HS analysis It is said that a hit cannot be predicted, but the claim is not quite true: The musicians told me what unites their biggest hits

The Finnish hit song often remembers lost love, but it is also remembered in many songs that have remained unknown. One common feature, however, is that many of the most successful songs combine.

What makes a hit song?

The question is old, difficult and always just as interesting.

I started thinking about it myself A millennium song when making a series. The series published in Helsingin Sanomat in the summer looked for the best Finnish lyrics of the 21st century. After nearly 65,000 votes cast, the winner emerged Toni Wirtasen said Lights at the edges of darkness.

In a tight vote, he came in second Mariskan said Master drawing, followed by Otto Grundström For a moment the road is light, Terhi Kokkonen Do I still play banjo?, Wirtanen ‘s second song Grace mixed J. Karjalainen Gone man.

In different parts of the article series, the lyricists told the birth story of the song.

Suddenly viewed, the paragraphs have more distinguishing than unifying factors. The set includes both small snapshots and flamboyant ballads. In some songs the chorus is born first, in others the last. In part the lyricist had also made the composition, in part not.

Some pieces are born under high pressure, others in an exceptionally unpressurized state. Most of the songs are made for themselves, but the pair is custom-made for a colleague.

Some have become hits immediately after release, some only years later.

Even common things can be found in the songs. In most, the title of the song is repeated in a catchy chorus, where it is left to writh in the listener’s ears.

The personality of the topic is also common. One of the driving forces behind Mariska’s song was her fascination with a “hairy man,” Wirtane’s text was sparkled by her own child’s impending birth. The Karelian’s imagination was fueled by the things he found in his childhood room, and the encounter with an acquaintance who had divorced in Kokkonen brought to the surface the feelings that had once evoked his separation. Grundström recalled several of his past relationships as he made the text.

For the listener, this may be conveyed as a kind of experience of authenticity: the songwriter’s private history becomes common as he or she listens, and elicits the strong emotional reaction required by the hit song.

Yet the ultimate essence of the hit remains a mystery.

Maybe you should look into it a little more.

Dig highlighted in the summer Big words: Stories from behind your favorite songs book. There Janita Virtanen has analyzed the selected texts together with the lyricist. Only one of the songs, For a moment the road is light, is the same as in the HS vote. The book’s selection of lyrics is also more male-dominated in our summer series: only one of the book’s 21 lyricists is a woman: Kid brotherlyrics Sari Peltoniemi.

In this work, too, the history of Finnish music is interpreted as explained by male geniuses.

Book as you read, the understanding of what determines the hit songs becomes stronger. The majority of the songs are written in I-format. The duration is usually less than four minutes. The theme is often a gone relationship and its nostalgic recollection.

As well as childhood. The songs fly over the years, grow hair at the age of twelve, and rewind for years when madness was weighed. They long, long and try to forget. The prevailing feeling is melancholic.

The words used are large and emotional. Such as sigh, life, death, God, memories, birth, love, pain, pity, child, soul, world, heart, wind, wedding, angel, Morning, eternity, courage, fear, grace, emptiness, moment, shadow, youth, dream, humanity, heaven and last.

On the other hand, pomp is often associated with the mundane. Expressions with great emotions meet words such as sugar beet, Fillari, swans, supermarket, firstborn, beer basket, guy, snow plow. drying cabinet, liter and groin.

So grief on the radio plays the squeaky Tongue and across the sky for days as a crowd of crows drags.

However, it is difficult to give any universal instructions for compiling a hit lyrics.

Predominant a common feature in the songs seems to be found elsewhere, from the moment the song begins to take shape.

Even several of the artists I interviewed described how at the most important stage of singing, the text began as writing itself. According to J. Karjalainen Gone man was born “pretty much multiplied,” and Toni Wirtane even felt like the song was inside him waiting to be completed.

“I believe that if a text is created quickly, then it says that something has had to be said. Anyway, I believe in intuitive and free lyrics. Sometimes it is necessary to do pliers, but often they seem to be missing something, ”Wirtanen said in an interview.

