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#1093668 - 10/10/15 05:14 PM The best "first line" you never finished?  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
It could be a "First line", or it could be what I once heard Odetta call the "True line"...

You know the line....It comes from somewhere. Maybe a boy on a beach, maybe in a dream, maybe from someone on a bus.

In the '80's, I was working at being a playwright, and on a beach, a little boy carried a dead fish up to his mom, who was lying on a towel.

Boy: Look mom, fish gone night-night.
Mom: Hon, that fish is beyond night-night.

I then spent the next three years working on a play called "Beyond night-night"...

The fun part about music, is that you can scribble a whole song on one page, instead of one-hundred-twenty for a play.

As a songwriter, I've heard a lot of "first lines", and even though some took me 20 years to finish, most of them are done, except for one.

That one, I worked on for 5 years to turn into a song, and failed miserably, so I eventually turned it into a screenplay that eventually got produced...But I just COULD NOT GET A SONG OUT OF IT!!!!

Ever had one of those?

Just askin'...

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1093762 - 10/12/15 01:48 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Netherlands
I enjoyed that story, Midnite. smile Man, I'd have snapped up that line as well. What a beauty! Glad you finally were able to get a play out of it, even though a song eluded you. That line would be a hard act to follow. wink

I have literally thousands of lines, hooks, etc. jotted down, and in various places around the house. I can't think of any that stand out just at the monet, but I suspect a few will pop up. If/when they do, I'll head back here. smile

Donna


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

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend

Guild of International Songwriters and Composers


#1093772 - 10/12/15 07:12 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Sebring, Florida USA
Sixty Million little coffins all in a row.
(All those people we'll never get to know)

Been kicking this Pro Life idea for awhile.
Thinking How that would look as a visual and how far would the line extend. I write a lot of pro life songs and videos.

#1093939 - 10/15/15 10:57 AM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Barry David Butler]  
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Western Springs, IL, USA
"Breathing in the soot and smoke
And ashes on the water can't get you back"


#1093980 - 10/15/15 11:31 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
Originally Posted by PopTodd
"Breathing in the soot and smoke
And ashes on the water can't get you back"



Todd, I was raised in a factory town, so the first line led me there...

But man, the second line took me somewhere completely "other"...

That's too powerful of a line to let go...Feel free to PM me, or not, if you wanna pursue it together.

Midnite

Edited to add: There are always ashes on the water of a factory town...But they're not the same as ashes scattered on the water from an urn...

Edited again to add: And then there are memories of smoking by a stream and flicking our ashes into it, because we knew we were immortal...

Whatever...."Ashes"...........


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1093983 - 10/15/15 11:51 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
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Wendy D Offline
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Originally Posted by DonnaMarilyn
I enjoyed that story, Midnite. smile Man, I'd have snapped up that line as well. What a beauty! Glad you finally were able to get a play out of it, even though a song eluded you. That line would be a hard act to follow. wink

I have literally thousands of lines, hooks, etc. jotted down, and in various places around the house. I can't think of any that stand out just at the monet, but I suspect a few will pop up. If/when they do, I'll head back here. smile

Donna


I know it was a typo, but I like "just at the Monet"


http://www.reverbnation.com/wendydumond

https://soundcloud.com/#mamby-p

http://www.reverbnation.com/donsechelski

Link for Blackfoot Daisy band


You think I'm just another jive folk singer but I'm a master in the art of criminology..Tom Russell
#1093992 - 10/16/15 08:43 AM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Wendy D]  
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Netherlands
Good catch, Wendy. smile

Darn spell-check!

I agree though that 'just at the Monet' would be an intriguing hook. wink

Donna

Originally Posted by Wendy D
Originally Posted by DonnaMarilyn
I enjoyed that story, Midnite. smile Man, I'd have snapped up that line as well. What a beauty! Glad you finally were able to get a play out of it, even though a song eluded you. That line would be a hard act to follow. wink

I have literally thousands of lines, hooks, etc. jotted down, and in various places around the house. I can't think of any that stand out just at the monet, but I suspect a few will pop up. If/when they do, I'll head back here. smile

Donna


I know it was a typo, but I like "just at the Monet"


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

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend

Guild of International Songwriters and Composers


#1094008 - 10/16/15 02:01 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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PopTodd Offline
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Originally Posted by MidniteBob
Originally Posted by PopTodd
"Breathing in the soot and smoke
And ashes on the water can't get you back"



Todd, I was raised in a factory town, so the first line led me there...

But man, the second line took me somewhere completely "other"...

That's too powerful of a line to let go...Feel free to PM me, or not, if you wanna pursue it together.

Midnite

Edited to add: There are always ashes on the water of a factory town...But they're not the same as ashes scattered on the water from an urn...

Edited again to add: And then there are memories of smoking by a stream and flicking our ashes into it, because we knew we were immortal...

