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Lars68

New original song - A New Dawn Awaits

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Below is a brand new song I finished writing yesterday and just did a practice recording of. It's a simple one-mic, one-take, recording with my Myrtle mic. It's a song about not giving up on love, one that is very autobiographical, but at the same time hopefully general enough for others to relate. I’m planning to do a better multi-track recording (one-take recordings are not exactly suitable to my shakey vocals) and wonder what you think, and if you have any suggestions for improvements?

A New Dawn Awaits

Lars

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A NEW DAWN AWAITS

VERSE 1

Two hands on the wheel, heading South in the rain

There's a white line to the unknow

And a dozen red roses on the passenger seat

I'm so damn tired of being alone

CHORUS 1

 I got four hours to go, a new dawn awaits

Please, please, oh please, let me be the one to share her fate

VERSE 2

“Don't get your hopes up” , wispers my past

”You'll never get back on your feet”

Then the future calls out to me:

”Don't you dare accept defeat”

CHORUS 2

I got four hours to go...

VERSE 3

It’s like my heart's got a busted main valve

I don't know how far it will run

But the rain has cleared the dark skies

Now I'm driving towards the sun

CHORUS  3

I got four hours to go...

 

 

Edited by Lars68

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12 minutes ago, billroy said:

Wow Lars - super good, really liked it!  Well done.

 

Thanks a bunch! The performance is okey for being me, I guess. It can always be better, but I'm quite happy with the lyrics. I really think I managed to say what I wanted to say, and I'm especially happy with the second verse.

Lars

 

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Fine job! I like it. Some excellent imagery!

A couple of thoughts which, as always, you're more than welcome to ignore. The first thought is are we talking about a new love or rekindling an old one? 

This is a song that features movement (driving, the passage of time) so what about reflecting that with a countdown in the chorus? You've got three choruses, so how about singing "I've got three hours to go" in the first chorus, and "I've got two hours to go" in the second and "I'm almost there" in the last chorus? That shakes things up a bit and gives the listener a sense of movement, of getting closer to a goal.

Speaking of the chorus, is there a better word than "fate"? Fate generally has a negative connotation. To me, it sounds like you're waiting to share a bad thing. I realize you're wanting to rhyme with "awaits," but I'm wondering if there's another solution.

Other thoughts:

V1, line 3: Could you lose the first word, "And"? I'm not sure it adds anything.

V1, line 4: Similarly, do you lose anything if you get rid of "damn"?

V2, lines 3 & 4: I'd like to see some distinction between these lines and the first two, signifying the dispute between past and future. In my mind, you do a better job if you use the word "But" instead of "Then" at the start of the third line. And could the fourth line just be shortened to "Don't accept defeat"? Adding the bit about the dare in there just seems (to me) an added thought to burden the listener with. Simplify.

V3, line 1: Does the word "main" add anything?  If you're going for motor imagery, an internal combustion engine has two types of valves -- intake and exhaust.

V3, line 4: Now I'm going to get positively anal.... In the first verse, you're driving south. In the last line of the last verse, you're driving towards the sun, so you're going west if it is afternoon, or east if the first part of the drive was before sunrise. To compound the issue, the chorus tells us "a new dawn awaits." Sticking direction in a song (which I am all in favor of) requires consistency. If you add something about driving through the night then, yeah, you can be driving into the sunrise, which is great imagery.

Like I said, nobody has ever paid me for advice, and you know what they say about free advice....

You've got some really good work here. Love your melody, too.

Edited by dhanners623
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David, super comments! Thanks so much for taking the time. Perfect timing since I'm planning to do a "proper" multi-track recording of the song soon.

A couple of my reactions to your comments:

The song is about an actual drive that I did 16 years ago, to go see what since has become my wife. She then lived four hours South-West of me. I was in a rough spot and was hoping this could be a new start. I was full of doubt and hope at the same time. I didn't say anything on purpose in the song about it being a new love or a rekindling. I think it works in broader sense if left out.

The count down of time in the chorus is exactly what I had in mind. I had it planned but had only written the first chorus on my paper when singing, so it being a fresh song, I read the same lyrics all three times #-o

You're right "fate" is not perfect, since we often hear it as a negative thing. I just haven't been able to find a better word. I really, really want to keep "await" and the rhyme. Need time on that one...suggestions??...

"But" is a better  word in V2. Thanks!

As for the South-West thing, the actual drive was South at first, then it turned West, but of course the listener has no idea, and I surely didn't intend any of that "Towards the sun" was just meant as "towards something better". I like you're idea of adding driving at night into sunrise. I'll have a go at that change.

As for additional words thrown in here and there, I am aware that they are not necessary and do not help carry the story forward. However, I have found that, being a shakey singer, I often throw them in, instead of staying longer on a note from a previous word. The extra words help me create rhythm when I sing. In older songs I have been able to trim some words out, as my vocals have gotten more confident. So sort of a helpful evil, and something for me to work on.

Again, thanks so much. Comments like yours do help me write a better song, this time as well as next time I give it a go. I'm a weak guitar player and singer, so I need to compensate by doing better melodies and lyrics. Details do matter!

Lars

 

 

 

Edited by Lars68

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For the umpteenth time, don’t worry about your singing. Do you think Townes Van Zandt considered himself a “shaky” singer? No. He just sang the song. That’s what you need to do. If we wanted Placido Domingo, we’d be on a different discussion forum.

