1. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    Mum's favorite song

    Discussion in 'Research' started by LostThePlot, Apr 22, 2016.

    In my present work in progress there's a bunch of teenage girls involved in a talent show. There's one girl, AJ, who is an incredibly talented dancer who is a loner and doesn't talk to anyone. The other girls kinda don't want to go ask her to clear off the stage when she's practicing (which she does constantly) so she gets it to herself most of the time.

    Tess (my MC) is a singer who's new to the scene and hasn't made friends yet so she didn't know the dancer had been christened a weirdo and was unexpectedly nice to her. As a result AJ offers to share the stage so they can both practice at the same time together. They both practice without really interacting but at the end of that first session AJ tentatively comes and tells Tess she sings well and it's nice to hear her singing while she's practicing; the first step in them forming a quiet little friendship and exploring why AJ is a bit fragile and reclusive.

    At a later point I want AJ to ask Tess to sing something for her; a song that her deceased mum used to play when she was little. It needs to be something that suits Tess' soprano voice and that makes sense to be something that a 30ish mum would play to her 6ish year old daughter around 2005/6.

    It can certainly be something from further in the past, because it's supposed to be her mum's favorite song not just the latest number one but I'm looking for something that's widely known enough for a good chunk of the teenage audience of this book to not just go 'Who?'. Also it can't be Beautiful by Christina Aguilera because that's Tess' signature song that has resonance to her enough that I don't want to change it just to make this fit here.

    It doesn't really matter that much what the song is here; I'm not going to play with the lyrics and draw parallels to who AJ is today or anything, but I do want something that's kinda sad and has the right feel for a song to remember your dead parent by, as well as being a song her dad won't let her play at home so it's a big deal to her to share it with Tess.

    So, I ask you all mums and mum-like people - What song should I go for?

    Edit -

    Not 'Your Heart Will Go On'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
  2. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You
    Ronan Keating's When You Say Nothing At All

    I personally love those songs :D

    I remember my friend's mum loved Westlife's cover of Mandy. It came out around 2005 (slightly earlier).

    Take That's Rule the World, and Patience, both came out at around that time too I think?

    Anyway, what's the mother like? Why don't you find a song that would fit the character?

    There's nothing special about what songs we'd listen to as mums - we just keep listening to what we used to like plus anything new we find! My baby has heard Cantonese songs from my childhood, as well as my current playlist that consists of English, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean songs, mostly pop and ballads, but also some classical music. It kinda just depends on what the mother likes, really.

    What about the song the mother danced to in her first dance with her husband at the wedding? Ours was a cute Chinese love song about the moon. My sister had So Close from the Disney film Enchanted. Your character could have something for her wedding as her favourite.
     
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  3. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions :) That's exactly the kind of stuff I'm looking for. Pop music is not one of my fortes, especially in that period of time because I was busy being an angry teenage metal head at the time. Even worse my mum is 65 and the songs she loves are by The Small Faces and The Kinks and Leonard Cohen; all a bit too far in the past to be something that I want to call out to. I'm definitely looking for those big pop ballads but finding something that works for other people but not me is a challenge.

    Even following the character is a bit of a dead end. I don't know the mum's character whatsoever because all of this is just setting up them sharing a confidence and a nice moment but we aren't going ever know the mum's name. She's dead and obviously that's a character point for AJ but that's the tip of the ice burg here and it's not the focus of the story, just a sign that she's reaching out to someone and opening up. It's what you might call an ensemble cast with a core cast of six and just getting their stories into the space I need is a challenge already.
     
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  4. ToDandy
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    If the mother was in her 30 when she died in 2005, most of her music she listed to and would have had youthful, lifelong ties to would be the 80's (in her teens) and 90's (in her 20's- college years). Unfortunately those are HUGE differences in musical styles.

    You have to decide which era of music her mother would have been more attached to. I suppose if it is her favorite song it would be something she'd been attached to longer.

    Fast Car- Tracy Chapman (1988)

    This would fit in that timeline. Slower song with faster parts that has been covered by a variety of different vocal ranges over the years. Also Tracy Chapman isn't completely off the board.

    Or you could go less conventional and have your character do a cover of a male song. In which case Jackson Browne is a great artist to pick from as he's late 1970's and early 80's. Most of his songs actually deal with loss and are based on the death of his wife. Plus female singers have covered him before.

    For a Dancer- Jackson Browne (1980)

    That one being the obvious one to come to mind.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  5. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Well my mother loves The Beatles, plenty of options. Perhaps too many. Pick something off the White Album.:p
     
  6. james82
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    how about this... this is one of my mom's favorite songs after all.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  7. Shbooblie
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    The mother would have been in her early 20s when 'Tonight, Tonight' by Smashing Pumpkins came out (1995), the lyrics of that song are really nice, not sure if it's a bit too 'alt-y' for what you are needing though :superthink:
     

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