Enter Today.

Lyricists! Here’s your chance to shine! Enter The Dallas Songwriters Quarterly Lyric Contest Entry fee is $10 per lyric.

Quarterly Entry Deadlines: Winter - March 31 * Spring - June 30 * Summer - September 30 * Fall - December 31


PRIZES TO BE AWARDED

Of course the MAIN prize is what we ALL aspire to:

RECOGNITION FOR OUR LYRICAL WORK!

ALSO: The 1st place winning lyricist receives:

A certificate, $50 cash and a 1 year DSA membership.

The 1st, 2nd, 3rd place winner's lyrics and judges critiques will be published in the DSA “Songwriters Notes” and on the DSA Website.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

FALL 2014 LYRIC CONTEST WINNERS

            SEMIFINALISTS
        
Bounce by John Hyden, Ralston, NE
         The Road of Life by Catherine Pitman, Tualatin, OR
         Stuff by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ    
         Angels Down The Road by John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO
         Three Toed Wolf by Rio King, Plano, TX
         Hide N Watch by Rio King, Plano, TX

            WINNERS
1st Place
         The Road of Life
© Catherine Pitman, Tualatin, OR
This is a song of service that is similar to other songs of this genre but is able to muster just enough of a new spin that it has very good emotional impact. The image of a light shining on a dark road of life and showing the way is very good.  The hook is in the first sentence of the lyric but it sets the stage and mood of the song.  Overall, the song has very good appeal, focus, phrasing, and form.
When the road of life grows dark and cold,
And I feel I’m all alone,
There’s a guiding light shinning bright
That will lead me home….

Countless joys and sorrows fill my life,
And at times my fears take hold,
With a little prayer God will be there,
With his love and strength of old

Chorus

I believe in Him…
He will never let me down.
I believe in him….
He comforts me,
Forgives my sin

When I feel that I have lost my way,
And life’s burdens take their toll,
I just let God in and trust in Him,
For His Love has touched my soul.

I have seen His wonders here on earth,
I have felt His power too,
He has carried me set burdens free,
With a strength steadfast and true.

Chorus

I believe in Him…
He will never let me down.
I believe in him….
He comforts me,
Forgives my sin

If your road of life grows dark and cold,
And you feel you walk alone,
Steadfast and true, God’s love for you,
Is there to lead you home.
His love will lead you home.

2nd Place   
     Stuff © Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ

While it's not certain the writer intended for this song to be a blues song, it has the feel of a slow blues one and in that respect it is a good one.  It doesn't follow a standard blues form with repetitive lines so it winds up saying a more than what most blues songs do and has very good emotional impact. The song title should actually be "The Other Stuff" because the song is really about the stuff of memories that can't be physically divided when a couple splits up.

V-1 PLEASE RECONSIDER BABY, I DON’T WANT YOU TO GO
I’M NOT SURE WHY YOU’RE LEAVING, WHAT ELSE DON’T I KNOW
DIVORCE IS NOT THE ANSWER, THE PREACHER SAID FOREVER
WE’RE STILL IN LOVE, WE JUST CAN’T LIVE TOGETHER

V-2 THEY SAY NOTHING LASTS FOREVER, AND I GUESS IT’S TRUE
YOU’VE SEEN TOO MUCH OF ME, AND I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU
TAKE YOUR HALF OF EVERYTHING, I HOPE IT’S ENOUGH
THAT PART SHOULD BE EASY, NOW ABOUT THE OTHER STUFF

CHORUS: YOU KNOW THE STUFF I’M TALKING BOUT, THE MEMORIES WE MADE
TAKE ALL THOSE BOOKS AND OUR MUSIC, EVEN HALF MY PENSION
HOW ABOUT OUR WEDDING PICTURE, DO I JUST WATCH IT FADE
NOW ABOUT THOSE MEMORIES, AND STUFF IT HURTS TO MENTION
BRIDGE: SOME STUFF DOESN’T CUT IN HALF, YOU CAN’T DIVIDE THE PAST
OR SPLIT APART THE DREAM, WE WERE SO SURE WOULD LAST
GOING THROUGH THE ATTIC TREASURES, TOGETHER WILL BE TOUGH

WE’LL GET IT DONE SOMEHOW, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER STUFF

CHORUS: YOU KNOW THE STUFF I’M TALKING BOUT, THE MEMORIES WE MADE
TAKE ALL THOSE BOOKS AND OUR MUSIC, EVEN HALF MY PENSION
HOW ABOUT OUR WEDDING PICTURE, DO I JUST WATCH IT FADE
NOW ABOUT THOSE MEMORIES, AND STUFF IT HURTS TO MENTION

