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Old 08-07-2013, 01:13 AM   #1
NattyDaddy
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US The American Dream

Raised on a ranch in ol' Illinois,
I stumbled on the porch of a retired cowboy.
He handed me an old handmade banjo,
Which ignited a passion that began to grow.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.

My daddy didn't let me see the tears he cried,
When the family well, finally went dry.
Our ground became a scorched barren land,
Untouched by God's merciful hand.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.

Then I went to live where you carry a gun,
If you didn't want to see heaven, you better learn to run.
Three doors down lived a woman of pleasure.
But in her eyes, I saw her soul was really a treasure.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.

Now I'm pickin' on stage, but each night before the show,
I think of the money and women I let go.
But then I hear the crowd roar as they decide my fate,
I'll still be dream chasin', when I reach St. Peter's gates.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.


Previous Version
I was raised in western Illinois,
the rebel son of a Yankee Boy.
An old man sold me this old banjo,
and I never let the dream go.
I still believe in the American dream,
the one my daddy helped build for me.

The uncle was a preachiní man.
My granddaddy was a Republican.
My daddy was a poor farmer,
made poorer by Jimmy Carter.
I still believe in the American dream,
the one my daddy helped build for me.

I sat on a porch for two short years,
drinking my share of ice cold beer.
We waved at girls walkiní by,
Sayiní hey itís a good life.
I still believe in the American dream,
the one my daddy helped build for me.

Now I lived where you carry gun,
where every night the town came undone.
I learned to lock my doors,
but even there desire wasnít ignored.
I still believe in the American dream,
the one my daddy helped build for me.

Now Iím pickiní up on stage.
Iím hardly even getting paid.
But every night the lyrics come together,
and thatís Iím living for.
I still believe in the American dream,
the one my daddy helped build for me.


Here's another folk peice. This one is more folk than country unlike some of my other songs. I'm currently experimenting with the chords. I'm looking at the possibility of, Capo 2: G, Asus2, C, D

Last edited by NattyDaddy : 10-23-2013 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:17 PM   #2
21wickwing
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This is a nice song. However, as you know, folk artists make a living off of powerful lyrics. These are just kind of lyrics. What you should do is keep the last two lines of each stanza and then replace each stanza with a scene portraying great imagery. This is just an idea, but I think it must be more powerful. You kind of sort of show that the american dream sort of dies when you get older. what you want to show is that the American dream dies as you grow older and you still believe in it. It changes from kind of to definite.

I don't know if that critique made sense but for example, your first verse could portray an image like this:

Raised in the farms of western Illinois,
I stumbled upon the porch of a retired cowboy.
He handed me an aged, hand-made banjo.
It conjured a passion that will always grow.
I still believe in the American dream,
the one my daddy helped build for me.


Like "The rebel son of a Yankee Boy" and later "The uncle was a preachiní man.
My granddaddy was a Republican." These are kind of just filler.

Last edited by 21wickwing : 08-09-2013 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:02 AM   #3
NattyDaddy
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Thanks for the great advice! I think you raise some good points and I'll probably look into rewriting this song. My original plan was actually to convey the power of belief, and establish that people need belief, whether it be the American Dream, the promise of heaven, or simply making the world a better place. This last stanza is is supposed to show that the narrator has attained the American dream, but he defines it differently than he did in the past. I think I'll try to make the stanzas other than the first and last more hardship driven. The stanza about front porch drinking will be ditched altogether. I thinking starting and finishing on music like it does now is a nice lierary chiasm.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:48 PM   #4
NattyDaddy
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I was thinking of some revisions for this song. I hope 21wickwing doesn't mind me stealing his stanzas, as I really like the imagery. Keep in mind the narrator and me in this song are not the same person. Anyway, here's the revised version so far-

Raised on a ranch in ol' Illinois,
I stumbled on the porch of a retired cowboy.
He handed me an old handmade banjo,
Which ignited a passion that began to grow.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.

My daddy didn't let me see the tears he cried,
When the family well, finally went dry.
Our ground became a scorched barren land,
Untouched by God's merciful hand.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.

Then I went to live where you carry a gun,
If you didn't want to see heaven, you better learn to run.
Three doors down lived a woman of pleasure.
But in her eyes, I saw her soul was really a treasure.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.

Now I'm pickin' on stage, but each night before the show,
I think of the money and women I let go.
But then I hear the crowd roar as they decide my fate,
I'll still be dream chasin', when I reach St. Peter's gates.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.
I still believe in the American dream,
The one my daddy helped build for me.

Last edited by NattyDaddy : 08-10-2013 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 08-10-2013, 03:38 PM   #5
Eccer
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I think I actually liked this ^ the revised poem better It gave me a better imagery than the latter, which really just sounded like a standard country song to me. Great, work with this style man, good verses usually helps alot and will be rewarding the more you get the hang of it.
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:41 PM   #6
21wickwing
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Yeah man! The revised poem is a significant improvement! I love it! Great job! Keep it up
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Old 08-10-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
Carlos Baker
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very cool! Great imagery in the revised work! Congrats!
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:13 PM   #8
NattyDaddy
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Glad to hear some positive feedback! I've been working on the chords for this song, as I wasn't quite happy with the old ones, I'm leaning more toward each line being Am, C, G, E. Instrumentation will probably be 12 string guitar, banjo, and an electric bass. I've honestly never been a fan of drums in folk music, but that's just me.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:47 AM   #9
BostnSusan
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This is just an idea, but I think it must be more powerful.
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