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SSG6 Wk2 - Montezuma - Valley of Shadows

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Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 121
Topic starter  

Interesting! My theme in this song has some similarities to the posts by DrunkRock (Farm's Death) and Chefie (Never's just a word). It deals with the way so-called progress erodes things we should treasure, and also nostalgia & loss; how things (when you're having fun) always seem to end too soon. (Hmm, are we all depressing or what?) :cry:

It usually takes me more than a week for me to get a song to this stage - you may recognise the title from the earlier 'think of a title' excercise. It inspired me to start the song & I have now worked on it some more. I'm not totally happy with it lyric-wise, so I hope the dodgy bits will get some attention from you out there. Also the structure - I dont know if there are any conventions regarding bridge/chorus/verse relationships, Ive just picked what seemed ok. Anyway, i'll shut up now . . .

Valley of Shadows

The hill is steep, of granite rock
And on it not much grows
It shields a valley from the light
As the evening sunlight glows

It's quiet, far from the hustle of life
Birds sing and the air is calm
It's comfort for the troubled soul
In need of soothing balm

The things we love are too soon gone
Memories too will fade
The things we love are too soon gone
To soon, they are all gone

Escaping from our daily chores
We'd slip and slide our way
Following the tumbling stream
To the place where we would play

Hidden from enquiring eyes
A bed of grass and walls of green
Canopy of leaves, butterflies
& coloured flowers grace the scene


In the valley of the shadows
In the shade of our favourite tree
Hidden by its friendly boughs
It was there, you first kissed me

I knew it wouldn't last forever
Just like our youthful love
Now a highway carves its path
Through the valley and up the hill above

You left, to climb much higher
The city beckoned you
I don't know why I did not follow
I guess I had dreams too


Now I'm near my journeys end
I have more memories than dreams
I think about the road you took
Our love, the shadows, the streams



“Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.” - Winnie the Pooh

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 79


You're right. Everyone is so depressing recently. :shock:

First, I really like the chorus. It's simple and effective. :)

I did get a bit lost though. It wasn't until the bridge that I even realized this is a "remembering lost love" song, and not a "nostalgic for an old haunt" song. After I got that, it made much more sense to me. I don't know that I have any suggestion for it, but maybe twiddle with the first verse to hint at the love aspect a bit more? It has a the solitary feeling right now.

Once the love comes in, I really liked it much better, and the ending is pretty strong.

There are two kinds of people in this world:
Those who think there are two kinds of people in this world, and those who don't

Eminent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 23

This is good, Ola, it sounds especially good when sung as oppsoed to read.Liked the climbing metaphor near the end which ties nicely to the hillside mentioned in the earlier verses. The chorus has a nice sing-along feel, too, which I like. Not sure about the verse before the bridge, though. Doesn't scan well; maybe needs some work.Well done!

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 159

Just a few changes I would recommend:

Replace "balm" with "song", balm never sounds good
In the last line of the Chorus ditch "all", and just hold the note on "gone"

Otherwise excellent song. Would be good with very minimal accompaniment; simple fingerpicked minor and diminished arpeggios or a soft piano piece.

Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 49


Nice work. Disclaimer: I am very amateur and probably not very qualified to critique, so please take my comments with a grain of salt :) .

I love the line "I guess I had dreams too" - for some reason I can't define it just strikes home to me (even though I've never actually been in a similar situation to the one described in the song).

I agree with Jerboa though - the theme of the first part of the song sounds like it is similar in vein to the song "pave paradise, put up a parking lot", whereas the second part of the song is about lost love. Actually, the first part sounds a bit like something that Tolkien might have written, he loved nature and used lots of good, descriptive language.

If I was writing it I would either try and link the two sections a bit more strongly by tweaking some of the lyrics, or I would pull it apart into two separate songs. Of course if I was writing it I probably wouldn't have been able to get this far, and if I did and tried to split it I'd no doubt perform a massacre and wind up with two very crummy songs :lol: Anyway, I hope my comments have been helpful, and overall my opinion is very positive :)

Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 121
Topic starter  

Thanks for comments folks.

I should say that the song is supposed to be about the two themes (lost love and nostalgia for old haunts) ie the things we love but there needs to be a stronger link as Saryu says.

The truth is that the current bridge was originally the chorus. I thought it would work ok if I made up another (more repetitive) chorus along the lines of week 2 excercise, and used the old one as the bridge. This, as you spotted, has made the dual theme less obvious. Since the chorus has the line it was there that you first kissed me I think the link would be made early and so there would be less confusion.

I will try swapping them back. I also need to work on the fourth verse (might have to drop the butterflies :cry: )


“Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you.” - Winnie the Pooh