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It Happened Again Today

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It Happened Again Today

 

It happened again today    

The kids escaping outside through the playing fields  

And sobbing parents nightmares suddenly turn all too real  

How I prayed for some solutions if I only knew the way

 

So we never have to say  

it happened again today

 

It happened before about a week or two 

A teacher's quick reactions surely saved some lives

I can't erase the images of children as they hide

A killer stole their innocence as we watched on the news

 

Why don't we talk to our children and listen to what they say   

They might tell us what we need to know to make this go away

If we can get inside their precious minds  

Somewhere in there we'll surely find           some answers  

 

So we never have to say  

it  happened again today

 

It happened before about a month ago 

The helicopters SWAT teams and the TV crews

People screaming pop pop popping teenage fury letting loose

Treating symptoms not the causes only makes this problem grow

 

We oughta  talk to our children and listen to what they say   

They might tell us what we need to know to make this go away

If we can get inside their precious minds   

Somewhere in there we'll surely find               some answers 

 

So we never have to say 

it happened again today

 

We cannot help our children if there's just too much damn noise  (BR)

There has to be some reason we make killers out of boys

The guns don't shoot the children unless the children shoot the guns

If we want to find out why then we must ask why from our young

 

We've gotta talk to our children and listen to what they say   

They'll tell us what we need to know to make this go away

If we can get inside their precious minds   

Somewhere in there we'll surely find              some answers 

 

So we never have to say  

it happened again today

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Tough subject, with a social conscious, Kuya.  Well written as always. The foundation is there, message and all, but I think it's a little wordy and could use a trim down of a few words here and there to make what's said or even sung stronger in the delivery. 

Also.... 

 

1. Why don't we talk to our children and listen to what they say   

They might tell us what we need to know to make this go away     Consider working on this line. I think there's a better way in which this line could be articulated to reinforce the line above it. 

Suggestion or something like it:   2. If we had better communication, this might just go away  or  2A If there was better communication, this might just go away.

If we can get inside their precious minds     Find a replacement for "precious".   Troubled minds .....?      3. If we can get inside their troubled minds

4.  Somewhere in there we'll surely find           some answers  

 

Just some ideas above to help.

 

Thanks for sharing this one.

 

 

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12 hours ago, kuya said:

We've gotta talk to our children and listen to what they say   

They'll tell us what we need to know to make this go away

Seriously?

First of all - are we really abrogating our duty as adults to figure this out and fix it?

Secondly - the "children" have been "talked to" - but there is no indication that anyone in charge is listening.

 

Sorry, but I found the "wringing of hands" "what can we do?" approach in this lyric a bit off-putting :(

 

Paul

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I’m not 100% sure this will work. It definitely feels like a first draft. It kinda feels clunky to me. Like it wouldn’t easily be fit to music. But I could be completely wrong on that. That’s just my feeling after reading through it. 

 Of course I agree with Paul’s concern also. Children have been speaking very loudly. Especially after Parkland. But too many adults choose to ignore and do nothing about their concerns. Maybe something in the song about adults continuously doing nothing could be a good angle where both sides can agree on. Unless you’re aiming this song just towards the right. 

 That brings up another thought. This does feel a bit right leaning. But not leaning enough.  Maybe shoot for making this work more neutrally. Or the other choice might be to go full on right. It’s just not right leaning enough as is. Just thoughts after a couple read throughs. 👍

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

       The 'talking' the pov was advocating here was psychological counselng of teenagers to try to identify the teens at risk.  Rather than handwringing, or holding our breath for the complete disarmament of America, the pov was advocating trying to actually do something not only realstic, but actually possible: to identify troubled teens, and in particular trying to identify potential killers before they snap and go 'postal' at school. 

         I realize the lyric failed. I also concluded that it was a verse too long after I posted it. I'm studying your suggestions. Thanks. 

           

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Hi Kuya,

 

I think the theme "listen to our children" is an important point to make.  Obviously the children are key stakeholders.  But it can't come from a token listening session or school assembly.  And listening needs to lead to action.  And adults and children have to have trust and respect for each other (I dare say as equals) during that conversation.  Unfortunately, I don't think Americans put too much stock in what children have to say.  Imagine if schools were actually democratized communities that enable students, staff and faculty to arrive at some consensus on policies that could make the school a safer environment--So that the school safety debate wasn't being filtered through a simplistic political shouting match between the left and right trying to reduce the discussion to black and white, I'm right, your wrong, one size fits all talking points when it's anything but.  As you say there is just too much damn noise.  Maybe schools in urban areas would arrive at different policies than rural areas, and poor areas would arrive at different policies than rich areas, and areas with strong hunting traditions would arrive at different policies than non-hunting communities.  In the meantime, our children could learn about how democracy actually works, which would be helpful in these times since American democracy seems to be eroding in front of our eyes.

