"It's no good."
Nancy tossed her notebook down onto the floor with a grimace, folding
her arms across her chest. "It just won't work, no matter how I do it. I
can't get the lyrics to lie right."
"Yesterday morning you said you had it all down." Copper glanced up from
her magazine, casting her friend a surprised look. "When we headed off for
that radio interview, you were confident as anything that this song was gonna
be a hit, and something special t'boot. What went wrong?"
"I reread what I wrote." Nancy sighed. "I never was a lyricist, Copper
- my forte is music - and I'm well out of inspiration when it comes to new
words. However I write it, it won't fit together how I want it. I really hoped
this song would be something special, but as it is it's rehashing words we've
used before, and the melody is barely up to speed. How are we going to lay
anything down by the end of the week, if we haven't any words?"
"Let's see what you've got." Copper reached over, scooping up the notepad
and skimming over the words. "They're not so bad, Nance! You make too much
"Well, not so bad doesn't win awards." Nancy said grimly, taking the book
back and dropping down onto the sofa beside her friend. "I want this song
to be spectacular, Copper. If for no other reason than Diablo are our main
competiton, and we have to blow them away."
"So they are involved in the award nominations, then?" Copper asked. Nancy
"Yes. Mom told me this morning." She agreed. "Hence my sudden panic now.
Whatever I do, Copper, it just isn't good enough. And let's face it, writing
love songs was never my strength anyway. I'm not a romantic."
"Well, if that's the case, Copper should be writing the lyrics." Topaz
lounged in the doorway of the front room, her eight month old baby daughter
clutched in her arms. With a grin she set the baby down on the rug with her
blocks, taking a seat opposite. "She's our die-hard romantic and she's gonna
be a bride before we know it. Perhaps it's time we maximised our resources."
"I can't write lyrics!" Copper exclaimed. "Besides, I'd feel stupid...they'd
be corny and cliche. Trust me, Nancy's writing is a mile better than mine
ever would be."
"So we're back to having no lyrics at all." Nancy rubbed her temples.
"Because I refuse to go to studio with these, guys. The rhyming stinks.
Hollie could probably write better."
"We can ask her." Topaz looked amused. "Hey, Hol, what do you think we
should be singing about?"
Hollie gurgled at her, picking up the nearest block and tossing it across
the room with a giggle.
"Well, I guess she thinks the lyrics suck too." Nancy observed dryly.
"Thanks, kid. You're great support."
"Have you asked Sadie's advice?" Copper asked. Nancy shook her head.
"No." She admitted. "She took off after our meeting this morning to meet
Alex in the city and I didn't have a chance. We have precious little free
time to ourselves at the moment, and you know how new this whole 'relationship'
thing is for her. I didn't want to interfere."
"Wow, Nancy has a heart." Sylva pushed open the door, dropping down onto
the window-seat. "What's the problem, anyhow? Nance, you're not having another
fit over your lyrics, are you?"
"She is." Topaz nodded. "Heaven knows why. I'm the one who's gonna be
singing them, after all, and I didn't see anything too tragic about them."
"I just wanted this song to be different somehow." Nancy sighed. "I wanted
it to reflect something else that we have - more than just the rock and roll
chick stuff we churn out from time to time, and more than a deep and meaningful
ballad. When I wrote the melody it flowed so easily - and I was real proud
of it, to tell you the truth. But it's proving a nightmare to stick lyrics
"Well, maybe you're looking at this from the wrong angle." Sylva suggested.
"How do you mean?" Nancy turned confused dark eyes on her bandmate.
"All our music is recognisable as Jewel music." Sylva explained, settling
herself more comfortably up against the window pane. "Even if we do turn
out different songs, you can always hear the Jewel twist. But that's because
everyone knows Topaz from a mile off, and we've built up a sound for ourselves."
"So what are you saying? That we're too conventional?" Copper asked. Sylva
shook her head.
"No, not at all." She replied. "After all, you should never quit when
you've hit a good thing, right? And folk love us for being that little bit
different. But when we were laying down the album tracks before the fire
happened, we were discussing the idea of diversity for the album. Right?
Topaz had that beautiful song in French she wanted us to cover, and we did.
It sounded awesome."
"So you want us to sing in French?" Topaz raised an eyebrow. "Should we
ditch this song and release the French number, then? Because it's a cover
and I think that Jetta and Phyllis want something original."
"No, you know, Syl might be onto something." Nancy's eyes sparked with
light at this. "For once, she might be on the right track. Topaz, how good
is your French?"
"Lousy, and getting worse as time goes on." Topaz grinned. "You heard
me when we were in Paris last - stilted and slow. Mom raised me to speak
English as my first language and I was never much of a language student.
I could get by in French if I had to, and that was it."
