Ramble Town

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Mar 02, 2017, 08:02 PM

A drinking song I was working on

Ramble Town

Came down here to try to clear my head
Wound up trippin’ on a down hill sled
Troubles’ kinda lookin like its gonna be found
The devils’ gonna get me in Ramble Town

Skinny jean girl with a lotta brown hair
Honky tonk eyes and a hot time stare
The womans’ got me thinking like I’m upside down
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Shoulda been thinkin bout the mess I’m in
She got me drinkin I’m a fool again
Slipping off the mountain now I’m all Hell bound
It’s gettin’ rowdy over in Ramble Town

Chorus

Things hit the bottom at the Bar None Grill            
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
Need a ride down to the higher ground
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

David Swinson

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 02, 2017, 08:15 PM

I know I’m using the word ground too much in the chorus. Maybe ‘Upside Down’ instead.

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 03, 2017, 11:08 AM

You’ve got some great lines in there, David.

“Troubles’ kinda lookin like its gonna be found”

“One buck shots and a ten buck bill”

I got confused at first by the word “trippin.’” I thought the narrator had tripped over a sled that someone had left lying around. :) The references to being upside down - is that referring to a crazy sled ride, where the sled is turning over?

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Mar 03, 2017, 06:38 PM

There are several unique turns of phrase in there. The ‘Trouble’s’ line is unique. And ‘Falling OFF the ground’. Unique. The ‘One buck shots’ line. It made me do the math! LOL And ‘hot time stare’. Wow! This strikes me as uptempo.

Try this arrangement.

Ramble Town © 2017 by David Swinson. All Rights Reserved.

(Verse 1)

I came down here to try to clear my head (The noun, ‘I’, gives the Actor to do the Action.)
(I) Wound up trippin’ on a down hill sled (You could do without the ‘I’ here, but not everywhere.)
Trouble’s kinda lookin’ like it’s gonna be found (Trouble is/like it is)
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

(Chorus)
Things hit bottom at the Bar None Grill        
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
(I) need a ride down to the higher ground
The devil’s gonna get me in Ramble Town (Using the ‘devil’ line in the Chorus gets it away from the other use of ‘ground’.)

(Verse 2)
Skinny jean girl with a lott’a brown hair
Honky tonk eyes and a hot time stare
The woman’s got me thinking like I’m upside down
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

(Chorus)
Things hit bottom at the Bar None Grill        
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
(I) need a ride down to the higher ground
The devil’s gonna get me in Ramble Town

(Brief Instrumental Bridge)

(Verse 3)
I should’a been thinkin’ ‘bout the mess I’m in
She got me drinkin’! I’m a fool again
Slipping off the mountain now I’m all Hell bound
It’s gettin’ rowdy over in Ramble Town

(Chorus)
Things hit bottom at the Bar None Grill        
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
(I) need a ride down to the higher ground
The devil’s gonna get me in Ramble Town

(Coda)
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Mar 03, 2017, 07:26 PM

Hey thanks to both of you. I wondered if the sled thing was confusing or unclear and Gary, your eyes on the song solved a puzzle for me. A few puzzles as a matter of fact. I thought of changing the first line to—-I thought this bar stool would clear my head——wondered if that was necessary to clear confusion about where things are taking place? Thanks again. I do see this as a driving up tempo piece with some strong guitar maybe.

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 08, 2017, 01:12 PM

Hey I resent this with your suggestions Gary. Thanks. Gavin your comment about the confusing sled line is something I’m thinking about. I think maybe it’s just a metaphor for things ‘snowballing’ or going down hill. Anyway still working with it.

