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Would Like Some Input On A Song: Well Runs Dry

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  • Would Like Some Input On A Song: Well Runs Dry

    Here is a song I wrote entitled Well Runs Dry.

    https://soundcloud.com/benjaminstoller/well-runs-dry

    I'd like to get some feedback on the song itself. I can't sing or play worth a damn, but I could see more talented performers making something of my songs.

    Here are the lyrics:

    Well Runs Dry - by Ben Stoller © 2014

    Verse:
    My radio was drowned out by the factory siren
    Workers lined up for their hard earned pay
    I had to get away from the boredom and dejection
    I tried to keep believing but it slipped away

    Verse:
    I hitched a ride down southbound Highway 67
    In no real hurry to get anywhere
    Scored a ride in the back of a beat up Chevy pickup
    Lay against my duffel bag in the open air

    Verse:
    We found each other in a downtown cafe
    You were reading poetry and drinking tea
    We talked about the war and we talked about music
    You were trying to decide what you wanted to be.

    Verse:
    The campus clock tower showed quarter after four
    I walked you home under your neighborhood trees,
    A Palladian villa with columns and tall windows
    Surprised you'd want to be seen with somebody like me?

    Verse:
    We got a small apartment in the south-end of the Village
    All the poets and actors you'd want to meet
    We danced that night and rode home in a carriage
    Pulled by two horses through the city streets

    Solo over verse chords

    Verse:
    She headed back home on that rainy day in fall
    From the train window she waved goodbye
    She said we'd keep on going but I knew that wouldn't happen.
    You never miss your water until the well runs dry

    Chorus:
    Slurries of mud banks and stones
    Champagne and plans postponed
    There ain’t no denying that I’m addicted to you
    Had to find out the hard way
    Maybe we’ll meet again some day

    Verse:
    We lost each other in open waters,
    swimming back through the undertow
    We sailed through the sorrows of life's marauders
    And crashed into the shore, how was I to know.

    Verse:
    We are the shadows of our own making
    We’ve all been hurt, it's our destiny
    She was chasing butterflies, puppy dogs, and rainbows
    I was following train tracks into the sea

    (chorus)
    Last edited by BenStoller; 07-06-2014, 12:03 PM.

  • #2
    I immediately liked the vibe of the song. A slight sense of Jim Croce. A good thing!

    Your vocals work nicely for this song. Don't knock them.

    A thought the verses went on too long before hitting the chorus.

    Lyrics held my interest as a story song.

    The chorus, melodically, was not up to the level of the verses. I think it could be finessed to work however. The verses tell a tail, and the story grows in tension, but the chorus, to me, doesn't release it musically.

    Keep it going!!! I REALLY like what is taking root here.
    Last edited by rickidoo; 07-06-2014, 05:48 PM.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><i>&quot;Now and then... occasionally... it seems to have.... too many notes&quot;</i><br></div>

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it's a good narrative song, but I see opportunities for refinement. Here are my thoughts:

      1. A number of the lines have too many syllables so the singer is forced to rush them. for example
      Surprised you'd want to be seen with somebody like me? would sing better as Surprised you'd want to be with someone like me?
      and
      You never miss your water until the well runs dry would sing better as You never miss your water 'til the well runs dry
      There are others, but I'll leave you to do the exercise of finding them.

      2. The song is 5 minutes long, and it could be shortened if you want. The 1st two verses are surplus to the needs of the song. Consider dropping them and start the song with 'We found each other…...'
      I find it a more interesting opener than you being bored and dejected and hitching a ride on the back of a pickup - done to death - yawn…….

      3. I agree with Rick that the Chorus is melodically less than the verses. I too would suggest you work on that.
      But also the subject matter of the Chorus misses an opportunity. It's an old technique, but has stood the test of time. That is - using the song title as a melodic and lyric hook that repeats.
      Where you finish the verse with You never miss your water 'til the well runs dry - Keep that but re-introduce it again in the chorus.
      And sustain the metaphor in the Chorus. You can develop something better than this (which is off the top of my head), but something like:

      When a well runs dry you still need water
      You can look to the earth or for rain in the sky
      Some things we take for granted and learn the hard way
      That you never miss the water 'til the well runs dry


      Anyway - chew this over and see if there's anything you can use…….
      '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

      Comment


      • #4
        Kinda cool, but it's like 3 minutes in to the song before you get to the chorus.

        Might want to shorten up the verses and get to the chorus sooner.

        That's might be just me

        Chorus:
        Slurries of mud banks and stones
        Champagne and plans postponed
        There ain’t no denying that I’m addicted to you
        Had to find out the hard way
        Maybe we’ll meet again some day


        Verse:
        She headed back home on that rainy day in fall
        From the train window she waved goodbye
        She said we'd keep on going but I knew that wouldn't happen.
        You never miss your water until the well runs dry

        What I might suggest it to take the best parts of the that verse that mentions the well running dry and the best of the chorus and get yourself a chorus that hits home.

