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Here's my attempt for the May lyric contest.

 

I was quiet pleased with the last verse - but I thought I ran a bit 'dry' in the first three in terms of poignant/emotional content.

 

Any ideas to help improve them would be most welcome - have at it guys, many thanks.

 

Andy

 

Another Life
© 2018 Andy Lefevre

 

Verse 1
Shattered bones heal given time       
but there is no time
Comrades pulled back with the flag
I’m left behind in smoke and rags 
I cannot move, can barely groan                      
Pain blocks pain, I’m numb
Rain drives me sane at what’s been done

 

Verse 2
Silence then a distant shout,          
The enemy’s about 
I watch helpless as a line of men
bayonet and loot my dying friends
Your photo’s warm, close to my heart
Your smile lingers in my distant eyes
I welcome peace, whisper goodbye

 

Verse 3
A shadow falls across me        
A blade rises to set me free
Somewhere close a comrade cries
But there will be no sound of my demise
A photo flutters free and flies 
Our ragged flag we hoped would win the day 
Now like our prayers simply blown away

 

Verse 4
I know you’ll come, stand at this place      
Remember me with your loving grace 
I know you’ll bring my photo, set me free 
To join yours in memory  
I’ll be here for ever darling, take your time
And find the strength we spoke of wife 
To find another life 

 

 

 

 

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I thought this was nicely done, and I scored it reasonably in the competition. It was unusual amoungst a field of so many songs that it was the *only* war song (unless you count the "battle of the bulge!").

 

I think therein lies my problem - there are two song types which occur all the time in muse-land: War songs and Love songs - such that if you write a song which covers those topics, it really must be exceptional to get me excited or enthusiastic. Your song had some good lines, but it didnt have a unique angle or special insight, so it didnt grab me enough to get a high score.

 

Incidentally this is exactly the opposite as with the Alexa song, where the kernel of an idea was awesome, but was not crafted as well as your lyric - both songs fell in my "midrange" of scoring for opposite reasons, either "Central idea" or "craft"

 

 

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Hi Andy,

I don't know if it was intentional or by chance, but it wasn't lost on me this lyric was posted on Memorial Day.  I read it after earlier watching Vietnam footage! 

 

There are some chilling images you've conjured up, I thought they had some good impact. I know the feeling of thinking I've painted a decent picture, but somehow need more emotion. I don't have any immediate suggestions, but would be interested in others take on it.

 

Nice job and congrats on the high place finish.

 

Ed

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Andy,

 

I liked this one a lot! I felt the verses had plenty of emotional appeal.  See below for things that hit me even in the first read:

12 hours ago, AndyLeF said:

Verse 1
Shattered bones heal given time       
but there is no time
Comrades pulled back with the flag
I’m left behind in smoke and rags --Sets the stage well.
I cannot move, can barely groan  I know this is TELL, not SHOW, but I liked it.  It took me there.                   
Pain blocks pain, I’m numb
Rain drives me sane at what’s been done  Interesting (in a good way) observation from the front lines.

 

Verse 2
Silence then a distant shout,          
The enemy’s about    I thought this line was terrific.  Simple yet full of anticipation and danger.
I watch helpless as a line of men
bayonet and loot my dying friends  Plain spoken, which I think is appropriate for the situation. Who's going was poetic while lying there?
Your photo’s warm, close to my heart   Really liked this
Your smile lingers in my distant eyes
I welcome peace, whisper goodbye   My favorite line.  Good job!

 

Verse 3
A shadow falls across me        
A blade rises to set me free  Set me free tells me that he's ready and that was a good thing.
Somewhere close a comrade cries
But there will be no sound of my demise
A photo flutters free and flies   I like the reference again to the photo.
Our ragged flag we hoped would win the day 
Now like our prayers simply blown away

 

Verse 4
I know you’ll come, stand at this place    Wonderfully perceptive.  Good image    
Remember me with your loving grace 
I know you’ll bring my photo, set me free  Tie-in with photo is good here.
To join yours in memory  
I’ll be here for ever darling, take your time
And find the strength we spoke of wife    Really cool. Advice, love and strength from the grave.
To find another life 

 

 

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On 07/06/2018 at 08:24, AndyLeF said:

Here's my attempt for the May lyric contest.

 

I was quiet pleased with the last verse - but I thought I ran a bit 'dry' in the first three in terms of poignant/emotional content.

 

Any ideas to help improve them would be most welcome - have at it guys, many thanks.

