Songwriters in the Kitchen!

Board index => Songs for review => Topic started by: Kellyanneg on March 15, 2019, 14:41:57

Title: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 15, 2019, 14:41:57
Hello all!  I hope you're all well.  I wanted to share this with you:  So I went to the mall last night looking for a birthday present.  My husband and son went to a different store and left me to look at the women's things, and as I was shopping, a man approached me.  He said he didn't mean to bother me, explained he was homeless, lost everything with a divorce and has not eaten in two days.  He said he was a vet, and he asked managers to help as well and nobody would help him. I had no cash, and truly wanted to help, but didn't want him following me to an atm either.  I said to him "let me talk to my husband".  I know my husband would've given him some cash.  Before I finished the word "husband" he gave me a frustrated wave and said "I'm going to the food court" and walked away.  I felt awful.  I also felt a little offended that he was perturbed with me. But I think it was due to all of the rejection he experienced.  I didn't say no.  I called my husband, but no answer.  Maybe 15 minutes later my husband and son showed up,  I explained what happened, and we figured the guy was gone (food court upstairs and other side of the mall from where I was) but my husband said "can't save the world, honey".  A few thoughts I had as I reran the scenario in my head as we were driving home....he had clean new boots on, he didn't look unshaven and had three scabs on his face.  I had my doubts, but I still felt he was sincere. Could be donations, shower at the ymca, who knows.  I still felt bad.  I wondered where he goes, sleeps etc.  It made me sad.  So I wrote this song.  Of course I embellished and got creative with the lyrics, but that's where it came from.  So the questions are... should it be "Under the Bridge" or "Under A Bridge".  It seems a little slow to me, and the final lines at the end I'm thinking could be stronger.  Any suggestions would be great!  And I just recorded it roughly, after only one cup of coffee, so excuse the vocal/guitar.  Lyrics follow:

Excuse me ma'am, I don't like to ask
Could you spare a five, or just a dollar
cause it's been two days
since I last ate

Lost my wife and I lost my job
Nobody's givin' a dime or a damn
and it's cold today
it's cold today

FIRST CHORUS:

How do I live?
under a bridge
Hard to rely on
people to give
I fought with my life on the line
to come home to this
I've been livin
under a bridge

I don't drink but it sure sounds good
when ya can't find warmth
in a city where nobody
looks my way
under that highway

I know Jesus, pretty well
I've got three best friends in the ground
and they're waitn up there
I tell 'em how much I miss 'em
how much I care

SECOND CHORUS:

When I'm prayin'
under a bridge
the words I'm sayin'
might not mean a bit
But I sware to you
that I'm a good man
even if
I've been  livin'
under a bridge

(break)

Wildflowers growin in the summer sun
around four gravestones
I knew he went back home
where he was safe and warm

I know Jesus pretty well
I see the old newspapers and a cross
painted on the inside
of the tunnel where I cried

FINAL CHORUS:

I've been prayin
under a bridge
the words I'm sayin
might not mean a bit
He fought with his life on the line
to go home
and he is
He was waiting
under a bridge
Just waiting
under a bridge

https://soundcloud.com/kellyannegsongs/under-a-bridge
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: LePlongeur on March 15, 2019, 15:26:56
The most common mistake people make when Reading/listening to my lyrics is about exactly this thing.
That I write I doesnít mean that the I is me, if you know what I mean.
They wonít make that mistake with you explanation, I guess.
And you did it twice over. You @Kellyanneg put yourself in someone elseís shoes in the most beautiful and human way possible.
Song to die for  too. Love the way the sentence goes unexpectedly on and the notes go up......
I could get used to this kind of class!
Keep them coming please.
I love it to pieces.
Kind regards, Gus
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 15, 2019, 15:48:56
@LePlongeur Wow! Thank you!!  :dance:
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Leonard Scaper on March 15, 2019, 20:51:19
I think this song is SERIOUSLY good. The song structure is excellent.....it has a real professional feel to it. Seriously. This could be a big hit some day.  :)

Great lyrics with a fantastic back story.

