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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Movie Lines in Song Lyrics?

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Phone in hand, PETER checks his Quora App.

  5. PETER (V.O.): "What popular songs quote movie lines in their lyrics?" That's the question I'm asked to answer.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I can't think of any off the top of my head.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The Quoran asking the question must be fond of movie lines.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He must love songs too.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But he couldn't answer the question himself.

  14. Checking something on his phone screen.

  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There was already one answer quoting the lyrics of some rap songs, copying some movie lines. But I haven't heard of those movie lines and the songs at all. Am I out of touch with entertainment?

  16. Act 2


  18. Surfing the web, Peter finds something.

  19. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Here're the 50 most iconic songs of all time, according to science.

  20. Reading.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A London U doctor uses analytical software to analyse and assess the songs to see what themes in the music are similar.

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To come up with his list, he measures chord variety, key, number of beats per minutes, lyrical content, timbral variety, and sonic variance.

  24. Checking the list and counting the numbers.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've only heard 29 of the 50 songs. Anyhow, the listing is objective.

  26. Pausing.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The top 5 are: (5) Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen, (4) Billie Jean, Michael Jackson, (3) One, U2, (2) Imagine, John Lennon, and (1) Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana.

  28. Pausing.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I haven't heard of U2's One before.

  30. Peter searches the song via YouTube and we hear the song playing.

  31. 'PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It isn't my cup of tea. But I've to believe in science.

  32. Thinking.

  33. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): John Lennon's Imagine is really iconic, scientifically or not.

  34. Pausing.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've found Nivana's Smells Like Teen Spirit special. But I couldn't have imagined it's that good scientifically.


  37. INT. TOM LEE PIANO CO. - DAY (2013)

  38. Peter is checking out stacks of guitars on display.

  39. PETER (V.O.): This Fender Mustang looks beautiful. It's an artist's series too. Who's Kurt Cobain? Never mind.

  40. Having paid, Peter leaves with his guitar in a gig bag happily.


  42. Peter surfs the web with his iPad 2.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Kurt Cobain formed the band Nirvana. I like his choice of the Buddhist concept ie freedom from pain, suffering and the external world.


  45. A crowd at the World Intellectual Property Day reception. On stage, Peter performs his songs, playing the Fender Mustang Kurt Cobain guitar.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me watch his song Smell Like Teen Spirit again.

  48. Peter is watching a music video in YouTube.

  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He was playing the Fender Competition Mustang. I bought one in 2014.

  50. Pausing.

  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It does seem that the alternative rock song deserves the laurel.

  52. Thinking.

  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This incidental research has enlightened my direction of song writing.

  54. Getting near to a guitar gig bag, Peter takes out a Fender Competition Mustang and takes a photo of it.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Kurt Cobain didn't have to kill himself in 1994 at the age of 27. He should have the courage to be himself and continue to live.

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Despite the inclusion of him as one of the 100 Greatest song-writers, guitarists and singers, he was dead.

  58. Act 3


  60. Pausing.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): No great song-writers would copy others' lines in their song lyrics.

  62. Pausing.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Lyrics reflect authors' emotions with the sound placement in time.

  64. Pausing.

  65. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Movie lines are written as part of the dialogues to drive the plots.

  66. Pausing.

  67. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The fundamentals of the art forms differ.

  68. Reflecting.

  69. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd):That also explains why popular songs won't quote movie lines in their lyrics.

  70. Peter begins to type his answer on the phone.

  71. FADE OUT.

  72. THE END

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