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Did I unintentionally steal this song?


Lars68

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Last night as I was writing a new song I made this practice recording while working on it (sorry for the bad sound quality. I just hit record on my iPad without using my external mic).

 

https://soundcloud.com/lars1968/way-up-on-the-hill

 

Today the melody sound so incredibly familiar. Have I unintentionally ripped it off from somewhere? If so, I'm not so sure I want to continue finishing it. I have listened to music for more than 35 years, so it would not be surprising if my brain is full of other peoples melodies...

 

Lars

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I think someone once said that there were only four original tunes in popular music. Everything else is just a variation on those four.

 

I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

 

I wrote it from 1 AM to 2:30 AM last night, so enough sleep has been lost already :-)

 

Just curious to find out if I might have been influenced by another song, without realizing it.

 

Lars

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Just curious to find out if I might have been influenced by another song, without realizing it.

 

Lars

 

 

All of us who try to write songs are influenced by other songs, whether we realize it or not. Sometimes the influence is obvious, sometimes not.

 

I'm not sure I've ever written a truly original lyric or bar of music in my life. Probably not. How many 12-bar blues in E are there, in one form or another?

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All of us who try to write songs are influenced by other songs, whether we realize it or not. Sometimes the influence is obvious, sometimes not.

 

I'm not sure I've ever written a truly original lyric or bar of music in my life. Probably not. How many 12-bar blues in E are there, in one form or another?

 

That is so very true. I guess the trick is to be aware of one's influences and use them as inspration in creating something fresh, instead of just copying. A fine line, indeed. I am at a stage where I am just feeling my way forward, not knowing exactly what I'm doing.

 

I am extremely fascinated by the process of songwriting. I sat down with the guitar and a blank sheet of paper and an hour and a half later that song was recorded. I don't have any illusions of it being more than it is, a very basic song by a beginner, but for me it is a bit of a mystery. I remember hearing Neil Young say that he felt like a radio station at times, talking about a song which he said took about as long to write as it takes to sing.

 

Nick, how do you go about writing your songs?

 

Lars

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Lars, I can't identify any particular song that this sounds like. Sounds like a folk song, and no particular one to me. As already suggested: don't lose sleep over it. Finish it and move on. I'm a huge Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash fan. I've had people tell me in regards to some of my songs, "that sounds kind of like something Dylan/Cash wrote." To be honest about it, it probably does have similarities to something they wrote, because I've listened to their music thousands upon thousands of hours. I listen to all kinds of artist and I sure hope I've picked-up some good ideas from them. Along with that, there are only so many chord progressions, so many notes. Hundreds of great and huge songs were written with what is called "the rock & roll progression." Same chord progression on literally countless songs. On some of the songs the melody is very similar to other songs of the era. On others, the melody varies some. Just keep writing and playing........BTW, I like your song and you gave me a couple ideas....lol.......good writing. [thumbup]

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Lars, I can't identify any particular song that this sounds like. Sounds like a folk song, and no particular one to me. As already suggested: don't lose sleep over it. Finish it and move on. I'm a huge Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash fan. I've had people tell me in regards to some of my songs, "that sounds kind of like something Dylan/Cash wrote." To be honest about it, it probably does have similarities to something they wrote, because I've listened to their music thousands upon thousands of hours. I listen to all kinds of artist and I sure hope I've picked-up some good ideas from them. Along with that, there are only so many chord progressions, so many notes. Hundreds of great and huge songs were written with what is called "the rock & roll progression." Same chord progression on literally countless songs. On some of the songs the melody is very similar to other songs of the era. On others, the melody varies some. Just keep writing and playing........BTW, I like your song and you gave me a couple ideas....lol.......good writing. [thumbup]

 

Thanks for the kind words.

 

I need to work out some kind of break between verses and also improve the guitar playing which is too repetetive right now. As always, the singing needs to be better too. This is a lot of fun!

 

MP, you made me curious, what kind of ideas did you get?? I hope you don't mind me asking.

 

Lars

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Today the melody sound so incredibly familiar. Have I unintentionally ripped it off from somewhere? If so, I'm not so sure I want to continue finishing it. I have listened to music for more than 35 years, so it would not be surprising if my brain is full of other peoples melodies...

