Wednesday, 29 September 2010

12:4 Mr Lennon Is Unwell - Because (pt.4)

If the static chord-bound melody is one reason for Because feeling cold and detached another is the clash between the mood of the music and the lyrics.

Lennon is saying he feels turns him on, but he doesn’t sound turned on (in any sense of the phrase) he says he’s crying but he doesn’t sound upset. He just sounds strung out or in shock.

The whole song is one big mental BSOD
So if you want to write like a heroin addict here’s two suggestions for getting that emotional disconnect into your music.

1) Write a melody that just uses notes taken from the chords you’re playing over. Try to find progressions that threaten to go somewhere but somehow keep heading back to the root chord. Just make sure you throw in a few of the most left field chords you can find to stop it from getting boring.

2) Try to put lyrics and music together that are in conflict with one another. If the music is chipper make the lyrics depressed (see The Smiths for further details). If the lyrics are all about how hyped up you are make the music slow and ponderous.

Next time: The random Lennon lyric generator

Read more posts about Because here



  1. Lennon loved to play with words. When pressed for the meaning of some songs, he claimed that they didn't mean anything. Maybe he was being honest, but writing meaningless songs also means soemthing.

    Anyway, I wonder how purposeful he was in disconnecting the meaning of the lyrics from the mood of the song.

  2. Yeah I don't think he was purposeful at all - he was just on heroin a lot by this stage. But I'm not advocating that as a help to writing...!