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BLESSING OF THE COMBINES
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 Posted: Sun Jun 27th, 2010 05:11 am
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Missouripicker
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Great suggestions, turtle.  You have a unique perspective.  Makes one stop and think and re-evaluate some things.  I've often used lines tossed from one song in another someplace down the road, but I don't think I've ever considered taking one of my songs and actually breaking it off into 2-3 other songs......Thanks for the good words, my friend.

 



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 Posted: Mon Jun 28th, 2010 04:59 am
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Angriest Dog
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Hey Aly.

Wow, you sure do crank them out.

I thought at first this was going somewhere along the lines of Shirley Jacksons's powerful short story "The Lottery" (shows you where my mind bends).  It also reminds me of Don Henley's "A Month of Sundays" -- maybe because it mentions combines and how time has passed it all by while a lot of the townies still live in past . . . Old Don ran over 4 minutes with that song and that was back in the 80's when he recorded it (vinyl) and it still needed to be fit into a format.

I guess it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you're going for commercial radio, you should cut it down. If not, who cares . . .

Thanks again for sharing.

-A.D.



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 Posted: Mon Jun 28th, 2010 03:09 pm
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DunedinDragon
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Aly,
Bear in mind that story-telling songs do tend to go over the typical 3 to 4 minute time frame just due to their nature. Sometimes that can affect the commercial appeal, sometimes it doesn't. Case in point, the Eagle's "Lyin' Eyes" weighed in at six and a half minutes. Granted, that was pretty excessive. But if your storyline pulls the listener along with it and keeps them interested, I think you can press things a bit without aggravating them.

One of my story songs is "City Of Hope" which is a few seconds over 5 minutes. I've heard feedback from some songwriters it's too long, but never from any listeners as each verse tends to makes some specific contribution to the overall story and relates to the ending.

Here's a link to it so you can see what I mean:

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=9147123&q=hi&newref=1


DD



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 Posted: Tue Jun 29th, 2010 01:56 am
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blukatnga
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Welcome to T.S.F. Amber !

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 Posted: Tue Jun 29th, 2010 02:01 am
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alytrain
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A.D. I'm always somewhat embarrassed to confess my ignorance, but even though I'm a lover of the short story, I had never read the lottery.  I googled it and it sounds fantastic.  I'm going to try and find the full story on line tonight for my bedtime story (even though it probably won't make for the sweetest dreams).  Truly though, that is one of the fantastic things about this forum - learning something from like-minded people.  In any event, I've cut this song a bit and now its one I need to back burner to see how I feel about it when I come back to it.  Thanks for the excellent feedback!

Last edited on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 02:01 am by alytrain



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 Posted: Tue Jun 29th, 2010 02:10 am
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alytrain
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Hi DD.  I took a listen of your song and I don't have a problem with the length of it.  I do believe that you have to write the song that feels right to you, then as you get feedback, you absolutely should consider it, but at the end of the day its your job to keep the song where you know it should be. So you cut when it feels right, and when it doesn't well then you just can't.   Thanks for sharing!



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 Posted: Tue Jun 29th, 2010 02:23 am
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Angriest Dog
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Hey Aly.

Sweet dreams after reading that one!

FYI - I think a lot of people (myself included) don't really say you should cut it back if the length contributes to the story. 

I actually liked Kinetic's comments about possibly breaking up into several tales if that's what's called. 

But, since I only write lyrics after I write a melody, I'm hard pressed to know what tonal visions (or music style) you have dancing around in your head with your verses -- although I'm positive lots of folks on this forum could guide you well.  If you're truly looking to make this critter into a song, maybe you should write a melody (or talk to some people about helping you) get this into a song format before you cut it apart.  Some of the most commerically popular songs from the much-overplayed "classical rock" era (man, do I despise that term) are long anthems like "Stairway to Heaven," "Freebird," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights," "Tom Sawyer," "House of the Rising Sun" etc. ad nauseum.  Even Harry Chapin's story song "Taxi" got lots of airplay in the early 70's and that song NEVER seemed to end (nor did I want it to).  But the story -- and the melody -- made it captivating.

