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WK 48 - Clean Getaway

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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
Topic starter  

Hi all,

I'm busy with school holidays and Spring chores right now, so I don't have time to write a song this week. Initially I was going to post a message saying:

THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK

But then I thought that maybe there was a way around it. I'd just bang out some words and say “Johnny Cash - Tribute Song”. Then you'll all instantly be able to pick three or four appropriate chords and hear the song in your head, in the voice of the man himself. And I won't need to record an MP3. :wink:

When singing, feel free to add or subtract a few words such as “and” “now” “then” “boy” and “man” throughout, if and where the rhythm seems to call for an extra syllable or so. Change the tense if required.

OK. Put on your best Johnny Cash voice please.

CLEAN GETAWAY -A Johnny Cash ‘Tribute Song'

When you are a young boy they shut you up in school
Stick you in a corner and make you learn the rules
They hit you with a strap then they hit you with a cane
Stand you up and bawl you out an' knock you down again.

Keep between the lines boy, and don't break the mould
Don't you ever rock the boat now, just do what you're told
You got a lifetime sentence with no option of parole
So put muscles on your body boy, and iron in your soul

Now for the upbeat everybody-sing-along chorus

Climb the wall, slip the chain, put on my trav'lling shoes
Laughter in my eyes ‘cos I've got nothing left to lose
If you're the one that got away you know how good it feels
To slam the door, drop the clutch and spin your goodbye wheels

Back to the gritty bits....

If you thought school was bad, boy, you'll be blown away by work
The boss is a psychopath and the foreman's just a jerk
Keep your fists in your pockets an' swallow down the rage
‘Cos you got a little older and you need to pull that wage

She's standing at the door with messed up hair and angry eyes
Her tongue's workin' overtime to cut you down to size
Your tether's feeling stretched man, you don't need this as well
It started out as heaven but it's feeling more like hell

Everybody...

Climb the wall, slip the chain, put on my trav'lling shoes
Laughter in my eyes ‘cos I've got nothing left to lose
If you're the one that got away you know how good it feels
To slam the door, drop the clutch and spin your goodbye wheels


More bad stuff...

The barman pours another shot, the dealer gives a wink
The noose is closing round again, it's quicker than you think
Another signpost pointing to another easy trap
Bring on the happy ending, I've been through my share of crap

Looked in the mirror yesterday, saw the Devil by my side
Said “You can run all you like John but you can never hide”
He's got all our numbers boys, he'll get us in the end
Just give us one more chance to head off down the road again…

Big finish now...

Climb the wall, slip the chain, put on my trav'lling shoes
Laughter in my eyes ‘cos I've got nothing left to lose
If you're the one that got away you know how good it feels
To slam the door, drop the clutch and spin your goodbye wheels

END

Sadly, the verses in which the farm died and his dog got repossessed had to be cut due to lack of space.

Cheers

Chris


   
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(@raystrack)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 123
 

Chris - this is fantastic. I've been singing it to an E blues feel with a chorus in G as I don't really know Johnny Cash material but have been listening and watching old clips of The Band over the last couple of days.

So many good lines here - favourites ....

Stand you up and bawl you out an' knock you down again

So put muscles on your body boy, and iron in your soul

The whole chorus especially the last line slam the door, drop the clutch and spin your goodbye wheels

Keep your fists in your pockets an' swallow down the rage
‘Cos you got a little older and you need to pull that wage

I left my first job after 6 months after telling a foreman to shove it where the sun didn't shine :lol:

I thought the verse about the woman could be cut and the last two verses combined as

The barman pours another shot, the dealer gives a wink
The noose is closing tighter and it's later than you think
The Devil's got our numbers boys, he'll get us in the end
Just give us one more chance to head off down the road again

I'd have a go at recording it as I hear it but I haven't started on my own Wk48 effort yet - got an idea though :P .

http://www.raystroud.com
http://www.myspace.com/raystroud


   
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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
Topic starter  

Thanks for your comments Ray. Much appreciated. :)

