Korifaeus Magazine

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The Challenges of Songwriting

Too Abstract
By Korifaeus

Just today, while looking for a file of a Christmas Song i’d written last year, i stumbled upon an older recording of mine, from about 2006/2007 – a song i titled ” Let it not be over”.

It was an option for a melody composed by Mickey Leonard. When a composer has written a new piece he invites lyricists to come up with lyrics for the melody, since not all composers are lyricists nor all lyricists are composers. It was the late Ray Passman, with whom i’d collaborated on many occasions, who called me telling me Mickey Leonard was going to introduce a new melody he’d composed. Ray suggested i should come along and listen.

The moment Mickey Leonard played his new composition on the piano, i liked it a lot, thus asked Mickey to give me first shot at the lyrics. He said yes, i was thrilled, ‘cuz i really dug the melody and instantly called it in my mind, ” Let it not be over”.

I went home, emailed Mickey to sent me the mp3 of the instrumental, he emailed it to me within minutes and i went to work. The lyrics were written within a few minutes ; one of these WOW moments of inspiration upon hearing a melody and the words to it already existing in the universe just having to be grasped and taken to pen.

I recorded it, singing it on top his instrumentation, then emailed him the mp3.

“You didn’t sing the melody i wrote”, stated Mickey in the email he’d sent me the next day in reply to my recording.

” Okay”, i replied” ( thinking that can be fixed in no time, he’d just have to let me know what melody i was apparently not hearing ) ” What about the lyrics, though ?”, i asked, since , hey it’s about the lyrics, and a singer can sing it according to Mickey’s direction ?

” Terrible”, replied Mickey. “They’re too abstract”, he wrote.

Too abstract ??? i wondered to myself. Heck, it’s not abstract it’s allegorical. That’s my forte – that’s what makes me “me”. That’s the reason why i’d be called to doctor songs, collaborating with fellow lyricist to doctor their lyrics.

I’d been a ghost writer and lyric doctor for decades, prior to coming out and write under my own name. The late Ray Passman ( Jazz Music Publisher and Songwriter ) as well as other N.Y. lyricists would call me to doctor some of their songs, which means to either finish their lyrics, or make it more witty, or add some ” allegories” to make it more poetic.

Thus i called Mickey, telling him there’s nothing abstract about the lyrics; if that’s abstracts then each of Larry Hart’s lyrics ( Larry Hart of Roger’s & Hart ) are abstract. It’s allegorical, poetic, i told him self-confident, because i liked my lyrics a LOT, in fact i was thrilled with them and really proud of me and befuddled how he could find them too abstract.

” I don’t like them”, he said, “and you’re not singing my melody. That’s not the melody i wrote”, he told me.

” Okay, no problem “, i said, and suddenly i was glad he said that, ‘cuz if it’s not the melody HE wrote, it will be “my” melody. I’ll use the recording at some point in time and will credit him with the Music/composition instrumentation, but not the melody.

I put the song on a back shelf and totally forgot about it, until i just now stumbled over it, listened to it, and …..

Here it is. Melody/Lyrics/Vocals by Leagan E. Kasper
Music/Composition/Instrumentation by Mickey Leonard
Let it not be over 🙂





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