Ramble Town

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Mar 13, 2017, 12:09 PM

Dave,

There is my Ol Buddy Gavin adding his two cents.  I can never tell when he is being sarcastic or being kind with his comments.  Regardless I get a kick out of my buddy Gavin either way.  Ha!!!

OD

 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 13, 2017, 12:39 PM

More kind than sarcastic, I hope. Is it possible to be both at the same time? You just make me smile, OD.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Mar 13, 2017, 01:18 PM

OD I’m trying an uplift or bridge here as you suggested. The song is about a guy’s mind game basically but I take your constructive thoughts about it being vague and not really getting there as a story. I also read in some of MAB’s posts about vagueness ( paraphrasing MAB) not being as effective as maybe it was years ago) so I’m trying to improve the clarity some. Don’t really want to go to the bar fight. The guys trying to not make a mistake again but he loses the battle. Anyway I’ll keep trying and thanks again. Oh, by the way you can still get one buck shots, you just have to go to Ramble Town!

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

Bridge
Foggy headed barstool be my friend
Dont let a pretty woman take me down again

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

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

[ Edited: 13 March 2017 02:08 PM by David Swinson]
 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 13, 2017, 01:58 PM

Dave Ol Buddy,

This is where I show my lack of teaching skills and lack of people skills that my buddy MAB is so good at; because if we were in the same writing room together right now, I’d be slapping you into submission and breaking my guitar over your thick head. Ha!!! (only teasin).

From what I read from your most recent re-write, I don’t see any difference at all from your original lyrics; other than a couple of lines you call an Uplift (that I have never heard of before).  I think you are confused by a “Lift” or “Pre-chorus” but an Uplift is fine if that is how you want to write it. It didn’t really help your story at all.  IMHO

I’d like to help you Brother; but obviously you are hell bent on telling your story your way. I’m not upset nor offended because you didn’t use my lyrics, I totally understand that may not have been the direction you wanted your song to go.  However; you missed some really good examples how to tell YOUR story better; but I can’t talk you into anything.  Just realize I was considering asking you if you had a sister who was single and available for this Old Dog to entice into marriage; but now I realize you and I would probably not get along very well at Thanksgiving Dinner at all.  I shutter to think of me breaking your family’s copy of a Norman Rockwell painting over your head during a decorative Thanksgiving table.  So sad for you because I may have been able to offer further suggestions for you to improve on your songwriting; but probably a good thing for your sister that she didn’t get involved with the Old Dog.  Ha!!!

Do it your way Brother, everything is allowed.

Gavin Ol Buddy, bite your tongue and try not to comment.  By the way Gavin Ol Buddy, any chance you have a sister you’d like to introduce the Old Dog to???  I could get my buddy Russell at the local Drive-Thru to give me a good reference from his “favored customer list”.  Ha!!!

OD

[ Edited: 13 March 2017 02:11 PM by OD-OldDog]
 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 13, 2017, 02:15 PM

I don’t know OD, maybe I’ll change it to a bar fight after all! You really got me thinking now! Just kidding, I’m trying to make it a better song. Have a long ways to to be a better writer.

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 13, 2017, 03:02 PM

Dave,

Of course I was only teasing you and giving you some crap earlier; but the fact still remains you are still using your vague lines and metaphors that don’t make sense to me or add to your story.  Oh, I can recognize they are clever lines and I can assume what you mean; but they don’t add to your story at all in describing the bar or what he is going through, to allowing your listener to feel they can picture themselves in the very same bar with him and experiencing his mind games that you suggest he is going through.  That is what you want to do.  Regardless whether you involve him in a bar fight (which you suggest in your original lyric) or whether he is playing mind games with himself (which you now explain was your intent for the song), explain it better in your story; because quite frankly I am confused between your suggestion of the two and so will the average listener.  WE CAN’T READ YOUR MIND BROTHER.  That is the “Tunnel Vision” I was trying to explain to you. As the writer You know exactly what your story is about and what every line means; BUT THE LISTENER DOESN’T UNLESS YOU EXPLAIN IT TO US CLEARLY.  That was the main point I was trying to get across to you.

