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Joe Vicas

Seems Like Only Yesterday

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This is a song I’m currently working on. It has a melody and the words all fit nicely but I’d like to hear what this community thinks of the bare lyrics. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

 

SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY

 

V1

Seems like only yesterday

I felt forsaken

Seems like only yesterday

My self-worth was shaken

 

V2

Seems like only yesterday

I was lonely

Seems like only yesterday

I felt so homely

 

                Chorus

Then you came into my life

And picked up the shattered pieces

You wandered out of the night

To give my life new meaning

 

V3

Seems like only yesterday

It was raining

Seems like only yesterday

My sanity was waning

 

V4

Seems like only yesterday

I could not feel the sun

Seems like only yesterday

I thought about buying a gun

 

                Chorus

Then you came into my life

And picked up the shattered pieces

You wandered out of the night

To give my life new meaning

 

                                Bridge

I was such a broken man

Until you became my friend

How you did it, I can’t explain

But you made me happy again

 

(Instrumental  section)

 

V5

Seems like only yesterday

My heart was opened

Seems like only yesterday

Feelings could finally be spoken

 

V6

Seems like only yesterday

Things changed for the better

Seems like only yesterday

Since we came together

 

                Chorus

                You came into my life

                And picked up the broken pieces

                You wandered out of the night

                To give my life new meaning

 

Seems like only yesterday

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Hi Joe, 

       Welcome here.  I just googled your song title and there's at least a half dozen songs by this title, including one from the Carpenters. With that many previously written songs with the exact same title, you have to make sure you don't lift a line  such as "Seems like only yesterday I was lonely" * so you don't plagiarize someone, even if by accident. 

        After removing any and all plagiarized lines, if any, you're left with a total of 12 possible lines from 6 verses (because 2 lines repeat themselves in every verse) in which you have a chance to say something really unique, original and possibly insightful. 

         You don't want to look like you just grabbed words because they rhymed. Too many rhymes here seemed forced. Sun/ gun  raining/ waning   *Lonely is out because it already appears word for word in the Carpenters song. 

         This title has been used quite a bit  as you can see because you already repeated a previous song's entire line. I did not look at all the lyrics to see if there's any other identical or similar lines. So you have your work cut out for you here trying to make something original and unique out of the 12 lines of useable verse and 4 lines of chorus.   It can certainly be done with difficulty.  

          If it was mine I would create a new and different title and hook. There's plenty of other ways of saying "Seems like only yesterday".  Hope this helps you. 

     

          

         

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Admittedly I am not an expert on "Copyright", but my understanding has always been that it does NOT protect song titles or short phrases.

An excerpt from the Library of Congress webpage...

Quote

 How do I copyright a name, title, slogan, or logo?
Copyright does not protect names, titles, slogans, or short phrases. In some cases, these things may be protected as trademarks.

Since I question whether a single line from a song is eligible for registration as a "TrademarK", you may not be in violation of anything.

Again, I'm no expert, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to add the little that I do know.

Here's the link that excerpt was taken from - https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html#title

Hope this helps guys!

 

Tom

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Not bad. Word usage is a bit cliche but not a problem.  I could see this working in a song.  Perhaps condensing things a bit by eliminating two of the verses, like......V1 & V2.  Verses 1, 2, 3, 4 all say basically the same thing or something similar.  I like verse 3 & 4 better to articulate the mood and feeling more than V1 & 2.  Verse 3 and 4 personify the mood or feeling better with more show than tell. "It was raining" , "I could not feel the sun", "Thought about buying a gun".   

 

You could even try finding, creating or saying something similar to commonly used expressions or word usage but in a different way, making it really stand out, but that's up to you. Ultimately the music will set the stage as to how effective the words are once set to music.   

 

It's not a problem that there are plenty of other songs out there with the same title or similar vocabulary.   Share the melody if at all possible. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If it flows well with the music then more than half the job is done :-)

Verse 2: "homely" has a positive meaning, similar to "cosy", and does not fit here.

Verses 5 and 6 are very well constructed. Great!

The bridge doesn't add anything to what the chorus already has said. I would simply scrap it as you already have provided for an instrumental part anyway to fill that role.

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I agree with the critiques above. But I don’t think you need to worry about copyright. However for your own creativity. Why not come up with something more original? I think it’s fun to rip apart a lyric and go at it from a completely different angle. 

 This next comment doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your lyric. But I believe the message here is really fucked up but yet way to common in people. Your lyric describes how someone needed someone else to make them happy. In reality that doesn’t happen. But yet so many people feel they need someone else to make them happy. If someone isn’t happy it’s almost always inside themselves. They believe someone else will can solve their unhappiness. But in reality that will never happen. If someone was thinking about offing themselves with a gun. Their problem is much deeper than finding someone to have a relationship with. That might give this person short term relief. But they will need to take other actions to truly become happy with themselves as a person. 

 Maybe that’s the different angle you could come at with this lyric? 

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4 hours ago, Bernd said:

Verse 2: "homely" has a positive meaning, similar to "cosy", and does not fit here.

