Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lyrically Stupid

A Writer's Life: Can Barnaby Jones Save The Human Race?

Today, while I was at work, I was listening to KJAZZ.  The DJ played a series of excellent Miles Davis numbers to which someone had the bright idea to add forgettable lyrics.  I've heard several jazz instrumentals that lyricists have felt needed words -- even silly, repetitive words.  Reminds me of the folks who insist all black and white movies must be colorized.  Also reminds me of a user comment I read on an instrumental piece that Itunes offered as its free download of the week.  It went something like: "This is a song?!!  WHERE ARE THE WORDS?"

Apparently some folks feel that instrumental TV themes need words too.  My cousin Lee Goldberg recently discussed a piece of BARNABY JONES fan fiction purportedly co-written (or at least written based on the notes of) Buddy Ebsen.  The book included fan-drafted lyrics to the Barnaby Jones theme, which included these apocalyptic verses:

"When naked terror rides the highways
And sudden death waits in the street,
one man alone will roam the byways
confronting crime he must defeat
Barnaby, Barnaby -- what driving force has set your pace?
Barnaby, Barnaby -- can one man save the human race?"

Thank goodness "highways" rhymes with "byways."  Otherwise, I'm sure the writer would have worked in the phrase, "I did it My Way."

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