"Hrm." Nancy frowned. "Well, there goes that idea. I was wondering if
you could, you know, write us some French lyrics for the song. You sing
really well in French, even if you don't speak it fluently, and I know it'd
catch people's attention. It'd be something different - just to prove we
could do something different."
"Well, it sure would stand out." Topaz looked thoughtful. "But I'm nowhere
near good enough at French to turn out decent lyrics, Nance. I'd struggle
to do it in English, if you want the truth. Sorry, but there it is. I can
sing in it, but don't expect me to write it."
"Oh well." Nancy sighed. "Never mind. Back to square one."
"Maybe...maybe not." Sylva's blue eyes lit up with an idea. "Perhaps Topaz
isn't bilingual enough to write us French lyrics...but surely Copper is fluent
enough to write us Spanish ones?"
"I told you already, I'm no lyricist!" Copper put up her hands. "I play
drums, that's about it!"
"But Syl is right, you know. You are
bilingual." Nancy's expression
became excited. "And when you come to think of it, if we did a song in Spanish,
Copper, it would appeal right across America. You know as well as I do that
Spanish is practically a second language in the US these days, with all the
folks from Mexico and South America and then places like Cuba. You're one
yourself, after all! And California is very multicultural in that sense -
it'd be awesome if we could play on that somehow!"
"C'mon, Copper, it might be fun." Topaz grinned. "You'll have to coach
me in pronunciation, and stuff, but Nancy's right. It would be something
different, and it would send out the message that we produce music for everyone,
not just those who speak English."
"Right." Sylva nodded her curly head. "When we were out in Morvania, for
instance, we sang in English, and it was fine, but there must've been folk
who didn't get a clue of what we were singing about. And I know that when
we played Paris half the crowd was singing along without knowing a single
word of English. It would be nice to have something kinda - different on
the album, too, if we've the French song and we'll be touring Europe in the
fall. That's bound to send our ratings up over there."
"Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world, you know."
Nancy added. "C'mon, Copper, will you give it a go? I love this melody too
much to junk it, but there's no way anything I'm coming up with is going
to set it apart from anything else we've done. You could at least try?"
"All right, if you insist." She said, resignedly. "I'll try. But that's
all I can do, okay? Just because I'm fluent in Spanish doesn't make me a
successful lyricist in that language, so be warned. It might be nonsense.
I've never written lyrics before, after all."
"Well, I'll help you with working it to the melody." Nancy promised. "And
we know Topaz's voice is good enough to pick up the tune right away, so it
shouldn't mean too much of a delay. After all, you can teach Topaz to sing
it phonetically, right?"
"I guess so." Copper agreed. "Half of the battle with Spanish is the pronunciation,
though. I wish I was as confident about this idea as you are, Nance. It could
just put us back a week or two and drive Phyllis mad, if I can't come up
with anything worth singing."
"Think of it this way, Copper. You'll get a writing credit on the new
album." Sylva dimpled. "It'll be 'music by N. Pelligrini, lyrics by E. Santiago'.
Don't you want that?"
"I suppose it would look kinda neat." Copper admitted. "All right. I'll
see what I can do."
"Sweet." Sylva tucked a loose curl of hair back behind her silver slides.
"So we've hope for the new song after all! Good thing too - I just about
got that synth line down, and I'd've been mad if we had to junk it."
"So would I." Nancy admitted. "It's one of the better tunes I've written
recently, to be honest - I wanted us to use it somehow. I had to do something
while Mom was getting better, after all, and while the company was being
put back together. I guess everything I went through then kickstarted my inspiration.
I was feeling dry before the fire, but now I've music coming out of my ears."
"Now that would be different." Topaz giggled. Nancy grinned.
"I suppose so." She agreed good-naturedly. "You know, I guess there's
something to be said about group pow-wows after all."
"And here's Sadie." Sylva glanced out of the window, waving as she saw
her fair haired friend parking her car. She pushed the window open.
"Hey, Sadie, get in here - Jewel are having an executive board meeting
about the new song!"
"Noone told me!" Sadie protested, locking her car.
"Well, it kinda just happened." Sylva admitted. "We've bullied Copper
into writing us some Spanish lyrics for the new song - what do you reckon?"
"I reckon it'd be different." Sadie acknowledged. "Sounds cool to me.
Hang on, I'll be right in!"
"Looks like it's unanimous, Copper." Nancy remarked. "You have plans this
"Nope." Copper shook her head. "Why? You have plans for me?"
"Seems as good a time as any to start writing." Nancy shrugged. "We'll
go out to my studio in the city, get away from the Mansion and baby squeals
for a while, and see what we can do. Okay?"
"Okay, I suppose so." Copper agreed. "Just be patient with me, huh? I've
never done this before."
"None of us have." Topaz reflected. "But you know what? It just might
be what we need to kick-start our award winning campaign!"
* * *
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