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Everything posted by Timbre

  1. Yep. I thought you might have just missed the challenge date, but its all good. The challenge vibe around here is that it's more about the challenge than the date. It just helps to stay closer to current challenge period if you want to get more feedback/discussion. We are currently on Challenge #7 for 2017 -- The Protest Song. Just a couple drafts submitted so far. Would love to get your feedback on my post there if you have time. I'll dig up that revision and repost soon. ~T
  2. Hi, Ray. I didn't recognize this post at first because this lyric has undergone so many revisions off-site since I first posted it last summer! Thanks for weighing in. After some tweaks to the chorus the hook/title was changed to "Breathing You In" and the bridge was deleted altogether. Can't access the full revision right now but it fit your critique in many respects. Appreciate the read. ~T
  3. I was a teen of the 80s. Come on Eileen was a BIG hit in the US. #1 on Pop Charts. Fun times!
  4. Welcome. Yes, yes, yes, write songs. You will get positive and negative feedback here, which will help you grow, but none of it will have anything to do with if you should write. As long as you are drawn to it, keep writing.
  5. I like the cautionary tale these lyrics tell about living under the threat of nuclear Armageddon while creating another form of annihilation that is less dramatic but no less devastating. I was also curious about aspects of the overall structure and the rhyme structure. The overall structure is VVVCVC. I wondered about your decision to present 3 verses before going into the chorus. It felt a bit lopsided but perhaps there is an intention behind that. In terms of the rhyme scheme, there were 3 schemes across the 4 verses--V 2 and 3 had same scheme, but V1 was completely different from those verses and also different from V4. Because the verse rhyme scheme across the verses the distinction between V and Ch wasn't as pronounced. I also wondered about the use of the Armageddon lines. I thought they were all interesting, but if you use them as the last line for the verses (all but V1) and the chorus, it further blurs the distinction between verse and chorus. A final observation is about protest song structure. I'm no expert on this, so for this challenge I studied traditional protest songs like "if I had a hammer", "We shall overcome", "Bread and Roses", "Power in a Union" that are in the AAA form with no chorus, just verses that use repetition either in the beginning of the verse and a refrain at the end. But there also more modern VCVC forms of protests such as "Conviction of the Heart" by Kenny Loggins that uses a refrain-style chorus but it's not necessarily a song to march to. Curious if you had a protest song structure in mind? ~T
  6. Great imagery throughout and I really like the double opposites of labor hard/rest easy in your chorus. I kept getting tripped up on that "my arms, my arms". It's not a tongue twister in any way; it's very singable but it felt "extra" for some reason. An idea that occurred to me is to tweak that line to remove the extra bits and then repeat the whole thing twice, like so: You labor hard, but you'll rest easy, love,Rest easy in my arms tonight You labor hard, but you'll rest easy, love,Rest easy in my arms tonight Even if you kept the chorus to just 2 lines, changing the cadence of that second line makes it sound more complete/stable to my ear. Just my take. ~T P.S. on posting too soon--I struggle with hanging on too long because I can't figure something out or it doesn't quite feel ready and I want to put out a finished product. For me letting go and posting too soon is now the whole point. That way I can stay open to suggestions rather than being so fixed on my ideas that I'm reluctant to try others' ideas on for size. The challenges are good for letting go, because of that pesky time crunch built in before the next challenge comes along!
