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Small Craft Warning
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 Posted: Sat Jun 10th, 2017 02:24 am
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fasstrack
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I always wanted to use this title, then serendipitously stumbled on it again in Sheila Davis's Successful Lyric Writing. (A sign?).

It remains to be seen how good the song is, or if it can, um, sail through a sea of criticism:

SMALL CRAFT WARNING Joel Fass © 2017 Exemplar (ASCAP)

A1
Once love was smooth sailing---guided by
Light of a peaceful morning---now it’s
Dark, clouds have gathered---will it
Soon start hailing?
Small craft warning

A2
Is love
Drifting towards a frightful sea and sky? Will a day of
Danger soon be dawning? Will
Wretched winds blow so
Hard on you and I?
Small craft warning

B
Our love was a sloop of serenity
Docked at a blissful bay---then temp-
Tation climbed on deck, so we cheated, (just a peck), and now
Faith and happiness have sailed away

C
I can see the lighthouse keeper, a man who
Mostly just sits there yawning, but now he’s
Waving his hand, shouting ‘Turn back, it's safe on land!’—Will we
Run from the storm, from danger flee? Or stay for-
Ever lost at sea, ignoring his plea, and the
Small craft warning?

Last edited on Sat Jun 10th, 2017 05:11 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Sun Jun 11th, 2017 12:18 pm
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Small Craft Warning is a good title and I like the metaphor. I think it may be a touch overplayed here, but not much. The 'B' section for me seemed a little heavy handed.

I don't think the lighthouse keeper man is adding anything, to the lyric so I would suggest taking another look there. Feels like you were stretching for another rhyme.

But I do like the way you turn the ending into the question of whether or not to stay together. And leaving it up to the listener to guess.

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 Posted: Sun Jun 11th, 2017 02:09 pm
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fasstrack
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Heavy handed as in forced? Obvious? Perhaps, but the B section is for explaining what happened, or the story will be all glitter and metaphor, leaving the listener hanging. What else would you have me do? I'll look into it.

I LIKE the lighthouse keeper telling them to turn back. Ties in with the title and adds a little suspense as to whether they'll listen to all the signs.

What I DON'T like is too many rhymes at the end. Feels forced and maybe showoffy. I got rid of some of them. Will post my rewrite shortly.

Thanks for your comments...

Last edited on Sun Jun 11th, 2017 02:17 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Sun Jun 11th, 2017 02:10 pm
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SMALL CRAFT WARNING Joel Fass © 2017 Exemplar (ASCAP)

A1
Once love was smooth sailing---guided by
Light of a peaceful morning---now it’s
Dark, clouds have gathered---will it
Soon start hailing?
Small craft warning

A2
Is love now
Drifting towards a frightful sea and sky? Will a
Day of danger soon be dawning? Will
Wretched winds blow so
Hard on you and I?
Small craft warning

B
Our love was a sloop of serenity
Docked at a blissful bay---then temp-
Tation climbed on deck, so we cheated, (just a peck), and now
Faith and happiness have sailed away

C
I can see the lighthouse keeper, a man who
Mostly just sits there yawning, but he’s
Waving his hand, shouting:
‘Best turn back toward land, away from the
Storm’---from
Danger, will we flee? Or be forever lost at
Sea, ignoring his plea----and the
Small craft warning?

Last edited on Sun Jun 11th, 2017 02:11 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Sun Jun 11th, 2017 02:30 pm
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fasstrack
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Also, the question posed is not if the lovers will stay together, but if they'll heed the danger signs or keep doing what they were, and drift away to 'sea'. The model---at least in the back of my head---for this song is Detour Ahead. Do you know it? It uses the road sign metaphor to warn a 'gullible clown' away from a romance with bad consequences. At the end he (she) drives away from danger.

Maybe I'll rewrite the whole damn thing. Too good a title to throw away on a less-than-great song.

Anyone else have comments?