Ramble Town

I thought this bar stool would clear my head
Wound up trippin’ on a down hill sled
Troubles’ kinda lookin like its gonna be found
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Things hit the bottom at the Bar None Grill
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
I Need a ride down to the higher ground
The devils’ gonna get me in Ramble Town

Skinny jean girl with a lotta brown hair
Honky tonk eyes and a hot time stare
The womans’ got me thinking like I’m upside down
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Things hit the bottom at the Bar None Grill
Ten buck shots and a ten buck bill
I Need a ride down to the higher ground
The devils’ gonna get me in a Ramble Town

Shoulda been thinkin bout the mess I’m in
She got me drinkin I’m a fool again
Slipping off the mountain now I’m all Hell bound
It’s gettin’ rowdy over in Ramble Town

Things hit the bottom at the Bar None Grill            
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
I Need a ride down to the higher ground
The devils’ gonna get me in Ramble Town

Coda
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Michael Swinson- all rights reserved- 3-3-17

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 08, 2017, 06:50 PM

One buck shots became Ten buck shots in the second Chorus. It should stay the same for ease of singing and memorabilty for the audience to sing along.

Gettin’ rowdy ‘over’ in R-Town seems clumsy when I read it. Maybe Gettin rowdy DOWN in R-Town?

And do you need ‘the bottom’ or just ‘things hit bottom’?

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Mar 08, 2017, 07:07 PM

Thanks Gary- hit bottom is better- down seems better too. I’d like to hear you sing it !

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 09, 2017, 12:36 PM

Ramble Town

I thought this bar stool would clear my head
Wound up trippin’ on a down hill sled
Troubles’ kinda lookin like its gonna be found
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Things hit bottom at the Bar None Grill
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
I Need a ride down to the higher ground
The devils’ gonna get me in Ramble Town

Skinny jean girl with a lotta brown hair
Honky tonk eyes and a hot time stare
The womans’ got me thinking like I’m upside down
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Things hit bottom at the Bar None Grill
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
I Need a ride down to the higher ground
The devils’ gonna get me in a Ramble Town

Shoulda been thinkin bout the mess I’m in
She got me drinkin I’m a fool again
Slipping off the mountain now I’m all Hell bound
It’s gettin’ rowdy down in Ramble Town

Things hit bottom at the Bar None Grill            
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
I Need a ride down to the higher ground
The devils’ gonna get me in Ramble Town

Coda
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town
Falling off the ground innRamble Town

David Swinson- all rights reserved- 3-3-17

[ Edited: 13 March 2017 10:52 AM by David Swinson]
 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 10, 2017, 06:37 PM

David, my name is OD and although I haven’t posted for awile, I sometimes visit to see what is going on.  I enjoyed some of the lines to your song and couldn’t help enjoy a few beers and give you what I got from your story.  I’m more of a country genre story teller and I like to tell the story so anyone can follow it.  Not that you didn’t, every songwriter will write something different; but I hope you don’t mind me messing with your lyrics.

Notice I wrote your song in 3rd person so any artist could sing it (as a narrator) and not feel like they were the character in the story.  Mainly because I got the impression you were not an artist and there was little chance you would be performing this song.  Also; I took the liberty to introduce the character as Joe, so I didn’t confuse the listener with pronouns jumping back and forth between Joe and the boyfriend of the girl (he did this and he did that type of thing).  Sorry if I took your story in another direction by Joe getting his a** kicked but I found that somewhat humorous to me (maybe from real life experiences…..Ha!!!)  Anyway, you are welcome to ignore my lyrics or you can have them, your choice.  I want no mention or credit if you use them.  Also; some of my lines have a different syllable count than yours but I didn’t find any harm in that since I didn’t think you had a melody for your song anyway.  OD

RAMBLE TOWN
David Swinson

Skinny jean girl, wavy gold highlight hair
Honky tonk eyes with a hard life stare
Joe bought her drinks all night, she bought him some time
Too late to hide,  he wasn’t the runnin’ kind

Lift:
The boyfriend was angry, with what he found
Did he have to be so big, and muscle bound

Chorus:
Joe hit bottom at the Bar None Grill
Where two buck shots blows ten buck bills
A short ride down to a wood plank floor
Stained with blood from those down there before
The devil’s on top, Joe thinks he’s gainin’ ground
Another hell of fight in Ramble Town

Verse 2
When said and done, Joe escaped with his life
Thanks to paramedics he survived
Joe walked in with a thirst, carried out feet first
Lookin’ his worse, he still waved good-bye to her

Lift:
She didn’t recognize Joe, his eyes swelled shut
But she took pity on him, and wished him luck

Chorus:

Bridge:
Men have fought over women since cave man days
Joe will drink alone at home, in his own man cave

Chorus: Tag: Out….