Songwriting is not about who can write the most clever lines; but who can tell the best story so any listener can follow along and be drawn into the story.  If you are able to do that and include a few clever lines than all the better; but those clever lines have to follow the story and not be written to confuse the listener.

I’m beginning to think a Thanksgiving Dinner is not out of the question quite yet; so don’t disappoint me.  By the way, I prefer the dark meat of the turkey, and I love dressing and scalloped corn.  Oh…... I also like a good nap after a big dinner like that so you’ll have to ask your family to quiet down a little.  Oh also; do you think your sister would have a problem bringing me a beer when I asked her to???  Ha!!!

OD

 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 13, 2017, 03:54 PM

Working on it OD, you’re welcome at my place for Thanksgiving.

Ramble Town

I thought this bar stool was gonna be kind
Look at her sittin’ there blowin’ my mind
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

Bridge
Foggy headed bar stool hang on tight
Hold on friend it’s a long hard night

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

I should be thinkin’ bout the mess I’m in
She’s 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

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

[ Edited: 14 March 2017 05:13 PM by David Swinson]
 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 13, 2017, 05:03 PM

Dave,

I appreciate the invitation for Thanksgiving dinner but you haven’t provided an address yet so I can only believe you are only being kind but not totally serious.  Also you haven’t mentioned which sister you would be willing to sacrifice to the Old Dog, so I have to tread lightly until you commit.  Ha!!!

Listen, you are doing better but you’re not there yet. Please realize how important telling a clear and simple story is to allowing a listener to understand the story behind your song. That is the most important lesson I could ever share with you (or anyone else) wanting to be a songwriter.  Once you have mastered being able to tell a simple story so any listener can follow along, the clever lines and vivid details you are able to include will only add to your story.  Before you can expect any listener to like your lyric you have to write it so a common listener can easily understand them.  At that time we can only hope they enjoy the story behind the song, enjoy the melody of the song and hopefully want to hear again.  That is the ultimate goal of any songwriter, to write a song the listeners will enjoy and want to listen to again and again.  However; you have to tell a story they can follow along with FIRST AND FOREMOST,  and not include a bunch of clever lines, cliche’s, and metaphors that don’t add to the story. Now once again, YOU the songwriter may understand your story and think your clever lines make sense; but if they only make sense to YOU, chances are you are guilty of Tunnel Vision and you will never be able to understand why the listener doesn’t get it; nor care for your song.

As I read back over your last re-write, it took awhile but I’m guessing your story is more about a guy meeting a lady in a bar and feeling she is too much woman for him (even trouble) but you constantly mention Ramble Town as your Hook.  That Hook alone suggests a conflict of some sort which I would assume is suggesting a bar fight of some kind.  Maybe this is a case of your Hook not fitting the intended story behind your song, I truly don’t know.  Maybe it’s so well written and so clever it is over my head and I am just not able to get it.  Which is it???  Stop with the lyrics for a moment and tell your story to me as if you were speaking directly to me without using any lyrics to tell the story behind your song.  Once you explain your song idea to me, I think we can go from there.

OD

[ Edited: 14 March 2017 10:35 PM by OD-OldDog]
 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 13, 2017, 05:45 PM

Ok. He sees the girl. He doesn’t meet her, just sees her. Something inside him wants to meet her but he knows she will be trouble for him. He’s been in that situation recently and doesn’t want to fall off the ground again. He’s obviously getting drunk but he’s just trying to hold on to the barstool to keep himself from making some move that in his mind will go bad. He never speaks to her. He’s mentally trying to fight the ‘mess he’s in’ from the last time. Part of him wants to leave , ‘to the higher ground’ but as far as the song takes us, he’s holding on to the barstool.
But- he’s feeling like he’s probably ‘hell bound again.”

[ Edited: 13 March 2017 06:04 PM by David Swinson]
 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 14, 2017, 04:20 PM

Dave,

Your explanation above describing what you wanted to say in your story makes much better sense to me than any of the lyrics you have written.  That is exactly what I have been trying to explain to you, tell your story so any listener can easily follow it.  Your story and lyrics are in the short paragraph above with all the information you need to tell a simple story.  Remember the term “KISS”, “keep it simple songwriter”.  Remember also the other term I mentioned to you “Tunnel Vision”.  That is exactly what you were experiencing when writing your lyrics because YOU (the songwriter) knew exactly what the story in your lyrics was about; but you tried to get clever with lines that didn’t add to the story.  You only confused the listener.  IMHO

Try again and keep your story simple.  Also; I don’t know why you are set on using the line “falling off the ground in Ramble Town”.  That may make perfectly good sense to you; but not to me.  Maybe something like “losing ground in Ramble Town” I truly don’t know.