  7. Welcome to the site! Thanks for the nice comments. I heard a great talk a while ago that the oceans are the earth's circulatory system and the rain forests of Brazil act as lungs because they determine the CO2-oxygen exchange for the planet, just like our own lungs do. It was fascinating and it stuck with me. ~T
  8. Had the strangest experience with this challenge--I jumped in the car to run an errand and popped in some music and the first song to come up was an a cappella version of Neil Young's After the Gold Rush on a CD of my college singing group from a looong time ago. So that reinforced my idea to write about the environment, which has been weighing on my mind more than usual due to recent events. Then, I could not shake the cadence and insistence in the sound of Billy Bragg's Power in the Union as I was writing--and I've only heard portions of that song after watching the movie Pride. Had to play it again after I was done drafting. That song is the truth--as they say. I didn't question the inspiration, I just went with it. Here's my first take. Fever Copyright 2017 by L. C. Campbell V1 Mother says tend to her rivers and streams Littered with signs of her deep misery Her fever will break when we all come awake Yeah, her fever will break in the morning V2 Mother says tend to her oceans and seas As her temperature rises and land disappears Her fever will break when we all come awake Yeah, her fever will break in the morning V3 Mother says tend to her soil and seed She’s too ill to work but her children must eat Her fever will break when we all come awake Yeah her fever will break in the morning V4 Mother says tend to the air that she breathes The forests are burning, her lungs are the trees Her fever will break when we all come awake Yeah her fever will break in the morning Her fever will break when we all come awake Yeah her fever will break in the morning
  9. Loved this! I wanted to be sitting in a venue hearing this being performed. It had a Rob Thomas/Matchox 20 vibe to me. I didn't mind the "baby"--it was kind of conversational and worked for me. Re: the brief, love and logic are such nuanced opposites- less obvious and more lyrical. Very clever. Using the bridge as an outro was also cool idea. The kicker for me was the line--We're not safe if love is driving. Outstanding. I am curious about C2, Is that purposefully stable where as C1 is unstable? I could sorta see that switched, with C1 being stable and successive choruses being unstable to build the tension. Really enjoyed it. ~T
  10. Powerful story. I think the length does it justice. Would love to see how it develops with attention to the issues that Gary pointed out above. With some more work put it in and music to fit the story, I could see this being a signature song. ~T
  11. Hi, John. Nice job with this. Good flow, cadence and forward movement in the story line. As was noted, the message is dark but that's the blues. I get the rage the singer is expressing, but coming after the lord feels a bit ineffectual to me as it's currently written. To paraphrase--"if you're coming for lord, best not miss." How do you attack an all powerful, all knowing force? Becoming the devil might do it, and maybe that's what you are hinting at in V5, but that could be developed a bit more. There were a couple of other possible tweaks. The phrase I might happy be was working too hard to get the rhyme and sort of fell out of character of the plain speaking of the other lines. The first line of V4 (So it's all been one way traffic Lord and this will make you sore) also yanked me out of the vibe. The reference to traffic is not as raw and elemental as the other images (being whipped, starving, etc) and "sore" is so uncommonly used these days that it felt like another forced rhyme. Enjoyed it.~T
  12. Hi, Ray. Welcome to the site. Lots of rich history in your brief bio. Your comment about genres struck a chord. Some of the new labels I have to look up because I don't know what they mean. I am a child of the seventies but was raised right (meaning I was raised on the music of the late 50s and 60s!). Before genre radio it was all just songs and the good ones stood out, regardless of the instrumentation. Look forward to you participating in the forums. ~T
  13. Hi, Lisa. I like this contrast and theme. One line in particular echoed this contrast perfectly--Digital native in a Holy Land--really nice contrast of historical and modern. At first I wondered who was "speaking"--the young or the old. After a couple reads I settled on the old. You might consider tweaking slighlty to make that come across more (If I guessed correctly!). The 5th line of the chorus reads with emphasis, but not sure how that would translate in performance/singing. Not sure it needs the exclamation point to get the message across and it reads a bit forced to rhyme with the final line. One idea I had for an alternative line is: As this life unfolds. Or something that has more ease/flow. Enjoyed it. ~T
  14. Hi, ND. Yes, I agree that some non-specificity allows the listener to relate the song to their own lives.What I was struggling with was some general meaning for darkness and light that was consistent enough for a listener to grab onto and apply to their own situation. There seemed to be some contradictory meanings. For example in the first verse the lines my staying in the dark/Though it suits me perfectly suggest that the singer prefers the darkness. That's an interesting idea that taps into the idea that we all have a dark side. That's an idea that you can build an entire song around. However, in the next line contradicts that by saying it It’s a fake comfort after all. So is the singer embracing the darkness or is it a crutch? Some tension between those 2 ideas would be cool too, but it currently doesn't come across as an intentional contrast that builds tension. The chorus also suggests that the darkness is about loss. That's another meaning for darkness that holds universal appeal. So if you went with that as the central meaning that would need to be reinforced more in the chorus and the verses would need to revolve more strongly around that idea. Just my 2 cents. ~T