I also love the way you perform it in this down and dirty recording.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 15, 2019, 21:14:14
@Leonard Scaper  well you guys have put sunshine in my day!!! So much appreciation for your awesome compliments. Thank you for listening! So leave as-is?? 😁
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Leonard Scaper on March 15, 2019, 22:05:51
I wouldn't mess with it. it's strong....it works.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Zedd on March 15, 2019, 23:04:38
Lovely song @Kellyanneg - beautiful folky / country feel to it and the sentiment comes across beautifully ! You have a gorgeous voice! Brava!

K
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: jmacdon on March 15, 2019, 23:20:53
Hi Kelly
You have, indeed, shown the qualities of a lyricist and anthropologist - turning the mundane life of this man into a song. 

But  LePlongeur is wrong to say that you put yourself in someone else's shoes.   And Leonard is wrong to say it'll be a big hit one day... does this mean we celebrate that people are homeless? 

The lyrics are perfect.  The recording seems to rejoice; seems to be happy?  But why?

I suggest this.  Take your acoustic guitar  and iPhone... and sit under a freeway bridge or outside a 7-Eleven (when it's shut).... and sing this song without the pomp and comfort of your home.   Sing this song on a cold dark night.  Alone. Cold. And hungry.

That will be a song that has meaning.

J.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 16, 2019, 01:33:12
@Leonard Scaper thank you! Will leave it alone 😁  @Zedd thank you for listening and your kind words! @jmacdon I'm sorry if you feel offended by my song, but thank you for your insight.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Leonard Scaper on March 16, 2019, 10:07:20
Hey @jmacdon ......I see your perspective and you may be right. This song might be too edgy for country radio.....maybe

But I'm listening again here in my studio as I write this and I'm hearing  musical changes and a vocal performance that immediately grab my attention and then, when my attention goes right to the lyrics, I'm hearing a heartfelt and honest lament that feels as if it was torn right from reality. This song has substance. It paints a picture of life, such as it is, and @Kellyanneg sings it with the emotion that the subject matter requires.

I'm not hearing "happy" in this performance....I'm hearing a desperate reach for strength in the face of overwhelming odds. Listen to how she ends it and tell me you don't feel the empathy in her voice.

Good idea for the song's video, btw.....if done respectfully. I would seriously re-record this song for a little better fidelity and shop it hard as a demo.

I think that, done right, a song like this can really touch people by reaching through their defenses and making them look at a subject that doesn't see enough light. There have been other songs like this that made it big. I'm thinking about "Ode To Billie Joe" by Bobbie Gentry
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: LePlongeur on March 16, 2019, 17:05:37
You have every  right in the world to tell us what you think @jmacdon .
But this is exactly what I had in mind when I tried to tell about the interpretation of I (biographical) and I (autobiographical). Weíre storytellers remember?

I donít have to jump off a bridge to know how cold the water is and how slim my chances are of surviving. The same goes for snorting, shooting heroin, you name it...

The thought that we should suffer for our art is about 100 years old.
I can see the merit in registering what goes on. Better still, if there is a way to suggest how things can be bettered thatís a great plus, because thatís the reason occupy so miserably failed.

A subtle display of compassion is what a lot of people find heart warming and that is exactly what @Kellyanneg did.

From what I think and see, no one has to apologize for a song.
Needless to say I still like it a lot.
Kind regards, Gus
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Layerson on March 16, 2019, 18:40:16
Another great song @Kellyanneg  ::thumb::

Itís heartfelt and reading the backstory added more visual aid (read the lyrics first though...)

