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Anna J

Daddy's Prize

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Note - Some of you have been worried by the content of this lyric, and i just wanted to clarify that this piece is not autobiographical in any way. Most of my pieces aren't. This is a subject matter that resonated with me and affected me deeply.....which is why I tried to portray it.

 

Verse 1

The innocence in her heart
Dying away in her eyes
The memory of a laugh
Fading away with the times
And she whispers
She screams
Invisible
To those seen
To those seeing
 

Chorus

Daddy's prize was a kiss a cry
Now haunting visions keep her up at night
He took the colours left just black and blue
And the red stains staining the mattress too
 

Verse 2

The fire in her heart
Burning down to smoke
The gift of time
Burdening her hopes
And she whispers
She screams
Invisible
To those seen
To those seeing
 

Chorus

Daddy's pleasure was a kiss a cry
Now haunting visions keep her up at night
He took the colours left just black and blue
And the red stains staining the mattress too
 

Bridge

And she screams out for help
She calls out for love
Hidden by glass
Hidden and crushed
 

Chorus

Daddy's prize was a kiss a
cry
Now haunting visions keep her up at night
He took the colours left just black and blue
And the red stains staining the mattress too
 

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Wow. Tough subject matter. Well done. 

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This is very powerful and disturbing at the same time.  It's a tough one in that I can't imagine many wanting to sing it but attention is brought to a subject that is dark and often people don't want to look at and should and for that it's good.

 

Only suggestion is the title and chorus hook where, "prize" is used.  Not even sure it's about pleasure for this sick character either.  Prize is something that is won, earned or achieved. Hmm.  I suppose it works but a prize or even pleasure doesn't bring out the raw ugliness, vulgarity or awfulness of the whole situation in my view.  Perhaps something like............ Daddy's thing was a kiss, a cry  and have Daddy's thing repeat in each chorus.  

 

It's well written and again very powerful. In that regard I like it but the content is something I don't like and find disturbing.  I think you've achieved your objective. 

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Certainly lands squarely - and chillingly - on the #MeToo/Child sex abuse spectrum. Hard-hitting & disquieting. A strong write. Good flow, and intense emotion. I presume you don't have commercial intentions, as you'd likely be hard put to find someone willing to sing it. It might find its home though as a poem in the creative section of a site on domestic violence/child abuse. People sometimes submit their poetry as part of the healing process.

 

I think if you tighten up the text in a few places, the effect will be heightened further.

 

I hope my observations/suggestions here are useful. They’re keepable or sweepable, of course. :)

 

Donna

 

 

The time here is confusing. It sounds as though the narrator is describing a long ago event, but use of the present continuous indicates the innocence in her eyes is currently dying. So there’s some confusion as to whether the child being referred to is still a child/young teenager or now an adult.  (In fact, if you made the whole thing present tense, the impact would be multiplied, but of course would be even more difficult for the reader/listener to envisage.)

For example: 

The innocence in her heart

Is dying [away] in her eyes

The memory of laughter

Fading over time

And she whispers

She screams

Invisible

To those seen

To those seeing

 

 

Verse 1

The innocence in her heart
Dying away in her eyes
The memory of a laugh Not clear whether this refers to her own laughter.
Fading away with the times
And she whispers
She screams
Invisible
To those seen
To those seeing
 

 

Chorus Possible alternative title/hook: What Daddy Wanted.

Daddy's prize was a kiss a cry. Maybe ‘What daddy wanted was a kiss, a cry’.
Now haunting visions keep her up at night Suggest something like ‘Now visions haunt her, she can’t sleep the night’. The active verb ‘haunt’ is, I think, stronger than ‘haunting visions keep her up’.
He took the colours left just black and blue Suggest ‘her’ instead of ‘the’. And maybe something like ‘He took her colours but he left black and blue’.
And the red stains staining the mattress too  Suggest’ And the red stains on the mattress too’. That way you avoid repeating ‘stain’.

 

Rough example only. Having an uneven number of lines also adds to the instability of the emotion. 

 

What daddy wanted was a kiss, a cry

Now visions haunt her sleepless nights

He stole her brightest colours 

Leaving only black and blue

And the red stains on the mattress too
 

I think in V2 the narrator needs to be more precise about what the fire is about and what the hopes are. Is she referring to the joy and enthusiasm that a chlld who had not been abused might normally experience while growing up? And hope perhaps refers to the possibility of a healthy relationship with someone? Or to the hope of being able to deal with what happened and – somehow – to heal?  Whatever the answer, it would greatly help the story if you could provide it in this verse. 

Verse 2

The fire in her heart
Burning down to smoke
The gift of time  
Why the ‘gift’ of time if in fact the result is negative (i.e. burdening her hopes)?
Burdening her hopes
And she whispers
She screams
Invisible
To those seen
To those seeing
 

Chorus
 

Bridge I suggest rethinking/rewriting the bridge. As it stands, it’s basically repeating what’s in the verses. Can you give us something to pull the story forward, give it a new impetus. I realise it wouldn't be realistic to suddenly tell us the subject is going to heal and move on, etc. But even having her make a strong statement of some kind would drive the story forward. It could be as dramatic as a desire for revenge, or the intention to finally report him to the police, or whatever. Anything that would be in stark contrast to the notion of something that the daddy would want (e.g. prison). Sorry, I'm rambling here. 

