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2020 #2 The Lily of the Valley
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 Posted: Sun Jan 12th, 2020 01:52 pm
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jamestoffee
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2020 #2 The Lily of the Valley
by James Conrad © 2020

=====Revised Version 3=====

https://soundcloud.com/jamestoffee/2020-2-the-lily-of-the-valley-key-of-a-ver2

Sweet Mary tell me of your Son
And I will gather your tears
His triumph over death at Calvary's cross
Will comfort travelers’ fears

Each precious tear is a lily
A beauty among the thorns
Pure fragrance flows from the memories
In shadows where hope is reborn

Chorus
The Lily of the valley
On tear-stained ground
The Lily of the valley
Where new hope is found
Where new hope is found

The roots run wide through the meadows
No toiling the price has been paid
Bowed and humbled with shoulders hung low
From the weight of a sacrifice made

The white bells silent and solemn
While plucked in bunches and tied
A promise of new life in springtime
And bouquet for the bride

ch

Instrumental

Ch








=====Revised Version 2=====

Sweet Mary tell me of your Son
And I will gather your tears
His triumph over death at Calvary's cross
Will comfort travelers’ fears

Each precious tear is a lily
A beauty among the thorns
Pure fragrance flows from the memories
In shadows where hope is reborn

Chorus
The Lily of the valley
On tear-stained ground
The Lily of the valley
Where new hope is found
Where new hope is found

The roots run wide through the meadows
No toiling the price has been paid
Bowed and humbled with shoulders hung low
From the weight of a sacrifice made

The white bells silent and solemn
While plucked in bunches and tied
I’ll gather the tears of the May Queens
And visit forsaken brides

ch

Instrumental

Ch


=====Revised Version 1=====

Sweet woman tell me of your son
And I will gather your tears
And scatter them down in the shadow lands
To comfort travelers’ fears

Each precious tear is a lily
A beauty among the thorns
Pure fragrance flows from the memories
In shadows where hope is reborn

Chorus
The lily of the valley
On tear-stained ground
The lily of the valley
Where new hope is found
Where new hope is found

Their roots run wide through the meadows
No toiling the price has been paid
Bowed and humbled their shoulders hang low
From the weight of a sacrifice made

Their white bells silent and solemn
While plucked in bunches and tied
I’ll gather the tears of the May Queens
And visit forsaken brides

ch

Instrumental

ch








=======Original Version=====
Sweet woman tell me of your son
And I will gather your tears
And scatter them down in the shadow lands
To comfort the travelers’ fears

Each precious tear is a lily
A beauty among the thorns
Pure fragrance flows from the memories
In shadows where hope is reborn

Chorus
The lily of the valley
On tear-stained ground
The lily of the valley
Where new hope is found
Where new hope is found

Their roots run wide through the meadows
No toiling the price has been paid
Bowed and humbled their shoulders hang low
From the weight of a sacrifice made

Their white bells silent and solemn
While plucked in bunches and tied
I’ll gather the tears of the May Queens
And visit the forsaken brides

ch

Instrumental

ch

Last edited on Thu Jan 16th, 2020 10:38 am by jamestoffee



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 Posted: Sun Jan 12th, 2020 05:30 pm
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samiamiamsam
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Very nice James. Always liked the original hymn. Like your new version.
Did you do the violin or is that done with midi? Either way it's beautiful.



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 Posted: Sun Jan 12th, 2020 09:58 pm
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RainyDayMan
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Nice folk song! I love the violin too, or is it a fiddle in this instance?

I particularly liked:
Pure fragrance flows from the memories

And the melody as you sing:
The lily of the valley
On tear-stained ground


And the harmonies the second time around are lovely!

The instrumental is great, as already mentioned.

Some thoughts for your consideration:
In your opening line, change the timing from the even:
---1----2---3
Sweet wo-man
to put the emphasis on woman and make "sweet" leading;
--------1---2--3
Sweet wo-maaan
(but you might have to modify the intro as well to allow for that)

In line 4 drop "the" and make it: To comfort travelers’ fears

Towards the end of the chorus @"Where new hope is found" you modulate the pitch on "found" before repeating the line. I like the repetition, but you might try singing a single pure tone rather than modulating. To me it feels like the melody is struggling to fully resolve then as soon as it gets there it's run out of time and the next line has begun. A single longer tone would avoid that.

When you get to verses 3 & 4, I was looking for further development of the initial verses, in particular the story of the sweet woman and her son. It may be that people familiar with the hymn already have sufficient context for that, but for me it feels left hanging, and the additional verses don't develop the theme. There is at least an option there to focus it more on the single story of an individual loss.

But overall I like it. It has a lovely melody and a sweet warmth.



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 Posted: Sun Jan 12th, 2020 11:45 pm
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jamestoffee
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Very nice James.

