“Join Me”

A couple weeks ago I was listening to the radio as I drove home from work. An awful, catchy pop song came on (which is about 80% of the radio), and I couldn’t help but think “I could definitely write something better than that piece of crap.”

If these people can do it…

brunomarsstupid

 

taylorswiftstupidthen clearly I should be able to.

The Mission: Write a terrible, catchy, pop song.

I began to carefully analyze pop music throughout the rest of the week. They all follow essentially the same formula:

Verse 1
Bridge
Chorus

Verse 2
Bridge
Chorus
Instumental/Rap/Verse3

Chorus
Chorus

And they usually contain these four elements: catchy chorus, lyrics that kind of make sense, “whoa’s” or “hey’s,” and an annoying riff of some sort. The EXTRA annoying songs tend to have whistling, so I’d consider throwing that in as well.

I figured I’d start with the chorus. How do you write a catchy chorus? I looked to my hero, Ke$ha, for help.

Ke$ha says there’s a pop song in every single situation. As of now, I think she’s right. I was driving along thinking about possible song ideas when I saw a sign at Captain D’s. It said “Join us for lunch.”

Hmm, join us. How about “Join Me?”

Now I had my title. I sat down with my guitar, a pencil, some paper, and got to work. It was time to make the magic happen.

joinmenotes

I don’t know much about music theory, but I do know that most pop songs use 4 chords. I picked A (my favorite), D (my second favorite), E (cause it sounded like it kind of went with them), and B minor (third favorite). I played around with them for a couple minutes, and ended up with a pretty solid progression.

The chorus seemed to write itself as soon as I sat down. It was stupid, buy hey, that’s the point!

Next I tried to tackle the verses. I started thinking about what exactly I wanted the song to say, how to make it poetic, and what direction it should go in. After about 10 minutes with no success, I thought “what am I doing? This isn’t supposed to be poetic or make sense.”

Then I made a list of words that seemed fitting for the title (in picture above), picked out a few of them, and wrote down some cliché rhymes. It was working! After a few minutes, I had a full verse, a decent bridge, and the chorus. The second verse was a little more difficult, but I managed to crank it out eventually.

All in all, the song took about 45 minutes to write. I’d like to stress that I’ve never done this before, I have very limited knowledge of guitar, and it was actually really easy.

Here’s the finished product:

(please excuse my limited singing ability)

The Lyrics:

Let’s go down to the park,
we can skip rocks ’til it gets dark,
And then, we’ll stare up at the stars.

Or we could go out to the zoo,
I’ll take you for a ride in my new canoe,
It’s your choice – whatever you wanna do.

Life doesn’t have to be a chore,
With me, it’ll be so much more.

Join me,
For one night, we can do it right,
You’ll see,
It’s all better when you’re by my side,
Don’t worry,
I’ll show you how to feel alive,
Just be free,
Join Me

We’ll sing dumb songs down my the pool,
We don’t care about looking cool,
Whoa, laughter is our tool.

Life doesn’t have to be a bore,
With me, it’ll be so much more.

Join me,
For one night, we can do it right,
You’ll see,
It’s all better when you’re by my side,
Don’t worry,
I’ll show you how to feel alive,
Just be free,
Join Me

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

 

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