 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 10, 2017, 08:01 PM

OD I’m honored that you took the time to have a few beers and play around with the story. I’ve read a lot of your posts so it was fun to see you take the song and work with it. You’re certainly right that I’m not a performing artist! I did play a lot of banjo for a few years in the 90s but now I’m trying to get some basic guitar down to help me with things. You’re also right that I don’t have a melody for the song. Not a good one anyway.

Anyway I got a real kick out of Joe and the bar fight and It was kind of cool to see you do what you did with it.

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 10, 2017, 09:08 PM

Well Brother, it’s your story and your song idea, you have to go with your gut.  I was just trying to show you how other songwriters may take your song idea and come up with an entirely different direction for your story to go.  Give your story to ten different songwriters and you’ll end up with ten different versions of your song.  Ha!!!

There are some song writing lessons in my lyrics if you search for them.  I’ll leave it for you to ponder.

OD

 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 12, 2017, 02:43 PM

Dave,

If you don’t mind I’d like to address a couple of those lesson’s I mentioned before.  Please know though, they are only my opinions and like everyone, we all have opinions.

Now you probably already know most of what I am about to say, but please allow me to share my thoughts in case I may say something you didn’t realize.  First of all allow me to mention the value of a co-writer.  I am not trying to become a co-writer with you on this song; but merely mention to you the value of a co-writer.  It’s easy for a solo writer (at any level) to fall into “Tunnel Vision” which is merely a term for the writer knowing EXACTLY what the story behind their song is; but doesn’t tell their story with enough detail so the listener can easily follow their story.  A co-writer (not all but mostly all) can help a solo writer avoid little mistakes and add suggestions to help improve the song lyrics, and in some cases the melody also.  Obviously having a co-writer helping with the melody would require being in the same room as the song is being written; or each co-writer having the ability to Skype or send recordings back and forth. 

So assume for a moment you and I were in the same room as you were writing this song.  We would have the ability to speak back and forth freely and when I came up with including a character like Joe, and changing the entire direction for your song idea, I could have shared my idea with you and then you could easily come back with “I like that” or “I don’t like that”, within a matter of minutes.  So I’m sure you can see the value of working with a co-writer especially if you can be in the same room.  Now, the other options being Skype; or emails, may result in a better song also (and that may be your only option, as it is with most of us), but hopefully you can realize the value of a co-writer in most situations.

The other lesson I mentioned earlier but would like to bring up again is writing in 3rd person.  By writing in 3rd person you allow the singing artist to remove themselves from being the character in the song (by saying I did this and I did that) to being an observer or narrator of the song. You allow the singing artist to merely tell a story about someone else they may not feel any connection with but tell about some other character in their story. This is huge if you’re not a performing artist and you hope to have someone else perform your songs in public for you.  Sure, you can hire a demo singer to sing your song for you on a demo recording in 1st person; but that is about as far as it will ever go. Of course the best scenario is to co-write a song with a performing artist (whether an unknown Indie artist; or pro artist) but that takes time and writing good enough songs to interest a performing artist to work with you.

Another lesson I’d like to share with you is telling a simple story so the listener can follow along.  There is another famous quote around Nashville that goes “KISS”, (keep it simple songwriter); which I think the original quote outside of Nashville may have been “keep it simple stupid”.  Regardless, it’s very important to tell a story in terms anyone can follow.  When you begin writing lines that are vague and don’t add anything to the story, other than trying to be clever, you miss a chance to draw the listener into your story. More on that later, I’m going to shut down my comments before they get so long I can’t post it. 

OD

[ Edited: 12 March 2017 02:48 PM by OD-OldDog]
 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 12, 2017, 04:10 PM

Dave,

I’m back, but I’m not finished with you yet.  Ha!!!  In my previous post I mentioned to you about telling a simple story behind your lyrics so any listener can easily follow.  Your story should have a beginning, middle, and end.  The problem I had with your last re-write was there was no end to your story.  You had a beginning; with a guy entering a situation that may not turn out well for him; you had a middle by mentioning a girl that may have added to his misfortune; but you had NO END.  What happened; what took place; how did it end???  My rewrite was meant to be an example for you to tell a complete story, you may not have liked the direction I took your story but you and the listener knew how it ended (Joe got his a** kicked).  Ha!!!

