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Patty Lakamp    50

Hi,

 

I'd love some feedback on this lyric.  I've rewritten it a lot, and need some fresh eyes on it:

 

 

 

“Girl Don’t Do It”

(Patty Lakamp) 

 

 

There’s a secret I’ve been hiding

This once I’ll lay it bare

In the past when I was someone else  

I had an affair    

 

Now you’ve come to me for counsel

Because you are where I was

I’ve always loved you like a daughter 

And thank God I’ve earned your trust

 

 (Chorus)

Girl don’t do it

Find another way

You'll live with this forever

Think beyond today

 

My confession is unnerving

It still presents a threat

But I fear you’re heading down the road  

To a lifetime of regret  

 

 

 

I can see you’re sorely tempted 

I’ll keep your confidence

But you can’t hide secrets from yourself  

You’re the living evidence  

 

(Chorus)

Girl don’t do it

Find another way

You'll live with this forever

Think beyond today

 

Here’s the fundamental question  

A lover or a wife?

I chose not to be a woman who 

Carried on a double life 

 

 

 

So I keep this ugly secret 

I’m faithful to the core                

How will you answer the question

That could haunt you evermore?

 

(Chorus)

 

Girl, don’t do it

Find another way

You'll live with this forever

Think beyond today

 

 

Patty Lakamp © Copyright 2017

Edited by Patty Lakamp
Accidentally inserted a comment into the lyric
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Vara La Fey    39

Hi Patty. Your subject matter is a bit different than the norm, and that's good.

 

It's dry, tho, like Friendship Hurts was. It could use more pizzazz. EX: "There's a secret I've been hiding" sounds like a public apology, even tho it seems you're describing a more intimate girl-talk scene. So.... "Lemme tell a little secret" is more conspiratorial, and sexier for the reader/listener. And it flows off the tongue better for singability.

 

Nice hook. But you buried it again!!  :-(  Maybe consider....?

 

  PRECHORUS
  Girl don't do it
  Find another way....

 

  CHORUS
  Girl don't do it
  Girl don't do it
  That's all there is to it
  Girl don't do it

 

The 1st line of every verse is nicely consistent, but after that it falls apart a bit. One of the rhythm tricks I use (I've written lyrics all my life) is to read just the 1st lines of every verse, then just the 2nd lines, and so on. That will show you where it varies.

V3 "My confession is unnerving..." adds nothing and is dry dry DRY like the dusty face of the moon DRY!! V4 is even worse that way.

 

Patty, a stay-faithful song called "Girl don't do it" is potentially a hit. I imagine the Pussycat Dolls. So what would they do in the 3rd verse (or in any of them)?? V3 is a great time to get all sexy.

 

  I know he's oh so tempting
  and girl, I'd feel it too
  Bring that fire to your man at home
  he'll fall back in love with you

 

Not perfect, but isn't it a lot more pizzazz than "you're the living evidence"??

 

I suggest condensing to 4 verses at most, and write it more about the girl you're advising and not so much about the speaker. Focus on the temptation that must be avoided, and a little about WHY it must be avoided. (You could prolly fit "walk of shame" in there somehow - anything you say in there can be made hotter without losing the moral point.) Your scholarly advice is well-meant and on the money, but it's a speech. It's not a lyric.

 

Write a LYRIC for that thing. A hot sexy lyric that makes the case to stay true. It's a stay-faithful song called Girl Don't Do It about avoiding an adulterous sexual-psychological temptation, fer crissakes. That could really amount to something.

 

And I totally wish I'd thought of it.

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Patty Lakamp    50

Vara La Fey,

 

I KNEW you would come up with some great points.  Thank you.

 

Much to think about.  I like your idea of comparing all the first lines/second lines, etc. I need to get WAY BETTER with choruses, and use more repetition there to hammer it home.

 

I agree this could use more depth/pizzazz.  This woman is not "telling a little secret;" she's confessing to a devastating mistake she made.  It's way bigger than a little secret, so I need to work on that.  And it's not quite a "stay-faithful" song as much as a "Don't do this to yourself--you'll regret it forever" song.  (or maybe it's two songs, and I need to write each one better.

 

Anyway, I'm working on this one now, and you've helped.

 

I loved your last comment...very nice.  Thanks.

 

Patty 

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Vara La Fey    39

Well, I hope I've helped. But I didn't notice how important the confession was because I was mainly focused on that other direction with all those other possibilities. Sorry.

 

It takes practice to know how much ground you can cover in a single lyric. I think you're right that separate songs may be best.

