How Would You Know?

I know, by now, it’s become passe to wonder what the hell is going on at The Tennessean, but what the hell? Why is this story so stupid? Songs are usually less than four minutes long. Which means that it would take less than ten minutes to listen to both songs and provide your readership some guidance as to whether the lawsuit seems to have merit. I don’t expect and I think it would be inappropriate for the reporter to pass judgement on whether the song was the same–unless it’s just so blatantly obvious.

But why can’t the story be written from the assumption that, at the least, I don’t have access to Carmichael and Curry’s version? If we’re going by the who, what, when, where, why, and how rule of journalism and the who is Curry and Carmichael what allege that their song was stolen, the why has to be short for “why are they making this claim?” Right?

So, The Tennessean, why are they making this claim? I have a million paragraphs on the whos and potentially the hows. And like half a sentence devoted to why they’re making this claim– that the song has “nearly identical lyrics, pitch and rhythm to the track he co-wrote with Louisiana fiddle player Britton Curry.”

Why can’t we read the similar lyrics? Why can’t we know what key both songs are written in? Why can’t we hear whether they both have the same time signature? These aren’t opinions. Those are facts.

Why isn’t there a paragraph about the specifics of the claim? Here’s what I wonder–is there no one left at the major daily in Music City who knows enough about music to write music stories that actually deal with content, not personalities? Maybe no one is left there who can give an educated guess about rhythm or key. But my god, someone ought to be able to give a guess as to what the lyrics are, right?

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