 

The bridge doesn't add anything to what the chorus already has said. I would simply scrap it as you already have provided for an instrumental part anyway to fill that role.

Homely has two different meanings depending on which side of the pond you live on.   Homely works for North American English as it means a person who is physically unattractive or ugly.  Homely is a cozy or a comfortable place in British English.

Could also use "ugly" to reinforce the feeling with a stronger word, but homely is not a problem.  Any doubters, check out the link below.

 

https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=gB8dW_nQHY_xzgLrtazoBQ&q=def+homely&oq=def+homely&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i10k1l2.1926.8444.0.8738.15.13.2.0.0.0.83.849.13.13.0....0...1c.1.64.psy-ab..0.15.856...0j0i131k1.0.5Fc1oC5agVk

 

Forgot to mention, that yes I'm in agreement the bridge doesn't add anything new to the scheme of things.

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Thank you all for your feedback.  Excellent suggestions that show the song needs a lot more work. This is the first time I ever posted a first draft attempt at lyrics and in the time between when I posted it and your comments, things already began to look different to me.

 

I will be reworking this substantially and what happens as it progresses is anyone’s guess. :-) I do want to try to get rid of that “cliché” feeling and whether it is okay or not, I don’t like the idea that there may even be a hint of copyright infringement or plagiarism.

 

Just to clear up any confusion, I did mean the word “homely” to mean “unattractive” but now I like the suggested “ugly” better.

 

I do have one question. Is there a site that members use to host mp3 files so they can be shared here? I have a YouTube account, but I don’t want to post “work in progress” songs there. I don’t want them to be viewable by “the world”, just the people here. I do think posting a simple track where you can hear the melody would give a better idea of what the song is like.

 

Again, thank you all for your comments!

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11 hours ago, tunesmithth said:

Admittedly I am not an expert on "Copyright", but my understanding has always been that it does NOT protect song titles or short phrases...

Tom

According to the Copyright Office they say that some titles can be protected if they represent a substantial portion of the lyric itself. That would be songs like:

 

I've Got Tears in My Ears From Lying on My Back in My Bed While I Cry Over You

Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey

 

Still, you have to go to court to prove it...

=Bob=

 

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3 hours ago, =Bob= said:

According to the Copyright Office they say that some titles can be protected if they represent a substantial portion of the lyric itself. That would be songs like:

 

I've Got Tears in My Ears From Lying on My Back in My Bed While I Cry Over You

Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey

 

Still, you have to go to court to prove it...

=Bob=

I guess my intended point was this Bob...it is unclear to me that this type of thing rises to the level of legal infringement.

Given that, I have doubts as to whether the concerns Kuya expressed were well founded.

There's a fine line between lack of originality and plagiarism...I'm not sure that line was crossed here.

Hopefully, I created no hard feelings. :blush:

 

Tom

 

*If you don't mind me asking, where can I verify your statement about "some titles being eligible for copyright protection"?

This is the first time I've heard that claim & I've not seen it in writing anywhere...if you could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

When I looked again, I found this...which seems to confirm my original impressions.

Quote

What Is Not Protected by Copyright?


Copyright does not protect • Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, or discoveries • Works that are not fixed in a tangible form (such as a choreographic work that has not been notated or recorded or an improvisational speech that has not been written down) • Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans • Familiar symbols or designs • Mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring • Mere listings of ingredients or contents For more information, see Works Not Protected by Copyright (Circular 33).

Source URLhttps://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

 

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1 hour ago, Joe Vicas said:

I do have one question. Is there a site that members use to host mp3 files so they can be shared here? I have a YouTube account, but I don’t want to post “work in progress” songs there. I don’t want them to be viewable by “the world”, just the people here. I do think posting a simple track where you can hear the melody would give a better idea of what the song is like.

A lot of people here use soundcloud:

 

https://soundcloud.com/

 

It has an option when you upload to make the track "private".

 

With that setting only people you share the  link with will be able to access it. 

 

If you were to share the link on the forums here, this would be the only place people would be able to access the track, assuming you didn't post the link anywhere else.

 

Peace

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On ‎09‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 17:53, Joe Vicas said:

This is a song I’m currently working on. It has a melody and the words all fit nicely but I’d like to hear what this community thinks of the bare lyrics. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

 

 

 

SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY

 

 

 

V1

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

I felt forsaken

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

My self-worth was shaken

 

 

 

V2

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

I was lonely

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

I felt so homely...………...I don't think this v advances how you are feeling.  We already know that from v1. 

 

 

 

                Chorus

 

Then you came into my life

 

And picked up the shattered pieces

 

You wandered out of the night

 

To give my life new meaning

 

 

 

V3

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

It was raining...……………..Not a very interesting line.  You should keep it first person.

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

My sanity was waning...………….Sounds like a forced rhyme line.

 

 

 

V4

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

I could not feel the sun

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

I thought about buying a gun

 

 

 

                Chorus

 

Then you came into my life

 

And picked up the shattered pieces

 

You wandered out of the night

 

To give my life new meaning

 

 

 

                                Bridge

 

I was such a broken man

 

Until you became my friend

 

How you did it, I can’t explain

 

But you made me happy again...…………...Does not really add anything other than stretching out this lyric. 

