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johnnyguitar

Write a song together

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I've suddenly started trying to write songs again after years of indolence....upon trying I have re-discovered why I find it so hard....I can't avoid cliches and I try too hard to make things rhyme...Then I had a brainwave...let's harness the power of Songfacts! :bow:

So, see below for what I've already managed to get down...if it's not that obvious it's a slightly (very?) sad song about two people who maybe (probably)(definitely?) shouldn't be together....but are tempted...at least one of them belongs to someone else...both feel as guilty as hell...it's already got a tune (in my head) and it's sort of Leonard Coheny with a hint of Damien Rice...in DADGAD, (for any guitarists watching)....

Tongue Tied and Twisted

(Float Like A Skateboard...Sting Like a Horse)

(First Edit)

Watching as the sun sets across the open sea

I never told you sunsets do strange things to me

Stare across the distance...with my fingers in your hair

Then I turn to kiss you....and you're not there.

...and I'm tongue tied, tongue tied and twisted over you...

...and scared of all the things that we might do.

I'm tongue tied and twisted while you're crying in the night

I know that this feels good...but I know that it's not right...I'm tongue tied and twisted...and scared of all the things that we might lose.

I'm tongue tied and twisted...and I know one of us must choose.

She says 'dreams are full of promises that no-one ever keeps.

They visit you at night....then vanish with your sleep.

Too painful to hang on to

Too precious to release'

What do I do...?

Dive into your ocean.....crash upon your shore?

Dive into your ocean...but, can I swim there anymore...?

I reckon a bit of tidying up...at least another verse and lose some of the cliches and it would make a half-decent lyric...could be a little bit country as well, if you want.

Tear it apart...make suggestions...add some ideas

Cheers

JG :thumbsup:

Edited by Guest

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OK Johnny, since you asked... Please keep in mind that I am no expert, and my suggestions only reflect what I would do. I like the lyrics; they build up very well.

Watching as the sun sets across the open sea

I guess I never told you sunsets do strange things to me

I would lose the “I guess†– the couplet will flow better.

Stare across the distance...run my fingers through your hair

Then I turn to kiss you....and you're not there.

Change the “run my†to “with my†– economizes the action a bit

...and I'm tongue tied, tongue tied and twisted over you...

I'm tongue tied...and scared of all the things that we might do.

Lose the last “I’m tongue tied†– you don’t need so much emphasis on the title

I'm tongue tied and twisted while you're crying in the night

I know that this feels good...but I know that it's not right...

I'm tongue tied and twisted...and scared of all the things that we might lose.

I'm tongue tied and twisted...and I know one of us must choose.

The repetition of the title works well if this is a bridge section

She says 'dreams are full of promises that no-one ever keeps.

They visit you at night-time and then vanish with your sleep.

Too painful to hang on to

Too precious to release'

Change the second line to “They visit you at night and vanish with your sleep†– less wordy

I’d also lose the “She says†in the first line – it momentarily would change the perspective, which is always interesting.

What do I do...?

Dive into your ocean...or crash upon your shore?

Dive into your ocean...I can't swim there anymore...

I would lose the “crash upon your shore†and “I can’t swim…†parts. It’s a little much on imagery/metaphor, and if you just leave it as “What do I do? Dive into your ocean…†that would signify that you have completely given yourself up to this women. That seems to have more impact than just trying to make a decision.

One last thing - if you're going for a Damien Rice vibe you should change the title to something completely random, like "Skateboard".

That was a joke.

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Dive into your ocean...or crash upon your shore?

Dive into your ocean...I can't swim there anymore...

Why not? Are the red flags flying? :smirk:

I haven't had time to get to grips with this one yet; just read it for the first time...

Are you sure you really want the benefit of my advice / opinion? You've no doubt come to realise how over-analytical and (let's face it) cynical I can be...

As I said, i've only just looked at it, should probably pore over it a bit longer (if I can bear to) before I offer any comment...

So I'll look at the rest of the song in my own good time...But not before a couple of words about this final line (above). Diabolical,hideously jarring. Will have to go....

And so will I...but I'll be back.

PS. Might there be room for something along the lines of "I'm in at the deep-end, but you can't deep-end on me?"

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I would lose the “crash upon your shore†and “I can’t swim…†parts. It’s a little much on imagery/metaphor, and if you just leave it as “What do I do? Dive into your ocean…†that would signify that you have completely given yourself up to this women. That seems to have more impact than just trying to make a decision.

We seem to agree that the last bit sucks, but isn't the whole point here that the narrator is on the horns of a dilemma, and cannot decide?

The whole "ocean, diving in" metaphor already troubles me... Having said that, some of the imagery is vaguely reminiscent of This Mortal Coil's "Song To The Siren", which isn't such a bad thing. Strong competition though...

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Holy crap, I did go there!