 

If one was an intimate confession, you'd have a soul-search (or a soul re-gained) song that people could constructively relate to. It could be powerful. Would it even need to be about an affair? Would it even need to have a daughter-figure that you're advising? Maybe this would be the side of the coin where you simply admit the pain and deal with it.

 

Even if you keep it about infidelity, you could still get all Pussycat Dolls and sexy-conspiratorial for Girl Don't Do It. (Cause this is the side of the coin which needs that title. I'm real sure of it.)

 

If you write a "missing you" song that takes place after the divorce (which follows the confession - heh), then you're 3 songs into a concept album!! FWIW, they could all stand on their own as separate songs.  :-)

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Patty Lakamp    50

Vara,  

 

You really have great insight.  I'm working on a new version of Girl Don't Do It.  It's quite different and I'll post it soon for comment.

 

Patty

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Patty Lakamp    50

OK, here is a new version with a different focus. Have at!

 

 

 

 

 

Girl, Don’t Do It

(Patty Lakamp)

 

You asked me to be honest

So I’ll put it to you square

Girlfriend, please don’t do it

Don’t have this affair

You say this man is magic

You can’t resist a rendezvous

But magic’s an illusion

I know, I’ve been there, too

 

 

Chorus:

Girl, don’t do it

Just don’t do it

Girl, don’t do it

Take your passion home

 

 

Think back to when you married

How thrilling it was then

Give your heart back to your husband

You can have it all again

 

Chorus:

Girl, don’t do it

Just don’t do it

Girl, don’t do it

Take your passion home

 

This dream leads to a nightmare

So end it now, today

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

Edited by Patty Lakamp

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MikeRobinson    165

Quite honestly, both of these lyrics sound "incredibly forced," that is to say, "utterly and completely artificial."

 

Although, given the two, I prefer the former, because, in it, "the narrator has an emotional stake, too."

 

Hate to say it, but I must:  "take the first stanza, from the first version, and begin from there."

 

"In," I personally think, "the only possible version of this that could possibly actually work," the narrator must be talking about himself!

 

In other words:  "the actual(!) reveal(!!)" in this song is not "actually ..." about its ostensible subject.  Rather, it is about the narrator himself.  Everything that he says "to his subject," is, in fact, "sideways."

 

"There," if you can find it, "is your hit."

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Vara La Fey    39

Patty - much less clinical, much better, much more focused, much sexier!!  I especially love "Teach him how to play".  :-)

 

Minor suggestions to help polish it up: "don't have this affair" is prolly better as "don't have that affair", "your husband" would flow better if it was "your man", and "think back to when you married" is very clinical, but something more like "That time you said I do" would be warmer (if you fit it into your existing First Lines rhythm).

 

What I noticed in your lyrics is core ideas that are good, slightly unusual, and high-road, but written into prose that was cold and clinical. Cold and clinical art doesn't sell or inspire or communicate (since art is an emotional-psychological medium). Did you feel the difference when writing your new version? I'd bet you did.

 

Curious to see the other side of the coin, the confessional. That one prolly couldn't as sexy as GDDI, but could play the emotions in ways GDDI could never do.

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Vara La Fey    39

Mike, it's precisely the cold clinical - "forced" and "artificial" - element that she is growing beyond in the new version.

 

And the narrator's emotional stake is that of a friend who's been asked. That's in the first line. No further stake is needed.

 

On the surface, it sounds neat that the narrator could be talking to herself, but it unavoidably introduces shame, introspection and a back-story - with a twist!! - into a lyric that already has conspiracy and sexual temptation. There is no hit in that. It is twice too much for one song, and much of it would have to be sacrificed.

 

I don't think Patty is very experienced at writing lyrics, but she is already showing that she can generate slightly unusual and legitimate ideas, where most noobs write the same "I love you" or "I miss you" crap that most other noobs write because they have nothing to focus on at all.

 

But she fell into over-scope, as some noobs do. That's trying to do too much at once, and it is what we were talking about when she had the idea to split all that mess into 2 different well-focused lyrics.

 

It boggles my mind that you are not only advising against that, but are also suggesting an over-scope worse than the original.

 

Hopefully she plans to work on what I've been calling "the confessional", which is indeed a focus on that "first stanza". There has been a strategy in place here for several posts now. Please give it time to produce a full set of results.

 

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Patty Lakamp    50

Thanks, Vara for the very helpful feedback--and the encouragement!  I'm glad you liked "Teach him how to play!" Yes, I definitely felt the difference in the lyrics of this version vs the first version.

