I (re)write the songs

Those of you who are new to The Rachel Hartman Experience (with Rachel Hartman) will not have been exposed to this side of me yet, but it has to come out sometime: I am an incorrigible filker. Filker may not be exactly the right name for it; I’m not a member of the filking community, after all, and my subject matter (and source songs) aren’t genre-standard. But I don’t know what else to call what I do.

When my son was very small, I used to rewrite song lyrics as a way of turning my frustration into something more palatable. I came up with songs like “Psycho Toddler”, “I Want to Ride My Tricycle”, and “I Am the Man (of Constant Teething).” I don’t do it that often any more – certainly not about the boy – but every now and then I’ll still be struck by something. Usually when I’m driving and can’t write it down.

Anyway, REO Speedwagon’s “Roll with the Changes” came on the car radio today, and I suddenly realized that with just a little tweaking, it was all about novel revisions. Here’s the source song for those of you who aren’t time-travellers from the ’70s.

I need to add: this is written from an editor’s perspective. My editor is a fabulous human being, and he has never speculated about monkeys teaching me grammar. Any silliness in this song must pertain to those other editors at other publishing houses. I mean, obviously.

“Write Me Some Changes”

As soon as you are able, writer I am willing
To let you know your book could use some rewrites.
Notebook’s on the table, and the red ink’s spilling.
You’ve got plot-holes that ought to keep you up nights.

I get so tired of the same old story.
I think you need to cut some pages.
I will be here when you are ready,
To write me some changes — yeah!

I knew you couldn’t end it, knew you’d pull your punches,
I’m thinking that a monkey taught you grammar.
This trope, you can’t defend it. There are no free lunches.
Get right back in there with a saw and hammer.

I get so tired of the same old story.
I think you need to cut some pages.
I will be here when you are ready,
To write me some changes — yeah!

Keep on writin’
Keep on writin’
Oh, write me some changes
Keep on writin’
Keep on writin’
You got to, got to, got to write me some changes — got to! Got to!
(ad nausem, until awesome synthesizer solo. Yeah, baybeh!)



Speak, friend!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s