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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 01:17 am
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LongShadows
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I have stated in the past that I usually memorize my lyrics long before they are committed to paper, what follows is just the opposite of that. I actually wrote this on my phone with my thumbs, one verse at a time in the order that you see them below. I started with the single image (the first 3 lines) and let it develop from there. Once I settled on the structure and rhyme scheme, it got a little easier to fill in the blanks, kind of like doing a crossword puzzle. I think the verses are pretty much interchangeable, but I like the first for the opener.
The chorus is something that I hit on while walking to the store, and I think it somehow fits and clashes with the verses at the same time. The chorus started life as "you'll be gone..." but I changed it to "we'll be gone..." about five minutes ago.
Comments are welcome but not compulsory,
Just sharing the process for now.



V1.
Your old red flannel's hanging
from a nail out in the shed
As worn as any battle flag I've seen
The Nova hasn't started since
the day you pulled the heads
Looks nothing like them in the magazines

V2.
A pile of scratch-its nesting on
the yellow dinette set
Conceals the cable bill that's overdue
You pause to ponder why you haven't
Hit the big one yet
Hope's fading like an old jailhouse tattoo

C.
We'll be gone for an awful long time when we go
Thought you ought to know
I thought you ought to know
We'll be gone for an awful long time when we go
I hope it's a long time before we go

V3.
There's a cup of cold black coffee
leaving yet another stain
On the furniture you borrowed from your ma
You're always in the attic
And you never did explain
Why you can't go back to Arkansas

V4.
Two thirds of your ex-wives are getting
very much annoyed
You ain't been keeping up the child support
Your PO says he's doubtful that
You're gainfully employed
And wants to know what he should tell the court

Ch


Gregg Barrett 2019

Last edited on Sat Jan 5th, 2019 01:20 am by LongShadows



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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 07:17 pm
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Seamus
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A great storyline.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 08:30 pm
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RainyDayMan
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Interesting to hear how songs develop. People are different and individual songs can be different too!

V1 is a strong visual, but you could start with v3 too if you wanted and swap those. Either would work.

"I think it (the chorus) somehow fits and clashes with the verses at the same time"
it's a strong contrast, so I see the clash. A bit like a musical dissonance. Interesting!

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 10:04 pm
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Andrea
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You make it very easy to picture the scene(s). It evokes a sorrowful feel when I read it - definitely emotional.

I like all the verses except the 4th. It fits, but it out of sorts somehow.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 11:20 am
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SongWriterJoe
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Cute idea. Rhyming structure is all over the place. Have you tried to sing it? :?



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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 09:20 pm
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RainyDayMan
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SongWriterJoe wrote:
Rhyming structure is all over the place.

Looks like lines #3 & #6 in each verse rhyme to me
and obviously every line in the chorus.

Minimalist I think, rather than all over the place

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 Posted: Tue Jan 29th, 2019 05:47 am
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LongShadows
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I thought the rhyme scheme was obvious, ABAB, and fairly consistent throughout.

The 3 and 6 lines are actually the 2 and 4
Consider 8 beats per line, the rhymes fall on the 7th and the 5th beats, respectively.
I Think in terms of stresses, not exact syllable counts.

Your old red flannel's hanging from a nail out in the shed
As worn as any battle flag I've seen 
The Nova hasn't started since the day you pulled the heads
Looks nothing like them in the magazines

Last edited on Tue Jan 29th, 2019 02:00 pm by LongShadows



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 Posted: Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 04:17 am
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Kel
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SongWriterJoe wrote:
Cute idea. Rhyming structure is all over the place. Have you tried to sing it? :?

I see XABXAB in all the verses, AAAAA in the chorus.

@LongShadows

I find structurally this is put together very well. I see the scenes quite easily due to the D.E.T.A.I.L. in every scene. Well done!

What seems "iffy" to me is that a picture is painted of a person who is finding it hard to cope with life (raggedy shirt, car not going, hoping for a payday from gambling, overdue bills and PO doubting him). While painting the picture, I don't feel that it's taken me anywhere other than to see a snapshot of this person's life. There is no lesson in there, or warning. The chorus while interesting, doesn't contribute at all.