Thanks, samiamiamsam :D

Always liked the original hymn.

I didn't know the original. I'm just using the titles as a starting point and then after I'm done, I go back and listen to the original to see what another songwriter (that got published :D came up with).

Did you do the violin or is that done with midi? Either way it's beautiful.

It's Band in a Box 2020, so the tracks are from real performances, but I did not perform them.

Thanks again for the feedback!

James



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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2020 12:07 am
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jamestoffee
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Nice folk song! I love the violin too, or is it a fiddle in this instance?

fiddle

Some thoughts for your consideration:
In your opening line, change the timing from the even:
---1----2---3
Sweet wo-man
to put the emphasis on woman and make "sweet" leading;
--------1---2--3
Sweet wo-maaan
(but you might have to modify the intro as well to allow for that)

In line 4 drop "the" and make it: To comfort travelers’ fears

Towards the end of the chorus @"Where new hope is found" you modulate


Thanks, Owen. I'll try all the suggestions.



When you get to verses 3 & 4, I was looking for further development of the initial verses, in particular the story of the sweet woman and her son. It may be that people familiar with the hymn already have sufficient context for that, but for me it feels left hanging...


I left it vague and was even thinking of using the word 'story' instead of 'son'. However, one folklore is the flowers come from Jesus' mother, Mary, and her tears shed at the cross, so it was meant to be open for interpretation.

...and the additional verses don't develop the theme. There is at least an option there to focus it more on the single story of an individual loss.


There is a theme but it may be too low below the surface. The theme is the circle of pain and empathy aka the beauty in the bitter-sweet of life.

V1 collection of tears (pain)

V2 transformation of pain to beauty

V3 remembrance beauty comes from pain

V4 Empathy/beauty in a gift
Giving flowers (lilies) to other people is a symbol of good luck/empathy/love by cutting flowers and making bouquets to give to others (May queens and brides). However, in lines 3 and 4, the singer (personified life) knows that while the receivers of the flowers may have momentary joy from the flowers (I mean who doesn't like getting flowers?)....eventually pain is a part of life, so later the singer will revisit those who received their flowers to collect their tears to make new flowers...and the idea that the pain that caused those tears was not all bad b/c pain develops empathy for others going through similar pain.

Then full circle....back to V1, if you guess correct that Mary is the woman and Jesus is the son, Jesus's ultimate sacrifice of death on the cross for mankind gives travelers through the shadow lands (aka people going through life) comfort and hope through their life journeys.

I'm curious if the blueprinting of the lyrics brought clarity.

But overall I like it. It has a lovely melody and a sweet warmth.

Thanks for the feedback.

James

Last edited on Mon Jan 13th, 2020 12:11 am by jamestoffee



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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2020 03:31 am
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Ok, so a clear plan there.

The meaning is probably a lot clearer for someone familiar with the hymn and with a religious background. I can't say I got any of that directly from the lyric, but then I may not be the intended audience.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2020 11:41 am
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jamestoffee
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*POOF* changes made as per suggested by Owen

Ok, so a clear plan there....I can't say I got any of that directly from the lyric, but then I may not be the intended audience.

No worries, I appreciate the feedback and the phasing changes and article drop work better.

Thanks.

James

PS I took down Version 1 link so I don't use up so much Soundcloud account storage.



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 Posted: Tue Jan 14th, 2020 11:10 pm
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jamestoffee
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How about this for a clearer idea of the characters?...

Dear Mary tell me of your Son
And I will gather your tears
His triumph over death at Calvary's cross
Will comfort travelers’ fears

Any feedback?



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 01:56 am
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RainyDayMan
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Well that would absolutely make clear the context of the song. And it feels like it would fit nicely to the melody.
Maybe Sweet Mary? Unless that is too casual.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 02:00 am
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jamestoffee
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I do like 'sweet'.

I'll give it a go later today.

Thanks, Owen.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 12:48 pm
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jamestoffee
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***POOF*** Changes made :D

Feedback?



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 09:59 pm
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RainyDayMan
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Nice! I like the changes and the whole song is more meaningful now the context is clear. That chorus gets me every time!



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 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2020 11:22 pm
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jamestoffee
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Thanks for sticking with me on this, Owen!

My subconscious was working last night and this morning I thought about how you recommended focusing on one story, so I'm looking to change the last verse to this:

The white bells silent and solemn
While plucked in bunches and tied
A promise of new life in springtime
And bouquet for the bride

These changes focus on the symbolism of Jesus as the Lily of the valley.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 16th, 2020 12:44 am
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RainyDayMan
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That does feel more consistent with the other verses than the reference to May Queens. Good idea!



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 Posted: Thu Jan 16th, 2020 10:41 am
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jamestoffee
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***POOF*** Changes made :D



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