What’s in a Name?

Flying Pig
As the votes continue rolling in for the tune writing contest, something has been on my mind. Before I get to my question, let me remind you that all votes must be in by 5pm EST, Friday, January 11th. So, if you haven’t voted yet, now is your chance.

With that out of the way, here is what I’ve been wondering: What impact does a name or a title have on your decision making process?

Let me lead in with an example. My boss recently told me that she is planning on running the Flying Pig Marathon. Why this particular marathon? Because of the name. She is willing to run 26 miles and 385 yards, in this particular marathon, because of the name. Now, I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t even drive my car 26 miles because of the name, but I digress.

Here is what I want to know. Are you more likely to learn a tune because of the name? We could even run a little side contest…ooh, good idea, let’s run a side contest. This contest, actually it is more of a survey, is much simpler than the first. Of the twenty tunes submitted to the contest, is there one or two where the names are really compelling? Which name do you like the most and why? Instead of emailing me, simply leave a comment to this post with your favorite names so everyone can see.

My votes goes to The Festering Fish, because of the disgusting alliteration, and The Feast of the Geese Eaters because of the intrigue and the imagery that it conjures up.

8 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Chris

    I like the title “Two Pints Past Dizzy”. It’s very picturesque. It’s kinda reminiscent of how you might describe someone whose “Elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top” or is “Not the sharpest knife in the drawer”.
    An additional comment — as a writer, there have been a couple of tunes which have been inspired simply by an idea for a title, the prosody of which has implied a melody and/or rhythm. For example, “Fanciful Simmering Radishes” would be a great Slip jig …

  2. Chris L.

    Titles are funny…sometimes titles draw you in with the allure that the music attached to them will sound one way or another. Sometimes titles help to set the mood of how a piece came into being. Sometimes they have nothing to do with the music at all…they are simply there. Titles that stand alone are often less confusing than titles that require explanation…but I’ve used both kinds in my own writing! Oh well…as long as we keep writing!

  3. Chris L.

    By the way…”Field Castle” is the English translation of “Feldschlossen,” a very yummy Swiss beer!

  4. Mary P

    My favorites titles were also Festering Fish and Feast of the Geese Eaters,
    possibly because they suggest an interesting story or image. I am also
    intriqued by songs with titles such as “The Insult” – I listened to it a few
    times trying to figure out what the insult was, but I may never know if my if my guess is correct!
    An interesting title may draw me to a song, but I have no interest in learning it (or even listening to it again) unless the music is good. I bet we’ve all been disapointed once or twice by a song with a great title which turned out to be completely uninteresting.

  5. bacon

    Your last point is interesting. I have occasionally sat on a newly written tune that I thought were really good until I could come up with an intriguing title. Vice versa, I like to keep a list of tune title ideas even if I don’t have a tune to put them to. I will only use the best titles on the tunes that I write that I think are the best tunes. In other words, I don’t want the consumer to be intrigued by the title, only to be let down by the music.

  6. Sally

    Haha, to me, “Two Pints Past Dizzy” is two pints past when I should have stopped drinking! “Festering Fish” is great, for the reasons already stated. “Geese Eaters” is fun because of it’s insider’s connection to the swiss musicians… at least that’s the reference I’m familiar with. “Miss Potter’s Jig” I like for it’s sentimental feel. “Touch Your Toes” had me expecting a work out, and sure enough, it seems to be… though I’m not a fifer so I can’t say for sure. “Devitt’s” is great to see in a traditional fife & drum tune name because of it’s reference to the grand poopaa of musters.

    It was painful enough trying to choose just one tune to cast that vote. I’m not even going to try, here.

  7. Jim

    Choosing a title for a song is usually the hardest part for me. I usually just choose something from history, such as a battle, or person, and turn that into a title. I should probably start keeping a notebook of good titles . . .

    Two titles here that I like most are Night Creatures, and The Feast of the Geese Eaters. Night Creatures sounds mysterious, and I was very intrigued by what the music would sound like. Geese Eaters was interesting because I had no idea what it meant at first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *