efangelist

putting the FAN in evangelism – spreading your messages by daring to share what you are a FAN of

What writers can learn from songwriter Billy Bragg – clever wordplay

Do you remember the first time you “fell in love” with a writer’s words?

William Bloke CD

Thinking back now – I remember what first REALLY attracted me to the lyrics of Billy Bragg.

I remember the exact song and the exact line –

The song:

Greetings to the New Brunette

The line:

How can you lie there and think of England

When you don’t even know who’s in the team

BB Taxman poetry

The line made me smile and made me laugh – the blokey-ness of a guy thinking of sport. And Shirley not knowing about who’s in the team.

I thought  Billy was talking about  England – the soccer team  but it could be the cricket team or another sporting team representing England.

I was encouraged to go back and “study” his earlier work and continue to study his evolving works.

lots of BB CDs

I also loved his line in St Swithin’s Day

With my own hands when I make love to your memory…

I thought – “Well that’s a very nice way of describing it!”

Eugene and the Egg copy copy

When I played in uni bands – I was the sort of word  nerd who would study the lyrics and liner notes. It was a big event when one your favourite artists or bands released a new “record”.

Songwriters like Billy Bragg and Paul Weller helped me make sense of the world!

Thinking back now – (Bragg fans will know why I keep repeating this and probably hear Billy’s voice in their heads)  – I’m so glad writers like Bragg and Weller “taught” me little writing tricks – like older brothers or boys in the neighbourhood sharing secrets they’d learned.

TB Social Media KLT

I’m a big boy now –  a  “respectable” writing coach and trainer – and I’ll share with YOU some of Bragg’s clever wordplay tricks.

This post is about the old twist a well-known expression trick. I call this take and twist! I hope thos doesn’t have some rude connotation!

1. Take a well-known expression

2. ADD to it and make it your own – with a different twist

For example: –

1. Take a well-known expression

lie there and think of England

2. ADD to it and make it your own – with a different twist

use the double meaning of England – where England can also be a sporting team

How can you lie there and think of England when you don’t even know who’s in the team

Here’s another example:

1. Take a well-known expression

The milk of human kindness

2. ADD to it and make it your own – with a different twist

add to milk – milk + man

The milkman of human kindness who leaves an extra pint!

I just discovered on the internet there is a BB tea towel celebrating this song.

milkman_teatowel

What appropriate merchandise for more mature and  now domesticated  BB fans like me! Must order one!

And another line I liked

1. Take an expression

I never made the first team

2. ADD to it and make it your own – with a different twist

I never made the first team – I just made the first team laugh

I may have been wrong – but I interpreted this line  from The Saturday Boy as the singer not getting to sleep with the girl and him imagining others laughing at his failure.

and one more…

1. Take a well-known expression

 few and far between

2. ADD to it and make it your own – with a different twist

Also from The Saturday Boy – Bragg contrasts close with far in this line

The times that we were close were far and few between

Bragg has created so many memorable lines.

YOU can create memorable lines too.

Just remember:

Take a well know expression

Twist it or add to it to make it your own!

lots of BB CDs

I don’t just sit around listening to “old” music.

I enjoy the lyrics of many modern songs t00 – ones  that use this  “take and twist” device too – like the lyric too cool for school getting twisted into

too school for cool

Pink’s  –  “Raise Your Glass”

———————

If YOU have any favourite lyrics  (from any song-writer) – please share them in the comments section below.

The Jam T shirt

T and C and mod

If you like Billy Bragg and Paul Weller – here are links to other posts.

1. Get your year off to a better Start!

2. How Paul Weller can help you improve your writing – powerful description and understatement

3.https://efangelist.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/the-power-of-anti-adjectives-and-anti-adverbs-paul-weller-style/

4.Write like a movie camera – like Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

5.Billy Bragg’s writing trick – the Sting in the Tail – Everybody Loves You Babe

Also, here are links to more writing tips that can make your writing more “real” and engaging – and even entertaining!

I’m getting 2014 off to a strong start with my blogging too.

If you’d like to improve your writing: Here are some quick tips.

1.Release The Verb

2.How nouns can save your butt!

3.Use visual language

4.Parallel Structure

TB headline technique

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:

If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.

everest

I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

Twitter 

 

tony biancotti

@tonybiancotti

 

One comment on “What writers can learn from songwriter Billy Bragg – clever wordplay

  1. efangelist
    June 16, 2014

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: