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  • FDBK - Space Refugees - WIP

    I've been somewhat excited over the past few days with being able to post the other song 'Happiness not included' and receive feedback to integrate with a re-write and re-record that my co-writer and I have agreed to do.

    This is another song from 18 months back where I took his backing track and wrote the lyric and vocal melody. The vocal is dodgy because its just a tad out of my range, but it's OK for this purpose.

    A bit of background to the lyric is needed :

    There have been many refugees seeking asylum in Australia in recent years. They arrive from different parts of the world usually in rusty old boats via Indonesia. Unfortunately, both sides of the Australian political spectrum have not been overly welcoming, and the issue has ceased to be humanitarian, and become a political football.

    I wanted to write a song that didn't focus on local issues, because the problem is global, so I decided to ask the question, 'What would we do if we had refugees from another world? How would we treat them?'

    The song is structured in a normal Verse / Chorus / Bridge pattern, but the verses are to be sung by one vocalist providing one point of view. The bridge is to be sung by a second vocalist representing another point of view. And the chorus is the unthinking mob, voicing simplistic possession and prejudice. I have done all the vocals, so they are not as differentiated as they would be if a final recording is made.

    Please provide feedback - I value your input.

    If the song is meh, then we won't develop it further, but if you think the idea is worth pursuing, then we'll do some further work on it.

    http://picosong.com/nvLf

     

    Space refugees

    Burton / Stibbard 2011

    'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
    CHARLIE PARKER

  • #2

    Hi Phil,

    I definitely think the idea is worth pursuing.  Musically, it sounds spot-on to me (melody and harmony).

    I think the lyric is mostly there, though there are a couple of spots that I suggest re-working.  I love verse 2 and the chorus - I think you nailed those.  Verse 1 starts out good, but I found these four lines to be too on-the-nose and too much of a reveal for the first verse:

    We may not make you welcome

    We may not lend a hand

    And send you off to struggle

    Back in your own land.

    Once you've said that, the song is pretty much over.  The repeat in verse 3 might work, as you don't have the "reveal" aspect to worry about there, but I still find it a little too matter-of-fact.

    The bridge is the other lyrical trouble spot.  It starts off talking about the wife and kids, then switches to "we don't want your kind around here - scram!"  Again, I find those last three lines to be too on-the-nose.  Your chorus already handles the "get the hell out of here" theme, so I think it's overkill to hammer it home again here.  I'd fill out that space by expanding on the wife and kids a little more, maybe some insults about the ugly wife and ill-behaved crumb-crunchers?

    Anyway, it's certainly not meh, and absolutely worth pursuing.

    Beware of deepities.-- Daniel Dennett

    Comment


    • oldgitplayer
      oldgitplayer commented
      Editing a comment

      It's really gratifying to hear you say that you like the melody....png" alt=":smileyhappy:" title="Smiley Happy" />  Over the past couple of years I've considered myself someone who doesn't have a handle on melody, but maybe I have? I guess I need convincing.

      I hear what you are saying about the lyric. I know I'm responding to the politics of the global situation. Refugees who seek asylum from religious or ethnic persecution in their own countries are often treated with bureaucratic indifference and sent back to where they came from, hence I'm saying it like it is.  

      We may not make you welcome

      We may not lend a hand

      And send you off to struggle

      Back in your own land.


      Perhaps it should be on the nose - I don't know. The song is my response to heartlesness, and a wish to awaken the listener to their own prejudices as well as the politics of the situation. It may work as an idea, but not as a song, and I could be better off salvaging the music and writing another lyric altogether.

      Let's see what some of the other responses are. There's usually divergence of opinion.

      Thanks for the input.


  • #3

    Sweet!  I really like the verses thematically and melodically.  I'm not a huge fan of the chorus, it didn't pop enough for me but I suppose if it were really a chorus of people that might help.  The bridge is cool, I like the idea of a second voice doing that one.

    There were several lyric spots that felt off to me, I'll highlight them below:


    Verse 1 : Vocalist No.1

    If you travel from a distant star

    Down to planet Earth

    Searching for some refuge

    In our universe. - ("Universe" is everything, "galaxy" fits the meaning better, but I'd consider dropping this idea altogether)

    We may not make you welcome

    We may not lend a hand - A good line, but the prosody is off, "may" should get the first downbeat stress, with "we" hitting the last upbeat of the prior measure)

    And send you off to struggle

    Back in your own land.  (I'd almost prefer you just repeated the two lines above)

     

    Chorus by 'Mob'

    This is our planet

    And not for you to share

    We're quite sure we want it all

    We think that's only fair. (I don't hate this, but I don't love it, and this should be one of the coolest parts of the entire song)

     

    Verse 2 : Vocalist No.1

    Don't bug us with your problems

    Don't tell us tales of woe

    What makes you think that we would care

    You have nowhere to go.