Whatever...."Ashes"...........

Oh shoot!
I read the headline as "Ever Finished."
The song is done. I'm sorry. I completely posted AGAINST what this thread is about. I'll see if I can dig up something else that I actually never completed.

#1094044 - 10/16/15 09:59 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
Originally Posted by PopTodd
Originally Posted by MidniteBob
Originally Posted by PopTodd
"Breathing in the soot and smoke
And ashes on the water can't get you back"



Todd, I was raised in a factory town, so the first line led me there...

But man, the second line took me somewhere completely "other"...

That's too powerful of a line to let go...Feel free to PM me, or not, if you wanna pursue it together.

Midnite

Edited to add: There are always ashes on the water of a factory town...But they're not the same as ashes scattered on the water from an urn...

Edited again to add: And then there are memories of smoking by a stream and flicking our ashes into it, because we knew we were immortal...

Whatever...."Ashes"...........

Oh shoot!
I read the headline as "Ever Finished."
The song is done. I'm sorry. I completely posted AGAINST what this thread is about. I'll see if I can dig up something else that I actually never completed.


No harm, no foul. Glad you finished it!!! Is there anywhere we can hear it?

...Edited to add: Where I can hear it??? Fup The Duck, I NEED to hear it...

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1094045 - 10/16/15 10:08 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
"Just at the Monet"....

Dammit!......

Insert chord progressions and wandering lyrics here...

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1094046 - 10/16/15 10:28 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
I'm gonna go to Barbados
and write my great American novel
Before the Mother-Fr' drops the bomb.

Spoken by an (abused housewife who was finding her feet in a playwighting class)...Circa 1982...Reagan years...

The more things change, the more they remain the same...

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1094088 - 10/17/15 03:40 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Originally Posted by MidniteBob
Originally Posted by PopTodd
Originally Posted by MidniteBob
Originally Posted by PopTodd
"Breathing in the soot and smoke
And ashes on the water can't get you back"



Todd, I was raised in a factory town, so the first line led me there...

But man, the second line took me somewhere completely "other"...

That's too powerful of a line to let go...Feel free to PM me, or not, if you wanna pursue it together.

Midnite

Edited to add: There are always ashes on the water of a factory town...But they're not the same as ashes scattered on the water from an urn...

Edited again to add: And then there are memories of smoking by a stream and flicking our ashes into it, because we knew we were immortal...

Whatever...."Ashes"...........

Oh shoot!
I read the headline as "Ever Finished."
The song is done. I'm sorry. I completely posted AGAINST what this thread is about. I'll see if I can dig up something else that I actually never completed.


No harm, no foul. Glad you finished it!!! Is there anywhere we can hear it?

...Edited to add: Where I can hear it??? Fup The Duck, I NEED to hear it...

Midnite

Check your PMs, sir!

#1094089 - 10/17/15 03:59 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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Lockport NY, usa
"She was the prima ballerina at the maid of honor ball."
Tried to write one about an overly fond of herself date. Couldn't get past that one line.

#1094146 - 10/18/15 09:43 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
Originally Posted by PopTodd

Check your PMs, sir!


Thanks for that Todd!

"At"
"More"
"Turn"

Too KEWL!....

"Ashes on the water" still takes me, personally, back to my first "scattering of the ashes" while on a rented boat with a friend and her family after her father had passed...But that's not what this is about.

Very, very, well done, Sir! Actually, every tune was finely crafted and performed, and the music is exactly how I had envisioned your tunes to be. I was extremely not disappointed!

Thanks, again....

Midnite

I'm glad I finally had the time to listen to


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1094173 - 10/19/15 12:05 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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PopTodd Offline
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Thank YOU, Bob!

#1094194 - 10/19/15 05:35 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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Steve Robinson Offline
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St.Petersburg, FL, USA
Ok, I'll bite...

When I last visited old Blighty (1994 I believe) I was walking down Scunthorpe High Street and as I passed a butcher's shop, I did a bit of a double take at the headless pig carcass hanging right there in the window. At one time, it would have been just part of the local scenery, but I'd been over in the US long enough at that point to find it a little jarring (not a sight usually seen in your local Publix is it?)

When I got back to my folks' house, I scribbled down the rather daft words, "Headless pig in a window telling me I'm home; it doesn't matter where I go, this is where I'm from" for future use. Thing is, I could never make use of it in a way that I liked. I tried a couple of different approaches over the next several years but gave up on it and let it languish in the old lyric notebook.

Fast forward some 20 years and I had this little drop-d folkie guitar riff in search of a lyric and as I often do, I set about leafing through old notes and lyric fragments for inspiration. When I saw the "headless pig" snippet, I gave it a whirl and after a little nip and tuck (ok, more of a slice and dice really) managed to finally make use of the idea.