        I'm suggesting some thing like this

        From the mud banks of stones
        Champagne plans postponed
        Found out the hard way, will meet again someday
        From the train window she waved goodbye

        You never miss your water until the well runs dry


        I would also edit out all unnecessary works from the verses.

        example

        hitched a ride southbound Highway 67
        No hurry to get anywhere
        Scored a ride in a beat up pickup
        Laying against my duffel bag, in the open air
        _____________________________________
        Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
        Bye bye OJ it's been fun!
        Join Date: Aug 2001
        Location: N. Adams, MA USA
        Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rickidoo View Post
          I immediately liked the vibe of the song. A slight sense of Jim Croce. A good thing!

          Your vocals work nicely for this song. Don't knock them.

          A thought the verses went on too long before hitting the chorus.

          Lyrics held my interest as a story song.

          The chorus, melodically, was not up to the level of the verses. I think it could be finessed to work however. The verses tell a tail, and the story grows in tension, but the chorus, to me, doesn't release it musically.

          Keep it going!!! I REALLY like what is taking root here.
          Thanks, rick! People used to tell me I looked like Jim Croce when I was younger. Not so much any more.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by oldgitplayer View Post
            I think it's a good narrative song, but I see opportunities for refinement. Here are my thoughts:

            1. A number of the lines have too many syllables so the singer is forced to rush them. for example
            Surprised you'd want to be seen with somebody like me? would sing better as Surprised you'd want to be with someone like me?
            and
            You never miss your water until the well runs dry would sing better as You never miss your water 'til the well runs dry
            There are others, but I'll leave you to do the exercise of finding them.

            2. The song is 5 minutes long, and it could be shortened if you want. The 1st two verses are surplus to the needs of the song. Consider dropping them and start the song with 'We found each other…...'
            I find it a more interesting opener than you being bored and dejected and hitching a ride on the back of a pickup - done to death - yawn…….

            3. I agree with Rick that the Chorus is melodically less than the verses. I too would suggest you work on that.
            But also the subject matter of the Chorus misses an opportunity. It's an old technique, but has stood the test of time. That is - using the song title as a melodic and lyric hook that repeats.
            Where you finish the verse with You never miss your water 'til the well runs dry - Keep that but re-introduce it again in the chorus.
            And sustain the metaphor in the Chorus. You can develop something better than this (which is off the top of my head), but something like:

            When a well runs dry you still need water
            You can look to the earth or for rain in the sky
            Some things we take for granted and learn the hard way
            That you never miss the water 'til the well runs dry


            Anyway - chew this over and see if there's anything you can use…….
            I tried the song without the first two verses and a chorus after the verse about the girl's neighborhood, and it's like the difference between an album cut and a pop song. But it works! I'll re-record it in the new format. I'll also fool around with your other suggestions.

            Thanks for your help!
            Ben

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mikeo View Post
              Kinda cool, but it's like 3 minutes in to the song before you get to the chorus.

              Might want to shorten up the verses and get to the chorus sooner.

              That's might be just me

              Chorus:
              Slurries of mud banks and stones
              Champagne and plans postponed
              There ain’t no denying that I’m addicted to you
              Had to find out the hard way
              Maybe we’ll meet again some day


              Verse:
              She headed back home on that rainy day in fall
              From the train window she waved goodbye
              She said we'd keep on going but I knew that wouldn't happen.
              You never miss your water until the well runs dry

              What I might suggest it to take the best parts of the that verse that mentions the well running dry and the best of the chorus and get yourself a chorus that hits home.

              I'm suggesting some thing like this

              From the mud banks of stones
              Champagne plans postponed
              Found out the hard way, will meet again someday
              From the train window she waved goodbye

              You never miss your water until the well runs dry


              I would also edit out all unnecessary works from the verses.

              example

              hitched a ride southbound Highway 67
              No hurry to get anywhere
              Scored a ride in a beat up pickup
              Laying against my duffel bag, in the open air
              Good suggestions, Mike! I'm eliminating the first two verses and adding another chorus to make it an AAB-AAB-AAB format. I'll think about your suggestions when re-writing it.

              Thanks!
              Ben

              Comment


              • #8
                oldgitplayer is right about the wordy ness of the lyrics. There not much breathing room
                _____________________________________
                Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
                Bye bye OJ it's been fun!
                Join Date: Aug 2001
                Location: N. Adams, MA USA
                Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey Ben, listening over here and I still feel like this song is begging to be a 2:30 pleasure ride. I know you wanted to see how it sounded to stretch things in a different direction, but it feels to me like you are working against what the song wants. I like that you are looking at a more standard format, but I'd consider dropping even more verses and run with a AABABAB format.

                  Oh, and I still think that you might want to rewrite the chorus to something that pops a little more.
                  Don't listen to Justin.
                  LCK - 2/21/2012

                  Comment



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