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SSG Week 15 - "Big Machines"

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(@marvelousoptimist)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 176
Topic starter  

I'm gonna sneak this one in a few hours before the next assignment gets posted...

"Big Machines"

You went to sleep last night not knowing
Why you even got up that morning
Its 6am. The alarm clock's ringing
Its time to do it again

Gridlocked and calm and steady
Head's empty but it feels so heavy
You're thinking you might be dead already
And it just hasn't sunk in

Can you tell me what it means
Little cogs in big machines
That grind and turn and hum along
But still the work is never done

And every hour is passing so slow
You're staring out the office window
You want to crash to the street that's below
Go on and paint the town red

Can you tell me what it means
Little cogs in big machines
That grind and turn and hum along
But still the work is never done

Gold star
To gold card
To gold watch
To wind up
In a pine box
It never stops
You pay your debts
You say your prayers
And all the while
Eyes down
Eat s---
And smile

Can you tell me what it means
Little cogs in big machines
That grind and turn and hum along
But still the work is never done

-marv

Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On ---> http://www.myspace.com/andrewdelaney

You can and should buy my album "Scoundrels!" in mp3 format on amazon.com or iTunes etc...


   
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(@vic-lewis-vl)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264
 

Hmm, kind of a protest song for the 21st century....the little guy vs the big corporations?

There's a lot I like about this song, the rhyming scheme's not perfect, but has the same kind of sound...steady, heavy already....

You've got an AAAB scheme going there - but in the third verse, you end with "Go on and paint the town red" which doesn't fit that scheme..... that's the only flaw I can find, it should really rhyme with "sunk in" or "again" for consistency.....

And the bridge seems a little disjointed to read.....

"Gold star
To gold card
To gold watch
To wind up
In pine box
It never stops
You pay your debts
You say your prayers
And all the while
Eyes down
Eat s---
And smile "

maybe if you set it out like this.....

Gold star to gold card to gold watch,
To wind up in pine box it never stops,
You pay your debts you say your prayers,
And all the while,
Eyes down, eat s---
And smile.....

Took me a while to get a handle on the rhythm for that part.....

OK, one last thing - maybe substituting the word "drone" for "hum" in the chorus - the word drone conjures up images of people being bored, and maybe worker bees....whereas humming is fairly cheerful - humming a tune?

These are the points that struck me, anyway - the main point of the song got across fine, it's meaningful and the words go together pretty well - just a bit of fine-tuning needed, I reckon....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


   
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(@jamir)
Honorable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 434
 

Hi'a Marv,

Your songs always "sound good" when heard, because your style is so unique. ( compared to boring old folkies like myself )

I do feel the meaning in the lyrics but have to agreee about the "paint the town red" bit ,
seems a bit out of comtext when reading it. Tired, bored, just want to sleep .... then suddenly , go and party!!!!

I like the short lines in the bridge .... but I think they would have to be heard to get the idea you are putting across.
I can imagine a slow hum drum boring verse, then a fast up tempo bridge like the ticking of a loud over wound clock. Speeding it up.

I do like the chorus a lot

Can you tell me what it means
Little cogs in big machines
That grind and turn and hum along
But still the work is never done

I think you can have a lot of fun putting this one to music.

Go well

Nice to see you back

Ja'mir

I am a cloud within a cloud http://www.justjamir.com

you can hear my songs at :

http://www.mp3.com.au/artist.asp?id=21709


   
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(@marvelousoptimist)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 176
Topic starter  

Vic,

My slant rhyming always works better sung then on paper. The word "hum" is meant to roll together with the words grind and turn sounds wise. The bridge has astilted rhythm to it that you kinda have to hear (this one has music already)

Jamir,

The paint the town red line isnt about partying.. in context the character is looking out a window at the street far below (i find this is a more American line as I didnt realise there really arent that many very tall office buiuldings elsewhere in the world.. something I learn from the English folks that visited me and marveld at the big buildings downtown). But he's thinking of jumping and "painting" at least that small bit of the town red... as one would do if they fell a long distance and hit concrete.

I'll record this one soon and put it up.

-marv

Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On ---> http://www.myspace.com/andrewdelaney

You can and should buy my album "Scoundrels!" in mp3 format on amazon.com or iTunes etc...


   
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(@jamir)
Honorable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 434
 

OK sorry ---- didn't get the jumping part as the phrase
" paint the town red"

actually means to go partying!!!!

maybe in the USof A it has a diferent meaning -----sorry.

Paint the town red

Meaning

Engage in a riotous spree.
Looking forward to heariing it

Go well
Ja'mir

I am a cloud within a cloud http://www.justjamir.com

you can hear my songs at :

http://www.mp3.com.au/artist.asp?id=21709


   
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(@marvelousoptimist)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 176
Topic starter  

I knew it meant to go partying as well... but it was used as play on words here... so as to sorta say something light and mean something dark. I do it a lot.

-marv

Andrew Delaney & The Horse You Rode In On ---> http://www.myspace.com/andrewdelaney

You can and should buy my album "Scoundrels!" in mp3 format on amazon.com or iTunes etc...


   
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(@scratchmonkey)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 603
 

Marv,

Nothing significant to add. I do love the chorus. The whole theme is akin to a Bob Seger, or Bruce Springsteen ballad. (Feel like a number, Ballad of Tom Joad, that kinda thing.)
Real good.

-- Scratch 8)


"...if heartaches were commercials, we'd all be on TV" -- John Prine
42


   
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(@dustdevil)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 99
 

Something that just popped into my head as I was reading your chorus...

What came to mind was a tiny gear on a watch or clock. I realize this song is already written, and this might be an idea for another song but....
Maybe you could work in something about watching a clock gear spinning around in the first verse and then move into the main idea of the song. The rest of the song would serve as a comparison between the two images, particularly if you have a steady, rythmic melody.

But that might be too much work or not quite what you had in mind. It really is good as is.

John A.

They say only a pawnshop guitar can play the blues. An eBay one does it better. A guitar's bound to feel unloved if her owner plasters pictures of her over the internet for all to see and then sells her off to the highest anonymous bidder.


   
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