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Category Archives: singing

Writing to rap, out loud


When I write poetry, I don’t need to consider the power of my vocal chords. For rap, however, this is a key element. I need to be able to use my voice as an instrument. I don’t have to be an accomplished singer but I do need to breathe properly and enunciate my words concisely. I need to consider these factors even as I write the song.

For the rap that’s due on July 10th for my poetry group, I have an idea for a song. I have written the chorus and about four lines. I read the words out loud. Then, I write one of sentences in the chorus twice because it sounds better that way. In a poem, however, I rarely repeat a sentence. I haven’t moved beyond the chorus and the four lines yet because I’m still getting accustomed to rhyming and rapping.

Another option that I’m considering is to convert an existing poem into a rap song. This is even more challenging. My poem is in free verse and the first two words of my poem are translating to two sentences of hip-hop and the sentences don’t even rhyme!

This is turning out to be more difficult than I had anticipated. It’s my first time. So, I’m not sweating it too much… instead I’m listening to some experts for inspiration.

 

roll me in designer sheets…


Colour me your colour, baby
Colour me your car
Colour me your colour, darling
I know who you are
Come up off your colour chart
I know where you’re coming from
Call me on the line
Call me call me any anytime
Call me my love you can call me any day or night
Call me
Cover me with kisses, baby
Cover me with love
Roll me in designer sheets
I’ll never get enough…

I have been singing this song incorrectly for the past 20+ years. I realized my error recently when my boyfriend downloaded a karaoke software to help me practice singing Call Me by Blondie for an upcoming karaoke gathering.The first few lines of the lyrics were a surprise to both of us. I no longer recall how I previously sang these lines but I do know that the word “colour” (or “color”) did not exist in my version.

Something similar happened at the karaoke. The bar did not have the songs I had practiced so I sang Red Red Wine by UB40 and noticed that in addition to being a reggae song, it encompasses some rap rhythms.

Later that night, when a friend asked me to join her in singing Tempted by Squeeze, I was astonished that I knew most of the lyrics and the tune to a song that I had not heard since the 90s!

The unheard lyrics and the heard ones… both a surprise… amusing side effects of singing rather than simply listening.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in karaoke, listening, lyrics, memory, singing, song