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Legend in My Mind

Legend in My Mind explains, but doesn't excuse, the ridiculous behaviour of some men towards women, especially online... ladies you know who I'm talking about!
Legend in My Mind, Song Breakdown and Analysis

Table of Contents

Legend in My Mind: Backstory

Legend in My Mind describes the inner thinking of those guys… ladies, you know who I mean, the men you don’t know that send you photos of themselves, photos you didn’t ask for and don’t want to see… The ones that catcall, the men that make you nervous when you’re out at night.

It’s not every man, a few of us… most of us have empathy and respect for others, but there are a surprising number of men that don’t get it. There’s a reason there had to be a metoo movement.

Legend in my mind explains how some men think… they actually believe they’re the greatest of all time, that everything they do is legendary….

Click to see and hear a performance, then check out my song breakdown to learn how it’s put together… to help you write better songs…

The Rest of the Back Story:

There were two other big influences for this song…

1. Several years ago I saw a video clip of Jerry Sienfeld’s stand up routine that stuck with me. He explained “Superhero Thinking.” His theory was that most men believe that “superhero” is a potential career choice. That’s why you’ve seen a random guy driving down the highway with a mattress strapped on the roof of his car, holding the mattress with one hand… as if he actually had the power to hold it there.

2. Many years ago I had a conversation with a female friend… as she explained it: “Trevor, when men are out on a date with someone new, their greatest fear is being laughed at. For a woman, her greatest fear is being hurt or attacked.” She then told me of three examples of inappropriate online messages she’d received in the past week from men she didn’t know… I’d heard of that behaviour but didn’t realize how common it was.

In this song I’m not excusing any of these behaviours, but instead explaining where some of them come from. It’s not (usually or intentionally) mean or aggressive, it’s that they truly have no understanding of what women are trying to communicate (go away, you’re frightening me) because they are distracted by their own thinking (I’m a legendary superhero, everyone loves me).

If you’re a woman, you’ve gone through like this. If you’re male, ask a woman you know about it, you’d be surprised what they’ve experienced. They don’t usually talk about it, especially with men, but that’s why there is a #metoo movement…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarana_Burke

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_movement

https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/2019/10/8534374/a-metoo-timeline-to-show-how-far-weve-come-how-far-we-need-to-go

I deliberately kept the tone of the lyrics slightly sarcastic, not to make light of the situation but for two specific reasons:

1. to make it clear it’s not my (the songwriter’s) beliefs but that’s I’m describing someone else, and

2. To show how ridiculous this thinking is, implying my opinion instead of being obvious… sometimes a whisper makes more impact than a shout… 

Legend in My Mind: Lyrics

Verse 1

Women love to stare at me, they laugh as I walk by.

Random dudes pick fights with me, ‘cus I’m an awesome guy.

I’m so hot, I’m so cool, I’m addicted to myself.

That’s why I don’t believe the girls who say I need help.

Pre-Chorus

‘Cus I can out rap Kanye, I can out pres. Donnie T!

Every last Kardashian would fight to get with me!

I can knock down Holden. I could take Bruce Lee!

If I weren’t so humble I’d be in love with me!

Chorus

I’m a legend, I’m on fire!

I fill women with desire.

I’m a legend in this song!

Always right, I’m never wrong.

I’m a legend for all time,

I’m a legend in my mind.

A legend in my mind!

Verse 2

My mirror is my best friend, it never tells me lies.

In the game of life my dear, I’m the biggest prize!

My Instagram is epic, I’m the Tinder king!

Selfies are my specialty, I’ll send you pictures of my (thing).

Pre-Chorus

Chorus

Bridge

When the world discovers me, I’ll deserve what I get.

If you’re not in love with me, you haven’t met me yet!

Chorus

What do you mean I need to know songwriting stuff to write songs, white and orange cat crying out, songwriting meme

Story in the Song

While I was writing the song, I imagined a regular looking guy watching himself in the mirror, seeing things only he could see and talking to himself…

Each song section felt like he was talking to someone different…. in the chorus he’s bragging to another man. In the verse he was talking to a woman (who was probably ignoring him hoping he’d go away), in the pre-chorus he’s talking to himself, possibly trying to work up the courage to go out on the town and get rejected again.

