john

Lyrics Writing Challenge #4 - It's In The News

31 posts in this topic

Hi Gang

 

This week's challenge is in two parts....

 

Part 1:

 

Write a song inspired by something in this week's news.

 

Please supply a link to that news item to aid discussion about the lyrics.

 

Note, lyrics need to be "inspired by" they do not need to be literally about that news item.

 

Part 2:

 

Write in first person, as one of the main characters.

 

Have fun!

 

Cheers

 

John

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

Hi,

My take on the news challenge. Appreciate any comments :)

 

Article

May 1 2017 Science Daily

The Mysterious Powers of Spider Silks

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170501112627.htm

Threads Of The Finest Silk  Copyright 05/01/2017 Peggy L. Smart'Barnes

--------- C 1 ---------
We were born with it
Mystery of strength
We adorn in it
Threads of the finest silk
Weaving our world

-------- V 1 ------------
I'll write your name in the moonlight
Perfumed across the tightwire
I've built for you
Waiting to feel your vibrations
Will you know the way to me

--------- V 2 -----------
I'll draw you in with a coolness
Immuned beyond any notions
That may not be
There are so many battles
Will you find a way to me

--------- C 2 ----------
We were born with it
Mystery of strength
We adorn in it
Threads of the finest silk
Weaving our world

---------- V 3 -----------
Encased by my silkened cape
Consumed by the attention
I"ll give to you
When sunlight bares no shadow
Will you walk away with me

--------- C 3 -----------
We were born with it
Mystery of strength
We adorn in it
Threads of the finest silk
Weaving our world


 

Edited by Peggy
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post

Nice Peggy, for some reason and could just be me I think you could lose the "full" in the chorus? You might need to add something, maybe The Mystery? Not sure.

One thing is the verse and chorus sort of follow each other in that 3rd line, I wondered to drop it in the verses? Might need a bit of tweaking but would change the similarities between them.

 

Perfumed to draw you in? Just my thoughts. Of course with a verse change? 

 

Like this and you have captured a lot of the spider in this but others I am sure will give you deeper insight than I.

 

Les

Ps mines a rap that I wouldnt post in adult section lol! 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Les,

Thanks for the read and the comments!

 

"Full" out of the chorus good call :)

Thinking through the rest.  But I see that similarity.

 

A rap huh?

 

:)

Peggy

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

11 minutes ago, Peggy said:

Hi Les,

Thanks for the read and the comments!

 

"Full" out of the chorus good call :)

Thinking through the rest.  But I see that similarity.

 

A rap huh?

 

:)

Peggy

A rap huh?

More swear words than the swear word dictionary! If one exsists? Certainly not for the challenge! Not finished but about half there no tweaks. Keep this one to myself.

 

just my thoughts on your lyric but I like the overall of it.

 

LG

Edited by Skin
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

Hi, Peggy.

 

Double enjoyment here--interesting article and lyrics. I like the interplay of science and art, so great take on the challenge.

 

I agree with Les on creating more contrast between verse and chorus structure. That 3rd line of the verse got my attention too, because I needed to stop each time I got there and connect it up with the line 2. The phrases throughout feel very ephemeral to me, which I really like but that makes it hard to grab onto an idea if it is broken up across 2 lines. So you might consider tweaking the verses with that in mind.

 

Consider using "will" in the last lines of each verse to give a bit more punch and to keep that connection with the previous verses--to add another layer to the metaphor you could think of the song as a spiderweb and you want to weave as many connections as possible between the different parts. 

 

9 hours ago, Peggy said:

Immuned beyond any notions

I think this is a beautiful line to read and mull over in the poetic sense, but hard to project to an audience. The best way I have to describe it is that when I say the words they sort of stay in my mouth rather than float out into the room. I'm sure there is a technical term for it, but that's how it struck me. It's both the singability and the meaning wrapped up together and both feel muted to me.

 

As I mentioned before, I love the ephemeral quality that you are creating, and the lack of rhyme also gives the song a softer quality yet draws you in--all of which fit the spider web theme really well. ~T

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

Hi Timbre,

Thank you for the read and very good comments.  Science is kinda one of my things..so it's fun for me to use it in writing sometimes. 

