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Naked Near The Tree Studio Headphones
Old 1st January 2014
  #1
Here for the gear
Naked Near The Tree

I’m new here, and would be grateful for constructive feedback on a few of my lyrics. Seems the quality of the critiques in this thread is high. Of course, I’d be glad to comment on other people's work as well.

I don’t play an instrument, but collaborate with musicians online. I sometimes write my own melodies (picking them out - slowly - on a keyboard, or sending an a cappella guide to the composer).

Here you go. For male vocals. I hear it midtempo, intense.

Have at it.

Donna

Naked Near the Tree

V1
Billy's on a beanbag
In an Amsterdam café
Getting stoned on Silver Haze
To ease the past away

V2
Robby's guzzling rotgut
In a Tijuana bar
Wrestling with a memory
That grips him like a scar

Chorus
Here I'm strapped and waiting
For the needle's bitter grace
Her parents sit like stone
But I can look them in the face
I mouth the words 'I'm innocent'
Yet all that they can see
Is their daughter lying
Naked near the tree

V3
Benny and his backpack
Climb as high as they can go
But no Tibetan prayer flags
Will absolve the thing he knows

Chorus
Here I'm strapped and waiting
For the needle's bitter grace
Her parents sit like stone
But I can look them in the face
I mouth the words 'I'm innocent'
Yet all that they can see
Is their daughter lying
Naked near the tree

Bridge
Me, I'd only seen it
I was quiet creeping up
I ran, but didn't mean it
[And] I tried to tell the sheriff
But the town cried out for blood

Chorus
Here I'm strapped and waiting
For the needle's bitter grace
Her parents sit like stone
But I can look them in the face
I mouth the words 'I'm innocent'
Yet all that they can see
Is their daughter lying
Naked near the tree

© 2013 Donna Devine

(NOTE: When I wrote the lyric, I didn't know the story of Ron Williamson, who was wrongly convicted of murdering a woman in a sleepy little US town. He sat on death row for 11 years protesting his innocence daily, and losing his sanity in the process. He was exonerated, but died just a few years later.)
Old 2nd January 2014
  #2
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Zyzygis's Avatar
 

Donna, I think this is a really good lyric. The imagery works well and has a very stark, clear atmosphere which fits the story well. The line 'grips him like a scar' is brilliant!
There are a few things which I think need a bit of work:
The bridge works well as exposition, but I think it could be better. The line 'I ran, but didn't mean it' feels weak.
I am sure you can find a better way to say what happened. Perhaps an extra line would help?
The last line of the chorus breaks the rhythm, deliberate? I found myself wanting to hear: 'Underneath the tree' which would mean that 'naked' moves back to the end of the previous line.
The last thing, and I know I am really quibbling here, is the last line of V3 where it changes back from third to first person. It works, but feels slightly abrupt, I would prefer 'things he knows'.
Regardless, I think this is a powerful and well crafted lyric. Good work!
Old 3rd January 2014
  #3
Here for the gear
Zyzygis, thanks very much for having a look, and for your kind comments.
Excellent points you’ve raised as well.

In the meantime, I’ve adjusted line 4, V3. It's definitely stronger when it refers directly to the character in the verse. Good call there.

I agree about the bridge. I’ve considered it the weak link, especially that third line. I’ll give it further thought.

Regarding the last line of the chorus: Yes, the break in rhythm was deliberate, to convey a sense of tension, unstability. Also, I liked the simple flow of ‘naked near the tree’, and the close alliteration in ‘naked near’. I agree though that one would expect line 7 to end to end on 'naked'. The problem was to get the whole title/hook into the last line. Of course, with vocals, it won't matter where 'naked' is.

Still, nothing is written in stone.
Old 23rd February 2014
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
V1
Billy's on a beanbag
In an Amsterdam café
Getting stoned on Silver Haze
To ease the past away
Love this first verse.
Old 24th February 2014
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
k3nnyt4n's Avatar
 

Hi
cool imagery,like the song Dalia's gone ( those blues that sung about killing,murder).But your lyric can describe without making people feel creepy
Old 23rd July 2014
  #6
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Very nice! for me, powerful lyrics seem to flow naturally, leaving the listener with vivid images. these are very potent, effective lyrics. The only area that looses the flow are the last two lines of the chorus. You might consider something along these lines: Is the image of their daughter lying naked near the tree.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #7
Here for the gear
 

What a really great work, Donna!
I especially found this part amazing:

Quote:
Robby's guzzling rotgut
In a Tijuana bar
Wrestling with a memory
That grips him like a scar
Seriously, the first line is so well crafted! "Robby's guzzling rotgut" Have you seen what you made there? The Rob-rot and guz-gut thing sounds really great and rhythmical if you say it! Good work!
Moreover the whole song is powerful with a bit of sadness I really enjoy.
Old 10th March 2015
  #8
Gear Addict
 
JahRastafariMMA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
Chorus
Here I'm strapped and waiting
For the needle's bitter grace
Her parents sit like stone
But I can look them in the face
I mouth the words 'I'm innocent'
Yet all that they can see
Is their daughter lying
Naked near the tree
On its own, & how I read it, a young girl is addicted to heroin. The girl is using the heroin and her parents look like stone statutes & she is disconnected from them.

I'd like to see how the characters of the verses are connected.

There's one of the guilty men, & he gets to smoke weed?

It's also unclear as to what happened to the girl.
I also wonder what evidence there was against the wrongfully convicted man.

Have you heard Bob Dylan's "Hurricane"?
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