Trunk Tunes

Career Aptitude Test results

Career Aptitude Test results


In this conversation from February 13th (Friday the 13th, oooh…), we talk about smiling villains who lure you into their web oh so cheerily…


In this conversation from February 13th (Friday the 13th, oooh…), we talk about smiling villains who lure you into their web oh so cheerily…


In this conversation from January 10th, we talk about finding the right moment to musicalize in a scene. Specifically, we were working on the song for the scene in Marsh’s classroom — which ended up as “None of the Above.”


In this conversation from January 10th, we talk about finding the right moment to musicalize in a scene. Specifically, we were working on the song for the scene in Marsh’s classroom — which ended up as “None of the Above.”


While working on the introductory song for the Cobras, we realized what we needed … a conga.


While working on the introductory song for the Cobras, we realized what we needed … a conga.


A “trunk tune” is a song that a composer has in their “trunk”, left over from another project, waiting to go into a current show. This was more common in the early days of musicals (if I recall correctly, Irving Berlin’s song “Blue Skies” showed up in two or three different shows before it stuck.) It’s less common today because musicals are written differently, with composers writing music that’s more specifically tailored to character and plot — harder to transfer a song from one show to another. Still, all composers hang on to good songs — because you just never know.

Katie and I had done a draft of a score for another project; the score ended up not being used. We loved a lot of the songs (and in fact might write a whole show around one of them.) Some of the songs fit the “glam rock” feeling of KELLY; when I was listening to the playlist on a walk one day, I realized that one of the songs, “Tough Love”, would be a great moment for Savannah and Kelly — a moment which we needed and didn’t have yet. Katie agreed, so in it went. The song is basically about two friend/frenemies offering up some harsh truths about one another — it’s just tough love. The song would take place at the track — we had had a couple of general ideas for a song there, but nothing specific. This song would fit very well there — it’s nice when a song can accomplish a few things simultaneously. It had the right musical vibe for the “running laps” feeling we wanted — while not needing to be a song specifically about racing.

Taking a look at the existing lyrics — really only the chorus was still useable. While I was on the road on my way home from Wright State (where we recorded these songs), I started musing about the new lyrics. When writing lyrics to existing music (writing “music first” as they say), I try to find phrases that will fit any oddball musical phrases that are in the song. For instance, in the old lyrics, we had a line “we’ve all had enough of that.” The way the words “enough of that” were set to music was very particular — so I started with finding phrases that would fit. The lines “that’s a thought you should have had” “I don’t care, I really don’t” and “here’s the thing, you never will” were the lyrics I came up with for that musical phrase. I was in slow traffic, which for reason always gets my mind working… and before too long, I had a draft of the song. I just had it in my head, though, so the minute I got home, I ran to the computer to type it out.

This recording is just me singing (eep.)

The song starts at the track — one of the humans (Darzee and/or Addie) are having trouble. Savannah sings the first verse to that person — then during the chorus, the whole group runs a lap (we think with a strobe effect on stage.) Kelly catches up to Savannah and gives her a piece of her mind (this isn’t in the track yet); then Savannah coolly sets her sights on Kelly — with Coral and Vi joining in — and in the chorus, again they run a lap. The third verse is Kelly’s response to them — then they all sing the chorus, with all the students “running” using the strobe effect.

TOUGH LOVE

SAVANNAH (to Addie)
I see you
How can you take it?
Now, that is the riddle
You’ll never make it
Not even to the middle

Oh I see you
I wonder what you’re thinking
As you’re slowly sinking
No one ever told you you were bad
That’s a thought you should have had
So I’m speaking the truth
And giving you what you need

It’s tough love, tough love
Tough love, tough love
It’s a slap in the face with a velvet glove
What nobody else tells you
Yeah, that’s tough love

(The cobras are running the track, KELLY catches up with them to cuss them out, dialogue here)

SAVANNAH (to KELLY)
I see you
A bundle of cliches
Oh hey should I list ‘em
“A rebel, a loner
Fighting the system”

But I see you
Under all the fury
All you do is worry
Hoping you can find a place to fill
Here’s the thing: you never will
So I’m speaking the truth

SAVANNAH, CORAL, VI
And giving you what you need
It’s tough love, tough love
Tough love, tough love
It’s a slap in the face with a velvet glove

SAVANNAH
You know it inside, don’t you?

SAVANNAH, CORAL, VI
Oh that’s tough love

KELLY
I see you.
Great, okay, thank you
For all your opinions
But I don’t give a blank
About you or your minions

‘Cause I see you
So in control
Like someone took your soul
I could try explaining but I won’t
I don’t care, I really don’t

KELLY, SAVANNAH, CORAL, VI
But I’m speaking the truth
And giving you what you need

It’s tough love, tough love
Tough love, tough love
It’s a slap in the face with a velvet glove

KELLY & SAVANNAH
I’m not gonna lie to you
That’s tough love

KELLY, SAVANNAH, CORAL, VI
Tough love, tough love!
Tough love, tough love
Tough love!

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