  15. I used up my opposite (near/far) for the no-rhyme challenge! Aargh! Back to the drawing board . . .
  16. Welcome to the site. I hope that you post and critique often. For the challenge, you seem to be going in the right direction with your dark/light opposites. I was wanting more of the "why" behind being in the dark and what both the dark and light represented. That could come across more clearly in your verses and could be echoed in your chorus. Right now the words are there but the use of metaphor could be stronger. ~T
  17. Hi, Peggy. Some great lines in these lyrics. "Blowing a kiss drawn in red" was a favorite. Overall, it certainly seems to fit the brief. I didn't easily grasp the meaning, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I wasn't able to connect up with it as easily. In looking at the chorus, what occurred to me is that the first 3 lines of each stanza are sort of observational with no subject, however the 4th line (the hook) is more personal. I thought you might consider how to tie the first 3 lines of each stanza to the hook more closely. Also, the hook makes me wonder what she is provoking the singer to do and I was wanting more of a hint on that. Carefully crafted overall. Just wanted to play up some opportunities to dial up the meaning. ~T
  18. I like that the chorus speaks generally of something important coming to an end, and thus works for print journalism, coal mining etc.I agree that there's more of a story to tell regardless of the brief. I also think the chorus gives a stark message and I thought the last line could be broken up to keep that stark tone and play up the hook. ~T I think it’s over You know its over It’s over and out Time to bring the curtain down
  19. Not exactly sure what you mean by "writing in bars", but let me throw out some ideas about where you might start in terms of bringing more intentional structure to your lyric writing. First and foremost, I think you have the right idea about studying up on this. There are untold resources available on song structure. There are some really helpful tutorial articles right here on SS that can help you learn the basics of lyric structure so you can more effectively edit your own work. Other types of material to study are other peoples lyrics--including lyrics of songs by your favorite artists as well as lyrics in-progress on the site. Try to identify what makes a verse or chorus feel complete and like it has communicated a complete idea, and what makes a verse or chorus feel like its scattered and the main idea is hard to capture. There's a lot of trial and error in this, but doing a lot of reading/listening (and critiquing) can help you develop a stronger eye/ear for structure. I also believe reading and studying poetry can teach you a lot about conveying meaning in a concise way You mentioned that you don't know anything about music. I'm assuming you mean that you are not a musician or perhaps don't read music. Many lyricists are non-musicians but I believe that ALL lyricists need to be musical in important ways, both technically and artistically. More technically speaking, it would be useful for you to learn some basic music theory because so much of the discussion of lyric writing includes music concepts as kind of a shorthand that folks who know a bit of theory will understand. You don't have to be a virtuoso, and you likely know more about music than you think, but you want to get some grounding in this area so that you can fully participate in the process and make the most of the feedback that you get. On the artistic side, think about what makes a person musical separate from playing an instrument, singing, or reading music--think about sense of timing, rhythm, love of words and how to put them together to make folks want to sing them, etc. There are lots of ways to be musical, so if you are drawn to lyric writing you are musical--you just need to do some self-study about what form(s) your musicality takes. Hope there's something here that's useful
  20. Hi, Summer Days. Lots of good fire imagery throughout lyrics. Kept getting stuck on the "trash" lines for some reason. I think those lines kept competing with the way fire is typically used metaphorically in relationship songs--to refer to the physical chemistry. Burning trash kept taking me in another direction. It's not a bad thing to play with the listener's expectations, but if you do the unexpected it has to add in some important way. The "trash" lines didn't do that for me. I was reading "can't put blame on that burning fire" as a possible double meaning, but I wasn't sure which way you were going. Is blame like oil and putting it on the fire makes a fire burn higher, hotter, etc? I thought that was interesting and could be polished up some throughout with a bit more message discipline so that all references to that retain or reinforce the double meaning. Overall the fire metaphor morphed from verse to verse and you might consider what your main fire metaphor is going to be and work your verses and choruses around that. The title of "Flaming Fire" is redundant--doesn't add much lyrically, but perhaps "Can't blame the fire" could work if the idea behind it gets developed more fully. Structurally, your verses and choruses felt a little too long because the rhyme structure changed every 4 lines and the rhyme expectations were only partially met. This was a gem, but got lost in your long verse. I'm thinking that you could say a lot more with fewer words, but there is lots of good stuff here to work from. ~T
