Timbre

Keep My Powder Dry

15 posts in this topic

Keep My Powder Dry

Copyright © 2016 by L.C. Campbell

 

Verse 1

 

When love turns to war

It’s not love anymore

Home is a battleground

Casualties all around

Don’t even remember what I’m fighting for

 

Chorus 1

So I’ll keep on keepin’ on

Give nothing away

Bind up my wounds

Live to love another day

 

Hold my head up high

You won’t see me cry

No tears on my face

I’ll keep my powder dry

 

Verse 2

 

We were on the same side

Now the gap’s a mile wide

I can’t see your heart from here

Who we were has disappeared

There’s no point in fighting what’s already died

 

Chorus 2

So I’ll keep on keepin’ on

Give nothing away

Bind up my wounds

Live to love another day

 

Hold my head up high

You won’t see me cry

No tears on my face

I’ll keep my powder dry

 

 

Bridge

I’ve learned the hard way that lipstick and blush

Just aren’t enough when the going gets rough

 

Chorus 3

So I’ll keep on keepin’ on

Give my heart away

In spite of my wounds

I’ll live to love another day

 

Hold my head up high

You won’t see me cry

No tears on my face

I’ll keep my powder dry

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Hey T, I like the twist of phrase in keeping your powder dry. 

 

I think some lines could better define the intent.  At the end of verse one, Don’t even remember what I’m fighting for, feels like it gives up on the image of the battle.  There could be a better or rhyme to complete that intent of verse 1.

 

Verse two, same thing, same position.  There’s no point in fighting what’s already died.   

 

The bridge is cute, and I get what you're saying, the rest of the makeup kit comes out and getting pretty is going to find you another man, but the only line to support it is I'll give my love away and that line isn't clear enough.   

 

Overall, I like the lyric.  I like the rhyme scheme, a lot!!!  I do think keying into the strength could be better.  In a way, it could be seen as the way a woman deals with a breakup is by putting on makeup. That supports the hook, but the intent seems weak enough to work better in the 2nd person point of view.  An observer saying, it's going to take more than lipstick and blush but keep your powder dry and you'll get through this. 

 

I don't know.  Critique wise, to me, the write is strong in structure, but would benefit from better support.

 

Tom

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Thanks, Tom. Very helpful critique.I felt the intent drifting in some places so I'll rethink those lines and a few others. I stared at those 2 lines in bridge for far too long and I struggled with how best to fully reveal the double meaning without being too cute. Clearly I'm not there yet. I can appreciate that makeup/breakup rhyme even if that tips over into full out cutesy. I want to stick closer to the idea that you don't waste tears on just anybody; better to save them for a relationship worth fighting for. I'll keep working . . . 

 

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T, I think a little exploration for better end rhymes will bring those lines around. 

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I think I know how this write came about because I think this way when it comes to writing a lyric out of the blue.  I look for twists of phrase.  It could be any phrase, but if I can think of a twist, I'll start with that and build a lyric around it, or under it, to support it.

 

In this case, the phrase keep my powder dry is the phrase, and the twist is getting away from the more common expression of black powder used for weapons and the powder used in makeup.  Without that twist, there really isn't a reason to have another lyric about breakups. 

 

Is there a stronger connection for the twist of phrase?  I think so.  I think there's another woman.  It's not the man you're keeping the powder dry for, it's another woman who's after the man.  Then it's not another breakup song.  I'm a man tho, so there is a skipped frame of mind if I compare what I think is stronger to what a woman might think is stronger.  A relationship worth fighting for, defending the stupid guy who may fall victim to a woman who knows the game and is after him.  But she doesn't know who she's dealing with.  Even playing with the old definition of the phrase, "I've got my sights set on you". 

 

Candle light, his mothers heirloom necklace, The dress you wore in Cancun.  he may not know her tricks because he's just an average man, but he doesn't know yours either, she hasn't got a chance, lipstick and a dance, whispers in the night, better keep her powder dry, because she's in for a fight that ends tonight kind of romance with an objective of keeping it together. 

 

Just some thoughts from a stupid man. 

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Tom and Hobo--So interesting hearing the male perspective on this.You guys are out for revenge and bullets are whizzing by! :)  I started from the original literal meaning of the phrase but wanted to give it an interpretation from a female perspective that may seem softer but also has power at the same time. So the idea of keeping your face powder dry is another way of saying that you're not going to waste tears/emotion on someone whose not worthy. Chasing him down, hunting down the other woman, or making the next guy pay, may seem like power moves, but to my way of thinking that's only giving more power away b/c you're still stuck. The harder thing for the singer to do is walk away with her head held high and not become bitter (ie. "live to love another day"). I'm not above a good revenge fantasy, but trying to go another way here. Your critiques will help me be more intentional about that.

 

Now about that powdered lipstick--that is a simple question with a complicated answer that might require its own forum!

 

Thanks - Lisa

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Lol, hunter mentality, silly men.