 

And you're right---I am NOT an experienced lyricist. This is what, the 5th or 6th lyric I've written in my whole life? Steep learning curve, and all that, but I'm getting it, thanks to critiques like yours.

 

"Overscope"--you nailed it! I will watch out for that. 

 

Yes, I will work on the "Confessional" version, but one song at a time. Right now, I"m focused on this more "pop" version of GDDI, and I have some specific questions for you.

 

I agree that every word matters, so can you please help me understand why "that" affair is better than "this" affair? I was thinking "this" because the two women are in a middle of conversation and the friend has just announced that she's planning to have an affair. So it's a reference to "this thing we're talking about right now."  I am open to changing it to "that" but I'd like to understand why "that" is better here.

 

Also, re "husband," vs. "your man." You mentioned "flow." Are you talking about the rhythm of a one-syllable word there (man) vs a two-syllable word (husband)?  If so, I get that immediately.

If that's not what you meant, I can see that "your man" might be somehow more "with it" or "contemporary," but personally, as a bit of a romantic, I love the word "husband."  To me, a husband is more than just a "man."  He's the one you chose over all others, the one you're committed to (or supposed to be committed to in her case)  and the word has a greater status than a "man."  Plus I like the alliteration of "Give your heart back to your husband."  It doesn't feel the same to me as "Give your heart back to your man." BUT, I respect your opinion, and I'd like to hear why you think "your man" is better. 

 

I have the similar reaction to "married," but perhaps not as strong. To me, "married" is a sensual word. At one point, I actually had a line in there about saying "I do," so I must have felt it was good then.  Is it a 50/50 choice (personal preference) or can you explain further why you prefer something like "that time you said I do"?  "that time" to me suggests a minor event, like "that time we met at the farmer's market", whereas getting married is a big deal. And in "think back to when you married" suggests to me a whole whirlwind of excited emotions around this life-changing decision as well as a period of time...the engagement, the parties, the dreams, the honeymoon, etc. I know, it's probably all subjective, but since everyone reacts differently, how to do know which is the better bet?

 

What do you think of a Bridge that talks more about WHY not to do it?

 

In fact, here is the latest version that I AM STILL REVISING.  The italics represent choices/directions I'm considering

Girl, Don’t Do It

 

 

You asked me to be honest

So I’ll put it to you square

Girlfriend, please don’t do it

Don’t have this affair/that affair

 

You say this man is magic

You can’t resist a rendezvous

But magic’s an illusion

I know, I’ve been there, too

 

 

Chorus:

Girl, don’t do it

Just don’t do it

Girl, don’t do it

Take your passion home

 

 

Think back to when you married/I remember when you married

You were captivated then

How thrilling it was then

How happy you were then

You had no need for other men

You found everything in him

You had everything in him

You had found your Superman

You needed only him

Give your heart back to your husband/your man

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

 

 "Overscope?" Or missing link?

Possible Bridge: This idea, not necessarily these words:

I tell you this as your best friend, because I've been in your shoes

I know firsthand the heartbreak and how much you have to lose

 

So 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

 

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Vara La Fey    39

Good questions.

 

This-n-that - It's a minor thing. I just think "this" is too immediate, referring to the present tense rather than a future tense. My first feeling was that the affair was between you and her. Of course I knew better, but it still hit me that way. This could be one of those subjective things, because I'm trans-female and sometimes I write naughty songs. I have a bit of a dirty mind. But I think ambiguity is best avoided unless you're doing some spiffy double-entendre sort of thing. An alternative could be "the affair".

 

Husbandry - "Husband" has great meaning, but isn't a pleasant sounding word, and it comes off very clinical to me and prolly to many others. And 2-syllable words with a stressed 1st syllable don't usually flow: they can be tricky in rhythm and very hard to rhyme (if you decided to rhyme it later). I've ended a line on "husbands" myself, but it fit the melody's rhythm and I knew I'd never try to rhyme it. "Your man" is indeed more contemporary, but not in a bad way. It's not always as committed as "husband", but often it's a synonym. Besides, you make clear in other lines that it is a committed married relationship. It's not ambiguous.

 

Alliteration all along - I never caught that because there are several words between the H's, even though they do fall nicely into downbeat rhythm. Alliteration can be good if it's a clear effect, and it's cool that you're playing with it already. (You're gonna have fun with this stuff!!) Even so, H might not be the best letter. It depends. Regardless, alliteration is a blatant thing. "Don't do, don't do, don't do it" would be a quick example.