3rd Place
            Hide N Watch © Rio King, Plano, TX

This is a song that puts a cute spin on an old expression that means "if you don't believe me wait and see what happens". The hook is very good and it has very good phrasing/cadence and a very good rhyme scheme.
Verse1    When I was a little shaver
        Momma didn’t need no switch
        If I wasn’t on my best behavior
        Momma promised this

Chorus1    Hide ‘n watch.  I'm gonna come and getcha
        Hide ‘n watch.  Gonna catchya you betcha
        You can run, but you can’t hide. 
        Gonna take away your pony ride.
        Hide ‘n watch
        Hide ‘n watch

Verse2        Dad just smiled when I was sixteen
        And he handed me the pickup key
        Said, Son take care of this machine
        Or you’re gonna hear from me
   
Chorus2    Hide ‘n watch.  Gonna come and getcha
        Hide ‘n watch.  I'm gonna catchya you betcha
         You can run, but you can’t hide. 
        Gonna take away your ride...

Veres3        I can’t forget the night we met
        And, working to steal a kiss
        You kept playin’ so hard to get
        So, I promised this

Chorus3    Hide ‘n watch.  Gonna come and getcha
        Hide ‘n watch.  Gonna catchya you betcha
        You can run, but you can’t hide. 
        Gonna take your heart for a ride,
        Hide ‘n watch
        Hide ‘n watch

Verse4        We've got a child that we adore
        A sweet All American miss
        When all the boys come to our front door
        I tell ‘em this

Chorus4    Hide ‘n watch.  Gonna come and getcha
        Hide ‘n watch.  Gonna catchya you betcha
        You can run, but you can’t hide. 
        And if I find out she cried

Outro        Hide ‘n watch.  Gonna come and getcha
        Hide ‘n watch.  Gonna catchya you betcha
        Hide ‘n watch.

SUMMER 2014 LYRIC CONTEST WINNERS

SEMIFINALISTS
Angels Down the Road by John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO
Peace Is Not So Far Away by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ 
I Hope You Don’t Mind by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Last Bull, Last Ride by Robert Marshall, Akron, OH
Write Me a Love Song by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Corn Bread by Don Wall, Dallas, Tx

WINNERS
1st Place

Angels Down the Road © John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO
  This songwriter has entered the contest with this song before. This is the better version. It could still use a little tightening. But the concept is good. The imagery is strong, as in "dirty hands and angel faces," and "dinosaurs in puffy white skies." The song has good emotional impact, originality, appeal, focus, and form.
There are angels up above
That’s something we all know
And if you’re lucky enough in love
There are angels living right down the road

Right down the road
There are sand box secrets being told
Down the road
There are rainbows for chasing
Little feet for little racing
Dirty hands and angel faces
Full of life and sweet embraces
Right down the road

There’s beauty that’s lighter than the air
A beacon of sun kissed flaxen hair
Love that’s filled with good dreams
On a canvas painted peaches and cream

Down the road

Sweetness is a caramel surprise
With a pool of dark chocolate eyes
Watching clouds of butterflies fly
And finding dinosaurs in puffy white skies

Right down the road
There are sandbox secrets being told
Down the road
There are rainbows for chasing
Little feet for little racing
Dirty hands and angel faces
Full of life and sweet embraces
Right down the road

In the shadows of long summer hours
Angels are hiding behind long legged flowers
Right down the road
Rosy red roses put on a spring show
Rosy red noses when winter winds blow
And angels making angels in the snow
Right down the road
In the glow of an autumn sunset delight
Look for them with all of your might
There are angels hiding in plain sight
Right down the road

Right down the road
There are sandbox secrets being told
Down the road
There are rainbows for chasing
Little feet for little racing
Dirty hands and angel faces
Full of life and sweet embraces
Right down the road

2nd Place
But I'm Cold and Tired, I Hope You Don’t Mind
© Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
    The title used was the last line of the chorus. I shortened it because it was too long and I think this is better. It leaves a little more to the imagination. The best part about this song is the story. The verses could use a little more tightening with more poignant word usage. The second line of the chorus should be dropped, it’s unnecessary. The emotional impact was high, the hook, appeal, and form good. An original song - the tightening would make it more so.                                        
             
CHORUS:  WE TALKED FOR A WHILE, AS THE STORM PASSED BY 
                    TIME WAS RUNNING OUT, IT WAS NOW OR NEVER                    
                    I WANTED TO KISS HER, BUT I WAS NERVOUS AND SHY                                       
                    I LOOKED IN HER EYES, AND SAID I NEED YOU FOREVER
                    SHE SMILED BACK, AND SAID YOU’VE BEEN VERY KIND   
                    BUT I’M COLD AND TIRED, I HOPE YOU DON’T MIND         

