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The Songwriter's Idea Book by Sheila Davis

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STRATEGY THIRTY-EIGHTThe Comedy Song as Plot Device

Charm Songs Vs. Comedy Songs

Many standards by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart and the brothers Gershwin come under the heading of charm song:“Let's Do It,” “Bewitched (Bothered and Bewildered),” “Let's Call the Whole Thing Off.” The playful tone, the clever rhymes, the semi-serious situation treated lightheartedly exude charm. You've read examples of the genre in several role-model lyrics–“Acapulco,” “In the Thick of Getting Thin” and “Hey, Mr. Murphy.” They made us smile–but not laugh. Writing a comedy song is a serious enterprise.

Some Theory on Humor and the Comedy Song

The essence of humor lies in exposing the maladjustment between people and their environment. Its essential ingredient is ...

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