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Songs: Programming Is A Poetry For Our Time

notes / gigs / releases


Take a complicated idea
And make the underlying point of it clear
Compress it down to fit in memory
Now tell me what's the difference
Between programming and poetry?

Programming is a poetry for our...
Programming is a poetry for our time

Indenting every line
Sorted into stanzas so that you can find
Selected lines to quote or just a phrase to paste
Into the epics that live underneath
The Web and Word and Databases

Programming is a poetry for our time
It's a poetry for our time

I wonder would Wordsworth have written in Perl?
Would Keats have used Notepad for HTML?
I reckon Byron would see
The irony
Of writing words to change the world that we
Can't live without but no-one ever sees

Programming is a poetry for our...
Programming is a poetry for our time

And even though it doesn't rhyme
The syntax of a JavaScript will often be sublime
And though the poets now don't have the glamorous style
Of the poets of the past they didn't either when alive

Programming is a poetry for our time
It's a poetry for our time
The river running beneath our lives
Is a poetry for our time


Published by Wipe Out Music Publishing

This is a VERY old song - I know this because my original notes say it was RETURNED to after AGES during November 2001, when I had the first of my Great Song Debungings. Here's what I said at the time:
It's something I've often thought about - when you set out a program properly it actually does look rather aesthetically pleasing, and the way programmers try to squeeze down the massive ideas into as brief a space as possible by using certain phrases or algorithm (which themselves may be compressed versions of much larger ideas) is pretty much the same as what poets do with reference, quotation and hint. The bit about "the river running beneath our lives" came out while i was writing it, my dears I was as surprised as anybody.
The song came up many MANY times as a possible one for The Validators to record, but they never seemed to like it, perhaps because it was originally quite a bit slower than the final version, perhaps because none of them are programmers. Anyway, it never got recorded but it stayed in my MIND, occasionally popping up in SETS and always being in the queue for re-recording. When I was first thinking about the solo album I was intending to slow it down a bit more and do a GUITAR FLOURISHY sort of version, but that was a bit BORING so i sped it up and then got a bit EXCITED about using the GTR EFFECTS on my whizzy new four track. Let's ROCK!

I asked Emma to do vocals on two songs, and we recorded her singing Born Yesterday during a Validators' Rehearsal but, what with one thing and another, didn't get round to doing this one, so I thought we might as well have a go at doing it over the TELEPHONE. We arranged a time, she got the song on her iPOD, and then she rang and sang it down the line. It all felt like CHEATING, but it seemed to work out pretty well - it was PEASY to sync up to the rest of the track, the ROBOT EFFECT on the vocals was FREE, and it even enticed our cat, Charlie, to join in with the PURRING at the end of Control Alt Delete. It was one of the easiest SESSIONS I've ever been involved in!


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