 

Andy

 

Another Life
© 2018 Andy Lefevre

 

 

Verse 1
Shattered bones heal given time       
but there is no time (I'd be tempted to change this to 'But I'm all out of mine'. Avoids the need to rhyme time with time)
Comrades pulled back with the flag
I’m left behind in smoke and rags 
I cannot move, can barely groan                      
Pain blocks pain, I’m numb
Rain drives me sane at what’s been done

 

Verse 2
Silence then a distant shout,          
The enemy’s about 
I watch helpless as a line of men
bayonet and loot my dying friends
Your photo’s warm, close to my heart
Your smile lingers in my distant eyes
I welcome peace, whisper goodbye

 

Verse 3
A shadow falls across me        
A blade rises to set me free 
Somewhere close a comrade cries (maybe 'fellow'  or 'poor wretch' instead of 'comrade'. Comrade, to me, feels quite a clinical?)
But there will be no sound of my demise
A photo flutters free and flies 
Our ragged flag we hoped would win the day 
Now like our prayers simply blown away

 

Verse 4
I know you’ll come, stand at this place      
Remember me with your loving grace 
I know you’ll bring my photo, set me free 
To join yours in memory  (Don't quite get this line. The previous line is about her setting him free so she can get on with her life? But the 'yours' in this line sounds like it refers to a photo of her?)
I’ll be here for ever darling, take your time
And find the strength we spoke of wife 
To find another life 

 

 

 

 

I love lyrics about war so this was right up my street and I gave it my joint highest score in the contest.

 

I think you paint a convincing picture of the guy's plight and there are some great lines. A couple that I particularly liked were

 

Comrades pulled back with the flag
I’m left behind in smoke and rags 

 

and

 

I watch helpless as a line of men
bayonet and loot my dying friends

 

I've added a few small suggestions next to your lyrics but it's great the way it is. :)

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On 07/06/2018 at 00:24, AndyLeF said:

Here's my attempt for the May lyric contest.

 

I was quiet pleased with the last verse - but I thought I ran a bit 'dry' in the first three in terms of poignant/emotional content.

 

Any ideas to help improve them would be most welcome - have at it guys, many thanks.

 

Andy

 

Another Life
© 2018 Andy Lefevre

 

 

Verse 1
Shattered bones heal given time       
but there is no time
Comrades pulled back with the flag
I’m left behind in smoke and rags 
I cannot move, can barely groan                      
Pain blocks pain, I’m numb
Rain drives me sane at what’s been done...........a very vivid picture of wounds from battle - I can feel a sad outcome. 

 

Verse 2
Silence then a distant shout,          
The enemy’s about 
I watch helpless as a line of men
bayonet and loot my dying friends
Your photo’s warm, close to my heart
Your smile lingers in my distant eyes
I welcome peace, whisper goodbye............Another great image.

 

Verse 3
A shadow falls across me        
A blade rises to set me free............Wow, very nice 2 lines. 
Somewhere close a comrade cries
But there will be no sound of my demise
A photo flutters free and flies 
Our ragged flag we hoped would win the day 
Now like our prayers simply blown away

 

Verse 4
I know you’ll come, stand at this place      
Remember me with your loving grace 
I know you’ll bring my photo, set me free 
To join yours in memory  
I’ll be here for ever darling, take your time
And find the strength we spoke of wife 
To find another life 

 

 

 

 

I liked this one.  I liked the 4 v structure as each v kept my interest and kept moving this touching story forward till the final ending. Very well done.

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Hi Andy

 

Some great imagery and emotion here - like it :)

 

A few comments below to be discarded at your pleasure :lol:

 

On ‎07‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 03:24, AndyLeF said:

 

Another Life
© 2018 Andy Lefevre

 

 

Verse 1
Shattered bones heal given time       
but there is no time
Comrades pulled back with the flag
I’m left behind in smoke and rags 
I cannot move, can barely groan     - can barely groan sounds concocted - maybe "and try to moan"
Pain blocks pain, I’m numb
Rain drives me sane at what’s been done - Rain/sane internal rhyme detracts IMO

 

Verse 2
Silence then a distant shout,          
The enemy’s about  - great line
I watch helpless as a line of men
bayonet and loot my dying friends - we're there! you bastard for putting us there!
Your photo’s warm, close to my heart
Your smile lingers in my distant eyes
I welcome peace, whisper goodbye - excellent verse

 

Needs the hook here IMO - sth that ends with "To find another life":

 

I lay, accepting my demise

And hope you'll find another life

 

Verse 3
A shadow falls across me        
A blade rises to set me free
Somewhere close a comrade cries
But there will be no sound of my demise - how does he know this?
A photo flutters free and flies - maybe "your photo.."?
Our ragged flag we hoped would win the day 
Now like our prayers simply blown away - hmm - wasn't the flag carried off in Verse 1, Line 3? Maybe replace "prayers" with "passion" or "bravery" or ...?