Also According to the lyricists narrated by Janita Virtanen in her book, the hit songs they make are born as flashes rather than the result of a long process of creation. For example Anssi Kela says he listened in the book Bruce Springsteen My Hometownia, and realized that he wants to write something similar.

After this Nummela was born as if it had been given to a songwriter from something.

“I got up, went to my desk and started writing,” Kela recalls in the book. “The text came from that sitting. It felt like I was just following the movement of the pen and the formation of the text – it was like typing. ”

Little the artists ’story of the song’s origins is questionable. The text flowing around effortlessly on paper sounds like reviving the artist myth. In it, the artist produces, under the influence of inspiration, something that flows to him from the outside and is sometimes even divine.

It’s as if some force has moved his hand.

On the other hand, the narrator’s account of the creation of his own song is probably needless to doubt. Especially when the same type of experience seems to be shared by a large proportion of those interviewed for the book.

Other the lyricists describe the process less solemnly than Kela. Ilkka Alanko says he “splashed” Juppi hippie punk completed at a “terrible pace”. Jussi Hakulinen again says he wrote Love is as white as snow in five minutes.

For many lyricists, it is important to complete the first line of the song. Wirtanen’s song began to emerge when he came up with the opening phrase: “Don’t believe in songs,” and for J. Karjalainen, the line “I am a mystical silver discomies” opened the way to something interesting.

Kauko Röyhkän LauraThe story of the song, in turn, was defined by the words, “If I don’t now, I won’t go at all”. Mamban Tero Vaara essential was the phrase, “What of one broken heart,” after which the song, according to Vaara, was born almost instinctively.

Common hits also seem to have visuals, which many factors also see as a viable means of a rapid creative process. Heikki Salo watched November as he writes from the window of his student home to a crowd of crows flying towards the landfill. Pate Mustajärvi saw Long hot summer rusting in his mind the coastal road, the dude, and the motorcycle, after which the text quickly took shape.

Even more concretely, real life turned into language images Samuli Putron also in the rapidly born Yard without sprinkler in the section. The songwriter lived in a commune inhabited by four families at the time, and the work on the house was evenly distributed.

However, the lawn watering agreed from Putro was not implemented during the hot summer. As a result, the entire lawn had burned to the ground by the time the song was born and scorched light brown in the yard.

“The writing progressed quickly, as the entire catalog of the lyrics was concretely visible to me,” Putro says.

“Combining an empty well and a burnt lawn with the idea of ​​the self-person in the song that an existing other person wouldn’t even want to be with him wasn’t a very difficult equation.”

“Burnt and torn land, that’s what I am if I don’t get it,” the song sings.

Fast completion does not reduce the value of the piece. And while artists sometimes get tired of performing their biggest hits at gigs, most interviewees seem to consider them their most significant lyrics.

For example, Wirtanen likes Lights at the edges of darkness as a performance that you may never reach again.

“It’s the culmination of my lyrics, and I think I’m not going to do the same anymore. I couldn’t have written it at any other time in my life. I was so bare and honest in doing so, ”he said in an interview with the Millennium Songs series.

Big words in the book Juha Lehti recalls Sir Elwood’s quiet colors On the last beach hits equally grateful. The song, which has arisen from the songwriter’s own childhood fears, deals with the post-nuclear war world from the perspective of an infant.

“I realize I’ve done something that isn’t taken for granted, and the coolest part about it is that it just came out of me. I think there was something therapeutic about it: I got written out of that little distress’s distress. No ten-year-old should be afraid that way, but maybe those cries of mine had some bigger purpose anyway. Twenty years later, I got to write a song that has touched other people as well. It feels really good. ”

Another Anssi Kela, who has apparently heard the story from his fans, tells about the personal song becoming a common property of the listeners.

In 2001– pretty soon Nummelan after the release – a middle-aged woman had gone to the cottage with her mother and her ten-year-old son. They had agreed that everyone would take one record with them and then listen to them alternately at the cottage.

When the bags were unloaded, there were three involved Nummelaa.



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