 

Lars

 

?
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I like the phrasing of the words. It's an easy-going tempo and that's makes me think I should apply that kind of tempo to a song I'm currently working-on that tends to fit the tempo of your song. I write a lot of easy-going songs and at times I feel I'm in a rut writing so many easy-going songs...lol.....but a song has to be what it is, not something I force it to be because I might want it to be more up-tempo. The song I'm going to keep "easy-going" is a song I've titled "Bag of Bones." Got the title from a song written by Guy Clark and the name gives me all kinds of ideas, so I wrote a song about a homeless woman I saw last winter. Totally different from Clark's song, but the phrase "Bag of Bones" gave me an army of things I can use in a story about this hopeless-looking woman I saw. What's ironic is that you posted this original song and it shares similarities with my original song...AND...we didn't copy anything from each other. You just posted your song, and I've never shared this on the internet.....Just typing this down from memory at the moment. Starting the song with the Chorus as the first verse, because it introduces the story and because that kind of makes it different from other songs......The structure is pretty easy to follow....chorus, verse, verse, chorus, etc.....Anyway..........

 

Chorus.....

She was just a bag of bones in a worn-out sweater,

Outside in January's cold, cold weather.

She stood on the corner with her back to the wind.

A cathedral of despair for all of her demons.

 

As I walked by, I tried to avoid her stare,

But I looked into her eyes and found her hiding there

Behind a dam of tear that began to overflow.

I tried to keep walking, but my guilt wouldn't go.

Chorus......

 

Had $5 in my pocket, so I handed it to her.

Above the howling wind I thought I heard "God Bless you, sir."

Guilt seemed to fade with the good deed I'd done.

And I had things to do, so I moved on.

 

brief harmonica interlude...........

 

But all through the day, she haunted my mind.

I had to do something while there was still time.

Maybe find her some help and a way out of hell

A second chance at redemption for her and myself.

Chorus......

 

bridge.....Looked for her that next morning, into the afternoon. Looked for her that next evening....but it was so cold I went back home....and I prayed she found a room.

 

Never saw her again, but I think about her now and then,

Like when I feel the bite of a cold, cold wind.

Did she hear the call of a lonely church bell

And followed it to heaven. Or is she still here in hell.

Chorus.

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?

 

That is hilarious! I do hear similarities. By the way, now I know how to do that break I mentioned was missing :-)

 

Lars

 

By the way, I remember watching the Tracy Ullman Show. Is she still around?

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I like the phrasing of the words. It's an easy-going tempo and that's makes me think I should apply that kind of tempo to a song I'm currently working-on that tends to fit the tempo of your song. I write a lot of easy-going songs and at times I feel I'm in a rut writing so many easy-going songs...lol.....but a song has to be what it is, not something I force it to be because I might want it to be more up-tempo. The song I'm going to keep "easy-going" is a song I've titled "Bag of Bones." Got the title from a song written by Guy Clark and the name gives me all kinds of ideas, so I wrote a song about a homeless woman I saw last winter. Totally different from Clark's song, but the phrase "Bag of Bones" gave me an army of things I can use in a story about this hopeless-looking woman I saw. What's ironic is that you posted this original song and it shares similarities with my original song...AND...we didn't copy anything from each other. You just posted your song, and I've never shared this on the internet.....Just typing this down from memory at the moment. Starting the song with the Chorus as the first verse, because it introduces the story and because that kind of makes it different from other songs......The structure is pretty easy to follow....chorus, verse, verse, chorus, etc.....Anyway..........

 

Chorus.....

She was just a bag of bones in a worn-out sweater,

Outside in January's cold, cold weather.

She stood on the corner with her back to the wind.

A cathedral of despair for all of her demons.

 

As I walked by, I tried to avoid her stare,

But I looked into her eyes and found her hiding there

Behind a dam of tear that began to overflow.

I tried to keep walking, but my guilt wouldn't go.

Chorus......

 

Had $5 in my pocket, so I handed it to her.

Above the howling wind I thought I heard "God Bless you, sir."

Guilt seemed to fade with the good deed I'd done.

And I had things to do, so I moved on.

 

brief harmonica interlude...........

 

But all through the day, she haunted my mind.

I had to do something while there was still time.

Maybe find her some help and a way out of hell

A second chance at redemption for her and myself.

Chorus......

 

bridge.....Looked for her that next morning, into the afternoon. Looked for her that next evening....but it was so cold I went back home....and I prayed she found a room.

 

Never saw her again, but I think about her now and then,

Like when I feel the bite of a cold, cold wind.

Did she hear the call of a lonely church bell

And followed it to heaven. Or is she still here in hell.

Chorus.

 

 

Please post your song when you have it finished. I would love to hear it. The words are great! I believe we are coming from a similar place as far as lyrics. My song is an attempt at a bit of social commentary to what is happening in Europe to the Romani people, and also increasing gaps betwwen those who have and those who don't.

 

I set out to write a rocking song, but I guess I just don't have it in me...

 

Lars

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