Author Topic: Work in Progress  (Read 1570 times)

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Offline mike42

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Work in Progress
« on: June 23, 2011, 05:31:32 am »
So i wrote a "poem," I guess you could call it, a while back, and I was just looking back through all my old writings and thought "wow, this doesn't seem half bad." I figure if i can get a decent chord progression and some sort of chorus going I could maybe transform this into an actual song rather than just words, but I'd like to know what you guys/gals think.

I've got a ton of other stuff too, I just really got into this one the night I wrote it, so I want to see what others think about the quality/whether it makes sense, etc. Any criticism, thoughts or comments are appreciated. I don't take things personally, so if it's crap, please tell me! :)

So here are the words I've got so far, to my poem "Currently Unnamed":

The darkness of the night brings out the light of the day,
The sun looks down and smiles and all my troubles go away,
We look back to the days, and all the places we have gone,
Every day begins before the night can come along.

The seashell pales before the sea and sandy beaches roar,
The bright star right above us will shine on forever more,
The streetlights burn out long before the passion of the man,
Every day, he's told he can't but he says "yes, I can."

Train tracks stretch out, lead us straight into the great unknown,
We follow them, but always end up right back here at home,
Every day we run in circles, never getting far,
When it's over we will find out just how strong we are.

Past frustrations keep us from, the place we need to be,
The door is locked, we use the window, we don't need a key,
We have so much, but in the end, we have nothing at all,
We keep on climbing, even though our ladder soon will fall.

The summer, and the spring they fall, into a perfect place,
When winter comes, they will leave, with an utmost sense of haste,
My truth and lies are shrouded in a dark and hazy mist,
I follow you, but never receive one last faithful kiss.

You take it all and leave, so I have nothing left to share,
Burdens bring us all down, 'til it's just too much to bear,
But then a ray of light breaks through, and ends my cloudy day,
The darkness will be back again, but now it's all okay.


So there it is, and thank you if you actually took the time to read all that! :D


Offline digger72

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2011, 09:44:44 am »
Hi mike,

It reads well and has a nice sentiment. What you may find is that you will have to cut some words out here and there when you try to put it in to a song - just so it flows more naturally as a vocal.

Good luck with it  - will look out for it when you post the song.

Cheers,

Digger

Offline Tourniquet

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 09:59:26 am »
First thought is that the rhyming pattern A-A-B-B is a little predictable for a song (Day, away, gone, along)
If you can split each line you can probably make it sound more like A-B-C-B (Night,Day, smiles, away)
but that might end up affecting the meaning

Interesting piece open to interpretation.
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Offline mike42

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 07:21:23 pm »
Thanks for the responses, guys.

Digger - I know that it is pretty wordy for a song, but that's kinda the feel i was going for. Some songs with a lot of words work well, others don't, so who knows how this one will end up. If i manage to get a respectable version of this and something to record it with then I'll definitely try to throw something up on the Audio and Video Section.

Tourny-

The way I wrote the poem is almost like you said I should do, an A-B-C-B rhyme scheme. The lines are a bit too long to really fit into just one line apiece, so I feel like the words almost naturally fit into that "line-split" form. However, once I get some chords going I may find that I need to cut out a verse or two because it is far too long, or that I just can't make that work. I'll have to see how the different rhyme schemes fit as it progresses.

Offline LBro

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2011, 12:19:24 pm »
Hum,
In just looking over your poem to potential song I would also say it is simply too long. If you are going to use that simple cord progression I think you listeners will get bord. I know By By Miss American Pie is very long, possibly longer than what you propose. Justin shows how to play it and that might give you some ideas for your tune. Still I think you have a bit of a challenge ahead of you based on the length. BTW, who am I to say this as your words are really good and thoughtful. In my case my words are short, too short for my tastes. So you are overflowing with ability to put your feelings down in a great way. I wonder then too if instead of trying to shorten it by a lot if you might break it up into a couple songs? Just a thought there though. Another thought might be to keep it nearly as is but vary up your cords and come up with some changes in them to keep it interresting....

Good luck on this and if you feel up to it, post it once you get it together as I would like to hear it.

LB
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Offline mike42

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2011, 10:44:50 pm »
Thanks for the reply, LBro.

This poem is much longer than most of the stuff I write, but what can I say, the words just came pouring outta me so i had to keep going  :D. I've been thinking about possibly cutting out a verse or two in order to make it more "song-length" but I just have trouble cutting part of it out without losing that meaning I'm going for.

I've got a basic chord progression that I think sounds decent, and I've thought about just altering one or two of the verses, making those bridge-type verses with different chords and a different feel, and instead of writing a chorus I might instead try to write a catchy riff to return to, e.g. (or i.e.??) sultans of swing. Although not at all the same style of song, the listeners need something to come back to so they don't drift off or get lost, so I'm going to see how that works in the overall feel.

Regardless, I know I have quite a bit of work ahead on that one, but it's a lot of fun to create your own songs and see how they progress and change over time.

Offline rainwoman

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2011, 11:41:12 pm »
Hi Mike

I would also say it is simply too long. If you are going to use that simple cord progression I think you listeners will get bord.[...]

So you are overflowing with ability to put your feelings down in a great way. I wonder then too if instead of trying to shorten it by a lot if you might break it up into a couple songs?

I fully agree with the above.
Like LBro, my thought was that you could split your lyrics for a few songs.
My first feeling when saw your song was that it is much too dense - not only many verses, but each verse could be in fact divided in two, which makes a whole song even longer, just like this:

The darkness of the night
brings out the light of the day,
The sun looks down and smiles
and all my troubles go away,

We look back to the days,
and all the places we have gone,
Every day begins
before the night can come along.