 

Thinking back to marriage - "Married" wasn't really my nit-pick for that line. Look at it this way: the biggest rule-of-thumb for wordsmiths of any kind is "show, don't tell". Your original line "think back to when you married" tells something (and it's kinda cold and clinical and preachy). It's abstract; it doesn't show many images or actions. "That time you said 'I do'" brings a bit more to it concretely, and "do" conjurs a bit more action than "married". I agree that "the time" or something would be better than "that time". Umm, a quick suggestion that's closer to your original rhythm is "When you stood and said I do". A bit more imagery and a bit more action to spice it up a little.  :-)

 

Not everyone's reactions are always different. If they were, we could never communicate anything at all. I'm not always sure what the best bet is either. I think you have to put yourself in the listener's shoes a lot. That's hard, since you know your idea and your motivation, and they don't. I made that mistake in Radio Free World (it's posted in Songs and in Lyrics). It's a play on "Radio Free Europe", which not everyone remembers anymore. My bad.

 

Revision....

 

Yep, I still prefer "that".  :-P

 

I suggest avoiding "thrilling" and "captivated", as those things go away, and the whole point is that her marriage shouldn't go away. My choice would be "When you stood and said I do  /  you needed only him  /  Give yourself back to your man....". I think "yourself" is more fitting than "your heart", since love can't be re-created just to give him another chance, but fidelity can.

 

I don't think the possible bridge is overscope or a missing link because it really doesn't add anything: your first 2 verses cover it all either directly or by implication. Besides, I thought your "teach him how to play" section was the bridge. Just start it with "Yeah" to reinforce the chorus, rather than "So", which implies that taking it home is a new concept. "Teach him how to play" is a good bridge line anyhow.

 

You'll get this. You've come a long way using a lot of new concepts just in the last few days. That's why most of my comments in this post are nit-picks.  :-)

 

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John Craig    19

I've flipped back and forward on the two versions and I find myself drawn strongly to the first. It suggests  genuine experience, something believable that people would pick up on/ relate to yet it is expressed in simple terms. Some filling out , possibly employing the bridge from the second version? Version two seems too demanding, although it might have more appeal if I hadn't seen version one. It has so much promise, but throws up a lot of hurdles / nuances to telling the same story. Is it too clever

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Patty Lakamp    50
On 5/5/2017 at 1:57 AM, Vara La Fey said:

a LOT!

 

Vara,

 

You are an amazing resource!

Thank you for taking the time to answer so thoroughly.  I have so much to think about!

 

"This/that" affair...how about "Girl, Don't do it, Don't have an affair."  That takes the whole present tense/future tense thing out of it, and still delivers the message.  Actually, I WAS thinking present tense, immediate situation/conversation, but "an affair" works just as well for me, and if it avoids confusion, so much the better.

 

I see your point on husband/man and about the almost-alliteration.  No problem.

 

Thank you for reminding me of the "show, not tell."  I was having trouble understanding what you meant by clinical/cold and I'm now interpreting that to mean I was telling, not showing. Excellent reminder!  (Pesky side question:  Don't most "story songs" TELL?  I love this song by Dan Fogelberg, and it seems to me that he's TELLING through most of the song. So, I am still a little confused.)

 

Same Old Lang Syne

Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stood behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve

She didn't recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried

We took her groceries to the check out stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
As the conversation lagged

We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn't find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how

She said she's married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn't like to lie

I said the years had been a friend to her
And that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I saw
Doubt or gratitude

She said she saw me in the record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
But the traveling was Hell

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving, in our eloquence
Another "Auld Lang Syne"

The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away

Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And, as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain

 

OK, back to your comments:

I think your advice about "since love can't be re-created just to give him another chance, but fidelity can" is incredibly insightful! Wish I'd thought of that!  Subtle difference between "give yourself back" and "give your heart back" and I much prefer the former.  Thanks again!

 

I'm with you on dumping the bridge for the reasons you gave.  But I didn't think in terms of "Teach him how to play" as being a bridge. I thought it was just a logical extension of the verse.  But I do like the line, and I will definitely change "So" to "Yeah." Thank you!

 

Also agree with you that "not everyone's reactions are always different."  P.S.  I'm old enough to remember Radio Free Europe!

 

You're right about me trying to soak up a whole bunch of stuff in a short time.  My head is swimming!

 

Do most songwriters go through a period of hating their songs before they love them, or is it just me?

