Skip to content
Clear all

SSG Week 15 - Bob

8 Posts
6 Users
Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 908
Topic starter  

This is my concept for this assignment:

True story - A guy I know is in a failing marriage, his job is over (he's been edged out) and he is thoroughly depressed and miserable. Eventually his wife kicks him out.  He takes up a place at University and for the three years he's there begins to discover life again.  But University is an interlude and that soon ends.  He then finds it difficult to settle into the old work routine especially as low pay and long hours are all he can find.  So he has the idea of leaving the country, cutting all ties and volunteering overseas to do the kind of work he wants to do.  In doing that he discovers a hundred new ways to enjoy life.

The song is essentially about new beginnings how one door closing is not always something to be grieved over.

I have no construction for it yet but will post that later.


My Soundclick Page

You are what you eat, eat well

Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472

This is a good story Bob, and I think it has potential, but I'm wondering if it isn't too much ground to cover. Possibly not if you start at the end and kind of "flashback" it. I don't envy you in attempting this, though! Which, I guess, is why we're all here to help!  ;)


New Member
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0

Well, I don't want to sound presumptuous by throwing my $0.02 in with a couple of Admirals, but I think this is very do-able.  For example:

failing marriage, jobs over, thoroughly depressed & miserable, wife kicks him out.

That's one verse.  In fact, an adept country-western singer can cover that much in a line.  (Merle Haggard can do it with just a look, but that crosses into performance, and goes beyond writing.  Forgive me  :D )

Stint at University, re-discovering life, -- another verse

disillusioned with work -- another verse.

Leave the country, sever ties, volunteer, --- a bridge

Finds a hundred new ways to enjoy life,  -- another verse. (could be the closing verse)

Optionally, close with a verse about new beginnings, and how substantial gains often masquerade as losses.

So you have 4, maybe 5 verses and a bridge, or whatever chorus' you may want.  I think that's not bad, and I think you could still get the depth of each iteration in the verses.  

But this brings up a question I have that crops up from time to time around here.  Every writer (of whatever form) has drilled into them the axiom that you write with your audience in mind.   BUT... what makes a song too long.  My opinion is that if you've said all you want to say, wrap it up.  But if there's more... say it.  Just don't waste words.  A lot of very good songs are long songs, and a lot of very popular songs were long songs as well. (and a few were both)  To wit:

Don McClean - American Pie
Bob Dylan - Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts
Bob Dylan - Sad eyed lady of the lowlands
Lynrd Skynrd - Freebird
Iron Butterfly - Inna Godda Davida
Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant
Dire Straits - Telegraph Road

I'm sure you guys can list a lot more.  So why shy away from writing a long song, so long (sorry) as it tells the story well?  

Honorable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 434

Welll Bob,
Here is my 2c worth.... I think the concept is good, I am one of those, "don't play long songs people", but maybe that is because I play out and see the audience begin to shuffle around in there seats on my longer numbers.
The only place I can easliy get away with it is folk clubs where they want to listen and don't want the songs to end, but then you are playing to muso's.
I reckon this is going to be long to get all the info in and have an impact.

How about using David's flashback theory as a chorus and make the verses the main story.

A thought anyway
Go well

I am a cloud within a cloud

you can hear my songs at :

Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 908
Topic starter  

I know there's a lot of information here but I'm probably not going to use all of it.  The one thing people ask him all the time, however, relates to the weather so what I want to try and do is use skies as the main imagery for the song.

Verse 1 - In England under a heavy stormy sky reflecting the turbulence of his life

Verse 2 - The skies clear for a short while but then it all clouds over again.

Verse 3 - Now he's under an African sky and he's revelling in the calm and warmth.

Chorus will be trying to tie it all together somehow - still working on it.

May not be able to make this into a song but it's worth the try - nobody said these assignments were easy.


PS Just to comment on song lengths I'm a prog rock fan so longer than average songs have been on my turntable/CD Player for years now that I accept them as normal.  But this won't be that long - Promise.

My Soundclick Page

You are what you eat, eat well

Noble Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 908
Topic starter  

OK this is very rough but you should get the idea:

No Title - as yet

[Verse 1]
An English sky in winter
All rain and slate grey cloud
Overhangs his misery
Wraps him in a sullen shroud
A wife no longer loving
And the job no longer pays
In a spiral of depression
He lives in survives empty days

[Verse 2]
As he studies for a new life
Reliving a forgotten youth
The storm clouds now have parted
And the blue sky's showing through
But it's over much too soon
This pleasant interlude
And dark clouds roll in again
As the day to day intrudes

[Verse 3]
Latching on to an idea
He flies to work abroad
And revitalise his life
To hold back being bored
He's a lesson in this story
That if your life seems done
You too should experience
Life under an African Sun

A possible chorus is below although I'm far from happy with it as it reads like an extra verse.  I'll definitely be revisiting this.

Rain is always with us
Quenching heavy thirst
But sunshine is the preference
It's what we hope for first
Take away the rain
And a desert takes its hold
Take away the sunlight
And life becomes too cold.

Bob :)

My Soundclick Page

You are what you eat, eat well

Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 17

wow, great job.  You really used the weather thing to great effect.  You did exactly what you said.
The imagery really works.
The 'possible chorus' is too good to throw away, if it's not the chorus, I'd like to see it stay.......

Trusted Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 51

Hi Bob,

I like the whole rythm flow of the song and I like the possible chorus, but I don't really think it'd fit as a chorus. I don't know if it'll work if you add it as a verse either, but I do like it and maybe you'll come up with something, some how.

These lines here:

"Overhangs his misery
Wraps him in a sullen shroud "

You could delete "him" and make it flow better, but anyway, this is my 2 cents here.