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#1092018 - 09/14/15 11:56 AM The Cowry Shell  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,666
DonnaMarilyn Offline
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DonnaMarilyn  Offline
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Netherlands
I'm thrilled with what Billy's done here. Seems to me the song is a prog-rock/New-Age/Folk-ballad hybrid. wink I'm delighted to share it with you, and hope you enjoy it.

It's too long - and oddly structured - for any commercial application, of course, but we loved working on it.

Music/arrangement/vocals: Billy Playle
Lyrics: Donna Devine

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=13211482
The Cowry Shell

V1
She was a humble fisher lass
[And] I was a lord on the sea
I captained a mighty schooner
And the girl fell in love with me
I'll not forget her glowing eyes
The blush that tinted her cheek

Chorus
The cowry shell I gave her
Was common on many a beach
But I told her it was precious
Her innocence to breach
The cowry shell I gave her
Was common on many a beach

V2
From Africa to Portugal
I've had women in every port
But masts of oak and sails of silk
[Ever] lured me away from the shore
And for every maiden left behind
There'd always be one more

Chorus
The cowry shell I gave her
Was common on many a beach
But I told her it was precious
Her innocence to breach
The cowry shell I gave her
Was common on many a beach

Bridge
Yet often my thoughts would turn to the girl
Alone on that distant coast
The wanton lies I had told her
Haunted me the most

So one night off the Cape of Storms
I swung my ship around
But the sea is a jealous Mistress
And she forced my vessel to ground

Now I lie in the Siren's arms
While seaweed cradles my head
And coral's grown from my brittle bones
In the years since I've been dead

Musical interlude

Chorus
The cowry shell I gave her
Was common on many a beach
But I told her it was precious
Her innocence to breach
The cowry shell I gave her
Was common on many a beach

Outro
I swear sometimes I see her
Holding the shell to her breast
And her wild tears deepen the ocean
Where my soul can find no rest
Only if she forgives me
Can I leave this watery hell
When I left her behind I knew I'd been damned
By the girl with the cowry shell

© Donna Devine


Honour the Earth. Without it, we'd be nowhere.

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend




#1092021 - 09/14/15 12:54 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Jan 2005
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Michael LeBlanc Offline
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Michael LeBlanc  Offline
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really cool song Donna,i love that bridge!Brought the song Brandy to mind,now i know what happened to that sailor.Mike

#1092028 - 09/14/15 02:05 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Michael LeBlanc]  
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Dave Rice (D) Offline
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Dave Rice (D)  Offline
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A fantastic "story in song" Donna... and Billy brought it to life. The visualizations created in the mind by the lyric are fantastic and so well carried out by the melody. This is a keeper! Best of luck with it you two. ----Dave

#1092029 - 09/14/15 02:57 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Dave Rice (D)]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Wyman Lloyd Offline
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Missouri
A fine, wild sea tale
Billy got right into the spirit of the thing
Fine writing of course--I'm probably a little "different" (I've been told rhat) but i pick the outro as the best lines in thesong

#1092033 - 09/14/15 03:31 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 457
Jimmy Fleming Offline
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Jimmy Fleming  Offline
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Very nicely written and strong performance ... has a rock opera feel to it or maybe a song that Journey would perform ... beautiful job!

#1092058 - 09/14/15 07:52 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Jimmy Fleming]  
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,985
floyd jane Offline
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floyd jane  Offline
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Tampa
Donna and Billy...

Wow! Spectacular!

Very cool lyric. Where does something like that come from???

The production is STUNNING. It is not easy to get that type BIG sound. Incredibly well done.

A great listen. Y'all should be proud!

floyd

#1092059 - 09/14/15 08:01 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,107
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Posts: 5,107
California
Hi Donna,

What a beautifully sad, romantic story you have set in verse, here. I love that it's told in the 1st person, that grounds it in the present, even though he's singing about things that happened in the past.

There's great stylistic choices made here. like how the music build up from silence, when we realize the singer is dead. --And what an epic sound Billy gets, here. The interlude is fantastic as well, reminding me of Mike and Sally Oldfield. Love the modulation into the chorus--a fairly unused one, and it works great.

This is an instant classic. Love it. smile

Mike


Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1092066 - 09/14/15 10:25 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,894
Ricki E. Bellos Offline
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Ricki E. Bellos  Offline
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Wisconsin
Donna, what a grand production! Billy has outdone himself with this one, but then, he had some spectacular lyrics to work with. Very cool.

Ricki

#1092082 - 09/15/15 06:36 AM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,666
DonnaMarilyn Offline
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DonnaMarilyn  Offline
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Netherlands
Thanks so much, Mike L, Dave, Wy, Jimmy, Floyd, Mike Z, and Ricki, for taking the time to listen and for your gracious comments (which I'll pass on to Billy). I'm thrilled you enjoyed this. I'm always amazed by what Billy comes up with.

Mike L, I had to smile at your 'Brandy' comment (BTW, I love that song).
Matter of fact, there's a prequel to the Cowry Shell story, and it's told from the girl's point of view. Billy's working on it now, and the female vocalist is lined up.

The original Cowry Shell lyric was one piece that included the girl's story. It was simply too long, though, so I divided it into two, gave each part its own title/hook, and re-wrote some bits. Stay tuned for the prequel. wink

Donna


Honour the Earth. Without it, we'd be nowhere.

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend




#1092084 - 09/15/15 10:51 AM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Jimmy Fleming]  
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,521
Janice_and_Bud Offline
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Janice_and_Bud  Offline
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Southeastern USA
Originally Posted by Jimmy Fleming
Very nicely written and strong performance ... has a rock opera feel to it or maybe a song that Journey would perform ... beautiful job!


Great description above!

Enjoyed it.

J&B


Check out our new album Janice Merritt "Am I Blue Enough?"
on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon and others.
#1092170 - 09/16/15 11:59 AM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Janice_and_Bud]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,666
DonnaMarilyn Offline
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DonnaMarilyn  Offline
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Netherlands
Thanks so much, Janice & Bud, for giving this a listen, and for commenting. smile

Donna


Honour the Earth. Without it, we'd be nowhere.

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend




#1092171 - 09/16/15 12:08 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 8,490
Lisa Gundling Offline
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Lisa Gundling  Offline
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Posts: 8,490
Hi Donna,

Wow -- it's EPIC, lyrically and musically!
Very cool!

Lisa

#1092192 - 09/16/15 02:24 PM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Lisa Gundling]  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 251
Philip Marino Offline
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Philip Marino  Offline
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Posts: 251
UK
Epic is right! And that bridge is massive!

#1092244 - 09/17/15 11:20 AM Re: The Cowry Shell [Re: Philip Marino]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,666
DonnaMarilyn Offline
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DonnaMarilyn  Offline
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Posts: 4,666
Netherlands
Lisa and Philip, thank you for having a listen. smile

Yeah, the bridge is massive all right. grin The structure of course is all over the map, but Billy managed to tie it all together.

Donna


Honour the Earth. Without it, we'd be nowhere.

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend





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