V-1  SHE WAS WAITING FOR A BUS, THAT NEVER DID COME
        SHE NEEDED SOME HELP NOW, AND I WAS THE ONE
        I ASKED WHAT CAN I DO, SHE SAID I NEED TO GET HOME
       WE WALKED THERE TOGETHER, SHE WOULDN’T TRY IT ALONE

V-2  RAIN WAS POURING DOWN, THUNDER CRASHING ABOVE
        BUT I DIDN’T HEAR A THING, I WAS FALLING IN LOVE 
        I HELD MY UMBRELLA, RIGHT OVER HER HEAD
       THE WIND WAS HOWLING, NOT SURE WHAT SHE SAID

V-3  WHEN WE FINALLY GOT THERE, IT WAS AWKWARD AT BEST
        SHE SAID THANKS A LOT, I IMAGINED THE REST
        MY TOUNGE WAS TIED, IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
        SHE SAID COME IN AND DRY OFF, THAT SOUNDED JUST RIGHT
                                                       
 CHORUS:  WE TALKED FOR A WHILE, AS THE STORM PASSED BY 
                    WAS RUNNING OUT, IT WAS NOW OR NEVER                    
                    I WANTED TO KISS HER, BUT I WAS NERVOUS AND SHY                                       
                    I LOOKED IN HER EYES, AND SAID I NEED YOU FOREVER 
                    SHE SMILED BACK, AND SAID YOU’VE BEEN VERY KIND   
                    BUT I’M COLD AND TIRED, I HOPE YOU DON’T MIND           

 V-4  I SLOWLY WALKED OUT, SAID GOOD BYE FROM THE DOOR
        MY MOUTH OPENED UP, BUT I COULDN’T SAY ANYMORE
        IT WAS A LONG WALK HOME, I NEEDED A FRIEND
        MAYBE TOMORROW, IT’LL BE RAINING AGAIN                         

3rd Place
Write Me a Love Song © Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
  An original take on an unoriginal idea. Reading the title I was not expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. Fortunately, the songwriter gave it only the thought required - not overthinking it and not overly simplistic. The hook, appeal, focus form and phrasing are good. A good song. With the right music and singer, it would be even better.
                                       
 CHORUS:  WRITE ME A LOVE SONG, AND MEAN EVERY WORD
                      MAKE IT THE SWEETEST, SONG EVER HEARD
                      DON’T KEEP IT SHORT, PLEASE MAKE IT LONG
                      THEN SING IT TO ME, MY OWN LOVE SONG

V-1  WRITE ABOUT ME, PUT MY NAME IN THE VERSE
         TALK ABOUT LOVE, BUT MENTION ME FIRST
         TELL THE WHOLE WORLD, JUST HOW YOU FEEL
         WRITE ME A LOVE SONG, KEEP EVERY WORD REAL

 V-2 TAKE ALL THOSE WORDS, YOU HIDE IN YOUR HEAD
        AN’ PUT THEM IN THE SONGBOOK, YOU KEEP BY YOUR BED 
         I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT, I JUST HAVE TO SEE
         THE STORY YOU TELL, IN A SONG ABOUT ME 

 V-3  FILL UP MY SONG, WITH RHYTHM AND RYME
       SING IT ON KEY, AN’ PLAY IT IN TIME
       DON’T TRY TOO HARD, WRITE WHAT COMES TO MIND
       ALL ABOUT US, AND THE LOVE WE FIND

 V-4  WRITE ME A SONG, THAT’LL LAST ALL MY LIFE
          AND SING IT TO ME, WHEN I MAKE YOU MY WIFE
           PUT IT ON A RECORD, AN’ I’LL PAINT IT GOLD
          AND PLAY IT A MILLION TIMES, LOVE NEVER SOUNDS OLD

Sunday, October 5, 2014

SPRING LYRIC CONTEST WINNERS

SEMIFINALISTS


One Night Stands by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Peace Is Not So Far Away by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Turtle Bait by Rio King, Plano, TX
The Old Wrecked Vet by Rio King, Plano, TX
Forever Free by John Mason, Grand Prairie, TX
Letters In The Moonlight by John Mason, Grand Prairie, TX
This Backyard's Rockin' by Sarah Ashley, Maryville, TN
End to End by Mark Paterson, Plano, TX
Workin' For You Ain't Working For Me by John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO
Old Bill by John Mason, Grand Prairie, TX
Ghana Dream Girl by Michael Mante Harrison, Kumasi, Ghana, AF

WINNERS

First Place: 

This Backyard’s Rockin’ © 2014 Sarah Ashley, Maryville, TN

Has great bones – good structure, good imagery, relatable topics. Seems to be a good song just right for an upbeat, rockin’ fun song, along the lines of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “House is a-Rockin’”
Favorite line that represents the fun tone of the whole song is in the Chorus:
“Don’t call the cops, they’re all here.”

Suggestion: in the bridge, consider changing the first words to “Guys and girls” to keep that line from objectifying women.