The issue with extraneous words is they are, well, extraneous. You’re telling a story and you want the shortest path between Point A and Point B. Think of the listener and how many thoughts he/she can process.

Plus, I will argue that on a love song like this, trying to fill in spaces with extra words because of a “shaky” voice (and again, it isn’t) is exactly the wrong approach. Lines need room to breathe. YOU need room to breathe. To reference another Texas songwriter, the late Guy Clark liked to say, “Less is more.” Give those lines some breathing room.

As for the chorus, how married are you to the “Please, please, oh please” bit? How about something like

I’ve got four hours to go, a new dawn awaits/This tired heart  is ready to awake

There are probably better choices than “tired,” but I threw that in there in a hurry.

Again, you’ve done some great work here and I offer this in the spirit of trying to be constructive, which I realize is subjective....

Edited by dhanners623

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1 hour ago, dhanners623 said:

For the umpteenth time, don’t worry about your singing. Do you think Townes Van Zandt considered himself a “shaky” singer? No. He just sang the song. That’s what you need to do. If we wanted Placido Domingo, we’d be on a different discussion forum.

 

Bingo. I rarely agree with Hanners,   (😉) but HE'S RIGHT ! 

Neal Young, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Garcia, many, many singer/songwriters can't sing like Tom Jones or Roy Orbison.

Stop apologizing for your vocals !

STOP IT !!!!!!

I liked the song and the performance just fine. 

You simply can't please everybody so quit trying. I had some Grateful Dead and David Bromberg on during a project at work and younger people were moaning and they later put on Beastie Boys and other crap like THEY were the musical genius.

Thanks...

Edited by Murph
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Dhanner - as always, great insightful tweaks.  Reminds me of  one of my English Lit professors:  He was always able to take anything I wrote and show how it could be better.  He could take a red painted barn and show, with a few strokes,  how it could look like the Taj Mahal.   Which was what convinced me to change my major.   And, like the road not taken ...  

Good Job Lars.  Your vocals are fine.  If you sang like Taylor Swift, you still wouldn't come close to her in sales.  

Edited by fortyearspickn

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Lars, if you instantly want to feel better about your singing, go to YouTube and look up “isolated vocal tracks” for Taylor Swift or Britney Spears. It will shake your faith in humanity to hear what they (and others) sound like without Auto-Tune, even “live” in concert.

Leo Kottke isn’t known for his vocals, but he once said an audience will forgive a singer for a wrong note, but they won’t forgive him/her for an insincere note. You sing with sincerity. Keep that in mind.

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Lars-sorry, it took me so long to get to listen to this song.  It is great in my opinion!  I mean it!  It is heartfelt.  It has great images in it (the roses on the passenger seat, driving, hopefulness ), the melody and it’s mood matches the lyrics’ mood), the sparseness in it of your guitar playing is as cool and as effective as was Dylan’s in The Girl from the North Country.  Your vocal phrasing in it works great in it, too.  I’m impressed!

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

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5 hours ago, QuestionMark said:

Lars-sorry, it took me so long to get to listen to this song.  It is great in my opinion!  I mean it!  It is heartfelt.  It has great images in it (the roses on the passenger seat, driving, hopefulness ), the melody and it’s mood matches the lyrics’ mood), the sparseness in it of your guitar playing is as cool and as effective as was Dylan’s in The Girl from the North Country.  Your vocal phrasing in it works great in it, too.  I’m impressed!

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

 

Thanks, I really appreciate it! I want to be good at this, so knowing one of my songs connected means a great deal to me.

Lars

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I like it, Lars!! I agrees with what’s already been said—and I like “first takes” quite a bit. As here, I find they often capture the delicate intimacy of the birthing of a song. Sure, there will be rewrites and performance-related choices to follow, but...there’s nothing like the early take, when the song quickens in your hands and you know it’s its own being now.

As for the “Please, please, oh please” bit, I like it, but may I suggest (and reiterating the “less-is-more” point re words/syllables) you follow with something like “...don’t let me be too late,” which would be enhanced, too, by the “countdown” that David reminded you about?

Fun to share the journey, Lars.

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Thanks everyone for listening and giving feedback. I finished a multi-track version of the song, guitar and vocals only still, but I could pick “best of” vocal bits from several takes. I'm very, very pleased with the final result. I think all aspects were improved, vocals, guitar, lyrics, and sound quality.

Over the weekend I have read back on the lyrics suggestions made above and made a couple of revisions. I finally settled on this version:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A NEW DAWN AWAITS

VERSE 1

Two hands on the wheel, heading South in the rain

There's a white line to the unknown

And a dozen red roses on the passenger seat

I'm so tired of being alone

CHORUS 1

 I got three hours to go, a new dawn awaits

Please, please, oh please, may each passing mile help my soul awake

VERSE 2

“Don't get your hopes up” , whispers my past

”You'll never get back on your feet”

But tomorrow calls out to me:

”Never ever accept defeat”

CHORUS 2

I got two hours to go...

VERSE 3

It’s like my heart busted a valve

I don't know how far it will run

But the rain has cleared the dark skies

I'm driving with the  rising sun

CHORUS  3

I got one hour to go...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is the track.

Lars

 

 

 

 

Edited by Lars68

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