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Thread: Has this happened to you?

  1. #1
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    Has this happened to you?

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    I've been listening to music since I was a wee tyke.
    Like most of us, I dabble in the relm of songwriting.
    I've written over two hundred songs.
    One thing that keeps happening to me is this.

    I wrote a kids song, for young children, my grandkids.
    I let a friend listen to it before I began recording it. He says, "Man, I haven't heard that song in years."

    Obviously I hadn't either. I hadn't heard that song since I was like six, Big Rock Candy Mountain, by Tex Ritter.
    I'm in my fifties now.
    Somehow, I remembered that entire song I use to listen to over forty years ago, except for a few changed words here and there.

    That's the second time that's happened. Now I'm sifting through my 'original' songs, checking them twice, ect.

    I'm just wondering if anyone else has plagerized unwittingly, as I've done.

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    All the fuckin' time.

    It really does my head in; you think you are writing something good-hold on a minute, speed the tempo up, change the rhythm slightly; oh that's...............

    But I don't usually get as far as recoding that stuff. Generally speaking, if you are unaware that you are sort of recreating something done before it's not going to sound exactly the same so at worst you can go back to a song and manipulate it a bit until it's not noticeable anymore (well only you, 'cus you know what you've done).

    I haven't got two hundred songs yet; but then again I'm not in my 50's yet.

    Good songwriters are original; the best songwriters steal (or is it borrow).

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    I do it all the time, too. Fortunately, my wife is also a songwriter, and keeps me honest! She'll say "I really liked that song when Roy Orbison wrote it", etc. Very funny. So far, I've re-written Orbison, Lennon,Tom Waits............who's next?

    Bob

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    This can mess you up though...my girlfriend, every time she writes a riff, she'll say "What song is this? What did I rip off?" and then gets obsessed with figuring out what it reminds her of. If she does figure it out, most of the time the resemblance is pretty vague. Then she won't use it because she thinks it's stealing. I figure if you don't hear it right away, then don't worry about it, especially if it's just one part of a song (like the guitar part). Probably once there's a new lyric or melody, or has been recorded with different equipment, it will sound completely different. It happens with style too. Sometimes I'll write a song and think, oh boy, this totally sounds like a Silkworm song, not a specific song, but their style. But by the time my band learns it, writes their own parts, changes it around, and we practice it 300 times, it sounds completely different. So I say, don't worry about it. Orbison and Lennon are dead, they won't sue.

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    Originally posted by Pirateking
    So I say, don't worry about it. Orbison and Lennon are dead, they won't sue.

    Yeah, but their widows might.

    Especially that Sucko Uno chick.

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    I've never talked to other songwirters before, so I've never talked about this.

    Yeah, Pirateking, I agree. The other song I wrote was very simular to one by Frampton, but now sounds nothing like the original. I still have the cassette tape of the first few times I tinkered with it, and your right, it doesn't even sound like Framptons song now, but did way back then.

    Your right Brad, just cuz the singer/writer is dead, their are others involved. They all protect their stuff with vigor. Some more than others.

    Hey Buffalo Bob. Try some Tom Johnston. Hee, hee. He really did some great things.

    Krystof01, yeah, I've heard other writers say, "Yeah, I stole that from BB King", or someone else. I listen to the song they talk about, but can never find the stolen parts. The orginal writer must not of found it either. Some thieves are bolder than other, I guess.

    I feel better now knowing I'm not the only one expericening this. Thanks.


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    Never happens to me. Everything I write is 100% original.

    No, not really.

    It's unavoidable. Happens to everyone. Unless you go totally wacked out into instrumental stuff, then you can choose whatever path you like.. always a tempting one.

    PirateKing, unless your girlfriend is writing blatent ripp-off's.. She shouldn't get to concerned. I can always hear something in most of what I write that sounds like 'something else'. But... I can also hear obvious influence in lots of current and long dead commercial artists.. its' a never ending cycle. Everyone influences everyone.


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    Originally posted by Emeric
    Never happens to me. Everything I write is 100% original.

    No, not really.

    It's unavoidable. Happens to everyone. Unless you go totally wacked out into instrumental stuff, then you can choose whatever path you like.. always a tempting one.

    I can always hear something in most of what I write that sounds like 'something else'. But... I can also hear obvious influence in lots of current and long dead commercial artists.. its' a never ending cycle. Everyone influences everyone.

    Emeric, you said it. Word for word. How true. I've written
    lyrics, only to hear them come back to me in a song I already
    thought I knew(or did I?).

    I guess it's true what is said about "imitation... the sincerest
    form of flattery".

    Thanks, man.

    faithmonster

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    Lightbulb

    Man... just write. Critique, trash, or redo later, the thing is get it down. When something flows, let it. Worrying about wether or not that melody might be in another song will get your mind on copyrights instead of creativity. He who hesitates ends up sitting in the floor scratching his head saying, "now what was that line?" or "what was that lick?"

    I'll shut up now.

    George
    Psalms 150
    <><

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    That's very good advice George.
    That's what I do, but never thought of it. I usually end up with a variant on the original. I also always do two versions of any song I write. I play in lounges and roadhouses mostly, some places are into rock/blues stuff, other places are into country. So I make a version to fit either place.

    Yeah, that's good advice, get it down now, edit later.
    ~ nods ~

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