This is Love, This is Murder Finale: Day 10

For the Finale of the 2017 Valentine’s Day blog challenge the theme is Return to Sender. I have had a lot of fun with this challenge and I hope others have too! Also, check out Ellen’s latest post here.

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It’s a low down dirty shame
That I let you
Treat me like
Another one of your
Gold plated plaques
Collecting dust on your wall
of Fame

You chase guys like me around
Hoping to feed
Your ego
Praying to discover
Your worth
You want me to follow you around
Dreaming of you
Craving your affection
Wishing you were mine
But you never will be
Because I only cross your mind
When you walk down the hall
The sun shines
You’re all alone
And your wall of Fame/Shame
Pops

The deep crimson glow of
Shiny metal nailed on
Aging umber wood
The cracks, clear and bright
The scratches, deep and long
It all shows pure
And every single heart you’ve stolen
Every name cut into the busted metal
All your plaques
Shine
For you to glimpse at
When
You’re
All
Alone

It’s a low down dirty shame
That I let you
Treat me like
Another one of your
Gold plated plaques
Collecting dust on your wall
of Shame

But at least mine is on top.

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This is Love, This is Madness: Day 8

Today’s theme is Lost in You. I have written a short story for today’s post. I hope you all enjoy! Please like and comment! Also, catch up on Ellen’s latest posts here.

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His dark eyes always had a way of reading me. He could look at me and know exactly what I was feeling. I always thought it was funny how he looked at me and knew what I was thinking about something or someone. He said he loved every expression my face made when I talked or told him a story about my day.

That’s why I didn’t look in his eyes the last time I saw him, or he would have known that the end was near. It was hard pretending like nothing was wrong. I didn’t want to hurt him. I did not want him crying over me. I failed at that. But at least now he has someone else to blame.

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This is Love, This is Murder: Day 7

Today’s theme is adultery and a song that has always brought the idea of cheating and adultery to my mind is “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson. The song is one of my favorites. I love the instrumental, specifically the edgier feel of pop to it. The lyrics though, are somewhat of a different topic. The song is about a woman who is a fan of musicians (groupie as referred to by MJ), who is looking for sex, fame, and attention from him and his band. According to the lyrics she is willing to do anything to get him into her bed while searching for the fame his celebrity has to offer her.

I love music and I believe that every aspect of a song from the music itself to the sound, tempo, and weight of the lyrics themselves, are utilized to express deeper meanings of songs. For example, singing sweet and soft to a heavy synth instrumental can express venerability in heavy/serious situations. The way a song is performed is as much a testament to its meaning as the literal meaning of the lyrics.

With all that being said, I want to discuss Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” in comparison to “D.D” by The Weeknd. Back in 2011 The Weeknd released a cover of “Dirty Diana” with a darker, Rhythm & Blues sound to it. I love it as much if not more than the original and there are many reasons why but the main reason is that The Weeknd utilizes his voice to express a different side of the lyrics than Michael Jackson’s original version.

In MJ’s version of the song his approach to the lyrics is very outspoken and confident. When he is talking abut Diana he sings in a very strong head voice. He sings the verses very assure of what he is saying, which is very accusatory. He is calling Diana out on her intentions to seduce and sleep with him. The tone and range of his voice, to me, speak volumes about who he sees as the instigator/seducer (Diana) and who he considers to be the victim of the seduction (himself). Vocal tones, voice timber, voice intensity, range/register, and even the key a song is sung in all help in telling the story of the song.

The Weeknd’s version is extremely different when discussing the way he sings the song. First, his voice starts off very shaky and soft and it slowly builds weight and attitude; by the end of the first verse he is singing with a small growl/screech. In my opinion, he sings the first verse this way to distinguish his feelings for the lyrics and for Diana differently than Michael Jackson’s version. Instead of being assure of his feelings and of Diana’s “seductive powers” The Weeknd sings the verse this way to explore his own role in his potentially adulterous relationship with Diana; he shows nervousness with his shaky vocals to establish that even though he is accusing Diana, he knows deep inside that she is not at fault and that he is a grown man and responsible for his own actions. He even solidified this by singing the last word (hand) of the first verse in falsetto to represent the understanding he has as a musician blaming the “groupie.” Falsetto is a register that allows for vocals to be vulnerable as well as reveal desires or true feelings/faces in a situation.