 

Yay, Les and you have me focused on that 3rd verse line. I can fix it just haven't figured out how yet. Thinking.

Great "will" suggestion made that change. "Immuned" line. I get what you saying. Weighing effect.

 

The lack of rhymes is so funny to me.  Wasn't intended that way until i started moving to other verses while writing and noticed. 

:) working on your guys comments.

Peggy

Edited by Peggy

Share this post


Link to post

http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/04/24/massachusetts-marijuana-legalization-regulation/78226/

They recently legalized pot here in Massachusetts. Here's a song about it!

 

Rolling on the Hill

 

As children rolling down the hill

Arms are tucked, our bodies stiff

Bump and thumping rolling down

Never straight and crashed at  the bot tom

 

Laughing til our sides were aching

In our mouths, the grass was fragrant

On our backs, we just lay there

Watching clouds and space invaders

 

Chorus:

Rolling, yes we were rolling

Rolling on the hill

Rolling, yes we were rolling

Rolling on the hill

 

On the hill, a few years later

Rolling joints was so much greater

We were running all around

Never straight and crashed at the bottom

 

Laughing til our sides were aching

In our mouths, the grass was fragrant

On our backs, we just lay there

Watching clouds and space invaders

 

Chorus

 

At Green Hill Retirement Home

Medicinal stuff got stoned

We rolled our wheelchairs down the hall

Never straight and crashed at the bottom

 

Laughing til our sides were aching

In our mouths, the grass was fragrant

On our backs, we just lay there

Watching clouds and space invaders

 

Chorus

 

At Sunny Hill Cemetery

That is where we were buried

We were rolling in our graves

Never straight and crashed at the bottom

 

Laughing til our sides were aching

In our mouths, the grass was fragrant

On our backs, we just lay there

Watching clouds and space invaders

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

I like it, Ali - both the lyric and legal weed. :)  Since the whole rest of the lyric is written in past tense, it seems to me that the phrase here should be "we just laid there."  Just my opinion. 

 

 

Edited by HoboSage

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

Hi Ali,

Good one!  The cemetary verse alittle odd to me because dead but telling the story.

 

Enjoyed your lyric!

:)

Peggy

 

Edited by Peggy

Share this post


Link to post

Hi, Ali.

 

I like the progression of the story. One suggestion I had is to tweak the first lines of V3 and V4 so they are a little less literal and paint a picture like V1 and V2 without naming the retirement home and the cemetery. That sort of pulled me out of the song to make sure I "got it".

 

I had the same reaction as Peggy to the cemetery verse. Then I got to thinking about being dead and buried with grass in the mouth and . . . I didn't feel like singing anymore! Just a thought, but maybe the last verse would better capture the dream quality of the other verses if you bypassed the cemetery and revised that last verse to be a scene in heaven, the afterlife, or some other imagery. Not making a religious recommendation, just a lyrical one :) !

~T

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

Hi Ali

welcome to the group and good for posting this.

I have added a couple of ideas that came to me as I read and they are only my thoughts and hope they help in some way.

Not much of  a critiquer but like to offer something when I can.

All just ideas that may work or not but also may spark something for you.

 

I like that you are using the 2nd part of the verse as a refain but in the last verses it doesn't make sense as it did in the 1st 2 just my thoughts.

 

Like the story and I think it just needs a bit of TLC

 

Good luck

Les

 

At Green Hill Retirement Home/ Ending up in a retirement home

Medicinal stuff got stoned/ we got stoned on the medicinal stuff

We rolled our wheelchairs down the hall

Never straight and crashed at the bottom / Wondered if "we crashed and burned" works for this line throughout the lyric? Mmm just a thought. Also burned as in smoked?

 

Laughing til our sides were aching

In our mouths, the grass was fragrant.... These 3 next lines dont make sense now! 

Edit. I get the line above now! What a dummy for missing that! Sorry Ali.

On our backs, we just lay there

Watching clouds and space invaders

 

Chorus 

 

At Sunny Hill Cemetery....buried deep now in the ground

That is where we were buried....we still get our ghostly highs? Not sure just an angle to try?

