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CharliGirl

Glue

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CharliGirl    10
It's been awhile since I've posted anything here, but it feels good. I have a fairly solid melody in place for this and stylistically I was leaning towards country. Looking forward to some opinions! 
 
Glue
2016 (C) Hannah Prosch
 
[Verse 1]
 
Knock on her door at 3 in the morning
 
It's daddy saying come on girl, you gotta hurry
 
and help me calm your momma down
 
The red marks and bruises on his neck
 
Tell her that mom's been at him again
 
No, no, not again, not again
 
[Chorus]
 
But somebody's gotta be the glue
 
when the ones you love are abused
 
It's not fair, but life's not fair
 
Somebody's gotta tell the truth
 
keep it together 'til we get through
 
It's not a job any child should have to do
 
But somebody, somebody, somebody's
 
Gotta be the Glue
 
[Verse 2] 
 
When she was younger she used to wonder
 
what it'd be like to have a mother
 
that she could talk to
 
Just because mom was physically present
 
don't mean that she wasn't distant
 
Childhood didn't last, it doesn't last
 
[Repeat Chorus]
 
[Bridge]
 
Tossing the knives from the kitchen
 
In a plastic bag to be hidden
 
Just in case, when
 
[Repeat Chorus]
 
 

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zyzzyva    5

Hello, I'm David; I'm  new here, but saw your post, and I wanted to comment on it.

I tend to write things that are darker as you just wrote, so it piqued my curiosity.

It's hard to critique other's work as there are many variables to consider, but I will try.

First let me say that I like what you have written, but maybe it could flow better.

I believe as much as songs need to rhyme, they also need to flow.

I like verse 1, but maybe change line 2 from:

It's daddy saying come on girl, you gotta hurry.  TO:

It's daddy saying, girl you gotta hurry.

It fits better with the other measures.

Verse 2, line 3 you wrote: that she could talk to

Maybe complete it better by writing:

that she could talk and relate to.

Line 5 maybe use the singular verb doesn't in stead of don't

since your subject is singular and doesn't fits better in

the measure anyway.

The chorus, it's more of a flow problem. It's great until

the 6th line you wrote: It's not a job any child should have to do.

That's a little cumbersome. Why not say:

It's not a job a child should do.

The last 2 lines of the chorus is hard for me to respond to

because I'm not sure of the tempo .

This is a lot longer than I had planned. I apologize

if I offended you in any way.

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CharliGirl    10

David - thank you for your detailed critique!  It is much appreciated and I am not offended at all. 

 

I totally agree with your suggestions, especially with the line in the second verse. That line has bugged me for awhile, and I need fresh eyes to look at it.  I will be keeping this in mind for a rewrite. 

 

Thanks again and welcome to the forum!

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tomcollins    512

Hey, agree with what David said. I Like the view which this is told .rarely is it the man getting abused and always the kids suffer so tough subject.aside from that the structures off on the rhyme . from 1-2.David did pick up on the flow . sometimes less said is more . 

Would like to hear this ! 

Rock on 

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snabbu    435

Hi Hanna

The first thing to go to is the overall idea.  This is a subject, family violence that I am writing a lot about at the moment,t as its something that i think we need to deal with seriously. So to look at the idea,  that the responsibility of being the glue falls on the child, and that is a thing that should make us say "what are we doing?" and that's a good thing. 

So the song idea is really good. And the image of the child having her childhood stolen, by having to be the glue so early is really good. Says a lot with not a lot of words.

Communication is everything in this song, something has to be said, it's important that it is said to the utmost effect, and with clarity. And that is how I am looking at this critique.

 

The next thing to look at is the chorus.

 

"But somebody's gotta be the glue
when the ones you love are abused
It's not fair, but life's not fair
Somebody's gotta tell the truth
keep it together 'til we get through
It's not a job any child should have to do
But somebody, somebody, somebody's
Gotta be the Glue"

 

The hook somebody's got to be the glue is in the first and last line of the chorus, this is good technique, I call it a hook sandwich. It works. The point is the hook gets emphasised by doing this. The chorus is a stable structure, the rhyme scheme is AAXAAAXA the line lengths are about even and it has an even number of lines. Because the subject matter is unstable, writing it like this comes across as statement of facts. And for me that also works. The only thing is, I am a bit of a "but" Nazi, unless it is doing a job it's lazy and redundant. You have two "buts" in here the last one is doing a job the first one I am not convinced about,

if i do this:

"somebody's gotta be the glue

when the ones you love are abused"

The "but" is not missed so I would consider if it's needed. 

 

The next thing to look at is the bridge. 

 

"Tossing the knives from the kitchen
In a plastic bag to be hidden
Just in case, when"
 
This is a little unstable because it ends in a line that rhymes with nothing, uneven line lengths and uneven number of lines. The content is unstable as well because it contains incomplete thoughts. So as a section in isolation it 's structure and it's content match, and that makes a powerful statement. There is also the thing that this appears between two stable choruses, and it's instability creates contrast. Which is important, tension in the bridge, release in the chorus. This is also good technique. 
 