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Patty Lakamp    50
6 hours ago, John Craig said:

I've flipped back and forward on the two versions and I find myself drawn strongly to the first. It suggests  genuine experience, something believable that people would pick up on/ relate to yet it is expressed in simple terms. Some filling out , possibly employing the bridge from the second version? Version two seems too demanding, although it might have more appeal if I hadn't seen version one. It has so much promise, but throws up a lot of hurdles / nuances to telling the same story. Is it too clever

John,

 

I'm glad to hear you were drawn strongly to the first version.  I haven't given up on that one; I'm just focusing on the 2nd version right now. If you don't mind, what part of the first version resonated with you--which lines, etc. It's so helpful to know what works and what doesn't.

 

Thank you.

 

Patty

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Vara La Fey    39

Hey Patty.

 

"Girl, don't do it / Don't have an affair" is a decent solution, and calling up the title before the chorus can be effective. Thing is, your previous line "Girlfriend, please don't do it" was 2 syllables longer. You could use "I say girl, don't do it" to match the previous syllable count, but it only somewhat matches the previous rhythm. And this brings up another issue: identical syllable counts don't always create matching rhythm. Cause words are accented differently, and some can be sung starting at the end of the previous bar, and just all kindsa such weirdness and stuff.

 

You need a real rhythm guide for this thing. It can be one of your verses whose rhythm you like best (and you want the other verses to conform to it), or it can be one of the verses whose words you like and don't want to change (cause you'll have to rewrite things here and there to conform to a specific rhythm), or it can be a melody. Those are the easiest options, anyway, and I don't advise using other people's verses, which I did a lot as a teen, cause you might never get their melodies out of your head, and it'll never really feel like it's your lyric. Writing to rhythm is harder, but rhythmic lyrics almost always work better.

 

Yeah, "showing" is done verbally, but it means to create meaningful images rather than just saying that something happened.. The Fogelberg lyric does a wonderful job of showing. Let me quick-n-dirty-like rewrite some of his lines so that they merely tell.... Wow, I can't even do his first verse, as it's soooo full of imagery.... Ok, here's his second verse:

 

FOGELBERG SHOWING

She didn't recognize the face at first

But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried

 

LA FEY TELLING (Sorry, Dan!!)

She didn't recognize me right away

But pretty soon I saw she did

The old spark came back to a roaring flame

And we felt like a couple of kids

 

Do you see how my "rewrite" (sorry, Dan!!) just says stuff? In fact, it arbitrarily asserts stuff. It doesn't make a case for the things it says because it doesn't create any imagery in your mind. (And it also reads like a lot of the stuff that gets posted on these sites.) And is it more clear now why I said in the Friendship Hurts thread that there has to be something more interesting about how you met Jennie than what grade you were in? You replied that you'd met her by spilling coffee on her. I thought that was great, and I'll tell ya, Fogelberg wouldn't have let that image get away. Nuh uh!!

 

Merely telling is cold and clinical, yes, but a lot of your lines have also come across like a philosophy professor putting his class to sleep. "You're the living evidence" is a good example. You can't feel that. You can only think it. But if you express the same thought in a way that can be felt, it will make for a muuuuch better lyric. And you made huge progress on that between your first posting of GDDI and your more recent revisions.

 

Yes, "teach him how to play" is a logical extension. You bet. And logical extensions are kinda what bridges are for.  :-)

 

I know what it's like to be on multiple learning curves. I'm on about 10 distinct ones these days. I won't quit, so I just put my nose to the grindstone and accept the fact that I'm going to be stupid and ignorant for a looong time to come. It's become a lifestyle for me.  :-/

 

I went from loving to hating to re-loving the music for "Incoming" (its posted here). That's really weird for me, but it happened. I usually abandon something immediately if it isn't working for me, but Incoming had worked for me, so I gave it new chances it wouldn't have gotten otherwise. But it's always been the lyrics I'm proudest of in that one. I always loved "Radio Free World" and a few others I will track and post when I can.

 

So I'm not sure what to say about the love/hate thing. I would guess - and I could be wrong for sure - but I would guess it's just because you're really new to this. Therefore any good idea makes you love the lyric you capture that idea in, but then any flaw seems to be a total lyric-killer. Then you see that flaws can be fixed, and you fix them, and so you love the lyric again. As you get more experience, you'll be able to distinguish mountains from molehills, and you'll know better what kills a lyric and what merely gets in its way.

 

If this doesn't fit what you were asking about, then you might want to post it in the general discussion forum. Lotsa songwriters here, and some of them will understand your question better than I do.

 

OMG I WRITE LONG POSTS!! Sorry 'bout that.

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Patty Lakamp    50

Vara,

 

As usual, your comments and insights are spot on!  Thanks for going to the extra effort to dissect the Fogelberg lyric re showing/telling.  I see what you're saying!  <--Hah!  Imagery!