Last edited on Sun Jun 11th, 2017 02:32 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Sun Jun 11th, 2017 02:36 pm
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fasstrack
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Maybe a verse introducing the lighthouse keeper issuing the warning, or the whole story told 3rd person from his point of view?
Looking for a 'lifeboat' to climb aboard here. LOL...



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 10:40 am
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fasstrack
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How's this, Rainy?:



SMALL CRAFT WARNING Joel Fass © 2017 Exemplar (ASCAP)

A1
Once love was smooth sailing---guided by
Light of a peaceful morning---now it’s
Dark, clouds have gathered---will it
Soon start hailing?
Small craft warning

A2
Is love now
Drifting towards a frightful sky and sea? Will a
Day of danger soon be dawning, with
Wretched winds blowing
Hard on you and me?
Small craft warning

B
Our love was serenity
Docked at a blissful bay---then temp-
Tation climbed on deck, so we cheated, (just a peck), and now
Peace and happiness have sailed away


C
There’s a captain on a ship out yonder, heading a-
way from the brewing storm, looking at
Us, waving his hand, shouting: ‘there’s
Trouble, head back to land!’---will we
Flee, or be forever lost at
Sea, ignore his plea----and the
Small craft warning?

Last edited on Mon Jun 12th, 2017 10:56 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 11:49 am
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RainyDayMan
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Well, I like that more :)
Hopefully you will get some other input too!

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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 12:26 pm
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jmc123654
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I'm still fairly new at this game, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

I like your title, and the imagery is carried through from verse to verse very well.

Is there a way to make the captain of the other ship issue his warning before you end section B with "peace and happiness have sailed away"? I guess that would make more sense in my mind to have the warning first.



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 08:44 pm
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fasstrack
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jmc123654 wrote:
I'm still fairly new at this game, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

I like your title, and the imagery is carried through from verse to verse very well.

Is there a way to make the captain of the other ship issue his warning before you end section B with "peace and happiness have sailed away"? I guess that would make more sense in my mind to have the warning first.
You're probably right. But I like the idea of putting the title at the end of a stanza, and building up to the captain. I'm reasoning that listeners want to know why there's a 'small craft warning'.

I'm more concerned that I overdid the metaphor, you know, less is more. Maybe I'll have the old captain walk the plank.

Writing is truly rewriting. I still have grey hairs for every line of Not a Bad November (my 1st real song, with my own lyric, after years of writing mostly jazz instrumentals).

Thank you guys for your input. Let's let the other members of the 'jury' vote...



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 09:31 pm
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fasstrack
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RainyDayMan wrote:
Well, I like that more :)
Hopefully you will get some other input too!
I still wanna know what you meant about the B section being 'heavy handed'? You've got me worried now---a GOOD thing.

Is it milking the seafaring metaphor too much? Trying to hard to be cute with the little joke ('on deck/just a peck)?

Edumacate me, good sir...

(I'm gonna go back and study Detour Ahead---undoubtedly at least in part the inspiration for this song, and coincidentally co-written by a guitarist [Herb Ellis])...

Last edited on Mon Jun 12th, 2017 09:34 pm by fasstrack



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 09:42 pm
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fasstrack
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Just so you know, here is Detour Ahead---a song that works VERY well:

Smooth road, clear day
Why am I the only one traveling this way
How strange the road to love should be so easy
Can there be a detour ahead?

Wake up, slow down
Before you crash and break your heart, gullible clown
You fool you're heading in the wrong direction
Can't you see the detour ahead?

The farther you travel
The harder to unravel
The web (s)he spins around you
Turn back while there's time
Can't you see the danger signs?
Soft shoulders surround you

Smooth road clear night
Oh lucky me that suddenly I saw the light
I'm heading back away from all this trouble
Smooth road, smooth road
No detour ahead



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 10:39 pm
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RainyDayMan
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fasstrack wrote:I still wanna know what you meant about the B section being 'heavy handed'? You've got me worried now---a GOOD thing.