Verse 1
Summertime Saturday
Washed the car, mowed the lawn
When the sun goes down
We turn that blender on
Tequila’s flowin, flowin
Put the speakers in the windows
Lynryd skynyrd, Rolling Stones
We’re staying home tonight
This party is homegrown
Get it goin, goin

Chorus
This backyard’s rockin, rockin,
Turn it up, turn it up
Drinkin’ summertime from a paper cup
Don’t call the cops, they’re all here
They brought the beer
This backyard’s rockin, rockin
Turn it up

Verse 2
Someone’s rockin’ in the hammock
Someone’s smokin’ something sweet
All the pretty girls
Dancing in bare feet
everybody’s movin, movin’
I gotta take away some car keys
Gotta pay the pizza man
But someone blonde and cute
Has got me by the hand
So I’m gonna be groovin, groovin

Chorus
This backyard’s rockin, rockin,
Turn it up, turn it up
Drinkin’ summertime from a paper cup
Don’t call the cops, they’re all here
They brought the beer
This backyard’s rockin, rockin
Turn it up

Bridge
We got girls of every flavor
Baby won’t you be my neighbor?
Everybody’s out here
Tearing up my lawn
We’re all gettin’ hot and sweaty
And I’m hopin’ yall are ready
Cause it’s way past time to turn the sprinkler on

Chorus
This backyard’s rockin, rockin,
Turn it up, turn it up
Drinkin’ summertime from a paper cup
Don’t call the cops, they’re all here
They brought the beer
This backyard’s rockin, rockin
Turn it up

Second Place:

 End to the End © Mark Paterson, Plano, TX

Nice writing, good imagery

I heard the fabled fat lady sing
Hung on tight and did the right thing
Waited for word that no one would send nice
I held up my end to the end also nice

I felt the rain before it came down yes
Heard the train comin’ clear across town
Wasn’t much left for me to defend
But I held up my end to the end

I held on a minute too long
Thought I could right the things that went wrong
Rather than spend a life on the mend
I held up my end to the end

Bridge:
I couldn’t let the dream just flicker and die
With everything gone in the blink of an eye
Maybe it’s better to break than to bend nice
But I held up my end…to the end

(Solo Section)

I heard the fabled fat lady sing
Wrung my hands and played with the ring
There’s plenty of time to make our amends
I held up my end to the end

I was the last to give up the ghost
Did like Dad and stuck to my post
Say what you want about me my friend
I held up my end…to the end

I couldn’t let the dream just flicker and die
With everything gone in the blink of an eye
Maybe it’s better to break than to bend
But I held up my end…to the end


Third Place: 

Workin’ For You Ain’t Workin’ For Me © John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO

OK you got me with the title, I’m in. Good work.
Consider dropping “Man” in the last line of the chorus – although it may be intended as conversational slang, it also locks the boss into being a man – and the singer may be working for a woman.


The mornin’ comes in like a black-hearted blur
So I drag myself to the shower
Run some soap over my head
Crawl back under the covers to the safety of my bed
I stare at the ceilin’
Mumble to the cold bare floor
But I can’t shake this feelin’
And I can’t work there no more

I don’t need to scream and shout
Never been a shadow, never a doubt
Stand up and say it right out loud
Workin’ for you ain’t workin’ for me
Burn that bridge and walk right out
Man workin’ for you just ain’t workin’ for me

Like cattle to the market and lemmings to the sea
That same feelin’ grows inside like a bad dream
So I asked myself and I agreed
A good day would be you minus me
Cause workin’ for you ain’t workin’ for me
Man workin’ for you just ain’t workin’ for me

I don’t need to scream and shout
Never been a shadow, never a doubt
Stand up and say it right out loud
Workin’ for you ain’t workin’ for me
Burn that bridge and walk right out
Man workin’ for you just ain’t workin’ for me

People say I’m makin’ my way, climbin’ the ladder, collectin’ honest pay
I say I’m slappin’ that back and kissin’ that ass eight hours a day
So this is it, one last time, once and for all
I’m done watchin’ the clock do its soul killin’ crawl

I don’t need to scream and shout
Never been a shadow, never a doubt
Stand up and say it right out loud
Workin’ for you ain’t workin’ for me
Burn that bridge and walk right out
Man workin’ for you just ain’t workin’ for me



Fourth Place:  

OLD BILL © John Mason, Grand Prairie, TX

 Nice story here. Good meter, easy rhymes. Next time please indicate Verse and Chorus and bridge – this was a little hard to tease apart. The line breaks are my own guesses…:

Old bill lived near the railroad track
 On the run down side of town
He kept to himself he never looked back
 Nobody came around
Now some folks said he was once on the run
He might have done someone bad
But I know the truth because I knew him well
He was the best friend I ever had.
I was just 13 with too much time to face,
 All alone without a dream
And I wandered down by the railroad track
Where I heard a sound so sweet
When his fingers moved across those strings
 Made it sound just like when an angel sings Tighten up the meter – a few too many syllables in the last line.

