How to write the world's worst song in just two weeks!

How to write the world's worst song in just two weeks!


Ok I signed up for this songwriting cohort with led by these youtubers I quite like (in case you think any of the below is on them, it's not!)

4 Prompts in 8 weeks, which as some of you may know is about 8 times slower than I usually work, 3 days being a comfortable pace, 1 week being WAY too long, and 1 day being an often generative goal.

So PROMPT 1 was come up with a WRITABLE IDEA, which according to the prompt is THUS: A concept + a title + a song map.

And I NEVER make songs this way. I told my friend Timothy today that my method was:

Improv + outline  + improv + get squashed by limitations + squirrel my way to a solution. 

I quite like that method!

I hate ideas! :)

But I like to play the good student, so I went with it...


My "writable idea" was: A song by an astronaut to their lover on Earth, called BONEY LANDMARKS and the songmap, was .. well, ambiguous...

I thought it would be good it if it went from micro to macro, from personal feelings to world-sized things (since that's the kind of perspective you might get up there in space.)

(Also I love the "astronaut song", Space Oddity being the main one, Major Tom being a nice follow-up, with that great countdown, Rocketman, of course... tell me others in the comments!)

So from there I was already desperate for some ideas that weren't mine, so I drew some cards (I love cards.)

I pulled these:

An outline emerged, kind of in keeping with my first idea: From HEART to CLOUDS to ORDER. 

I took order to mean DISORDER, and took the CLOUDS to mean BATTLE and so my song map became basically:

Lonely feelings up above -->  Battle on earth down below --->  Out of touch, stranded.

I was taking inspiration from the lovely, far less grand sequel to 2001, 2010 where the USA and Russian astronauts are in space while their nations are at war. And my own THE SANDS, the less said about that the better.

But wait, WHY BONEY LANDMARKS do you say?


Except it's a phrase my pal Sidney say when talking about figure drawing and I thought it could relate to the body, to the figure, to bones, to landmarks, etc. I thought it would work.



If the assignment was "take this puppy and keep it under your bed and torture it daily" it would have been a more appropriate prompt. That's what it felt like forcing this thing out!

Here are some scribbles of me trying to get this thing squeezed out. 

TWO more things. It was strongly encouraged we do a smart songwriting thing, which is know what KEY we are writing in. And do play with the home and "away" chords. 

Of course I would normally bristle at this, being the naive brut I am, but being that "home" and "away" related decently to a song about being stranded in space. So I went with it. My key (and home chord) was F#.

For a few days working with the chords I knew I was ALLOWED TO USE, I was walking down the street and ran into my musician friend Willy --this is TRUE-- and I told Willy about my project, and my KEY and they said, "oh that's a nice bright key, good for a space song." 

I thought I had chosen a GLUM KEY, that's what I wanted (Glum because it uses all the black keys? I dunno, who knows!) But anyway, I stuck with it.

AND... for some reason, I then decided to strangle the hell out of any rhymes that came my way. 

For instance, this page has all the words that rhyme with CIRCUMLOCUTIONS!!!!!

So, I should say also that I chose something emotionally distant (astronaut song) on purpose, I knew spending two weeks working on the "craft" of something I cared deeply about wouldn't work. So this thing, this poor mutt under the bed, I could torture until there was nothing left of it.

So Boney became a song sung to "Tony" which rhymed with lonely, only, and in one stretched metaphor I like, "Sony."

Additionally, I LIKE circumlocutions! The countdown in that section was inspired by Major Tom, and "Resolutions" and "revolutions" both were meant to signify war, or UN resolutions etc. Oh you didn't ALSO KNOW THIS WAS A PROTEST SONG?! 

OK, anyway, here we go here is the GD song in all it's glory.

Oh, yeah I THINK it is still in F#.

And there's nothing left of any puppy whatsoever.

Here's the link, I'll try to embed

OK UPDATE on FEB 11 2024

I was so pent up after that 2 weeks I wrote two songs in two days!

Here they are, with notes:





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