Idle Thoughts of a Songwriter While Sitting on Brisbane Tarmac

Love Hurts, by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant – well, that’s true, love does hurt.  ‘Love is like a stove; burns you when it’s hot’.  What’s that figure of speech?  When the word ‘hot’ is used both in its figurative and literal sense?  Is that zeugma?  Not really.

‘Love is like a flower; holds a lot of rain’.  That’s not the same figure of speech, unless you regularly use the word ‘rain’ in a figurative sense, to mean bad times or woe.  I don’t.  In any case, how much rain does a flower really hold?  Not much, surely.  A bucket would hold a lot of rain.  Love is like a dam; holds a lot of rain.  What is the biggest, most concave flower?  The Rafflesia from Indonesia, probably.  That one that smells like rotting meat.  How much rain would it hold?

Love Hurts is one of those songs that uses an archaic word and gets away with it.  Who uses the word ‘mars’ as a verb these days?  Love mars.  You have marred my car with your car.  Your car mars.  Cars mar.  Heartbreak Hotel does it too:  ‘I’ve found a new place to dwell’.  Nobody dwells – maybe hobbits dwell.  Police might raid a dwelling.  Real Estate agents talk of dwellings.  But they don’t expect you to dwell there.

That Choirboys song, Run to Paradise, it goes:

Johnny, we were always best of friends
Stick together and defend …

Go on, sing that to yourself.  Then sing the following:

Johnny, we were always best of friends
Stick together and offend …

They’re identical, aren’t they?  I wonder if anyone thinks ‘offend’ is the correct lyric.  You should be very careful before you follow ‘and’ with a word that starts with ‘d’.  ‘And defend’, ‘and deny’, ‘and debate’ – these are all phonetic/semantic nightmares.

Oh, we’re taking off.

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3 thoughts on “Idle Thoughts of a Songwriter While Sitting on Brisbane Tarmac

  1. I look forward to reading your analysis of two of my least faves:

    The Rose

    and

    Wind Beneath My Wings

    Interesting, isn’t it, that they were both sung by Bette Midler …

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