    You speak some other language

    Refugees from outer space

    If we let you live with us

    You'll just be outa place.

     

    Bridge : Vocalist No.2

    Is that your wife and children?

    Are you a family man?

    We don't want space refugees

    So go home while you can

    Get home while you can.

     

    Chorus by 'Mob'

    This is our planet

    And not for you to share

    We're quite sure we want it all

    We think that's only fair.

     

    Verse 3 : Vocalist No.1 (Repeat Verse 1)

    So if you travel from a distant star

    Down to planet Earth

    Searching for some refuge

    In our universe.

    We may not make you welcome

    We may not lend a hand

    And send you off to struggle

    Back in your own land.

     


     

    Don't listen to Justin.
    LCK - 2/21/2012

    Comment


    • Lee Knight
      Lee Knight commented
      Editing a comment

      You speak some other language

      Big round eyes and a lime green face 

      If we let you live with us

      You'll just be outa place

       

       

      I dig it, Philster!!! Nice work.  BTW, the gang vocal is the funnest part. You throw a neighborhood BBQ and teach everyone the chorus real quick and open up the mics! Doesn't have to be perfect. These are Earth people, we're not perfect. Cool tune.


    • oldgitplayer
      oldgitplayer commented
      Editing a comment

      Oswlek wrote:

      Sweet!  I really like the verses thematically and melodically.  I'm not a huge fan of the chorus, it didn't pop enough for me but I suppose if it were really a chorus of people that might help.  The bridge is cool, I like the idea of a second voice doing that one.

      There were several lyric spots that felt off to me, I'll highlight them below:


      Verse 1 : Vocalist No.1

      If you travel from a distant star

      Down to planet Earth

      Searching for some refuge

      In our universe. - ("Universe" is everything, "galaxy" fits the meaning better, but I'd consider dropping this idea altogether)

      'Universe' works for me - it is where we all live - them and us, in our shared universe.

      We may not make you welcome

      We may not lend a hand - A good line, but the prosody is off, "may" should get the first downbeat stress, with "we" hitting the last upbeat of the prior measure)

      You're absolutely right about this one, but it's just me coming in to early and stuffing up. The line works when sung on the right stress.

      And send you off to struggle

      Back in your own land.  (I'd almost prefer you just repeated the two lines above)

       

      Chorus by 'Mob'

      This is our planet

      And not for you to share

      We're quite sure we want it all

      We think that's only fair. (I don't hate this, but I don't love it, and this should be one of the coolest parts of the entire song)

      I rather like this line, but we Brits do 'facetious' with a straight face  and tea and biscuits.

       

      Verse 2 : Vocalist No.1

      Don't bug us with your problems

      Don't tell us tales of woe

      What makes you think that we would care

      You have nowhere to go.

      You speak some other language

      Refugees from outer space

      If we let you live with us

      You'll just be outa place.

       

      Bridge : Vocalist No.2

      Is that your wife and children?

      Are you a family man?

      We don't want space refugees

      So go home while you can

      Get home while you can.

       

      Chorus by 'Mob'

      This is our planet

      And not for you to share

      We're quite sure we want it all

      We think that's only fair.

       

      Verse 3 : Vocalist No.1 (Repeat Verse 1)

      So if you travel from a distant star

      Down to planet Earth

      Searching for some refuge

      In our universe.

      We may not make you welcome

      We may not lend a hand

      And send you off to struggle

      Back in your own land.

       


       


      Both you and Lee K have suggested getting the chorus sung so it really sounds like a mob - I'll definitely get that done somehow.

      BTW - my other comments are alongside your red ones, but in blue.

      Thanks for the input.


  • #4
    Cool concept.

    I'll +1 the comments for stronger language especially in the chorus.


    We need it all
    We get to say whats fair.
    This is our planet
    And not for you to share
    ...

    Comment


    • oldgitplayer
      oldgitplayer commented
      Editing a comment

      rhino55 wrote:
      Cool concept.

      I'll +1 the comments for stronger language especially in the chorus.

      Glad you like the idea. I still like the concept (and it's still highly topical in Australian politics and media), even though it's about 2 years now since I wrote it. So I'll persevere.......

      I think the song's structure and instrumentation can stay, but I'm looking at 10% change in vocal melody and maybe 25% rewriting of the lyric.



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