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About DonnaMarilyn

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    A Muse's Muse

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Delft, Netherlands
  • Interests
    Photography, writing, films, literature

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  • Lyricist, Composer or Both?
  • Musical Influences?
    The Beatles, Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, B.B. King, Judy Collins, Wishbone Ash, The Decemberists, Rogers & Hammerstein, Rachmaninoff, and many others in between, before, and after.

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  1. October Song Contest - RESULTS!

    Well done, Clint, David, and Triffid. All worthy winners. The first two were in my own top list of three, along with Brelizabeth's. Altogether a fine selection of contenders. I'm more than pleased with my own placing. Thanks, folks. Donna
  2. Darker Than Black

    Hi John, I get the somewhat oblique positivity in the verses (i.e. ‘it can always get worse’ kind of thing), but I feel the bridge contradicts that positivity. It seems to be saying that love is about as real as a unicorn, etc., even though it might be something we hang on to. Maybe consider re-thinking the bridge so that it actually is positive. Below is an eample of an option. Where love’s a sure thing Not like a mermaid or a unicorn A sasquatch or a leprechaun Otherwise, why would we hang on? I’d resplace 'sasquatch' as well. It’s a heavy, unappealing word, and doesn’t fit the tone of the other three examples. The sasquatch itself, being huge, lumbering, and hairy, is also completely unlike the ‘lighter’ and charming visual image of a mermaid, a unicorn, or a leprechaun. Plenty of ways the bridge could be re-worked. For instance, you could cut back on the examples (since there's plenty of imagery in the verses, and give us something direct and hard-hitting. I feel that would be more dynamic. Overall, though, a good concept, and a fairly tight write. My thoughts are just one person's opinion. Keep or sweep. Donna
  3. Where The Sun Keeps Shining Down

    So much to enjoy about this one. Others' comments regarding a couple of aspects may be pertinent, but I straight out loved the vibe of joy and positivity. The vocals are extremely pleasing and the music is wonderful. Good job, Clint.
  4. A Man I Don't Know

    Peko, this got a high mark from me. I love the concept of a nondescript person (the singer in this case) somehow becoming extraordinary when he (or she) picks up that guitar and begins to sing. And how the listener responds to that ‘transformation’. Very nice chorus.
  5. All Unicorns & Rainbows

    Bob, Peko, and SnarkyAnarky, thank you for your kind comments. I’m pleased you like the lyric. Bob, I take your point about ‘shade’ going with ‘darker hues’, and will think on it. However, I used ‘fade’ in order to set up a contrast to the colours and brightness that are associated with rainbows and unicorns. I was aiming for a kind of juxtaposition of meaning. But I’d be interested in hearing what others think in this regard.
  6. New logo

    If the original absolutely needs to go, and the choice is between these most recent examples, my preference would be for the first. It's the more cohesive of the two. In the second example, the word 'Muse' seems lost in the background. And indeed, thank you for the time and effort you're putting into the task, Brette.
  7. Anne got married without me (Oct Lyric contest entry)