Anyway, it's just an opinion. The final effect will be known once you make a tune and finish the song. Good luck with it! :)
"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." A. de Saint-Exupéry

Offline PattheBunny

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 11:24:35 am »
Who said that sometimes you have to kill the things you love best?   Look at the song from the perspective of what you are saying that is not just a clever rhyme but what is an original sentiment that matters to you.  Kill the rest.  

I somehow doubt that in the long run the first couplet of the first verse is going to make it to the end.  What you are sharing is too familiar.   Now "every day begins before the night can come along" is different.  It makes me think that you have to wait for the day to pass no matter how much you want or don't want the night to come, and that need to wait is very poignant.  

I am a true believer in taking stuff off point.   And in word pictures that are unique.  So describe a cloudy day by the quality of light or the emotion or something, but those words "cloudy day" are gonna bring down the rest of the lyrics because we've heard them so many times before and in the same context you are using.  

Rhyme is easy.  Getting to the core of what you really really want to say, what expresses your deepest feelings about a subject, can be harder.   This is a song about struggle, no?  To keep going in the face of loss.  Is it really just the sun that makes it all bearable? Or something more?  If you need darkness for light, day for night, what else might you put together as contrasts?   That aren't already used up (laughter/tears, for instance)?  

Also, your second verse might play better as your next to last verse.  Play with the order of things to see what builds the drama.

Don't know if any of this is helpful or not, but having been there I think there's a chance I am close to your process and this is kinda what happened to me .   I know the feeling that you love every word and don't want to change one.   Try it.  You can always go back.  Generally our first thoughts aren't our deepest and what we share first of all isn't what is most valuable about us.    And we have a wealth of stuff inside us.  The more you allow your brain to access, the better stuff you will get.   And the more of it there will be.  I think you might want  to keep going, dig deeper into what you are trying to say lyrically.   But be more indirect.  

Pat
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Offline mike42

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2011, 06:32:54 pm »
Pat-

Thanks for the detailed response. I know exactly what you mean when you say that it's hard to change even a single word, but that it can vastly improve the entire piece when you change things.

As for the first couplet, the first line to me is imperative to the meaning of the entire thing. It says "the darkness of the night brings out the light of the day, the sun looks down and smiles and all my troubles go away." And then the very last line "the darkness will be back again, but now it's all okay."

I feel like that was the whole metaphor for the piece, that we are almost afraid of adversity and we are far more comfortable in "the light." But when we are faced with some challenges and we overcome them, it makes us stronger and we tend to be no longer afraid of "the darkness," because we know we can handle it.

I have no problem changing things, but that was the one line that I think needs to be kept in order to maintain the overall meaning of things, even if it is a bit cliche ;)

Rainwoman-

The way I tend to read the song is almost in a split verse like you wrote. The only reason I wrote it so cramped up was to conserve space on the paper I was writing it on  :D However, I do agree that it's a rather long poem, which tends to not bode so well for a song, but that's why I picked this piece to post for opinions. I have a ton of poems that are nice and short and concise, but that just doesn't pose the same challenge as this one, which is why it appeals to me above all the rest.


Offline rainwoman

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2011, 08:34:25 pm »
Mike, on a second thought I must say there there are long songs which I really like, like e.g. House Of The Rising Sun or Whiskey In The Jar. What you can say about them is that they tell some concrete story which leads you from one verse to another one, makes you curious what will happen next, all the time moves forward, which is not so clear and obvious in your story. Just a thought....  :)


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Offline mike42

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2011, 06:10:27 am »
Just an update on the writing process for this song. I put it away for a couple weeks, pulled it back out today, and now I've got some rough chords and a pre-chorus/chorus going. I have nothing to record on (even my webcam on my laptop is broken..), and my voice sucks anyways, but here's a rough idea of the lyrics I'm currently working with and the chords to go along with it:

Into The Light
Verse 1
      A                    D 
The darkness of the night
                    E                F#m
brings out the light of the day,
       A                         D
The sun looks down and smiles
               E                F#m
and all my troubles go away,
A                  D       
We look back to the days
       E                    F#m
The places we have gone,
A                D
Every day begins before
       E                    A
The night can come along.

Pre-chorus
    Bm
We try so hard,
    A
But are ignored,
D                E 
We need to, escape before...

Chorus
           A F#m     E
We go, into, the light,                                       
A  F#m   E
Into, the light                                                 (for the A, F#m, E part it is kinda 8th note strumming
F#M  D    E                                                      with 2 bars on the A & F#m and 4 bars on the E)
Into, the light,
       D           E           A
The future, is bright, tonight.

Verse 2

The seashell pales before the sea
and sandy beaches roar,
The bright star right above us
shines on forevermore,
The streetlights burn out long before
the passion of the man,
Every day, he's told he can't
but he says "yes, I can."

(Pre-chorus/Chorus)

Verse 3

You take it all and leave so
I have nothing left to share,
Burdens bring us all down
til it's just too much to bear,
But then a ray of light breaks through
and ends my cloudy day,
The darkness will be back,
but now it's all okay.

-- So verses 2 and 3 follow the same chord progression as 1. I am planning on maybe putting in an interlude part/bridge, but that is still a thought in my head that I need to get onto paper. Any thoughts and criticism are always appreciated, and thanks for taking a look.

Mike

Offline Endureth

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Re: Work in Progress
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 06:42:07 am »
I bet someone told Jim Steinman "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" was too wordy.

 

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