So does the bridge perform its function i.e.. connect from here to there?
Here: is "somebody's gotta be the glue."
There: is  (no surprise), "somebody's gotta be the glue." due to the hook sandwich. So if i Say
"somebody's gotta be the glue.
Tossing knives from the kitchen" does that connect?
And at the other end if I say
"Just in case, when somebody's gotta be the glue"
I am not convinced by either of the connections.
 
Problem:  great bridge, on topic, focussed, right images, but it is not connecting.
 
Everything is a compromise, you know I really like the "when" at the end of the bridge, because it's like when what? like anything can happen. For me its a thing because when I was getting married I remembered my father saying "never fight in the kitchen" so the when is like the doubt is someone gonna grab something sharp from the knife block. 
But the when is not connective into the chorus. 
 
The front connection is easily fixed with a "like" or a "by" 
"somebody's gotta be the glue.
like Tossing knives from the kitchen"
But it's the end connection keeping the , "when" and still connecting. 
A solution is to put the "but" back in the chorus, it's a universal connector. 
If i say "Just in case, when.... but  somebody's gotta be the glue"
That is connected. However because but is redundant in the chorus I feel you should use it only in the bridge.
 
"Like tossing the knives from the kitchen
In a plastic bag to be hidden
Just in case, when, but"
 
That would save what is important for me from the bridge, which is the powerful unpredictable "when" and glue the bridge and the chorus to each other.
 
The verses should support the chorus, do they ? Yes there is two aspects in there, the stolen child hood and the evidence of violence. 
so thats cool. It's focused. 
Is the voice in the verses right? I think it is because in the verses you are talking about "her" in the chorus you are telling "us" it sucks. So for me the voice is a good choice.
 
The verses don't work for me completely and I think it's either too obvious, too much info, or maybe it's just the split statements that are causing me to not be comfortable with them.
 
You've written this 
"
Knock on her door at 3 in the morning
It's daddy saying come on girl, you gotta hurry
and help me calm your momma down
The red marks and bruises on his neck
Tell her that mom's been at him again
No, no, not again, not again"
 
This contains three split statements one is because of redundant "and" that's easy just loose that. Because I want for contrast with your stable chorus, your verse needs to be really unstable. You have made a real good start, there are no rhymes as such. Consider this.
 
Knock on her door at 3 in the morning
It's daddy saying come on girl, you gotta hurry
help me calm your momma down
The red marks and bruises on his neck tell her that mom's been at him again
No, no, not again, not again
 
Now that has no split statements and is so unstable its gonna be a huge relief when you get to the chorus. 
 
If you stick beat loop on your sound system about 80 bpm 
chant the verse lyric to the beat, just the first verse, and get it to feel really scary, because that is what this is, get the emotion happening.
Get it so you are convinced it's right.  Fiddle with your line length, I don't think you need to rhyme.  But it might be stuff like" hurry" being two syllables sounds  wrong and "rush" would be better, stuff like that little things. Then edit the second verse to match, which means loosing some rhymes. But that's easier than finding them.
 
 
I just had a look at what Tom and David had to say and I had to double check the chorus in regard to the back end where you say 
"
It's not a job any child should have to do
But somebody, somebody, somebody's
Gotta be the Glue"
 
There was a thought that line six was cumbersome. I didn't pick up on that so let me just check.
 
It's not a job any child should have to do the bolded syllables being the naturally emphasised syllables in the way I would say it to get the point across if I was speaking.
Or I might say 
It's not a job any child should have to do
In both case the lines are 5 stressed syllables long. If I did it the first way it would be a continuos line. If I did it the second way it would be 
"It's not a job any child...... should have to do" and both ways it seems ok to me, and really it would be a matter of what felt more compelling comming out of the speakers. 
 
My melodic instant tells me that this is a pick up note followed by two triplets.for the first five words, then whatever but all climbing.
 
Like:
4       (1 triplet)   (2 triplet)  (3 rest)  (4 triplet         )     1 23
It's     not a job  any child              should have to     do
 
So thats like three ways I can do this melodically so I'm cool with that line. And the reason for the triplets is of course what follows like 
"somebody" (triplet)"somebody" (triplet) "somebody" (triplet) 
Gotta be the glue"
 
So triplets it is works for me rhythmically. 
 
Something Tom said " sometimes less is more" is nagging me, in regard to the verses, It may be that if you work the verses as I have said they still won't work. Because the other thing that could be wrong is the verse story is too linear and prescriptive, and should be more connective imagery.
I am concerned that the problem might be you are telling me the story not showing me the story. So be prepared to try several fixes and sweat a little. 
 
So in summary, good song idea, nice song image, " glue", nice angle shame on you leaving it too the kids. Technically is about 90 percent there. The main thing to think about is the verses. Just fiddle and chant to a beat, and get that really disturbed feeling happening, and your done.
 
Nice writing, enjoyed it a lot. 
 
Cheers
 
Gary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Edited by snabbu
Point about Toms comment which is most probably correct.
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CharliGirl    10

Thank you all for the detailed critique - I genuinely appreciate it more than you know. :)

 

I am thinking I might extend the bridge a few lines, and I will work on polishing the verses. I have a sort of chanting rhythm for the verses, so I think this will help. I've never thought about telling vs showing the listener the story - definitely lots to think about here!

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