We keep on rolling in our graves? 

Never straight but always burned? Just an idea for the last line in this verse reference puffing lol!

 

Edited by Skin

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, Thanks! I like all of these recommendations. You guys are good!

Share this post


Link to post

I love this challenge idea and actually did something like this on my own a few weeks ago. I'm finding that the news topic that got my attention this week (lunch shaming) is feeling too big emotionally to contain in lyrics just yet, but I'm working on it. But in the meantime . . . 

These lyrics did not get written under the time pressure of this song challenge, but I think they meet the brief and I haven't posted them before. I wrote them about a month ago after reading about all the social division in the US and around the world. I mainly needed to express what I was feeling and not lose hope that we could find a way forward. I recently made my first demo using a modified version of these lyrics. But this is how the words originally came to me after reading articles in this series below.

 

https://www.ap.org/explore/divided-america/

 

Two Hearts at a Time

Copyright © 2017 by L. C. Campbell

 

 V1

Dividing lines and choosing sides

Leaves no room to change our minds

You hold a gun, I hold a sign

We’re both holding on for dear life

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

V2

If God is love, and to love is divine

Don’t let hate control our minds

Who are we to decide

That some love wrong, and some love right

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time   

 

V3

The common ground is open wide

With room enough to free our minds

I’ll meet you there and we will find

My pain is yours and yours is mine

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But it’s time to make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/2/2017 at 0:23 AM, Peggy said:

We were born with it
Mystery of strength
We adorn in it
Threads of the finest silk
Weaving our world

Peggy,

 

I had a random thought related to your lyrics. When I first read it, it tickled something at the back of my brain that I read before about how spider webs are a metaphor for our lives. Webs are woven from the gut (literally!). They are also about weaving connection but you can't always see a web looking straight on--sometimes the light has to be just right or you have too look from the right angle, but it's there even if you can't see it. In human terms I think it means that we don't always see the web but we are all connected by our shared intuition. Again, a random thought but your lyrics brought it to mind. I think that's what lyrics are supposed to do :).

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Timbre said:

I love this challenge idea and actually did something like this on my own a few weeks ago. I'm finding that the news topic that got my attention this week (lunch shaming) is feeling too big emotionally to contain in lyrics just yet, but I'm working on it. But in the meantime . . . 

These lyrics did not get written under the time pressure of this song challenge, but I think they meet the brief and I haven't posted them before. I wrote them about a month ago after reading about all the social division in the US and around the world. I mainly needed to express what I was feeling and not lose hope that we could find a way forward. I recently made my first demo using a modified version of these lyrics. But this is how the words originally came to me after reading articles in this series below.

 

https://www.ap.org/explore/divided-america/

 

Two Hearts at a Time

Copyright © 2017 by L. C. Campbell

 

 V1

Dividing lines and choosing sides

Leaves no room to change our minds

You hold a gun, I hold a sign

We’re both holding on for dear life

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

V2

If God is love, and to love is divine

Don’t let hate control our minds

Who are we to decide

That some love wrong, and some love right

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time   

 

V3

The common ground is open wide

With room enough to free our minds

I’ll meet you there and we will find

My pain is yours and yours is mine

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But it’s time to make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

Cant argue with this T, well,written and I loved the recording.

~L

Share this post


Link to post

So tempted to try this one!

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39830447

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

There's some good material in there!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
57 minutes ago, Timbre said:

 

There is.

57 minutes ago, Timbre said:

There's some good material in there!

 

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

21 hours ago, Timbre said:

Peggy,

 

I had a random thought related to your lyrics. When I first read it, it tickled something at the back of my brain that I read before about how spider webs are a metaphor for our lives. Webs are woven from the gut (literally!). They are also about weaving connection but you can't always see a web looking straight on--sometimes the light has to be just right or you have too look from the right angle, but it's there even if you can't see it. In human terms I think it means that we don't always see the web but we are all connected by our shared intuition. Again, a random thought but your lyrics brought it to mind. I think that's what lyrics are supposed to do :).

