I need some help

Songwriting, songwriters, etc

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jchitty
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Re: I need some help

Post by jchitty » Thu May 24, 2007 9:52 am

Quote:I'm just throwing some ideas in the pot.... the tribute line could be more clear as in... raised successful children, out on their own.... a green house of memories of raising them.... the green house is empty now, cause its just Lem..... another thing I've been doing is taking a strong line or two from a song and making a whole new song out of it.... song about the same thing, but different melody and chords and borrowing lines from different tunes..... A recent example of it is on my Taxi page... new song.... Make her love me.... old song... Ramblin Road... if you get your speakers working.......ArkJackAin't nothing wrong with tossing ideas around....isn't that what they call co-writing anyway, hehe? BTW, AJ, I don't know if you got my post about a month ago, but I managed to listen to "Easy Living Man." I liked it! It had a Grateful Dead feel to it....I've always loved them. Plus, I like this group called "Old Crow Medicine Show" and it reminded me of them as well...had an alt-country feel to it. BTW, I can listen to music, just takes me a long time....have a low volume control, plug in speakers and it comes out in syllables, but I can piece it together. I'm probably overlooking your TAXI page link...could you post it for me, and I'll try to listen to your song. I am going out of town tomorrow, so if I don't hear from you today, I'll get back with you later. Can't listen to tons of songs, but one or two.

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Re: I need some help

Post by horacejesse » Thu May 24, 2007 3:55 pm

Chit,I think the song is cohesive and Beaird did a nice job. I feel you are in the right direction here. The story is pretty good. Will the song make it? I have no idea. But I was uncomfortable with the house painted green. I need a reason for every word even in a short story, so a song, well...Cooking up the thirty dinners was a good inspiration. AJ may have a point. Sometimes a story/song needs to spring surprises right to the end. Just when the listener thinks he sees it all, a new twist enters.Good work.

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Re: I need some help

Post by nknjmes » Thu May 24, 2007 5:36 pm

I think it's a good story and I like the melodies a lot. Nashville prefers songs around 3 1/2 minutes so if it were my song, I'd have structured the end a little differently. For example I might have gone from the 2nd chorus straight into the bridge (glass to his wife), then the instrument lead and into the final chorus, skipping the repeat 3rd verse. I'd build up the melody through the bridge continuing that emotion in the lead and finishing on the final chorus. Hope that gives you another take on it.Good song!

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Re: I need some help

Post by kouly » Fri May 25, 2007 8:05 am

Sorry but I do not feel qualified to comment on lyrics just yet but I will say that they did grow on me. You craft a sharp hook Chits! The music I feel was a nice blend of traditional and contemporary.It had a good flow to it. Though the comment about cutting the 3rd verse might have some merit but since I am not up on the country market I will defer.

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Re: I need some help

Post by sgs4u » Fri May 25, 2007 8:25 am

Speaking as a father, the 1st part of the chorus lyric hit me in a dull, wet kind of blanket, sort of way. The song and a daughter lines sounded like acquired possessions,(like the green house) rather than relationhship/family stuff. AND the song is all about the strength and bond of a long-term relationship. Not mentioning the kids other than that one line, seemed to be like writing a pick-up truck into a country song, just so you hit all the bases. Maybe using something else, more possesion like, would be stronger. It caught me off guard, like a movie with surprise characters that didn't add to the story.Now when I read about Charlene making all those meals, I lost it(meaning I teared up). But I would have no matter what that other line was. I found the lyric to be very moving, from then on. But again, when the chorus showed up, the song felt diluted to me, because of that line. The second part of the chorus(or whatever you call it), is really nice imagery. made me hungry. You see, I've only had red beans and rice once or twice.Quote:And Charlene knew she was fading fastSo she walked into the kitchenAnd cooked her lastSpecial chili and red beans and riceSpaghetti sauce and potatoes baked twiceFroze thirty future suppers for old Lem Jones How you end the line on LAST. Is different and COOL. the word "future" looks clunky somehow. Maybe "perfect" would be more about the situation. it's the same kinda vowel sound as thirty, and might sound nicer. But that whole last line, ought to be quite a payoff, and it's not quite there. As far as the marketability is concerned, the song is poignant, but it is about the DEATH, of a loved one. I'd like to be wrong, but I just can't imagine anyone covering the tune on the radio because of that.You know, Chits, I welcome your opinions on anything I have recorded!

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Re: I need some help

Post by Casey H » Fri May 25, 2007 12:48 pm

Quote: Your Song's Marketability? Whatever the reason the song sounds a bit dated ( Kinda 80's- early 90's). The nice part about the film/TV market is quite often songs do not have to be current sounding. More important can be whether or not the song is very recognizable as if from a particular decade. Requests are out there all the time for songs from all eras. A movie might be set in the 70's and they want a song to be playing on a car radio in a scene. In that case, one of the main criteria is, "Does this sound like it could have been on the radio in 1972?" For artist song pitches, sounding dated can be an issue. Sometimes that can even be a good argument against over-producing a demo. But the world of film/TV is wide open.BTW, Chits... I don't know if this sounds dated at all. I'm not close enough to country music to say... But don't worry if it does... Casey

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Re: I need some help

Post by jchitty » Fri May 25, 2007 3:30 pm

Quote:Chit,I think the song is cohesive and Beaird did a nice job. I feel you are in the right direction here. The story is pretty good. Will the song make it? I have no idea. But I was uncomfortable with the house painted green. I need a reason for every word even in a short story, so a song, well...Cooking up the thirty dinners was a good inspiration. AJ may have a point. Sometimes a story/song needs to spring surprises right to the end. Just when the listener thinks he sees it all, a new twist enters.Good work.Wow, lots of fantastic comments here, folks....I've been out of town all day...went to Georgia, but I logged on to see all this and decided I should leave some posts.Horace, there is a continuing concern about 'that house painted green line'....you're not the first person who's expressed this, so you may be onto something here....I may have to end up rewriting "Old Lem Jones" a bit. Maybe those lines just don't belong there, although I wrote them only to highlight Charlene's and Lem's life together, and the fruit of their life as a couple...it's just sort of backdrop. But maybe that line just didn't take it far enough as some folks have suggested. Those lyrics in verse 1 might be written in better way. It's worth looking at further.I may also toy with the ending, but I gotta think about that a bit...but it's worth contemplating. Thanks though for all your thoughful suggestions and comments though! Every single comment I get like this helps me...I may not use every suggestion, but it gives me food for thought.