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Hi Timbre,

 

Nice work. i thought you were going there right off :)  

 

My suggestion would be to make the line 

"You won’t see me cry"

 

Have as much impact as

 

"I’ll keep my powder dry"

 

Maybe

"I've learned not to cry"

 

Peggy

 

 

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I like that idea. Thanks for critiquing. -T

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13 hours ago, Timbre said:

Tom and Hobo--So interesting hearing the male perspective on this.You guys are out for revenge and bullets are whizzing by! :)  I started from the original literal meaning of the phrase but wanted to give it an interpretation from a female perspective that may seem softer but also has power at the same time. So the idea of keeping your face powder dry is another way of saying that you're not going to waste tears/emotion on someone whose not worthy. Chasing him down, hunting down the other woman, or making the next guy pay, may seem like power moves, but to my way of thinking that's only giving more power away b/c you're still stuck. The harder thing for the singer to do is walk away with her head held high and not become bitter (ie. "live to love another day"). I'm not above a good revenge fantasy, but trying to go another way here. Your critiques will help me be more intentional about that.

 

Now about that powdered lipstick--that is a simple question with a complicated answer that might require its own forum!

 

Thanks - Lisa

Yes, the intent of the twist of phrase is obvious.  Anyone who reads the lyric or hears the song will understand your intention.  What I'm saying is, there is little  else in the lyric aside from the twist that is interesting and new.  The bridge is good, heck, that would make better chorus material than what is in the chorus 1 and 2 now.   

 

I may be wrong, but It reads as if the rest of the lyric was rushed just to present the hook.  The cliche lines say what you want them to say, almost every line down to the bridge, and then the first original thought comes out.  

 

Thats is a telltale sign of a quick write.  If I look at the end rhymes, I find the culprit.  There are no new rhymes.  Nothing to support original expression.  

 

Im not saying anything new here, this was my original critique.  The hook is new and interesting, the bridge is new and interesting, the structure is sound and the rhyme scheme works well, but all the rest of it is weak because of cliche lines and Weak end rhymes and worn out storyline .  

 

I would start tart again with the strong points and rework the storyline by first finding the interesting words, then some interesting new rhymes, and then some new adjectives and adverbs.  This way you are almost guaranteed not to end up on cliche highway.

 

The strongest aspect of the lyric, and what will make this a good song is the twist of phrase.  In that, it's golden.  And like almost all pop music, if you never adjust a single line, the cliche lines will sail through with the melody, look at John Legend, boring as hell but he's a rich man.  But why do that?  

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Hey T

I like this, nice twist with bridge . last 2 lines verse 2 didn't flow or fit well with me .

Read this when ya posted it . dudbt have time to get back.but for me a country melody came to mind .

Other then those two lines didnt have any other nits.

Rock on 

 

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Yep. I can see the country vibe. I'm reworking V2 so will keep your crit in mind for that. ~T

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I like this a lot, good write. The thing that really stuck out for me, is what Tom mentioned

 

I can’t see your heart from here

Who we were has disappeared

 

I have no prob with near rhymes, they can work well., it's just the flow seems of as a read. Now, how it's articulated in song can make this a mute concern if done right, but as a read, it does seem off a tad. Now that can be subjective, but since I think this is a very good write, I had to throw out my take on it. Maybe;

 

"Who we were is gone I fear" or something along those lines. But, like I say, that can be a subjective thing. Very nice write regardless.

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Thanks for reading.  The articulation in my head feels smooth, but if those lines aren't coming across so well for others than they need some tweaking. I'm trying to develop the idea that the couple is so far apart now that they can't see each other so your lyric idea fits with the meaning in general. The "I fear" is a little too soft for where the singer is by this point. She's no longer worried about the relationship; she's over it.But again, I take the main point and will work on it. And the more I read it, the final line in V2 has completely veered away from the main idea so those final 3 lines can certainly hang together tighter than they are now. Appreciate you weighing in. ~T

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On 2/1/2017 at 9:14 PM, Timbre said:

 

When love turns to war

 

It’s not love anymore

 

Home is a battleground

 

Casualties all around

 

Don’t even remember what I’m fighting for

Hey!

 

What do you think about rearranging this a bit?

 

home is a battleground

casualties all around

when love turns to war 

It's not love any more

don't even remember what I've been fighting for

 

I believe starting with the metaphor helps unveil what this song is about. I think if you could create a metaphor for the second verse to provide continuity also. 

 

I honestly didnt go through what everyone else has said, but maybe that is better. No influence on my perspective.

 

The chorus feels cliche from the first line. I think there are different ways to say "keep on keep in' on" that also give it the same feel. 

 

I have been been reading Pat Pattison's lyrics book and he describes cliche as a "narcoleptic puppy." Lol

 

The cliche causes the puppy to fall asleep. He wakes up again when you move to something more original. 

 

I like the the ideas you have here. Thanks for sharing!

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