 

Listening to our children is a good start, but what does this song mean by "listening"?  Honestly, the song's message falls a little flat with me when there is a line like "The guns don't shoot the children unless the children shoot the guns".  Maybe you didn't intend it this way, but I read that as the favorite mantra "Guns don't kill people.  People kill people."  To me that is politicized black and white nonsense that reduces a complicated problem to a 7 word talking point and it blunts your song's core message about listening to others.  In my opinion, if this song is going to be powerful you need to trim the politics.  The lyrics that Peko came up with on same topic did that very successfully, as an example.

 

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This is something I wrote back in 2001==never made it into a completed song...so feel free to steal whatever works for you :)

 

 

the anger generation

© 2001 John Voorpostel

 

its a mystery, layman’s lesson left to learn

its a mystery, revelation yet to be earned

its a mystery, one that leaves me stunned

its a mystery, now run

I hear the sound of a gun

 

i heard, they pay off politicians

i heard, they’ll contribute if you do right

i heard, they are gathering up petitions

i heard, I can’t walk around at night

did you hear it, they say t’s just aberration

did you hear it, laws will not be changing

did you hear it, sounds of abdication

did you hear it, the anger generation

 

its a mystery, layman’s lesson left to learn

its a mystery, revelation yet to be earned

its a mystery, one that leaves me stunned

its a mystery, now run

I hear the sound of a gun

 

i heard, they don’t listen to everyone

i heard, that they hold us up as fools

i heard, there are young ones carrying guns

i heard,they’re now killing in the schools

did you hear it, they say t’s just aberration

did you hear it, laws will not be changing

did you hear it, sounds of abdication

did you hear it, the anger generation

 

be careful in the workplace

on the street and in your school

on the sidewalk in your car

and in the park down by the pool

its a drive by d.o.a.

its a road rager deranging

I can hear it its the sound

of the anger generation

 

did you hear it, they say t’s just aberration

did you hear it, laws will not be changing

did you hear it, sounds of abdication

did you hear it, the anger generation

 

now run

I hear the sound of a gun

 

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I think your hook is very strong. The verses seemed to lose some steam IMO.  Obviously a touchy subject to tackle, but I just thought the verses didn’t seem to be consistent in meter/rhyme or message.  First two V’s more general & descriptive last two come with your ‘solution’, maybe just me but it seemed the message came a little late to the party.  Maybe hint at it in earlier verses?

 

 Also some of the word choices seemed awkward to me, ‘playing field’?  Never heard that one, a soccer field, football or baseball field or track, but playing field seemed odd. And’ sobbing parents nightmares suddenly turned all too real’,  IMO awkwardly phrased, already sobbing, then suddenly turns real. Shouldn’t parents actions turn on the word suddenly not before?

 

I thought the hook strong enough to spend some time tweaking the verses and tightening you message.  As always, just my thoughts, use/adapt/ignore as you see fit.

 

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I would hope people don't take some contest score as any indication of failure, or also ran. I don't, anyway. Fwiw, I scored this high. I think the ABBA and long length of the verses would make the music more challenging. I'd lean towards concise. I might consider going to ABAB in verses,  and shorter, fewer, more direct chorus. I'll take a rough/quick stab below, just for a look.2 cents, kos. I don't know it's any better, but might be easier to wrangle a song out of. 

 

 

It happened again today    

Kids escaping through baseball fields  

Sobbing parents shock dismay

Sudden nightmares all too real  

It happened again today        --haunting, might be worth repeating, depending.... 

 

It happened before, last week or two 

A brave teacher surely saved some lives

 A killer stole their innocence as we watched on the news---- good line, but long, maybe

They called her a hero on the nightly news

As other teachers stood, teary eyed     -- 

It happened before, last week or two

 

 

Why don't we talk to our children and listen to what they say   

They might tell us what we need to know to make this go away

If we can get inside their precious minds  

Somewhere in there we'll surely find           some answers  

 

So we never have to say  

it  happened again today  

 

--  -this chorus sounds too light,  la-te-da for my taste, for lack of better terms.  1st draft stuff, but shorter anyway;

 

Another school

More blood spilled 

We gotta teach our kids 

It's wrong to kill

Teach our kids

So we never have to say

It happened again

It happened again today

 

 

 

And etc...Anyway as said, 2 cents. 

