#1
Verse 1
Errand Boy rise up, just before the sun
Brush his teeth quick, pull the same jeans on

Walk out to the driveway, shovel on his shoulder

The snow falls gently and it’s magic to him

Well he came out in the spring on his very first plane
With just a score of hard living years to his name

He left his grieving father and his baby sis behind

He’s happy to be working but sad to be away

CHORUS
"Remember where you’re from" his grieving father told him
"Always work hard and be frugal with your pay,
Be honest in your dealings and stay away from trouble
Always speak the truth but don’t get in the way"

Verse 2
Well the Boss Man’s Wife was as pretty as they come
Always had a glowing screen poised beneath her thumbs

She loved to drink wine and would often start early

Errand boy cracks a joke and she chuckles to herself

The Boss Man himself was always coming or a-going
His kids barely seemed to care that they barely know him

It always seemed odd for the Errand Boy to see

Such a tragic group of people who have everything they need

CHORUS
Boss Man’s Wife said to Errand Boy
"Why don’t you get out to town?
You're young and good looking oughtta find yourself a woman
You can’t spend your days just working all the time."

Verse 3
20 years passed and the Errand Boy remains
shoveling the snow from the same driveway

He keeps the lines straight and never cuts the corners

Puts his heart and soul into everything he does

The Boss Man’s Widow watches stories on the screen
Pining for the grandchild’s face she’s never seen

She still likes wine but only gets a little

Errand Boy cracks a joke and she chuckles to herself

CHORUS
Letter came from his grieving father today it said
"Son we’re doing just fine.
Your sister's in college now with new clothes and paper,
we love you so much and I don’t know how to thank ya’."

Verse 4 (1/2 tempo)
20 more years came to pass, and his father now grieves no more
Errand Boy sits on his second plane, making his way back home
He took a room in his sister’s place, a small one's all he needs
The halls are filled with the mirth of children, his nephew and his niece
Curious kids and candid too, they came right out and asked him
"Uncle why didn’t you ever get married and get a good job like mom did?"

(normal tempo)
Sister went to speak, Errand Boy shook his head
He said "I oughtta tell these kids how it is!

When your grandmother died; see, I had to start working,

I always had to struggle and the time just slipped away."

CHORUS
"But I earned every dollar that I ever made
Never stopped even for a second to complain
Life ain't what your given it’s about of what you make it
It’s already yours so you never have to take it"


Verse 5/Conclusion
Errand boy rise up just before the sun
Puts in his false teeth and goes out for a walk

Got his niece by the hand and his nephew on his shoulder

The breeze blows gently and it’s magic to him.

My premise:
So this is the story of Errand Boy, a 20 year old who immigrates to the US after the death of his mother to work as a house helper for a wealthy family to support his own impoverished family. He is an exceptionally selfless person, who devotes himself to others at the perceived expense of his own needs. In actuality, he is mostly content with his station in life and simply doesn't care to pursue the conventional "life goals" most of us do. Kinda like Alfred from the Batman movies. I think we've all known someone like that in real life. That is the essence of the character I'm trying to portray here.
So I'm totally open to your thoughts on this one, but I'm particularly dissatisfied with the final chorus (in italics), I just can't seem to sum up the "Alfredian" philosophy clearly. Thanks for your time.
Last edited by ramble-on at Apr 24, 2016,
#2
I think you've presented the plot well--I could pick up what was happening without having to read your summary at the end, so that bodes well for when it's sung.

If what I'm picking up about the "Alfredian" philosophy ( ) is accurate, then a sticking point is emphasizing that sly counterculture tendency. Part of Errand Boy's whole spiel is that he doesn't care about a whole host of standard goals commonly desired by people in this new country. I'd say, if you're trying to revise it, focus on playing up the countercultural aspects as much as the 1) working-hard-for-money theme in the first two lines of that chorus and 2) the more (bear with me) existentialist/humanist theme in the last two lines of that stanza. Errand Boy's seemed to have actively refuted these life goals.

Pretty neat piece overall, and maybe my rambling will get ideas for you.
#3
I agree with AH. Good job with the story and the points made.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.

justinguitar.com is the answer
#4
I can only read briefly right now (at work), but I get your aim.

I would distinguish between the opportunities for an immigrant and for someone staying at home - he might not have the language / the culture / the knowledge.
Your theme to me is 'honest work', in which case maybe present an example of the opposite?
The only other thought is show how what he has done is altruistic - how has he benefitted anyone - I like the repetition of the Boss Man's Wife, the chuckle - maybe expand that a little.

