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Lyrics to A Cold Winters day

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  • Lyrics to A Cold Winters day

    These are the lyrics to a song I have been working on. Still trying to get the chord changes down. Let me know what you think. To me it seems like it might be a little disjointed and I either need to add a verse or lose one. Anyway-


    Had all the reasons

    But I didn't have rhyme

    Winters the season

    With the longest if night

    Knew all the pleasures

    But it wasn't no fun

    I killed a man

    For a life on the run

    So I headed West

    With no plan and no trade

    Where only the wind

    Could call me by name

    A place of no memories

    No friends or no foes

    To drift into ether

    Like whisps from a ghost


    The gallows is calling

    I'm a dead man they say

    For the heat of a moment

    On a cold winters day


    When I got to Shreveport

    Thought I was clean

    So I headed down

    To the town of Orleans

    Took to the docks

    Loading cotton and cane

    Never to see

    Sweet Virginia again

    Days they were long

    Nights they were hard

    No rest for the wicked

    Or a soul that's been scarred

    Tried to repent

    For the thing that I done

    Regrets I have many

    Hope I have none



    So I settled in

    To a life as not me

    Barrooms and shadows

    Cotton and cane

    Heard she could take

    The demons from dreams

    So I went to find

    A French Creole Queen

    Rattled the bones

    Rum did we drink

    And devils below

    Did both if us speak

    Faith it was tested

    Feeling did wane

    Weren't any spirits

    Just one man to blame



    From the sin I committed

    Could not escape

    Thoughts were filled

    Of that dying mans face

    I tried to drown them

    With bourbon and gin

    But judgement and jury

    Came from within

    Alone I did travel

    Alone I will die

    No entrance for me

    Through gates in the sky

    Mind it was battered

    Spirit was broke

    The gallows it came

    At the end if my rope

    The gallows it came

    At the end if my rope


    The gallows it called

    I'm a dead man they say

    Sorry for the length. Let me know.

  • #2
    Hey, Tony

    Sounds like you have a solid murder ballad here. As you note, it does look a little long on the page -- if it still feels that way when there's music under it, you could probably lose a few verses that don't contribute as directly as some of the others, people fill in gaps in songs -- in fact, that may be part of the fun for some.

    I think there might be a couple of typos, I noticed the word if in a few places it didn't seem to belong. I'm thinking it should have been 'end of my rope,' for instance. And if seems to have snuck into the fourth line of the first verse where no word was semantically needed. But I just worked around them. (And, heaven knows, I'm always finding typos in the lyrics of songs I posted to my personal blog, so, you know, don't feel like any kind of lone ranger, there.)

    Now, it can be difficult judging meter of a song without the music. I do have some minor concerns that you might have to do some creative use of rests and melisma to get some of the lyrical rhythms to work out.

    With regard to the ballad itself, I'm not certain the current flow of the story maintains impact and delivers quite the right emotional arc. (Something to think about if you tighten it up, edit it down.) A ballad, after all, is like any other story, you want to build a sense of empathy on some level for the character(s) so that folks will want to find out how things turn out. (Of course, the ending is often foretold in the chorus/refrain, but, if done right, that's part of the fun.)

    Seems like you've got a good start!

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    • #3
      Thank you. I typed that from a mobile device with auto spell. I do not know why it always picks if instead of of.

      When I sing it out loud the lyrics actually fit pretty well. Trying to find the right chords to make it work. I am a novice player at best.

      I almost feel as though I could lose verse about the "French Creole Queen" and give more back story earlier.

      Thanks again.


      • #4
        I think its pretty good.

        If you are planning on shortening it, I'd leave the Creole Queen and the bones section. I think it adds colour to the story.

        The verses are really 8 lines each, although you have set them out as 16 lines.

        How about reducing them from 8 to 6 lines each.
        'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.