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The Songwriter's Idea Book by Sheila Davis

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STRATEGY TWENTY - TWOThe Third-Person Vignette as Framing Device

The Vignette: The Situational Plot

The majority of pop songs feature attitudinal plots in either first person (“I Still Get Jealous”) or in second person with the singer making a complaint or request (“Why Don't You Do Right?” or “Let's Fall in Love”). A less common and thus more interesting song is a situational plot set in third-person viewpoint. It's not quite a full-blown story song, but more of an intimate character sketch–a vignette.

Broadening the Plot Base

Tom T. Hall, writer of “Harper Valley PTA” once remarked that “There aren't enough songs about enough subjects. Most songs seem to be written only for commercial success.” I second the emotion. Harry Chapin, the master ...

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