“Lullaby For The Lonely” – Marty Willson Piper. Sad themes, yet gracefully poised delivery, so: What Gives? A Meanspeed Music Theory analysis of the reason why the sad singer really does not sound as empathetic. Marty tries so hard to soothe that it makes one feel *more* lonely – Explanation within. NPR Song Of The Day, Available LEGAL and FREE as the Song of The Day, 4/6/9.

The problem I have with the NPR review is the assertion that the song “creates a feeling.” Maybe for the author, maybe the performers are expressing a feeling. So said, you cannot MAKE someone feel anything. In fact, because the speed did not match the song to me, or just because I did not find Marty to be the greatest performer ever to record a loneliness lullaby, or no reason at all, I was left not with a calm, peaceful feeling. I agree, as meanspeed music theory predicts, that the song expresses peace – but these types of songs are not those that MAKE me feel this way.

“I hate happy songs. Happy songs depress me.”  – Sting, The Today® Show, c. 1988

Lullaby For The Lonely - Meanspeed Music Speed Graph

lullaby-for-the-lonely-marty-wilson-piper-meanspeed-music-tempo-graph-speed-of-grace-itunes-screenshot

Album Promotonal Shot

Meanspeed-Braeden Tempo Summary

composer, performer= Marty Willson-Piper

album=Nightjar

song title=Lullaby For The Lonely

public song source=National Public Radio

public file source=digital stream

song source used in measurement=Apple®’s iTunes®

file type=Purchased AAC audio file

file size=8.1 MB

Bit Rate=256 kbps

Sample Rate=44.100 kHz

Intellectual Property Rights=©2009 Second Motion

Profile=Low Complexity

digital tranfser type=.m4a

time signature=4/4, common time

beat value=quarter note

trials measured=9

beats measured=628

average whole note/measure=3.383 seconds

mean quarter note/beat=0.8457 seconds

mean speed/average measured tempo=70.9 beats per minute

song legally available, without cost=National Public Radio

Legal lyrics, tempo provided=[none]

mean emotion as would be predicted by the meanspeed conjecture=grace/serenity/poise/ease

This song is currently available on NPR.com in the SONG OF THE DAY section.

This song is what some call: “any pain is bearable as long as it is not yours.”

lullaby-for-the-lonely-marty-wilson-piper-meanspeed-music-tempo-graph-speed-of-grace-legal-lyrics-provided-by-itunesc2ae

This song, like Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” at the tempo of 70 beats per minute are about terrible, horrible bad days.  Yours, not their’s.  This explains why the song’s Hey Jude almost-like “nah-nah-nah-nahnahnahnah-nahnahnahnah-be lonely-tooooooooooo” chorus doe not make logical sense.

Jack Wagner and Susan Flannery

Here is a man with a perfect backing band with violin, female backing vocal, ooh’s, aaaaah’s, the production as slick as one of those commercials that tries to make itself appear an old classic through anachronistic photo-effects that make that which was videoed 5 minutes ago appear as though filmed on 16 mm film in 1965.  Thing is, as Gladwell points out in his first chapter in Blink about the phony statue, the gruffness, natural-itude and the emotion of the song does not sound real.  Especially with the silent breaks and the slightly unaffectedly-slick yet robotically played 32nd note drum-fills during the, again, slick yet robotic softàloudàvery softàmedium loud production.

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I read NPR’s “official” article on the song of the day .  To me, it was outdated, while not wrong, a piece that my 12 year old son could have written:

Marty Willson-Piper: A ‘Lullaby’ For Grown-Ups

By Barbara Mitchell

‘Lullaby for the Lonely’ by Marty Willson-Piper

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courtesy of the artist

Marty Willson-Piper’s “Lullaby for the Lonely” is a warm and intimate song from one of the underrated veterans behind The Church.

Monday’s Pick

  • Song: “Lullaby for the Lonely”
  • Artist: Marty Willson-Piper
  • CD: Nightjar
  • Genre: Pop-Rock

NPR.org, April 6, 2009 – Misery may love company, but it loves comfort, too. “Lullaby for the Lonely” is that kind of gesture — a thoughtful, soothing song for anyone who’s ever felt overwhelmed, delivered in the comfortingly familiar voice of The Church’s Marty Willson-Piper. Assisted by gentle orchestration and tender backing vocals, Willson-Piper has crafted a reassuring lullaby for grown-ups.

For all the defeat that pervades the song, from the scenarios Willson-Piper lays out in the verses to the titular refrain in the chorus, “Lullaby for the Lonely” creates a beautiful, peaceful feeling. By the time the track builds to its apex — as Willson-Piper repeatedly asks, “Can’t you feel yourself falling apart?” — the effect is strangely curative. A warm and intimate gesture from an underrated veteran, “Lullaby for the Lonely” shrewdly documents loneliness, even as it’s washing it away.

The problem I have with the NPR review is the assertion that the song “creates a feeling.”  Maybe for the author, maybe the performers are expressing a feeling.  So said, you cannot MAKE someone feel anything.  In fact, because the speed did not match the song to me, or just because I did not  find Marty to be the greatest performer ever to record a loneliness lullaby, or no reason at all, I was left not with a calm, peaceful feeling.  I agree, as meanspeed music theory predicts, that the song expresses peace – but these types of songs are  not those that MAKE me feel this way.

Album Promotonal Shot

/Ian Andrew Schneider/
April 6, 2009
Meanspeed® Music Company
 
lullaby-for-the-lonely-marty-wilson-piper-meanspeed-music-tempo-graph-speed-of-grace-itunes-screenshot-featuring-bpm

Author: Schneider

Recovering from 5 brain operations, savage subarachnoid aneurysm. Member of New York bar, May 1991-peresent. "Nothing can stop the man with right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude" - THOMAS JEFFERSON