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Alistair

How candid are you in your lyrics?

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HoboSage    1,997
On 9/29/2015 at 10:15 AM, LooknGlass said:

I never worry anymore about whether someone associates my lyric with me or not. 

 

James, you're not married? :) 

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LooknGlass    379
10 hours ago, HoboSage said:

 

James, you're not married? :) 

lol...I've been married...twice...to the same woman. Third time is not a charm, it's a freakin death sentence...to any woman...Imma gonna enjoy my twilight years :)

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tunesmithth    1,286

Coincidentally, I've known 2 guys who married the same woman 3 times....both happened to be named "Bob". :rolleyes:

Go figure!

Some guys are just gluttons for punishment ;)

 

Tom

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HoboSage    1,997

Well, I'm on my third wife, and I can tell you all that the third time most definitely is a charm! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psst. I only said that because she might see it.

 

 

 

 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎29‎/‎2015 at 7:15 AM, LooknGlass said:

I never worry anymore about whether someone associates my lyric with me or not. I just let it come out with no impedance. 90% of the lyrics I write are from observation or a scenario I visualize, like a made up mini movie. I have no qualms though letting people know where I come from personally. I say just be you, and if someone judges you personally, and not the lyric itself, then their opinion is of little importance anyway. Critique and judge the lyric and don't make assumptions about the writers life is what I say. You do good work Alistair, the more personal a lyric seems (even if it's not about you) the better it can be (imo). Let loose I say!

 I would agree with this.  I've heard some songs and sometimes I think, I wonder if the artist has actually experienced this- is this a narrative of their real life?  A lot of times it's not, but it could be.  That's only in my most analytical moments though.  The rest of the time, if the song is well written and makes me feel something, that's what I gravitate to.  A lot of songs are very personal, but if the lyrics about that personal thing are well-written, visual, and support the emotion the song is going for, then hey- it works for me! :)

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Ray888    176

I write from different perspectives and am able to step out of my own shoes into someone else's. Having said that I always need to draw heavily on my own experiences mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually in life. Those experiences are God given so I always give credit to that hidden entity which places songs in my psyche. My mantra is "God sings the songs, I just write them down".

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HoboSage    1,997
On 6/25/2017 at 6:04 AM, Ray888 said:

 "God sings the songs, I just write them down".

 

Well that explains it.  I've always had this uneasy feeling that using pitch correction on vocals was a bit sinful.

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GuesSs    4

I don't write lyrics I just make beats so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I enjoy songs the most when I know that artist really went through it. It makes them more relatable and easy to connect with and I think that is an important part of maintaining  a fanbase

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Ray888    176
22 hours ago, HoboSage said:

 

Well that explains it.  I've always had this uneasy feeling that using pitch correction on vocals was a bit sinful.

 

I'm not a musician so don't use pitch correction personally but it doesn't bother me because the majority of songs in the charts nowadays used it to varying degrees. It's a sign of the times with the advancement of technology i'm afraid. No sins involved unless you happen to be a purist. Anyway I am only responsible for lyrics so don't have to concern myself about that aspect so my perspective is neutral on the subject.

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Ray888    176
On 19/04/2006 at 5:19 PM, Alistair said:

Hmmm...I wondered how the rest of you lyricists addressed this one.

 

Often, when I write a song, people ask me whether it is autobiographical and rarely believe me if I say it isn't, even when it genuinely is not. Yet to an extent everything I write has my own perspective in it even if it is not actually written from my own experience.

 

So, when I am writing I have to bear in mind that some people listen very carefully to the lyrics and will read all kinds of things into them that may or may not be there. This has led me to be a bit cautious in how I write: I mean, I don't want to bare my soul so much that people assume they know everything about me and my relationships or reveal things I want to keep to myself. Does anyone else have this dilemma about what to put in and what to leave out, or do you just say 'what the hell'?

 

I don't concern myself with how others perceive my lyrics. As long as I feel that I have got my message across it's OK with me. In my experience (which is a very long time) different people will perceive a lyric according to their own individual experiences. Not everyone will be able to identify with it or even get close to understanding your intended meaning. Back in the sixties there was a song written by Gary Brooker titled "Whiter shade of pale" whose meaning nobody except Gary understood and he had to explain it. It didn't stop the song from becoming a hit. 

 

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I used to be so heavily guarded with my lyrics. Everything was dressed in a sugarcoat and then wrapped in a metaphor - it must have been hard to decipher the gibberish i was rattling on about. Recently, i've been writing songs that just cut to the bone from a lyrical sense. Here's a wee jam that might showcase that newfound openness. Still a work in progress, but i've really begun to like just 'saying it as it is'.

