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The Whiskey Waltz (lyrics)


Dingoist

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The other day driving home from work I had the line pop in my head:

 

I kept on drinking,

until I was

beautiful.

 

 

After some reflection upon the beats, it lent itself to a waltz structure. In fact, what kept on going through my brain was Tom Waits after a few, crooning The Tennessee Waltz... In fact, the melody stuck in my brain is similar (not the same, but I need to pull it out on a piano since it doesn't seem to want to formalize with the guitar)

 

I kept having trouble with the lyrics, but on a small break today I scribbled this out

 

 

The Whiskey Waltz

------------------------

I remember

summer nights

when you would come to call

and I thought that

it would last

'till the end

 

But you left since,

never returned

saying the truth was, I was not the one

and I hope that

you feel some

regret

 

Started think'n

and drink'n

perhaps I wasn't handsome enough

I kept drinking

'till I was

beautful

 

It was special

something special

the nights you'd come to call

I still hope that

you feel some

regret

 

Keep on think'n

and drink'n

perhaps I wasn't handsome enough

I'm still drinking

'till I'll be

beautiful

 

Now some of the beats are not perfect, and sometimes I have to many syllables or too few, but a bit of slurring I can make it through (like I said, this song to me so far feels like a bar piano growly Tennessee Waltz theme).

 

I couldn't really settle on a chorus, but instead of a some variations upon repetition. I'm not sure it still flows fully and may need something to extend the story a bit (boy meets girl, girl leaves, boy drinks a lot and has trouble getting over girl).

 

Opinions?

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I like the idea about "drinking until I was beautiful."

That proposes alot of interesting questions that arent really explored.

 

I think it would flow better for my taste if you worked in some rhymes and lost the one about thinkn' and drinkn'. Thats one of those ones thats best to stay away from IMO.

 

Another idea is to have the boy drink until she was beautiful when they met. Now that she is gone he is drinking until he is beautiful.

 

Hope that helps

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I think you're on the right track with this one. I like the simplicity of your verses. For its lack of rhyme it really has a nice cadance. The thinkin'/drinkin' thing might be an issue and could probably be better. I agree with Rhino on that...

 

But I love the story and the way you tell it.

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Rhino, Lee,

 

Thanks guys, it all helps.

 

Yep, "think'n/drinking" has to go. It was more of a filler at the end as I was struggling to close up some gaps I had.

 

This one has been hard, and I've been a bit obsessing over it. I had the concept, and the line about being beautiful a week ago. It took until Friday until I had the melody conceptually there, but no lyrics would follow until yesterday -- and I ran out of steam near the end and tried to find inspiration in mediocre predictable rhyme. That'll get tossed when I get a chance to sit down with it tonight.

 

I really see this one as a piano tune, except that I've barely touched a piano in twenty years. :) So that will take some effort.

 

As for rhyming, I'm not going to force it but if I see some good loose rhymes I might see how they work in. For something like this, I really wanted a strong cadence reinforced by the waltz structure -- rhyme was secondary on this one. I found myself counting syllables, and choosing words that had specific up/down accents.

 

I was mulling over a verse about wiping away the tears to see the glass, or something about misty eyes, but I'm also thinking that's going a bit over-melodramatic.

 

Thanks for the feedback folks.

 

I'll be using this song to justify buying a midi keyboard (playing the piano at night might wake the kids, which I don't want to do, and during the day I have little time besides work and kids). Once I have some revisions, and I get something basic down I'll put it up for further critique.

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Rhino, Lee,


Thanks guys, it all helps.


Yep, "think'n/drinking" has to go. It was more of a filler at the end as I was struggling to close up some gaps I had.


This one has been hard, and I've been a bit obsessing over it. I had the concept, and the line about being beautiful a week ago. It took until Friday until I had the melody conceptually there, but no lyrics would follow until yesterday -- and I ran out of steam near the end and tried to find inspiration in mediocre predictable rhyme. That'll get tossed when I get a chance to sit down with it tonight.


I really see this one as a piano tune, except that I've barely touched a piano in twenty years.
:)
So that will take some effort.


As for rhyming, I'm not going to force it but if I see some good loose rhymes I might see how they work in. For something like this, I really wanted a strong cadence reinforced by the waltz structure -- rhyme was secondary on this one. I found myself counting syllables, and choosing words that had specific up/down accents.


I was mulling over a verse about wiping away the tears to see the glass, or something about misty eyes, but I'm also thinking that's going a bit over-melodramatic.


Thanks for the feedback folks.


I'll be using this song to justify buying a midi keyboard (playing the piano at night might wake the kids, which I don't want to do, and during the day I have little time besides work and kids). Once I have some revisions, and I get something basic down I'll put it up for further critique.

 

I'm excited to hear it. I wouldnt force the rhymes if thats not what you are feeling.

 

Thats actually pretty cool that you only had to sit on it a week. I've had a few that sat, or kept getting re-written, for more than a year. :D

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Sat down and sang it out to the wife. She suggested a few changes, and I found some spots that don't flow when sung (too many syllables, doesn't make as much sense). This version has a better progression to it.

 

The Whiskey Waltz (2nd iteration)

I remember

summer nights

when you would come to call

and I thought that

it would last

'till the end

 

since you've left

never returned

saying the truth, I'm not the one

and I hope that

you feel some

regret

 

Started think'n

and drink'n

perhaps I wasn't handsome

I kept drinking

'till I was

beautful

 

It was special

something special

the nights you'd come to call

I hope that

you know what

you've lost

 

Keep on think'n

and drink'n

perhaps I wasn't handsome

I'm still drinking

'till I'll be

beautiful

 

 

The wife suggested adding a final verse, to make it cyclic -- finding another person that "comes to call". The sense that another lady starts to sit next to the Gentleman Alcoholic at the bar that takes the place of the first who now has left. It was a great idea, I've just got to find a way to word it and have it make sense.

 

She also suggested, instead of repeating the line about regret twice, have it go up a notch, so instead it now goes "I hope that you know what you've lost", so now that he's been drinking and beautiful, he's a bit more cocky/arrogant with boozy courage.

 

I still haven't removed think'n/drink'n -- and though I'm not completely happy with it, my wife didn't mind it and actually thought having the main character trying to identify with a cliche worked for her.

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Thats actually pretty cool that you only had to sit on it a week. I've had a few that sat, or kept getting re-written, for more than a year.
:D

 

I've been pretty much obsessed with this one. Most songs don't do that to me, but this one I haven't been able to shake from my brain. I wake up thinking about it, and go to sleep trying to work out details. It's getting a bit annoying :eek:

 

I've had a couple of songs float about -- I still have my un-submitted entry to December's challenge of the month partially recorded. Hell, I still occasionally dredge up a song from 14 years ago (just before a long song writing hiatus) that I try to work on.

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1) perhaps I wasn't handsome

 

2) perhaps I wasn't handsome enough

 

 

I haven't heard it yet, and I'd never suggest sacrificing the flow and meter and cadence of a song for a word... but to me... if you could, I'd keep "enough".

 

The word is so informative about the state of mind of the protagonist and his perception of the state of mind of his love interest. That one word says a lot. And it's clever.

 

Enough. I'd keep if you can. If you can make it work. How about singing it the way your revised version is but tacking on the enough as a separated phrase. It might even accentuate the effect in a positive way...

 

?

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I'll give it a try to keep it. I like it too.

 

Thanks for kicking that back into the idea grinder -- I'm hoping to get a first pass / low quality recording by this weekend, especially if the kids are over playing with the neighbors kids -- it gives me a few hours to be louder and try to crank something together..

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