[begin included material] Hey, Jeff! Here's those song ideas we promised you. We really appreciate your energy and devotion of talent to the project. Once you've had a chance to digest it all, give us a call. And feel free to suggest totally different ideas if they come to you. Talk to you soon... David and April Disclaimer: we're not lyricists, so when we suggest lyrics, what we usually mean to do is suggest a refinement to the concept. In very few cases do we think we've hit on "the" words to use, and we think you'll instinctively feel where those are. We bow to your superior abilties! Hard times Smooth lines Isn't that what you say It's your art You really play the part See it through all the way Great verse. Feel free if you have new ideas, but we're happy with it. And it's hard to take you down You can always turn things around When people only see what you want them to see It's hard to take you down Really hard to take you down We plan to remove the second-to-last line, shortening the first chorus and tightening up the song a bit. We don't plan to shorten any of the other choruses. Plans and schemes Disconnected dreams So many lives get bruised in your wake Eyes that see Beyond the mystery Just wait until you make that first mistake The line with "bruised in your wake" is a great concept, but maybe there's a better way to say it. Perhaps there's a better word to use in place of "bruised". Of course if I knew of one I'd tell you... It's hard to take you down Walls may crash You're immune to the sound Everyone believes just what you want them to believe It's hard to take you down Really hard to take you down "You're immune to the sound" is again a good concept but perhaps not ideally worded. I [David] thought of maybe saying "but you don't hear a sound". It fits the meter and conveys the idea of unaffectedness. The only trouble is, put my way, the line is weak and uninteresting. Your words are more powerful, but not quite *it*. The line, "everyone believes just what you want them to believe" is very strong, both lyrically and melodically. We want to save the good stuff for the last chorus, so for the second chorus, let's swap in "people only see what you want them to see". In the last chorus, we'll be making some changes to the words, but it will be a minor variation on your "everyone believes" line, with the same powerful melody. Through lies and leads And personalities With self assurance and possibilities Perseverance will prove there's a forest to see Through the trees Up until the bridge, the music is pretty tame, suggesting that the singer is at peace, telling a story more than anything else, and your lyrics fit great. The bridge increases the tension and I pictured the singer actually getting angry, just for a minute. Sure, the singer is at peace and in control in the present, but on the way from the past to the present, the singer had plenty to be angry about. I want the listener to glimpse that anger. April has a great idea for a way to do that, without really having to change much! Check this out: Your lies and leads Your personalities Your self assurance and possibilities My perseverance will prove there's a forest to see Through the trees Okay, great so far. Now for a few more thoughts. "personalities" is the right idea but a little vague. We like "Your false identities", but maybe you can think of another way to accuse this scumbag. Same deal with "and possibilities". The concept and melody are very good, and I hate to add syllables. We want to be a bit more specific about what's going on. April thought to say "endless possibilties" or something similar. Trouble is, that's too many syllables to work in gracefully. I thought up maybe "grand possibilties" or "vague possibilities" [naw, too vague!], but that doesn't seem ideal either. Maybe "shining vagaries" [gawd, is that even a *word*???] We'd like to paint the picture of the con artist at work in a little more detail, but without making it too hard to sing. Tall order, I know! Now about those trees... that is a fantastic idea! We're betting it can be even more powerful, though. The idea is that the singer/accuser now sees the light. The slimeball will be unable to harm the singer any further, from this moment. The *exact* moment when the light bulb goes on should be right at the end of the bridge when the song's texture changes. That's the moment that singer can finally have serenity. So, how do we do that? One lame false start is to rearrange the existing words: My perseverance will prove through the trees there's a forest To see The "to see" at the end is strong, since the "seeing" is done right at the crucial moment in the song. Of course the first line is now utterly elepantine, but we hope you can see what we're trying to do and perhaps do it for real. Hard times Same old lines You take all you can take Times will change You'll always be the same Waiting till you get that lucky break April sez: How about changing the third line to "I've taken all I can take"? Instead of "Times will change", it could say "I've changed". This keeps the song more personal and emphasizes the singer's newfound power and detachment. One more minor suggestion: maybe sing "just waiting". That's the kind of thing the singer [that would be Jeff] can decide on the spot. We just like the way it flows, I guess. But it's hard to take you down You can always turn things around When people only see what you want them to see It's hard to take you down Really hard to take you down April had some ideas for the last chorus. But it's hard to take you down I can always turn my life [or myself] around [and of course we swap that line from the other chorus here] Everyone believes just what you want them to believe Only we're making it more personal: I've stopped believing what you want me to believe And we're planning to change the arrangement so "believe" is a big climax money note, bathed in reverb. It's sung powerfully but not with anger or bitterness. This is the singer's positive assertion that the funny business really is over forever. Life is going to be better from here on. Then the reverb gives way to just the piano and vocals, and the second to last line, if sung, is sung tenderly: It's hard to take you down Then the last line crescendos into the tumult of the coda. You'll never take me dooooooooooooooooooooooown! [or get theological and sing "He will take you down"?? just a thought.] [end included material]Go to the Dead Chicken Studios page.
David B. Thomas (email@example.com)