Please, West Virginia

 
       
 
Jan 11, 2018, 01:11 PM

Please, West Virginia
Jeff Walker—May 2016

They were living on dreams
And their hearts were on fire
‘Bout to burst at the seams
With desire for the love they would make

But she took a step back
She looked hard in his eyes
For a clue to the track
Their young lives were likely to take

They were barely fifteen
Families broken and bent
West Virginia’s just mean
When the government’s killin’ the coal

How do you decide
When to bolt down your heart
And to swallow your pride
At the start and just let the dice roll

Chorus:
She sang:
Please, West Virginia
What can you promise to me?
I know I better leave this coal town
To ever know what I can be

So she left him behind
To the dusty black smoke
Coming out of the mines
That spoke of salvation and doom

But she’d whisper his name
Just before she’d awake
And when the memories came
It would take all the air from the room

Then she saw him one day
Playing bluegrass & blues
In a crowded café
And the newspapers started to write

How a coal miner’s son
Sang his world in a song
And escaped from the one
Thing so wrong in his life it was right

2nd Chorus:
He sang:
Please, West Virginia
What can you promise to me?
I know I better leave this coal town
To ever know what I can be

Coda Chorus:
Please, West Virginia
The truth I can finally see:
That all of your promises written in coal
Are curses and blessings to me

 
     
Jeffrey Walker Joined May 25, 2017
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Jan 11, 2018, 04:33 PM

I like your angle here Jeffery, good storyline! I wonder if this would benefit from working
backwards though._._._ I mean, start with a positive chorus about succeeding in WVA as  
a musician, then tell the story from the stage :)

[ Edited: 11 January 2018 04:35 PM by JAPOV]
 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Jan 11, 2018, 05:31 PM

I like the story line it is intricately deep. Now the tune it would be easy to put almost a back ground sound sound but I would love to hear a full blown Orchestral + country sound to this it would blow the listener away.

Mark

 
     
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Mark Smith Joined Jan 08, 2018
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Jan 11, 2018, 06:29 PM

Wow, thanks, guys! Great input. As I was writing it, I stumbled across the opportunity for a subtle little internal “bonus” rhyme, by echoing the end of line 2 of each verse somewhere in the middle of line 4, so I worked all the verses that way and I thought it came out halfway decent without sounding too “moon/june” trite. I love making the extra effort to get the rhymes just right and not just rely upon near-rhymes of only the vowel sound, even though I think those can work ok if there’s a great melody and vocalist to sort of mask that less distinctly poetic echo. And I guess I was guilty on one of those little internal ones where it was “eyes” and “lives”. And hopefully, touches like that can serve the song plus sort of deliver a little extra wind to the sails of the singer. I just think that song structure, meter & rhyme scheme is a sometimes underrated element of the craft, and it’s something that tends to grab me in songwriting by artists whose work I admire, like Darrell Scott, Elvis Costello, Rodney Crowell, Richard Shindell, Jackson Browne and Robert Earl Keen.

 
     
Jeffrey Walker Joined May 25, 2017
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