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View Full Version : Lirics for critique? Country tune


Tedwood
07-31-2010, 09:50 AM
Unusual I know, but I just wrote a country song for fun and i didn't see why not see if people liked the lyrics before I went to all the trouble of tracking it

It's standard country 2/4 beat - quick and bouncy, lets' just see if the Lyric critique idea goes anywhere

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If you want the best of me, come on and take the rest of me, cos the journey aint been easy that’s for sure
Some say that I’m a mystery, but if they knew my history, well I guess they wouldn't wonder any more

I’m sitting here, it’s getting late, I wish that I could celebrate
But Panama Red don’t come around no more
Now I don’t toke, and I don't drink, I poured my whiskey down the sink
when the candy man - left the candy store

Now I spent ten years on the road, just looking for that pot of gold, but I barely earned enough to see me through
Sometimes at night I lay awake, and I hope to get that lucky break, but when the morning comes the world just looks the same

I’m sitting here, it’s getting late, I wish that I could concentrate
Ole Charlie he don’t come around no more
Now I don’t toot, and I don't drink, I poured my whiskey down the sink
when the candy man - left the candy store

Well I played it tough, and I played it cool, and some say I just played the fool, and I wouldn't want to argue either way
Cos I believe it takes a man, to say his piece, and to make his stand, but there’s always one exception to the rule

I’m sitting here, it’s getting late, I never used to hesitate
when old Jack D came knocking at my door
Now I don't smoke, I don't drink, I poured my whiskey down the sink
when the candy man - left the candy store

Doughboy
07-31-2010, 10:27 AM
Tedwood....I think you have a very very very good set of lyrics going. I think it still needs a little work. But....I think parts of them are brilliant, like the very beginning, right off the bat there's a catchy couple of lines. And the first lines are extremely important to the song. If the listener isn't caught right off the bat, you'll never catch them.

But...suddenly I'm confused by you "typing". You have a 4 line verse, then another 4 line verse.....then a 2 line what...a climb of some kind...then the chorus which I like
then the 2 line thing again.....is it just a verse like before, but now you're typing it wrong?

I'm not sure if you need to steer the song back to what you're talking about at the beginning which is why this chick might not take all of you.


I think you already know that you're workin' on a real good one here though.

And...for all I know, maybe it is perfect already, and I'm just knit picking....but one way or the other....I want to "hear" this one for sure.

Nice!!!!

Tedwood
07-31-2010, 11:10 AM
Tedwood....I think you have a very very very good set of lyrics going. I think it still needs a little work. But....I think parts of them are brilliant, like the very beginning, right off the bat there's a catchy couple of lines. And the first lines are extremely important to the song. If the listener isn't caught right off the bat, you'll never catch them.

But...suddenly I'm confused by you "typing". You have a 4 line verse, then another 4 line verse.....then a 2 line what...a climb of some kind...then the chorus which I like
then the 2 line thing again.....is it just a verse like before, but now you're typing it wrong?

I'm not sure if you need to steer the song back to what you're talking about at the beginning which is why this chick might not take all of you.


I think you already know that you're workin' on a real good one here though.

And...for all I know, maybe it is perfect already, and I'm just knit picking....but one way or the other....I want to "hear" this one for sure.

Nice!!!!

Thanks DB - sorry it's my fault. i just typed the 1st verse on 4 lines instead of 2 (like the others) corrected, it's consistent now. I guess it's hard if you don't have the tune in your head :)

When I do "I'm sitting here, it's getting late......" that's the chorus, it steps up a gear, but i change the words a bit each time. I'll have to record it now

you know what it is don't you? I sometimes feel a bit of a dick doing American country style and being a Brit (half Irish actually), but it's a style I love.

Very glad you like the lyrics DB, I was hoping you might offer a comment.

victoriousmusic
07-31-2010, 01:20 PM
sounds like a great country song to me. I don't listen to that anymore, but hey, being in Texas it's hard to avoid.
Now, you know the "perfect" country and western song, according to the song requires that you mention trains, mama, drinkin'(which you do), heartache (covered), and.....well, I can't think of anything else mentioned. You could google david allan coe's song to check though.
Don't forget the steel guitar and you should be set.

