PDA

View Full Version : **Sing--sing a song**



tenpenynail
01-15-2007, 09:58 PM
In one chapter my character sings the refrain of an old song, "Rock in the treetops all night long. Rockin' and a bobbin' and a singing this song..."

Do I need to get permission from artist or record label?

Thanks All Wise Ones Who Answer;)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-15-2007, 09:59 PM
You betcha. They're nasty about stuff like that. :)

aka eraser
01-15-2007, 10:18 PM
Just backing up OFG's answer. You do indeed need permission.

Great song btw, especially the original by Bobby Day. :)

Kate Thornton
01-15-2007, 10:34 PM
Ah, Bobby Day, 1958 - Rockin' Robin - one of the greats!

alleycat
01-15-2007, 10:39 PM
I see this sort of question a lot. Remember, a lot of people will have never heard of the song anyway, why not just write a few lyrics of your own (it's not like you're going to include a chord sheet anyway).

Say, if you need a perky little song like Rockin' Robin, hum the melody and come with your own words. For something like that, I might do . . .

Shoutin’ from the rooftop, makin’ his plead
He sings out his love, as strong as can be
Shoutin' from the rooftop, makin' his plead
He's the craziest dude, you ever did see

You can see now why I'm not a big time Nashville songwriter, but you get the idea.

Carrie in PA
01-15-2007, 11:03 PM
**Sing--sing a song**

Thanks a lot. Now I've got a Sesame Street medley going on in my head. And now I hope the rest of you will, too. :D :D :D

[Now what starts with the letter C?
Cookie starts with C
Let's think of other things
That starts with C
Oh, who cares about the other things?]

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me
Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me
Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C

[Hey you know what?
A round cookie with one bite out of it
Looks like a C
A round donut with one bite out of it
Also looks like a C
But it is not as good as a cookie
Oh and the moon sometimes looks like a C
But you can't eat that, so ... ]

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me, yeah!
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me
Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C, yeah!
Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C, oh boy!
Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!

*****

Oh, I love trash!
Anything dirty or dingy or dusty
Anything ragged or rotten or rusty
Yes, I love trash

I have here a sneaker that's tattered and worn
It's all full of holes and the laces are torn
A gift from my mother the day I was born
I love it because it's trash

Oh, I love trash!
Anything dirty or dingy or dusty
Anything ragged or rotten or rusty
Yes, I love trash

I have here some newspaper thirteen months old
I wrapped fish inside it; it's smelly and cold
But I wouldn't trade it for a big pot o' gold!
I love it because it's trash

Oh, I love trash!
Anything dirty or dingy or dusty
Anything ragged or rotten or rusty
Yes, I love trash

I've a clock that won't work
And an old telephone
A broken umbrella, a rusty trombone
And I am delighted to call them my own!
I love them because they're trash

Oh, I love trash!
Anything dirty or dingy or dusty
Anything ragged or rotten or rusty
Yes, I love, I love, I love trash!

***

It's not that easy bein' green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that

It's not easy bein' green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky

But green's the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean
Or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder, why wonder?
I am green and it'll do fine
It's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be

***

Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
Say, who are the people in your neighborhood?
The people that you meet each day

Oh, the postman always brings the mail
Through rain or snow or sleet or hail
I'll work and work the whole day through
To get your letters safe to you

'Cause a postman is a person in your neighborhood
In your neighborhood
He's in your neighborhood
A postman is a person in your neighborhood
A person that you meet each day

Oh, a fireman is brave it's said
His engine is a shiny red
If there's a fire anywhere about
Well, I'll be sure to put it out

'Cause a fireman is a person in your neighborhood
In your neighborhood
He's in your neighborhood

Anything Muppet #1:
And a postman is a person in your neighborhood

All:
Well, they're the people that you meet
When you're walking down the street
They're the people that you meet each day

alleycat
01-15-2007, 11:08 PM
Wow, that's the longest thread hijacking I've ever seen.

Can we build it?
Yes, we can!

tenpenynail
01-16-2007, 01:05 AM
AlleyCat---that's a great idea...and much less complicated than tracking down who owns the song now. [You'd think they'd like the advertising!]

DingDangNabIt---that's what I'm gonna do!


Chock on the blackboard! All the answers wrong!
Erasing and effacing--while working along!





Thanks

Sage
01-16-2007, 03:09 AM
I'm probably wrong, but I thought in an earlier thread, the concensus was that you could get away with a line from a song, but more than that & you'd be pushing it.