The second and third verses are slightly different, they are both shaky but less confrontational than the ending of the first verse. Sometimes it is difficult to catch every syllable of every word in the second and third verses of the song. The last line of the second verse is “I’ll be your everything if you make me a star.” a quote from Diana. He starts off singing this line strong then ends it very soft and almost inaudible to represent that he knows he is using Diana even though she thinks she is using him to get fame. And he feels ashamed for knowingly doing this.

In the third verse, The Weeknd’s voice becomes very whinny and gives off a desperate feel. The lyrics in the third verse reveal that Diana is aware of the musician’s relationship and doesn’t care. MJ’s voice in the third verse is powerful which makes his lyrics sound accusatory, he sings the song this way to express his regret of getting involved with a groupie and for hurting his lover who is waiting for him at home. But he also sings the verse this way to establish that he was a victim of Diana and now that he sees that he just wants to be back with his baby and pretend like nothing happened. The Weeknd sings this verse with a whinny tone to express that he knows he has done wrong and he accepts that it is his own fault and not Diana’s, he still loves his baby and he regrets hurting her and he utilizes his voice to express that he is solely to blame. But this can also be interpreted as being a moment where The Weeknd is caught and decides to grovel in hopes of not losing his lover (the whining can be internal (he’s crying to himself) or external(he’s begging for his lover not to leave)).

When Michael Jackson sings the chorus: which is Dirty Diana repeatedly, he sings it with a powerful head voice. He sings it this way to express her power as a seductress and to place the blame on her for knowingly seducing a musician. When The Weeknd sings the chorus each one is different than the last. The first chorus is powerful and in a head voice filled with vibrato. He sings it this way to show two things, first that he is trying to put the blame on Diana for being a groupie and he adds the extra vibrato to show that he does not completely believe that she is to blame.

In the second chorus, The Weeknd sings in a warm chest voice with less vibrato than the first chorus and then on the second half of the second chorus he sings in a soft falsetto, ending the last “Dirty Diana” in a head voice belt before singing the last line, “let me be” in a sweet falsetto. He does this to establish that he is beginning to realize that Diana is not the problem but rather it is him for going out of his relationship again. The chorus changes so much in the second round because he is battling with his conscience and his ego, that wishes to cheat and not feel badly about it. He wants to use Diana and have no regrets and no apologies about it. This is important because the second chorus also introduces a background voice singing “ohs” as The Weeknd sings this chorus. The ohs act as inner voices/his conscience that he is fighting to ignore while his ego tries to blame Diana.

The final chorus changes it up completely; The Weeknd sings runs while the background “ohs” sing the chorus in a falsetto. This final chorus is meant to represent that The Weeknd has finally accepted his role in the affair and his ego has been beaten out by his conscience which feels guilty for hurting is lover and using Diana. He sings the runs/ad libs in head voice to express his remorse in using these two parties, and to show that he understands that Diana is a human with feelings and does not deserve to be treated as an object to be used by magicians on the road with no remorse.

The main reason I enjoy The Weeknd’s version so much is because he used his voice to tell a common story with nuance. Michael Jackson’s version is amazing and one of my favorites but his vocals made it clear that the lyrics were meant to be interpreted as is. The Weeknd used his voice to give an alternative meaning to the lyrics. This is why I love music; it can be interpreted and experienced in many different ways.

Check out the songs below and leave a comment on this post letting me know if you agree or disagree with any of my analysis. I always gladly welcome discussion!!!

 

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This is Love, This is Murder: Day 5

Today’s theme is Love will tear us apart. I have written a poetic tale of 16 lines, with  syllables per line. I hope you all enjoy this one! 🙂 Also, check out my friend, Ellen’s post here.