 

The thing about rhythm/syllable counts is interesting.  Initially, I thought syllable counts were how one gauged the rhythm.  But then I read some more "how to" books & articles and they all said STRESSES are what count.  So in Girlfriend, please don't do it, I counted that as GIRLfriend, PLEASE don't DO it...3 stresses, just like GIRL, DON'T DO it.  Your point about a "rhythm guide" is well taken.  That's a necessary step, and I think I let that slip as I was focused on the words. (I just went back to Fogelberg's lyric, and he's so good...the syllable counts AND the stresses are identical in all the first lines.)  What a talent!

 

About spilling coffee on Jennie...totally made up, but I see what you're saying.  who cares what year it was? Paint the picture.

 

I think you're right about the love/hate the lyrics syndrome.  More experience will ease the hate part, and make the love part even more satisfying.

 

I will check out the general discussion forum.  I've just explored this one so far.

 

Thank you Vara!

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Patty Lakamp    50

Hi, all,

 

Here's the latest version.  I've changed some lines, put some lines back.  Things I haven't decided on are in italics.

I think this is what I want to say; you can tell me if I've said it the best way:

 

Girl, Don’t Do It

(Patty Lakamp)

 

 

You asked me to be honest

So I’ll put it to you square

Girlfriend, please don’t do it

Don’t have an affair

 

You say this man is magic

You can’t resist a rendezvous

But magic’s an illusion

I know, I’ve been there, too

 

Chorus:

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

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

 

Patty Lakamp © Copyright 2017

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Vara La Fey    39

I like "When you floated down the aisle / your heart beat just for him". Good imagery, and nice ways to say those things. You painted the emotion, and that's a very good thing to do.

 

No "Give yourSELF back to your man...."?

 

You've got a nice, meaningful and sexy high-road lyric there.  :-)   And it's something a girl could have fun singing. Little tweaks, like making your last verse lines more rhythmically conformant, can come later, as you've now got a very solid framework that can guide whatever changes you might make.

 

Still wish I'd thought of it. <mumble, grumble>

 

Now's prolly not a bad time to re-read your "living evidence" version just to see and feel the contrast.

 

Stresses aren't the only thing that counts, but rhythmically I'd say they're the most important by a wide margin. But they can be misleading too in that you have to be careful about shoe-horning too many syllables in between them. ("It's ok because I have stresses!!" That'd be self-defeating, sorta like eating a dozen donuts because you also ate a salad.) Sometimes that works for stylistic purposes - it sounds a bit like rap or like an auctioneer. But usually you won't want that. And be especially careful about shoehorning extra syllables into only some of the lines, as that might be horribly inconsistent. But even there, it can depend on context. I have a punk song that ends each verse with a much longer line than the others, but it leads directly into the chorus, so it should be a dramatic tension-builder. Yep, it sure should. Unless I'm a ditz and miscalculated.

 

If you check out other forums on here, you will see what other people are doing, and that will be educational too. Paul Canuck is a good lyricist, judging from the 2 or 3 of his that I've read. (Err, maybe he's on Muse, and not on here....) You'll also see people doing things you maybe don't so much entirely completely want to do.... and that's an education in itself.

 

And reviewing is important here. Critique sites thrive on that, and they like at least a 2:1 ratio of reviews:submissions. Check out my stuff and make sure I'm practicing what I preach. (I've only posted "Incoming" and "Radio Free World" for now.) Look for titles that intrigue you and see if they live up to the promise. Or look for ones that don't. There are a million ways to learn around here.

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Patty Lakamp    50

Thanks, Vara,

 

I always look forward to your critiques.  Glad you responded well to "When you floated down the aisle..."  That's the image I had in mind.  You've had a tremendous effect on how I think of words/images.  I'm very grateful.

 

I go back and forth between "Give your heart back to your man" and "Give yourself back to your man." I like the sound of the first one better, plus it feels more romantic to me.  But I agree with your wise observation that you can't fake love for someone.  I'm thinking "heart" might signal an attempt to get the magic back, while "yourself" might mean just going through the motions.  Also, I wonder about using two "hearts" back to back --now THERE's an image!  I mean Your HEART beat just for him and Give your HEART back to your man.  So I'm also fussing with "Your heart beat just for him" vs "You needed only him." Two hearts in the same verse. Good/bad/neither?

 

Yes, I see the point about syllables/stresses and about not overdoing the extra syllables.  Also your point about some extra syllables being a good lead-in the the chorus.

