Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bastard Jack - lyrics and thoughts

Nathan: I'd always thought that there was another side to the story. I mean, really. Imagine that you're this giant living in his cloud home and some little punk comes into your house and charms your wife, steals your gold and then kills you in the end. What a jerk!

I had the title for this long before I had the lyrics. It was a story that I wanted to tell and was trying to shoehorn it in a few different musical ideas before finally hitting the current orchestration. There was a moment when I was trying to put words for this to the music that would eventually become Red. Thankfully, that didn't work out. Red is so much better with the current lyrics.

It finally came together when the basic bluesy riff came into my head. In my minds eye I heard it as a blend of Led Zeppelin and Men Without Hats. I dunno. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I wrote the first verse and then Alyssa picked up from there. We went back and forth a few times shoring up the rhymes and meter when I came up with the idea of doing a rap in the middle. Now I can't rap to save my life so I changed it to a smugly delivered spoken word with a slower delivery. That fits the character of the song much better, I think.

Alyssa:  This one was the hardest for me to write on.  I was struggling to find connection between the character of Jack and the music.  Then I finally gave up trying to make Jack a sympathetic character.  Jack was just a jerk.  He was a braggart.  He was a thug.  He was guy in all the rap videos with the gold chains and fancy cars talking big about his “street cred”.  So then the song became a tale of bragging, of “look at me, I’m so big and bad” instead of, “oh poor guy, a hard life led him to crime and murder”.  Nathan picked that up immediately and added in the rap/spoken word section.  I laughed out loud the first time I heard that part!