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Re: I need some help

Post by jchitty » Fri May 25, 2007 3:43 pm

Quote:I think it's a good story and I like the melodies a lot. Nashville prefers songs around 3 1/2 minutes so if it were my song, I'd have structured the end a little differently. For example I might have gone from the 2nd chorus straight into the bridge (glass to his wife), then the instrument lead and into the final chorus, skipping the repeat 3rd verse. I'd build up the melody through the bridge continuing that emotion in the lead and finishing on the final chorus. Hope that gives you another take on it.Good song!Hmm, now this is interesting, nkn....when I first sent this demo to be done, I had some real concerns about the structure of "Old Lem Jones." I even posted my thoughts on it several months back. I too thought about eliminating that repeat third verse....didn't think about going right to the bridge after the second verse and then having the instrumental break followed by the chorus, but that ain't a half bad idea. Actually, don't know why your idea didn't occur to me...because it's following a pretty good rule of songwriting structure, the way I write most of my songs.I may have been experimenting too much here....wanted to do a little something different. LOL, next time, I'm getting my songs critiqued before I demo them.Thanks so much for all your thoughts.

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Re: I need some help

Post by jchitty » Fri May 25, 2007 3:55 pm

Quote:Chits, If you don't mind, these are my words, thoughts and observations concerning "Old Lem Jones."Your Song's Marketability? Good question . Perhaps yes and maybe not - here's why. Something nagged at me form the beginning. I'm not sure if it's the vocal similarities between your session singer and Tanya Tucker or the predictable musical arrangement, maybe a blend of the two? Whatever the reason the song sounds a bit dated ( Kinda 80's- early 90's). So if I were to determine your "marketability" ,as a songwriter, based on this song - I would assume that you lean more towards Traditional C&W, then you do Contemporary Country. Not that there's anything wrong with TC&W. Actually, from what I've heard, it's nice work if you can get it. But it does limit your access to other markets. Your Song's Music and Lyrics? I commented on the music already so that leaves only the lyrics. And it's a biggie!!! Not really, but it is genuine. For some reason I cannot enjoy singing the words Die, Dead or DEATH unless there's an obvious comedic escape. For example the Dixi Chicks,"Goodbye Earl". Call me a wuss, but when it comes to ballads I can only go as far as: I stopped loving her today, and like a candle in the wind... I wanna see her Fly!!!!!! Your Storyline... I can't say that "I" was moved by the story. But, I do understand how someone could be. All the parts of a touching song are present: The loss, the living and the lingering memory. More then enough melancholy to tug at my heart, right? I think so. Then why wasn't I moved ? Honestly, it was the Food. After all is said and done, your red beans and rice stole the song! Leaving Lem, Charlene and the kids to struggle for significance. And as hard as they tried they never pulled it off, not really.So, you're probably thinking, "This isn't the song I wrote, not at all." And you're right. But it's the only song I heard.Well, I guess I've said enough, or am I forgetting something? Oh yeah! I would like to mention that everything I didn't say had something to do with how talented you are - blah, blah , blah and such !Cheers,RanThanks for the nice comments, Dogs....yep, you have me pegged.....my favorite country music is traditional....interesting how you nailed the time period as well. I've posted here before that my favorite period of country music was roughly from the middle 80's to around 1995. I love George Strait, Alan Jackson, Vince Gill, Sammy Kershaw, John Anderson. I'll admit this song could be a little dated. I also write stuff Keith Urban would sing, but this was sort a little experiment of mine..."Old Lem Jones" is the song my family loves so much, so therefore, I demoed it taking the chance it might get a foward from TAXI...which is a crazy reason, LOL. As far as the food goes, well, that's Charlene's 'last gift' to Lem....I once read a story about a man whose wife cooked all these dinners for him before she died...froze them all to make sure he'd have enough to eat for a while after she was gone, and I was touched by that story. So the song is really a celebration of Lem and Charlene's great and selfless love for each other, a marriage that spanned 48 years. I meant it to be more inspirational....about how love endures even beyond the grave, but this might have been too lofty an undertaking....maybe I just didn't get that idea across. So maybe it just comes off as a bit morbid...that's always been a concern of mine. Thanks for your comments though...it's very valuable getting this kind of feedback!

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Re: I need some help

Post by jchitty » Fri May 25, 2007 3:58 pm

Quote:Sorry but I do not feel qualified to comment on lyrics just yet but I will say that they did grow on me. You craft a sharp hook Chits! The music I feel was a nice blend of traditional and contemporary.It had a good flow to it. Though the comment about cutting the 3rd verse might have some merit but since I am not up on the country market I will defer.Thanks, Koul. I'm really big on hooks.....if you get down to it, hooks really make the song. Dropping the 3rd repeat verse is a possible option....boy, I spent a some funds on this one though, hehe. Maybe my demo service will help me with this one again.

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