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About RobertK

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    Muse In Training
  1. I Didn't Stay

    Thanks for the input and suggestions. Steve, I'm not sure why you decided to totally change the meter of the song... perhaps the music you're hearing in your head is calling for more of a pop country handling, but it won't work with the music I have in mind. Donna, it's apt you mention the time factor of that boots situation, because I myself "paused to ponder" if it mattered whether it happened while he was away and come home to find it or whether it happened then and there. Notice I didn't say "She'd nailed", as if he were presented with a fait accompli, I made it more present tense, as if it happened in the middle of an argument and he was so dumbfounded at her behavior (or perhaps he had stepped out of the room at the time before she commenced a-nailing ) he didn't even try to stop her, he was so disgusted. But it's a fine point and I don't think it deserves overthinking. As far as being taken to task, as you rightly point out, common parlance usually takes it to mean getting chewed out or blamed for something. But you nailed it in your update that the job itself, and his conscience was doing the gnawing. As far as shaving words and syllables here and there, I think the main problem with "lyrics alone" is each reader gets an idea of music and especially metre in their minds and that makes it tough, in the "mind's ear", to see if and where all the pieces fit. I invariably find myself writing to music, rather than lyrics first, so the sounds I have in my head for this song are probably best finished off and then through that process any last tweaks and trims become apparent and a critique along the lines of said trims is easier to determine for both author and reader in the completed song part of the forum. Thanks again for taking the time, folks... we all know how hard it is to get someone to look at our creative efforts, am I right? On a side note, I think the forum software has a bug, it wasn't me who said anything 23 hours ago, it was obviously the start of Donna's input.
  2. I Didn't Stay

    Thanks for the input, guys. As you have noted, this wouldn't make a good "pop" song... the music I have in mind is just as introspective and, well, "plaintive". The observation about someone like Leonard Cohen performing it is probably the most apt analogy... strictly a "critic's darling" album cut that wouldn't make a dime over the airwaves, but with the right male artist, would get an appreciative round of acknowledgement at a venue filled with his hardcore fans. In short, strictly a 1+1 song... hopefully I'll get a chance to finish the music in the near future and we'll give it another go on the "real song" critique section. P.S. Thanks for catching that other typo "every".
  3. I Didn't Stay

    Thanks for the look-see, Ron, and for catching that typo. And of course, you summarized the singer's persona most aptly... Disaffection with and feelings of not fitting in have long been popular themes in modern song and film, but they always seem to carry a "woe is me" whining tone, or anarchic "well SCREW the world then!" rebelliousness. I wanted to do something a little different, where the tone was more of a quiet dignity in the realization and an introspective "knocking the dust off one's sandals" as it were, when faced with people or situations not within one's aegis to change. Thanks again for your time and perceptiveness.
  4. I Didn't Stay

    I Didn’t Stay (c) 2018 (verse 1) There was a time I met a woman And we hit it off okay, Shared a place and some affection, But when I came home one day She actually nailed my Carolinas Into the hardwood floor, Which only gave me pause to ponder “What’d she go and do that for?” As if those boots gave cause to wander, And I should somehow love her more… I didn’t stay. (chorus 1) I couldn’t say, although I wondered As I walked over to the door, “Is this the way that God intended, And what my mama raised me for?” As if I’d drawn the role of Judas In some pathetic Passion Play, Between the sting of accusation, And how she carried on that way… I didn’t stay. (verse 2) There was a time I worked in Nashville With the fortunate and few, Lucked into a staff position And I judged a song or two, But every barroom had its martyr, Every office had its mask… All those drinks and pretty smiles, Just favors waiting to be asked, And I’d be thinking all the while How it was taking me to task… I didn’t stay. (chorus 2) I couldn’t say, although I wondered As I walked over to the door, “Is this the way that God intended, And what my mama raised me for?” As if I’d drawn the role of Pilate In some pretentious Passion Play, Between the strain of feigned politeness And canned replies throughout the day… I didn’t stay. (verse 3) Now the years have gone collected With indifference to the game, Other jobs and other women Being pretty much the same. I’ve seen no Satan nor a Savior, Nothing worthy of the name, No face above the crowd to sway me And make me want to act the same, No place or love that ever made me Sorry afterwards to claim I didn’t stay. (chorus 3 – finale) I couldn’t say, but will I wonder Until I face that final door, “Is this the way that God intended And what my mama raised me for?” As if I’d drawn the role of soldier In the eternal Passion Play, Casting lots for ragged garments Just to pass the time away, Neither wiser nor repentant, Ever afterwards to say… I didn’t stay.
  5. Ode to Pinecrest

