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A son you'd be proud of
Old 10th June 2015
  #1
Gear Nut
 
RobbyPowell's Avatar
 

A son you'd be proud of

Hey guys, I would appreciate some feedback on this! I lost my father when I was twenty, didn't know him that well and I saw him maybe once a year. I never thought of writing a song about it, but I did and these words just came out in like 30 minutes.

English is not my native tongue so grammatical comments are also welcome!

Thanks guys!

/Robby



Verse
I was twenty years old when I lost you
the father that I barely knew.
You had twenty years to ease my pain
yet here I’m all alone in the rain

I cried myself to sleep that night
unsure if what I felt was right,
but no matter what I say or do,
I’m a man but not because of you.

Chorus
We didn’t get to have the talk, about girls and how to love
how to drive and play guitar, and have a beer just man to man,
but I figured it out my own way, and I’m a son you’d be proud of.

Verse
You should’ve been there when I was in need
when I lost my heart and when I couldn’t feel.
And there where times when I just didn't care
as I threw my cap high up in the air.

Chorus
We didn’t get to have the talk, about girls and how to love
how to drive and play guitar, and have a beer just man to man.

You never got to share your secrets, passed down from your father,
watch me run it to the end zone and and dress up for the prom,
but no matter what you did, I’m a son you'd be proud of.
Old 15th June 2015
  #2
Gear Addict
 
JahRastafariMMA's Avatar
 

What is the "guitar" allusion? I would think that most people who play guitar, DON'T have a parent who "teaches" it to them.

I'd say a person is better off without a parent pushing them. So in that regard, I can't relate to what u are saying.
Also, who is this song directed towards?

I just wonder if instead of saying "you", you could change it so that it's not directed at someone specific.

Maybe focus on one aspect, and expand upon that. As it is, you are switching between so many different subjects: prom, football, guitar, beer, girls, driving.

I'm not telling u what to do, but simply what I would do. Tell us about that first beer, and then the second beer, and so on. Because if beer is worth mentioning, then it's worth expanding upon.

What does " I threw my cap high up in the air." mean?
Old 15th June 2015
  #3
Gear Nut
 
RobbyPowell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JahRastafariMMA View Post
What is the "guitar" allusion? I would think that most people who play guitar, DON'T have a parent who "teaches" it to them.

I'd say a person is better off without a parent pushing them. So in that regard, I can't relate to what u are saying.
Also, who is this song directed towards?

I just wonder if instead of saying "you", you could change it so that it's not directed at someone specific.

Maybe focus on one aspect, and expand upon that. As it is, you are switching between so many different subjects: prom, football, guitar, beer, girls, driving.

I'm not telling u what to do, but simply what I would do. Tell us about that first beer, and then the second beer, and so on. Because if beer is worth mentioning, then it's worth expanding upon.

What does " I threw my cap high up in the air." mean?
Thanks for your input!

Maybe you're right about the guitar thing. However, I believe that we pick up stuff that our parents do, so if a parent is very musical it's likely to rub off on the kids but maybe not in a "sit down and have lessons"-kinda way :P

The song is directed towards my father. I wanted to say something about that we both missed out on a lot of stuff fathers and sons should do together, stuff that could've formed a great relationship. But even though we missed out.. I grew up to be a great guy anyway. No resentment

I understand what you're saying about focusing on one aspect but what I want to say is that we didn't get to do any of that stuff. We didn't have a first beer together or a second beer. Maybe I should push more on THAT we missed out on a lot of stuff instead of WHAT we missed?

The phrase "I threw my cap high up in the air" refers to high school graduation and the throwing of hats

Thanks again!
Old 20th June 2015
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Robby, this seems very personal to you so I'm loathe to comment at all. Surely given the content and background, this lyric just is what it is? Do you REALLY want feedback/critique? What's your goal here?
Old 20th June 2015
  #5
Gear Addict
 

It's good as it is. Don't **** up a good thing by obsessing over details and sucking the soul out of it. Just go with it. What you have sounds like a good basis for a country song in my opinion.
Old 20th June 2015
  #6
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JahRastafariMMA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by killsganti View Post
It's good as it is. Don't **** up a good thing by obsessing over details and sucking the soul out of it. Just go with it. What you have sounds like a good basis for a country song in my opinion.
Songs take months to complete, and go through many changes. Nothing should be set in stone. Always be open to changing.

Without details, the poetic language suffers.
Old 20th June 2015
  #7
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JahRastafariMMA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbyPowell View Post
Thanks for your input!

Maybe you're right about the guitar thing. However, I believe that we pick up stuff that our parents do, so if a parent is very musical it's likely to rub off on the kids but maybe not in a "sit down and have lessons"-kinda way :P
!
What about naming the one thing that he did give you, in regards to music.
Did he have a favorite band? A type of music? Do u remember listening to it?