Could not take my eyes away, that day I was saved.
I knew that if got the nerve
 I could find a way to ask him sir
Would you please teach me how to play?
Old Bill must have known by the look on my face
That my world had just been found
Because he said come here boy, if you want to play
 From then on I lived for that sound
We played every day and Old Bill would always say
That music lives in your soul
He gave me a gift I could never repay
 But I’ll always remember him so.

And the years went by the story got old
Yet the ending is still far away
While there’s a boy and a guitar on my porch outside
 I will remember that one summer day.
When his fingers moved across those strings
Made it sound just like when an angel sings
Could not take my eyes away, that day I was saved.

I knew that if got the nerve
 I could find a way to ask him sir
Would you please teach me how to play?

Old bill lived near the railroad track
 On the run down side of town
He kept to himself and he never looked back
Nobody came around
Now some folks said he was once on the run
That he might have done someone bad
But I know the truth because I knew him well
He was the best friend I ever had.

When his fingers moved across those strings
 Made it sound just like when an angel sings
Could not take my eyes away, that day I was saved.
I knew that if got the nerve
 I would find a way to ask him sir
Could you please teach me how to play?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Winners of the 2014 Winter Lyric Contest


Semifinalists

UNSUNG HEROES by Karla Hester, Plano, TX 
J 1 Great emotional impact, appeal and truth.  Excellent rhyme scheme and phrasing.   Very good hook and originality in dealing with a subject that many people think about.  
J 2 Nice phrasing, imagery and rhythmic cadence.  Good song!!
LAST CHANCE TO DANCE IN TEXAS by Rio King, Plano, Tx
J 1  Fun and original story song about a favorite pastime in Texas.
J 2  Good song!  I want to go to see this place!!!
WHERE ARE MY KEYS by Mike Hyden, Ralston, NE
J1 Good ols song about drinking but title should be "Where's My Keys?"
J2 Nice imagery, phrasing and rhythm.
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE by George Pucini, Las Vegas
J1 It's hard to write a good Christmas song but this one works.
J2 Good imagery
DRAW THE LINE by James DeBorde, Bluefield, VA
J2 Great song!! Good use of imagery, rhythm and cadence.
A GIRL NEEDS HER MAMA THEN by Andrew Moore, Lansing, MI
J2 Interesting subject. Nice imagery and phrasing.  I'm not sure about the word "blaspheme" in verse 1 though
THE OLD COWBOY by Charlie Scudder, Holt MO
J2 Good song….needs a bridge. Good imagery and rhyme
LITTLE BOY IN CHURCH by Harry Hewlett, Dallas, Tx
J2 Good use of imagery, form & rhythm except 2nd line in verse 2 needs to be shorter.
PIECES OF MIRROR by Doug Spears, Orlando FL
J2 Nice cadence & imagery;I would not end both verse & chorus with hook/title…save it for chorus.
THE REAR VIEW MIRROR by Carmen Logan, Lancaster, KY
J2 Like the story…good song.
THE BRIDGE by Eva Stoneroad, Fellsmire, FL
J2 Make chorus longer and end it with hook/title.


Winners
1st Place
UNSUNG HEROES by Karla Hester, Plano, TX 

He looks in the mirror, but stares into space.
Time’s taken its toll on his worn weathered face.
The medals once honored now decorate the floor,
And he cannot remember just what he fought for.

So I’m singing for the unsung heroes, the people of every day.
Yeah, I’m singing for the unsung heroes, for those who aren’t here today.

She looks in the mirror, but stares into space.
Time hasn’t been kind to her tired, broken face.
Alone with four kids, the wolves scratch at her door.
She looks at her children, they’re worth fighting for.

So I’m singing for the unsung heroes, the people of every day.
Yeah, I’m singing for the unsung heroes, for those who kiss tears away.

So stand up for those who cannot stand, look out for those who can’t see.
Speak out for those not speaking, be both the words and the melody.
You be the hero, let your voice ring, you be the one to stand and sing.

So I’m singing for the unsung heroes, the people of every day.
I’m singing for the unsung heroes, for kids dreaming futures today.

She looks at her student, he’s not making the grade.
She sees the frustration on his hard working face.
She feels like they’ve failed him, but that makes her give more.
She knows that his future is worth fighting for.

So I’m singing for the unsung heroes, the people of every day.
Yeah, I’m singing for the unsung heroes, for those changing lives today.

So I’m singing for the unsung heroes, YOU people of every day.
Yeah, I’m singing for YOU unsung heroes, for YOU who give hope today.

