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FDP Forum / Tin Pan Alley - Songwriting / Help with lyrics please!

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 7th, 2017 03:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

Since I'm not from the US I need some help with the lyrics to a song I just wrote. A producer told me I needed to get some things changed. Lets start with the first part of the fist verse. What I'm trying to say is that Blanco Post Office has seen its best days but its still standing.

Blanco Post Office is a rundown farm
A run down plant with a bandit one arm

The producer was of the opinion that "bandit one arm" is not English and would sound corny. He is probably right. Here is something I came up with today:

Blanco Post Office is a rundown farm
A run down plant but with coat of arms

Or - Selling alcohol, tobacco and firearms

What do you guys think? Also, is the "s" at the end of "arms" wrong?

langford
Contributing Member
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Toronto, Canada

Dec 9th, 2017 12:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

The s at the end of arms is fine. I don’t know enough about the song to have much of an opinion about the alternatives for the line.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Pronounced "Klinkhammer"
Dec 9th, 2017 01:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

I once reached out here for help with some Italian I used in a song, that was much appreciated. I suppose I can offer this:

Without knowing the concept of the song it's hard to offer an opinion, but at best the first example comes off very esoteric. Or maybe Bob Dylan-like ;-)

In the first line you talk about the "Blanco Post Office", but how can it be a rundown farm? The second line now calls it a rundown plant (like a factory "plant", or growing "plant"?). "With a bandit one arm" does not make sense in English. At best it would be "with a one armed bandit", but then it doesn't make the rhyme. I can already tell you speak English better than I speak Finnish, but I think you have a ways to go making the translation and song concept work. If you're working with a producer that identified problems with the English translation, maybe you could get help from him/her in a co-wringing capacity.

Onnea!

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Dec 10th, 2017 08:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Blanco Post Office is a run-down shack
The folks are gone, but the ghosts come back




edited to read 'folks' instead of 'people'.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 10:25 PM, Dec 10th, 2017)

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 11th, 2017 02:11 AM   Edit   Profile  

A million thanks for your input guys. Here are the lyrics as I have written them now.

The song has a distant connection to Blanco but that's not important, it could be any small town with a post office. While the song describes the trivial things in life, just like in real life, in no particular order, just like in real life, the real topic is a divorce, any divorce, and the struggle to get over it and to go on with your life. That's where the trivial things in life steps in. So I want to go back and forth between everyday issues and pain and sorrow but also hope. That's blues to me. Genre is Country/Rock with flavours of TexMex and native Americans. Any feedback much appreciated. Does the song/lyrics make any sense? Is it in English? Is it Texan?

Intro
Verse1
Blanco Post Office is a brick down-town
Open all day shut at sun-down
Blanco Post Office has news to tell
A gold fish bowl and the rain that fell
Verse2
Blanco Post Office is a newsstand bar
A whistle and a holler and a kiss and a charm
Blanco Post Office don’t sell shoes
They just sell mileage and lifelong blues
Chorus1
Leaving town or coming home
Windblown desert and a heart of stone
Gas is cheap when harvest reap
Gas is cheap when lovers cheat
Love runs cold on a crowded street
Struggling for a feather and a dog that sleeps
Solo1
Verse3
Blanco Post Office has news to tell
Lawn mower parts are in today
Blanco Post Office gonna fix my car
A mint or Tequila in 10 000 miles
Verse4
Blanco Post Office any mail today
Just a letter from your son and some bills to pay
Blanco Post Office don’t sell shoes
They just sell mileage and lifelong blues
Chorus2
Leaving town or coming home
Windblown desert and a heart’s gone wild
Gas is cheap when harvest reap
Gas is cheap when lovers meet
Life’s on rail with the dog’s at sleep
Catching a feather and a hearth to keep
Solo2
Verse5
Blanco Post Office is a brick down-town
Open in the morning shut at sun-down
Blanco Post Office don’t sell shoes
They just sell mileage and lifelong blues
Solo3
Outro


tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 11th, 2017 03:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

Pegoo, I really like your phrase... thanks.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Close

but no guitar
Dec 11th, 2017 03:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks TDK.

So the Blanco Post Office is still in business, but barely? It contains a post office and a "general store" in a run-down building with a leaky roof, dust on the stuff on the shelves, and tumbleweeds in the street?

Like this...

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 11th, 2017 03:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Littleuch - thank you very much for your input. I have talked to two producers and one said the lyrics were great, the other said they needed some adjustment. I believe the truth can be found halfway in between. So Im just checking with you fender lover guys from the usa. Personally I like songs that are not feeding you universal truths and absolutes. Do I make any sense?

Peegoo
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Close

but no guitar
Dec 11th, 2017 03:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sure. A song can mean five different things to five different people.

All great lyrics are like a movie where the director doesn't tell the audience what to look at in every scene. The really good director leaves it up to the viewer to decide what is really important on the screen.

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 11th, 2017 03:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

Peegoo - exactly. Yes. That's how I picture it. I never saw that picture or never saw the real Blanco Post office but that's how I imagine it. That's why I changed the opening statement to "brick". Like its made of bricks and an unmovable brick. Great ides for the lyrics by the way.... you have really understood the meaning behind the lyrics.

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 11th, 2017 03:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Peegoo - what do you think about the lyrics?

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Close

but no guitar
Dec 11th, 2017 04:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

I like the picture it's painting. Sometimes it's good to use abstract or seemingly "out of place" words to convey different things to different listeners.

Perhaps the only thing I'd change is from this:

- Love runs cold on a crowded street

to this:

- Love runs cold on a lonely street

I cannot picture that building on a crowded street. I think "lonely" helps capture the feeling of desolation and hopelessness.

You could even bring the scene further to life by using "love runs dry on a dusty street."



Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Close

but no guitar
Dec 11th, 2017 04:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

For some ideas about imagery like in this tune of yours, give a listen to Billy Joe Shaver's tune

Oklahoma Wind

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 06:11 PM, Dec 11th, 2017)

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 12th, 2017 12:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

Peegoo - great suggestions. I like them. I see your point. For the woman who was left, yes, its a woman, it would have been easier to find a new love in a crowded city instead of chasing a feather down a dusty road in Blanco. I was somehow thinking the opposite. That love would be harder to find in a crowded city. Kind of like telling her she did the right thing, to stay in a small town like Blanco. That the outcome, the new relationship, would have been better and more genuine....

Thanks for the Billy Joe Shavers tune. Im a big fan of his music. My favourite song of his is Fame.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Close

but no guitar
Dec 12th, 2017 06:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ah, I understand now.

littleuch
Contributing Member
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Florida

Pronounced "Klinkhammer"
Dec 12th, 2017 07:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

"Personally I like songs that are not feeding you universal truths and absolutes. Do I make any sense?"

Yes, and that is very eloquently said.

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 12th, 2017 09:18 AM   Edit   Profile  

Here is the original demo recorded quickly on a phone...

External link

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Dec 13th, 2017 10:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

Any feedback much appreciated....

tdk

Finland

HELP! Population less than 100 000 000!
Feb 6th, 2018 08:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

My first ever visit to a studio today. We were supposed to talk about the song and what to do with it but we cut a demo instead :)

FDP Forum / Tin Pan Alley - Songwriting / Help with lyrics please!




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