 

 

Quote

 

dear dad,it’s been years since we last talked
and though i don’t mind the silence
i wondered how you’re holding up
a short bus trip and i’d be at your door
but i don’t see a way to resolve
and we've been over this before
i let you in [for the hundredth time]
again, you let me down

 

to love you is impossible
but i’ll never hate you for the things you’ve done to me
there’s no family hospital
to repair all the damage done

 

dear dad, you chose not to be around
instead of fighting for time with me
you hit the bottle then the ground
i see some of myself when i see you
anger as a first port of call
and a distorted point of view
you burned our bridge [we’re just ashes now]
i think it’s for the best

 

i’m sorry i wouldn't take your name
but even from an early age
i knew that we weren’t the same
and i wasn't going to be like you
you never cared or you’re a marvellous actor
i hope that time has cleared your eyes
and finally made you realise
there’s no way that we can go back there

 

dear dad,though you’ve failed, i hope you’re well
but know your actions hurt me a lot
and this old heart has not forgot
i tell myself i’m not like you at all
at least that’s what i pray before bed
to keep your demons from my head

 

 

Edited by dislocatedlove
added lyrics.
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Ray888    176
5 hours ago, dislocatedlove said:

I used to be so heavily guarded with my lyrics. Everything was dressed in a sugarcoat and then wrapped in a metaphor - it must have been hard to decipher the gibberish i was rattling on about. Recently, i've been writing songs that just cut to the bone from a lyrical sense. Here's a wee jam that might showcase that newfound openness. Still a work in progress, but i've really begun to like just 'saying it as it is'.

 

 

 

 

I really love this song and it has much potential. it's a really good write although it would be advisable to come up with something to replace the repeated Dear Dad's. My reasoning is that the song reads like a letter which is a good thing but you wouldn't say dear dad three times. Once is Enough. I am guessing that the melody is in the early stages of development because some parts really work well and some feel a little sticky but it may be the case that you sang and played live. I also like your voice because there are many that can sing but there's few who can express a song with the feeling that you put into it. Once you have ironed out the melody get yourself into a studio and record it properly, it will be a great song. If you were in London I would get you into my studio pronto and not let you go until you had an album recorded. I would have no problem with buying the song if it was completed and radio ready. Well done so far [smiley=acoustic.gif]:)

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7 hours ago, dislocatedlove said:

I used to be so heavily guarded with my lyrics. Everything was dressed in a sugarcoat and then wrapped in a metaphor - it must have been hard to decipher the gibberish i was rattling on about. Recently, i've been writing songs that just cut to the bone from a lyrical sense. Here's a wee jam that might showcase that newfound openness. Still a work in progress, but i've really begun to like just 'saying it as it is'.

 

 

 

This is a gripping lyric and I luv, luv, luv your voice and how you use it.  I have a suggestion as a result of reading @Ray888's suggestion about changing "Dear Dad" on account of it reading a letter. If you choose to take that direction, for the second go round, you could say, "well, dad" and for the last go round, you could say, "so, dad".  That wouldn't change it too much.  

I don't know how you feel about me doing this, but I think your bridge could be more emotive if you condensed the words a little, so I'm going to try that here.
 

7 hours ago, dislocatedlove said:

 

i’m sorry i wouldn't take your name
but even from an early age
i knew that we weren’t the same
and i wasn't going to be like you
you never cared or you’re a marvellous actor
i hope that time has cleared your eyes
and finally made you realise
there’s no way that we can go back there

From an early age, 

I preferred a diff'rent name

I'm not another you, 

We'll never be the same

If you ever cared, you hid it well

Maybe time has cleared your eyes

perhaps you'll fin'ly realize

there's no way we can ever go back there

 

I'm aware this may not say exactly how you want it to come across and yours when reading does have more of a stab to the heart emotion-wise, but it did seem to me that it might have been a little struggle vocally to fit it all in and audibly something with more brevity might give you more room to vocally carry more emotion.

 

 

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symphonious7    206

I'm really fascinated by those of you who say that you "Write from other's perspectives" especially when you say they are very contrary to your own.  I believe Rudi was talking about Newman, and man he's one of the most...  that man pulls NO punches.  And he is a genius of putting himself in other's identity's.  I feel like if I tried to do such a thing it would come out completely contrived.  

 

My lyrics have to be very straight forward.  I don't know how to do anything too poetic or flowery or metaphorical.  And I don't know if you'd say they were personal or not I've gone through many phases, the overtly christian lyrics is a new thing for me.  I used to write....  kind of the way lennon does?  Where I'd be somewhat straightforward but also somewhat vague, where it's from the heart enough but also a lot just about the feels of the song.  I HAVE written some pretty personal things, and when I did I put them out and showed people, but I've never been afraid of showing emotion on any level, be it crying in front of people or telling them I love them or whatever it is.  But I guess most of my lyrics I just think of a message that might hit someone in the context of the emotions, and then I begin trying to piece together something that's at least somewhat clever but mostly just very coherent.  I used to actually hate that about my writing, now I can't really see why, it works fine for what I do.  

