Jump to content

New song -- feedback? Originality check?


blue2blue

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Just wrote this song this afternoon and want to get some feedback before it gets set in my memory.

 

Of course, first off, originality check on the title. I googled it pretty thoroughly and didn't find anything but, whenever I come up with a good country title, I'm always paranoid it's been used before.

 

Next -- I know the music/melody aren't particularly original, even for country. I'm still working on that angle. But it feels like it wants these chords. (And, BTW, while the first and second verses have the same chords, the third and fourth are different from the first two, and each other. Just seemed like it wanted to be that way, too.)

 

Also, I know there are some weird noises in the guitar -- it sounds like it's the lead but it's actually the rhythm. Not sure why I didn't catch it -- stands out like a sore thumb to me now. Anyhow, the harmony and lead were on already so I just said, who cares, it's just a very rough first draft. But I wanted you to know I know. (And that it wasn't the lead.)

 

 

Anyhow, any criticism, suggestions, or thoughts, random or otherwise are welcome.

 

If They Could Put You in Jail for Dreaming

[192 kbps Mp3 stream]

 

Now here is my confession

I'm the guilty one

I knew just what I was doing

and now look at what I've done

 

there isn't any mystery

about just who's to blame

the saddest little crime in history

has been added to my name

 

CH

If They Could Put You in Jail for Dreaming...

I'd never walk the streets again

I'd be lying in my cell

telling stories to myself

and dreamin' bout what might have been

 

 

I stole a chance for happiness

then drove it into a ditch

I stole the secrets of hate and love

then I for-got which was which

 

CH

If They Could Put You in Jail for Dreaming...

I'd never be free again

I'd be lying in my cell

telling stories to myself

and dreamin' bout what might have been

 

 

I know my biggest crime

is something I didn't do

it's a shame and a sin

I didn't follow my whim

and steal away with you

 

CH

If They Could Put You in Jail for Dreaming...

I'd never walk the streets again

I'd be lying in my cell

telling stories to myself

and dreamin' bout what might have been

 

2007/10/18 TK Major

 

©2007, TK Major

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Like this song, blue. Nice writing.

 

Petty comment as follows:

 

The flow of your last verse is the best. On the other verses, IMO, you could eliminate a couple of unnecessary words and/or slightly rephrase a couple of lines (using pretty much the same words) to improve the flow of the lyrics dramatically.

 

For example: "The saddest crime in history," instead of "the saddest little crime in history," would flow better to my ears in that spot and still say pretty much the same thing.

 

I wouldn't touch the chorus, or chord progression, though. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Overall: Good song with a nice easy melody -- although I think you deliver it with an earthy Americana-singer/songwriter type of vibe ( a la John Prine) rather than a country song.....

 

Cant think of any criticisms

 

Suggestions? Maybe raise the key, only because your voice (on the demo) sounds like its struggling/bottoming out a little bit at the lower register, but that is really nitpicking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Blue,

 

Good stuff. Your vocals seemed to vascilate between edgy and morose. I thought the morose sounded great. Edgy not bad, but morose fit the song better.

 

I wanted to hear "I didn't follow my whim" with a straighter rhythm. You held the delivery back and then had to spit out the rest in a short time slice.

 

On the choruses, I want to hear an additional tonic harmony that resolved down to the fifth on the last note, at least for the first two lines of the chorus.

 

Good lyrics, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

ChordGirl

 

Thanks for the comments! I'm still feeling my way out, here, on this one. So, the delivery on this got a little hesitant on some of the timing. Believe it or not, this is one of my less tongue-twisting, more-streamlined lyrics. (I heard too much Dylan and other tortured hippie-poet folksingers when I was growing up, I guess. ;) ) I'm pretty partial to that "little," though. I didn't have it in at first and it sounded bathetic in its hyperbole... I mean it's still hyperbolic but now it's got that "little" to bring it back down to earth. Maybe it'll start flowing better as I work more with the song. Your concerns are valid and noted, though! Thanks!

 

 

Soul Patch

 

Yeah, believe it or not, the first version of this I recorded was a step higher and I thought this might be better. Part of it, I think, is that the melody derives so directly from the rather shopworn chord progression that I found myself fighting to add some "originality" to the melody... and that added to my uncertainty. I may go back up or the chords may change somewhat.

 

Anyhow, thanks a million for your comments, I agree completely!

 

 

Todzilla

 

Yeah... wait... you're saying and can't be edgy and morose at the same time? :D On the rhythm/phrasing -- I'm still kind of wrestling with this so I think a lot of those kinds of concerns should be addressed as I settle in (though it will no doubt raise other concerns... I think there's a natural law of the preservation of troublesome issues, sort of like the first law of thermodynamics).

 

On the harmony... I'm just a dumb ex-punk rocker, man, it's a miracle I've got to the place where I can sing two tracks and not have them end up on the same melody... :D But I think I can puzzle that out. I actually was wondering if a low part might not sound good in there... but I was a) trying to finish up at a reasonable hour and b) a little worried about "overburdening" the song. But I suspect if it was done right, that it would probably sound pretty natural.

 

This harmony thing is pretty new to me, I gotta tell you. I did not come from a harmony singing family. (The burden of being an only child with one parent who played and the other who sang. And, while my mom still has a nice voice in her 70s, and may have done a little choir, she wasn't really a trained singer.) I've fooled around with harmony before but it was usually high, fake girl-singer stuff (attempting for the kind of thing I saw Joe Cocker's Grease Band doing in back of him at Woodstock... seems like I recall hearing soulful "girl singers" and then one of the scraggly looking white back up musicians came up to the mic singing falsetto... well, it was the glam era and sexual roles were liquid... I thought it was incredibly hip and ended up singing back ups like a gelded chipmunk for years -- but the harmony thing never really came naturally... uh... I'm rambling, aren't I... short night and no coffee yet.)