Again, I'm sorry this is brief, I'll take a better look when I get home this afternoon.
|
'....even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked...."

Do me a favour, pop into Songwriting & Lyrics and add a comment to one thread, any thread, but contribute.

----

www.soundcloud.com/christobaldo
#5
The first couple of lines of slightly broken English - gives it an almost faux-reggae feel. The snow being magic is a nice touch, it's giving us a bit more information and background on him.

I think 'happy to be working, but sad to be away' could be explained better by the preceding lines - there's a certain amount of telling rather than showing here.

The first chorus: we don't really have a motivation for the father's advice - it doesn't seem to apply to the daughter at home, what's the reasoning behind it?

In verse 2 I like the introduction of the Boss Man's wife, although that terminology did make me question, on first read, if Errand Boy is a slave. As I mentioned before, I like the sharing of the joke. At the end of the verse you're exploring what (it seems) you want to talk about - the fact that family itself is something to have, not simply possessions. Again, though, there's a lot describing, as opposed to showing it - and it's very clear you've got some fantastic ideas in here.

The second chorus - I like the fact that someone else is saying it, continues a theme, not a great fan of what is being said - it doesn't seem to make sense, why would Boss Man tell him to work less ?

Verse 3 I like, it carries the plot very well and we get a real sense of Errand Boy's character.

3rd Chorus - I'm guessing this is the father thanking the son for sending money? Paper / Ya - tenuous rhyme but I get the sentiment.

Verse 4/ Chorus - they make sense to me, with that final chorus I think it's fine, you're showing the morality and reasoning for his previous behaviour (the time just slipping away).


I think the hardest challenge you have is providing a compelling motivation for the altruism he shows that doesn't make the reader/listener feel 'God, he's a bit of a martyr' - still remains sympathetic. There's so many good ideas in here - maybe that's the problem - that can be developed out. It's a great start and I look forward to any editing you do.
|
'....even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked...."

Do me a favour, pop into Songwriting & Lyrics and add a comment to one thread, any thread, but contribute.

----

www.soundcloud.com/christobaldo
#6
Quote by Herr Rararr
The first couple of lines of slightly broken English - gives it an almost faux-reggae feel. The snow being magic is a nice touch, it's giving us a bit more information and background on him.

I think 'happy to be working, but sad to be away' could be explained better by the preceding lines - there's a certain amount of telling rather than showing here.

The first chorus: we don't really have a motivation for the father's advice - it doesn't seem to apply to the daughter at home, what's the reasoning behind it?

In verse 2 I like the introduction of the Boss Man's wife, although that terminology did make me question, on first read, if Errand Boy is a slave. As I mentioned before, I like the sharing of the joke. At the end of the verse you're exploring what (it seems) you want to talk about - the fact that family itself is something to have, not simply possessions. Again, though, there's a lot describing, as opposed to showing it - and it's very clear you've got some fantastic ideas in here.

The second chorus - I like the fact that someone else is saying it, continues a theme, not a great fan of what is being said - it doesn't seem to make sense, why would Boss Man tell him to work less ?

Verse 3 I like, it carries the plot very well and we get a real sense of Errand Boy's character.

3rd Chorus - I'm guessing this is the father thanking the son for sending money? Paper / Ya - tenuous rhyme but I get the sentiment.

Verse 4/ Chorus - they make sense to me, with that final chorus I think it's fine, you're showing the morality and reasoning for his previous behaviour (the time just slipping away).


I think the hardest challenge you have is providing a compelling motivation for the altruism he shows that doesn't make the reader/listener feel 'God, he's a bit of a martyr' - still remains sympathetic. There's so many good ideas in here - maybe that's the problem - that can be developed out. It's a great start and I look forward to any editing you do.


Thanks for your time. So the first chorus is basically a father giving his son advice before he ventures off on his own. The second verse is actually the Wife speaking and she's basically saying "why don't you have a girlfriend?", which the neice and nephew end up asking him again much later. It also ties into to the joke they share together. It was important to me not to vilify the family and to demonstrate that they they had a friendly relationship with Errand Boy. I guess it feels a bit too cliche or like an oversimplification to me. Also he's not suppose to be slave. I hope I'm not giving that impression. I totally agree with you about the "paper-thank ya" line. I guess I left it because it's fun to sing. Same thing with some of the broken english lines. It's my first country-ish tune and I'm having a lot of fun with the different speech patterns. I get what you mean about the martyrdom, I'm definitely going to try to steer it away from that better. I also get what you mean about the showing verses telling. It's funny because I wanted this song to be as straight forward as possible, nothing cryptic, like a lot of country music is. It appears though that it isn't. I wonder if it would have made as much sense to you if I hadn't given an explanation. I will think more on all you said and make some improvements. Thanks again for your time.
#7
Quote by Aeolian Harmony
I think you've presented the plot well--I could pick up what was happening without having to read your summary at the end, so that bodes well for when it's sung.

