#1
Little song here, one stanza in particular is bothering me and I'm curious to see if everyone else will pick out the same one as the weakest. Of course critique of the whole piece is very much appreciated.

A Testimony to the Truth

That history ain't real.
Your memories are only half there:
Twelve little volumes not twelve hundred years,
Twelve little volumes and who's screaming now?

Don't read, just see.
Don't believe, just heed.
I saw your baby out on a billboard.
What exactly were you selling?
What exactly are you selling?

I heard ten thousand hands clapping,
And just who now were they praising?
Amongst the fog machines and silver stage lights--
No mystery, no mystery
No mystery.

Left Topeka in Ash
Like Scopes' aftermath.
Twelve little volumes not twelve hundred years.
People parted like the red sea:
Grey chariots that drown.

If they gave me half a chance
I'd step out from the empty space that hangs between the spheres--
A comet-poet-pilgrim son come
Limping home
At twice the sung speed of sound.
Set your hard-worked jealousy aside my brother;
We will slay the fattest calf.
Very soon now we will build new homes together.
My experience is yours.
Your inheritance is mine.


Thanks for reading. This is my second post for the six day limit so hopefully It's a matter of quality over quantity. I'll happily go C4C of course.

If you like it (or hate it so much you enjoy slamming me on it) check out the other work(s) listed in my sig.
#2
Quote by dullsilver_mike

A Testimony to the Truth

That history ain't real.
Your memories are only half there:
Twelve little volumes not twelve hundred years,
Twelve little volumes and who's screaming now?
I liked this opening stanza, I however didn't feel the flow was right with '...who's screaming now', But since it is Folk I assume it fits with what ever music you have in mind.

Don't read, just see.
Don't believe, just heed.
I saw your baby out on a billboard.
What exactly were you selling?
What exactly are you selling?
I dislike the word heed, I dunno why. Everything else was good.

I heard ten thousand hands clapping,
And just who now were they praising?
Amongst the fog machines and silver stage lights--
No mystery, no mystery
No mystery.
I love repetition, it makes stanza's feel a lot more, full.

Left Topeka in Ash
Like Scopes' aftermath.
Twelve little volumes not twelve hundred years.
People parted like the red sea:
Grey chariots that drown.
Shot in the dark, this is the stanza you don't like? I really don't think this fits with how the song was building up. You had the right idea with the Twelve little volumes call-back line but how many times has parted like the red sea been used in a song?

If they gave me half a chance
I'd step out from the empty space that hangs between the spheres--
A comet-poet-pilgrim son come
Limping home
At twice the sung speed of sound.
Set your hard-worked jealousy aside my brother;
We will slay the fattest calf.
Very soon now we will build new homes together.
My experience is yours.
Your inheritance is mine.
Ending, loved it.


Definitely folk. I can see the story-telling lyrics. I am a huge fan of any music with folk qualities, both new and old. The thing with writing it is, since folk tends to use a lot more simple chord patterns(for example Neutral Milk Hotel), the music and depth really comes from the lyrics and how the lyrics are sung. The last stanza had to be my favorite because it really had the creativeness and depth you usually see in Folk.
I really liked this, if you ever actually make it into a full song or record it I would love to hear it.

My Best wishes to the Bride, My piece. I too had Folk in mind when I wrote it.
this one is for you.
Last edited by Ebshabutiee at Dec 20, 2008,
#3
A good part of the beginning was telling not showing. Though that may have been to plant the initial idea, it's not the most effective way to do so. Music is a visual media. The more you can construct a message with pictures rather than ideas, the more solidly it will stick and grow in the listeners' minds.

My take on this: The 'twelve volumes' I can only imagine is alluding to the New Interpreter's Bible, which would put the song in the perspective of a traditionally religious Christian, if not for the last stanza, which makes Jesus the narrator. The second stanza comes across as the weakest, because though it was a small contribution - raising the issue of "faith" being commercialized and, perhaps, the growth of materialism - it is really just a side note on the face of the piece's message. The third and fourth are strong, and I would take to representing the rise of secularism in today's society, and to fill the void we turn to an "american idol" type religion. The last stanza is a beautifully put depiction of Jesus's return.

You seem to have a good hold on what you want to say. I would revisit the first few couple of stanzas and add some color, but this was very well written.
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#4
I love some good 'ol folk music and I really loved this. Let me know when you've got it recorded. Crit? "Holocaust"
With an irresistible blend of reggae induced hip-hop and catchy pop-punk hooks, Half Chance Heroes captivates audiences with their unique sound and energetic stage show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8bSU0u8uvM
#5
Thanks so much, some very thorough and helpful feedback guys.

Ebshabutiee: I think the best approach to that stanza, which you easily identified, is just to cut it all together, I've been singing it without and it seems to not lose anything.

I have also been constantly changing that line "who's screaming now" I gues we just both focus on the exact same things--I need to find a way to convey turning tables, the folks weilding those volumes meant to do good, but now do harm. Rhythmically it does fit well because I pull a little embellishment and rubato magic with the music there, but I think you're on to it being a little weak lyrically anyway.


The read contrasted with see is clear to me, but I'm not sure exactly what word would juxtapose believe well enough--going through the motions of it without meaning. I think a strong rhyme is important at that point, but I'll have to consider other phrases that might not rhyme so neatly

Billyjson: I understand show v. tell well, but yeah was just having trouble setting the state concisely enough with image alone. I don't endorse one reading of my lyrics, you can get what you want out of them, but if I articulate my intent maybe you guys can help give me some suggestions for depicting exactly what I want.

I wrote this song thinking about American Christian fundamentalism, that based off of 12 pamphlets called "The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth" basically these books advocate that christians don't use reading or critical thinking skills when working with the bible--and they have formed the basis for modern evangilism.

*personal opinion disclaimer(just trying to show the mood I want to create)*
I don't care for this movement, I think it's politically and commercially based, I think it does more harm, socially, spiritually, and intellectually, than good. I wanted to identify the nasty turn it has taken, but to do so without being overly inflamatory. I wanted to depict a very spiritual alternative to the ideas imposed by this type of religion so as not to create some binary of faith and athiesm--hence the prodigal son story at the end.

The end is messianic, but I just meant it to be a sinful speaker, prodigal son, come to say that orthodoxy and literalism is bad, and avoids the type of brotherly love we need-
/ramble

Long story short, any approaches to imigistically setting the stage in the first stanza rather than telling it so? With this approach in mind can you guys suggest any people or objects/events I can focus on?

Thanks again for the great feedback.
Last edited by dullsilver_mike at Dec 23, 2008,