  21. On first read this was lovely! The alliteration was subtle but effective. In the chorus the 3rd line stood out a bit--maybe to specific? Without that line the chorus has more of an ease to it. Now that might mess with the stabiity/instability contrast between verse and chorus, but your short, plaintive hook is worth repeating one more time in the chorus, like so: He holds on. He holds ontrying to pull back whatever's goneShe's there with him, but he's aloneStill.. he holds on He holds on I'll take another look at this with fresh eyes, but outstanding effort in my view. ~T
  22. Hi, John. This chorus really sings! Nice job with it. I also wasn't seeing a need to change it up at the end. The challenge is creating verses that have some progression but still fit logically with the chorus--almost like a conversation that leads back to the same main point of the chorus. A few ideas for the logic flow that could still fit the chorus: V1 - He gets the idea that she wants kiss him and he needs to warn her, more generally, that its all or nothing V2 - He gets more specific by sharing some history about being led on in the past and not wanting to be disappointed again V3 - He shares what his hopes are for a serious relationship going forward Just some ideas, but writing around this kind of logic flow really helps me when I'm trying to tell a story and avoid gaps that lead to disconnects between verse and chorus and between verses. ~T
  23. Hi, Patty. Thanks for critiquing. Lines 3 and 4 were meant to explain what playing along looks and feels like while keeping the words spare and stark to echo the mood of the song. Another take on that is to use a bit of repetition in the 3rd line which conveys a doubling down on a pretty hopeless thought. Performance-wise, I think there's a lot of space in the lines to play with it a bit, and with a melody to echo the sadness, the lyrics won't have to carry the burden of clarity on their own. Wrapped up in your memory There's no need to play along No going through the motions And always feeling wrong
  24. The Upside of Lonely Copyright © 2017 by L.C. Campbell V1 There’s an upside to lonely It seems to slow down time Hours never end And days drift slowly by When you give in to lonely It rises up inside Fills in all the spaces Where love used to reside Ch1 From the outside, looking in This ain’t no way to live But right now it gets me through So I’m going to hang onto The upside of lonely V2 Wrapped up in your memory There’s no need to play along Just going through the motions And always feeling wrong So I’m counting on lonely To fill me up inside To take up all the space Where love used to reside Ch From the outside, looking in This ain’t no way to live But right now it gets me through So I’m going to hang onto The upside of lonely Bridge Don’t want time to heal these wounds If healing means losing you Ch From the outside, looking in This ain’t no way to live But right now it gets me through So I’m going to hang onto The upside of lonely
  25. Hi, Patty. I think these lyrics (including the previous versions) have good bones. To my way of thinking you are trying to tell tell 2 stories at once and with fewer words, not more. That takes mad skills and you are working toward that. I really like the idea that the singer is giving advice based on her own experience. I think it would be more effective to save that reveal until the end of the song. What's still missing for me is wisdom that conveys "why" and "how" behind the hood. It's clear that the singer is advising against the affair, but it feels too easy to "just say no" "give him back your heart" and "teach him how to play--(but great line!)". This song needs to grab the audience, sit them down, and lay out some wisdom. For it to be convincing, I think the singer needs to make an emotional case for "why" by laying out what the advisee stands to lose if she has the affair. And the singer has the first-hand experience to be compelling (without the full reveal until the end). So think in terms of losing the love/respect of a good man, losing self-respect, etc, but saying it in a stark and lyrical way that says the cost will be high and you can't afford to pay it! The case for "how" also needs to be more specific and compelling. I like the sexy route of teaching him how to play, but is sex all that has turn her head or has she fallen out of love? So the big question for me is "how do you fall in love again"? You're not trying to produce a full how-to manual but within the scope of the song the singer could suggest what the first step (and possibly hardest) step might look like. I did have a few specific ideas about what you have so far, highlighted in red font. ~T You asked me to be honest So I’ll put it to you square (this word choice is folksy, which I like, but also uncommon enough to read like a forced rhyme imho) Girlfriend, please don’t do it Don’t have an affair You say this man is magic You can’t resist a rendezvous his moves (word choice is simpler and doesn't take the listener out of the magic metaphor; still has near rhyme) But magic’s an illusion I know, I’ve been there, too (It blinds you to the truth--or something similar to stay within the metaphor and save the reveal for later). Chorus: (Feels incomplete -- Add a possible second half to the chorus with a different 4th line?) Girl, don’t do it Just don’t do it Girl, don’t do it Take your passion home When you floated down the aisle Your heart beat just for him/You needed only him Give your heart back to your man him back your heart (cleaner and closer match to cadence of earlier verses) You can feel that way again Chorus: Girl, don’t do it Just don’t do it Girl, don’t do it Take your passion home Yeah, take your passion home tonight And find a way to stay Grab the man you married And teach him how to play Teach him how to play Teach him how to play Chorus: Girl, don’t do it Just don’t do it Girl, don’t do it Take your passion home