I know, you can get away with mentioning the song. "MC sang the first line to 'Rockin' Robin' to herself." What about when a character is purposefully singing the wrong lyrics. "'D is for doggy, & that's good enough for me,' MC sang," or "'Shoutin’ from the rooftop, makin’ his plea, he sings out his love, as strong as can be,' MC sang to the tune of 'Rockin' Robin.'"?

tenpenynail
01-16-2007, 04:12 AM
Yeah, I think I'll just change the lyrics...to be safe.

Oh, I thought of ANOTHER question...

Can I mention an artist and his hit song without getting permission? Such as Sam Cooke's Chain Gang?

Sage
01-16-2007, 04:27 AM
Found that thread, & I was wrong about that one line thing.

Too bad. I have a character named Penny Lane, & thought it was natural as could be that she be accosted by a waiter needing to sing the Beatles' song to her. Comes out much better in showing than telling, but I'll see what I can do.

Still wondering about the purposefully misquoted lyrics though. (I have a character who really did sing, "D is for Death & that's good enough for me," & another who completely changes the lyrics to a song, but I mention that it's to the tune of the song I had in mind.)

Maryn
01-16-2007, 05:38 PM
You can name the title (not copyright-able) and artist, just not the lyrics.

From what I remember from a long-ago seminar, misquoting song lyric can get you into as much trouble as getting it right, if the song is still identifiable. (For libel, you don't have to name names, for instance, just sufficiently identify.)

You'll do better with movie lines, which are 1) often as well as or better known than song lyrics, 2) less zealously protected by a huge margin, with entire screenplays online unchallenged by the copyright holder, and 3) a far less substantial portion of the whole.

You do know that Penny Lane was a major character in a hit movie only a few years ago, right?

Maryn, who owns the movie

Sage
01-19-2007, 03:17 AM
You do know that Penny Lane was a major character in a hit movie only a few years ago, right? No, but that's cool. She's a minor character in my novel (best friend of my MC), & it's a joke that her sisters are named Jude & Eleanor Rigby Lane by their Beatles-loving parents (who happened to have the last name Lane). I just have the waiter making a joke to her about how she's enjoying her day "under the blue suburban skies" now. I wrote lyrics of my own (w/ no tune to match) for one misquoted lyrics.

But I really really want to keep "D is for Death & that's good enough for me." It adds to the surrealness of the climax that the villain would use Sesame Street to emphasize a point (it actually is a plot point dealing with the letter D & death). I might keep it in because it is so late in the novel that if the agent has read that far, she/he probably won't reject it for that reason. Maybe tell me to change it (& if so, I will), but I can't see that if they've read & liked what came before, they'd find this one thing to reject it over.

ETA: Apparently, all royalties for Beatles' songs go to Michael Jackson. One of my beta readers told me that. That is the craziest thing I've ever heard.

JeanneTGC
01-19-2007, 03:31 AM
ETA: Apparently, all royalties for Beatles' songs go to Michael Jackson. One of my beta readers told me that. That is the craziest thing I've ever heard.
Not crazy, probably the smartest business move Michael Jackson ever made. He used his friendship with Paul McCartney to find out when the entire Beatles catalog was coming into (I believe) Public Domain (or whatever legal thing it was -- Jaws would know, but I am not Jaws :D ) and bought the rights before McCartney could. Pretty much RIGHT before McCartney was going to -- sort of like buying concert tickets first via Ticketmaster, but with a far better payoff.

Brilliant business move. Reprehensible personal move. Needless to say, McCartney has not spoken to Jackson since.

Poor Ringo, on the other hand, never had a shot anyway.

ChaosTitan
01-19-2007, 03:54 AM
But I really really want to keep "D is for Death & that's good enough for me." It adds to the surrealness of the climax that the villain would use Sesame Street to emphasize a point (it actually is a plot point dealing with the letter D & death). I might keep it in because it is so late in the novel that if the agent has read that far, she/he probably won't reject it for that reason. Maybe tell me to change it (& if so, I will), but I can't see that if they've read & liked what came before, they'd find this one thing to reject it over.

They won't reject a manuscript for revised lyrics, anymore than they'd reject it for using the actual lyrics (the latter just labels you a clueless newbie). I'm sure if it passes the agent, then the publisher will eventually chime in, and either ask you to change it or find out what permissions they need.