I left my first job after 6 months after telling a foreman to shove it where the sun didn't shine :lol:

Done a bit of that in my day too... :D
I thought the verse about the woman could be cut and the last two verses combined as

The barman pours another shot, the dealer gives a wink
The noose is closing tighter and it's later than you think
The Devil's got our numbers boys, he'll get us in the end
Just give us one more chance to head off down the road again

I could go with that. I thought the trap/crap couplet was weak, and the run/hide line was just a nod to a popular cliche in that kind of song. The verse about 'trouble with ma woman/man' seemed like an obvious (but non-essential) candidate for a traditional "things to escape from" list. My quick notes ran: School, Work, Dodgy Relationship, Booze/Drugs/Gambling, and then Devil/Death/Reaper. So I just ploughed through them. The middle two verses didn't really sit properly as a pair, so I felt that could use a bit of juggling.
I'd have a go at recording it as I hear it but I haven't started on my own Wk48 effort yet - got an idea though :P .

That would be most excellent, if you find the time. But do your song first.

This is a clip of Johnny Cash that Wes Inman posted here a few days ago. It gave me the general idea for a Johnny Cash knock-off. The lyrics are short but very effective and to the point.

Johnny cash sings San Quentin

I don't really know much about him, and the only CD I have is a bad recording from a time when he was not doing well, and was just walking through his old material with no fire or interest. But on his day he could really sell a song, and he wrote some good ones too.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@davidhodge)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4472
 

Nicely done, Chris.

I think Ray's got a good idea for combining the last two verses (which leaves you free for sticking in one about the dog and the farm :wink: ) but I'd still keep the woman verse. Needs a little tweaking, but I love the last line!

Only a bit of nitpicking:

"...You gotta lifetime sentence with no option of parole..."

"Gotta" is slang for "got to," as in "I gotta stop worrying about little things like "gotta" and concentrate on what's important." So here you'd want to say "...You got a lifetime sentence with no option of parole..."

Yeah, I know, who really cares? :wink:

Looking forward to more.

Peace


   
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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
Topic starter  

Only a bit of nitpicking:

"...You gotta lifetime sentence with no option of parole..."

"Gotta" is slang for "got to," as in "I gotta stop worrying about little things like "gotta" and concentrate on what's important." So here you'd want to say "...You got a lifetime sentence with no option of parole..."

Yeah, I know, who really cares? :wink:

Thanks for the comments David. I agree with, and appreciate the 'nitpicking'. I'm a great nitpicker, and always try and pass it off as 'editing' or 'polishing'... :wink: It's all useful in the end though. But I still miss clangers in my own writing, even though I'm pretty reasonable at proof-reading what others write. I find it's very easy to read over mistakes or poor imagery in your own work, because the brain just automatically corrects to 'read' what you expect. So cold feedback here is always valuable. It's not essential to make every single suggested change, but if one person spots an error or thinks something doesn't work, then others may too.

It was originally written as "got a" "and" etc but I ran through and sprinkled a few slangy style changes to try and give a drawly feel to it. Just picked the wrong spot there. :oops: Will change it.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@katreich)
Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 686
 

Boy Chris , once you start, there's no stopping you. i love this! Ans I can hear Johnny singing it!

Falling in love is like learning to play the guitar; first you learn to follow the rules, then you learn to play with your heart.

www.soundclick.com/kathyreichert


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

Sadly, the verses in which the farm died and his dog got repossessed had to be cut due to lack of space....

....as did the ones featuring the under-age pregnant son and the drug-peddling pimp daughter, obviously.

Chris, you frighten me - if you can knock off something this good in a few spare minutes, what are you going to come up with when you REALLY put your mind to it?

Taken by themselves, the verses are pretty generic - but you've got a killer chorus that pulls the whole thing together. It's a hook you could hang an elephant on!