    Songwolfe, I’ve not read the others’ comments, so hope there’s not too much – if any – overlap. I gave the lyric a high score in terms of it flowing well, the concrete imagery, the rhyming, and the poignancy – and surprise – when we get to the ‘Anne got married without me’ bit. Those lines broke my heart. I also scored it for its potential. So many possible plot-lines come to mind. Overall, I think there’s too much going on. It feels like two stories competing with other. One is in bridge and the other is in the verses & chorus. There’s also a disconnection between the immediacy of what’s happening in the verses, and the ‘reflection on things past’ theme in the bridge. Main things I’d suggest are: - decide on the precise story you want to tell (the narrator’s hard work in a factory, trying to earn enough to marry the girl he loves, or the fact that all the hard work was in vain, because the girl couldn’t/didn’t wait for him); -re-think the structure, bringing a the chorus in earlier - maybe make verse lines 7-10 a pre-chorus - shorten the bridge – make it dynamic so that the change-up is a surprise element and pulls the reader/listener along before she/he has a chance to resist. The bridge is arguably the hardest part of a lyric to write, and can make or break a song. I think you have the basis of a really good story, and you certainly have many fine lines (among others, I especially like bridge lines 3 & 4). It’s a matter of examining which line or image best supports the story you want to tell. And there are plenty of story possibilities. UPDATE: Can't believe it! I've just read Doug's comment, and I had exactly the same thought about the girl possibly having been pregnant. I didn't want to mention it in my own critique because I thought it might be too over the top. Anyway, it's certainly one of the storylines that could be followed up on, and that would help us to actually care - or care more - about either of the characters.. Anne got married without me (Verse 1) Steel metal clanging Hammers banging Dirt covering my scars, Steam pistons blazing Clocking my wage in Making honest money's hard. And I just got one thing To get me through the night Make enough money To go and make it right. Sounds as though something bad has happened. For the reader/listener, this sets up a compelling notion of intrique, but then the chorus is confusing because the ‘bad’ thing that happened (for the singer) is that the woman he loved married someone else, not something that - possibly - had happened beforehand. One then wonders what the ‘make it right’ and ‘once there were lies’ part is all about. (Verse 2) Steel-capped boots thudding Wind in the trees rustling Would the singer hear trees rustling amidst all the noise he’s already described? The sudden intrusion of this image breaks the mood. Shades covering my eyes, Mobile phone ringing Not clear what the phone has to do with this. Here I come bringing Not clear whether it’s an outgoing or an incoming call. Truth where once there were lies. Again, the allusion is to something bad. And I just had one thing That got me through the night Make enough money To go and make it right. (Chorus) The chorus comes in a little late, after two very long verses. And, to me, it doesn’t seem connected to or supportive of the story in the verses. Small town suburb Leaves of gold Paint's still new But the house is old Anne got married without me Anne got married without me. (Bridge) I feel the bridge is overly long, and has too much new information, much of which is actually verse material. In fact, the bridge is the antithesis of the tight, clipped verses and chorus, and is more confusing than enlightening. The mood of urgency, despair, and hurt changes suddenly to one of self-pity and reflection. But where do I start when the years have sped by? When unsaid thoughts have been hung out to dry These lines on my face are fresh to you But they're old history to me. We said that our love would stand the test of time But between the two of us we hadn’t a dime I said I’d earn money but I think we knew That the dream we had nurtured was past rescue. The ‘knew’/’rescue’ line sounds forced. (Chorus) Small town suburb Leaves of gold Paint's still new But the house is old Anne got married without me Anne got married without me.
  8. October Lyrics Contest

    Thanks, Iggy. Good grief! I don't know how I neglected to mention in my previous post how much I enjoyed your 'Every Day's a Fever'. It got a high mark from me. Your usual well-structured storytelling, honest emotion, catchy imagery, and easy flow guarantee that the lyric is going to sing well. And I liked the way you summed things up in the bridge.
  9. New logo

    Brette, that’s already a big improvement. Thanks for being open to suggestions. (I know it's not easy to nail a fitting design for a logo.) Like Carl, though, I’d like to keep the turquoise/green background. It’s a unifying element on the page. And while the newly proposed ‘handwritten’ font is better than the previous proposal, to me it lacks the appealing ‘playfulness’ and flow that’s in the original. Is it possible to have a font that’s closer in style to the original (but without the music notes if necessary)? (I think basically this is a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But I take David’s point about the ‘G’ clef thing, and others possibly feel the same way.)
  10. Reason For Edit

    Tracy, I presume you're referring to the little 'Reason for edit' box that pops up each time you make an adjustment. I never respond to it. Would take too much time, given that I edit often, and at length. I think the pop-up box is just an automated thing that's built into the particular software. Perhaps it can be turned off at source. Donna
  11. New logo

    Alistair, what worked best for me with the old logo was its simplicity. When I first saw it (after the site had changed hands), I felt as though it were inviting me in, and in a playful manner. It also has a nice visual 'flow' to it. The headphones icon is personal, and something everyone can relate to – perhaps moreso than an album disc (or a vinyl record). The music-note/carved-look font is attractive, and very easy on the eyes against the deep turquoise/green background. I find the newly proposed logo is overly busy, especially with the lines cutting through it. In general, for maximum impact, a logo needs no more than three elements, and they need to be consistent and compatible with each other. Each there for a specific reason (like a word in a lyric, or a note in music). The current logo has five elements: tiny blocks in the word ‘MUSE’; letters in grey as a result of the blocks; letters in solid white; staff lines cutting through all of the text; and a b&w DVD creating the letter ‘O’ in SONGWRITERS. To me, the design looks incohesive, inaccessible, blocky. The lines especially create a sense of it all being behind bars. The new - or a revised - version might work better if it were reduced to three elements (with the lines removed and maybe the graphic icon replaced). Or simply keep the original, but without using the 'G' clef symbol for the 's' letters (as referred to in David's post below). Of course, these are simply one person’s thoughts on the matter. But thank you for the opportunity to express them.
  12. New logo