As for the lyric debate Iím not really qualified. My opinion nonetheless in regards to using ďaĒ vs ďtheĒ, Iím voting for an ďaĒ. The ďtheĒ would (to me, non-English speaker) suggest that one would know something about this bridge and that it would be referenced in some way in other parts of the song, but the way it is, it gives me a chance to paint my own scene and that works better IMHO. Donít change the lyrics...

The song and performance has class and with this song and all the others Iíve heard so far, it also holds star qualities that most people would stand in line for to achieve and/or listen to. In my eyes (and ears) your music is already up there with Emmy Lou, Tina T and many others. Donít know for how long youíve been writing songs, but whatever you do, donít stop.

Canít wait until the music is available with a little better audio, would like to hear it loud and clear  :dance:  :praise:

 ::Rachel::
/Micke
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 16, 2019, 20:19:33
@Layerson Hello!  :dance:   Thank you so much, for listening, reading, encouraging...I agree with the "A".  So "A" it is.   ;D    I am a living room writer and dreamer...I've always loved writing, it's my favorite thing to do.  I have held on to your advice and suggestions, and when I take over our son's room this summer, blankets are going up!  I am so appreciative of the kind words from this group.  I catch my boys and force them to stand still for four minutes to listen sometimes, but other than soundcloud and now here, that's as far as I've gotten. 
Thank you sincerely!  I hope you are well.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Bill from November Sound on March 17, 2019, 15:05:42
Hi @Kellyanneg .... first I'd like to say before even listening - I admire you! You love music. You turn the world into art. And like the friends I'm meeting all around the globe you find such real joy in music creation. (I'm saying this because I'm essentially numb. I feel like music's battered wife ... I love it so much that I hate it.... oh well enough about me....point is I want to be like you.)
Now on listening: awesome verse, awesome lyrics and I love the guitar and humming part after the chorus. The chorus melody to me sounds a little too pleasant .... Maybe almost joyful (here I'm complaining about what I just complimented you on?....) ... which might not be appropriate to the subject matter. But, it sounds really good! You deliver songs with joy in your singing style.  Maybe you could adjust the key so it isn't in that power range for you? Use more of a descending pattern of notes in the word painting?

You're calling it a rough draft so .... whatever you think.
I like it as is but you could play around with it a bit.

Either way ... Good show!
-11 ::Note::
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: eric craptone on March 17, 2019, 16:23:59
Well this is a bit of a rough diamond. Your voice sounds like it could provide enough warmth for a subway full of of dossers, and the lyrics torture my conscience enough to raid my piggy bank and give all the foreign coins to charity.
Yeah its a moral dilemma, is he bullshitting you or is he genuine? Personally I think it's better to give 'em some cash just to avoid the feelings of guilt if you don't. Hopefully he'll spend it on your new album.  ;D
I think the last line should be 'Can I take 'em to the bridge'. :)
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: LePlongeur on March 17, 2019, 22:00:32
Sheís no James Brown @eric craptone !
But I see what you mean.
I think.
Kind regards, Gus
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 18, 2019, 10:55:34
@eric craptone hello and thank you! @Bill from November Sound thank you for listening and your suggestions. After what @jmacdon said I had been thinking of chord changes to make the music match the story more respectfully, and you mentioning the same sort of suggestion drove it deeper...i wrote it the night before posting, it was quick, and I think I was anxious to share my experience as much as the song. Also, with more practice and coffee, I will be toning down the voice. To hear a "power range" in this song certainly indicates another thing to look at. Thank you for kindly suggesting. This is how we get better. @Leonard Scaper @Layerson and @LePlongeur thank you. There is only one James Brown.  :)  I'm hoping to post the song with a few changes today. Hope it hits closer to the target. Have a wonderful day and thank you.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 18, 2019, 15:19:51
@Layerson @LePlongeur @ @eric craptone @Bill from November Sound @Leonard Scaper @jmacdon   Good day...ok I tried a chord change here and there.  I struggle with the guitar/sound so bare with me, but wanted to get your feedback on the change...does it help?  and I think I'm stuck in the "power range"   :-\

https://soundcloud.com/kellyannegsongs/under-a-bridge2
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Leonard Scaper on March 18, 2019, 16:06:36
Well.....I have to honestly say that I like your first version a lot better. That particular chord change was one of the things that really struck me about the song arrangement when I first heard it. To me it felt more....uplifting.....and I think that really worked in juxtaposition to the tenor of the lyrics.

