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Thread: Chariot (here's some lyrics to review)

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    Chariot (here's some lyrics to review)

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    My dad asked me to write a song that would incorporate my grandparent's names (not a simple request as they have some wild names like "Homer Columbus" and "Mildred Alice") AND have the song express their religious faith AND include my spiritual beliefs. Organized religion is a bit of a sore spot with me so I thought there would be no way I could compose a song to satisfy all the above requests. One day I was kinda humming to myself the old-fashioned spiritual song (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot) and wondered if I could incorporate any of those images into a song of my own. I have a recording of this, but I'm not particularly happy with it (at all!) That's one of the reasons I've starting coming to this forum in hopes of learning how to record myself so I can tinker with my songs till I get them to sound just how I want. I'll put a link up to the song if you promise not to howl too loudly at all the mistakes in it!! Anyway, here are the lyrics

    "Chariot"
    I don't care what you think of me
    I can see through your facade
    So watch me open my big mouth
    and fire off one last shot
    I don't know how I got caught in this lariat of fear
    But there's gas enough in this old chariot
    to get me out of here

    (CHORUS) Swing low and sing it to me sweet so I can find the road
    take me back to the home I used to know
    Swing low and sing it to me sweet, I've got so far to go
    And that chariot on fire is moving slow

    If you get there before me
    won't you hold me a place in line
    Cause the river's wide and I'm scared to death
    I won't reach the other side
    I know angels are watching me
    and they've been working overtime
    So I'll jump in cause I know how to swim
    and you can pull me out alive

    (CHORUS) Swing low and sing it to me sweet so I can find the road
    That will take me back to the home I used to know
    Swing low and sing it to me sweet, I've got so far to go
    And that chariot on fire is moving slow

    (Bridge) And I've been told there's
    streets of gold I'll see someday
    But from where I stand
    they seem so far away

    Homer Columbus, Raymond Hugh
    Dorothy Diella and Mildred Alice
    did the best that they could do
    my grandparents had fire and brimstone
    and they'd get down on their knees
    I'm from the same blood oh good God above
    there's gotta be hope for me

    (CHORUS) Swing low and sing it to me sweet so I can find the road
    That will take me back to the home I used to know
    Swing low and sing it to me sweet cause I've got so far to go
    And that chariot on fire is moving slow

    Swing low and sing it to me sweet
    I just can't find the road
    And that chariot on fire is moving slow

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13390899/chariot_3.mp3
    Last edited by sharonclowe; 10-20-2010 at 11:28. Reason: added the link for the recoding

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    When I read your explanation my initial thought was "This is going to be excruiciating"...

    However, as much as I'm not on fond of the subject matter, I like it...

    Lots of space, not overplayed.

    I think you have something here.

    Nice.

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    Like Armistice, I didn't know what to expect. Wow. Really like the song. I think the lyrics are great. You incorporated your tasks and gave us some nice imagery. If I were to offer any suggestions, I'd say pare it down a little. At 4.5 minutes, your listeners might start to lose interest because the song doesn't throw up any significant changes to melody or arrangement.

    On the other hand, with such a narrowly targeted audience such as your family, you don't have to worry about that much.

    Thanks for sharing.
    peace,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armistice View Post
    When I read your explanation my initial thought was "This is going to be excruiciating"...

    However, as much as I'm not on fond of the subject matter, I like it...
    Thanks Armistice! I totally understand your anticipation of something horrendous, sappy, and nauseating!! (That was my reaction when my Dad suggested I write this!) There's a bunch of holy rollers in my family so I tried not to piss them off too much while still maintaining my sincere ambivalence about the whole "God" thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chili View Post
    Like Armistice, I didn't know what to expect. Wow. Really like the song. I think the lyrics are great. You incorporated your tasks and gave us some nice imagery. If I were to offer any suggestions, I'd say pare it down a little. At 4.5 minutes, your listeners might start to lose interest because the song doesn't throw up any significant changes to melody or arrangement.
    Hi Chili...thanks for listening to this one (and that "Hero" song on the Mp3 board). Don't worry, not EVERYTHING I write is related to my Dad...

    My friend who did this recording for me also said the same thing about the length...I think I could easily shorten it by cutting out the 2nd chorus and just go straight into the bridge part. This might be a good project for me to try out my editing skills? Can I use reaper to cut out a chunk of the song?

