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  • Wanting to be Seen

    For what its worth.. I tried to write a story song.


    Wanting to be Seen
    (c)2013 Rick Dieffenbach

    Sallie was a girl of 17
    Left her home to pursue the dream
    A simple downhome Georgia girl
    In old blue jeans and curls

    Thumbing rides to Tennessee
    Nashville was her destiny
    Old bald drivers with wanton eyes
    Telling her their lies

    ================================
    Chorus
    Cause In her mind she sees herself
    Center stage with no one else
    Singing songs that she has done
    Rocken her list of number 1s
    =============================

    Wait'en on tables for her big break
    Play'en open mikes that she could make
    Never 'been a beauty queen
    Wanting to be seen

    Late one night as Sallie played
    A talent scout gave her a grade
    She would never find her fame
    She looked way far too plain

    CHORUS  (INSTRUMENTAL - NOT INCLUDED IN THIS VERSION)

    Sallie's in her 20's now
    Dancing as she twirls around
    Hums along as old men stare
    Transfixed by her body and her  hair

    CHORUS

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>&quot;Now and then... occasionally... it seems to have.... too many notes&quot;</i><br></div>

  • #2

    You have been doing some very interesting stuff, Rick....this is really quite good. Your instrumentation and arrangement skills have turned a serious corner.

    Check out those piano hits at the beginning......if you could cut them up and nudge them a bit for timing it would move nicely.

    Leonard Scaper

    Comment


    • #3

      Story is good, but I feel like it's missing a little something to make it pop. Why is it important that now that shes in her 20s old men are transfixed? What caused the change and why does it matter?

      I've enjoyed watching your lyrical output improve as much as it has since you've been hanging out here. You're doing a good job of showing us what's happening.

      On this one I think the wording gets awkward at times. For example, if you and I were having a conversation about Sallie, you probably wouldn't say "Sallie was a girl of 17." You'd most likely say "When Sallie was 17." "Rocken her list of number 1s" feels the same way to me.

      I think a more conversational lyric makes for a more natural lyric. Sometimes it works well, so feel free to disregard, that's just something I personally strive for.

      ...

      Comment


      • #4

        rickidoo wrote:

        For what its worth.. I tried to write a story song.

         

        LCK: Nice first attempt, though there are a few problems with your storytelling. So, please don't take offense, but as a "teaching" exercise, I'm going to deconstruct a few verses and show where and how they're lacking in the right zing and whatnot on the creative -lyric writing (or ordinary conversation) scale.

        Sallie was a girl of 17

        Sally is a girl's name, so it's not necessary to say that she "was a girl." You want to give her age, of course, to show the changes that take place at the end, when her dreams fall through. Probably something like "Sally had just turned 17..." might work better. It tells us everything we need to know (at this point at least), but it has a forward thrust to it that "was a girl of 17" doesn't.

        Left her home to pursue the dream

        "Left her home" doesn't do much for the listener. Why did she leave home? Oh, yeah to pursue a dream (not the dream). So maybe

        "Sally had just turned 17 when she left town to find a dream..."

        A simple downhome Georgia girl

        Simple and downhome are really two ways of saying the same thing. They're also words that, more often that not, tend to put listeners to sleep. Also, you're telling us for the second (actually third) time that Sally is a girl. What else is she besides a girl? There are lots of possibilities here that are being overlooked. Maybe she's an "awkward, homegrown Georgia peach..." Maybe she's shy and skinny. Give us concrete images that paint real pictures of who this girl is.

        In old blue jeans and curls

        I know this feels like you're painting a picture of Sally for us, but a) both blue jeans and curls are more than a bit cliche (old blue jeans less so than curls), and b) the two things are mismatched: blue jeans are articles of clothing while curls tell us what her hair is like. So while she might be in old blue jeans, she can't rightly be said to be in curls, ya get me? Also, I suspect that if you weren't telling us, for the third time, that Sally was a girl -- and hadn't ended the preceding line with the word "girl" -- you probably wouldn't be telling us that she had her hair in curls. You'd have used a different word because it wouldn't have to rhyme (sort of) with girl.

        Thumbing rides to Tennessee

        Again you're repeating yourself. Thumbing (or hitching) involves getting rides from strangers. So you don't need to say she's "thumbing rides." Since she's from Georgia you could say she's "thumbing north," or that she "thumbs her way to Tennessee."

        Nashville was her destiny

        That's a bit corny, but since it's probably an accurate reflection of how Sally feels about Nashville, it's not that bad. It's not great. It's mostly there to rhyme with Tennessee, and to tell us that she has a dream of becoming a country music star. There are a lot of other ways to do that.

        Old bald drivers with wanton eyes

        You don't need to tell us these guys are old and bald. That feels really awkward. Just "Balding drivers..." might work, though I suspect that not all the drivers who picked her up were going bald. Meanwhile, wanton eyes does not work at all. If this were an 17th Century ballad "wanton" might be acceptable, or even de rigeur. But in this song it sticks out like a sore thumb. Also, while I know you want to say something about the shift that's taking poor Sally from a sweet, innocent gawky but pretty-in-her-own-way Georgia-peach-with-a-dream to the stripper she becomes at the end of the song, you're overdoing it. Not all men who pick up hitchhikers are bald or have wanton eyes.

        Telling her their lies

        Who cares if they're telling her lies? You're veering away from a song lyric to the kind of audio/visual presentation we used to get in junior high, telling us about the dangers of hitchhiking. Why not tell the truth: some of the drivers were probably nice, and maybe some had "grubby paws" and "wrong ideas."


        So this:

        Sallie was a girl of 17
        Left her home to pursue the dream
        A simple downhome Georgia girl
        In old blue jeans and curls

        Thumbing rides to Tennessee
        Nashville was her destiny
        Old bald drivers with wanton eyes
        Telling her their lies

         ================================
        Chorus
        Cause In her mind she sees herself
        Center stage with no one else
        Singing songs that she has done
        Rocken her list of number 1s
        =============================

         

        might become something like this:

         

        Sally had just turned seventeen.
        Her mom was soft, her dad was mean.
        With her guitar and a dollar bill
        she left the dust of Taylorsville.

        The Opry was her destiny
        so she thumbed north to Tennessee.
        Some who stopped were decent guys
        others stripped her with their eyes.

        =============================
        But in her mind it'll be all right,
        with her guitar and songs to write.
        Center stage, she'll feel the thrill
        she won't go back to Taylorsville.
        =============================

         

        Or not...

        “I started being a songwriter pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could.” —James Taylor.

        Comment


        • rickidoo
          rickidoo commented
          Editing a comment

          Here is an email I just sent LCK.

          ==================================================

          Hi Lee,

          Because of the %$%$T software the board is using, I have to reset my password every time I log into the site. What a friggen mess. So wanted to drop you an email anyways.

          What you did on my lyrics as fantastic. Blew me away.  On a lyrical writing scale of 0 to 10, I have fought and clawed my way from a 0.2 to a 1 or 2, and you showed me (with probably 10 mins of work on your part) what a 7 or 8 looks like.  Honestly, I know I will keep improving but I think I will not live long enough to make it to a 7 or 8. I so desperately need a lyrical partner who is the yin to my yang.

          But at any rate, I wanted to thank you for doing that, and taking the time to educate me to boot. 

           Bless you,

           Rick

          ================================================== ======

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