For YOU are our hope….today.

2nd Place
LAST CHANCE TO DANCE IN TEXAS by Rio King, Plano, Tx
Verse1 Ramblin around on the back roads
Out near the Texas state line
Drove up on a weathered old beer joint
With a faded, hand-painted sign      (That read)

Chorus1 Last chance to dance in Texas
Hear the fiddler play the Bandera Waltz
See the big record star, playin' guitar
Singin' of love won and lost
Don't miss his solid gold record
Hangin' right there on the wall,    (It's the)
Last chance to dance in Texas
At the Last Chance Dance Hall

Verse2 Stepped in the dim, empty barroom
And asked the old man for a beer
I said if you don't mind me askin'
Tell me how did you wind up out here         (He said)

Chorus2 The last dance we played in Texas
My wife sang the "I've Had It Waltz"
Said take your guitar, you big record star
Your booze and your fame and get lost
I begged her, "Forgive my poor record."
She said, "It's a borderline call.
It's your last chance dance in Texas
At the Last Chance Dance Hall."

Verse3 Too many years in the bottle,   
Ended in this parkin' lot
We stayed and we played 'til we paid for the place
Now it's all that we've got

Chorus3 It's the last chance to dance in Texas
Where my wife fiddles "Bandera Waltz"
And the son of the star plays a red-hot guitar
And the daughter-in-law is the boss
Somewhere there's a tarnished gold record
I think it's in the last Women's stall
It's the last chance to dance in Texas
At the Last Chance Dance Hall

Verse4 Next time you're out on the border
And slide through the crowd for a beer
Just ask the first pretty lady
Can a cowboy get a dance around here

Chorus4 It's the last chance to dance in Texas
Where the fiddler plays the "Bandera Waltz"
See the young record star, pick a red hot guitar
And you two-step 'til your troubles get lost
In a booth in the back the old couple
Smile every time they recall
Their last chance dance in Texas
At the Last Chance Dance Hall

Outro It's the last chance to dance in Texas
At the Last Chance Dance Hall
  


3rd Place
WHERE ARE MY KEYS by Mike Hyden, Ralston, NE

VERSE 1
She said to go, in Idaho
She said at least we tried
She needed space, it was her place
So I thought I'd take a ride
It wasn't far, I found a bar, a temporary friend
No clue on what to do or where it would end

VERSE 2
With time to kill, I drank until
The day turned into night
I had my fill, but kept on still
I went down without a fight
In such a blur, I wasn't sure of anything but that
My fate's to leave this state and never look back

CHORUS:
Where are my car keys
Where’s my car
Well I'm absolutely positive
They might be at this bar
Her memory and my Mercury
Have driven me this far
Where are my car keys
Where’s my car

VERSE 3
I had to try to drink 'em dry
From Boise to Cheyenne
There is no worse a poor man's curse
Than to be without a plan
Hit every dive, I-25, from there to Santa Fe
Last call for alcohol, I'd call it a day

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE:
I can't recall the day, the time
Of when I crossed the Texas line
Fort Worth's as good a place as I'll ever find
For now I think I'll settle here
It’s all becoming much too clear
That I'll never, ever drive her out of my mind

REPEAT CHORUS


Honorable Mention 
COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE by George Pucini, Las Vegas, NV

Snuggled side by side -
Sleigh-ride thru the snow -
Caroling as we go -
on A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE...

Snowmen that we meet
Wave as we go by -
Wink a charcoal eye -
on A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE...

Candle light thru windows
Flick'ring on the snow -
Up above a Christmas moon
To guide us as we go

Down snow-covered lanes -
Gliding thru the night...
Nobody else in sight
on A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE...

2nd Bridge
My head on your shoulder -
Your hand holding mine...
If I steal a kiss or two
I know you wouldn't mind...

Such a lucky me
Being here with you -
Nothing I'd rather do -
on A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE...

CODA
Later on I'll hold you,
Warming by a fire...
        You and me on A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE...
        You and me on A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE...
        You and me on A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS EVE...
        (Fade)...  


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Winners of 2013 Fall Lyric Contest


SEMIFINALISTS
He Didn't Need Much by Dana Young, Anthony, KS
Mr. James Brown and Me by John Thomas Lane, Monument, CO
Three Feet Tall by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
There's Still Some Cowboy Somewhere in Me by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
A Whole Lot More Than Strangers by Paul Bernstein, Ann Arbor, MI
The Real Thing by Paul Bernstein, Ann Arbor, MI
Too Late Now by Paul Kostal, Brisbane, Australia
Rambler From Tascosa by Paul Bernstein, Ann Arbor, MI


FIRST PLACE

A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN STRANGERS Paul Bernstein, Ann Arbor, MI
 Judge 1
This is an interesting song and I didn't change much. I'll put in parenthesis what I'm taking out and replacing with another line. I changed a few lines to make meters match.