Just to pick up on a couple of points - nitpicking IS good. I've lost count of the number of times I've used the same word twice in a couple of lines and not noticed it, for all that I've gone over it a dozen times, until someone (usually Celt!) points it out. It's those little details - get them right, you've got a well-written song - miss them, you've got a mess.
My quick notes ran: School, Work, Dodgy Relationship, Booze/Drugs/Gambling, and then Devil/Death/Reaper.

Bearing that in mind - everything's nicely and logically in order - would it work to change the running order of the first two verses? As the second verse stands, it's more of a generalisation than part of a logical sequence of events - perhaps if you opened with it, as a scene-setter, THEN you'd hit the story line running, so to speak...although that particular verse (the second as it stands now) might need a little tweaking lyrically to fit.

Once again, well written - I'd say this is one apprenticeship that won't take long to mature into a craft!

Keep it up mate.....

: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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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
Topic starter  

Boy Chris , once you start, there's no stopping you. i love this! Ans I can hear Johnny singing it!

Thanks Kathy, I'm delighted that you could hear Johnny singing it too. When you've got something running through your head it doesn't always translate across to others – so it's heartening that you could pick up the mood and fit his most distinctive style and voice over new words. 8)
Chris, you frighten me - if you can knock off something this good in a few spare minutes, what are you going to come up with when you REALLY put your mind to it?
Turns out I lied a bit there. :roll: I ended up getting some free time one morning and was able to do more than I thought. Music definitely still out this week though. Family first for a fortnight.

On the general point of having plenty of time to REALLY put your mind to something, that's a mixed bag. All too often the answer turns out to be “Write something heavy-handed, over-blown, or trying too hard to be clever”.

Sometimes it's better not have too much time to slug away at things. I can't draw, but when I watch people who can I'm always impressed by the lightness of touch on the pencil or brush and the speed and sureness of their strokes. They don't have to keep working over and over the picture. I bet I'd see the same thing if I watched Neil's (Chefie) hands when he cooks. My wife cooks like an artist - quick and confident. I cook like an amateur bricklayer - slowly, messily and with no natural flair. As usual, I suppose that much of the answer lies with the old standby Practice, and its cousin Experience.

My biggest weakness with songs is very mediocre musicianship, so I'm really looking forward to the coming of a companion forum here for the music side of song composition (as mentioned in the new GN Newsletter). Overall, I'm still trying to play to my strengths (which usually turn out to be light comedy) whilst also attempting to follow other advice I've seen you give about pushing out of your normal comfort zone from time to time.
Would it work to change the running order of the first two verses?

Sounds good to me. I've done it two weeks in a row now! Worked hard with the first image that came to me, and then neglected to stand back at the end of the whole process and check the overall perspective and balance. :wink:

Sometimes you even have to throw out your original idea altogether (or file it away as you suggest). I remember reading some advice from a professional novelist who kept an old shoebox full of scraps of paper with surplus ideas and phrases in. Whenever she temporarily ran dry she'd ferret around in the box and get fresh inspiration from old scraps. So I now have a file on my computer called Shoebox. :)

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1468
 

i TOLD you that writing quickly works......


   
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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
Topic starter  

i TOLD you that writing quickly works......

:lol:

You did too.... 8)

I find that what seems to work best for me is a modified version of your method. I work in a small chain of short intense bursts of a few minutes at a time. If I hack away at it for too long it starts to get stale, so I put it down for a day - or at the very least several hours. By the time the next burst of enthusiasm comes along the subconscious seems to have solved some of the problems and come up with some fresh additions. It's an appealing combination of adrenaline and idleness.

Unfortunately, I'm still having trouble tracking down the burst that contains all the musical inspiration, but I live in hope...

So where's your '5-30 minute special' this week then? :P

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@pearlthekat)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1468
 

unfortunatly, it doesn't take into account laziness...


   
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(@straycat)
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Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1282
 

“You can run all you like John but you can never hide”
He's got all our numbers boys, he'll get us in the end

:D agreeing with everything said (except maybe with taking out the "you can run all you like.." line). this is amazing.
looking forward to that mp3.

cheers,
straycat.

"oh, eventually it will break your heart" - anders wendin


   
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