Tuesday, April 2, 2013

five missing one -- well, the lyrics anyway

I finally got around to registering the copyright on "Five Missing One," the song I wrote last year. I recorded a demo with HP Mendoza when my family visited him in december. I blogged about it back then. The process of registering the copyright online is remarkably easy, once one gets over one's natural tendency to procrastinate over any task that's not entirely familiar.

So now, with copyright registered, I present the lyrics:

Five Missing One
 Guiding horses with able hands
Through valleys and tablelands.
Another night by the fire
With the freedom we desire.

We're five but we're missing one.
Ride together under moon and sun.
We had a friend who wouldn't run.
We're five but we're missing one.

He thought it was all for fun.
And in a moment gone.
A day I won't forget.
But a life I can't regret.

We're five but we're missing one.
Ride together under moon and sun.
We had a friend who wouldn't run.
We're five but we're missing one.

He kne the risk. He took the chance.
And gave us his last dance.

So we drink to the family we found
And to the one who's not around.
And we ride on.

We're five but we're missing one.
Ride together 'til the ridin's done.
We had a friend who wouldn't run.
We're five but we're missing one.

I'm kind of proud of it, since I succeeded in a few specific goals. I wanted something that was evocative of the old western songs. Almost a Louis L'Amour novel in musical form. It didn't quite get to LL novel stature, but I managed to get a little bit of s atory in there. I also succeeded in leaving a certain mystery in the story. It's clear that someone died, but I don't say how. That's a biggie. At some point over the last couple of years I had the realization that one of my problems as a songwriter is this urge to fill in every gap. That can make things too cumbersome. If I tried to tell the whole story of how the missing one died, I'd have to add a couple more verses. (at least). And that's not really the point of the song anyway. It would be, I guess, if I had written more verses to completely flesh out the story. But I like this better. And I like the point of the song better this way. I have to remember this going forward. There's one song in particular that I've been toying with for years. If I consciously leave details out, that might help me make progress.

Also, I think I succeeded melodically. If I ever figure out how to add widgets to this blog I can attach my demos so you can listen. Anyway, I got away from the same chord progressions that I tend to fall back on. CDG GDC GDGC. Transpose as you like, but you get the idea. Here the verses are based on going from D to D-suspended then back to D. Then transitioning to A7 via an A7-suspended. Of course, to play it again, I have to reconstruct the exact chord progression. I have an early version on my computer. But I made changes in San Francisco and hand-wrote them. But I lost the copy that I wrote them on. I think I'll manage, because those suspended chords were the only things that were in any way exotic.

There are a couple of people I have to email mp3s to. Maybe I'll get around to it sometime in the 23rd century.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. If you ask real nice I may even email you an electronic version.

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