Hi Timbre, i love your " random" thought and how beautifully you expressed it.

(I have some thoughts on the 3rd line changes, you guys suggested, just haven't got them updated).

 

:)

Peggy

 

Edited by Peggy

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

I missed that this was happening widely in schools because I don't have small kids, but I tried to put myself in the shoes of the woman coming to the realization that she couldn't continue to follow the school policy of lunch shaming. I think we've all found ourselves not living our values, in big ways or small. I know I have. How do we find our way back?

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pennsylvania-school-cafeteria-worker-quits-over-lunch-shaming-policy/

 

Shame in Their Eyes  

Copyright 2017 by L.C. Campbell

V1

They reached out in need, too hungry for pride

Starving for more than a meal could provide

Too young to disguise the shame in their eyes

The shame that feeds the fire

 

V2

They were looking for safety and somewhere to hide

Holding out hope that the world would be kind

I turned away from the fear in their eyes

The fear drives the flames higher

And I burn

 

Ch1

I burn for the helpless

I burn for the hurt

In my little corner of hell here on earth

I burn

 

V3

Just a cog in the wheel, it’s no fault of mine

To turn them away at the front of the line

They were too young to fight the tears in their eyes

Those tears branded me a liar

 

V4

I went looking for safety and somewhere to hide

Holding out hope that the world would be kind

Is there a way back for the cruel and the blind

Redemption’s my greatest desire

And I yearn

 

Ch2

To turn to the helpless

To turn to the hurt

In my little corner of hell here on earth

It’s my turn

 

To turn to the helpless

To turn to the hurt

In my little corner of hell here on earth

It’s my turn

 

 

Edited by Timbre
Forgot to add title!
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

On 5/6/2017 at 10:49 AM, Timbre said:

I love this challenge idea and actually did something like this on my own a few weeks ago. I'm finding that the news topic that got my attention this week (lunch shaming) is feeling too big emotionally to contain in lyrics just yet, but I'm working on it. But in the meantime . . . 

These lyrics did not get written under the time pressure of this song challenge, but I think they meet the brief and I haven't posted them before. I wrote them about a month ago after reading about all the social division in the US and around the world. I mainly needed to express what I was feeling and not lose hope that we could find a way forward. I recently made my first demo using a modified version of these lyrics. But this is how the words originally came to me after reading articles in this series below.

 

https://www.ap.org/explore/divided-america/

 

Two Hearts at a Time

Copyright © 2017 by L. C. Campbell

 

 V1

Dividing lines and choosing sides

Leaves no room to change our minds

You hold a gun, I hold a sign

We’re both holding on for dear life

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

V2

If God is love, and to love is divine

Don’t let hate control our minds

Who are we to decide

That some love wrong, and some love right

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time   

 

V3

The common ground is open wide

With room enough to free our minds

I’ll meet you there and we will find

My pain is yours and yours is mine

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But it’s time to make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

Hi Timbre,

I really like the challanges too.  Wish I had of started participating sooner.

 

Nice going on your lyric! This could have been written today or yesterday. Very in the news. 

 

"We can’t mend all we’ve broken"

Such a great line.

:)

Peggy

Edited by Peggy

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, Peggy said:

"We can’t mend all we’ve broken"

Such a great line.

Thanks for appreciating that line. I kept going back and forth with other options--fix, heal, etc, but kept coming back to the image of the social fabric of our country being torn and threads holding us together being broken and needing to be mended. So that's what I went with. ~T

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

37 minutes ago, Timbre said:

Thanks for appreciating that line. I kept going back and forth with other options--fix, heal, etc, but kept coming back to the image of the social fabric of our country being torn and threads holding us together being broken and needing to be mended. So that's what I went with. ~T

The "we've broken"  is the killer in context for me.   You didn't write

We can't mend all you've broken

Or  We can't mend all they've broken.

It's just right for how it reads to me.

 

 

Edited by Peggy

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

On 5/6/2017 at 11:49 AM, Timbre said:

I love this challenge idea and actually did something like this on my own a few weeks ago. I'm finding that the news topic that got my attention this week (lunch shaming) is feeling too big emotionally to contain in lyrics just yet, but I'm working on it. But in the meantime . . . 

