Welcome to the forums!

Y10 W33 Disconnected Dad's

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.

Moderator: The GN support team


Postby andygetch » June 23rd, 2012, 6:30 pm

Here is a draft of my entry for the week, tweaked up to posting so comments are welcome.

Verse 1 (Key of G; 4/4)
G l G l Bm l Bm l
Dusty black mountain days cold dark dank cellar nights
Em l Em l C l C l
Dreams nothing to say swallow whiskey for his pay
G l G l Bm l Bm l
Who caused the blows always the teller's right
Em l Em l C l C l
Battle family car school dance or bar

Chorus (Key of A; 3/4)
Am l Am l A l A l
A l A l A l A l
Self frustrated distant isolated
D l D l D l D l
Disconnected dad's indisposed
E l E l E l E l
Inactive inaccessible insulated
D l D l D l D l
Concealing communication is closed

Verse 2 (Key of G; 4/4)
G l G l Bm l Bm l
Sweaty days shop's strange stench silent nights saddest sights
Em l Em l C l C l
meaning nothing to say collects big toys for his pay
G l G l Bm l Bm l
Dwells in weather, sports, reels, meter lights
Em l Em l C l C l
Steamed stuck sad spins pushing pain within

Repeat Chorus

Bridge (Key of G; 4/4)
C l Em l G l G l
who will break the cycle chain
C l Em l G l G l
who will be the adult lead
G l Em l G l G l
open to learn to change
C l Em l G l G l
gardener pull the weeds plant seeds

Verse 3 (Key of G; 4/4)
G l G l Bm l Bm l
Numbing days in the line smoky nights joyridden
Em l Em l C l C l
Mumbled nothing to say leaked leftover loaned pay
G l G l Bm l Bm l
huh translated with lost love hidden
Em l Em l C l C l
Deep diving games with none left to blame
G
andygetch
Full Member
 
Posts: 328
Joined: January 2nd, 2012, 8:32 pm
Location: Fort Myers, Florida, USA

Postby dhodge » June 24th, 2012, 6:45 am

Hi Andy

There is a lot going on here and this might be one of those occasions where hearing the lyrics being sung might be a bit helpful as reading them in one's head doesn't always lend itself to the phrasing that you as the songwriter has in mind. The third line, for instance:

Who caused the blows always the teller's right

can be read and mentally phrased in a lot of different ways, especially since the word "always" falls where it does. One's initial reaction would be to rearrange it into two:

Who caused the blows? The teller's always right

which sounds a lot more natural and conversational, but that may not be the way you mean it to be heard.

Have you been singing this as you've been writing it? There are some phrases, like "self frustrated" that seem very hard to annunciate while singing. Alliteration is a very important poetic tool but it doesn't always translate well to the singing. Depends a lot on the singer. The first line of the second verse is a good example of this:

Sweaty days shop's strange stench silent nights saddest sights

Although it reads like a very arresting image, the first half (again, when I'm trying to sing it in my head) is very unweildy to sing. The second half, though (silent nights saddest sights), rolls off the tongue quite nicely.

While there's a lot of good, moody imagery, maybe there's a need for a tighter focus. Some images literally seem to come out of nowhere ("dwells in weather, sports, reels, meter lights" or "deep diving games") and the overall effect can have the listener doing a lot of backpedalling to see what was missed instead of being along for the emotional ride of the song.

Since lyric writing is done on "paper" and we as writers do a lot of reading and rewriting, it's often easy to forget the essential thing about songs - your listener (more often than not without the aid of lyric sheet) gets one listen. And that single listen has to convey the entire song, or enough of it for the listener to want a second listen.

While you've a lot of very vivid and interesting images going on, I honestly can't get a feel for how effective this will be when sung. It may very well be that your melody and harmony have got this all covered. But just from reading this over a dozen times and trying to hear it in my head, I'm having some difficulties getting through to your song's message.

Hope this helps. And I also hope you know that this is just my take on things. Someone else is bound to come along and say the total opposite!

Looking forward to more.

Peace
User avatar
dhodge
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 5559
Joined: June 15th, 2002, 8:21 am

Postby Hobson » June 24th, 2012, 11:25 am

A lot of detailed imagery here. Once again it seems like stream of consciousness and will probably evolve from this draft into something more connected.

We both chose to write about family relationships that aren't good. I suppose that writing about love and warmth and safety and caring isn't all that interesting.
Renee
User avatar
Hobson
Senior Member
 
Posts: 722
Joined: May 15th, 2009, 10:46 am
Location: Near Tombstone, Arizona, USA

Postby andygetch » June 24th, 2012, 1:39 pm

Dave and Renee, thanks for the reads, it still needs work, I want to work more happy songs (including family) into my writing, but this one needed to come out.
andygetch
Full Member
 
Posts: 328
Joined: January 2nd, 2012, 8:32 pm
Location: Fort Myers, Florida, USA

Postby dhodge » June 24th, 2012, 2:24 pm

Totally understand about a song "needing to come out." Sometimes just getting a song out of your system, even if it's one you never end up using, can be very liberating.

Peace
User avatar
dhodge
Musically Insane
 
Posts: 5559
Joined: June 15th, 2002, 8:21 am

Postby jamestoffee » July 4th, 2012, 1:59 pm

Hi Andy,
andygetch wrote:but this one needed to come out.

Not much to add to Dave's comments except to agree with the suggestions and to confirm let those songs that need to come out, come out. :wink:
James
jamestoffee
Guitarnoise Addict
 
Posts: 2763
Joined: November 22nd, 2008, 4:53 am