Sunday, 23 February 2014

When you get Knocked Down...you get back up!


THE S.A.C. Songwriting Challenge -Week 1


When the winter months wreak their havoc upon our streets, our skin, our slippery shoes and salt covered cars, what better way to soak in the social scene by starting a weekly quest with a whole slew of creative Canadian Songwriters. 42 days from now, there will be a flood of new songs in the hands of us all, and I have to say...that's pretty damn exciting.



Here is my first song of 6 that I will write in this program followed by my assignment. Feel free to comment.


LYRICS

Have you every been waiting for someone to stop and tell you to come back, 
And just like a car crash, You hold on for your life
Have you ever been holding on to something so close, 
You suddenly let go,Your fingers they said so, And so you said goodbye

Chorus:   When you get knocked down you get back up
                Get dealt a bad hand...you Change your luck
                When you get pushed round you rise above and try again..
                Suffer a setback, you look ahead
                Think of the good things and leave the rest
                Who knows what might come or happen next ...When you try again

Have you ever been hanging around with your hand in your pockets
Whenever you talk its like a rocket hitting everything you face
Have you ever been somewhere alone, like a crowded room standing like stone
And you hit the floor and try not to break (chorus)

Bridge:    Have you ever been Scared in your life 
                Has it ever been too hard to fight
                Have you ever been falling and calling out as if somebody might help
                But there's no one else (chorus)


Titles normally come after the songs I write. I learned early enough that for a commercial purpose, the title should be in the song. But not every song needs to be one that everyone wants to buy...or even recognize by its name. And thanks to Shazam...we can pretty much figure out the title of any song in less than 10 seconds. That being said, 90% of the songs I write now have the title in the chorus...either first line...every line...or last line.

Here are a few I came up with this week.

MY TITLES

Where did all of the good things go
Talking Tables
Long Way Down
One More for the Road
Try Again 

MY OPENING LINES

1. "Where did all of the good things go...disappeared down the long and lonesome road" - this song opens with the chorus in my head. (a song of reflection perhaps, what we miss, what has changed)

2. "Ten thousand conversations with a good friend made of wood" - Talking Tables (this can be written from the tables point of view...or a series of little stories that all add up to the chorus)

3. "Somewhere in some other city, She is sitting on a train waiting for the last day of her life" - Long Way Down (the idea here is again a collection of a couple peoples lives who fall hard)

4. "Pour me one more for the road, Show me a sign that you don't want me to go, talk with your eyes...tell me with your smile...everything is fine...everything is ok." - One More for the Road (a goodbye song)

5. "Have you ever been waiting for someone to stop and tell you to come back" - Try Again (in the times that we get knocked down, we must find a way to get up.)

THEMES

I kinda covered the theme in the little descriptor after each opening lyric. 

As for artists who have inspired me along the way, and of course the rest of this weeks assignment.
INSPIRING TITLES
.
Banana Pancakes - I know this has to be a weird looking choice for an inspirational title, but Jack Johnson captures something here in this odd little pick of language. I am constantly searching for great lyrics and compelling songs in the everyday experiences that we all go through and to be able to make a memorable song with a preposterous title is quite a fantastic feat in my opinion. With a combination of laid back chill feel, some unforgettable lyrics and an underlying relatability to the things we would love to do more often...this song hits home for me and inspires me to write everytime I hear it. 



Bohemian Rhapsody - If you had never heard this song, and you read the title...how could you not be intrigued by what the hell it was about. This song does not follow the structures that most songwriting classes, teachers and books dangle before us. Instead, it is a string of songs intricately woven together in hook after hook. From Opera to rock song, screaming solo's, spot on Harmony and "Mama...just killed a man"...are you kidding me...inspirational from start to glorious finish. Just for fun...have a look at this video to understand the impact this song has on anyone...in any walk of life. 

I shot the Sheriff - Who doesn't like Bob Marley. I'm not a die hard fan by any stretch, but song titles that push the boundaries of acceptance, not only inspire me, but get noticed by people even before the needle hits the record. Um...or the finger pushes down the black play button...er...we swipe across our screens and stream an mp3 on some server somewhere. You get my point. Doing this in a tasteful and hooky way is pretty damn impressive in my opinion.

OPENING LINES
.

Don Mclean has one of the most recognizable, greatest songs of all time. American Pie. From start to finish this song encapsulates great writing...but I lead you into a different direction for opening lines.


Their is a soul in the singers that I admire. A heartbeat that can be heard in every nuance of each word being sang. Adam Duritz has a feel that gets inside you. Their are not very many people who have not owned or still own the album August and Everything after. His opening line in the song Round Here...gets me every time.


For my third choice of great opening lines, I choose one of the best songwriters alive today. A legend and an enormous amount of recognizable music that paints pictures in your mind whenever his lyrics smack you in the face. The Boxer



When it comes to themes in songwriting, there are always common ones that come back time and time again. 

Party Songs
Friends and Family
Me against the world
Me against myself
Love, love and more love.


TRACY CHAPMAN 

Here is a woman who has soul in every little finger. Her hit "Fast Car" was a summer song for me when I was just a wee lad. Escaping the everyday.  Her pain can be heard in the lyrics of her songs and in the voice that carries them with. 
Rebellion - "Talking bout a revolution"  
Fear - "Cold Feet"...fantastic. 




Thats it for me this week folks. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and listen to my song. I look forward to hearing you all. From what I have heard already...there are some pretty talented people in this challenge.

Till next time. All the best...

Cheers
North Easton
www.northeaston.ca


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