    Ironic that just yesterday I was thinking how much I liked the new logo (the one that was already in place). The typeface and appearance had - for me at least - a simple, charming, inviting 'feel' about it. Ah well… I'm old-fashioned.
  13. October Lyrics Contest

    Oh my goodness! I’m thrilled – and amazed – especially given the quality of the other contenders. Thanks so much for the vote of confidence, folks. My top three votes were for ‘River’, ‘America’, and ‘Tear It Down’. Lovely flow, Doug. A very tender lyric, and the choice of stucture was fitting, with its repeated two-line refrain ending each verse. It has a mediaeval feel about it. I particularly liked how you wrapped everything up in the last two lines, suddenly transforming into a love song what first appeared to be simply a vivid poetic description of a landscape. Nice element of surprise. Exceptionally tight writing, Joan. The intense anger – constrained yet magnified by the specific language and flow - was palpable throughout. Excellent details and great use of the AAA structure. Can definitely hear it being sung to and appreciated by a niche audience. Gary, your heartfelt and simply structured lyric touched me. In some ways, the imagery reminded me strongly of my own hometown. I especially liked the pre-choruses and the bridge. It was easy to imagine this very relateable lyric being sung. Tracy, thank you for your comment. And don’t worry about ‘4’s. Keep loving your lyric, because it spoke to other people as well. I especially liked the first two lines of the chrous. The image of filling up with gold is wonderful. I also liked the bridge, with its strong imagery and melancholy mood. I think a little tweaking of chorus lines 3-7 would strengthen the piece. And perhaps add an extra verse to beef things up, or lengthen the ‘story’ in V1, and then break it into two verses. You’ll get good feedback if you post the lyric to the feedback forum. Thanks too, Kuya. I very much enjoyed your ‘Maybe You Might’. Good, natural, laid-back storytelling, with nice details and that charming surprise in the bridge (and the line preceding it). A big thanks to Alistair for managing the contest, and yes, it’s wonderful to see so many more people taking part. Donna
  14. Yard Sale

    Murphster and syl_a_med, thank you for listening, and for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the song. Regarding that ‘hunger’ line. In fact, I re-wrote it a while ago, but as the demo hadn’t been re-recorded, I’ve just gone ahead and posted the original rough demo. When I first wrote the line, it was in the context of people having a kind of addiction to flea markets, yard sales, etc. (I’m a huge fan of them myself.) But soon afterwards, I could see that the image didn’t connect as well with the rest of the chorus. Regarding the ‘mystery cord’ line: The reference is to the kinds of cords or cables that end up orphaned in drawers, and no one can remember what they’re for. (I know, because I have at least half a dozen. ) (In the sung version though, I can see how a listener might think the reference is to a musical chord. Donna
  15. Yard Sale

    A bit of swampy fun. Rosalind was getting over a cold when she sang this, so we'll likely re-record after a bit of tweaking. Music/Instrumentation/Mix: Billy Playle Vocals: Rosalind Loveluck Lyric & Melody: Donna Devine ('DonnaMarilyn') https://soundcloud.com/donmar-2/yard-sale-1/s-Cp7VN Yard SaleV1I'm like a mismatched cup and saucerA tangled mystery cordA Tinker Toy, a Lego setAn old Punjabi swordChorusBut take me home with you babyI might be somethin' you needI'll be your Yard Sale, darlin'Ain't no hunger I can't feedV1I'm like an almost antique paintingA winter coat in springA clock without its cuckooAnd a puppet with no stringsChorusBut take me home with you babyI might be somethin' you needI'll be your Yard Sale, darlin'Ain't no hunger I can't feedBridgeYour eyes show me a kind manNot an 'I'll leave you behind' manLike one I loved beforeBut I'm no longer hisI know you'll care for me 'as is'ChorusPlease take me home with you babyI might be somethin' you needTake me home with you babyI might be somethin' you needI'll be your Yard Sale, darlin'Ain't no hunger I can't feedI'll be your Yard Sale, darlin'Ain't no hunger I can't feedCopyright: Donna Devine