 

Now that I think about that, I think you could say that's pretty candid.  The messages I put into songs are always from my deepest feelings on life and such.  I just never thought of it that way cause I think so analytically when I write them haha

Edited by symphonious7

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Ray888    176

As I stated earlier, it is a good write and if you are open to advice the main thing that needs addressing in my humble opinion is just to retain the first "Dear Dad" and replace the others with something else.

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Mahesh    489

I've never been good at writing lyrics that describe events specifically or draw in more real life details. It has been more about expressing the emotional context while letting the words tie in the events and moments that define the emotion. Songwriters like John Mayer who I do admire bring in such great descriptions and imagery into their songs. Maybe I'm a slow learner that way. But in terms of the truthfulness of it, I have worked my best for it to be wholesome and genuine so I guess that's a good step forward. 

I guess they are different dimensions to songwriting with their own results. Leaving out the very specific details can allow a listener to relate oneself and his/her further into the song. But in that very same breath, I can argue that being candid brings in the listener closer to the writer's perspective of the song.

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@Mahesh, you use the word candid and I don't want to misrepresent what you're trying to say in anyway, so I hope I don't.  My thinking as it relates to candid is genuine, authentic, vulnerable.  Quite frankly, whether in how the lyrics are written or in how the vocals or music is expressed, I think you hit on the key.  To me (and I think many others), when authenticity and vulnerability are clear, its exactly what draws in the listener.  When its both in words and vocal expression/music, its irresistible!

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Just1L    961

No matter what I do almost all my songs end up being about the internet in one way or the other. I remember with my "Don't Feed the Trolls Song." I had the music first and when I found the melody that sounded good for the first verse, it was a perfect fit for "Open up a window." I started from there thinking it would maybe be about the new dawn of Spring, or a fresh morning. It got real cheesy, really quick though. A computer screen window was the next choice for me and 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon later it was about the internet.

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HoboSage    1,997
2 hours ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

@Mahesh, you use the word candid and I don't want to misrepresent what you're trying to say in anyway, so I hope I don't.  My thinking as it relates to candid is genuine, authentic, vulnerable.  Quite frankly, whether in how the lyrics are written or in how the vocals or music is expressed, I think you hit on the key.  To me (and I think many others), when authenticity and vulnerability are clear, its exactly what draws in the listener.  When its both in words and vocal expression/music, its irresistible!

 

Candid not only means honest and truthful, but straightforward.  I don't think you're being truly "candid"  if the meaning of what you're conveying isn't fairly clear - at least on some level even if you can't explain it.  In that regard,  I think all my lyrics are candid to me, but I don't know if they are to others, and nor do I care, because I also think my only lyrical responsibility is to just me, and to no one else. :)

 

 

 

Edited by HoboSage
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symphonious7    206
8 minutes ago, HoboSage said:

 

Candid not only means honest and truthful, but straightforward.  I don't think you're being truly "candid"  if the meaning of what you're conveying isn't fairly clear - at least on some level even if you can't explain it.  In that regard,  I think all my lyrics are candid to me, but I don't know if they are to others, and nor do I care, because I also think my only lyrical responsibility is to just me, and to no one else. :)

 

 

 

I agree, I don't think you can really be candid AND cryptic.  If it's cryptic, even it's totally honest and vulnerable, it's still hidden, so I don't think it could really be called "candid" more like "personal".  

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I think I should have backtracked to the original post (or at least made the mental connection).  I sort of caught from "Dear Dad" forward.  It made me think vulnerability and honesty more than candid.  I was on a different track mentally than what you guys were discussing.   For me candid gives a sense of blunt, to the point, brutally honest at times or just plain Frank.  You know Frank, right?  Yeah, he was that weird bus-driver.  Cryptic to me is total opposite of that--more like avoiding giving a real answer, going around the barn to say something, purposely vague so you only have a hint of figuring it out.  So what's in between? I think I might fall somewhere (often, but not always) on that line, more or less let it out in chunks, bits of information allowing some processing time, but finally making a point. (or the sudden switcheroo!--Kind of a "Haha, you thought I was gonna say something else, didn'tchya!) Is there a term for that?

