2015-03-25

Bright Girl

You can take the girl out of the reactor...
...but you can't take the reactor out of the girl.

This is the lyrics for the song "Bright Girl" that Hallam London and I wrote, and which he performed in the first round of Emergenza.  Luckily for you I won't try to sing it, I'm just reading.

See my previous post for things I have learned about writing lyrics.

What I am reading here is v2 of this lyric.





The general process goes:
  1. I write, erase, rearrange, scrap, edit. swear, laugh, cry etcetera until I get a first draught of something that is both coherent and rhythmical, this is v1.  I give it to Hallam.
  2. Hallam has a list of my v1 lyrics.  He looks them over until he gets inspired with a musical idea.  He records a small piece with a rough approach (his idea of rough is already impressive) and shares it with me.
  3. We discuss what's working and what's not.  This generally leads to a rearrangement of the lyric: stronger chorus, simpler break, one less verse etc etc.  This is v2.
  4. In the meanwhile Hallam has been recording longer segments and usually fits v2 to the music as soon as we have it.
  5. Then we discuss some more, and now we change smaller things like single phrases that don't work.  Another common adjustment at this stage is inserting more repeats of word phrases at points where the musical phrases require them.  This leads to v3.
So the main difference in this case is that v3 contains more repetition repetition.  That works beautifully for the music, but for just reading aloud the less lyricky and more poemy (technical terms) v2 is best.

So that's what you get.

Below the video I have pasted the lyrics expressed in RLDL (Rock Lyric Description Language).  I suspect I'm far from unique in this, but it goes: verses on the left, choruses in the middle, break on the right.






Bright Girl


Cherenkov reactor light shines blue
and pure and bright and deadly--seems she's home
behind the shutters in her attic room.
How might she spend her evening?  You don't know:
maybe splitting atoms with a finger nail,
or biting spiders into superheroes?

You suspect she is atomic,
they must have hushed her up.
She dazzles through your sunshades
and if this close isn't safe, it isn't close enough.

Leave other girls tattoos and piercings,
their slightly freaky needs;
this one has reactor shielding,
a double fail-safe coolant feed,
and if her heart is wrapped in graphite bricks
perhaps they're cracking now?

You believe she is atomic,
she outshines the very day
a blast-wave ripping through your life
that blows your burning heart away.

You've just got to appreciate
the way that girl can radiate.
She's really glowing!

Does she really need that shielding?
Do you really need your hazmat suit?
If you dare to knock upon her steel-wedge door
and stammer somehow that she's cute,
drink a glass of something blue and glowing.
You need to make your move, she is on fire...

...because you know she is atomic,
the armed guard shows that you were right
her lips melt through your visor
and you feel you are alight.

You know she is atomic,
she outshines the very day
a blast-wave through your bedroom
that blows the ashes of your heart away.

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