People say “it must be the weather” when they, or others, get into a funk. Yeah, that’s it–the fucking weather. Or maybe people think their “blog” is going nowhere. Or maybe they’re about as inspired as a Hispanic shepherd living in one of those little wagon homes on some sheep ranch 50 miles outside of Bumfuck, Wyoming. What would an aspiring writer there write about?
“Chapter 33: Sheep #483 is really starting to piss me off, the beans are getting stale, I’m running low on asswipe, and if that fucking sheepdog Clyde doesn’t wipe that fucking smirk off his fucking face every time I pull my dick out to piss, I’m having dog for supper.”
“Chapter 34–Orion moved a couple degrees in the night sky last night. Beans still suck. My picture of Jessica Alba is getting wrinkled and I think the bitch is mocking me. Maybe she should get together with that fucking dog.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about musical “hooks” lately, ever since I reposted the Adele song “Someone Like You”, which has a strong hook in it (why wasn’t that nominated for Best Song instead of her “Rollin’ in the Deep”?). It’s a term I haven’t really heard since the ’60s much, when a lot of songs were specifically manufactured to have a powerful “hook”. People differ on the definition of a musical “hook”, but my definition (therefore the only one) is a rousing beginning to a chorus of a song–a line or lines which are delivered with a lot more volume and intensity than the verses of the song, so that it makes you want to sing along with it, no matter the cost. Examples of songs with hooks:
In the Neil Diamond song, a hit by the Monkees called “I’m a Believer”, the first line of the chorus “Then I saw her face, I’m a believer” is a hook. Not an intensely rousing hook, but a hook nonetheless. The country song which, though cringed at by a lot of people these days, and not high on any feminist’s list, is on any top-10 all-time best-country-song-ever list: “Stand by Your Man”, as sung by Tammy Wynette, has one of the most powerful hooks in popular music history. After a couple verses which end in (an almost whispered) “But after all, he’s just a man”, there’s a couple dramatic guitar licks, then she shouts/sings “STAND BY YOUR MAN….”. The best, or at least most powerful, hooks, do just that, they hook you into wanting to buy the song and hear it again and again. Or, like the “hook-echo” of a tornado on the TV weather radar screen, there’s a sort of inrushing swoop of air, of bated breath and expectation of an oncoming storm, then the fury is unleashed when the hook strikes. Another country song, “Young Love” by Sonny James has a very strong hook:
Anyway, one of the most powerful hooks in pop/rock music history is the Jimmy Cliff song “Trapped”, as done by Bruce Springsteen (I don’t know if I’d like to see him in concert–the expressions on his face make him look like it pains him to sing, or like he’s trying to squeeze out a difficult one, if you will). I don’t know WHAT…THE…HELL made me buy the “We Are The World” album back then, but I’m glad I did, because this song was on it:
(Update: the video is no longer available; I’m sure there’s another version on YT somewhere.)