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Y9 W22 - John B. Crowe

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martin-6
(@martin-6)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 418
Topic starter  

My 100th song :note2: :mrgreen: :note2:
Country & Western, Johnny Cash style.

=====================================================

There was an old man named John B. Crowe
Made his living selling guns and ammo
Forty-five years on the Old West Road
If you ever need a rifle see John B. Crowe

John B. Crowe was a bag of tricks
He'd sell a pistol to a boy of six
He'd profit in peace and he'd profit in war
Cos John B. Crowe was rotten to the core

John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Got a bullet with your name on it, John B. Crowe

Sweet Sally Mack bought a thirty-eight
Blew her lover clean out of state
And Shotgun Stu robbed half the town
Before the lawman's peacemaker took him down

John B. Crowe didn't like complaints
Told 'em where to go with no restraint
He took great pleasure shooting up the floor
Had customers line-dancing out the door

John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Got a bullet with your name on it, John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Heaven help John when it's time to go

John B. Crowe armed up two gangs
He never told 'em they'd be firing blanks
They all went to jail for attempted crime
And John B. laughed for a good long time

John B. Crowe was a hunted man
Closed his shop and away he ran
Showed up later near Shamrock Pass
Took a bullet to the chest and it laid him flat

John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Got a bullet with your name on it, John B. Crowe

harmonica solo

There was an old man named John B. Crowe
They shot him down but they did not know
That the wooden board underneath his clothes
Stopped the bullet going into John B. Crowe

There was an old man named John B. Crowe
Made his living selling guns and ammo
Forty-five years on the Old West Road
If you ever need a rifle see John B. Crowe

John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Got a bullet with your name on it, John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Heaven help John when it's time to go

harmonica outro


   
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jamestoffee
(@jamestoffee)
Famed Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2855
 

Hi Martin,

Congrats on the 100th. :D This was a lot of fun to read. :mrgreen: I really wasn't sure where it was heading or end up....and that's a good thing. :wink:

It looks like a lot of the story can stay as is and it would be a good song....it also looks like with some rewrites, it could be a great song.

Suggestions: I don't have a "fix it" suggestion or think there is anything glaringly wrong. I'll just brainstorm some thoughts and you can take or leave what fits:

There was an old man named John B. Crowe.....WHAT ABOUT IF HE WASN'T OLD BUT WE SAW HIM AGE AS HE GREW IN THE BUSINESS OR BECAME LESS SCRUPULOUS OR MORE CALLOUS?
Made his living selling guns and ammo -I LIKE THIS
Forty-five years on the Old West Road -SEEMS A BIT LONG TO LIVE ROTTEN TO THE CORE-SEEMS HIS LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN SHORTENED SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY
If you ever need a rifle see John B. Crowe

John B. Crowe was a bag of tricks
He'd sell a pistol to a boy of six -NICE SHOWING NOT TELLING
He'd profit in peace and he'd profit in war -NICE
Cos John B. Crowe was rotten to the core -COULD THERE BE ANOTHER DESCRIPTION; MAYBE LESS BIAS OR LIKE "LORD OF WAR" OR TONY STARK'S IRON MAN CHARACTER, BUT SOMEONE THAT DIDN'T PICK UP A CONSCIENCE?

John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Got a bullet with your name on it, John B. Crowe -NICE SET UP FOR POSSIBLE FORESHADOWING THAT THE BULLET IS FOR JOHN

Sweet Sally Mack bought a thirty-eight
Blew her lover clean out of state
And Shotgun Stu robbed half the town
Before the lawman's peacemaker took him down NICE SHOWING NOT TELLING

John B. Crowe didn't like complaints
Told 'em where to go with no restraint
He took great pleasure shooting up the floor
Had customers line-dancing out the door....I'M NOT SURE THIS REALLY ADDS TO THE STORY.....OR MAYBE IT'S JUST ME THAT THINKS THIS VERSE MAKES THE CHARACTER SEEM LESS BELIEVABLE.....I CAN'T PICTURE A "HOT-HEADED" TYPE OWNING A GUN STORE FOR 45 YEARS- SEEMS LIKE JOHN WOULD BE MORE THE "COOL AS A CUCUMBER" TYPE OR "ICE IN THE VEINS"....VERY DETACHED FROM THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF HIS BUSINESS

John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Got a bullet with your name on it, John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Heaven help John when it's time to go

John B. Crowe armed up two gangs
He never told 'em they'd be firing blanks THIS DOESN'T MAKE SENSE....IT SEEMS LIKE HE GOT A CONSCIENCE ALL OF THE SUDDEN AND DOESN'T WANT GANG MEMBERS KILLING EACHOTHER.....HIS CREDIBILITY AS A GUN SUPPLIER WOULD BE SHOT (pun intended :P )
They all went to jail for attempted crime
And John B. laughed for a good long time THIS DOESN'T MAKE SENSE....HE WOULD KNOW THAT WOULD BE A MISTAKE TO CROSS TWO GANGS.....AND WHY IS HE FAVORING OR HELPING LAW ENFORCEMENT IF HE IS ROTTEN TO THE CORE?

