For the last few years, I’ve tried to employ a “no negative posts” rule for my conduct on social media. For the most part, I’ve been successful, though the snark does slip through from time to time. It’s often a knee-jerk response to something, or I thought of something funny that lets my inner cynic grab the mic for a second.
As time has gone on, I’ve realized that very few people actually care about anything I have to say, which was simultaneously demoralizing and liberating. It hasn’t stopped me from writing responses and comments when I see logical fallacies, people experiencing emotional stress based entirely on things that aren’t true, or just general idiocy.
It has, however, stopped me from posting those responses. The timeline normally goes something like this:
- See a one or two sentence post that incites a response
- Type a few paragraphs
- Get somewhere between 75% of the first draft and the 8th revision
- Realize nobody cares
On rare occasions, I go ahead and send my comment or tweet my tweet, think about it for half a minute, and then delete it.
- A Sad Jingle Ray Toler 1:42
So it was with the first song I started last night. I abandoned it after conceptualizing, doing some drum work, writing a bit, doing a practice run through. It wasn’t that it’s not something I want to say or am uncomfortable posting, it’s that I felt like I was rushing the moment because I started at 10:30 pm and was trying to blaze through something that deserved a little more time. It was going to be another knee-jerk moment, where some finesse would be far stronger.
As usual, my response to this mental hiccup was to go surf a bit. Read some things. Do some general procrastination. I ended up reading the comments on the Song-A-Day site when I noticed Junie’s post wondering what would happen if the gang tried writing jingles.
Ding! New idea. Fast idea. Something I’ve done in the past and can knock out quickly, deferring the other project for another time. Only it didn’t work out so well.
I hopped back into the studio, saved the old project, started a new one, and began writing a quick four-line commercial jingle for Song-A-Day. It turned into something… else. Ditty? Novelty? No clue. But it was entertaining me and catchy. I’m 99% certain this melody has been written by someone, somewhere, but I don’t know who, so it’s fair game.
Production was pretty straightforward, and I had originally ended the song with the first “You’ve got your idea for Song-A-Day!” It was going to end jingle-style with a stereotypical harmony thing, and an announcer with a tagline that ripped off a Simpsons joke:
Song-A-Day: The cause of, and relief for, all your mental anguish!
While practicing prior to recording, though, I actually sang some of those inner monologue lines and decided that was a better ending since I’d already moved way beyond a quick jingle thing. In fact, the original original conversation with the inner monologue went on for another seven or eight stanzas, got increasingly combative, the musicians put down their instruments, and so on. I was going for the joke that goes on so long that it stops being funny, then keeps going on until it becomes funny again.
But discretion is the better part of valor, and editing is the better part of not boring the listener to tears, so I pulled it back to a couple of choice lines, hit record, and got everything down. The bass was the last thing added. With just piano, there were some awkward empty spaces, and the whole thing needed a little bit of character to offset the predictable and borderline trite.
I’ve done a couple of self-reflexive Song-A-Day songs, some of which worked better than others. This one’s ok. Definitely a last-minute special, but not awful. As a jingle, though, it’s pretty sad.
It’s 11:45, there’s nothing in your head
You want to stop crying and get to bed
There’s just one thing standing in your way:
You signed up for Song-A-Day
It’s 11:57, no time to pout
Though you want to pop a Xanax and pass the hell out
Or even better just run away
But you signed up for Song-A-Day
It’s 11:59 and you’ve got a tingle
‘Cause Junie said, “hey, let’s write a jingle”
You jump for joy and shout. “hooray!”
You’ve got your idea for Song-A-Day
(It’s really Junie’s idea for Song-A-Day)
(Doesn’t matter it’s still my Song-A-Day)
(This isn’t really a jingle for Song-A-Day)
(Shut up, inner monologue, it’s my Song-A-Day)
(Just record the damn thing for Song-A-Day)
I’ve written my song for Song-A-Day!
Song-A-Day: The cause of and relief for all your mental anguish.
Copyright © 2019 Ray E. Toler, Jr. All rights reserved.
- Piano: Kurzweil K2600XS
- Bass: Spectrasonics Trillian
- Inner Monologue FX: Butch Vig Vocals
Next up: I Am Not Here