As always, lot sof luck with your writing.   

-A.D.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 29th, 2010 09:28 pm
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Missouripicker
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I totally agree. You've got to tell the complete story. The writer has to make the decesion on how much detail is necessary to tell it. Sometimes one line can tell everything needed for the song. Other times, depending on the direction and perspective of the song, more detail is okay even if it's not necessary. Perhaps it simply supports the point the writer is trying to make and if it doesn't bog the song down it works. In some songs, too much info becomes redundant. In other songs it reinforces the storyline and enhances the song. For me, unless you're writing in the formula needed for Nashville, LA (commerical radio), you write what you want to tell the story in your song. Then go back and tighten it up. This may mean simply dropping unnecessary words or complete lines. If you find yourself getting a bit lost in your own lyrics, then you obviously need to tighten it up, shorten it, etc. Too much info is overkill and the listener will lose attention. It's a fine line and often a blurred line.

Last edited on Tue Jun 29th, 2010 09:31 pm by Missouripicker



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 Posted: Thu Jul 1st, 2010 03:40 pm
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Gu Djin
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I was reading this thread with interest - the title got me first.

I was thinking it was a tad long when I read lyrics.  And then kineticturtles comments switched on a light.  What he was was suggesting is something I do.

Not all but most of the stuff I write is based on projects consisting of several sometimes quite different, but connected or themed songs.  I'm not doing it for any commercial reason just my own satisfaction - so different means suit different ends.

The latest one is about a guy who was born in the late 1800's, lived though hard times and the first world war and is telling his story to his grandchildren in fractured memories.  So far this has borne five songs.  Can you imagine what would happen if I tried to tell the story in one go?!*  Phew.

In the same way you have a lot here.  Maybe try to think of it as a piece of theatre with different acts.

Last edited on Thu Jul 1st, 2010 03:59 pm by Gu Djin



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 Posted: Thu Jul 1st, 2010 04:23 pm
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alytrain
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Have you posted any of those songs?  It sounds like a fantastic project and I'd love to read more about it!  I've also got a large project that I'm going to start posting on today, which Blessing may get incorporated into.  It will be a project based on the Gospel of Thomas and the first song specifically written for that project is "Heaven is a Mustard Seed" being put up on the board today.  I'm going to to see how Blessing Falls into that project before I further consider giving Blessing its own project. 

You have some really interesting ideas!



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 Posted: Thu Jul 1st, 2010 04:31 pm
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Gu Djin
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Hah - I didn't say they were good!?!

But yes, some of them are posted here, mostly on the FNOM thread though not this weeks offering.  That was inspired by something entirely different and I maybe shouldn't go there. 

But I'll dig some links out if you are interested.  Though they don't tell a story, but are more snippets of the characters memories and are based on some creative writing I experimented with a good few years ago now.

Titles are

Tango (1918)  instrumental.
For an Hour or Two
Lies are still Lies -  sung and performed by JohnBee
The Slow Wounds of Fate - I hate the title

These reflect the sadness of leaving behind his past in search of a better future.  Excepting Tango(1918) which is about just surviving the conflict.  I have several more in the pipeline that cover a different time of his life.

Last edited on Thu Jul 1st, 2010 04:39 pm by Gu Djin



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 Posted: Thu Jul 1st, 2010 04:33 pm
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alytrain
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Yes, I am definitely interested!



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 Posted: Sat Jul 3rd, 2010 02:39 am
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terrypicker
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alytrain wrote: I love this idea.   It is completely doable and my mind is already off on its own internal tirade about where to go with it.  I'm going to put it to work and, if you're interested, will let you know how it develops. 
I was going to comment, I really liked where you were going with what you had going.  Not too sure where you going now.  Curious to see.  Check back later :)



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