OD

 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 14, 2017, 07:46 PM

Okay Dave,

I was in the mood for a few beers (imagine that) and I worked on your song again from the explanation you gave above, where you explained what you had in mind when you wrote your lyrics.  Please realize I didn’t spend a lot of time on it; but I was trying to show you how to write your lyrics based the story you had in mind for your song to go. Note some difficulty though, when you have a hook like “Ramble Town” it truly suggests a “fist city” type of thing to me.  However; you’re story seemed to be more around a guy trying to get over a “love gone wrong” and there are millions of those type songs out there but always room for more.  Still, I tried to stay with your intended song idea.  As I mentioned earlier, I just didn’t get your term “falling off ground” so I didn’t go there at all.  I couldn’t help but think you were trying to be more clever, than conversational; but I could be wrong.  I’m getting pretty old and pretty much out of the loop with modern expressions.

I don’t expect you to like my lyrics but please realize I was merely trying to show you how to write your lyrics from the very clear and simple story you told me what your story was all about.  If I may suggest a method of writing for you to follow in the future.  Don’t worry about lyrics at all.  Write a simple story, like you did above, then the lyrics will almost write themselves.  I learned that technique from a couple of Pro writers and I may share their method’s with you someday.  Remember this; if you have a hook (strong line or song idea) write your story; perhaps multiple stories around that hook, until you come up with the story you like best and write your lyrics from that (as I suggested before).

Know though, if you begin with writing lyrics first; without knowing where your story is going to go, you will most likely end up writing to rhymes and trying to write clever lines that don’t add anything to your story but only confuse the listener.  That is my advise to you.

Here is my latest attempt and it only took me several beers to get there (hiccup…...sorry about that).  Okay; I’m going to leave my syllable counts in parenthesis so you can see them.  Notice as a songwriter you have the freedom to write your 1st verse; 1st lift (pre-chorus); and chorus without any worry of syllable counts.  However; when you begin writing your 2nd verse and your 2nd lift; you MUST have the exact same syllable count (or very close) so the lines in your 2nd verse and lift match your 1st verse and lift.  That allows the same melody to be used for both verses and the same slightly different melody to be used in both lifts (regardless who writes the melody or performs your song).  Of course the syllable count in the Chorus doesn’t matter since the same chorus will be repeated 3 times.  Allow me to explain again why the same chorus is repeated 3 times (called a Universal Chorus).  It is because the Chorus is the powerful catchy part of the song that contains your hook (and main message of your song) and you want the words to become familiar with the listeners so they will recognize it and want to sing along with it. Here is my song lyric based on the story you told me. Keep what you want, change what you want, ignore what you want.  I was only using these lyrics as an example for you. I’m Done!!!

Ramble Town
David Swinson

He found an empty stool in a brand new bar (11)
A mirror reflects rows of whiskey but not his scar (13)
His attempt to start over just began today (12)
Is this the right time; or the right place (5,4)

Lift:
Blames his old girlfriend for messing up his mind
Stole a piece of his heart, left broken pieces behind

Chorus:
He’s slippin back to the Bar None Grill
Drinkin’ one buck shots on a ten buck bill
This bar stool he sits, let his thoughts spin around
Feels like he’s returned to his old stompin’ ground
Back in Ramble Town

Verse 2:
Maybe it’s the whiskey he couldn’t see straight
Didn’t notice the lady when she arrived there late
She looks too much like the girl he wants to forget
With her golden hair that low cut dress

Lift: (11) (6,6)
He could almost reach out and touch her shoulder
But he can’t because he doesn’t even know her

Chorus:

Bridge:
Doesn’t speak to her, he has nothing to say
That’s because of fear it will end the same way

Chorus:  Tag:  Out:

[ Edited: 15 March 2017 11:16 AM by OD-OldDog]
 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 14, 2017, 09:00 PM

Hey I really like that version OD. I’m going to learn from the things you’ve said. Going to write the story down and then let the lyrics hopefully happen more freely and clearly. I’ll probably step away from this one for a bit and come back to it later. Thanks for your help! I really mean that you know.

