For my Location song I have decided to write about a ‘Grave’/’Graveyard’… This locations is somewhere extremely familiar to me and quite close to home so I have a good understanding and perception of this location. I chose it as many of my songs I use as a way of venting and releasing emotion so this location being a personal one I think I’ll be able to get a a raw and real sound and emotion from it.
I started by answering the questions given in the lyric scaffold quiz and it opened my mind up to what perception I was going to write the song from. Below is a image of my scaffold…
My main concern was who was going to be the singer… I was confused over wether to do it as the person speaking from the grave or the person singing about the person in the grave..
Below I’ve attached a photo of my though process when I chose my location to be A grave. I started off the writing process as I usually do when working on my own with writing down what the topic means, and connotations of said topic.
This then spurred on my lyric ideas which I started to write them all down, not in any specific order, just whatever came to my head I wrote down.
After getting some of my ideas down this is when I follow my usual writing technique by sitting at the piano and ‘jamming’ ideas out with a chord structure and then shifting everything to fit with one another. The development of my lyrics are shown through the 3 images inserted above of my song book. They show the though process behind the lyrics and each take I had on the topic.
This was my first draft of the song…
using a AABABB structure.
With my first draft there are many lines I completely dislike, ‘All of this I see’ is one of them as I think that it gives the song a weird idea of who the person in the grave is, as if he is all seeing, i feel like it is too obvious and too literal.
My other problem line I think is in the chorus ‘My home is in your heart’. This line strays away from the song too much and opens up a different meaning completely, and again to obvious. The lyric ‘Im still with you’ could be perceived in a spiritual sense but also when you visit the grave, the body or ashes are there, so technically speaking they are still there and with you, open to interpretation.
Here is my 1st draft lyric checklist-
Have I grabbed the listeners attention in the first line?
Yes I feel that the first line is intriguing..
Is the song form I have chosen the most appropriate?
The song form I have chosen is AABABB, this gives me three verses with two being at the front that offers chance to tell the story before it reaches the chorus. On the other hand I would like to experiment with a bridge or pre chorus?
Is the lyric hook in the chorus correct, i.e. it sums up the key message of the song?
No, this section of the song I don’t think is strong at all, the line ‘My home is in your heart’ is really vague and can also have so many meanings, I think I am going to remove it. The ‘Im still with you’ lyric I think is really catchy and memorable so I’m toying with the idea of just repeating that line for my chorus.
If there is a bridge, does the lyric and story change direction sufficiently?
I haven’t got a bridge, but as I mentioned above in my next attempt I would like to experiment with one.
Does the chorus reflect the outcome of the verse sufficiently?
The chorus I don’t like at all, so answering this question how it is now… Not at all. Its too cliché and misleading.
Have I ‘driven home’ the song title message enough so the listener will remember it after one hearing?
I haven’t decided on a song title yet, it is always something I leave till last so im not really prepared to answer this question.
Have I set up the story (location, etc.) sufficiently within the 1st verse?
I would say I have, the reference to ‘my garden’ this being a universally known name for a grave, and also by saying ‘look down over mean’, implies the person is on the floor, below them.
Have I managed to move the story on through verses, or am I merely repeating myself
in subsequent verses? Have I built a consistent emotional tone throughout?
The emotional tone I think I have built, but I don’t think there is a clear story through the verses, I’ve recently thought about the idea of time passing, so the verse show that which I’ve somewhat achieved in verse 3 ‘dust fallen over my name’ and ‘brush the leaves away’, these lines implying time has passed and the grave is a little neglected and isn’t visited as often as before.
Have I put the singer in a good light?
I guess so?
Is the tone overly preachy and moralising, so as to make the listener not relate to the singer?
No, I think nearly everyone can relate to the song, therefore relate to who the singers addressing and most people have a person who is the ‘singer’.
Is the meaning of the song universally understood?
Yes, as I’ve just stated above, I would say that everyone has had to visit a grave at some point in their life, or will do. Loss is a universal emotion and I think everyone understands the feeling and emotion no matter how big or small.
Can I imagine an established recording artist singing these words?
These are words that I would want an established artist to sing, as this is what I would want my music to say if I was to ever have my music heard. Some of the cliché lyrics no and yes, pop music the cliché fits into but I don’t want this song to fit into that category.
Is my grammar rock solid?
I think so… and hope so.
Did I indicate when someone is speaking? i.e. “he said”
I haven’t included speech from someone other than the singer,
Is the lyric clear?
In some areas yes, but there is a lot of touching up and changing to do.
How is my rhyming? Have I ‘forced’ any just for the sake of it that then makes my lyric weaker?
‘Me’ and ‘See’ in the first verse I think feel really forced and this is why that las line of the first verse is the first thing I really want to change.
How well have a made the melody and lyric work? Is the emphasis on syllables correct?
At the moment yes I think it works, I just think the song feels a little to somber melodically at this current state.
Have I built the song to an emotional payoff?
I wouldn’t say I have at the moment, but this is something that I always strive to do with my music.
Are the tenses in the text correct according to the story?
This then leads me on to my second attempt:
2nd Draft –
As you step into my garden
As you look down over me
Flowers in the right, tissue in the left
Life will carry on without me
Flowers ready to lay by my side
Roses filling the garden
Each time you visit me here
You cry more and more every time
Im still with you
Im still with you
Im still with you
Im still with you
Brush the leaves from the stone
Clear the dust thats fallen over my name
The days all roll into one
But you will never lose my love
I have put the changes in bold in the draft above so you can see clearly the small alterations to the lyric made.
Ive also played with the idea of having a bridge after playing the second hearing of the chorus…
The bridge ideas –
Below is another picture of my song book showing further development on the lyrics.
Vocal take of one of my ideas –