As for the verses being interchangeable, I'm not so sure. I think starting with any one other than the first would be weakening the impact of those that follow. Sure two or three are interchangeble, and paint the picture of somebody in a downward spiral that is escalating.

As for the chorus, I think "You" is a better fit than "We" because the rest of the song refers to 'You'. However, 'We' serves to include the singer in the observation, softening it a little. As I said though, I don't think it serves the verses at all, and could be completely omitted IMO.

Personally I'd like to see this one say SOMETHING! The verses are so well done and vivid, in my opinion they deserve more than an unrelated observation for a chorus.

Perhaps the singer could offer a helping hand, or let the subject know that help is available, and perhaps more importantly, that he can get out of the spiral he has found himself in.

My ten cents worth, (I usually only give 2!) to keep or sweep at your pleasure.

Cheers,
Kel



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 Posted: Sun Feb 24th, 2019 04:47 am
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M.P. Dudash
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Gregg, V1 and V2 I think are killer! I don’t care so much for the chorus as for me it doesn’t fit. V3 I like up until the last line. Maybe a change there? Not feeling v4. To me the start v1 and v2 have excellent potential for a country song. May not be your thing but I personally like them. Great start!



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 Posted: Wed Feb 27th, 2019 10:34 pm
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SongWriterJoe
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Thanks for the clarification. My bad.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 08:50 pm
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LongShadows
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Firstly, I'd like to apologize for the delayed response and for yet again not adhering to the old 2 to 1 rule. I could offer a host of excuses about my apartment building construction that has forced me to move my Mac off of its normal place and yadda-yadda-yadda, but that would be essentially a load of hooey, (I'm kind of lazy and have trouble following rules. :Bart:) so I won't waste a single keystroke on that.

I will say that it's at least a little easier to reply on a real keyboard than with my cell, today I'm using the wife's laptop.

Thanks for reading Seamus

Owen, as always, thank you for the read and your insight. I changed the chorus back to You'll be gone...etc.practically before I posted this. This is more folk than country and the use of the generic you actually makes more sense and seems to fit better. And by the way, the capo was clipped to the strap the whole time.

Andrea, re: the 4th verse, yea I tend to start stretching in the latter verses, but I thought the gainfully employed line was kind of clever. I may end up changing the upper half of that verse.


Songwriter Joe, "Have you tried to sing it? :?" Well, sure. I usually have at least an idea of how I imagine the melody, but on this particular tome I was counting syllables. The melody I imagine came later, I sing it aloud while doing other things. I spend about half my day at my job working alone, which gives me the luxury of being able to work these things out whilst being paid. Translating that into actual chords and stuff is not my strong suit, so I try to keep it simple.

Kel, wow, thanks for the astute analysis. It's worth way more than even ten cents.
That, plus $149.89 will buy me that crappy new Epiphone I haven't been wanting.
:Guitarman1:.

Forgive the italics, but I can't seem to find the quote button on this particular browser.


As for the chorus, I think "You" is a better fit than "We" because the rest of the song refers to 'You'. However, 'We' serves to include the singer in the observation, softening it a little. As I said though, I don't think it serves the verses at all, and could be completely omitted IMO.
Personally I'd like to see this one say SOMETHING! The verses are so well done and vivid, in my opinion they deserve more than an unrelated observation for a chorus.


As I mentioned above, I did change it back to You almost immediately. I'll leave it as posted for now to avoid confusion down here in the comments. While the chorus may seem disjointed, I think it is saying something, that is, when you're dead yer done, and no one's gonna fix that Nova for you, so get stop slackin' and get busy. That's the warning you're looking for.
And whether it says you, me, us or we, it's about me, I'm talking to me. All songs are autobiographical, and all songs are about someone else. All songs are fiction and all songs are true stories.

M.P. Dudash, Thank you for reading and commenting. If you read anything I have posted on this site (I recommend Smile at the Sun), you may notice that I have become a sucker for visuals. Oh, and inner rhymes, I can't resist a strong inner rhyme.


Again, thanks for reading and your quite useful critique.
Gregg



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