Imagining the narrator was talking to different people gave me more writing ideas and created more drama to keep the song interesting.

Adding “in my mind” to the title hook “I’m a Legend” gives the narrator the awareness that this isn’t reality but that it’s a fantasy that he’s spinning. I believe that most men that act like the narrator understand on some level that they’re lying to themselves or covering up insecurities with their bravado.

Legend in My Mind: Song Sketch

Verse: Symptoms of my self-absorption, the details about my internal fantasies

Pre-Chorus: Bragging about myself 

Chorus: I’m a Legend

Bridge: I’m ignored, but one day everyone will recognize my amazingness

Rhyme Schemes

Verse: AABB

Pre-Chorus: AABB

Chorus: AABBCCC

Bridge: AA

Legend in My Mind: Song Structure

  • Introduction (end of the Chorus)
  • Verse
  • Pre-Chorus
  • Chorus
  • Verse
  • Pre-Chorus
  • Chorus
  • Bridge
  • Chorus, add an extra title hook to end

Legend in My Mind: Lyric Breakdown

Verse 1

Women love to stare at me, they laugh as I walk by.

I don’t realize women are making fun of me, I think the attention is positive.

Random dudes pick fights with me, ‘cus I’m an awesome guy.

Being “funny” is a great way to get punched in the mouth… nothing random about it!

I’m so hot, I’m so cool, I’m addicted to myself.

Hot/Cold contradiction, I don’t realize I’m not awesome. I’m addicted/obsessed with myself.

That’s why I don’t believe the girls who say I need help.

I think they’re telling me I need help to be more cool, they’re saying I need psychiatric treatment (and that I should stop harassing them)

Pre-Chorus

I can out rap Kanye, I can out pres. Donnie T!

I’m better than the “best rapper in the world” and the “best president of the United States… ever”

Every last Kardashian would fight to get with me!

They’d fight over anything (except me)

I can knock down Holden. I could take Bruce Lee!

Mike Holden World Heavyweight Boxing Champion in 2000, or Sean Holden Mixed Martial Artist, your pick… I included Bruce Lee in case the Holden reference was too obscure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Holden

https://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Sean-Holden-59739

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Lee

If I weren’t so humble I’d be in love with me!

Not humble, but definitely in love with myself!

Chorus

I’m a legend, I’m on fire! … liar, liar pants on fire

I fill women with desire. … ironic, I don’t realize they aren’t interested at all

I’m a legend in this song! … I’m telling you I’m a legend right now, just like every rapper in every rap song

Always right, I’m never wrong. … I can’t admit mistakes, even to myself

I’m a legend for all time, … Everyone will remember me forever

I’m a legend in my mind. … The punchline… I don’t really realize it’s in my head

A legend in my mind!

Verse 2

My mirror is my best friend, it never tells me lies. 

“Mirror Mirror on the wall” the evil Queen from Snow White

In the game of life my dear, I’m the biggest prize!

I’m playing games (ironic), women “win” if they get me.

My Instagram is epic, I’m the Tinder king!

My Instagram and Tinder accounts show my self-obsession and turn women off, but I don’t realize it

Selfies are my specialty, and pictures of my (thing).

I had a mental picture of Instagram (and Tinder) accounts full of gym Abs selfies… many women I’ve spoken with regularly receive random inappropriate photos from men they don’t know… guys, you didn’t know that because it’s not something women usually talk about with men.

