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January 5, 2016

Last night a new word came to me in a dream. I’ve blogged here before about how there are some concepts for which English lacks words, and it’s good to fill in those gaps with new words if we can. And now I think I’ve got one. Very often things that seem great in dreams are revealed to be silly and pointless when you wake up; but this word does seem to fill a gap.

First let me explain what the missing concept is. It is a musical concept. You may have noticed that in a lot of 1970s pop songs there’s a little trick they use in between verses, when suddenly all the instruments come in together and go BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM. A classic example comes from Abba’s Waterloo: “I was defeated you won the war/ Promise you’ll love me for evermore (BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM)”. Or another example from Wizzard’s I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day: “When the kids start singing and the band begins to play (BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM BA-DUM)”. Once you’ve noticed it you’ll hear it in loads of songs.

Anyway the point is that as far as I know there’s no musical term for this. Yet as I was in REM sleep last night, the word came to me: bompster. I imagine it’s the sort of term musicians might use: “Let’s stick a bompster in after verse two, it’ll give the song a bit more energy.”

Hmm. Now I see that in cold print I begin to wonder if it is a bit silly and pointless after all…

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One Comment
  1. No, it’s good. I’m going to start using it, a lot, down the pub, then leaving a significant pause so people can say “What’s a bompster?” & I can say “Well…”

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