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symphonious7    206
24 minutes ago, Pahchisme Plaid said:

I think I should have backtracked to the original post (or at least made the mental connection).  I sort of caught from "Dear Dad" forward.  It made me think vulnerability and honesty more than candid.  I was on a different track mentally than what you guys were discussing.   For me candid gives a sense of blunt, to the point, brutally honest at times or just plain Frank.  You know Frank, right?  Yeah, he was that weird bus-driver.  Cryptic to me is total opposite of that--more like avoiding giving a real answer, going around the barn to say something, purposely vague so you only have a hint of figuring it out.  So what's in between? I think I might fall somewhere (often, but not always) on that line, more or less let it out in chunks, bits of information allowing some processing time, but finally making a point. (or the sudden switcheroo!--Kind of a "Haha, you thought I was gonna say something else, didn'tchya!) Is there a term for that?

Maybe I should start reading ALL the posts before I post lol  I didn't really see the conversational development, I just saw what hobo said and thought "yeah I agree with that".  I didn't mean to like... we don't gotta lock down term definitions here haha.  But yeah I might think a little different when I think cryptic.  I think like, "it's totally from the heart, it has a deep meaning to the writer, but he uses such personal metaphors and phrases that only pertain to his thoughts and his life, few will get the meaning but him"  So to me that wouldn't be candid, since candid would be transparently communicating your feelings to the listener.  But it doesn't really matter, I sure hope I didn't make you think I was trying to say you were wrong about something up there in the thread, I didn't even read a lot of the posts, I often times think I get the gist of what's going on from the last couple of things said, and then the responses make me thing I was wrong lol

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18 minutes ago, symphonious7 said:

Maybe I should start reading ALL the posts before I post lol  I didn't really see the conversational development, I just saw what hobo said and thought "yeah I agree with that".  I didn't mean to like... we don't gotta lock down term definitions here haha.  But yeah I might think a little different when I think cryptic.  I think like, "it's totally from the heart, it has a deep meaning to the writer, but he uses such personal metaphors and phrases that only pertain to his thoughts and his life, few will get the meaning but him"  So to me that wouldn't be candid, since candid would be transparently communicating your feelings to the listener.  But it doesn't really matter, I sure hope I didn't make you think I was trying to say you were wrong about something up there in the thread, I didn't even read a lot of the posts, I often times think I get the gist of what's going on from the last couple of things said, and then the responses make me thing I was wrong lol

Nah! I just realized I was off topic.  It was my attempt to try to get in line, you know, cover up my boo-boos, but ah!  My brain is just OFF today!  You are too sweet for me to think you'd give me any trouble.  Now Hobo--he might give me trouble....(just kidding).

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HoboSage    1,997

Whether the written word comes off as personally honest and straightforward also has a lot to do with how the words are conveyed - how they sound when they're rapped or sung by a vocalist, and even how they sound when narrated by the little voice in your head if you're just reading them.  

 

 

Edited by HoboSage
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symphonious7    206
2 minutes ago, HoboSage said:

Whether the written word comes off as personally honest and straightforward also has a lot to do with how the words are conveyed - how they sound when they're rapped or sung by a vocalist, and even how they sound when narrated by the little voice in your head if you're just reading them.  

 

 

That voice in my head is why I don't review too many lyrics.  My imagination always attaches it's own meanings and my advice is too subjective to really help I think lol

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1 minute ago, HoboSage said:

Whether the written word comes off as personally honest and straightforward also has a lot to do with how the words are conveyed - how they sound when they're rapped or sung by a vocalist, and even how they sound when narrated by the little voice in your head if you're just reading them.  

 

 

You don't have to convince me.  I once wrote a song about a high school infatuation.  It was supposed to be a bit comical and in good fun.  A lady wanted to put music and vocals to my lyrics and she sounded real nice, but the affect was totally not what I wanted.  It sounded more like a longing lost--totally not what it was meant to be.   It just didn't work for me.  Others who heard it liked it, but you know, wasn't my intent.  I didn't want it represented that way.

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HoboSage    1,997

That's the way it's supposed to be, Chris.  Communication involves both sender and receiver, and how the receiver takes it it perhaps the most valuable feedback of all.

Edited by HoboSage
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symphonious7    206
43 minutes ago, HoboSage said:

That's the way it's supposed to be, Chris.  Communication involves both sender and receiver, and how the receiver takes it it perhaps the most valuable feedback of all.

Never thought of it like that but you're right.  Maybe I'll start doing more lyric reviews :)  

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Ray888    176

As long as there are listeners that can relate to a lyric it is fine. It is also important that the storyline unfolds with a little more information unfolding in each verse in order to retain the interest of the listener. Chorus or hook should kick home the crux of the story. Having stated the above it is not something set in stone because there have been plenty of song lyrics that have charted that defy logic.

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