Is it milking the seafaring metaphor too much? Trying to hard to be cute with the little joke ('on deck/just a peck)?


Yes, milking the seafaring metaphor too much is what I meant. Not so much that B section is especially overdone, just that by that section I was ready for it to be eased off a little.
The 'on deck/(just a peck)' part I thought was fine.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 10:42 pm
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RainyDayMan wrote:
fasstrack wrote:I still wanna know what you meant about the B section being 'heavy handed'? You've got me worried now---a GOOD thing.

Is it milking the seafaring metaphor too much? Trying to hard to be cute with the little joke ('on deck/just a peck)?


Yes, milking the seafaring metaphor too much is what I meant. Not so much that B section is especially overdone, just that by that section I was ready for it to be eased off a little.
The 'on deck/(just a peck)' part I thought was fine.
I think the bridge is the only weak link---and I think you're dead on.

Any ideas?



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 10:49 pm
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How about (to keep the question mode consistent):

If love is a sloop of serenity
Docked at a blissful bay,
Should temptation climb on deck, and we
Cheat (just a peck)
Will peace and happiness sail away?

Ahh, now I'm, um, out to sea. Overthinking. It doesn't work, b/c it's a supposition rather than a statement of what happened to cause the brewing storm.

Mebbe leave it be awhile---til the waves of worry calm down?

Now THAT'S milking it (LOL)...



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 10:52 pm
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Well, off the top of my head:

Our love felt like serenity
Docked at a blissful bay---then temp-
Tation climbed on deck, so we cheated, (just a peck), and now
Faith and happiness have sailed away

ie just taken back a notch.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 10:55 pm
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fasstrack
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RainyDayMan wrote:
Well, off the top of my head:

Our love felt like serenity
Docked at a blissful bay---then temp-
Tation climbed on deck, so we cheated, (just a peck), and now
Faith and happiness have sailed away

ie just taken back a notch.
Yes, that's better, less milking. I may use it---and give you a co-write if desired...



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 Posted: Mon Jun 12th, 2017 10:57 pm
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Changed it. Thanks a million (a tune title, BTW)...



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 Posted: Sat Jun 17th, 2017 03:40 am
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fasstrack
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And I have a melody! An old fashioned exotic beguine or rhumba—-sort of slow and sexy. In Bb, with the bridge going to IV minor, and a few extended bars at the end for a build-up.

I had to shave a few unneeded words off to fit my rhythm and simplify. Here’s the FINAL cut (I’ll post a lead sheet after I mess with MusicScore a little):


SMALL CRAFT WARNING Joel Fass © 2017 Exemplar (ASCAP)

A1
Once love was smooth sailing—-guided by
Light of a peaceful morning—-now it’s
Dark, clouds have gathered—-will it
Soon start hailing?
Small craft warning

A2
Is love now
Drifting towards a frightful sky and sea? Will a
Day of danger soon be dawning, wretched
Winds blowing hard on you and me?
Small craft warning

B
Our love was serenity
Docked at a blissful bay—-then temp-
Tation climbed on deck, so we cheated, (just a peck), and now
Peace and happiness have sailed away



C
There’s a captain on a ship out yonder, heading a-
way from the gathering storm, waving his
Hand, shouting: ‘head back to
Land!’—- will we
Flee, or be for-
Ever lost at sea, ignore his
Plea——and the
Small craft warning?



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 Posted: Sat Jun 17th, 2017 09:42 am
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fasstrack
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Someone on another forum didn't 'buy' a captain suddenly appearing---found him an unneeded distraction, so I devised an alternate ending. Does this work better for yiz?:

C (alternate)
Will our ship keep drifting out yonder, heading
Towards the gathering storm? Can we
Still head back for shore and serenity? Will we
Flee? Or will love stay lost at sea if we ignore---the
Small----craft---warning?



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