Tedwood
07-31-2010, 01:42 PM
Funny you should mention that VM. I have trains in a few of my songs, and I was planning on a simulated steel guitar (I play slide reasonably).

It may not be truly authentic country, as I was born on the wrong side of the pond, but I can pick a bit

Thanks

I wonder why there isn't any proper English country music, or blues for that matter

Wolffman
07-31-2010, 05:01 PM
Hi Ted, great idea lyric critique.

For me the last line of the first verse ( and I hate to see you walking out the door ) isn't sitting in step with the rest of the song, this line hints at a song about a relationship ( which is country through & through :) ) but the feeling i get from the rest of the song is that of someone from the school of hard knocks reminiscing a life in the fast lane and now coming to grips with sobriety.

All in all a good country song and i can't wait to hear it.

Just my 2 bobs worth :D

Cheers

Doughboy
07-31-2010, 05:07 PM
Gol Dang roookies: IT'S LIKE THIS:

If you want the best of me, come on and take the rest of me,
The journey aint been easy thatís for sure
Some say that I'm a mystery, but they don't know my history,
and I hate to see you walking out the door


at least that's the way I think you should type it....not two lines

Sound asleep
07-31-2010, 05:49 PM
nice, nicely worded and good rhythm. sounds like country to me. i was wondering though, what's the candy man and what's the candy store?

...this line made me instantly think of a lollipop in dirt ;)

plgrmsprgrs
07-31-2010, 06:47 PM
Some nice turns of phrase Ted. Seems like it rolls along very smoothly. Tight. Definitely got that country feel to it. The only thing as far as content I would say, and I've been around country music as far back as I can remember (I think I discovered harmony hearing my dad listen to Buck Owens and the Buckeroos when I was 6 - his bass player had a really high voice), "candy man" (if by that you mean to refer to drugs in some way) seems inauthentic for country. Just my opinion. Nice job though.

Kyle

Tedwood
07-31-2010, 06:48 PM
Thanks fellers

First wolfman, I do tend to write ambiguously to make the listener think. I'm not sure if it always works but you're dead right about coming through the hard knocks and getting straightened out, I m going to try and fix it because it is also about finding it hard to settle because of past experiences - I may try to bring it back with another verse at the end


Sorry Doughboy, it's like this. I want to type it so I can read it easy when I'm singing it and i copy pasted it. I don't like to jump lines too much if I'm tracking - all will become clear I hope

Soundasleep -

I'm glad you like it, the Candy man is a euphemism for the supplier of certain substances, but in this song it not only means drugs or moonshine or such things.
It's kind of double edged. The Candy man brings pleasure, and then brings pain.

When the Candy man left the candy store in my song the shop closed down and I don't go there any more

It's really nice to get your feedback, I hope I can put the song together soonish

BTW this is the verse I like best, probably because because it's most authentic to who I am:

Well I played it tough, I played it cool, and some say I just played the fool, and I couldn’t really argue either way
And I believe it takes a man, to say his piece, and to make a stand, but there’s always one exception to the rule

plgrmsprgrs
07-31-2010, 06:54 PM
No problem. Glad I could help!

Kyle

Tedwood
08-02-2010, 04:04 PM
I changed the line "and I'd hate to see you walking out the door" as per Wolfman's comment

To: "and you wouldn't have to reason anymore" - changed in the OP

I think that's it now

dcuny
08-03-2010, 12:07 AM
I guess it's too late to chime in, but that won't stop me. :)

I liked Doughboy's change to the first verse, but I'd change "they" to "you", because it gives the lyric more focus. I'll just note that your verse looks a lot like a chorus:

If you want the best of me, come on and take the rest of me,
The journey aint been easy that’s for sure
You think that I'm a mystery, 'cause you don't know my history,
Girl, I hate to see you walking out the door

I like that you jump to the chorus, but the word "celebrate" in the chorus has me confused, because you haven't set up a reason to celebrate, and you haven't explained why you can't celebrate:

I’m sitting here, it’s getting late, I wish that I could celebrate

So I'd hold off on the chorus for one more verse. Here's an attempt at a verse that sets up the chorus. I'll pilfer a line from Auld Lang Syne to evoke a party. That'll justify the "celebrate" that comes up. I'll pilfer from the chorus to set up a contrast between the singer and the listener:

Should old acquaintance be forgot - and sure as hell I've forgot a lot -
'Cause I've been round this block a time or two
So raise your your toast, and have your drink
But I've poured my whiskey down the sink
Yes, me and ol' john barleycorn are through

I've ignored your rhyming scheme, because this is just an example anyway. (I'm trying to channel Johnny Cash here, but I don't think it's working). Obviously the drink/sink lyric in the chorus would need to be changed, but that's left as an exercise for the reader.

