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#10 What Do You Mean, Fix My Tents?


I see the bad moon arising.

I see trouble on the way.

I see earthquakes and lightnin'.

I see bad times today.

What do you see? What I see, is that all these things are happening NOW. They haven't already happened, they are not going to happen, they ARE HAPPENING.

I'll be there to catch you in a taxi, honey

Better be ready 'bout half past eight

Now baby, don't be late

I wanna be there when the band start playing

What do you see here? I see all these things are going to happen. They haven't already happened. THey're not happening now. They are GOING TO HAPPEN.

I gave a letter to the postman,

he put it his sack.

Bright in early next morning,

he brought my letter back.

I know it's getting boring, but what do you see here? That's right, all these things have ALREADY HAPPENED! Not now, not later, IN THE PAST.

While these three songs are very different, in one way at least, they are all the same. They are consistent in their tense.

If the events you are describing HAVE HAPPENED, appropriate lyrics include: did, have, should've, was, were, held, followed, kissed, most words that end in "...ed"

If the events you are describing are HAPPENING NOW, appropriate lyrics include: am, are, now, following, kissing, holding, most words that end with "...ing"

If the events you are describing WILL or MAY HAPPEN, approprite lyrics include: may, will, are going to, then, follow, never words with "...ed" or "...ing"

Read through your lyric and perform this quick test. Consistency wins with listeners. A verse in the past and a chorus in the present or other combinations can work, but not a verse or a chorus that changes its "when" halfway through.

I hope this has helped (past tense) and

I hope this helps (future tense) and

I hope it's not too confusing! (present tense)

Till next time,


No song was harmed in the writing of this blog entry...


Bad Moon Rising, John Fogerty. Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Darktown Strutter's Ball, Shelton Brooks. Performed by Fats Domino.

Return To Sender, Winfield Scott and Otis Blackwell. Performed by Elvis Presley.


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