Monday, May 11, 2015

Song Prose

Just rediscovered the song prose from the Harold & The Purple Crayon Soundtrack of Harold's Walk on the Wild Side by Van Dyke Parks. These songs are full of popular idioms and relate so well to the visual narrative, and don't sound like anything I've heard before. Van Dyke Parks has really remade the ubiquitous formulaic children's songs (so tired of endless chanting repetition and banal lyrics) into proses of playful rhythmic language that adults can appreciate.  Here's a snippet from the opening scenes:
You stand at attention like ladies and gents
when I mention my name at the door
And I hope that you pardon me
--see by my card, I'm finding a world we can explore.
You're in the dream I have drawn,
You're like the wings for my song,
I get a lift with your gift to know right from the wrong,
Really strong!
Our imagination will find this occasion to go where you know we belong...
I appreciate how he makes the sigh at the end into an onomatopoetic phrase of happiness.  These 10 lines are reminiscent of haiku and poetically haunting.  The meanings embedded are highly intertwined with the story context-- Harold explores new stories by drawing them out, and usually there is an imaginative dilemma where he finds a solution.  The fictional scenes are artistically demonstrated as the story plays out, and again, the double meaning of the words as reflected on the storyline are visually acted out (e.g. Harold drew up a chair to eat.)

Very meta. Very cool.