Jump to content

I Missed the Moment


uab9253

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Someone suggested that I post this in its own thread - which makes total sense. I originally had it with my other song. It's just a sketch - began tracking instruments last week.

Thoughts?

[YOUTUBE]RUAoRSRPoS8[/YOUTUBE]

 

Lyrics:

 

I missed the moment

You dropped the phone call

I made a wrong turn

You hit a brick wall

 

Didn't understand your signals

They came out way too complicated

And it went away

 

 

I missed the moment

You left the light on

I couldn't find it

You kept the shades drawn

 

Going forward, looking backward

Blind to all that's being offered

And it goes away

 

I cannot stay

 

 

Chorus:

In the months that turn our Mays into Decembers

Hours eating minutes killing time

The problem is that we forget how to remember

The moments that we missed we cannot find

 

 

I missed the moment

You kept a secret

I couldn't hear you

You didn't speak it

 

I don't why you didn't tell me

It could have changed the way the world turns

But it went away

 

 

Chorus:

In the months that turn our Mays into Decembers

Hours eating minutes killing time

The problem is that we forget how to remember

The moments that we missed we cannot find

 

 

Bridge:

No one knows you anymore

I'm the only one who's standing at your door

The cross you bear is laying on the ground on front of me

And it's fading away....

 

 

Chorus:

In the months that turn our Mays into Decembers

Hours eating minutes killing time

The problem is that we forget how to remember

The moments that we missed we cannot find

 

I missed the moment

You lost the battle

I tried to help you

It didn't matter

 

Didn't understand your signals

Coulda swore you needed saving

But you went away

 

You could not stay

 

I missed the moment, but it went away

I missed the moment, but it went away

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

You know what? I really like this, except I read the words first before listening, and I REALLY didn't expect the type of sort of...almost neutrally happy or optimistic kind of tune / guitar playing that it had. I expected a much more melancholy tune of sorrow! I do like it though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Nice. I'd say it's too long, though. You could cut out the last verse. You could swing out of the bridge; do a final chorus; and end with the opening "I missed the moment" repeated. The last verse doesn't seem necessary. In fact in each verse you skim over the top of the relationship metaphorically. I didn't sense much development in the lyric/relationship; just restating the premise a little differently each time. But I only listened once, and I miss much the first time through anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Sorry I didn't comment earlier. I listened when you first posted it but I've been swamped. I like this a lot... with a couple of observation/comments.

 

First the good:

 

Great feel and vibe.

 

Great balance of the back and forth lines. Almost a call and response motif that makes for a cool form hook.

 

Cool imagery.

 

Interesting, memorable rhymes and cadence.

 

 

My reservations:

 

Too long, as mentioned. I think you could pare down the amount of lyrics to only the best stuff. The stuff that really stays true to the point of view of each of the characters. I feel a little uncertain as to what's happening. "Dropped the phone/hit a brick wall". I like that, now explain it. I think simplicity could help focus it. You've got a lot of impressionistic images. Left the light on, etc. Make sure they all work to inform and not confuse. Point them in the same direction.

 

Then, the "chorus". I don't really see it as a chorus, it feels more like a bridge/release. Either way, you're staying in the exact same melodic range as your other sections. This adds to the confusion and misses the opportunity to break things up as well. You need to... go somewhere in those sections.

 

Contrast. Rhythmically, melodically, range... break it up. You do a great job of that internally in the verse sections.

 

So, my reactions are that this is a very cool pop tune that only needs to be further focused. It works very well as is but I know it could be very solid professional pop with some basic refinement. Very cool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Thanks for the good comments - I too am worrying about the length. It is about a guy who is trying to help someone with a substance abuse problem who is being dodgy.

 

I think I can make the chorus more of a chorus with some harmony and some stuff. I was actually going to cut a chorus and not a verse.

 

Thanks for the feedback- it is stuff to think about for sure! Much better than the fawning my friends do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Thanks for the good comments - I too am worrying about the length. It is about a guy who is trying to help someone with a substance abuse problem who is being dodgy.


I think I can make the chorus more of a chorus with some harmony and some stuff. I was actually going to cut a chorus and not a verse.


Thanks for the feedback- it is stuff to think about for sure! Much better than the fawning my friends do.

