Friday, June 21, 2013

A Book In A Sentence

Authors get a lot of credit, and it is well-deserved. An author can carry a tale to its 100, 200, 300-page satisfying conclusion. Songwriters are like authors, but with a reduced-page count.  There are many famous book quotes that stick in our heads, spanning from, "It was a dark and stormy night..." to "May the odds be forever in your favor..."  

But what sticks in your head most, a quote from a book, or a song lyric? I respect the talents of songwriters. Some are capable of telling an entire tale in a single sentence. "They were sharing a drink they call loneliness, but it's better than drinking alone..."  In that one line from Billy Joel's Piano Man we know and identify with this couple at the bar.  We've all seen them before. The business man who wishes Happy Hour would never end because he has an empty house to go home to, and the recent divorcee who went out with her associates after work, but decided to stay when they all went home to their families. Billy Joel portrayed this despondent couple in one skillful sentence. 

"Have you come here to play Jesus to all the lepers in your head?" Whoa!  Someone step in and analyze Bono's statement from ONE for me. 

And of course, there is Gladys. :) "I'd rather live in his world, than live without him in mine."  In one simple line, we're packing our bags and heading on a midnight train to Georgia. Going to a place we've never been...a place where we have no relatives, no friends...and all for some guy. Yep, we all know that tale.  One of the most moving examples of this story-line comes from the actual life experiences of Romantic Suspense author, Shannon McKenna. If you get a chance, read her bio and you'll know what I mean.

Do you have any favorite song quotes?

Maureen (aka Gladys) A. Miller
Coming soon! HIGH TIDE

18 comments:

Elise Warner said...

"It's quarter to three..." "You must remember this...a kiss is still a kiss..." "There's no business like show business..." and the ever popular "God Bless America." I was a singer for so long, I can always pick up a cue for one. Fun blog, Maureen.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Ah, Elise, now you know we're going to badger you to sing for us. :)

Shirley Wells said...

I so admire songwriters. As I type this, I'm listening to one of my favourite songs by Boo Hewerdine, Please Don't Ask Me To Dance, with the great line, "Skin remembers what the heart forgets, I might do something that I will regret."

Love this blog, Gladys!

Maureen A. Miller said...

That is a fantastic line, Petunia! Why don't these people write romance novels? :)

Wendy Soliman said...

I use song titles for some of my books. They aren't ocpyrighted, whereas the lyrics are. Go figure!

Maureen A. Miller said...

I so badly wanted to use a George Michael (hush Toni!!) lyric as a title for one of my books. "Danger In Emotional Ties." I was seriously going to write to him and ask if I could. I'm sure that letter would have gotten far. :)

Toni Anderson said...

You gotta have "FAITH" Maureen :)
I love song lyrics--they can be so clever, like poetry. SEA OF SUSPICION was originally titled OUT OF TEARS, a song by The Rolling Stones. I always liked the big hits by the Stones, but never considered them genius until I started to listen to the songs that weren't big hits, and some of the lyrics. Brilliant. And then there's Springsteen who can tell a life story in a sentence too. Amazing. :)

Anne Marie Becker said...

I started a series with "Thrill" in the name of each book, and "Shoot to Thrill" (ACDC) comes to mind whenever I think of it (and vice versa!).

"Hotel California" lyrics haunt me on occasion, too. :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

Some lyrics can haunt you. I'm partial to Leonard Cohen poet/songwriter/singer. He wrote "Hallelujah" and "Closing time," two favourites. Here's my favourite part of "Closing Time":

I swear it happened just like this:
a sigh, a cry, a hungry kiss
the Gates of Love they budged an inch
I can't say much has happened since
CLOSING TIME

If you want, I can sing it. :-)

Maureen A. Miller said...

Toni - I have Faith. :) Springsteen is a Jersey boy. He makes me feel like I'm at the ocean with his lyrics.

@Anne Marie - Another all-time favorite lyric is from Hotel California. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

@Marcelle - Take the microphone, my dear! I can listen to Hallelujah by any artist. It's just an awesome song.

Rita said...

Nice post Gladys Too many songs to name. Hotel California is packed with lines. Every CCR song. Country and western songs Jeeze

Rita said...

BTW thanks! now the windows are rattling and I'm bopping around to CCR.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Down on the corner, out in the street, Willy and the poor boys are playing... I used to have a plastic guitar and I would "play" that song. :)

Rita said...

Fortunate Son
I Put a Spell On You
Travellin Band
Memories!!!!


Shelley Munro said...

Wow, picking favorites is tricky! Some of the songs that came out during the World War 2 era have great lyrics - some are very poignant.

Wynter Daniels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wynter Daniels said...

Some of my favorite lines, Gladys! One that I've always loved - from the Rolling Stones' Faraway Eyes -
"And the preachers said, 'You know you always have the lord by your side.' And I was so pleased to be informed of this,
that I ran twenty red lights in his honour."
Thank you Jesus, thank you lord

Maureen A. Miller said...

I agree, Shelly. I used to listen to those songs with Grandma. She had quite the voice...or so she would tell you. :)

Wynter, I might use that if I ever get pulled over for speeding! :)