Funnily enough, the title of the song came from an even earlier time. When I was at school, I had a mate who lived in a nice detached house at the top of the hill (I lived in a more dodgy area of terraced council houses at the bottom of the hill) and if I'd call his house and his dad answered, I'd often hear him say as he passed the phone, "It's the boy from down the hill". I always liked the title since it speaks to the great British tradition of class warfare. I always hoped that I'd be able to work it into a song someday. Only took me about 30 years!

Here's the rather odd song in question:
https://steverobinsonedwoltil.bandcamp.com/track/the-boy-from-down-the-hill

PS. It never hurts to have the legendary Fairport Convention/XTC/McCartney/Harrison/Richard Thompson etc stickman, Dave Mattacks and the God-like Dave Gregory of XTC help bring your song to life either. Still don't know what they were thinking...

#1094195 - 10/19/15 06:13 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Steve Robinson]  
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Originally Posted by Steve Robinson
Ok, I'll bite...
Here's the rather odd song in question:
https://steverobinsonedwoltil.bandcamp.com/track/the-boy-from-down-the-hill

PS. It never hurts to have the legendary Fairport Convention/XTC/McCartney/Harrison/Richard Thompson etc stickman, Dave Mattacks and the God-like Dave Gregory of XTC help bring your song to life either. Still don't know what they were thinking...

Great tune!

#1094217 - 10/20/15 01:04 AM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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Here's one:

"The towel's in my hand, but I haven't thrown it yet"

#1094226 - 10/20/15 06:50 AM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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California
I have two..

"A brush with death on its tough bristles"

and this one Calvin could probably work,

"she was taking my deposit/when our eyes met/at the sperm bank"


..(and I wanted every line to end with "at the sperm bank" but couldn't pull it off..)


Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 10/20/15 07:26 AM.

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)
#1094404 - 10/23/15 11:51 AM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Steve Robinson Offline
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Steve Robinson  Offline
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Michael,
I'd be loathe to lend a helping hand in pulling off the sperm bank idea...ahem, but I'd keep working on the first one you mentioned if I were you. It has potential. How about amending it slightly? Something like,
"A brush with death on the tough bristle highway
made a mess of my hair..."
It would work well if you sang it over a pilfered Hotel California backing track.
Always here to help!
Cheers then,
Steve R.

#1094452 - 10/23/15 08:31 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Steve Robinson]  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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California
Originally Posted by Steve Robinson
Michael,
I'd be loathe to lend a helping hand in pulling off the sperm bank idea...
Steve R.


Boom tish! (or if you prefer, "hey nowwwwww!)

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the laugh.

But seriously, it could work as a novelty tune with "at the sperm bank" at the end of every verse line, kinda like "Alley Oop." Sperm banks are inherently funny, cuz they somehow make us nervous thinking about them, I can't imagine why?

Hotel California is haunting me now. I went to a friends who had saved the first episode of the new season of American Horror. It's been said that this show gets under your skin and finds a personal way to haunt you..well..near the end of the show, they play the entire Eagles original version of Hotel California, and I jumped out of my skin..and am still looking for some of it..but no, I've never uses samples in any of my work, personal or otherwise, save for a couple mash-ups I did a few years back, so your scenario would never happen, but I appreciate the winky humor, and the wanky humor before it. smile

BTW "I'd be loathe to lend a helping hand" has potential.

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 10/23/15 09:22 PM.

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)
#1094481 - 10/24/15 06:10 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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California
Originally Posted by PopTodd
Here's one:

"The towel's in my hand, but I haven't thrown it yet"


Wouldn't "thrown it in yet" be stronger?

BTW, with "she was taking my deposit/when our eyes met/at the sperm bank" --it is revealed, later in the (unwritten) song, to be the nurse simply picking up the container from inside the room that he has vacated when he turns back and their "eyes meet." Something totally innocent. And "true love" would be the theme. Just the setting is odd and the "deposit" line is meant to be taken as a more graphic thing early in the song, but then revealed, later, to be an innocent image in a song about true love. You know, a novelty song, something that Jim Stafford or Ray Stevens might've sung..

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 10/24/15 07:16 PM.

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)
#1094583 - 10/26/15 10:13 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Wendy D Offline
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Wendy D  Offline
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Atlanta, GA USA
Mine comes from family lore.

"Hold still...
I'm gonna make you a movie star"

I guess my Grandmother heard my five year-old mom say this. She entered the room just as my mother was about to trim her little sister's eyelashes with a pair of very sharp fabric shears.

I always thought there was so much tension in those words, like it could be a great thing. Or it could be terrible.


http://www.reverbnation.com/wendydumond

https://soundcloud.com/#mamby-p

http://www.reverbnation.com/donsechelski

Link for Blackfoot Daisy band


You think I'm just another jive folk singer but I'm a master in the art of criminology..Tom Russell
#1095550 - 11/13/15 12:30 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Nigel Quin Offline
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Birmingham, UK
It's not about the monet wink

#1095573 - 11/13/15 05:00 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Nigel Quin]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
Originally Posted by Nigel Quin
It's not about the monet wink


"Here she comes now sayin' Monet Monet"...

