10/27/11 — I’ve been chatting with my friend Rie about writing a drinking song. What things you want to include, how to make it catchy, things like that. We’ve come to agreement on a few points we would like to share, because “Everybody Needs a Drinking Song” (available on Don’t Go Drinking with Hobbits) all their own.
When asked what goes into writing a successful song, Steven Brust cited this list of criteria from Adam Stemple, and it seems like a good list to hold in mind: Humour, suspense, originality, or internal rhymes — a song needs at least one of these to be successful. (Well, someone will probably find an exception to that rule — but you know what they say about exceptions…)
Taking those requirements as a given, what else do you need to make a good drinking song specifically?
The first thing that you must have is a talented partner like Marc Gunn if you are musically inept and can only write lyrics. This is something that Rie made me promise to stress.
Secondly, you need a strong chorus, especially if you want the audience to be able to sing along. It is easier to teach a crowd the few lines of a chorus rather than the whole song at once. They will be happy to participate if you make it catchy and memorable. For example, check out the chorus in “We’ll Have a Pint of Stout”.
You’ll notice that this song also has internal rhyme and a bit of humor — so it fits Stemple’s list as well!
Finally, to be a great drinking song, some mention of liquor seems appropriate. You can’t have a good love song without mentioning love, can you? It’s the same with drinking songs — the best have a pint or two. Look at these examples: “Do You Fancy a Drink?”; “Everybody Needs a Drinking Song”; “Let’s Get Drunk Tonite”
Give it a try! Writing about drinking is fun — even if you don’t drink yourself. And be sure to let me know what you come up with!
10/25/11 — Hi, simply hi, everyone! It’s been a busy week here in the Shire, and my good friend Rie has offered me this space to tell you about the wonderful doings that we have seen in the last few days. I’ll pop in from time to time with a story or song for you. Would you enjoy that?
As you may or may not have heard (news from the Pony can travel slowly from time to time…) my favorite Bard, Marc Gunn, officially released the album that he and Rie (and a TON of talented musicians from around the world) collaborated on about we Hobbits on Saturday. The album, Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits, is filled with songs and tunes that you might find in a Shire pub crawl. It is so thrilling to hear the folktales and drinking songs of my kin brought to life! Yours truly collaborated with Marc and Rie to create a companion lyric book that has my personal commentary on each piece, as well as some games for you to try. It was such an honor to be included. I’ve known these two since we created the Hobbit Happy Birthday website several years ago, and we are always glad to have them visiting the Shire.
Well, I must fly for now. I promised Lila Boffin of Needlehole that I would stop by and help her with the birthday party for her triplets, but here are some more Hobbity good links for you. 🙂
The Hobbit Name Generator — see what your hidden Hobbit name might be.
MyMiddle-Earth.net — a Social gathering place for Fantasy lovers
Middle-Earth Network Radio — streaming music and programming that relates to or reminds of the Shire (Rie and Marc did a great CD release party there Saturday. Here’s a link to the podcast if you missed it — it’s Special #3)