    I appreciate you and Armistice giving me feedback especially since the song description might be scaring off some others?! I was beginning to wonder why nobody was commenting...I didn't think the song sucked that bad!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sharonclowe View Post
    Don't worry, not EVERYTHING I write is related to my Dad...
    Nah, I'm totally relating. My sister is making some kind of video for my dad's 80th birthday and I have to write the music.

    Can I use reaper to cut out a chunk of the song?
    Yes, you can. I'm not familiar with Reaper, but most every DAW program has extensive editing functions.

    I was beginning to wonder why nobody was commenting...I didn't think the song sucked that bad!
    It takes a while for people to warm up to newbs. In the MP3 clinic, you'll fare a better chance to get comments by giving comments. Even if you don't have any advice or suggestions for a mix, just a simple "I like it" or I don't like it and here's why..." works well. The more you comment on others' submissions, the more people will give you feedback.

    If I haven't already said so, welcome to the site.

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    Hi,

    You have a nice song here, I like the feel and the lyrics work really well with the whole thing. I have a suggestion, and I hope it's not going to rub you the wrong way if you were only looking for feedback on the lyrics, but here goes...

    You should change up the chords/melody at the end line of each verse to add interest and provide a nice musical conflict/resolution going into the chorus. Right now the chords and melody repeat through the verses and don't change - E - c# - B - c#. It would be very easy to add interest by changing the chords and melody for the last line of each verse. For example, at the end of verse one, when you sing the lines "...to get me out of here" try coming up with a new melody over the following chords: A - E - B played in the same rhythmic structure that your other lines are in. Ending on B there will provide a nice feel when you go back to E for the chorus. Or, you could try other chords/rhythms/melodies, just as long as it provides a change and adds some movement/interest to the song.

    Hopefully this makes sense and is not too presumptuous

    Best Regards,

    Dave DeWhitt
    http://www.soundclick.com/davedewhitt

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    Hi Dave...I can try that! (And no...don't worry about rubbing me the wrong way ). I play this with a capo (I think it was on the 3rd fret for this song) though so I'm not sure what the translation would be for an A chord. When I'm playing the first chord is a regular old "C", the 2nd chord is whatever you call this...(??)

    e|---|
    B|-1-|
    G|-2-|
    D|-3-|
    A|-X-|
    E|-X-|

    the third chords is this (??!!)

    e|---|
    B|-1-|
    G|---|
    D|---|
    A|-3-|
    E|-3-|

    and 4th chord is this
    e|---|
    B|-1-|
    G|---|
    D|-2-|
    A|---|
    E|-X-|

    so based on that...would the "A" be the equivalent of to F chord?

    Anyway...thanks again for listening and I'll try out some different variations!

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    Yes, that F shaped chord (A flat Major) is what was sounding right to me, but you may come up with something different. Also, I probably confused you a little because when I listened earlier I thought I was hearing you playing the song in E Major, but after reading what you wrote and then playing around with a guitar in hand, it turns out you are actually in E Flat Major. So, if you want to try what I was hearing in my head, you can play A Flat Major (F shaped chord with capo on 3rd fret), E flat Major (C shaped chord with capo on 3rd fret), and then B flat Major (G shaped chord with capo on 3rd fret). You could also replace the E Flat Major chord with c minor (an a minor shaped chord on the 3rd fret capo) which sounds really nice there too!!! Or there are a million (well, maybe not a million ) other possibilities that would probably be great. Melody is key, so focus on that and see where that takes the chords.

    Good luck! Even if you don't change anything it's still a nice tune.

    Best Regards,

    Dave DeWhitt
    http://www.soundclick.com/davedewhitt

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    Reading the lyric I thought the song would be rushed but you pace it really nicely. I wouldn't worry about the length if it's just for family, even if it's not, 4.5 isn't abnormally long.

    Really great chorus.

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    On reading I was worried about
    Lariat
    & the line
    And that chariot on fire is moving slow
    Lariat works fine & the line is OK but I'd prefer it to be THIS rather than THAT particularly since you use THIS in the 1st verse.
    And this chariot on fire is moving slow
    It's a matter of consistency as well as perspective. In the verse the impression is of you riding in the chariot whereas the chorus refers more abstractly as if you were aside & pointing.
    There is more imagery in THIS as it suggests riding in the chariot, it moving slowly yet being on fire which creates a sense of urgency.
    THis is, of course, me being picky but you've done a fine job on the song & my ears would be happier if the little detail , as I read it, sat a little better. Of corse it should read "...moving slowly." but that's a matter or metre & licence.
    Great job regardless of my meddling mind.

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