Howdy fellow songcrafters. I posted this new one. I don't want to say too much about my thought process in writing it because I want to see how it stands on its own. With that little sliver of context... Please give a listen and any and all feedback is welcome.
It's on the Youtubes with lyrics embedded in the video:
Just listened to this song and really liked it. The mix of guitar and vocal is really clear. I don't know why you wrote it but I think it touches on stuff we've all experienced on one level or another. One line reminded me of Hotel California ("You can check out anytime you want but you can never leave"). I thought you did a really good job getting to the loneliness of the patrons without being too depressing.
I enjoyed this one-thanks for sharing!!!
Thanks Jeff! Yeah that line was a purposeful homage to Hotel California. I also squeezed "Ain't too proud to beg" in there but it doesn't jump out in the same way.
Lyrics are very clever.
Many thanks! From the other Tom H!
Great job on this, Tom! Lyrics are very clever and I like their wry humor making it a sad song but fun and entertaining at the same time. Not easy to pull off. Your delivery is superb - great timing and expression. Love the guitar work too, and the production is top notch.
Every drink they pour here is half empty anyway
Unhappy hour 24 hours a day
Thanks Walt! Nice to hear you think the timing/ expression work. I get pretty nuerotic about it thinking I'm overdoing it here and undoimng it there. Production wise it's just me sitting at the dining room room table playing to the Zoom H2, then applying a little compression via Audacity!
OK, Tom. I must admit that I rarely listen to videos posted on these sites. I find them boring and not musically interesting; full of what someone believes I should be thinking or how I should be behaving. I'm gonna pay you the compliment of being honest as I'm sure you don't want a bunch of "yes men" to comment.
I believe that a lot of amateur song-writers make one universal mistake: They make the song too long. Anything over 2.5 minutes is a candidate of this. However, when I listen to your song, looking for what I think could have been left out, I see very little. I guess what I'm saying is you have a lot of great lyrics here - far above what we normally call amateurish. Maybe a solution would be to cut what you can to make room for a break (more later) and include those that hit the cutting room floor in a future song. Great lyrics! Would be tough to cut back.
Now to the "break" comment. Your song seems a bit like reading one looooooong sentence. Maybe that's the mood you wanted to set (morose monotony I guess you can call it). Personally, I would have liked to have heard some sort of chorus or repeating, contrasting, section.
As I said, I rarely listen to these and when I do, I usually stop the playback about 20 - 30 seconds through the piece. Not yours. I was captivated by the lyrics. You have either been collecting snippets for a long time or you have spent a lot of time on the floor of some dive!
As I said, I'm being honest. I really liked it. I'm hoping that, after you get a few comments, you'll consider telling us what drove you or inspired you to write this.
Respectfully - m
Michael, many thanks. I take your commentary in the spirit you intended.
I have a songwriting partner who frequently teases me about writing too-long songs. I thought this one was pretty brief. I wrote it in a relatively short time; a couple of weeks percolating and tweaking it. I would have a difficult time cutting it down but I'll re-examine it for sure.
I did include a single play through of the verse music for a solo. Sort of a break but not musically different. I did intend for it to be kind of grey and moody. It is a verse/chorus, verse/chorus arrangement but again not terribly musically different; no key changes... Also the chorus sections are structurally the same (heartache cafe, yadda da da dadda da, heartache cafe, yadda da da dada da) but the "yadda das" are different each go through. I like doing that but I have gotten the feedback that it muddies the line between the verse and the chorus lyrically and it doesn't leave the listener with a "hook" they can remember and sing along to later in their head.
Hmmm. Well now I feel like I'm reacting rather than listening. I will say thank you again. Your comments were generous. If you feel so inclined I'd love for you to take a look/listen to the others I've posted in the past.
The hook... yes. It's something we need to do to appeal to a larger group (sort of like "dumbing down," I suppose).
I have a song I have been writing for over 40 years and have not yet completed it. Part of the reason is it is about a true event and something that was extremely significant to my friend and his family. I feel as if I owe it to them to make it perfect and I can't seem to convey the fellings involved. Two weeks is incredibly short for so many worthwhile lyrics in your song. I have found that they come to you or they don't and to try to make it happen is a mistake. Do you find the same thing?
I am capable of writing a hooky chorus. I have a few. But It needs to be in service of the song. Since I think I'm unlikely to become a commercial success I figure I oughtta write 'em as I sees 'em. (hears 'em?).
So I guess my goal is to write to please myself and then hope it holds up to the listeners' ears. I won't enslave myself to that hook unless it makes the most sense for the song.
I'd love to hear your 40 years in the making song. At least what you've got of it. One suggestion I will hazard without hearing it is that you can be reflective of your process within the song. I think 40 years of effort to get something "perfect" is a pretty poetic state. I don't know the circumstances of your friend's event but having recently suffered the loss of my wife I can say that while there have been many beautiful reflections, accolades. poems, songs, services etc in her honor, nothing can measure up to "perfect."
As for process, I find that the bulk of a song usually comes to me pretty quickly but that I need to spend a longer time massaging it into full compliance. That does sometimes feel like trying to make it happen. But there's an electricity to finding the way to solve a problem in rhyme or meter or metaphor too. Smaller victories than the birthing of the song but gratifying in their own way.
Thanks for the replies!
Your last paragraph, on process, is how it is for me too, which makes the whole thing very exciting and satisfying when it all gets added up. Thanks for stating it this way.
We recently found out (two weeks ago) that my wife has multiple myeloma. She is on chemo twice a week and dialysis three times a week and is ever-so-slowly improving.
I'm sure you can relate to my thoughts of writing a song about going through all of this: How you life changes forever; how it hurts to see someone you love go through all the crap needed to keep her alive; how you suffer right along with her and cannot take it away. I thought of calling the song, "When the Flowers Die" in honor of all the flowers she has received and, when they are gone, I am left alone with her. It has a double-meaning in that life as we knew it is now over, etc.
I'll send the words and what I'm trying to express with my other song in a few days.
Take care - so sorry to hear of your loss.