Pre-Chorus

Chorus

Bridge

When the world discovers me, I’ll deserve what I get. … Ironic: one day I’ll get what I deserve

If you’re not in love with me, you haven’t met me yet! … To know me is to love me, everyone loves me and as soon as you meet me, you will too

Chorus

what do you mean i have to work at my songwriting, sleeping grey cat, songwriting meme, songwriting advice that works

Legend in My Mind: Pop Culture Allusions

There are several Pop culture references in the Pre-Chorus:

Kanye, Donald Trump, the Kardashian family… all self-absorbed celebrities

Holden (Sean Holden/Mike Holden) and Bruce Lee… famous fighters that I believe I could win against in a fight

Legend in My Mind: Melody

Verse

The verse melody is centered around E with a narrow range of a fourth (from D to G). It’s more rhythmic than melodic, with many of the notes on the tonic of the chord (E or D). The harmony is also “simple” with only two chords alternating throughout the verse. This highlights the contrast of larger melody ranges and more active harmonies in other sections.

Pre-Chorus

I toyed with the idea of trying to rap this Pre-Chorus, but I found it worked better to build the energy to the chorus by singing it.

Chorus

The chorus has the highest notes in the song. I originally wrote the song in A- but I found that singing it in my mixed voice in the first few bars of the Chorus didn’t sound right. It wasn’t “strong” enough for the lyric “Legend I’m on fire/in this song/for all time!” It felt better to have strength in these lyrics and the subsequent (answering) phrases “I fill women/I’m never wrong” quieter, as if they were an aside comment on the declamatory title idea.

I dropped the key down to E- as you heard in the video performance, to change the affect of vocal and it strengthened the impact of my vocal delivery.

Bridge

The melody follows the downward chromatic root motion of the chords. The melody starts on the root then moves up a step to a non chord tone and back to the root. The dissonance of the non chord tone increases the instability created by the chord progression (see chord progressions below)…

Legend in My Mind: Chord Progressions

Verse:

E- |E-  |D  |D  |D  |D  |E- |E-  || x4

The tonic chord E- alternates with D a dominant substitute chord. The regular alternating between the two chords is a contrast to the more rapid harmonic progressions in other sections.

Pre-Chorus

E-  |G E- |A- G D|E- |

E-  |D      |E- D    |E- |

E-  |G E- |A- G D|E- |

E-  |D      |E- D    |E- ||

The G chord (the relative major) in the second and third bars is a substitute for the minor tonic chord embellishing E- without changing the harmonic function. I’ve used it in other songs. 

I used the first line of the pre-chorus at the end of the bridge to drop the energy before the next section

Chorus

A- |A- | E- | E- |

D  |D  | E- | E- |

A- |A- | E- | E- |

D  |D  | E- | E- |

A- |A- | E- | E- |

A- |G D |E- |E- |

A- |G D |E-  |G E- |A- G D|E- ||

The main harmonic phrase in the first two lines, is a subdominant to tonic to substitute dominant back to the tonic. The harmony for the title hook “I’m a Legend in My Mind” is a variation of the first four bars with G & D harmonizing the melody in the second bar.

The last three bars of the chorus are stolen from the beginning of the pre-chorus… I played it once and it stuck because it made the chorus sound finished and dropped the energy down for the verse and the bridge.

Bridge

A  |Ab |G  |F# |

F  |E- |B7 | E- ||

I love the sound of descending chromatic chords. I find them especially effective in a bridge when I want to convey instability or irony. The B7 chord is the only traditional dominant V chord in the song, in all the other dominant chords are D, bVII in E minor.

Legend in My Mind: Strengths

I accomplished my main goal, to provide women with an explanation of some of the more bizarre (to them) male behaviour. Not sure if this will affect any men, but I hope it will make some of the more difficult behaviours easier for women to deal with… even if it only makes it less disturbing to them as they block yet another guy who should have listened to his mother…

Legend in My Mind: Weaknesses

Using humour in songs can be dangerous, it either works well or fails in a big way. Although I’m satisfied that it’s funny, there’s always a danger that someone won’t get the joke, either by taking it seriously or missing the humour. 

Legend in My Mind: Goals

I set out to explain the inner psychology of male chauvinism. I deliberately chose humor (although it came out as sarcasm) to deliver the message. I’ve used humour in previous social commentary songs to make my point without sounding preachy or patronising. My third goal was to write a song that sounded good.

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Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff

Trevor Dimoff has taught, played and written music professionally for the last 25+ years.

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