VERSE 1
The wine was flowing freely
The band was paying loud
I guess it's true that we both knew
What this was all about
Now the party's over
There's no need to pretend
We're a whole lot more than strangers
And a whole lot less than friends

CHORUS
We're a whole lot more than strangers
The way we loved last night
Now I don't know which way to go
Or how to make it right
It's a long, long way from lonely
To get to where we've been
We're a whole lot more than strangers
And a whole lot less than friends

VERSE 2
I watch you move (around) in the room
I watch you brush your hair
And slowly go to pick up clothes
All scattered everywhere
(Could this be the beginning
Or the beginning of the end)
Is this the beginning
Or is this going to end
We're a whole lot more than strangers
And a whole lot less than friends

REPEAT CHORUS

Judge 2
 A country type song with an interesting take on a one night stand situation that make you think about what direction such things might go.  I like the comination of a tongue-in-cheek expression like "we're a whole lot more than strangers" with the expression of sadness of being "a whole lot less than friends" at the same time.  Excellent phrasing and cadence and rhyme scheme, with good originality, emotional impact, appeal, focus and form.

Judge 3
Great use of imagery and phrasing.  

SECOND PLACE

HE DIDN'T NEED MUCH by Dana Young, Anthony, KS
Judge 1
I liked the poetic imagery of this song.

VERSE 1
As I stroll through the graveyard, all is peaceful and quiet
(It puts things in perspective, watching the sunset at twilight)
I gaze at the sky, watch the sunset at twilight
The leaves swirl around in the cool autumn breeze
And I stop at his headstone and drop to my knees

CHORUS
Oh, he didn't need much, just a home and some land
Friends around a campfire and a beer in his hand
He was somebody's son, somebody's brother
He was somebody's hero, and (a country life) somebody's lover

VERSE 2
I used to sit on his porchstep while he strummed his guitar
We'd sip a little Jack from a Mason fruit jar
He liked to watch Gunsmoke with his little old mutt
If he could see me cry now, he'd say ('Hey) "cowboy up"

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE
He never cared much about fortune or fame
He'd say "rich men and poor men, they all bury the same"

REPEAT CHORUS

Judge 2 
 A country style song with excellent phrasing and cadence and rhyme scheme.  Good emotional impact, appeal,focus and form.

THIRD PLACE - TIE

THERE'S STILL SOME COWBOY, SOMEWHERE IN ME by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ

Judge 1
I loved the 1st verse but the 2nd verse needs to stick to the truck theme and the meters don't match. Remember, all the meters in the 2nd and 3rd verse need to match the 1st verse.  It's a cute song, it just needs a little improving.

Judge 2 
Good emotional impact and originality.
Judge 3
Good imagery, form. Like the cowboy wandering theme.

TOO LATE NOW by Paul Kostal, Brisbane, Australia
 Judge 2
A country style song with excellent emotional impact, phrasing and rhyme scheme, good originality.
Judge 3
This song drew me in from the start.  Very realistic subject matter, originality and phrasing as well.

HONORABLE MENTION

THREE FEET TALL by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
I loved the 1st two lines and think you need to combine those lines with the last 2 lines in the 2nd verse.  Then make this child more interesting in the other verses. The chorus is good but in the last line, change "that's" for "who's"

 Judge 3 
Needs a chorus between vs 1&2…add a bridge?

Thanks to Lyric Contest Director Nancy Rynders and Judges, Michael Brandenberger and Gigi Gostas

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Winners of the 2013 Summer Lyric Contest


SEMIFINALISTS
Sizzlin" by Dana Young, Anthony, KS
Handle With Care by Mario Spinosi, Eynon, PA
Friends by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Time Is An Illusion by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Arms Stronger Than Mine by Rachael Hughes, Markville, MN
Lunchbox Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
There's A Pill for That by Sarah Ashley, Maryville, TN

WINNERS

FIRST PLACE

HANDLE WITH CARE
J1) This is a clever title and a fairly well written song. I put in parenthesis the word or phrases I'd leave out and replace them with my words.  Also, I made the teenagers older.
J2) Sweet song, nicely done. Why does 3rd verse have only 4 lines instead of 6? Could it be stronger with two more good lines? Overall, a nice generatiol cycle of lessons passed down.
J3) Good impact, hook, originality and appeal; very good focus and form, excellent phrasing.