 

I am committed to the 2:1 ratio, and have offered critiques that exceed that, I think.

 

More later...I have a box of doughnuts to finish first!  ;-)

 

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Timbre    158

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

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Patty Lakamp    50

Timbre,

Thank you for your insights.  I'd like to think about keeping the reveal till later.  I agree that the singer doesn't spell out WHY not to have an affair.

 

As I see it, the "girl" has had her head turned by a new man and she's chomping at the bit to have an affair. She's definitely sexually attracted to the new man, and probably doesn't know if she's still in love with her husband.  She's that stricken.  The singer is saying Don't Do it....I've been there, I know.  I can see why it would be stronger if she added reason(s) not to do it.  You've probably followed the whole one song/two songs theme in these critiques.  The "confessional" was more of the Why Not...the regret, the angst, the disappointment, the self-disgust...and the redemption (by staying true in the future.)

 

Gawd, I love a challenge! I'm going to have to do some serious thinking on this.

 

Thanks for your input!

 

Patty

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Vara La Fey    39

AAARRRGH, my donuts!! I wanted those!! And I've already choked down the salad!!

 

I guess I'll have to rise above it. Somehow.

 

K. Until you know what's going to be in the confessional, any further depth or backstory in GDDI might clash with it, or get redundant with it. If it turns out that such a reveal can be GDDI territory, then yeah, I'd say to try what Timbre suggested, but remember that a lyric has very limited scope just by its nature. And that reveals only work once. Is the "I see dead people" movie, or "A Beautiful Mind", as effective the 2nd time around? A lyric should work even better the 2nd time.

 

If it was my V2 and I didn't care about the reveal, I'd keep it as is. But if I wanted to leave room for a reveal, I'd go with:

 

You say this man is magic

You can't resist a rendezvous

But magic's just illusion

made for fooling you

 

I totally agree with Timbre that if you're going to have a reveal, the "been there too" part would have to be removed or saved for the end. But I think "rendezvous" is better than "his moves" because "you can't resist his moves" kinda sounds like she's already experienced them (his sex moves). Rendezvous is a nice sexy word that removes any of that possible confusion.

 

On self-vs-heart, you could also look at it like this: giving yourself back fits the lyric better because her heart is unknown, and it's her presence - herself, even if temporarily - that she's thinking of giving to someone else.

 

Redundant word use like "heart"/"heart" usually isn't good unless used for specific effect. But in your current lines, you could cheat it by saying "that heart", which makes 1 consistent thought rather than 2 coincidental word uses. But in your lyric as a whole, I don't think that faking love fits in at all.

 

GDDI might need a break. We've been hitting you with a lot of stuff here. If you moved to the confessional for a while, that should finish staking out your territory, and you could come back to GDDI with new perspective.

 

And you could start the confessional with a line about being sorry for eating Vara's donuts.

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moptop    13

Ms. Patty,  I really like your original draft although all of the suggestions are good too. I hope you don't object, I picked up my guitar and  playing around with some simple chord patterns and melodies just to see what I could come up with.  Now, I'm not a professional musician of song writer. ( can tell that by just listening to some of my stuff)  but from what I see, you can put this song in several different styles and all of them would be good.    I love the lines ....

On 4/21/2017 at 3:58 PM, Patty Lakamp said:

You'll live with this forever

Think beyond today

Not only is it telling the person seeking advise not to just look at the "here and now" so to speak,  It also reaches out to the listener and urges them to do the same thing, possibly making them reflect on a similar instance in there own life.  I'm a big fan of "KISS"... no, not the band....... keep it simple stupid!  I think you have done that here it works very well. 

Good work!!

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Patty Lakamp    50

Thank you, moptop!  It means a lot to hear that something I've written has resonated with a listener.  I'd love to hear your melodies for this song.  I am no good at that part of it at all!  

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Vara La Fey    39

Oh, sorry. Yeah, I meant the former: the 2nd+ time hearing the song or reading the lyric. By then the surprise is gone. It can still be a great lyric, but it loses that one element.

 

The early "I know" does add cred, but it also opens up a can of worms. The more I think on it, the more I'd avoid the worms. (You know, because.... worms!! Ick!!) And you can advise against adultery without having ever practiced it yourself. I think the been-there is best focused on in that other lyric that prolly doesn't even need the daughter-figure. They'd both be lyrics you just don't hear every day, and uniqueness will always set you apart from the herd.

 

But you have to bear in mind that all other commenters here like your 1st version as much or more. There might be something I'm missing.