These lyrics did not get written under the time pressure of this song challenge, but I think they meet the brief and I haven't posted them before. I wrote them about a month ago after reading about all the social division in the US and around the world. I mainly needed to express what I was feeling and not lose hope that we could find a way forward. I recently made my first demo using a modified version of these lyrics. But this is how the words originally came to me after reading articles in this series below.

 

https://www.ap.org/explore/divided-america/

 

Two Hearts at a Time

Copyright © 2017 by L. C. Campbell

 

 V1

Dividing lines and choosing sides

Leaves no room to change our minds

You hold a gun, I hold a sign

We’re both holding on for dear life

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

V2

If God is love, and to love is divine

Don’t let hate control our minds

Who are we to decide

That some love wrong, and some love right

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time   

 

V3

The common ground is open wide

With room enough to free our minds

I’ll meet you there and we will find

My pain is yours and yours is mine

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But it’s time to make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

Ch

We can’t mend all we’ve broken

But you and I can make a start

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

Let’s take it two hearts at a time

 

I really like this (good hook too), except for the the third and fourth lines in the first verse.  The fourth line just doesn't feel like it rolls well cadence-wise to me.  I think "we're both holding on to life" would roll a lot better, and convey basically the same thing.  Having one party in the third line "hold a gun"?  One party holding maybe a Bible, while the other holds a sign (though all sides hold signs), is a situation where mutual understanding could happen.  But, if one party is holding a gun and the other is unarmed, no way. :)  In this context, having one party holding a gun just strikes me as overly extreme, and doesn't well convey a pro-gun-rights person as much as it does a potentially violent and dangerous person.  Just my opinions. 

 

P.S.  "Hold your tongue or hold a sign . . . we're both holding on to life" might be a good alternative?  Just a suggestion.

Edited by HoboSage
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Peggy said:

The "we've broken"  is the killer in context for me.   You didn't write

We can't mend all you've broken

Or  We can't mend all they've broken.

It's just right for how it reads to me.

 

Ah yes. I tried out "all that's broken" but there wasn't any personal collective responsibility in that word choice.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, HoboSage said:

 But, if one party is holding a gun and the other is unarmed, no way. :)  

Ya, I think David's got a good point here.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, HoboSage said:

In this context, having one party holding a gun just strikes me as overly extreme, and doesn't well convey a pro-gun-rights person as much as it does a potentially violent and dangerous person.  Just my opinions. 

 

Hi, HoboSage.

 

I appreciate the comments. In V1 was trying to capture the adversarial images that we see of protesters vs police. My interpretation is that it does feel extreme and can be a matter of life and death, depending on the circumstances. I'll think on it. Thanks again. ~T

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, Peggy said:

 

2 hours ago, HoboSage said:

 But, if one party is holding a gun and the other is unarmed, no way. :)  

Ya, I think David's got a good point here.

 

This is good discussion. The way I approached it is by looking at it both literally and more figuratively. On the surface there is an obvious and real power imbalance between someone who is armed and someone who is not. But beneath that are 2 human beings who, from their own perspectives may be dealing with common fears and emotions. Whether you are driven by duty or another personal principle there's going to be some common ground. Not necessarily equivalence, but something shared  is at least a place for 2 people to start. Hmm, now how to get that in 4 lines?

Share this post


Link to post

Posted (edited)

18 minutes ago, Timbre said:

This is good discussion. The way I approached it is by looking at it both literally and more figuratively. On the surface there is an obvious and real power imbalance between someone who is armed and someone who is not. But beneath that are 2 human beings who, from their own perspectives may be dealing with common fears and emotions. Whether you are driven by duty or another personal principle there's going to be some common ground. Not necessarily equivalence, but something shared  is at least a place for 2 people to start. Hmm, now how to get that in 4 lines?

I saw it as an imbalance  but in "divided America" there's no agreeement on who has the heavier weight on the power scales. :)

 

That's just one of those random thoughts lyric inspired :)

Edited by Peggy

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.