VERSE 1
She was barely (eighteen) nineteen with a child of her own
She was out in the world, now she's living back home
(She) Cries out to her mom, what chance does he have
How can he grow up without knowing his dad
How can he survive with  this burden to bare
Her mother just said, "handle with care"

CHORUS
Handle with care, just treat him right
He's yours to love for the rest of your life
Be  there for him, show him love is to share
And he'll turn out right if you handle with care

VERSE 2
She watched as he grew, she watched and she prayed
She did what she could to keep the promise she made
Now he's barely (eighteen) twenty and he just met a girl
He says to his mom, "she's all I want in this world
What can I do to keep her love always there"
All that she said was "handle with care"

CHORUS 2  usually the chorus is the same throughout the song
Handle with care, just treat her right
She's yours to love for the rest of your life
Be there for her, show her love is to share
And you'll keep her love, if you handle with care

VERSE 3  I would make this a bridge because you only have 4 lines and verse 1 and 2 have 6 lines.  You have to have the same number of lines in each verse or you could add 2 more lines

Now he's holding his son, like his mother once did
He says to his mom, "I'll be there for him
I'll teach him to love and I'll teach him to share
I'll do what you did, I'll handle with care"

CHORUS 3
I'll handle with care, I'll just treat him right
He's mine to love for the rest of my life
I'll be there for him and show him love is to share
I'll do what she did, I'll handle with care

Repeat last line for emphasis

SECOND PLACE

SIZZLIN'
J1) This is a cute song with lots of imagery but make sure your meters match
J2) Very fun, well structured, nice wordplay. Only minor suggestions to consider: Use sizzlin' instead of flaming in 1st line of chorus so you get a repeat of your title word to drive it home. Reading the lines makes it sound like a few extra syllables could be omitted for a stronger rhythm (e.g. omit country and ever from 3rd line of chorus and rhythm is stronger), but I know this ultimately depends on how it is sung as to how well it works. Nice job.
J3) Good impact, appeal and focus; very good hook and originality; excellent phrasing and form

VERSE 1
We're sitting on the bank, fishing at the creek
Our lines dangling in the water and so are our feet
The sun is shining bright on our favorite spot
When you turn to me and say "baby, I'm hot"

CHORUS
Yeah, you're flaming, smoking fiery red hot
Like steam rising up from a boiling pot
You're the sexiest thing this country boy has ever seen
Kicking your feet in that cool, cool stream
And when you kiss my lips, I can almost hear them hissin'
Cause sssss...baby you're sizzlin'

VERSE 2
(You hit me on the shoulder) You turn around and say "that's not what I mean"
Then you roll up your (pantlegs) jeans and wade out in the stream
Splashing water on your body, then you take off your top
You look at me and say "I'm really, really hot"

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGE ...I would make this VERSE 3
Now I know what you mean, I know what you're saying
It's a warm, warm day, a good day for playing
So let's work up a sweat, then go skinny dipping
Cause you're so doggone hot, (it makes me) I feel like strippin'

REPEAT CHORUS

I would add a
TAG
Come on, baby, heat up my arms
Maybe we'll set off some fire alarms
Cause sssss...baby, you're sizzlin'

THIRD PLACE

ARMS STRONGER THAN MINE
J1) This is a good song with a lot of meaning but you need to work on the structure. For example, Verse 1, 2,3 and 4 all have a different number of lines.  Also, the meters need to match in all verses because the music would demand it.  It's a great idea and has good imagery but structurally it wouldn't adapt to music.
J2)  Hook is OK, but verses rambles, and say the same thing over and over rather than building emotion. Same words keep repeating (storm, torn, rain, burden), which should warn that same ideas keep repeating. Focus the story, and build it. 

HONORABLE MENTION

LUNCH BOX
J1)  This song has a lot of possibilities but it needs work.  No songs (except maybe hymns) have 7 verses so you need to shorten it.  The 1st verse is good and verse 4 is good. Unless a verse adds needed info to a song, it isn't needed.  Keep working on it!
 J2) Analogy of the rose is inconsistent. The rose dies in the first line, but love, which is LIKE the rose, does not die. ?? Song needs focus, consistency and clarity. See Bette Midler's "The Rose" for similar idea expressed more clearly.

 Semifinalist Comments

FRIENDS
J2)  Are friends permanent or temporary? This song implies both, lamenting how they may be temporary but advocating for permanence. But the way it shuttles back and forth between these two ideas is unsatisfying.
J3) Good impact, hook, originality and phrasing.

TIME IS AN ILLUSION  
J2) OK idea, but lacks focus and strong impact. Look at Pink Floyd "Time" lyrics for similar idea. Explore if there may be more emotionally deep examples you could express about HOW time is an illusion without just repeating the phrase.
J3)  Good impact, hook, originality and phrasing.

THERE'S A PILL FOR THAT
J2)  Really like this idea and how it is carried out. Just a few weak lines could be boosted, e.g.. "Feeling sad is a bore"(when the previous verse is about physical ailment, not feelings) and "Make the rough places plain" seems weaker than it shold be.
J3) Very good originality.