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Whom Among You Share In My Distinction?
Old 22nd March 2019
  #1
Whom Among You Share In My Distinction?

I've been writing songs for 44 years now, and I have never once uttered the term 'yeah' in any of them.

Just wondering who else can testify, as I blow my own horn for a bar or two.
Old 22nd March 2019
  #2
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Huh! I've been writing songs for 44 years, too! And I can say that there's not a single "yeah" in any of the three songs* I've ever written.

*I've been getting the impression I might be the least productive songwriter here.
Old 23rd March 2019
  #3
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it's never too late to start
Old 24th March 2019
  #4
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It's not done until there's a yeah in there imo
Old 26th March 2019
  #5
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The Troll Song makes excellent use of yeahs and nahs. Perhaps some deep inspiration here. There's captions in case you don't quite catch it.

Old 27th March 2019
  #6
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Reminds me of a conversation I had with some bandmates 30-something years ago. The guitarist and drummer had played in several other bands with me so were familiar with my composing...but the three of us were essentially "hired guns" to support the keyboard player and singer who were the primary songwriters for this project. However, I had some material that seemed appropriate for this band, so I brought in a few demos.

As we're listening to my demos the guitarist turns to me and says "Geez Bob, I didn't expect to hear the word 'love' in one, much less two of your lyrics!"

To which the drummer chimed in "...but I did expect to hear the word 'shirt' more often!"


I confess, I have indeed used the word "shirt" in a lyric more than once.

I have almost certainly used the word "yeah" in a lyric more than once as well, but off the top of my head I cannot recall the context so it was probably many years ago.
Old 28th March 2019
  #7
I'm guilty, I've used 'oh yeah' and 'oh no' --but in context of the song i think it worked:

"Mocking the sunrise,
Boasting the thought that I could be brighter.
Vanity will come to tell the grey world I will add color, oh yeah
...
Breaking the calm night
Storm in with anger, I should be wiser
Honesty will come to tell the small world I am no bigger, oh no."
Old 7th April 2019
  #8
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Since I write mostly in spanish, I can say that I do not have "yeah" in my lyrics; but I cannot say that I use (too many of) the spanish equivalent, either.

I find it interesting though to figure out the reason for using it in a text; is it an integral part of a lyric, or for filling up or embellishment of the vocal melody.

In my case, I never write lyrics on their own; they're always after the music or simultaneosly with the composing and arranging, so anywhere I would be inclined to fill up the space with words like "yeah", I can arrange an instrumental line there instead.

EDIT: I now realise that I misunderstood the OP/thread; it's about using "yeah" indead of "yes", and not about the use of it to "fill" a vocal line.

Last edited by Prodba; 7th April 2019 at 05:05 PM.. Reason: Misunderstood the thread.
Old 7th April 2019
  #9
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"Yeah' is fine with me.
But i draw the line at "C,mon" and 'Baby"
Old 7th April 2019
  #10
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I think context plays a big part here......I use the word 'Yeah' rather than 'Yes' conversationally on a day to day basis, so I wouldn't hesitate to use it in a song lyric......."Yeah Man!" however, would be a different kettle of fish.
Old 7th April 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post

can't. stop. watching.
Old 8th April 2019
  #12
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I remember Sting saying he wrote "do do do dah dah dah" coz' he realised he'd reached a point he could put out literally chibberish with a catchy tune and he'd still make $1M.

I'd be very proud of a song with "yeah" in it - if it bought me a brand new Porsche 911 :-)
Old 8th April 2019
  #13
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I'm pretty sure I have at least one "Yeah" in a song. Didn't realize until now that they were bad. But I also hold my pencil wrong, and my pick wrong, and I set my guitar on the wrong knee.

Way back, in NYC, I was invited to co-write with a successful songwriter -- very flattering -- and he said we might need a "pre-chorus." Having never heard of that, I said I'd never of that. So, by way of illustration, he sang me the pre-chorus of a song his buddy had just written called "One of Us."
Old 9th April 2019
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky View Post
"Yeah' is fine with me.
But i draw the line at "C,mon" and 'Baby"
When I started out writing songs (48 years ago, eat yo' heart out whippersnappers), I'm pretty sure I swore I wouldn't ever in a million years use the word, baby, in a song.

It was the start of the 1970s and I wasn't at all big on mainstream pop (though, ironically enough, I suppose, I always sang along with Smokey on "Ooo Baby Baby" -- I loved to see the faces of my friends when I hit the really high notes... or passed through them, drunkenly, as the case more often was).

But, (along with Smokey), various other influences worked on me, most notably, "Baby's on Fire," by Brian Eno, which I fell in love with the instant I heard it. Sure, he's talking about a character (who literally seems to be on fire), not cooing a sweet nothing, but, it was a foot in the door. And then in a WWII era movie, I discovered a sexy ingenue-vamp character in a later Andy Hardy movie, a former child star. "Call me Baby," she says to a flustered, smitten Andy Hardy.

By the mid 80s I'd started performing as a solo (people could finally understand the words since I was no longer howling like a wounded [tone-deaf] animal into the battered SM58 of some punk band) and one of my friendly rivals on the scene had made a few snarky comments about my use of the word baby. And, you know, being both obsessive and defiant can be a difficult condition... I started cranking out baby songs just to annoy him and his bandmates, including a semi-direct allusion to the Eno Baby, a song about a redneck whose GF becomes jet-setting fashion model called, "Baby's on TV."

