Friday, May 15, 2015

In This World So Blue


Over a week ago now, I wrote and composed another song. The universe threw it in my face so to speak, so I took the initiative and wrote it up. It was another of those late morning moments after, the coffee, the breakfast, and viewing the news had finished for the day. A tune came into my head, from my reminiscing on days gone by, thoughts of a Hank Williams III song, “5 Shots of Whiskey” (from Love Sick, Broke & Driftin') came in. So, I called it up on the computer for another listen. I have heard this song many times, and I like it. In the moments I'd call 'the afters,' you know, during that little space of time where the event has just past, yet our thoughts have a way to linger briefly, hanging on to a fragmented moment, focused on a related thought. I told myself, self, you have not written a drinking song. It happened in a moment while walking into the bathroom to lose some of the coffee. The words “Give me a drink, now this one's five,” came in, having a direct correlation to Hank's song, with the lyric, “Give me five shots of Whiskey...” In the least I can tie this thought to having just listened to those words, and the genre similar to the thoughts of melody, my head is also set in one of those slow sad-sap country beats, but that was as far as that similarity goes. By the time I had made my way back to my desk several lines of rhyme in this theme had transformed into some substance making sense in its way. Now in a second look, the subject is also similar to Hank's, man, telling the story, the subject of the story, a women, and love lost. Put it together and it caused heart ache. I did have to sort of work at these words, though it came pretty quickly. It came out nearly as spontaneously as growing hair, well faster than that by a lot.

This song is different from any that I've done previously in how it has a tag line at the end of each verse. That is a method I have never used before. When I wrote it, I thought it a rather powerful technique to use. And it works really well at holding the song together, so well that it can be doubled or tripled up (if so desired) and works giving elasticity to the lyric until I finally determine what this songs finish product will look like.

So the story line is of, I'll say a guy, likely because I am, and since I sing the song, it only makes sense for the character to be a guy. The guy is at the bar, probably a bar fly type that often drinks at the bars, it is familiar territory, and this person feels comfortable barking out orders to the bar-keep. “Give me a drink, now this is five, and I think that this'll help me stay alive,” is the opening lines in the lyric. Then he goes on thinking aloud about how down he is and how long it has been this way. As I said it's sad-sap lyrics. The verse ends with the tag line, “I'll come around, look what I've found, in this world so blue.” The second verse begins similar to the first, the guy barking out another order to the bar-keep, though using simple addition, this time the drink is number six, and it rhymes with tricks, so it works. I can't give it all away right now! Anyhow, this verse goes on by adding to the details of being down compounded by being drunk while longing for that now 'lost' lover, and how feeling this way is habitual for this individual, and again, the verse ends with the tag line.

The chorus deals in its subject with how the two had become friends that eventually led to being lovers. Its description is brief with some imagery of cars under the stars, and that it is this magnetism that creates the fond memory and its melancholy.

The last verse goes toward the imagined conversation between this person and the bar-keep, because of the potentials of driving while intoxicated. The guy tells him that he won't drive very far if he goes, just a couple of blocks at best. But the drunkenness takes the thought back to the desire for the drinks and the hope that the woman will return. Then again the tag, followed by another chorus.

In the week since writing the lyrics composing and recording a rough draft of the tune, I've played it several times becoming familiar with its cadence and putting the lyric in my brain (the real hard part of the process). In the times going through this song I have decided that chunks of lyric though written correctly were out of sequence. By moving a few blocks of text to different positions in the lyrical progression, I improved the over all image that these lyrics seem to want. I may not be finished with changing the songs details. The details in imagery are what evokes thought in the audience, that is my goal sometimes as a song writer. This is not so much the case in this particular song, because it is another silly sad-sap song. I do think that recognizing the potential of his particular technique, using a tag line is pretty significant in the evolution of writing lyrics as a craft. This kind of song writing is pretty much outside of my normal folk tune, by quite a lot, and that is okay with me.

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