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Old 09-17-2015, 03:10 AM
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Default The trouble with quoting lyrics

So, I know that quoting lyrics can end up presenting a problem when the song becomes outdated. But if the lyrics really fit the situation, is it still acceptable? Is there any way to pull it off without making your story eventually seem dated?
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

Of course it's okay! Just say it's 'an old song' or something like that. [And be sure to cite the source at the end, of course]
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

You can quote them but you absolutely HAVE to provide all of the copyright information for the song, otherwise I won't allow it to go through... sorry but them's the rules.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

(and I mean copyright, not just who sang the song.... sometimes it's different...)
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

Yeah, I read all the rules and copyright information, I just wasn't sure how it would effect my story when it got older. It seems weird saying "old song" now, as it's really not that old. But I know it, like all of us, won't stay young lol.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

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Originally Posted by joesthebestest View Post
Yeah, I read all the rules and copyright information, I just wasn't sure how it would effect my story when it got older. It seems weird saying "old song" now, as it's really not that old. But I know it, like all of us, won't stay young lol.
Call it something other than 'old song', then. Say "a song he/she remembered" or something like that. Avoid the issue altogether!
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

Some songs seem to last forever though, whether they were put out last week or whether they were put out in the 50s.
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

The song "Old Time Rock and Roll" is now older than actual old time rock and roll was at the time it was written.

I don't listen to music in general, so any reference to any song would be lost on me. But I did catch the "Goodnight, Irene" reference in the title to Sometimes a Great Notion, and "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life" in Young Frankenstein. I recognized "Peg O' My Heart" when they played it on an episode of The Odd Couple. There was the "Little Brown Jug" reference in Max Shulman's Barefoot Boy with Cheek.

Are there any current lyrics that most readers could recognize? Or would it matter if they recognized the lyrics or not?
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

Another fun fact: a recent study showed that more young people listen to "classic rock" radio stations than they do to pop-40/hit radio.

In print/stories/books, I really don't think anyone pays attention to those lyrics, especially if the writer quotes whole chunks of the song. Without the music & singing that goes with it, it's just bad poetry, unless the writer is either really really really good at describing the music or is using bits of lyrics to establish the scene in general. (Case in point, for those who've read Harry Potter: the hysterical "Cauldron Full of Hot Strong Love" scene at the Weasleys...because we've all had those relatives that insist on listening to really AWFUL music.)
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Old 11-23-2015, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: The trouble with quoting lyrics

It's not really going to matter if the reader knows/is familiar with the song or lyrics, it's more just that the lyrics match the particular story and help set the mood. Also, it's not going to be like a whole chunk of song. Just one or two lines.
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