 

 

 

(Instrumental  section)

 

 

 

V5

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

My heart was opened

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

Feelings could finally be spoken

 

 

 

V6

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

Things changed for the better

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

Since we came together...…..Relevance of this v????

 

 

 

                Chorus

 

                You came into my life

 

                And picked up the broken pieces

 

                You wandered out of the night

 

                To give my life new meaning

 

 

 

Seems like only yesterday

 

I think the Seems like only yesterday line is a bit overused.  I think there are too many v's.  I mean how many v's do you need to say the same thing.

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23 hours ago, tunesmithth said:

I guess my intended point was this Bob...it is unclear to me that this type of thing rises to the level of legal infringement.

Given that, I have doubts as to whether the concerns Kuya expressed were well founded.

There's a fine line between lack of originality and plagiarism...I'm not sure that line was crossed here.

Hopefully, I created no hard feelings. :blush:

 

Tom

 

*If you don't mind me asking, where can I verify your statement about "some titles being eligible for copyright protection"?

This is the first time I've heard that claim & I've not seen it in writing anywhere...if you could point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

When I looked again, I found this...which seems to confirm my original impressions.

Source URLhttps://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf

 

I think it is logical without any further discovery. A long line used verbatim from a protected work is already a violation of a person's copying rights. Therefore, if it is the title of the song, it's already protected simply because it's a large enough portion of the actual lyric. So in reality, the title isn't being protected, the section of work is.

=Bob=

 

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1 minute ago, =Bob= said:

I think it is logical without any further discovery. A long line used verbatim from a protected work is already a violation of a person's copying rights. Therefore, if it is the title of the song, it's already protected simply because it's a large enough portion of the actual lyric. So in reality, the title isn't being protected, the section of work is.

So in other words, it's a personal conclusion rather than a verifiable legal protection.

Appreciate the response Bob...thanks!

 

Tom

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13 minutes ago, tunesmithth said:

So in other words, it's a personal conclusion rather than a verifiable legal protection.

Appreciate the response Bob...thanks!

Tom

You can protect a song title with a Trademark. Kind of expensive though.

 

https://www.expertlaw.com/library/intellectual-property-law/copyright-trademark-song-titles-lyrics

 

Although an argument might be made that an extremely long title should be subject to copyright protection, it does not appear that the U.S. Copyright Office has ever found that a title of any length could be successfully registered for copyright protection.

 

To the extent that a song title may be subject to copyright protection, it is necessary to look at the entire work, the title along with the song lyrics, as opposed to the title by itself. If a phrase is a readily recognizable by a lay observer as a portion of the copyrighted work, the test for copyright infringement may be satisfied even if only a small portion of the work is reproduced. (For example, "E.T. Phone Home").

 

And using titles from songs:

 

In most cases, the portion of a song that an author will want to reference will be the most famous or recognizable portion of a song, strengthening the copyright holder's right to control the use of the lyrics and, if desired, to charge royalties.

 

And as I mentioned before, it all gets decided in court unless (and usually) there is a private settlement. From what I have read, that's usually the case. Since it all boils down to money, the person who owns the copyright doesn't usually want the work in violation to be curtailed, they just want royalties and name recognition.

=Bob=

 

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Is Sweet Home Alabama copyrighted?  Not the complete song just these 3 words. 

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3 hours ago, Barneyboy said:

Is Sweet Home Alabama copyrighted?  Not the complete song just these 3 words. 

No it's not, lyrical hooks are not protected. Unless they cover more than one short phrase.

 

Cheers

 

Gary

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Here is my first revision with audio.

 

I concentrated on what seemed to be the consensus points offered by the members. The changes are obvious. There is not much left from the original version.

 

When you listen to the audio, PLEASE remember that it’s a bare bones one-take track provided just so you can evaluate the lyric construction in a more meaningful way. I screwed up the guitar once or twice but this is just a rough sketch not meant to be a finished project.  I don’t even know what the title of this song is going to be. 🙂

 

Once again, I would appreciate any and all comments. It’s obvious that I value them when you compare this version to the first one.

 

 

I Recall Yesterday/Promising Vision

    

V1

I recall yesterday

It would not stop raining

I recall yesterday

Clouds of despair were draining

 

V2

I recall yesterday

I could not feel the sun

I recall yesterday

Emotions were entirely numb

 

                Chorus

Then you drifted into my life

In a soft collision

Looking deep into your eyes

Ignited a promising vision

 

V3

I recall yesterday

The winds of change blew gently

I recall yesterday

A whispered voice so friendly

 

V4

I recall yesterday

Warmth made me feel better

I recall yesterday

When we came together

 

(Instrumental  break)

 

                Chorus

You drifted into my life

In a soft collision

Looking deep into your eyes

Ignited a promising vision

 

I recall yesterday

 

 

http://soundcloud.com/joe-vicas/iry/s-yz3Iy

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