Ghosts Of The Night

I was looking through some folk tunes the other day for some ideas for a chord progression that I might use for a new song. I was feeling a little stale with my usual combinations and thought this might be a great way to springboard an upbeat song rather than my usual doom-laden minor chord accomplishments. I came across ‘The Hesleyside’, a tune I hadn’t heard before, which had an interesting chord progression in it’s A part:


The Am to D change in the 4th bar and the D to G change in the 8th bar had me hooked and I played around with the chords for a week or so without thinking too much about words or melody. I sat down a couple of days ago and words started to bubble up for me for these changes and a melody and a nice little structure too:

Ghosts Of The Night

C G Am D

As I was out walking the
Moors late one night
I spied a black stallion in
The bright moon light

And there beside him stood a
Grey dapp-led mare
And then I decided to ride them
To Ban-bury fair

But I’m no fine lady with
Rings on my toes
For that wild stallion fair
Blood-ied my nose

So just the mare for
My ride ho-me
But she kicked up her heels and
Left me all a-lone

Instrumental Break

I wandered those moors until
Ear-ly day light
Saw no more of those two
Ghosts of the night

C G Am D
Ghosts of the night

Ghosts of the night

PDF copy of the chords & lyrics here: Ghosts Of The Night

Python ‘Found Poem’ Generator – Counting Syllables and Words

I was thinking about future possibilities for the ‘Found Poem’ Generator to make it a much more interactive experience or at least requiring less hassle in setting up the phrases csv file. Where I’d left the last version anyone could customise an installation by adding their own phrases to the csv file but they would still then have to provide a syllable count and word count for each phrase line. On the face of it, if doesn’t sound too much hassle, after all it only needs doing once. But what if we were dealing with hundreds or even thousands of lines? What if we were crowd-sourcing the phrases or reading them in from a Twitter feed or other automation possibilities? 

I did a quick internet search and was surprised to find that syllable counting actually breaks down to a very simple set of rules.

Syllable Counting

Another search found some sample code which I was able to bolt into the program to count the number of syllables of any phrases where the syllable count hasn’t been supplied in the csv file. Having played with it for a while I’m not overlay happy with some of the numbers it comes up with, for example this phrase:

“When your hopes and fears are drowned”

I count this to have 7 syllables, with a stretch I could turn ‘drowned’ into ‘drown-ed’ and give it two syllables. The code I have used counts it as 10. I can easily overcome this by having the correct syllable count in the csv file but I will be looking at the code further to try to improve it.

Word Counting

A further search uncovered some code that counts the number of words in a phrase. I also added this into the program to count the number of words where the word count hasn’t been provided in the phrases cvs file.

Tidying Up

One last little update was to start making the csv file import more robust. At the moment I am in complete control of the csv import file so I know it will work, looking ahead to the future again this import mechanism needs to be much more robust to handle any issues in a csv file created by other people.

An updated version of the source code is here in my Dropbox.


More posts in this series:

Python ‘Found Poem’ Generator – Part 1 – Introduction

Python ‘Found Poem’ Generator – Part 2 – Adding Haikus

Python ‘Found Poem’ Generator – Part 3 – The Next Level

Python ‘Found Poem’ Generator – Part 4 – Outputting Text To A Graphical Screen

Python ‘Found Poem’ Generator – Part 5 – User Interaction – Adding Buttons

Python ‘Found Poem’ Generator – Part 6 – Loading Data From A File

–> This one –>Python ‘Found Poem’ Generator – Part 7 – Counting Syllables and Words



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