 

 

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Pearl Jam's Jeremy was playing in my head this morn, interestingly enough. Been a long time. 

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Kuya,

 

I understand the challenges of writing something worthwhile on this topic.  I'd love to offer suggestions, but I haven't figured out my own lyric yet!  I was very curious to see what people would say about your approach. Maybe we're both having trouble coming up with a lyric that resonates with most people, because there is no one solution that resonates with most people.  I don't know! (I got tired of saying that while I was writing mine!)  😃

 

Patty

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Hello, 

        One of the issues with this lyric is it's too long. 3 verses, 4 short choruses, three 4 line prechoruses, a 4 line bridge.  One verse/pc/ ch too long.  I agree with you Ty & 9th, that the verses were the most problematic parts of this. Including the rhyme pattern. I was trying to make the verses more conversational,  but they ended up clunky.  My edits will focus there. 

         I looked at some of the comments from Patty's lyric and tried to anticipate some of those suggestions and incorporate them in the lyric. 

          I didn't want to write an "if we'd just get rid of the guns everything would be ok" lyric  because every American Muse member knows that's absurd. First there isn't a snowball's chance in hell America's citizens will ever disarm. The non-American contingent of the Muse looks at this largely-American phenomenom and says "of course it's the guns; just get rid of them"  but those of us here know that  won't happen. 

          The talk and listen aspect of the lyric was partly about adults interacting more so kids don't feel so alienated, but more importantly that mental health professionals interact more with our kids. I think mandatory psychological assessments with follow up sessions for those at risk, by mental health professionals, for all teens would help identify at risk kids-- at risk for a number of unhealthy life choices-- not just future school shooters.  The pov was suggesting this. 

         The guns don't shoot line in the bridge was meant as a challenge to  the symptoms-only crowd--- to look at the causes not just the symptoms (gun violence) if you are serious about finding solutions that are actually possible. . It was purposely neutral about banning guns for obvious reasons. Banning guns is both a logical and completely unrealistic solution  at the same time. It's one of the most potentially reckless and dangerous proposals imaginable. Why? Trying to confiscate 300 million plus guns from very heavily armed lawful citizens would trigger a massive civil war in which the disarm crowd are at an insurmountable disadvantage because they are unarmed,  and they would lose their lives. Quickly. Millions of people would be killed trying to disarm America. Including kids.  

       More would die trying to disarm America than in all of our wars put together. Hundreds of thousands of police would be killed.  It would be a bloodbath. I can't advocate that as a solution to school massacres. This reality (the millions of lives that would be lost trying to disarm America) is lost on the rest of the world. So I didn't write a ban the guns lyric. By not advocating gun confiscation, I know I disappointed some people. Proposed solutions need more than good intentions. If a proposed solution would get millions of people killed, I'm sorry, but as John Lennon said "... you can count me out." 

         The pov here is simply that too many kids have their mental health issues completely ignored.  That was the commn ground I was searching  for in an otherwise polarizing issue. That was it. School massacres are the result of serious underlying mental health issues. Serious practical people can and should look for a (mental health) solution  while delusional but otherwise well-meaning people try to disarm America. 

          

          

           

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From everything you mentioned in this post I believe you should probably go full on conservative viewpoint when rewriting.  Because like the first version it will feel whishy washy if you don’t. For many reasons. If you believe in something, let it rip!  Otherwise it will feel like you’re holding back. Kind of like the first draft did. 

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Hi OWLR,

         No thanks.  The gun debate is not part of the lyric for the reasons already stated.  The focus is limited to what is actually possible in the near future. I don't own  weapons. They hold no fascination for me. 

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7 hours ago, kuya said:

The talk and listen aspect of the lyric was partly about adults interacting more so kids don't feel so alienated, but more importantly that mental health professionals interact more with our kids. I think mandatory psychological assessments with follow up sessions for those at risk, by mental health professionals, for all teens would help identify at risk kids-- at risk for a number of unhealthy life choices-- not just future school shooters.  The pov was suggesting this.  

         The guns don't shoot line in the bridge was meant as a challenge to  the symptoms-only crowd--- to look at the causes not just the symptoms (gun violence) if you are serious about finding solutions that are actually possible. . It was purposely neutral about banning guns for obvious reasons. Banning guns is both a logical and completely unrealistic solution  at the same time. It's one of the most potentially reckless and dangerous proposals imaginable. Why? Trying to confiscate 300 million plus guns from very heavily armed lawful citizens would trigger a massive civil war in which the disarm crowd are at an insurmountable disadvantage because they are unarmed,  and they would lose their lives. Quickly. Millions of people would be killed trying to disarm America. Including kids.  

