Upload
82

RBCraswell

Contracts Songs playlist

  • by RBCraswell
  • 11 videos
  • 9,412 views
  • Last updated on Jun 3, 2015
Eleven songs about classic and not-so-classic cases from the first-year law school course on contract law.
If the list of songs isn't visible yet, scroll further down and click on the "Contracts Songs" play list.

=========================================================

PROGRAM NOTES

“Write what you know,” the saying goes. Most likely, the people who came up with that saying didn’t have law professors in mind. Almost certainly, they didn’t intend their saying to be translated as, “Write songs about some of the classic and-not-so-classic cases in the first-year course on contract law.” Nevertheless, those songs ARE what I know. This set of music videos is the result.

I do not mean to suggest that contracts disputes have nothing to do with music. One of the cases you will find below involved a dispute between an opera singer and the manager of a theater (Lumley v. Wagner, “The Nonperformance”). Another began with plans to film a Broadway musical (Parker v. Twentieth-Century Fox, “Big Country, Big Man”). In another case, one of the key opinions was written by a judge whose nephew would one day become the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (Krell v. Henry, “Coronation Anthem and Fugue”).

In most of the cases presented below, however, the original dispute had nothing to do with music. In those cases, the music I have added draws on more fundamental human themes: the bravery, cowardice, honesty, treachery, and simple heart-felt greed that animated so many of these disputes. W.H. Auden once observed that “no good opera plot can be sensible, for people rarely sing when they are being sensible...” To which we might add “... and sensible people rarely litigate, for much the same reason.”

Contract disputes being what they are, I have not had to make any of these cases up. I have, however, taken some liberty with the actual facts of the dispute (just as folk songs, operas, and other musical forms occasionally do). To mention just a few: The buyer in Frigaliment v. BNS Sales (“Chicken in a Contract”), though a neophyte in the chicken business, was nevertheless a New York Corporation, not the yokel I have portrayed here. The opera promoter, Benjamin Lumley (“The Nonperformance”), would certainly have known what a cantatrice was, even if others in the courtroom (or in a law school classroom today) might not. The representative of the cannery in Alaska Packers v. Domenico (“Sailing to Pyramid Harbor”) was not nearly so quick to yield as my song suggests. And my account of Sherwood v. Walker (“My Rose”) is, obviously, a complete fantasy.

There are other omissions and simplifications, as well, whose detection I leave as an exercise for listeners. For those unfamiliar with any of the cases, additional background is provided in the notes accompanying each song. Usually, though, you’ll have to click on “More” or “Show More” to even get to those notes.

I will close by adding that, if you are a law student (or a lawyer), you should READ THE ORIGINAL CASES rather than relying only on my musical paraphrases. All warranties, including the warranties of accuracy and merchantability, are hereby disclaimed!

=========================================================

PRODUCTION NOTES

The music for these songs was composed and arranged in Sibelius, then exported as a MIDI file and (except for the vocal parts) rendered digitally, first with Traktion 3.4 and more recenttly with Reaper 4.x, using virtual instruments from a number of sources. The vocals were recorded using a cheap Radio Shack microphone, with -- except for "The Yogurt Shop" and the forthcoming "Anticipation" -- an even cheaper (and older) set of vocal chords.
Eleven songs about classic and not-so-classic cases from the first-year law school course on contract law.
If the list of songs isn't visible yet, scroll further down and click on the "Contracts Songs" play list.

==================...
Play all

Loading...

to add this to Watch Later

Add to

Loading playlists...