 

That points out a good point (?). Imaginary language is a wonderful tool to raise up a situation to poetic metaphor. But it doesn't exist on it's own. It's the frosting that gives decoration and memorablity to truth. Sometimes we get all caught up in the imagery and miss the cake. Not that I'm any saint at this. (I'm teaching myself at your expense right now ;) ;) ;) ).

 

I get the feeling that you love to revel in your clever imagery. And you're good at it. But I'm missing the gist of the story. It's harder to find (of course I've only listened once, and I'm notoriously light in understanding on the first time through a song). So, maybe, reduce the metaphors to one or two juicy ones and get about telling a story.

 

(Or not. Feel free to ignore what I say. Most intelligent people do).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

That points out a good point (?). Imaginary language is a wonderful tool to raise up a situation to poetic metaphor. But it doesn't exist on it's own. It's the frosting that gives decoration and memorablity to truth. Sometimes we get all caught up in the imagery and miss the cake. Not that I'm any saint at this. (I'm teaching myself at your expense right now
;)
;)
;)
).


I get the feeling that you love to revel in your clever imagery. And you're good at it. But I'm missing the gist of the story. It's harder to find (of course I've only listened once, and I'm notoriously light in understanding on the first time through a song). So, maybe, reduce the metaphors to one or two juicy ones and get about telling a story.


(Or not. Feel free to ignore what I say. Most intelligent people do).

 

That's kind of what I was getting at. Though I've seen stories told in all metaphor. It works. But not quite here I don't think. I mean, it does, but I think would be more effective to point those metaphors in a clearer direction.

 

"It is about a guy who is trying to help someone with a substance abuse problem who is being dodgy."

 

That sounds like you have a great idea for a song. But you've only alluded to this in the song itself. That's fine and all... but... I think it'd be better to speak to the situation more in some direct language as well.

 

But I need to say again, I really like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Both are good points, but I had somebody nail it right away about the lyrics - she got the story, perhaps because she is going thru something similar. One thing I want to do is leave it a bit open. I've gotten banged up in the past for lyrics that were too obvious - but maybe I've swung it too far the other way.

I thought the last verse made the whole thing more obvious?

 

One uber imagery thing that I think is not obvious, but I kind of like is "the cross you bear is laying on the ground in front of me" maybe I should change it to bore...but the line is about the addiction becoming death - the cross on the ground marks the grave.

 

I don't know. I'm gonna let it stew for awhile and take a snip or two at it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It's so convenient that the first months of both autumn and winter rhyme with remember... ;)

 

This feels kind of long and rambling. I'm not sure the bridge really works for me musically, and it seems to come after I've already thinking I'm getting a little worn out.

 

The wordplay is fun in places; some places it makes good sense (always nice when your word tricks augment the meaning and message) -- but in other places, it feels more like a bit of an exercise, that the lyrics are just there for their apposition to each other. Clever, for me, usually only works when it serves the message.

 

I like the overall feel but, musically, between the insistent strum and the repeated rise and fall of the melody, I really feel like it should about 50-60% as long. (Admittedly, I think it's a pretty extraordinary song that justifies over 3-1/2 minutes, by and large.) I think I'd cut the repetition and the least strong elements, the stuff that doesn't really move the song forward -- that's my thinking. (And maybe roll that bridge around in your head and see if it's really going where you want it to go, doing what it needs to do musically and lyrically.)

 

Good job but I think it'll be just that much stronger with some tightening and tweaking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It's so convenient that the first months of both autumn and winter rhyme with remember... ;)

 

This feels kind of long and rambling. I'm not sure the bridge really works for me musically, and it seems to come after I've already thinking I'm getting a little worn out.

 

The wordplay is fun in places; some places it makes good sense (always nice when your word tricks augment the meaning and message) -- but in other places, it feels more like a bit of an exercise, that the lyrics are just there for their apposition to each other. Clever, for me, usually only works when it serves the message.

 

I like the overall feel but, musically, between the insistent strum and the repeated rise and fall of the melody, I really feel like it should about 50-60% as long. (Admittedly, I think it's a pretty extraordinary song that justifies over 3-1/2 minutes, by and large.) I think I'd cut the repetition and the least strong elements, the stuff that doesn't really move the song forward -- that's my thinking. (And maybe roll that bridge around in your head and see if it's really going where you want it to go, doing what it needs to do musically and lyrically.)