 

Verse 4
I know you’ll come, stand at this place      
Remember me with your loving grace - lose the "your"
I know you’ll bring my photo, set me free - this is a weak line IMO - maybe "throw my picture, set it free"?
To join yours in memory  
I’ll be here for ever darling, take your time - I'll wait forever, take your time
And find the strength we spoke of wife - spoke of, wife
To find another life 

 

 

 

 

Overall I thought this quite powerful, just needs a few tweaks and the hook to appear sooner.

KOS

Paul

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Thanks for all the comments guys and some very, very useful feedback.... :)

 

On ‎07‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 13:22, fabkebab said:

Your song had some good lines, but it didnt have a unique angle or special insight, so it didnt grab me enough to get a high score.

 

Incidentally this is exactly the opposite as with the Alexa song, where the kernel of an idea was awesome, but was not crafted as well as your lyric - both songs fell in my "midrange" of scoring for opposite reasons, either "Central idea" or "craft"

Thanks for your insight fab! I tried to make the "special insight" resolve in the last verse with her standing where he died, looking down at him. Guess I fell (no pun intended) a bit short.

 

On ‎07‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 20:19, 9thStLine said:

I don't know if it was intentional or by chance, but it wasn't lost on me this lyric was posted on Memorial Day.  I read it after earlier watching Vietnam footage! 

 

There are some chilling images you've conjured up, I thought they had some good impact. I know the feeling of thinking I've painted a decent picture, but somehow need more emotion. I don't have any immediate suggestions, but would be interested in others take on it.

 

Nice job and congrats on the high place finish.

Thanks 9thSL. Afraid it was a coincidence; the posting of the lyric on Memorial Day. I guess that's a sad reflection on world history - that almost every day could be an anniversary of some very sad historic conflict. I felt uneasy about writing some of the lines - but, I guess it's up to all of us to try and keep the memories/deads alive in the hope that successive generations wont make the same mistakes.

 

23 hours ago, Peko said:

I liked this one a lot! I felt the verses had plenty of emotional appeal.  See below for things that hit me even in the first read:

Thanks for your very kind comments Patty. This was actually an old lyric of mine from way back in 2006 - I didn't have anything new for the lyric contest so looked back though my 'discarded' lyrics (I have hundreds!!) and tried to improve it enough for the contest where so many good lyrics were in evidence.

 

8 hours ago, SongWolfe said:

I love lyrics about war so this was right up my street and I gave it my joint highest score in the contest.

 

I think you paint a convincing picture of the guy's plight and there are some great lines. A couple that I particularly liked were

Thanks SongWolfe - I tried hard to paint a vivid picture. Regarding your difficulty in understanding her photo of him falling in V4 - it was an attempt to join with his fallen photo of her, in memory, in V3 - but not entirely successful! 

I like your suggestion to change "comrade" in V3 - you are spot on there - thanks!

 

3 hours ago, Barneyboy said:

I liked this one.  I liked the 4 v structure as each v kept my interest and kept moving this touching story forward till the final ending. Very well done.

Many thanks for your kind comments Barney. I thought the 4 verse structure was unusual and to try and make it more unbalanced (for the topic) I tried a 7 line verse structure which I found quite interesting to write too.

 

1 hour ago, PaulCanuck said:

Hi Andy

 

Some great imagery and emotion here - like it :)

 

A few comments below to be discarded at your pleasure :lol:

 

Overall I thought this quite powerful, just needs a few tweaks and the hook to appear sooner.

KOS

Paul

Great feedback Paul - really excellent and:

 

1 hour ago, PaulCanuck said:

I watch helpless as a line of men
bayonet and loot my dying friends - we're there! you bastard for putting us there!

Haha - that really made me laugh - well, I put myself there (uncomfortably) so hoped I could pass on some of that uncomfortableness to any one else who read it that far.

You have made some really excellent suggs - I will consider them all :)

 

Again, thanks a lot guys :):)

 

Andy

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Hi Andy,

 

I gave this a 3.5.  I think there was some really strong imagery and I liked the idea of a wife standing where her husband died reuniting with each other with each other's photos, though one in the past and one in the future.  Cool idea.  However, there was some awkwardness to the lyric that made me think it needs some more work...some of my comments on what I perceived as awkwardness are below.  I wasn't sure about the meter either, it seemed like it might be a tricky song to sing.  Anyway, see some of my comments below and feel free to ignore them if you think my comments are off.