If what I'm picking up about the "Alfredian" philosophy ( ) is accurate, then a sticking point is emphasizing that sly counterculture tendency. Part of Errand Boy's whole spiel is that he doesn't care about a whole host of standard goals commonly desired by people in this new country. I'd say, if you're trying to revise it, focus on playing up the countercultural aspects as much as the 1) working-hard-for-money theme in the first two lines of that chorus and 2) the more (bear with me) existentialist/humanist theme in the last two lines of that stanza. Errand Boy's seemed to have actively refuted these life goals.

Pretty neat piece overall, and maybe my rambling will get ideas for you.


Thanks. I wanted it to be as straight forward as possible, though I think I'm getting mixed results in that regard. I will definitely explore the avenues you suggested. Thanks again.
#9
Quote by ramble-on
Thanks for your time. So the first chorus is basically a father giving his son advice before he ventures off on his own. The second verse is actually the Wife speaking and she's basically saying "why don't you have a girlfriend?", which the neice and nephew end up asking him again much later. It also ties into to the joke they share together. It was important to me not to vilify the family and to demonstrate that they they had a friendly relationship with Errand Boy. I guess it feels a bit too cliche or like an oversimplification to me. Also he's not suppose to be slave. I hope I'm not giving that impression. I totally agree with you about the "paper-thank ya" line. I guess I left it because it's fun to sing. Same thing with some of the broken english lines. It's my first country-ish tune and I'm having a lot of fun with the different speech patterns. I get what you mean about the martyrdom, I'm definitely going to try to steer it away from that better. I also get what you mean about the showing verses telling. It's funny because I wanted this song to be as straight forward as possible, nothing cryptic, like a lot of country music is. It appears though that it isn't. I wonder if it would have made as much sense to you if I hadn't given an explanation. I will think more on all you said and make some improvements. Thanks again for your time.


I'm still very positive about this piece - I'm just trying to give some constructive feedback (I hope it's constructive). Like I said there is a very clear sense of plot and character - I think it can be refined a bit. The explanation part was useful, because it's good to know where the author is coming from and helped me critique because I knew (to a certain extent) what you were thinking.

When I write a song the easiest part is the first draft - it falls out of me and I scribble it down. Normally they are passable songs, but the hardest part is refining, doing a second draft, sometimes being brutal and cutting parts altogether. I'm normally so invested in the material I hate cutting anything and that's why I love being part of a forum on songwriting (I was a member on another site for years, years ago) - it taught me to be more critical and take some distance on a piece. Anyhow, point is, if my feedback seems negative then I'm doing it wrong, it's meant to be constructive.
|
'....even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked...."

Do me a favour, pop into Songwriting & Lyrics and add a comment to one thread, any thread, but contribute.

----

www.soundcloud.com/christobaldo
#10
Quote by Herr Rararr
I'm still very positive about this piece - I'm just trying to give some constructive feedback (I hope it's constructive). Like I said there is a very clear sense of plot and character - I think it can be refined a bit. The explanation part was useful, because it's good to know where the author is coming from and helped me critique because I knew (to a certain extent) what you were thinking.

When I write a song the easiest part is the first draft - it falls out of me and I scribble it down. Normally they are passable songs, but the hardest part is refining, doing a second draft, sometimes being brutal and cutting parts altogether. I'm normally so invested in the material I hate cutting anything and that's why I love being part of a forum on songwriting (I was a member on another site for years, years ago) - it taught me to be more critical and take some distance on a piece. Anyhow, point is, if my feedback seems negative then I'm doing it wrong, it's meant to be constructive.


Not at all. I think your point about keeping the character sympathetic and not a martyr was a good insight I wouldn't have seen on my own. Still, it's hard to ignore the sting of of criticism, constructive or otherwise. This is my perfect and precious little baby after all Thanks again.
#11
I get it - I never trust people who say they don't care what other people think - if that's true, why share it? I know what you mean about it being your baby - I always think the best work is the most personal, which in turn makes you the most vulnerable.
|
'....even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked...."

Do me a favour, pop into Songwriting & Lyrics and add a comment to one thread, any thread, but contribute.

----

www.soundcloud.com/christobaldo