 

Good job but I think it'll be just that much stronger with some tightening and tweaking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Thanks - I definitely am going to trim. I still think I might trim one of the choruses - and the bridge needs work - I tried to take the whole thing to F as opposed to the chorus have F#m roots. I struggle with bridges. I wrote a song that did very well on the Soundclick charts this summer (went to #1 on Pop-Rock) it was a full studio version, very hooky, very summery and fun, but it didn't have a bridge and reviewers pummeled me for it. Be that as it may, it still doesn't have a bridge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I agree with Blue's comment about 50/60% of the current length being the right length for the song.

 

I personally liked the song's verse and pre-chorus, wasn't mad on the full chorus though - the first half seems a little weak - with less impact than the plain verses. It seemed to me that I had had enough almost after the first chorus though - once it goes back to the verse I know it's going to play out how i expect, which kinda turns me off a bit.

 

At 1.15 the chorus comes, by then it feels like we've had a bit a bit too much of the verse - perhaps a different intro, relating to the elements that come later in the song? I know this isn't easy as I struggle with this in my own bands, always trying to tell one of my singers that playing the chords through twice before the singing comes is a bit dull, especially as he repeats it on nearly every song until he sees the light and agrees with my interventions. Not saying that it doesn;t ever work but soemtimes it's nice to have a variation.

 

Try and fit it into 3 minutes. Look at the great songs that are under three minutes - are you really saying more than California Girls (Beach Boys) Do You Believe In Magic (Lovin' Spoonful) Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis) or People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield), to pick four examples from my current playlist? If you're honest with yourself, your song doesn't deserve more than twice as much airtime (yet!) as these.

 

sorry to come along like a 1950s jukebox manufacturer, but hey, I'm only trying to help;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I agree with Blue's comment about 50/60% of the current length being the right length for the song.


I personally liked the song's verse and pre-chorus, wasn't mad on the full chorus though - the first half seems a little weak - with less impact than the plain verses. It seemed to me that I had had enough almost after the first chorus though - once it goes back to the verse I know it's going to play out how i expect, which kinda turns me off a bit.


At 1.15 the chorus comes, by then it feels like we've had a bit a bit too much of the verse - perhaps a different intro, relating to the elements that come later in the song? I know this isn't easy as I struggle with this in my own bands, always trying to tell one of my singers that playing the chords through twice before the singing comes is a bit dull, especially as he repeats it on nearly every song until he sees the light and agrees with my interventions. Not saying that it doesn;t ever work but soemtimes it's nice to have a variation.


Try and fit it into 3 minutes. Look at the great songs that are under three minutes - are you really saying more than California Girls (Beach Boys) Do You Believe In Magic (Lovin' Spoonful) Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis) or People Get Ready (Curtis Mayfield), to pick four examples from my current playlist? If you're honest with yourself, your song doesn't deserve more than twice as much airtime (yet!) as these.


sorry to come along like a 1950s jukebox manufacturer, but hey, I'm only trying to help;)

 

Well, to be completely fair - I plan to trim and variation can come in via arrangements once tracking begins. You can do verse 1 sparse and verse two bigger, instrumentation wise - or even change up the beat, to add the spice of life.

 

I like short songs, but I also like longer songs that need the time. I don't know that Carry On Wayward So "deserves" 3x what Heartbreak Hotel has in terms of airtime, but I think it's a mistake to think like that. I use concise where concise serves the song. If I take your thought processes, the likely result is that my songs don't deserve any airtime compared to the great songs from the American Rock and Roll Standard songbook. I'm trying to say alot more than they are in those songs, but less than in American Pie.

 

The moment you start putting your songs against the greats and telling yourself they don't measure us is when you are done as a songwriter. You have to do what you and try to make it the best you can. It is up to the listener to determine it's relative worth. If I bumped every song I ever wrote against "In My Life" for example, I'd not only write no songs, I'd smash my guitar. And maybe kill myself. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • Members

Thanks R - Just a camcorder on a tripod - actually working it out in the studio. Yes, the C#m-Cm-Bm thing felt like the ultimate taboo chord progression but somehow worked. That tickles me b/c so much of what I write or come up with is so "standard".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Another thing I did that I think was pretty non standard was the main verse is based around A major, and the chorus is built off of F#m which is obviously the minor companion to A. But for the bridge I went to an F major based thing going back and forth to A. It works with a guitar underneath it but it's a bitch to try to do a cappella b/c that's an actual key change. I'm trying to more of that "ignoring the rules" kind of chord sequencing to see if I can come up with something unique.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
  • Members

I necro'd this thread rather than start a new one so you could see everyone's original suggestions/ideas and how I took some of that to heart in the final mix.