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Hexed by You

She was the most beautiful girl
in the land. Thick, golden brown hair
Brown eyes that could see through your soul
Full lips and brown skin. She was strong

Her heart belonged to only one
She was the most beautiful girl
And her love was the most handsome
Her soon to be husband, Prince Yaotl

She was a princess, chosen to
guide her people to true greatness
She was the most beautiful girl
Her power stretched across the world

Her destiny was clear to her
Her sacrifice was understood
For a girl in those times, no choice
She was the most beautiful girl

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This is Love, This is Murder: Day 4

For today’s theme of Lust for Love I have written a flash fiction story. I hope you enjoy. Please check out Ellen’s post here.zbz5kp7d9z8-patrick-tomasso

Her golden brown skin was beautiful and soft to the touch. The man couldn’t resist caressing her bare back as she lay on top of him. The gorgeous young woman smiled as he touched her and leaned in to kiss him. Her lips were soft and wild as they pressed hard against his. He quickly flipped her on her back.  The man admired the woman’s beautifully curvy body before he began licking. He licked every part of her chest and then his tongue found its way to her belly button where he spent a good five minutes before the young woman flipped him onto his back and ripped off his pants, then she slowly took off her skirt and bent over to kiss his lips. She moved down to his neck, then his chest where she circled his nipples with her tongue before moving to his belly button. The man moaned breathlessly as she kissed and licked then he finally flipped the young woman onto her back then got on top of her and pressed his moist lips against her soft lips. The woman could feel the man’s hardness as she lay underneath him; she wrapped her arms around him and opened her legs. They were still in their underwear.

“You are so beautiful,” The man whispered into her ear.

“Yeah I know,” She smiled as the man began kissing her neck.

“I bet she never touches you like this?” the man grinned.

“Don’t say that,” the woman said, pulling away from the man.

“Come on baby don’t be like that.” The man pleaded continuing to kiss her.

“I’m not your baby so get the fuck off me!” The woman exclaimed angrily.

“Just relax.” The man said, holding the woman down on the bed.

She kicked him in the groin and pushed him off of her.

“You peace of shit,” she said, gathering her clothes and heading to the door.

~~~

Diana slowly crept into the house. All the lights were out and the entire house was completely silent. She took off her heels and slowly stepped up the stairs. She didn’t want to wake anyone up. When she reached her bedroom she slipped out of her dress and quietly climbed into bed next to her lover Grace who did not wake. Diana did it again. She made it back before anyone even knew she was gone. She was a pro.

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Clouds: Poetry

To check out the drawing by my friend Chris that inspired this story click HERE.

A Tale of Storms and Shadows

II

Tei’Mele rushed past the thick trees, trying to get free
He did not look back, fearing it would be there
His brown skin covered in goosebumps, he could not see
The thick branch hanging ahead, knocking him square
He fell to the dirt, a loud howl, out of control
The monster, the beast that was searching for his soul

The beast growled in the darkness fear starting to form
Tei’Mele sat straight up, the wind knocked out of his lungs
Tei’Mele’s heart racing; his mind was in a storm
He struggled to ready himself, his courage flung
The monster with sharp teeth and pointy claws jumped out
Tei’Mele was so terrified, he let out a shout

The monster was ready to bite, hungry and mean
Tei’Mele could feel it’s deadly breath, evil and hot
It was the most frightening thing that he had seen
Escaping the monster filled Tei’Mele’s every thought
Tei’Mele waved his hands and the beast froze in the air
His eyes glazed purple and gray clouds began to flare

The monster roared, then disappeared
The gray clouds swarming far and near
Tei’Mele found power he never knew he had

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Poetry: Tanaga

I know we left things real rough
Letting you go was so tough
No matter where my heart beats
You can still come home to me

*Tanaga: a type of Filipino poem, consisting of four lines (2 couplets) with seven syllables each. Each couplet rhymes: 7-7-7-7 syllable scheme, AABB rhyme scheme.

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Photography & Poetry

Memories of the times we shared
Rush over me like sea foam
Hand in hand,
You and me against the world

A time when we had no care
All around the world we roamed
Hand in hand
You and me against the world

When things were simple and seemed fair
You always kept me close
Hand in hand
You and me against the world

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