John B. Crowe was a hunted man
Closed his shop and away he ran
Showed up later near Shamrock Pass
Took a bullet to the chest and it laid him flat.....THIS VERSE WORKS THAT HE IS ON THE RUN, BUT I STILL DON'T BUY THE PREMISE THAT HE "PLAYED A JOKE" ON GANG MEMBERS FOR KICKS NOT REALIZING THE CONSEQUENCES

John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Got a bullet with your name on it, John B. Crowe

harmonica solo

There was an old man named John B. Crowe
They shot him down but they did not know
That the wooden board underneath his clothes.....WOODEN BOARD SEEMS A BIT MUCH...MAYBE A LOCKET FROM A LOVER...COULD BE TIED-IN WITH AN EARLIER MURDER....LOVE TRIANGLE...OR MAYBE A SECRET SERVICE BADGE; LIKE HIS STORE WAS A FRONT; HE WAS UNDERCOVER TO GAIN TRUST, BUT THEN WOULD KNOW WHO HAD WHAT WEAPONS AND COULD AID THE LAW ENFORCEMENT- MAYBE SOMEONE FINDS OUT HE'S A SNITCH AND TRIES TO KILL HIM; OR SOMEONE WANTS TO TAKE OVER HIS BUSINESS AND FIGURES SHOOTING HIM WOULD BE AN EASY SOLUTION
Stopped the bullet going into John B. Crowe

There was an old man named John B. Crowe
Made his living selling guns and ammo
Forty-five years on the Old West Road
If you ever need a rifle see John B. Crowe --SEEMS LIKE A PRIME LOCATION FOR THE MORAL, INSIGHT, TWIST - NOT NECESSARILY A RECAP OF WHAT THE LISTENER ALREADY KNOWS- OR IF IT IS A RECAP-SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE RIGHT BEFORE THIS VERSE THAT PUTS THESE LINES IN A NEW LIGHT.

John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Got a bullet with your name on it, John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
John B. Crowe
Heaven help John when it's time to go

harmonica outro

Thanks for sharing :D

James


   
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Chris C
(@chris-c)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Congratulations on the 100th song! :mrgreen:

The general polish of the song shows the benefits of having written the other 99. :)

Even without the music it was easy to sing through, because it was well structured. But I did stumble in a couple of spots. Perhaps it's because we talk with different accents, but I couldn't get "and ammo" working convincingly. I'd say ammo with the stress firmly on the first syllable and I couldn't get that to work to match the beat of the other line endings in the verse, which put the stresses on the last syllable. I ending up singing "guns to go" just to be able to sing it convincingly. I also had trouble with "Shamrock Pass" and "laid him flat". Couldn't get even a partial rhyme in my accent. Had to sing "dumped him on his arse" instead.

There were also two minor technical points that I didn't quite buy. One was the switch to blanks. Blanks look quite different, because they have no bullet on the end of the cartridge case, so I can't see that trick working on every member of two whole gangs. I also would have liked to hear more about that story. What sort of scene were we supposed to imagine that got two gangs arrested? Can't do much criminal damage just firing blanks at each other. It felt like it either needed a whole song to itself, or being scaled back down to one guy being tricked with blanks. The other was the "wooden board" underneath his clothes. You'd need a reasonable piece of timber to stop a bullet, and the idea of wandering around with a bit of plank under your shirt, or some kind of wooden armour in case you got shot in that area seems a bit of a stretch. As James said, the usual story uses a metal cigarette case, badge, pocket watch, locket, or something similar. I seem to recall that even bibles have been used in lyrics to stop the fatal shot. The thickness of a book might do the trick. But perhaps you had a particular wooden item or legend in mind? No biggies, but just thoughts that popped up as I sang through.

Good job, and fun to read. Hope it gets sung some day. :)

Cheers,

Chris


   
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martin-6
(@martin-6)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 418
Topic starter  

Thanks for the pointers, James & Chris. You are probably right about the blanks thing not ringing true. I'm not attached to the verse so I'll rewrite it later. I liked the idea of John B. Crowe ageing throughout the song, though not sure if I will be able to make that work. You got me thinking more about his timeline and longevity in the screwing people business. About the wooden board, I felt the bible/locket/flask trope was a bit too much of a cliché, and I wanted to make it clear that he wore something intentionally in case of being shot (he's cunning). But I'll see what other forms of protection I can come up with. James, good idea about a final twist/moral to the tale. Maybe he changes his ways or his business, maybe meets his end, maybe outlives everyone.

I'm hoping to record it this week, if I can find a moment to stop sucking at guitar.


   
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wilhelmina
(@wilhelmina)
Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 56
 

I like this story. So clever! I'd like it even more if you'd have blasted the (bad word) in the (bad word in the plural form). Wilhelmina


   
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