 

Here is the final mix - I did rearrange the song- strengthened some parts with harmony and took the repetitiveness out of it - I hope. This one came in at 4:59 - which I think the YouTube demo was closer to 5:40 or so.

 

Let me know what you think - after hearing both.

Thanks

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10376931

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Yes - Soundclick rapes the bit rate down to 128KB on the mp3 and for some reason, the vocals and other higher freq stuff jumps out front. On a cd, the vocal is tucked in a bit more, but still fairly out front.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

You are a fine composer, Alan. I'm going to have to keep your expansive abilities in mind when I hear your demos in the future because, again, you took something I was ambivalent about and made me really enjoy the final product.

 

On the final piece, my only critique is a rehash of Blue's comment from way back when.

 

 

This feels kind of long and rambling. I'm not sure the bridge really works for me musically, and it seems to come after I've already thinking I'm getting a little worn out.

 

 

I was just getting ready to wrap things up when the key change came in. It was interesting, but it didn't reinvigorate my interest enough to demand I listen to the rest. I did, of course, but in a different situation I might have clicked away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

You are a fine composer, Alan. I'm going to have to keep your expansive abilities in mind when I hear your demos in the future because, again, you took something I was ambivalent about and made me really enjoy the final product.


On the final piece, my only critique is a rehash of Blue's comment from way back when.




I was just getting ready to wrap things up when the key change came in. It was interesting, but it didn't reinvigorate my interest enough to demand I listen to the rest. I did, of course, but in a different situation I might have clicked away.

 

 

I'm glad you did - I struggled with the bridge/key change. I wanted to have all 4 verses in there to tell the story, as wrapped in metaphors as it is, and knew the the chorus wasn't strong enough musically to carry the listener all the way through. I put little guitar pieces in between the verses and even added the crystal chimes at one point.

 

I really had to simultaneously think as an arranger and composer and where the composition was struggling to get the win via arrangement elements. Several things I did in the song are probably considered musical no-no's but I did them anyway.

 

For instance the modulation that goes C#m-Cm-Bm, I don't know anyone who would say that chord change is a good idea, but I think I pulled it off - then the key change from being based in A/F#m to straight F and putting an A chord against that key, I'm sure breaks all the rules too, but I think maybe it works here.

 

Trying to break out of the box a bit and still write a pop song within the constraints of the format but twist it here and there. I'm not a seasoned or trained songwriter by any means, but as I learn, I hope that some of my mistakes will at least be interesting. I was able to shave almost a minute off of it.

 

Thanks for your kind words. I try to write a song bare bones and then let the recording process take it where it will go. There are thousands of choices/directions but I am both limited and empowered by the approach I take, which is to play/sing/produce/arrange everything myself. Just my limited vocal range narrows my melodies a bit, but I try to make up for it with plenty of tasty harmony.

 

Thanks again for listening. This was an interesting experiment to put a song out that was still such a newborn and bring back the finished product. The feedback I got here helped tremendously!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

The last verse doesn't seem necessary. In fact in each verse you skim over the top of the relationship metaphorically.

 

I appreciate the thought but the last verse is necessary - it is the death of the person who the narrator was trying to help. "I missed the moment, you lost the battle, I tried to help you, it didnt' matter. Didn't understand your signals, I could've sworn you needed saving, but you went away."

 

It's funny though, people keep hammering on the metaphors, but it's not really supposed to be a novel or a screenplay - it's a song. Songs don't have to tell a story all the time. A Horse With No Name? I mean, what the hell was that about? Wooly Bully anyone? ;)

 

I just find it surprising that a musician site has so much focus on the lyrics. Not that it's a bad thing but some of the comments seem more like laypeople comments or student criticisms from a high school poetry class, than actual musician/songwriting folks.

 

I've always been a music guy first, lyrics second, but I know most of the world doesn't work that way. I do thank anyone who takes the time to both listen and critique.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...