bit better. Well worth the wait Lord George. Set some of the Mr’s poetry to music for his play and yep found it would have been far easier if he had written these poems as a song.

      1. Dear zoolon!!where is my spparow?plz create a musical song on dis as a gift because of my birthday 21st september.can you fulfil my wish?

      2. I’m not sure Aruna. I’d love to, but my mum is going to be 300 years old next weekend and I’m under massive pressure to finish my classical music workings. If I do miss the time limit, then whatever, please have a Happy Birthday, Regards, Zoolon aka George.

      3. 300 years of age.hummmm.😄okay ,rights but i can not believe on your concept that your mum is going to be 300 years.may be,it is your Godess of music.

      4. I think about of shadow of your poem often.i feel dt a shadow walks always with me as a friend.i like to live alone corner because of the mading crowd and its wraglings.then i feel dt shadow who is lives always with me.so,i have like your that song n music-A SHADOW wonderful topic.

  7. Neither art with language is…hmm. I don’t want to say “easy,” since no art is executed without its difficulties. You’re quite right that poets create their art with nothing but words and white space on the page. Yet as a song writer, you have a mess of potential elements that could transcend your song or damn it. Which instrument should have the melody? Percussion or no percussion? Major or minor keys–do I want sweet, or bittersweet? How many refrains, and where to put them? Where to put the pauses?

    Yeah, I’d say song-writing is its own level of complicated, Friend. 🙂

    1. You’re right. I should have pushed the point that it’s the choice of words comparison that makes the poets job harder. I terms of music there are a million pitfalls, plus the time it takes to mix/master when it’s all done. The start of the melody composition – if creativity is helping out – the best feeling. That bit is art. The mix etc. is just boring hard labour.

      1. Oh yes, just like the editing and revising of a story. Though I will say that sometimes there is a shine of new inspiration during that final stage, and you realize that something new–small, yet new–can be done to take the work up a notch.

      2. I think that’s where writing and music go their different ways. The mixing/mastering is just – mostly – hours and hours of listening to the same song making sure that the sound is right, rather than the art of the concept. That last bit I never find fun; always hard work.

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