When I was little, I naturally wanted to do everything my big sister did. When I started getting into music, I loved listening to a lot fo the things she listened to. Back in those days, most of the music in our house was on cassette tape.
One thing my sister had done that intrigued me was that she had written the lyrics down (I suppose it’s because she sometimes had copies of full albums dubbed from the original). So, I am pretty sure to this day, I know all the lyrics to every song on Madonna’s True Blue.
The first tape I tried to transcribe was Hangin’ Tough (to save me the embarrassment, I’ve purposely omitted the artists’ names). The tape didn’t come with a lyric booklet, and I so desperately wanted to sing along with the songs. I was not a fast writer than and am poor at doing anything shorthand, so I would stop the tape after nearly every sentence.
On pre-recorded tapes, I learned, stopping them in the middle produced a “gap” or some disruption in the music. Oopsie. To this day, when I hear some of those songs on the radio (who am I kidding — I have the album on iTunes now), I still hear the gap in certain songs as if it comes naturally.
It wasn’t until later that I discovered the “pause” button, which didn’t seem to damage the tape at all. When I asked my sister how she went about writing the lyrics, she told me that she listened the whole way through. *Sigh* If only I had known these things before.
Lesson Learned: If you listen to a song a few hundred times, there’s no point in writing the lyrics down; if you’ve got the “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh” down, you’re good to go.