Anyway, the chorus you've got stands fine with a flurry of drug abuse metaphors, so I'll just move on to the next verse. You've stated the essential problem, and hopefully the listener wants to stick around to hear why a world-weary cowboy is turning down a drink. I'd drop the "I don't know/but I've been told" line, since it doesn't add anything to the song.

When it comes to saying what "the finest thing a man could ever do" is, I don't think "spend ten years on the road" makes the top of anyone's list. I took a stab at trying to shoehorn in some "cheating hearts" into the lyric, but anything more than a passing reference requires too much rewriting. So I've stuck with the theme of drinking for the verse:

Ten years on on the road have always led
To a hotel room with an empty bed
With a whiskey bottle as my only friend
Sometimes at night I'd lay awake,
My whole life just one long mistake
'Till I finally found the guts to walk away

You've still got to resolve the relationship with the listener that the first verse set up. The easiest thing to do is revisit the first verse and see if some phrases can be turned around:

So I've said my piece and made my stand
You thought you found a drinking man
But you got yourself the exception to the rule
What you thought was some great mystery
Comes from finally learning my history,
But stick around, 'cause I still can be your fool.

Can't have a country song without the word "fool" somewhere! Now it's smooth sailing into the chorus for the last time.

Please note - I'm not suggesting that my lyrics are better - they're just there to provide an example. For more details, please see my book More Songwriting Advice from a Guy Who's Never Had A Successful Hit Song, soon to be in better bookstores everywhere. ;)

DuraMorte
08-03-2010, 12:13 AM
If you record the backing track to this song, I will sing it.
I've lived in Alabama for many years now, and my southern twang is pretty good. ;)

Tedwood
08-03-2010, 04:29 AM
Thanks for the advice Dcuny but I don't really want to change the feel I'm getting because there are a lot of subtle references most people won't get, but I like to keep them in because they make me smile, and besides it's personal and it has to come from me really.

Wolfman was about as close as you get

Hi Ted, great idea lyric critique.
......

but the feeling i get from the rest of the song is that of someone from the school of hard knocks reminiscing a life in the fast lane and now coming to grips with sobriety.




DuraMorte, I may just take you up on that offer - I'll PM some time with a rough version so you can hear the tune.

BTW, it's been changed considerable since first posting, please read the OP again to see what I have done

Many thanks with the critique, it has helped to fine tune it so I am happy with the result - hope you are too

dcuny
08-03-2010, 09:42 AM
... but I like to keep them in because they make me smile, and besides it's personal and it has to come from me really.
I certainly can't argue with that! :)

spikemullings
08-05-2010, 02:26 PM
God-dam-naggit, great thread Ted. Can't believe I missed this before.

Internal rhymes are gooood. I love internal rhymes and you have got-it-going-on with internal rhymes here.

Also the chiming/rhyming variations from chorus to chorus are just tremendous.

But . . . for me . . .

There has got be some redemption angle (even if fleeting , or even illusory) at the end to make the song complete. And I know that redemption is harder to find in life than in lyrics, but that's why people write songs, no?

(I did not see the lyric that Ash posted about before you edited it - I never disagree with Ash, but I wonder if the relationship angle might be the redemption angle)

CAN NOT WAIT TO HEAR THE SONG! (although great idea to have thread about the lyrics first!)
:)

Tedwood
08-06-2010, 10:09 AM
I think I have an idea for redemption Spike, but I won't post it, I'll let it be a surprise

The only snag I can see with starting a lyric thread is then you might build it up so people are expecting great things and your song ends up sounding crap, or not at all like anyone expected haha!

Oh well enough of my insecurities, I started tracking and it will be what it is, many thanks to all