Yes, the point seems to be the dilemma the central character is in, but what's wrong with a little closure?

And, by the way, "Song To The Siren" is originally by Tim Buckley. :)

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And, by the way, "Song To The Siren" is originally by Tim Buckley. :)

I knew that!

(I just always refer to the TMC version as it's one of my "all-time faves". See "lyrical intros" thread- unless it's been erased too...)

I don't remember any kids from Charlotte, North Carolina in my class....

My dad visited Charlotte once on business, brought me back a Speedy Gonzalez T-shirt....

I digress.

I was joking about the "deep-end" pun...

Together we'll get this song licked into shape!

Too many non-sequiturs here.

I must get a shave.

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I was joking about the "deep-end" pun...

Shame...I thought it was the best line :laughing:

I think all these suggestions are excellent, although I do want to keep the whole 'don't know what to do...can't live with you or without you' vibe (without going too U2)...it's definitely a heartbreakingly 'dangerous' liaison/flirtation.

I'm also pleasantly surprised how painless this is...I thought I'd get my a$$ ripped for this and everyone's being very positive...thank you... :thumbsup:

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Ah. I see where you're coming from. I've heard that version, and it is indeed cool. I just prefer Tim's, as it's completely over-dramatic and creepy.

Charlotte is the home of Speedy Gonzalez, don't you know? There's a big mural of him downtown, next to the Foghorn Leghorn Center For The Arts.

If I haven't told you before, BF, you are a funny bastard.

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Johnny, the suggestions are just that. I don't think anybody wants to take over your lyrics, so please keep them true to the original intent. That's what so great about the written word - the interpretations are endless.

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Those are good suggestions....I think the piece needs to be rewritten with acceptable suggestions or it will be too difficult for me (maybe just me) to envision..

I've edited it to incorporate some of the suggestions (see original)...I still want to keep the 'agonising dilemma' vibe...and probably want to leave it unresolved whether they do or they don't dive into each others respective pools...needs a bit more dialogue, I think...I quite liked the 'she said' bit...she's maybe the one who is being let down by his fear, and is telling him so in an oblique way that he is crushing her dreams...where do I take it? :confused:

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At first I was having trouble "empathising" with this scenario.On reflection however, I recall from the dim and distant past that I wrote a song from a not dissimilar perspective. My approach was probably a bit less sensitive and "doe-eyed" than yours. A chick was totally hot for me and gagging for it; my dilemma was whether I could get away with rogering her without my bird finding out. The chorus ran...

"So why argue, when you know it to be true,

I can't ******* you,

It would be such a ridiculous, pointless thing to do...."

I can't remember any of the verses, but I'm sure they were just as atrocious as your output here...

I was into The Wedding Present at the time and it had that kind of vibe...It was never actually used as I was "between bands" at the time, so you're welcome to use it, if you wish. ;)

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Sounds to me like someone who had/ is having/contemplating an affair. If you bring in more of his guilt/emotion or the temptation theme, it could work well. This is just my assumption based on the feeling I get from the song, of course.

As a skeleton - it has a decent structure - but needs fleshing out :)

My 2 penneth worth.

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This is just my assumption based on the feeling I get from the song, of course.

Hmmmm...So it creates this feeling? Good, 'cos it's meant to...but it's the step beyond contemplation...it's about going one way or the other. What does it need to 'flesh it out'? What/where would you like it to go?...this is brilliant, by the way, thank you for this help...I honestly hadn't imagined folk thought this deeply about narrative and structure...goodstuff :thumbsup:

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Hmm, well if it is not a personal song - try to put yourself in the shoes of someone involved in the situation.

The temptress, the one being betrayed or the person stuck in the middle - a raging battle between his heart and his head.

Make it more personal, make it speak to everyone and draw a reaction - shock, understanding, curiosity, anger, familiarity etc.

What emotion do you get from the verses? Keep them simple or intertwine emotions from every corner of his soul. Make us feel his pain or his pleasure at the thought of the 2 people he is torn between.

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What does 'he' dream of?

How does he see/think of her in his mind?

Good question...we've heard from her (if we keep in the 'she said' bit) so shouldn't we hear from him? Well, I think we can assume that he wouldn't be in this fix in the first place if he wasn't extremely attracted to her...what we can't assume is that he's unhappy with what he's got...it's just that, maybe, she promises more?....but then it becomes the tension between accepting what 'is' rather than risking all for what 'may be'....?

Give me a line that he might say, or a question he might ask... :)

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Are you trying to tell a complete story or just evoke an emotion? If it's latter, you don't need to know each character's motives and thoughts. If you knew everything that was going on there wouldn't necessarily be much of a dilemma, or it wouldn't seem quite as desperate.

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Give me a line that he might say, or a question he might ask... :)

"Your temptation screams you're worth it, but to really see it through... surrendering everything I've got... for a night to be with you..."

just a thought.

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