 

 

 

Thanks so much, guys!

 

 

PS... I'm heartened that, so far, no one has said, "What didn't you know about that Garth Brooks song with the same title? Where've you been man?" ;)

 

PPS... I'm also pleasantly surprised that no one has given me trouble on the cell/self thing... I actually kind of like it (it raised alarms for me) but it does make me tend to want to mis-deliver the lyrics as "lying to myself" istead of "lying in my cell"...

 

PPPs... Listening again this a.m., I'm really hearing the delivery/pitch issues Soul Patch mentioned. But that'll fall into place as I become accustomed to the song and maybe finalize the chords.

 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I really like this song and I didn't think I would because there are lots of kinds of country that I'm just not interested in. Is this something you consider to be complete or do you plan to add other instruments?

 

The second voice on the choruses is nice and I could even see it with additional voices on the last two verses if it was a full band arrangement. Good work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Thanks, u6crash!

 

Yeah... this is just the first day, rough draft... Todzilla also mentioned filling out the harmony toward the end and I think you guys are on the right track.

 

I'll likely be doing it with drums (er, drum-like robots :D ) and bass and I'm thinking this would be a perfect time to take up one of my old buddies on his perennial offer to help out on lap steel guitar. Maybe a little B-3 type organ, too.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Nice song. Tempo plods a little, but those "drum-like robots" should help. I think all your arrangement thoughts are basically correct. For this genre you need the lap steel, and if you have a lap steel you need a bass to balance out the additional treble energy from the lap steel. I don't know if you are just re-pitching your own vocals for the chorus harmony (it sounds awfully/suspiciously close to the lead vocal), but an actual female singer doing this part (placed much higher in the mix) would sound great. Not sure about the B-3 - might work for some background atmosphere/pad but I wouldn't make it any more prominent than that.

 

Sounds original enough, but I do not listen to a lot of country, so if ASCAP comes after you, don't blame me :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Thanks for the insights, rsadasiv! Yeah, on the B3, it's just something I would typically try because, well, I like B3 and Rhodes and this is maybe more B3 than rhodes, in my mind. But basically, my approach to arranging is start throwing spaghetti at the canvas and see what sticks. :D

 

The b-u vocal on this first version is pretty tentative... I'm a definite latecomer to the harmony singing thing... for years I just assumed that -- like trap drumming and violin -- this would not be something I'd be doing in this lifetime -- so it's probably a triumph for me to get something on that doesn't make you want to rip your ears off the sides of your head and mail them to Siberia. I've been encourage by my (incremental and tentative) progress in that arena, though, and am determined to try to be able to lay down decent harmony parts in the time left allotted to me. ;)

 

Thanks for your comments!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It's got a Frank's Wild Years unplugged thing going on. There are some great lyric gems scattered throughout there, and I was pretty sure I'd hate the title line. Somehow, you sold it. My cell/myself was a clam for me, but I believed in the rest of the song enough to let it go.

 

As a performance matter, I'd go with a simpler strum, rather than the Allison fills and such. Maybe an accordian around the edges. Also, the voice has a kind of affected gravitas to it--that may just be your voice, but you kind of sound like a guy half your age trying to sound twice his age. I think I'm just reiterating Todzilla there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

eeglug

 

Thanks, man! Means a lot to connect to folks on that level. I'm deeply gratifed!

 

(You can tell -- I used two exclamation points. :D )

 

 

 

Chicken Monkey

 

The fact that I could manage to con you into buying the title is deeply satisfying. :D

 

I was pretty much imagining your reaction to cell/self when I was wrestling with the earliest draft of the song. I don't mean the reaction you had but, specifically, your reaction. 'Cause I knew it would be a provocation to you. I'm glad I squeaked it by you.

 

I think that, as I hammer the melody and performance into something a little smoother that I'm going to be able to improve the feel/flow of that -- I swear I think on at least one of the choruses either the main vocal or the b/u does, indeed, sing "lying to myself" instead of "lying in my cell" -- which certainly doesn't help. I should probably mumble even more than I do... ;)

 

With re the key -- I normally don't have many problems in Gb (I mean, of course, more than usual, of course), which is what this is (I've tuned my 'singing' guitars down a half-step in the last few years) and kind of think it's just some discomfort with what I perceive as the predictability/unoriginality of the melody (I mean, like that's a bad thing in country -- but me and a buddy were talking about the "My Sweet Lord"/"He's So Fine" thing a couple days ago and it's been on my mind).

 

But, having recorded it in A and Ab (which you guys didn't hear) and Gb (this one), I think I'm going to drag its bittersweet little backside up to G, which will A) allow me to fool around with it with the only decent harmonica I have,* a G harp, and B) make it easier for my lap steel buddy to get on the groove without having to tune down and C) I tried everything around G so I might as well try G. *(My lap steel pal is also a pretty damn fine harmonica player so it's kind of silly for me to waste much time on that, if I'm dragging him into this fray. But I'd like to try to get some harmonica chops going, again. Well... going. I can't say I had many chops beyond being able to finally bend some notes. [And I owe it all to my buddy, Lee Oskar for licensing his name to Tombo fo that line of harps. My buddy I've never met but who has, indeed, raised the hair on the back of my neck with some of his utterly soulful playing. ;) )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

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

×
×
  • Create New...