Tuesday, January 7

Don't Talk Like Yoda

Today whilst slogging through snow on my lunch walk, the anemic winter sun reminded me of the importance of humility as I decided imma tell y'all how to write!

Reminder: I am a thoroughly unsuccessful songwriter, commercially. Yet I could not fail so consistently for so long if I were also not delusionally self-confident. Therefore, your first lesson follows:

Don't Talk Like Yoda

"But so cute he is!", say you.

Indeed, cute is he. But sing like him, you must not.

Better, I Should Know

Now I'm no expert on pop music, since I don't listen to the radio, watch television, or talk to humans, but one of the most egregious examples of Yoda talk I've heard comes from Sarah McLachlan, a generally excellent songwriter and lyricist, in the chorus of her hit song Fallen.

Though I've tried, I've fallen
I have sunk so low
I've messed up
better, I should know
So don't come 'round here
And tell me I told you so

I can only assume while Sarah was writing her morning pages in a log cabin deep in the misty forests of Canada, the only thing on TV was The Empire Strikes Back. What else can explain this Yoda-like chorus?

It's so distracting! Every time I play this song using the CD that I purchased, I visualize Frank Oz serenading my children as they dance around me in circles, begging me to play The Cars. Clearly, using the voice of Yoda has negatively impacted Sarah's financial future.

Tell You Of The Weather, I Will

Now before you go calling me hater, let me add that with each of Jesse's Rules of Lyric Writing, I will share instances where I have failed to follow them. Case in point, here's the second verse from The Sexy Accident's I Guess I'll Never Know:

there's a school bus driving down my street 
such a foggy day the kids will meet
when I was young, I'd be lost in thought
making spaceship sounds everywhere I walked

Luke! This day, how sunny it is! To the beach go, we must!

I agonized over this flawed couplet for months at a time, eating nothing but Doritos while staring at the sea. While that isn't entirely true, it is true that I agonized over this flawed couplet for months at a time without eating Doritos, nowhere near the sea. I just never came up with another way of packing the image I wanted into such a small space. Just goes to show that I am incredibly awesome, despite my awesomeness.

So there you have it! Rule #672 from Jesse's Rules of Lyric Writing: Don't Talk Like Yoda.  Watch this space for the next rule, to be published whenever I damn well please.

What are your favorite Yoda lyrics, dear readers?