We could go on forever naming the things someone "didn't do", or we can focus on what did happen.
You just said he was musical in this post, so why not add that idea to the lyrics?

Because in your lyrics, you are reducing music to "guitar lessons". Music is so much more, and it SHOULD be much more!
Old 20th June 2015
  #8
Gear Addict
I like it. Even without prefacing the lyrics with your story, the feeling and story came across clearly. At least, I felt something reading it and that's worth something.

I wouldn't have been able to tell that you weren't a native english speaker if you hadn't told me. If I really held the lyrics under a microscope, my only critiques would be:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbyPowell View Post
You had twenty years to ease my pain
yet here I’m all alone in the rain
Nothing is wrong with the grammar, but the Pain / Rain rhyme is so "easy" that I saw it coming before the second line even started. Maybe it'll work in the song, it just makes me pause to use that rhyme because it's cliche -- especially since that's your only use of that imagery/metaphor.

Quote:
We didn’t get to have the talk, about girls and how to love
how to drive and play guitar, and have a beer just man to man,
but I figured it out my own way, and I’m a son you’d be proud of.
The chorus reads kind of wordy, but that can be fine as long as it's delivered well, musically. I really like the catch/title line. It hits home and conveys the emotion well. It reminds me a bit of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," in a good way. With good musical delivery, that line is what'll give people goosebumps.

Quote:
You should’ve been there when I was in need
when I lost my heart and when I couldn’t feel
This is really the only line I didn't get. What did you mean by "I couldn't feel?" Do you mean an emotionally numb feeling (that is, feeling of apathy)? Are you alluding to a specific time/event in your life? To the listener, it just seems a little vague.

However, unlike my Rastafarian friend, I liked the guitar reference. Even if there are no hard feelings, it's natural to regret bonding experiences you didn't get to share with your father. I think it was clear what you meant by that line and I don't think there's anything wrong with wondering over "what could have been."
Old 21st June 2015
  #9
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JahRastafariMMA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_B View Post
However, unlike my Rastafarian friend, I liked the guitar reference. Even if there are no hard feelings, it's natural to regret bonding experiences you didn't get to share with your father. I think it was clear what you meant by that line and I don't think there's anything wrong with wondering over "what could have been."
It's not a matter of making guitar references. But, what guitar player needs to be pushed into playing it? The guitar finds them.

If it was Bob Dylan's kid saying that his dad never taught him, that'd tell a story since we have a background to the guitar reference.
What is the background here? And what is the significance of it not occurring?
What's the connection?
Is he saying he thus then never bothered to learn playing?
Old 21st June 2015
  #10
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by JahRastafariMMA View Post
It's not a matter of making guitar references, but just that no real guitar player needs to be pushed into playing it.

If it was Bob Dylan's kid saying that his dad never taught him, that'd tell a story.
But I don't see why the father in this song "had to" give an introduction to guitar. And what is the significance of it not occurring?
What's the connection?
Is he saying he thus then never bothered to learn playing?
It's something that could have served as a bond between father-son. If I wrote a song about never playing catch with my father, everyone would know what I'm talking about... a missed father-son moment. It works regardless of whether your father taught you how to play baseball himself or not. Same goes for learning anything, including guitar.
Old 21st June 2015
  #11
Great work here. My only advice would be to check out Pat Pattison's technique: Show don't tell. Its a great way to get people more involved in your lyrics. They become more personal and unique.

Pat Pattison's Lyric Pages

A.
Old 21st June 2015
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbyPowell View Post
Hey guys, I would appreciate some feedback on this! I lost my father when I was twenty, didn't know him that well and I saw him maybe once a year. I never thought of writing a song about it, but I did and these words just came out in like 30 minutes.

English is not my native tongue so grammatical comments are also welcome!

Thanks guys!

/Robby



Verse
I was twenty years old when I lost you
the father that I barely knew.
You had twenty years to ease my pain
yet here I’m all alone in the rain

I cried myself to sleep that night
unsure if what I felt was right,
but no matter what I say or do,
I’m a man but not because of you.

Chorus
We didn’t get to have the talk, about girls and how to love
how to drive and play guitar, and have a beer just man to man,
but I figured it out my own way, and I’m a son you’d be proud of.

Verse
You should’ve been there when I was in need
when I lost my heart and when I couldn’t feel.
And there where times when I just didn't care
as I threw my cap high up in the air.

Chorus
We didn’t get to have the talk, about girls and how to love
how to drive and play guitar, and have a beer just man to man.

You never got to share your secrets, passed down from your father,
watch me run it to the end zone and and dress up for the prom,
but no matter what you did, I’m a son you'd be proud of.