Its interesting how one small chord change like that can change the entire feeling of a song.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 18, 2019, 16:30:28
Interesting...and yes...it's very gloomy sounding to me. It's obviously not a happy subject, but for the song I think I like the first one better too. Just thought I'd take a crack at it and see what other ears think. I didn't hear, or especially feel "happy" with the first version. Thank you so much!
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Bill from November Sound on March 18, 2019, 23:28:43
Hi @Kellyanneg  ... well @Leonard Scaper and I do disagree occasionally.  :)  I like the second one better. To me it just feels more like the words sound. I'm going by the "feeling" of it right now and I'm on my way out the door.
I'll probably be able to go more in depth once I get to listen again. 
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Layerson on March 19, 2019, 08:42:39
@Kellyanneg - honestly I like both versions but I feel it makes for different songs all together.  :-\

If gloomy is the sought after, I'd agree with @Bill from November Sound and chose the second version. I melancholy is the goal, I think the first version is more contrasting (positive music vs sad lyrics) and I'd go with the first.

I do think the second version is more unique and you're displaying more of a creative range in it. When it comes down to it, music is highly subjective and you will have to be the supreme judge. Both versions are equally good in their own ways, it's a matter of preference.

Sorry I couldn't be more precise, however I'm slightly "tilted" towards the last version if that helps.  :makeitup:
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Mora Amaro La Loba on March 19, 2019, 14:37:48
Wow @Kellyanneg

How absurd is life sometimes, how absurd to walk between personal boundaries, but it is like that...
Your song defines well your feelings and your doubts, there are special days that put us in front of a mirror in which we see many things that are on our shadow.
I personally would say under "the" bridge, It gives a universal sense.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 20, 2019, 00:37:45
@Layerson yes I see what you mean...each version has a different energy. Taking time to listen and share your opinion does help...thank you! :yes: @Mora Amaro La Loba thank you! I'm sitting on the fence with this one.  ::)
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: realkevm on March 20, 2019, 01:00:07
This is great Kel, the sound is a bit brash i'd love to hear a cleaner version, let that amazing voice come through crisp and clear.
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 20, 2019, 01:10:10
@realkevm thank you very much!! Yes, my sound is lame lol. I've had some awesome input on that from @Layerson that I'm hoping to apply when I get to turn my son's room into a music room. I would love to have a fraction of his knowledge and talent. I am horrible at figuring out the technical side of all of this. In fact, I went out on a limb and am playing with audacity...I think for a beginner like me it's a good learning tool if nothing more. Anyway, thanks again! Have a great night!
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: smajor on March 29, 2019, 01:09:32
Hi @Kellyanneg ,

I'm feeling a kindred songwriter here.

I like your approach.

And, for the record, I like the first take better than the second one. The second one strikes me as unnecessarily lugubrious.  I've slept under bridges. It's not all that different from pitching a tent in a kind of wild but severely restricted space (the signs in all of these places tend to give them away).

Life is best lived straightforwardly without any bows to pity.

And I agree... this is exactly where Jesus can always be found.

I'm off to find the next one of your songs :)

Later,
Stan
Title: Re: New song "Under a Bridge" roughdraft, questions, and an experience.
Post by: Kellyanneg on March 29, 2019, 12:26:41
@smajor hello! I've listened to them both several times now, comparing the general effect of doing so. I agree with liking the first version better. I think the second version is one I wouldn't want to hear more than once.The gloominess almost takes away from it being a story told, if that makes sense. Thank you!!