I wrote my earlier post before I saw your last post making a case for more mental health professionals and I was making some assumptions that probably weren't fair.  I understand the argument for more mental health professionals and I think that's a good start.  But one of the drawbacks of that approach all by itself is that it can perpetuate stigma on these alienated kids (those crazy kids), which I think is important to avoid as much as possible.  It's a bigger challenge, but my point of view is that I believe we have to go further than that to address alienation.  I believe we are losing our sense of community all across the United States and a good way of addressing that could and should start by refocusing on how we run our schools.  When I say "community" I'm thinking about two-way communication, good will, and caring social supports that help prevent people fall through the cracks.  I am not a conservative by any stretch, but I think there is federal (and state) overreach of our school systems, and I think our general approach to education (standardized testing, common core standards/inflexible curriculum, inflexible hours and schedules, segregating learning by age) is misguided and backwards.  At least where I live, the schools are essentially run by subject matter experts from far away.  Even the superintendents and teachers have their hands tied.  How can you build a sense of community when there is no empowerment or trust given to the people that run and attend our schools?  In order to create community, everybody deserves a voice and respect, everybody needs to be heard, everybody needs to feel like they have a stake in what they are participating in.  The reason for shootings is complicated, multifaceted, and each case is going to be a little bit different.  But I think the foundation to managing alienation is building stronger community and you can model a stronger community through schools.  I subscribe to the idea that humans are social by nature, even those of us that are introverted or need down time from people.   I see these shootings (in schools or otherwise) as a symptom of this erosion of community. 

 

I share a similar view that "taking away guns" is a simplistic, unrealistic and dangerous view of dealing with the overabundance of guns in our country.   I agree that the implementation of a "take away gun program" or suddenly making guns illegal would likely turn very ugly and violent.  At the same time, I think more guns (in schools or anywhere else) is a simplistic, unrealistic and dangerous view (I'm not suggesting that is your view BTW, but that is one of the solutions that many pro-gun groups put forward).  I do think gun control is perfectly reasonable and should be part of the solution, although not a panacea.  Just throwing up our hands as defeatists is an odd reaction, when we can have control on new gun sales and we can chip away at the problem with better background checks and a ban on weapons and weapons accessories designed to kill massive numbers of people in seconds.  The majority of Americans agree that guns can be in the hands of responsible, sane, non-violent people and kept out of the hands of irresponsible, mentally unstable, violent people.  Why we can't institute more gun control measures for irresponsible, mentally unstable, violent people seems to be happening because of the gun lobby and this exaggerated messaging out there that the government wants to take everyone's guns away.  It's frustrating that people believe that crap, or that they think it is even possible.

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Agreed. 

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I got what Kuya was going for and understood it early on. I also agree with everything SOK just said in his above post but want to add something. It's beyond having a sense of community. I think there has to be a sense of family. Yes, family is part of the community but many of these kids today have dysfunctional family setups. It gets complicated but in some instances, both parents have to work to make ends meet, in other cases kids are in households with a single parent and or in families on welfare, other situations, both parents work are well off and financially both may not have to work but do. My point is the attention and nurturing children normally are accustomed and exposed to has scaled back considerably.  Rich folks and those in the upper middle class put their kids in daycare or leave an infant with a nanny or an Au Pair. The parent these days no matter what the economic status is of the family are not as involved as they should be. The technology, the smart phone, i phone, the i pad, the desktop PC, whatever, has become and is the surrogate parent for many kids today and it is the boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, significant other for the adult too in many ways. Look around folks when in public. So, while I agree wholeheartedly with everything said regarding community, the social issues are even deeper than that and may even be more complicated than family structure which is changing too in an age of social transition perhaps due in large part to the technology.  As for education, the schools have their hands tied is true but the problem with the system and teaching today is that we are taking on the responsibilities that belong to the parents and now we the educators on the front line in the classroom are expected to act not only as teachers but as parents resolving social problems and issues that now spill over into the classroom learning experience because the parents are not doing their job as good parents at home. Sadly, the school systems in my view are more interested in covering their asses politically and on a legal level when the social issues from home reach the classroom, so the failure is multifaceted & complex. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, kuya said:

Hi OWLR,

         No thanks.  The gun debate is not part of the lyric for the reasons already stated.  The focus is limited to what is actually possible in the near future. I don't own  weapons. They hold no fascination for me. 

You lost me???

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