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Gray gold
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 Posted: Mon Oct 21st, 2019 11:57 pm
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Mike Stacey
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I'm a union concrete hand same as my daddy and my uncle's. My grandfather was a Teamster and drove a concrete truck most his life. To say the least concrete is in my blood.

Verses#1 I once loved a girl lived up Lexington way/ the prettiest thing that I thought I'd ever seen/ when I worked over off South limestone for Baker concrete company/ we dug and racked that concrete till we died with those shovels in our hands/the grim reaper he came down just to feast on my soul/ he said there lies a hell of a man

Chorus we make a living by pouring that gray gold/form it up right boys and make sure that she holds/the devil he's riding on a 10-yard load/ keep them hammer's swinging and make sure that she holds/

Verses #2 the job at West Columbus/ pouring 30 feet below/ ties started snapping/ we was praying that she'd hold/ then we fell to darkness/ that gray tomb we know so well/ with one thunderous crash they sent us all the hell/

Chorus we make a living by pouring that gray gold/form it up right boys and make sure that she holds/the devil he's riding on a 10-yard load/ keep them hammer's swinging and make sure that she holds/

Bridge when we got to hell devil knew something must be wrong/ St Peter He came calling and they sent us all home/

Chorus now we make a living by pouring them streets of gold/they're always straight and level/and we know that they'll hold/we ain't got no need for that 10 yard load/traded them hammers for a concrete halo/

Last edited on Mon Oct 21st, 2019 11:58 pm by Mike Stacey



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 Posted: Tue Oct 22nd, 2019 11:14 am
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bunnythesinger
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Mike, I like this. There's nothing like a good ole disaster/catastrophe/accident story song and Im not sure that I heard one about concrete before. But, I like it. Very picturesque and colorful. It's a little difficult to read in the format presented, and I wanted to know mare about the girl from verse 1. But again, the story of the crash is great.

Bunny



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 Posted: Fri Oct 25th, 2019 01:54 am
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RainyDayMan
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Mike I think you have a great story going here.
The details about the job give it real depth and grittiness and a sense of realism coming from your actual life experience.

I particularly like your chorus. Almost got a folk feel to it there.

What I think it needs is some tidy up on the structure.
I've re-written it out below for clarity putting in a line break where you had a slash, and noting the syllable counts on each line.

Those syllable counts vary widely across verses, so in v1 line 3 has seventeen syllables, but in v2 line 3 has 5 syllables. Assuming I wrote it out correctly, that much difference will be near impossible to fit into the same musical phrase. One or two syllables difference can be managed, but what you've got there isn't going to fit.
You need to even out the number of syllables for the equivalent lines in each verse, give or take 1 or 2.

Maybe in v2 what I've written as lines 1 & 2 could be joined together (and similarly lines 3&4, and 5&6) which would be closer to verse 1 in terms of syllable counts, but then you'd have only 4 lines instead of 6 lines.

Your chorus is much more even, and feels the smoother for it, but the final chorus still has some variation. That first line in the final chorus could be changed slightly to:
now we make a living pouring streets of gold
and it would fit the 11 syllables from the previous chorus.



Verses#1
I once loved a girl lived up Lexington way (11)
the prettiest thing that I thought I'd ever seen (12)
when I worked over off South limestone for Baker concrete company (17)
we dug and racked that concrete till we died with those shovels in our hands (17)
the grim reaper he came down just to feast on my soul (13)
he said there lies a hell of a man (9)

Chorus
we make a living by pouring that gray gold (11)
form it up right boys and make sure that she holds (11)
the devil he's riding on a 10-yard load (11)
keep them hammer's swinging and make sure that she holds (11)


Verses #2
the job at West Columbus (7)
pouring 30 feet below (7)
ties started snapping (5)
we was praying that she'd hold (7)
then we fell to darkness (6)
that gray tomb we know so well (7)
with one thunderous crash they sent us all the hell (12)


Chorus
we make a living by pouring that gray gold (11)
form it up right boys and make sure that she holds (11)
the devil he's riding on a 10-yard load (11)
keep them hammer's swinging and make sure that she holds (11)

Bridge
when we got to hell devil knew something must be wrong (13)
St Peter He came calling and they sent us all home (13)

Chorus
now we make a living by pouring them streets of gold (13)
they're always straight and level (6)
and we know that they'll hold (6)
we ain't got no need for that 10 yard load (10)
traded them hammers for a concrete halo (11)

In verse 1 when you say:
...feast on my soul
...there lies a hell of a man

that feels like bragging to me. Maybe that's how concrete guys are, and you want it to come through in the song, but it put me off a bit.
You might swap the previous line to be "our souls" to soften that aspect if you wanted to.

Overall, I like the feel of it, and the story.
I think it's well worth pursuing, but the structure needs some work.



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 Posted: Sat Oct 26th, 2019 08:57 pm
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Mike Stacey
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Thank you both for the comments on theses lyrics. RDM I completely agree and understand what you are saying. I love music but have never been real musical. So the musical part sometimes escapes me when my attention to detail is not on point. As for the format that lyrics are presented in on the forum it makes it hard to understand. I will have better formatting on my lyrics going forward. I will take these suggestions in to consideration on the rewrite. I want this to be a song that I can be proud off. Thank You



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 Posted: Sun Oct 27th, 2019 04:23 am
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bunnythesinger
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So glad you are going to stick with it. RDM has great suggestions. And so glad he formatted your verses for you. Im sure you can see how much easier it is to read and evaluate songwise tjis way.

I think that you have the bones of a really neat song here. I have heard folk songs about train and truck wrecks, shooting sprees and earthquakes... but I never heard one about the concrete industry...it kept my interest. It wont take much to straighten it up and youll have that song youre gonna be proud of.

Bunny



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 Posted: Sun Oct 27th, 2019 07:36 am
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cmaja
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Hey Mike, good job overall! But listen closely to RD Man. Structure, including: meter, line length, rhyming sequence, rhythm, repetition, and verse/chorus/bridge or AAA/AABA patterns are absolutely essential. The key to a writing a good lyric lies in adhering to the standards developed and used for well over a century. It’s the skill that must accompany the talent.

Charles



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 Posted: Sun Oct 27th, 2019 04:31 pm
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SongWriterJoe
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Umm, what rhyming? I missed it



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 Posted: Sun Oct 27th, 2019 07:16 pm
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Mike Stacey
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AS I get older it is harder to write a set of lyrics that are actually worth me posting. I am familiar with all these concepts that are mentioned. I really appreciate the information on the musical side of songwriting guess I am more of a poet or story teller I love words and rhyming



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 Posted: Sun Oct 27th, 2019 09:41 pm
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bunnythesinger
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Mike, write for you, write because you like it, write because you have something to say. And post it for us to read...I for one never knew the inherent dangers of the concrete industry...i mean every job can hurt people, but It never dawn much on me that there could be deadly dangers. That being said, I probably wouldnt have thought of this if you hadnt written your lyric. The point is your contributions matter, thanks for posting and being here.

Bunny



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 Posted: Mon Oct 28th, 2019 07:32 pm
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SongWriterJoe
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i did a little concrete finishing on a construction crew when I was a kid. I think you meant "raking" instead of racking.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 29th, 2019 02:56 am
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Mike Stacey
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Thanks for the support bunny, raking is what I was looking for thanks



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 Posted: Tue Nov 5th, 2019 10:47 pm
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Andrea
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This is a great story! It needs more structure, but is worth the work. I am very intrigued :)

You have hit the imagery and emotions - just need to clean it up. Super start.



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