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Y10 wk41 -- Double D

The Sunday Songwriters club is a stretching exercise for your mind. Arpeggios for the brain cells, so to speak. After all, writing is like playing - to get better, you have to practice.

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Postby scratchmonkey » August 18th, 2012, 7:03 am

Well, -- not real happy with this, but I wanted to submit SOMETHING, even if it's not good. That's pretty much the nature of practicing.

Double-D

Let's meet up at the Double-D
get a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of tea,
Or maybe a couple of burgers
and a shot of scotch.

We can swap stories all day long
maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong
but we can pass the time,
and you'll forget about your watch.

[chorus]

At the Double-D there's folks to see,
ain't much different than you or me,
Everyone's pretty ordinary,
and we all got time to kill.

Jimmy over there fought in Viet-Nam
Lots of folks say there's something wrong,
But he's always friendly
and he seems OK to me.

Millie always sites in the corner booth,
Likes to reminisce about her youth,
She's got four grandkids
and plenty of pictures to see.

[chorus]

At the Double-D there's folks to see,
ain't much different than you or me,
Everyone's pretty ordinary,
and we all got time to kill.
-- Scratch 8)

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Postby jamestoffee » August 19th, 2012, 1:45 am

Hi Scratch,

Kudos for getting something going :D

I've had some songs like this before where the problem is there is no action, nothing happening.....just stated descriptions of nouns. I'll brainstorm some questions and see if it triggers any action points:

Double-D

Let's meet up at the Double-D
get a grilled cheese sandwich and a glass of tea,....this is food easily made at home, why aren't they going to the singer's house.....why does the singer know what kind of food the singer would want?
Or maybe a couple of burgers
and a shot of scotch. This is quite a contrast, so why alcohol....bored with life? alcoholic.....what kind of person drinks scotch?....would this type of place be serving alcohol?
How old is the singer and singee?


We can swap stories all day long......what kind of stories?
maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong.....why? lying? Alzheimer"s?....songwriters? :P
but we can pass the time,
and you'll forget about your watch.......why do they have time? are they old friends that would already know each others stories or new acquaintances?

[chorus]

At the Double-D there's folks to see,.........if they are ordinary, why are they folks to see?
ain't much different than you or me,........or maybe is there something about the singer and singee? bank robbers? dark secret?.....maybe the cook and hostess on a coffee break?
Everyone's pretty ordinary,
and we all got time to kill......the word "kill" could get into some dark material

Jimmy over there fought in Viet-Nam
Lots of folks say there's something wrong,
But he's always friendly
and he seems OK to me.....What does he order? Where does he go or do? Why is the singer friendly with an odd character

Millie always sites in the corner booth,
Likes to reminisce about her youth,
She's got four grandkids
and plenty of pictures to see.......dark secret? why is she there? could the restaurant be close to a building that is bringing then all together? near a court house? or other government building?

[chorus]

At the Double-D there's folks to see,
ain't much different than you or me,
Everyone's pretty ordinary,
and we all got time to kill.

...........something needs to happen.....there is a set up for options in the lyrics, but maybe get to who the people are and why the singer is inviting the singee to a "family restaurant" instead of a night on the town, or a strip club, or church.....what role does the location indicate in the relationship and conversation...........


Just some thoughts.....take or leave whatever helps :wink:

James
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Postby scratchmonkey » August 19th, 2012, 4:57 am

All good thoughts, James. Thanks for the feedback.

I was actually trying to capture the feeling of an actual diner in my town, called the Double-T. I'm pretty sure I missed the mark, as I said, I just wanted to get *something* posted. I wasn't really happy with it either. What I am happy with is the quality of feedback that one can get from this forum. And if I didn't post something, because it wasn't good, I'd be missing the whole point.

I actually may try to revisit this one, and work in some of your suggestions. Just because I like the idea I had for it, even if I didn't like the initial execution.

Thanks again.
-- Scratch 8)

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Postby Celt » August 19th, 2012, 5:26 am

Scratch,

I like your basic idea. It's reminds me of Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner".

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/suzannev ... diner.html

As James mentioned it just needs some fleshing out.
I like the Chorus maybe passing time or wasting time would work better than "kill"
and a little more action like have Millie showing her picture to Jimmy or the waitress.

Good Start

John
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Postby andygetch » August 19th, 2012, 7:26 am

scratchmonkey, way to get back into the swing. :D Good start, but my gut feeling for my songs is usually the first thing I go by too. I like the way you used names. It appears like you worked backwards from the rhymes and that is a trap I've been in a few times. My way out was to go there (or from memory) write a list of the details to describe what I heard, saw, tasted, smelled. What we see is easy, but what we taste and smell are strong memory triggers. In your lyric that's the corner booth table, chairs, type of music played, overheard conversations, etc., and the kind of questions James was asking but described using the senses. From that approach what sometimes works for me is to find rhymes from the descriptive words. In some parts of song now I just forget the rhyming to make the story more conversational. How would you describe the Double D in an e-mail or over the phone to a friend who has never visited your town or the diner? Just ideas, it your song. I am looking forward to more!
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Postby scratchmonkey » August 20th, 2012, 12:09 pm

John, Andy,

Thanks for the input. I'll keep it in mind as I think I am going to attempt a couple / few re-writes of this and see if I can get it where I want it.

Best,
-- Scratch 8)

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Postby scratchmonkey » August 20th, 2012, 12:54 pm

James,

I just typed out a very lengthy response to your feedback, attempting to address each item. My squirrely laptop ditched it. (I hate this laptop, but right now, it's the only computer I have.)

Anyways, after working through each of your questions, --you may be right about needing something to happen, but I'm not (totally) convinced. I'm thinking I was trying to cram too much into too little. The last two verses were just hammered out to make the deadline (and it shows), and for the others -- I was actually thinking of three different diners, (and yes, one serves alcohol). But really, I was attempting to describe three very distinct experiences from three very distinct periods in my life into one very short song, which was supposed to be about a place.

(And believe it or not, that grilled cheese sandwich in Dateland, AZ, back in '84 was one of the most memorable meals of my life. Don't know why, could be I'm just a freak. or could be I was just really hungry. Or could be they just make a helluva grilled cheese.) I guess sometimes simple is just good.

But I'll work on this, and I appreciate your input.
-- Scratch 8)

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Postby John Sargent » August 22nd, 2012, 5:08 am

I thought this was going to be about Dolly Parton. Good read. When will you record it?
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Postby scratchmonkey » August 22nd, 2012, 11:52 am

I've been away from playing for as long as I've been away from writing. So it's going to be quite a while before I'm ready to record anything.
-- Scratch 8)

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Postby Hobson » August 23rd, 2012, 9:05 am

I don't think that lack of action is a problem. For this song, the setting and the people are what matter. The fact that nothing is happening is the point of the story. I don't think you missed the mark at all in describing the diner.

I don't know how many diners serve alcohol. Maybe the place could be a bar that serves food.

There may be some problems with the rhythm when you set this to music. I usually end up having to re-write some lines when I figure out what music I want.
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