Ok. I'm not going to criticize any specific part. More the overall tack you've taken. For me it seems you're "telling" a lot. It wears on the listener and frankly, being told everything gets boring after a while. Also when in "tell" mode the burden and onus is on you to fully develop what you're telling. In the form you have here, there's not really enough room to do that effectively.

I think the right thing to do here would be to question rather than tell. More artistic license with questions. More room to maneuver. It's ok to leave some things open-ended. And it would evoke more effectively. You can get more truth and feeling in a question than probably any other way of writing.

Best of luck.
Old 22nd June 2015
  #13
Gear Nut
 
RobbyPowell's Avatar
 

Thanks guys for all your input, I really appreciate it!

It seems like most of the comments are about the chorus, and I can understand that since it was a bit more forced when I wrote it than the verses. I do get what all of you are saying though and I'll see if I can come up with something better

I made some changes to the verses;

V1
I was twenty years old when I lost you
the father that I barely knew.
You had twenty years to ease my pain
yet here I am alone again

V3
When my first love broke my heart in two,
you should’ve been there to carry me through

But there where times when I just didn't care
as I threw my cap high up in the air.

In V3 I flipped the two first lines and rewrote it so it was clearer what I meant.


As someone mentioned about it being a country song, that was exactly what I was going for!
Old 24th June 2015
  #14
Gear Nut
 
RobbyPowell's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JahRastafariMMA View Post
What about naming the one thing that he did give you, in regards to music.
Did he have a favorite band? A type of music? Do u remember listening to it?

We could go on forever naming the things someone "didn't do", or we can focus on what did happen.
You just said he was musical in this post, so why not add that idea to the lyrics?

Because in your lyrics, you are reducing music to "guitar lessons". Music is so much more, and it SHOULD be much more!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_B View Post
I like it. Even without prefacing the lyrics with your story, the feeling and story came across clearly. At least, I felt something reading it and that's worth something.

I wouldn't have been able to tell that you weren't a native english speaker if you hadn't told me. If I really held the lyrics under a microscope, my only critiques would be:



Nothing is wrong with the grammar, but the Pain / Rain rhyme is so "easy" that I saw it coming before the second line even started. Maybe it'll work in the song, it just makes me pause to use that rhyme because it's cliche -- especially since that's your only use of that imagery/metaphor.



The chorus reads kind of wordy, but that can be fine as long as it's delivered well, musically. I really like the catch/title line. It hits home and conveys the emotion well. It reminds me a bit of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man," in a good way. With good musical delivery, that line is what'll give people goosebumps.



This is really the only line I didn't get. What did you mean by "I couldn't feel?" Do you mean an emotionally numb feeling (that is, feeling of apathy)? Are you alluding to a specific time/event in your life? To the listener, it just seems a little vague.

However, unlike my Rastafarian friend, I liked the guitar reference. Even if there are no hard feelings, it's natural to regret bonding experiences you didn't get to share with your father. I think it was clear what you meant by that line and I don't think there's anything wrong with wondering over "what could have been."


Here's a new version of the lyrics with a new chorus that I think is a lot better and a new third verse that is less metaphorical!

Verse
I was twenty years old when I lost you
the father that I barely knew.
You had twenty years to ease my pain
yet here I am alone again

I cried myself to sleep that night
unsure if what I felt was right,
but no matter what I say or do,
I’m a man but not because of you.

Chorus
We didn’t get to have the talk, about girls and how to love
those moments with a father are the ones I’m thinking of.
From a boy raised by his mother to a man made out of hope -
I’m a son you’d be proud of.

Verse
When my first love broke my heart in two,
where were you to help me through?
”Hey son don’t worry, she’ll come again
I’ve been there and I feel your pain"

Chorus
We didn’t get to have the talk, about girls and how to love
those moments with a father are the ones I’m thinking of.
From a boy raised by his mother to a man made out of hope,
I’m a son you’d be proud of.
Old 11th July 2015
  #15
Gear Addict
 
JahRastafariMMA's Avatar
 

You took out the guitar!
Old 11th July 2015
  #16
Gear Addict
 
JahRastafariMMA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbyPowell View Post

Chorus
We didn’t get to have the talk, about girls

Verse
When my first love broke my heart in two,
where were you to help me through?
”Hey son don’t worry, she’ll come again
I’ve been there and I feel your pain"
I don't know what "the talk, about girls" is, so it's not something I can relate to.

As for the verse,
I'd quote a Snoop Dogg lyric about those type of girls, but I think it'd be considered obscene.
But that's all I know about "any talk about girls".

I can't imagine what kind of "talk" there would be. Actually, Biggie Smalls describes it well in his raps.
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