And she screams out for help
She calls out for love
Hidden by glass 
This concrete detail/image is confusing. Made me stop and wonder if she actually was behind glass somewhere.
Hidden and crushed
 

Chorus

 

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Thank you all so much!

I'm really glad you understood my vision for this song.

DonnaMarilyn - You've given me some great suggestions and I really appreciate that. I can definitely see, what you said, fit into the song so.....Thank you!

 

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Hi Anna

 

  Shock and awe. Well, for me it read better as a poem and you should take that in a good light because you certainly hit the nail on the head with this one thought wise. I say poem because Im drawing a blank on who could pull this off genre or artist wise singing. Maybe spoken word with a music background as it's trappings? 

 

always interesting

R-N-R Jim

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You know Anna, 

         I've been thinking about this lyric since I read it. It haunts me.  It reminds me so much of an experience that happened to someone very close to me.  This person didn't know what to do or who to tell and so she suffered not only the abuse but all the other things that go with it (rage, shame, worthlessness, etc.) alone.

         It wasn't until she shared her secret that this monster stopped hurting her and suddenly she was no longer a victim because she was transformed into a survivor. She found happiness, and she continues to find happiness daily. She told me she couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel, but it was right there all along just hiding around the bend. She had tried to hurt herself and even kill herself but now she is happily married to a great understanding guy and she has an absolutely great life and we just thank God she finally told someone she trusted. It transformed her. Your lyric captured some of that quite well, but not the happy resolution part. Future lyric? 

         I disagree slightly that there is no one who will sing this if it was put to music. I think abuse of all kinds  is far more common than some people realize and a lyric or song like this resonates. There are serious singers out there. And serious audiences too.  Female POV. There's a singer I'm thinking of. Jewell!  Jewel had a tough childhood. She has a great voice too. 

         I don't know what all the references mean so I'm hesitant to suggest specific tweaks. Some references maybe should remain obscure but the more accessible this message the better it resonates with others. 

         The storyline doesn't have any resolution to it. Is that intentional? Wouldn't you want this POV to see a positive resolution?  I won't write it for you but somewhere along the idea of "But then I told and the colors returned"  but in your own unique voice. Not those words but an action like that. Does that make sense? 

         Others have said this and I agree. You have more talent for writing than you may realize. Sometimes it's the happiest people who write the saddest songs.  Hope it's that way for you. Keep at it! 

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Yeah. Definitely tough subject matter. I wouldn’t touch this lyric myself with a 10’ pole. But that’s me. Unless of course the song finished with a positive outcome. Which it currently does not. I think there’s room for it as it feels incomplete as is. As a hard rock metal guy. I wouldn’t mind seeing daddy killed off in the end. Maybe by the victim or maybe the victims mother/brother or something. I don’t know. Of course the victim could turn him in and steer the story towards her finding her way.  

 Maybe the bridge could be used as the turning point towards a positive outcome. Unless of course you don’t want it to have a positive outcome.  

 As usual Donna has great suggestions. Definitely put her critique to work. 

 

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I had to read it a couple of times to get it properly but wow this is darkly wonderful the music for this would be quite haunting

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Jim - Once again, thank you for your input. I appreciate it!

kuya - I'm really glad you shared the story with me. I absolutely see where you're coming from....and I'll probably incorporate something more positive in a new bridge (I wasn't too happy with this one). I also loved what you said about the happiest people writing the saddest songs. It really is a fascinating thought isn't it!

Onewholovesrock - Thank you for your suggestions. As i said above, I'm working on the bridge. Let's see how that goes! 🙂

mick70 - Thank you for your kind review!! 😄

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Hi Anna - yes as others have said - powerful stuff and nice rhyming/flow.

On 19/05/2018 at 23:21, Anna J said:

red stains staining the mattress

To me this line doesn't work for two reasons:

 - stain/staining is redundant

 - it's almost the only "physical object" line in the piece

It's a shockingly graphic line, and most folks here will say it works, but I think you can still have shock here without resorting to the physical world.

 

Paul

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Hi

Something is a bit clunky in the chorus. And it totally lacks prosody. 

 

"Daddy's prize was a kiss a cry
Now haunting visions keep her up at night
He took the colours left just black and blue
And the red stains staining the mattress too"

 

There are two issues I can see.

 

One of sense or focus, It's saying he took away the red stains, because of the too on the end of it. And that's just there to rhyme. It's forced.

The structure of the chorus is stable, an even number of lines even lengths, AABB rhyming couplets. It is exactly the opposite of what it should be.

 

The rhyme types are perfect they should not be. Perfect is too stable for this. All of this combines to give the effect of absolutely no prosody.

If this was put to music it would not work because it would sound fake. It needs to feel edgy, not cat /mat moon /June comfortable and cosy.

 

The chorus should have five lines less rhymes at the very most an ABABX rhyme scheme, and the last line should probably rhyme with nothing.

The rhyme type should not all be perfect. I have done a quick example of how to write this as an edgy chorus. This is not telling you what it should be just to demonstrate  the correct technique,  

 

Example :

 

Daddy's prize was a kiss that left her crying  (A)

He took her childhood colours leaving only black and blue (X)

Now haunting visions keep her up at night  (A subtractive)

lying frozen staring at the ceiling (A) 

On a mattress stained red (X)

 

 

Do something like that and the impact of line five is like a whack in the guts from Mike Tyson

 

Cheers

 

Gary

 

 

 

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