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#1096408 - 12/01/15 03:47 PM Ordinary Man  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,666
DonnaMarilyn Offline
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DonnaMarilyn  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
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Netherlands
This is an oldie that's been revised ad nauseam. Had a quick look at it yesterday and decided to revert mostly back to the original (with a few new changes).

(Yes, I know there are a couple of cliches. wink And I expect the hook has been used in plenty of other songs.)

Hoping to end up with a simple, tender little love song. I have a head melody. In line 3 of the bridge, the word 'extraordinary is drawn out, and the last two syllables match up with 'to be in line 2.

Have at it, folks. smile

Ordinary Man

V1
Feeling, knowing, healing
With their simple grace
Your fingers touch my face
Brush away cares of the day

Pre-chorus
Your hand on my cheek
Means I don't need to speak

Chorus
Even if I miss the mark
Trying to do the best I can
Your smiling eyes look tenderly
On this ordinary man

V2
Creating, loving, waiting
How you want to please
And put me right at ease
Make me feel all kinds of peace

Pre-chorus
Your hand on my arm
Works its own special charm

Chorus
Even if I miss the mark
Trying to do the best I can
Your smiling eyes look tenderly
On this ordinary man

Bridge
Knowing you're near
Gives me the strength to be
Someone ...extraordinary

Chorus
Even if I miss the mark
Trying to do the best I can
Your smiling eyes look tenderly
On this ordinary man

Tag
This ordinary man
Doing the best I can

2010-2015 Donna Devine


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

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend




#1096413 - 12/01/15 06:45 PM Re: Ordinary Man [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,107
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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California
Hi Donna,

This is downright beautiful and elegant writing, from the use of three gerund-ed words to start each verse to the chorus and bridge and beyond.

There's a nice balance between him talking about her and himself. The verses lean towards her and the chorus towards him, and that helps create a nice tension between song parts.

This is a man who appreciates his beloved's tactile ways, and I love the pre-choruses that go to different (physical) places with that idea.

The bridge too is a really nice bit of writing. You found a way to make the "you make me want to be a better man" sentiment really pop and feel fresh.

But it's the chorus I love most here. The singer has a nice dose of humility towards his good fortune to have this woman as his beloved, and it's just plain beautiful.

If I had to really really try hard to find a "weakest link" here, it might be the second couplet of V1, but that's probably because I can't imagine this completely metaphorically, and actually see her "fixing" his dirty face a little bit. I know I know. I can be a "literalist" and I am constantly fighting these urges. wink

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 12/01/15 06:52 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)
#1096417 - 12/01/15 07:03 PM Re: Ordinary Man [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,712
Jim Colyer Offline
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Jim Colyer  Offline
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Posts: 7,712
Nashville, Tennessee usa
Some tender words!
I edited V2.

Creating, loving, waiting
How you want to please
Put me right at ease
Leave me feeling peace

Make 'em tight.

#1096429 - 12/02/15 12:36 AM Re: Ordinary Man [Re: Jim Colyer]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,096
nightengale Offline
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nightengale  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,096
Eugene, Or USA
Hi Donna,

I don't recall the original, but this is
such a sweet love story!

The chorus is my favorite, deep simple words!

Geneva

#1096473 - 12/02/15 03:43 PM Re: Ordinary Man [Re: nightengale]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,666
DonnaMarilyn Offline
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DonnaMarilyn  Offline
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Netherlands
Mike, Jim, and Geneva, thank so much for reading this, and for your comments. smile

Mike, I originally had 'cares' then changed it to 'remains' (though I didn't like it much). Meanwhile, I've gone back to 'cares'. I think it's the kind of word a guy would use.

I'm still pondering line 4, V2, though. it feels awkwardly wordy, but I need something that matches the metering in line 4, V1.

Wondering as well whether I should switch lines 2 & 3 around in V1. Maybe have the fingers appearing sooner.

Donna


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

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend




#1096481 - 12/02/15 06:34 PM Re: Ordinary Man [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,107
Michael Zaneski Offline
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Michael Zaneski  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,107
California
Originally Posted by DonnaMarilyn
Mike, Jim, and Geneva, thank so much for reading this, and for your comments. smile

Mike, I originally had 'cares' then changed it to 'remains' (though I didn't like it much). Meanwhile, I've gone back to 'cares'. I think it's the kind of word a guy would use.

I'm still pondering line 4, V2, though. it feels awkwardly wordy, but I need something that matches the metering in line 4, V1.

Wondering as well whether I should switch lines 2 & 3 around in V1. Maybe have the fingers appearing sooner.

Donna


Hi Donna,

"Brush away cares of the day" makes it clear the singer is saying that metaphorically, and that's good, but "brush away the remains of the day" has a nicer ring to it, so it's a toss up, for me. Kazuo Ishiguro named his famous book that, and he's a Japenese man whose lived in Great Britain most of his life--so I think "remains" is the eloquent choice, and "cares" is better if you want to force a metaphorical read on that line, though it lacks the elegance of "remains."

"Make(s?) me feel all kinds of peace" --I like "all kinds of peace" cuz it's original and I know just what the singer means by that, and kind of breaks all the rules (a good thing sometimes!) cuz "peace" can't really be quantified like that, yet the line does just that. The "make(s) me feel" part is a little less eloquent. Maybe go for an inner rhyme with "all" in that first part, as in "enthralls me with all kinds of peace." Not that enthralls works there, that's just an example to show you what I mean.

Switching around lines 2 & 3 in V1 would give you a more traditional rhyme scheme, but it feels like the action would then be in "Memento" sequence--backwards, as it were, so I am not sure that would improve anything.

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)
#1096484 - 12/02/15 07:59 PM Re: Ordinary Man [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,666
DonnaMarilyn Offline
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DonnaMarilyn  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,666
Netherlands
Thanks for your further comments, Mike. Much appreciated. wink

It was in fact Ishiguro's title that reminded me of the word. (Wonderful book & movie. Quite poignant.) I agree 'remains' has an elegance about it. Not sure though whether it suits the simplicity of the lyric. Still deliberating.

I'll give further thought to line 4, V2.

I quite like the sequence of lines in V1, but someone elsewhere had suggested it might be more effective to introduce the fingers earlier, before the verb 'brush' away. Frankly, I don't see that it would make much difference. I'll sleep on it. wink

Donna



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

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend




#1096485 - 12/02/15 08:28 PM Re: Ordinary Man [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,578
Wyman Lloyd Offline
Wyman Lloyd  Offline

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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,578
Missouri
Hi Donna ,
A nice poignant story,
Looks like its been worked over pretty good already
Line 4, v 1, I wanted to get "erase" in there some way instead of brush away and the preceding line , she might have soft fingers instead of just fingera
The fourth line of V 2, I wasn't real taken with--Maybe be feels a "flood" of peace or inner peace or something.
What's already there is good though. Excellent C Shows what a few well chosen words can do
Write on

Last edited by Wyman Lloyd; 12/02/15 08:31 PM.

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