Let me copy your first verse and show you an example of vague lines that don’t add to the story.  You wrote:

(Dave’s 1st verse):
I thought this bar stool would clear my head
Wound up trippin’ on a down hill sled
Troubles’ kinda lookin like its gonna be found
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Note I’m going to keep your lyrics as you wrote them in 1st person, and exactly how your wrote them, just to show you what I mean by vague lines that don’t advance the story.  In your first two lines you write:

“I thought this bar stool would clear my head”
“Wound up trippin’ on a down hill sled”.

What does “trippin’ on a down hill sled” really mean???  I assume it’s a metaphor of some sort but it sounds more like a clever line without adding anything to the story for me. You only have so many lines to paint a vivid picture to draw your listener into your story, the more you waste them on vague, clever lines the more chances you miss to paint a vivid and descriptive picture for your listener to feel they are in that bar with you and your character.  Using a line like “trippin on a down hill sled” adds nothing to allow the listener to feel the bar experience you are trying to take them into.

Then your next two lines go:
“Troubles’ kinda lookin like its gonna be found”
“Falling off the ground in Ramble Town”

Okay; the line “Troubles kinda lookin’ like it’s gonna be found” is okay, that helps set up your story; but what about the following line when you write:  “Falling off the ground in Ramble Town”.  What exactly does “falling off the ground” mean???  Once again, another example of trying to write a clever line and perhaps writing to a rhyme with ground/town; but it makes no sense and doesn’t advance your story (to me anyway).

Now, let’s look at your chorus.  The chorus should be the summary of details from your verses and bring your message home to include your hook at the end.  Every line of your verses should be written towards your hook and give vivid detail off what your hook means and support your hook so your story all makes sense.  Now allow me to copy your chorus:

Daves Chorus:
Things hit bottom at the Bar None Grill
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
I Need a ride down to the higher ground
The devils’ gonna get me in Ramble Town

Okay, your first line is okay, we know things are going bad and your second line is okay also except I can’t imagine a place with $1 dollar shots unless they are jello shots and I don’t think that is what you had in mind.  All a part of keeping your story realistic, even though it may sound as if I’m nit-picking a little.  Also; you DON’T mention your character buying the girl drinks also; but the scenario of him buying her drinks seems very believable and most likely to me; which is why I changed that line to “where two buck shots blows ten buck bills”.  I was trying to suggest he was buying them both shots and he blew more than ONE ten dollar bill. 

Now let’s look at the third line in your chorus.  You say “I need a ride down to higher ground”.  Exactly what does that line really mean???  I can’t help but believe it’s another vague metaphor that doesn’t advance the story; except to come up with another clever line and write to a rhyme for ground and town in your next line.

Also realize a common mistake by newer writers.  You have written your song with 3 verses which is NOT recommended anymore.  That may have worked with songs 30 years ago but no-longer with modern songs.  The reason being today’s listener’s have very short attention spans; it’s really important to change the melodies from verse to chorus to keep the listener interested in your song.  That is why some writers will separate a verse from the chorus by adding a “Lift” which will have a slight change in melody leading into the large powerful chorus that is repeated 3 times by design to allow the listener to recognize the chorus lyrics and be able to sing along. So the more you repeat a melody of a verse (as in 3 verses) you run the risk of your verse melodies becoming repetitive and boring to the listener.  That is why a writer will write a Bridge with a different melody (instead of a 3rd verse) to break up the melodies from the two verses and rpeated choruses a little bit.  Whew!!!  That was a lot to explain, I hope I didn’t confuse you.

Any questions or comments please feel free to ask.

OD

 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 12, 2017, 06:00 PM

A lot to think about OD. Thanks again.

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 12, 2017, 07:08 PM

OD always gives you a lot to think about!

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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