...At least I think that's what Tommy James was really singing...

Sorry, couldn't help myself:-)

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1096157 - 11/24/15 11:12 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Rick Heenan]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
Originally Posted by Rick Heenan


"She was the prima ballerina at the maid of honor ball."


Tried to write one about an overly fond of herself date. Couldn't get past that one line.


Dammit, Rick, I got distracted...My apologies...

That is a helluva a line!!!...It once took me 23 years from the time i had a "first" line, until a night when the second line came, and then I finished the song in 20 minutes...

My humble suggestion on this one, if you want to finish it?

Perhaps?...Maybe?...Take yourself out of it...Turn it into a third person narrative....Some journalistic training has served me well in song writing...

Who?
What?
Where?
Why?

Dang...That's a great internal rhyme line with an easily rhymed "Ball" at the end!!!

Just sayin'....

Oh, and check out:

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1085431

Track down "lenore"...Maybe it will give you an idea of what I'm trying to say...Although your song seems like it should be a LOT more uptempo:-)

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html
#1096360 - 11/30/15 05:25 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Scott Campbell Online content
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Lakeland, FL, USA
I don't have anything clever. But when I was young, my parents always took us kids on an annual two-week road trip vacation. By the time I was 15 we had visited 46 states plus Canada and Mexico.

The planning that went into these trips was essentially nil - which created a wonderful sense of adventure. We never had motel reservations so we were free to stop anywhere that caught our interest.

The first line of the song I've never completed is:


Every June we'd pack the car, and Dad would throw it in gear

And at the end of the street, he'd look at us and say, "Where're we gonna go this year?"

Scott

#1099239 - 01/26/16 02:35 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Scott Campbell]  
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Cheyenne Offline
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Cheyenne  Offline
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Here is one I have turned into a song

"My Day was just three hundred meters old"

or "My Day was just One Country Mile Old"

Over in Europe apart from the U K they use the Metric Systems

But the U K like the U S A still use the old English System

In the UK the engineers use both methods and country's like

Holland and Germany also use both the imperial and metric methods


Its not always needed in an opening but I always like a couple

of special stand out lines in that first verse

Last edited by Cheyenne; 01/26/16 02:36 PM.

One of the most important principles of songwriting is to remember that a good song is a partnership of many different components, all working together to produce a satisfying musical experience.

In that respect, song components are either enhancing or compromising their combined effects.
#1100878 - 02/23/16 06:50 AM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Cheyenne]  
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pathardy Online content
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"I've got the green with envy blues...."

and I never finished it when I learned there was a Disney song with the same title, and same idea, I think I was about 18 at the time.

#1101113 - 02/26/16 07:16 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: pathardy]  
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Jim Colyer Offline
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Jim Colyer  Offline
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Nashville, Tennessee usa
The Democrats will fool you, the Republicans will too

#1103278 - 03/24/16 02:42 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Western Springs, IL, USA
"The bible stopped a bullet, and that's why I'm here"

There is a framed bible on the wall of my parents' home, opened to the middle, and you can see a bullet hole that went clear through the thing.
It was a bible that my great grandfather carried in his coat during WWI. And, it literally stopped a bullet that would have otherwise killed him.
He gave my grandfather that bible to carry with him in WWII, and my grandfather gave it to my father to carry with him at Vietnam.
Now, as I said, it's hanging in a frame on a wall in my parents' home. Always wanted to write a song about it, but never got past that first line.

#1103357 - 03/25/16 02:03 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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,NL Canada
What a great story. He had on the breastplate of Holiness.

#1103710 - 03/31/16 01:41 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Everett Adams]  
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niteshift Online happy
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niteshift  Online Happy
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"We throw shadows at the walls, never seeing where they fall"

Heck !, I have no idea what it means. grin

cheers, niteshift

#1116018 - 09/22/16 11:39 AM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: niteshift]  
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PopTodd Offline
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I always liked this one. And, I (kinda) finished the song, but never to the point where I really liked it very much:
"About the time I changed my mind
As changes often do,
Another change occurred
And, for a change, I agreed with you..."

#1116035 - 09/22/16 12:58 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: PopTodd]  
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Colin Ward Offline
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I would have to add "Yet" to the question. All lines in your notebook are still fair game, n'est ce pas?

What say you Dear Abby?....


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#1116078 - 09/22/16 07:35 PM Re: The best "first line" you never finished? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
I can't answer for Abby, but I can agree with your concept Colin.

Midnite



Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

http://www.twometer.com/Two_Meter_Studios/HOME.html

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