I just did a title search on my (semi-) private lyric blog (not to be confused with my real public-facing blog) and found a dozen songs with 'baby' in the title. Not all them are endearments or interjections, maybe around half address the mythic amalgam character, Baby. (Dang you, Brian Eno!)

Last edited by theblue1; 9th April 2019 at 04:13 AM..
Old 9th April 2019
  #15
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Club 44

Another guy writing songs for 44 years here. I have used "baby" many times in lyrics, though. Can I still hang out here? haha

OK. I've used "yeah", too. Guess I'd better shuffle on down the road.
Old 9th April 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
The Troll Song makes excellent use of yeahs and nahs. Perhaps some deep inspiration here. There's captions in case you don't quite catch it.

Killer lyric sheet for this one! I have to listen to this every few years to center myself.
Old 9th April 2019
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodba View Post
Since I write mostly in spanish, I can say that I do not have "yeah" in my lyrics; but I cannot say that I use (too many of) the spanish equivalent, either.

I find it interesting though to figure out the reason for using it in a text; is it an integral part of a lyric, or for filling up or embellishment of the vocal melody.

In my case, I never write lyrics on their own; they're always after the music or simultaneosly with the composing and arranging, so anywhere I would be inclined to fill up the space with words like "yeah", I can arrange an instrumental line there instead.

EDIT: I now realise that I misunderstood the OP/thread; it's about using "yeah" indead of "yes", and not about the use of it to "fill" a vocal line.
No, no. You were correct the first time; my comment was in reference to using 'yeah' as filler, or a repetitive interjection.
Old 9th April 2019
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuldLangSine View Post
Where can I get a helmet like that one?
Who, me?

It's called a beret where I come from. It's an integral part of my winter plumage.
Old 9th April 2019
  #19
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Look - if we ran down the history of the Billboard charts and poked a pinhole in the ozone layer for every "yeah" and "baby," the Earth would burn to a crisp in ten minutes.

And I'd like to point out that at least "yeah" and "baby" are actual words. Can we be critical of their use in a pop-music universe where songwriters have made millions with lyrics like "da-doo-ron-ron" and "zip-a-dee-doo-dah" and "shoobee-doobee-doobee-doodah-dey?"
Old 9th April 2019
  #20
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No "yeahs" but plenty of grunts, "all rights" and "ughs," which I basically stole of Jay Z despite playing folk music, to fill space.
Old 9th April 2019
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxwaves View Post
Killer lyric sheet for this one! I have to listen to this every few years to center myself.
Whoever captioned it is a genius. The [wave goodby] at the end? Gtfo

I think the story of how this came to be is Russia banned the actual words for a period of time.
Old 10th April 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Whoever captioned it is a genius. The [wave goodby] at the end? Gtfo

I think the story of how this came to be is Russia banned the actual words for a period of time.

I'm glad you posted it; it's been a few months since I saw the video. The video makes the song weirdly entertaining in a side-show sort of way.

Haha, yes, the captioneer (is that a word) was spot on! And the wave? Priceless. The guy looks like a movie android.
Old 10th April 2019
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxwaves View Post
The guy looks like a movie android.
And a little bit like this guy, too. Hard to say who's more wooden.
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Whom Among You Share In My Distinction?-boyhowdy.jpg 
Old 10th April 2019
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And a little bit like this guy, too. Hard to say who's more wooden.
Maybe Howdy had a side gig .
Old 10th April 2019
  #25
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foxwaves's Avatar
 

"Mr. Doody" just sounds wrong.
Old 10th April 2019
  #26
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He's a stiff guy physically, but his singing is on point, full of emotion.

What's wild about that whole musical performance is every single thing is top quality, well executed, performed with emotion, not trying to be comedic in the least. . . except the words are gibber gabber. You're left thinking "what IS this? How could something like this even come to be??"

I've noticed that when everything is produced and executed at a high level, but there's ONE element that's just majorly off, there's a highly enjoyable quality to it. IE Rebecca Black - Friday

Noted for potential future viral attempts. . .
Old 10th April 2019
  #27
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxwaves View Post
"Mr. Doody" just sounds wrong.
Depends on what you're used to.

The New York Times has always used honorifics for everyone, the only exception being men in the sports section. But I still had to laugh when I read the review of "Bat Out of Hell" and it referred to the artist as "Mr. Loaf."
Old 10th April 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
He's a stiff guy physically, but his singing is on point, full of emotion.

What's wild about that whole musical performance is every single thing is top quality, well executed, performed with emotion, not trying to be comedic in the least. . . except the words are gibber gabber. You're left thinking "what IS this? How could something like this even come to be??"

I've noticed that when everything is produced and executed at a high level, but there's ONE element that's just majorly off, there's a highly enjoyable quality to it. IE Rebecca Black - Friday

Noted for potential future viral attempts. . .

It is a hoot, for sure! Maybe it's not actually gibberish, but a lost language...or maybe he's from another dimension?? Naaa, you're right; gibberish!

He seems so pleased with his performance, haha. Whatever the case, kudos to him because he's still getting airtime!
Old 10th April 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Depends on what you're used to.

The New York Times has always used honorifics for everyone, the only exception being men in the sports section. But I still had to laugh when I read the review of "Bat Out of Hell" and it referred to the artist as "Mr. Loaf."

"Mr. Loaf", hahahahaha! Epic!
Old 10th April 2019
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxwaves View Post
He seems so pleased with his performance, haha. Whatever the case, kudos to him because he's still getting airtime!
He does appear to be happier with his performance than I've ever been in my entire life. Winning!



Sorry to derail your thread though @ johnny nowhere , I couldn't resist posting the ultimate yeah song.
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