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 18, 2017, 07:25 PM

Dave,

The old guy has been off the beer for a few days but between answering a few emails and half-time for a few ball games, I’m back.  I’d like to spend a few moments to discuss some additional advise to you.  I hope it helps and maybe clears a few other comments I made earlier.

When I suggested writing the story down for the song you want to write, I can’t tell you enough how much that will help you.  However; be aware all the information you write down to tell your story is great to have more details than you will need, you can “NOT” use every detail in your song.  You have to pick and choose the information wisely and only choose the ideas that best fit the message you are trying to get across, meaning writing to your hook which should be in the last line of your Chorus and the main idea behind your song.

Remember the quote “KISS” (keep it simple songwriter) that means you want to keep your story simple and not over load the listener with too much detail or add to many characters because it will dilute your story and only confuse your listener. I admit it may seem intimidating to a newer writer but all of us were trying to learn at one time.  If you have any questions, please ask.  I’d like to think this site is still meant for a newer songwriter to learn; not just hope for a pat on the back.  I hope your are willing to learn and willing to ask some questions.

OD

[ Edited: 18 March 2017 07:29 PM by OD-OldDog]
 
     
OD-OldDog Joined Feb 14, 2016
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Mar 19, 2017, 06:15 AM

I like the feel of the original version….... here’s some thoughts :)

Came down here to try to clear my head———-Came here trying to clear my mind
Wound up trippin’ on a down hill sled——————Wind up taking a downhill slide
Troubles’ kinda lookin like its gonna be found
The devils’ gonna get me in Ramble Town

Skinny jean girl with a lotta brown hair———-Skinny jeans, boots n long brown hair
Honky tonk eyes and a hot time stare———-Honky-Tonk eyes and a dare me stare
The womans’ got me thinking like I’m upside down—Every head here is spinning ‘round
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Shoulda been thinkin bout the mess I’m in———Already forgettin’ the mess I’m in
She got me drinkin I’m a fool again———————Drinkin’ with her, I’m a fool again
Slipping off the mountain now I’m all Hell bound—Spinning off my stool and hell bound
It’s gettin’ rowdy over in Ramble Town————-Dancing with the devil in Ramble Town

Chorus

Things hit the bottom at the Bar None Grill—-Yea, we’re gettin’ loud at the Bar None Grill            
One buck shots and a ten buck bill!!!!! :)
Need a ride down to the higher ground———Come on up to where the sinners get down
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town   :)

 
     
PIGSWAPWHAFTCA Joined Aug 27, 2016
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Mar 19, 2017, 08:51 AM

I like it Tony! Think I still like ‘hot time stare’ but made the other changes here. It does tell a better story as OD was saying. I guess I will drink with her OD!  If you’d like to put it to music I’d be happy to make it a collaboration with you if you’re interested. Yeah I like what you came up with!

Ramble Town

Came here trying to clear my mind
Wind up taking a downhill slide
Troubles’ kinda lookin like its gonna be found
The devils gonna get me in Ramble Town

Things are hittin’ bottom at the Bar None Grill
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
Everythings’ looking like its upside down
Fallin off the ground in Ramble Town

Skinny jeans, boots n long brown hair
Honky tonk eyes and a hot time stare
Everythings’ looking like its upside down
Falling off the ground in Ramble Town

Things are hittin’ bottom at the Bar None Grill
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
Everythings’ lookin like its upside down
Fallin off the ground in Ramble Town

Already forgettin’ the mess I’m in
Drinking with her I’m a fool again
Hold on barstool I’m all hell bound
Dancing with the devil in Ramble Town

Things are hittin’ bottom at the Bar None Grill            
One buck shots and a ten buck bill
Everythings’ looking like its upside down
Fallin off the ground in Ramble Town

.....fallin off the ground in Ramble Town

[ Edited: 19 March 2017 05:39 PM by David Swinson]
 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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