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Y7 W43: "Tattoo"

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(@klepsydra)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 26
Topic starter  

My first attempt at writing a song to order, and it's come out way different to my usual style, probably as a result. I'm not a folkie really! But it seems this is what you get... *runs and hides*

He was scrawny and weak at the age of eighteen
The jocks would kick sand in his face
He looked like a joke when he tried to look mean
The weediest guy in the place
Then he had an idea that was born of despair
It scared him but he followed through
He went up to Camden and when he got there
He got himself a tattoo

A tattoo, a tattoo
It was Celtic and tribal and neat
A tattoo, a tattoo
To help him get back on his feet

The design was a lion, it sat on his arm
It growled and it showed off its teeth
He was sure that he'd not come to any more harm
When his sleeve had a lion beneath
The next time a jock tried to push him around
He punched the jock right in his eye
The jock was surprised and went spinning around
And never did figure out why

That tattoo, that tattoo
It gave him the strength to attack
That tattoo, that tattoo
Laid the bully out flat on his back

Then a girl who had seen this improbable fight
Came over and said he was cool
He instantly knew that the girl was Ms Right
She sparkled and shone like a jewel
He rolled up his sleeve and he showed his tattoo
He thought it would make him look tough
But she said “Oh my god, I can't go out with you,
I think that I've seen quite enough!”

His tattoo, his tattoo
Some like them and some think they're sleazy
His tattoo, his tattoo
And to guess which is which isn't easy

So all you young men who desire a tattoo
No matter what kind of design
Before you get someone to ink it on you
Make sure that your girl thinks it's fine.
For you might think nobody could loathe it on sight
But if you think that, you'd be wrong
And tattoos that are wrong are so hard to put right
That's the message to learn from this song

Your tattoo, your tattoo
Once it's done you must keep it for life
Your tattoo, your tattoo
Make sure that it's cleared with your wife

"You do things I cannot see, the only fool around here is me. I see things you cannot do, the only fool around here is you."


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

Good job with the story idea, and a nice conclusion. :)

Lot's of good lines too. "Jock" didn't quite work for me, at least not 3 times, but that might simply be a regional thing. It's a word that doesn't have quite the right ring to it here. Some of the lines also looked like they could do with somewhat less formal construction and something a bit looser, punchier and more 'singable', but without hearing how you plan to sing it, that may not be the case. Good luck with it.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@stikman)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 237
 

Nice detail and an unexpected humorous ending. You managed a strict rhyming scheme throughout.
You've really filled out a story here.

Kicking sand in the weaklings face is sort of a cliche isn't it? Maybe not.

Good job!

"All battles are first won or lost in the mind." - Joan of Arc

"It took me about 20 years to figure out how to write without inspiration. Thankfully, I got there." - Leon Russell


   
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 pbee
(@pbee)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2096
 

Hi klepsydra,
well done writing a song to order, it can be quite difficult if your outside of your comfort zone. I pretty much agree with Chris's comments especially the adherance to formality one
Some of the lines also looked like they could do with somewhat less formal construction and something a bit looser, punchier and more 'singable'
I think because there is a lot of narrative here there is a danger of loosing your listener, although your hook lines work well and would pull them back in. Good work

cheers
Paul


Check out my Reverbnation page here


   
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(@klepsydra)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 26
Topic starter  

Good job with the story idea, and a nice conclusion. :)

Lot's of good lines too. "Jock" didn't quite work for me, at least not 3 times, but that might simply be a regional thing. It's a word that doesn't have quite the right ring to it here. Some of the lines also looked like they could do with somewhat less formal construction and something a bit looser, punchier and more 'singable', but without hearing how you plan to sing it, that may not be the case. Good luck with it.

Cheers,

Chris

I don't think I shall ever sing this one. It's a long way outside my normal style, as I said -- it's as close to a folk style song as I shall probably ever write. You're right about there being too many jocks (!), perhaps the second one should read "He punched the man right in his eye" or some such.

"You do things I cannot see, the only fool around here is me. I see things you cannot do, the only fool around here is you."


   
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(@klepsydra)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 26
Topic starter  

Kicking sand in the weaklings face is sort of a cliche isn't it? Maybe not.

Good job!

Thanks. Yes, it's a cliche, but I chose to use it deliberately, as I thought it would fit with the rather lighthearted treatment of what is really a serious subject, I suppose.

"You do things I cannot see, the only fool around here is me. I see things you cannot do, the only fool around here is you."


   
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(@jamestoffee)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2855
 

Good start :D I didn't mind the "jock" reference. I liked the personification of the tattoo:
The design was a lion, it sat on his arm
It growled and it showed off its teeth

Suggestion:
Consider what words are most essential to get the idea across and minimize to have a stronger impact.

For example:
He was scrawny and weak at the age of eighteen
The jocks would kick sand in his face
He looked like a joke when he tried to look mean
The weediest guy in the place
Then he had an idea that was born of despair
It scared him but he followed through
He went up to Camden and when he got there
He got himself a tattoo

Scrawny and weak at the age of eighteen
jocks kicked sand in his face [or sand-kicking jocks, in his face]
Looked like a joke when he tried to look mean
(The) weediest guy in the place
Had an idea born of despair
scared him but he followed through
went up (or down) to Camden and when he got there
got himself a tattoo

This section could use a bit more clarity
His tattoo, his tattoo
Some like them and some think they're sleazy
His tattoo, his tattoo
And to guess which is which isn't easy

Maybe like:

His tattoo, his tattoo
Some think they're [it's] sexy [or cool] others think they're [it's] sleazy
His tattoo, his tattoo
guessing which is which isn't easy

Other than that, consider expanding around one story....right now it kind of drifts a bit....First it's a "Karate Kid" story..... then the "Skater Boy" [He's not good enough for her].....then it's "the I'm the man of the house, as long as my wife let's me be" scenario....[Like this short story :lol: My wife told me] http://funymail.blogspot.com/2008/05/my-wife-told-me.html

Men and women on earth die and go to heaven.
God comes and says"I want the men to form two queues, one line for the men who dominated their women, and the other one for the men who were dominated by their women. Also, I want all the women to go away so that no man and woman can talk."
Next time God comes back, the women are gone, and there are two lines. The line for the men who were dominated by their women is 100 miles long, and in the line of men who dominated their women there is only one man.
God gets mad and says, "You men should be ashamed of yourselves. I created you in my image, and you were all whipped by your mates. Look at the only one of my sons who stood up and made me proud. Learn from him!"
"Tell them, my son, how did you manage to be the only one in this line?"

The man replies, "I don't know, my wife told me to stand here." :lol: :lol: :lol:

.....All good ideas and worth expanding, but when spread too thin, focus is blurred.

Thanks for sharing.....and welcome :D I look forward to seeing more posts from you.

James


   
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