 

But really, I can't begin to see it, and I'm sorely tempted to search out their lyrics and see if they make the same noob mistakes of coldness, preachiness and over-scope (or worse than those).

 

The argument for faithfulness is best expressed with all the why-nots, all the suggestions for rekindling the love, and all that stuff. And it's def the lack of more complete argument that these commenters are objecting to in later versions of GDDI. But it's not an argument, it's a lyric. And a lyric just can't do everything in 4 verses, a bridge, and a chorus (which is your reasonable max for any kind of pop song). At best you'd end up with really information-dense lines and verses, trying to squeeze everything in. There would be no focus, no smoothness, no room to catch your breath and absorb what the singer has already sung. Good songs with futures just don't do that. Ever. I wouldn't even begin to try fitting all that into one lyric, and I've spent decades as an info-dense overscope [pseudo-]lyricist.

 

And even IF you could fit it all in without the problems I predict, then what is the song about? The future or the past? The singer or the friend? The advice or the shame? A novel can be about all that. A short story, uhhh, maybe. A lyric? Snowflake in hell.

 

You can make a nod to those things, acknowledging them, but you can't write a tech manual for them. "Teach him how to play" is such a good acknowledgment. And in that spirit, I offered "made for fooling you" as an example of a way around the clash between "I've been there too" and a reveal, and also as a real argument against the perceived good to be found in infidelity. (Use the line if you want, but I've noticed that you're proud enough to write your own lines, which is great because it's how you apply the concepts you've learned.)

 

As a test of whether your latest version is complete enough, you could post it on another critique site and see what people say when they haven't already read the fuller-argument version. Msg me if you want URLs.

 

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Patty Lakamp    50

Thanks, Vara.

 

People mention messaging and private messaging.  How do you do that?

 

 

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tunesmithth    1,288

To access the messaging function....

  • Hover your mouse (cursor) over the name of the member you wish to message & a shortcut box will pop up. Once it does, click on the "message tab". 
  • or, access the actual member profile by clicking on their name...click on the message tab on their profile page.
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Patty Lakamp    50

Ok.  Here is my latest.  I'm following some advice, and choosing not to go with other advice.  I'm not saying I'm right, but this version feels good to me and the premise makes sense to me:  A conversation between two close girlfriends who have both faced affairs and asked for advice from the other beforehand.  I'm hoping this resonates with you.

 

Girl, Don’t do it

(Patty Lakamp)

You asked me to be honest

‘Cause of history we share

Girlfriend, please don’t do it

Don’t have an affair

 

You say this man is magic

You can’t resist a rendezvous

But magic’s an illusion

I know, I've been there, too

 

(Chorus)

Girl, don’t do it

You’ll be sorry if do it

Girl, don’t do it

Take your passion home

Yeah, that’s the better way to do it

Take your passion home

 

You know you said the same to me

When I was in your shoes

So listen to your own advice

You have so much to lose

 

(Chorus)

Girl, don’t do it

You’ll be sorry if do it

Girl, don’t do it

Take your passion home

Yeah, that’s the better way to do it

Take your passion home

 

When you floated down the aisle

Your heart beat just for him

Give your heart back to your husband

You can feel that way again

 

(Chorus)

Girl, don’t do it

You’ll be sorry if do it

Girl, don’t do it

Take your passion home

Yeah, that’s the better way to do it

Take your passion home

 

(Bridge)

Yeah, take your passion home tonight and find a way to stay

Grab that man you married and teach him how to play

Yeah, teach him how to play

 

(Chorus)

Girl, don’t do it

You’ll be sorry if do it

Girl, don’t do it

Take your passion home

Yeah, that’s the better way to do it

Take your passion home

Edited by Patty Lakamp

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Vara La Fey    39
On 5/11/2017 at 10:40 AM, tunesmithth said:

To access the messaging function....

  • Hover your mouse (cursor) over the name of the member you wish to message & a shortcut box will pop up. Once it does, click on the "message tab". 
  • or, access the actual member profile by clicking on their name...click on the message tab on their profile page.

 

Thanks, tunesmithth. Yep, she reached me.  :-)

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John Craig    19

Patty,

        my apologies for late response. The world of electronics is failing me badly at this time( laptop, car, mp3, phone, all unwell). Just a reiteration of my admiration for your first version. The confessional with two women,coffee cups / drinks, cigarettes, in close conversation is a very strong picture.Lyrics sung by Sade to enhance it. As previously suggested the bridge from version 2 would fit nicely and "What's the answer to the question" as a trim on the second last line of last verse.

Whatever else transpires, keep version one in your sights.Sweet and simple.

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