 

On ‎07‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 03:24, AndyLeF said:

Another Life
© 2018 Andy Lefevre

 

 

Verse 1
Shattered bones heal given time       
but there is no time 
Liked these two first lines
Comrades pulled back with the flag  My first association with the word comrade is a socialist or communist, I know that it can also be used to describe a fellow soldier, but this word threw me personally, do brits use this word in this way?  This threw me a little and transported me to WWII maybe behind the Russian lines
I’m left behind in smoke and rags 
I cannot move, can barely groan                      
Pain blocks pain, I’m numb 
good line
Rain drives me sane at what’s been done  I haven't heard drive me sane, only drive me insane and I it's hard to understand how rain is driving someone sane

 

Verse 2
Silence then a distant shout,         
good imagery for a battlefield
The enemy’s about 
I watch helpless as a line of men
bayonet and loot my dying friends
Your photo’s warm, close to my heart
Your smile lingers in my distant eyes
I welcome peace, whisper goodbye  

 

Verse 3
A shadow falls across me        
A blade rises to set me free
Somewhere close a comrade cries 
is the comrade a soldier on your side or a communist soldier on the other side?
But there will be no sound of my demise  why what happened?
A photo flutters free and flies 
Our ragged flag we hoped would win the day 
Now like our prayers simply blown away 
these two lines are not technically yodaspeak, but the order of the phrases are awkward to accommodate a rhyme.  We hoped our ragged flag would win the day, but it was blown away like our prayers

 

Verse 4
I know you’ll come, stand at this place     
Remember me with your loving grace  
Ok, so he did die, but why the line above that he did not die?  Or is it that he just didn't make a sound when he died?
I know you’ll bring my photo, set me free 
To join yours in memory 
this is a really intriguing way to resolve the song, I know what you are trying to convey, but I'm not sure "to join yours in memory" works.  How do photos join in memory?  I think this part needs some more work, and the idea is worth working for.
I’ll be here for ever darling, take your time
And find the strength we spoke of wife 
To find another life 
 this last verse is clearly speaking to the wife, but the others are more like a play by play of his present.  You might get a more cohesive effect to the song if he is relaying the whole story to his wife.  That might mean setting up the first three verses in the past tense, and maybe throwing in the conversational "darling" and "wife" that you place in the final verse in the other verses?   

 

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6 hours ago, PaulCanuck said:

Hi Andy

 

Some great imagery and emotion here - like it :)

 

A few comments below to be discarded at your pleasure :lol:

 

Overall I thought this quite powerful, just needs a few tweaks and the hook to appear sooner.

KOS

Paul

But there will be no sound of my demise - how does he know this?  I'm guessing he's saying he's not screaming when that bayonet finishes him off. I actually really liked this line. It was quite powerful.

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Hi Andy

 

Good imagery.

 

The verse is seven lines which I think suits the suits the story, together with line five not rhyming, seems to me to give it the right balance stability wise.

The point of view singing from beyond the grave is I think not done very much I can't think of an example Oh yes maybe "Sister Morphine" although he's dying rather than actually kicked the bucket. So that is interesting and I think it's Ok because it means  the character can know everything. 

Pace wise, if we talk about verses one and two, ( because line two, verses three and four are a rhythmic anomaly.) It works well because it accelerates into line three then slows down in line four, so it feels to me as if that is going to work OK.

The line two issue. In verses one and two line two is short it is two naturally stressed syllables long. In verses three and four it is four naturally stressed syllable long.

It is important that it is only two, A because of the pace issue, B because of the instability the difference between line one and two lengths create. 

There is also the issue of minor words such as conjunctions pronouns not being stressed unless there is a special reason to do so. So if you look at the stress on "is" which is unusual but can you feel how it gives it a feeling of urgency. So below from verses one and two the count is 2 stressed syllables and they are in exactly the same place in both verses beats 3 and 1 probably, if this line was set back heavy like with a rest on beat one of the bar. 

but there is no time

The enemy’s about 

 

 Now because there is no chorus in this, there needs to be musical hooks within the verse and here is the place for one of them, at line two. 

That means that verse three and four stress structure must be identical, 2 beats in exactly the same place.

So you need to edit those lines to make them so.

You can then see that this two stress hook musical motive that appears in line two can be repeated twice in line seven which is a four stress line and as the hook in line two will not end on the root note, when its repeated in line seven it will be just a straight repeat for the first one and the second one the last note will change to the root note most probably. 

 

So I feel before worrying too much about individual line images the rhythm  needs checking and editing certainly line two.

 

Nice lyric

 

Cheers

 

Gary

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