    Very, very nice... the only suggestion I would have is not to try for too much of a lift right before the "Well, this is sure to bring you in my arms", because you're definitely straining to hit that high note, and I think the melody would be just as poignant and the song work just as well, perhaps even better, if you kept it mellow and actually went down scale instead of up on the end of the "drifting off so far" and "Pendulum in rhyme" lines.
  6. Great performance and very very good song. But I don't think "Dreams" is the correct title.
  7. An excellent composition and performance. I may incur the wrath of some here, but I've always been of the mind that, if the music and performance are top notch, all the lyric has to do is NOT make the listener say "yech". Let's face it, after one listen of a catchy song, the vast majority of folks will be able to hum or whistle it immediately after it's over and for the rest of the day... but remember lyrics? Heck, even after tens, sometimes hundreds of listens, few can recall at will any lyrics except maybe a catch phrase or a chorus. Granted, an exemplary lyric will serve as delicious icing on a fine cake... but a great lyric on so-so music or a shoddy performance is the proverbial lipstick on a pig. Don't believe me? Quick, without googling, sing even one verse of "My Favorite Things" or "Stairway to Heaven"... odds are, if you're not a theatre major or a stone cold song addict, you won't be able to do it. Yet pretty much everyone can hum either tune upon request... and there are literally hundreds of other examples. Of course, when they start playing Lyrak in elevators, I'll stand corrected... until then, an evening with Bernie Taupin wouldn't fill an elementary school assembly, but Elton John will crowd arenas. So, as a song, this works and works well... any dissection of lyric would be superfluous. Well done.
  8. Writer's Block Rewrite: The Times They Are A-Changin'

    I think it's a good exercise, and rare indeed is the aspiring songwriter who didn't start out and/or occasionally revisit a famous piece of music and attempt a new lyric to match it. It instills the necessary discipline of line and verse structure, as well as choosing the correct words for rhyme... those more lightning than lightning bug, as Twain used to opine. Songwriting is creative, true, but successful songwriting is a CRAFT, first and foremost... one that needs to be constantly honed and refined, even by those that have had a goodly measure of success. The author here did a fine job, and if it helps unblock, so much the better.
  9. I Don't Care

    An ironic handling of the singer's point of view can be very strong at times, e.g., saying "I don't care" when it's obvious he/she still cares very deeply. It becomes especially strong when focused on a personal situation or addressing a particular person, rather than addressing everyone and no one in particular about one's disgust with the world and/or people in general. The ultimate irony is taking such pains to say "I don't care" by writing a full song about how little you care. That's why a purposeful contradiction of feelings works best, i.e., the writer actually DOES care. That said, I'm sure it's been done many times before in the world of songwriting, especially when addressing a lost love... although I'm not as versed in pop and country music over the past ten years or so, so I can't name any specific instance or artist. As far as structure goes, this looks like you want it to be AABA, with the B being purely instrumental rather than lyrical... personally, I think one misses an opportunity to add a punch to a song, especially in AABA, when there are no words to enhance or even turn things on their ear in said bridge. The syllable counts in the lines and the metre of the the verses don't quite seem to match up, so until one hears the music the author had in mind, it's tough to imagine how the singing would go. Not to say a freestyle frame of reference approach can't work, but it's best left to the successful recording artists who get a big suspension of disbelief from their adoring public. I'm not so much a stickler for perfect rhyme, we all know myriads of songs that work well without it, and I like some of the assonance rhyme (if that's the correct term for making vowels do the job) you put out there. But I think even the writer will agree there's still some honing and polishing to do here.