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Something doesn't seem right. rhyme? rhythm? meter?


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I've been working on these lyrics, and I don't understand, why I can't figure out, why there seems to be something wrong. Every time I finish reading, I look back to try to catch what it is. I'm thinking that it is in the last verse, although by itself, it seems to read just fine. It may be that I have read over them too many times. Perhaps I need to take a break, and come back to it another day. I was hoping that someone would point me in the right direction.

 

Someone made the point that there is a difference working at lyrics on the computer, or on paper. I usually use pencil and paper, but I thought I'd try the computer. Could this be a problem?

 

Anyway, here it is, and I would appreciate any help.

 

ever since in youth you dare

a challenge time can harm you

never to return

the days are lost to night drawn near

after all the triumph

many things are left to do and so you

plan your work and work your plan

into your final year

 

from a dreary quarter

all be laid upon the table

heads will bow in pity

at the ear a mournful cry

seeking out the shelter

of the room from where you're able

mend the tattered feather

for you're soon to meet the sky

 

See the lightning flashing

taking picture of your fear

hear the thunder trashing

the serenity of rain

all along the outskirt

broken cloud reveal a heaven

only left inside you

comfort of the prayer remain

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To me, I loose the meter in the middle of the last verse. It feels liek there should be a break between "hear the thunder thrashing" and "the serenity of rain" which, if your following a two lines each rythm, there shouldn't be a break there. Kind of hard for me to tell without music.:)

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It seems to me that all of the verses scan almost the same if you use a "normal" accent pattern and manner of speaking, although various lines do have "grace syllables" that would have to be kind of hurried through. Most of the lines are basically "DA da DA da DA (da)", except for the fourth line in the first verse ("the days are lost..."). That's the line that seems different to me.

 

My suggestion is to leave the lyrics alone once you like them and turn to the chords and melody. If one verse does turn out to have a shorter or longer line or a different meter, simply use a slightly different melody for the affected lines. That will add interest, and indeed one might recommend having slightly different rhythmic patterns in the verses for variety.

 

I'd say you're in good shape!

 

-CAG

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Here a similar one from my opera workshop:

 

The Place I Have Lost

 

all my thinking's flying on burning wings

going back to shadowy grovetrees

where the air is so fragrant and sweet

all my memories in the spheres of time

 

they ignite burning heat of love

and recall all those golden days

oh my sweet dreams, so magic and haunting

oh you powers of the universe

 

you're the might that creates wonders of life

you're the hope that my pain will be gone

please accept my request for redemption

it's the last wish i have before i go

 

let the stars bridge the gap to my love

they belong to the realm of the past

please, my angels, collect all your forces

let's return to the place i have lost

let's return to the place i have lost

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Wacky syntax: "time challenges your youth" is quite blunt, and doesn't work well with the rhythm.

 

Perhaps when sung it would be more palatable, even if one decided not to swallow.

 

The German version seems to change the point around. This would make it hard to relay any understanding. FYI: it is about life nearing the end, and one preparing for that part of the journey. Making amends for wrong doing, before final judgement, and calming the fear of not knowing it's outcome. The purpose of poetry is to convey a thought or feeling in a manner that one would understand, without it being spelled out for you. Perhaps you would better understand the rap version.

 

if you live

y'all gotta try

time passes by

I wonder why

and what I give

I take in stride

for one will sigh

to hear me cry

to make amends

to all my friends

before the end

my time I spend

releasing fear

for why I'm here

I tell y'all why

I'm gonna die

 

I don't have a problem with the content, but with the manner in which it reads.

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I think it needs punctuation.

 

Beyond that, it reads a little too abstractly. Nothing concrete. Perhaps that's what you want, but if so ... then it won't really matter what you intend it to mean.

 

I'd guess with lyrics like these, you'd need a very strong melody. What I mean is that you don't have a chorus or a hook line, so you'll need something very melodic to make it work IMO. Check out "El Paso" for a good example.

 

Oh, and the notion that writing is better on pen & paper is better than the computer is up to the individual ... but I think it smacks of superstition -- not necessarily a bad thing, for writers need their quirks and rituals.

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