Jump to content

Lyrical Help - PT 137


richardmac

Recommended Posts

  • Members

My late grandfather fought in the Pacific in WW2 on a PT boat. I've been doing some research about it because I'm trying to write a song about him. It's interesting how the PT boats would attack big huge battleships... they'd basically charge right at the ship, with the ship firing at them the whole time, they'd launch torpedoes, and then swing around and haul ass away, sometimes setting up a smokescreen. Anyway, I'm working on the chorus for this song, and it's got issues, so I'm wondering if any kind soul could suggest some improvements. The current rough draft:

 

We'd go in full throttle

In spite of the gunfire

We'd launch our torpedoes and pray

We'd set up a smoke screen

And pull a 180

We'd open the engines and pray

we'd make it out OK

 

It says what I want it to say, but I don't like:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

A great subject is war ( to write about , not participate in !!!)

 

What those guys did took massive guile and was pretty close ( obviously not quite the same ) to what was asked of the Kamikaze pilots ... there were facing some very long odds.

 

My approach to this is that you have a subject matter that should allow great emotion , and , a real chance to hook the listener . So one should attempt to make them ( the listener) feel as if they are the ones sitting in that puny PT boat ....

 

Don't tell the listener how it feels ; make them experience and feel it for themselves .

How would it feel ?? Some folks would act brave and some would pee their pants ......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

We'd go in full throttle

In spite of the gunfire

We'd launch our torpedoes and pray

We'd set up a smoke screen

And pull a 180

And while the bullets sprayed....

 

We'd be........

 

A ship in a bottle

exposed to that fire

Running for sheltering bay

Through the smoke and explosions

We'd pray for deliverance

To fight again......

One more day

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Wow - great ideas, all! Thanks - I really appreciate it. Got to sit down and have a go at this. I talked to my aunt about it (my grandfather's daughter) - she says she has some old letters and newspaper articles. I can't wait to see them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

We'd go in full throttle

In spite of the gunfire

We'd launch our torpedoes and pray

We'd set up a smoke screen

And pull a 180

And blow them to hell with our

machine guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuns!

 

Gotta hold that last note with some wicked vibrato in order for it to work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Second verse:

 

Let's go blast them bad guys

right into the skyyyyy

Look o'er the side of the boat

a leg goes floating byyyyyyy

 

It's floating, it's floating

a leg goes floating by

Yes floating, it's floating

belonged to some bad guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

The credibility of your lyrics really depends a lot on your technical knowledge of the equipment, the combat operations of your subject and the nautical and period-speak to keep your audience engaged.

 

 

I like that you are approaching this from the aspect of keeping the listener engaged ; That would seemingly be job one !!!

 

 

But ;

 

I personally don't know that most folks are going to be immersed in the nomenclature or tactical jargon.... I think telling an overall griping story should be the ultimate priority; and since it' a short song ,it can't be encyclopedic ....

 

I'd go for the jugular and try to get an emotive response from the listener ...

 

Like I said in my earlier post , War is hell and should be easy subject matter to work with ... I do understand the inclination to want to get to all the awesome details involved of how those guys were putting all on the line .. but I think that the focus should be the putting it all on the line part !! thats the most universally interesting part of it !!!!

 

I just figure that you need to be quick about it since so many listeners seem to be afflicted with ADH now days !!:p

 

 

Anyhow , I thought I'd have a go at it ; I tried to emphasize the the facts that overall long odds made it such a brave and courageous thing , and ; to get at the emotions felt by the folks doing it !!! But it's just the way I would approach it , so YMMV !

 

 

Cheers !

 

 

We bring a crazed attack to your mighty steel battleship.....

 

Charging into the withering fire ; it seems a one way trip.....

 

Full of faith and bluster , in a scant wood torpedo boat ......

 

We launch our goods and speed away ; god is on our side we gloat !...........

 

And don't think we'll be sorry, if we don't get away.........

 

Cause that's our job, and this is the way , we blow you all to hell today ........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

We'd clutch life by the sails

Despite the fire raining down

Set a hungry fish upon their ship

As the explosion rocks the moving ground

All the while we're spinning round

In the smog afterglow we bathe

As we pray to see another day

Made it out OK (optional? lol)

 

I realize I'm late to the party, and this verse is probably too cryptic and musically impractical for you, but I figure it's worth a shot. :p You can use any of this imagery or the ideas.. this whole verse is basically yours, as far as I'm concerned. Take any of it or leave it all, your call.

 

 

Upon searching for alternatives to "torpedo", apparently they're also called fish? So I figure you could add an adjective to that line to make it easier for some folk to deduce if it's too out there..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

We'd go in full throttle

In spite of the gunfire

We'd launch our torpedoes and pray


We'd set up a smoke screen

And pull a 180

Look at the next guy and say...


"I hope we make it out OK"

 

 

I think this is a good direction. It brings the human element into the equation. It's not a story about a PT Boat. It's a story about scared brave young men risking their lives for the better good. THAT'S a story that has resonance with the world. And that's what has inspired you to write it; the personal connection you have. You could go all sorts of directions with it. You could take the tact of a grandson looking at a kindly old grampa and wondering what it must have been like for him. Or you could allude to the fact that if he failed you never would have been born. Or you could say, "Gee, if he did all that, maybe I shouldn't gripe about my easy life.

 

Lots of possibilities. What does the story mean to you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...