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A story-based lyric, albeit a fictitious story. It was prompted by a colleague commenting on how odd it is that people fall in love with prisoners they've often never met who have been convicted of horrible offences. A tale of murder was probably not an ideal topic for a lyric contest but I enjoyed teasing out the story

Molly Brooker

(Verse 1)

Molly Brooker loved cats and lived alone
In a shabby cottage hewn from stone,
There were mountains of books raggedly high
Pot boiler novels where the dead don't lie.

 

(Verse 2)

Ricky Breen had all but done his time
Two decades chalked off for his crimes,

Molly had been his light through it all

Her weekly letter, latterly a call.

 

(Chorus)

She knew the nature of his crimes
The grisly details
The dates and the times,
But she went willingly
To the vampire's lair.

 

(Verse 3)

On the tenth of July Rick got his parole
The gates slammed shut and he took a stroll,
To a shack that was derelict and damp
Had a mat on the floor and an old gas lamp.

 

(Verse 4)

Molly unboxed a dress she'd bought long ago
Splashed on some perfume, tied her hair in a bow,

As she danced to her car a smile played on her lips

She’d waited so long imagining his kiss.

 

(Chorus)

She knew the nature of his crimes
The grisly details
The dates and the times,
But she went willingly
To the vampire's lair.

 

(Bridge) (Bits in italics spoken or sung fast)

If this was a film shot in black and white
With spiky orchestral music, a shadow looming in the night
We'd scream "he's behind you!", our fists clenched so tight
And turn at the last moment,

Paralyzed, yet not surprised

Unable to watch, unwilling to see

The predatory denouement, that last piercing scream.

 

(Verse 5)

Molly Brooker loved cats and died alone
Trails of bloody tears streaking down her cheekbones,

There was silence and darkness, decay in the air

No happy ending cos life is not fair.

 

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Hi SongWolfe,

          What happened to me reading this lyric was I had nobody to root for. Pause for a moment, if you will, to take in the irony. I posted a lyric less than a week ago about a jailbird who kills and cooks his wfe and then feeds her to her family. And here I'm asking for sympathetic characters!  Absurd! 

             I worked with a woman a few years ago who had recently married her old high school classmate who is in jail for life for robbing a taxi driver who was coincidentally the brother of an old classmate of mine. After robbing my friend Charlie's older brother Santo this loathesome creature shot him in the back of the head and killed him over about $100 that the taxi driver had already willngly handed over. This coworker was desperately trying to get pregnant with this killer during the time period I knew her. I hoped she failed and ditched the guy. Don't know how it all turned out. 

               Your character was sympathetic enough. She was. You had enough detail. She was looking for love. As was my former coworker.  Strange, even pitiful, but understandable. Certainly there was enough of a story, although a surprise or two always helps.  Maybe I remembered all the resentment I had for this coworker of mine. Maybe it's because Molly is a cat lady. I just didn't find a reason to like either character. I brought my own bias to the table with me. 

               Back to my first read. I was kind of hoping as I read it that Molly was the sister or fiancee of the Ricky's victim and that somehow she was waiting her chance for a surprise revenge. Kill the bastard!  

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I like this. Good descriptive lines, chocked full of concrete images, good story. 

 

I did chuckle a bit at the last line in the bridge, which is the only line that strikes me as more writer than lyrical. I can't recall hearing "denouement" in a song lyric before. That could be good or bad.

 

I enjoyed the poetic tone and thought it made for one of the more interesting reads in the contest.

 

I explored the same theme in my entry in the May contest. Women have been falling for the "bad guys" since long time 'go.

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Hi Simon

I have to agree with Kuya, as Molly just doesn't come off as someone the listener can root for.

I thought some lines would be tough to sing well or just sounded awkward:  'latterly a call', 'The predatory denouement'.  'Vampire's lair' didn't sound right to me, unless this guy was biting victim's necks and draining their blood!

Verse 3 - wouldn't this guy head straight to Molly's?

 

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SW - I was confused by this story. The message in the closing "Life is not fair" does not match the story. You play with fire you will burn is closer to the lesson here.

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Hey SongWolfe,

For me, a lot of this seemed forced and awkward. Like, why does it matter to the story that the cottage is of hewn stone? It would seem to make more sense to me that, rather than pot boilers, she reads romance novels. I like the detail about cats but think it would better not to say that she loves them but that a dozen of them have the run of the cottage (show don't tell). We probably all understood that, yeah, she's lonely so she'll take ANY man she can get, but the lyric would be much stronger if you take us inside her head so we understand the fantasy she's concocted to justify meeting up with ol' Rick. He's served his time and now it's a new start and the first thing he'll do is sweep her up in his manly arms and melt her heart with a kiss like she's only read about in books up till now. I agree with A Musical Key that "life is not fair" is the wrong message and even if it were the right message, it's too prosaic for you to use here.

 

I'd rate this one: Good concept, needs work.

 

--Doug

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Thanks all for your feedback. And sorry for the delay in responding - have been away on holiday and getting an internet signal proved tricky.

A few comments from me on the points raised.

On Kuya and Mike's point about having no-one to root for, I get what you're saying. Maybe it would benefit from some sort of backstory about why she started corresponding. However, I'm keen for it not to stray into being too black and white, goodie and baddie. 

 

9thStLine - thanks for your kind comments. The bridge section was probably the part that I deliberated over most. It is quite melodramatic but I hope it would work when sung.

 

Mike - The vampire line is a metaphor. I'm comparing Molly's decision to go to meet a convicted killer with those films where a fair maiden feels compelled to go to a vampire's lair. Appreciate that some people may take a very literal interpretation of those words but I'm content to leave them as they are.

 

A Musical Key - Yes, you play with fire you'll get burned is an apt description. I guess the way I saw it was that in some way Molly genuinely was looking for love and thought she'd found it. So from her perspective I do think that 'life's not fair' works

 

LyriCAL - good point on romance novels. I'll have a think about whether that can work with the rest of the verse. And possibly also some more background context about Molly. I think the difficulty with story lyrics is often working out how many character details can be accommodated without the lyric turning into a 7 minute plus song

 

Some useful comments that will help when I go back to do a 2nd edit of this one, so thanks all for taking the time to provide your thoughts 

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Have had this lyric turned into a song and I think it's turned out really well.

 

If you listen to it, you'll notice a couple of changes that were sparked from comments received in this thread. In Verse 1, I changed it to refer to romantic novels rather than pot boiler novels, so thanks to LyriCAL for that suggestion. But the biggest change I made was brining in Molly's perspective with an additional verse that has a female vocal. I think that has improved its impact. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to provide feedback.

 

You can listen to the song here: https://www.soundblend.com/store/release/864233

 

And see the updated lyric here: https://www.kompoz.com/music/collaboration/862783/file/862784 

 

 

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Simon - Very nice. I didn't realize you had so many songs out there. Very neat and impressive.

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28 minutes ago, A Musical Key said:

Simon - Very nice. I didn't realize you had so many songs out there. Very neat and impressive.

Thanks! Yes, I try to aim for a minimum of an album's worth of new songs per year. :)

It helps that I've now got a few regular collaborators, mostly on the Kompoz site but also Josh Castagno in this site. Would love to do more Muse collaborations as I know there are lots of REALLY talented musicians on here

Most of my lyrics start their life on this site, as I like to get some external feedback before I do any final tweaks

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