Anatomy of a science song, part 2

One thing I didn’t emphasize in my previous “Anatomy of a science song” post is the importance of the revision process for me (and, I assume, for most other songwriters).

Above is a partial draft of my just-completed song MTA, a parody of the old Kingston Trio hit. In the original song, a man named Charlie is confused by subway ticket prices and gets trapped on the subway because he cannot pay the exit fare. In my version, it’s a set of chemical compounds that ends up stuck in transportation limbo, thanks to endless contract revisions requested by well-meaning lawyers.

I had initially set out to write some clean, simple parody lyrics, but my first draft was not good. It took several rounds of editing over several days to elevate the words to a non-embarrassing level.

If serial revisions are as beneficial for contracts as they are for song lyrics, I guess I can’t fault the lawyers for their persistence.

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