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#1131953 - 11/02/17 10:05 AM Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,990
Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,990
Sebring, Florida USA

I wrote this after seeing that so many Vets and Soldiers were killing themselves.
Tough song to write but I took on the assignment. I continue to write songs that have meaning......

#1131986 - 11/03/17 12:17 PM Re: Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss [Re: Barry David Butler]  
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 76
Maroon_Corey Offline
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Maroon_Corey  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 76
Richmond, VA
PTSD and the possibility of resulting suicide in veterans is a serious and heartbreaking problem. It's thoughtful of you to use your creative ability to address the issue, and I'm sure that many vets and their family members would identify with the story in your song. The hardcore rock band Rise Against had a pretty big hit along these lines a few years back with a song called Hero of War. I'd encourage you to give it a listen if you haven't.

The groove and minor key intro reminds be a bit of songs by Atlanta Rhythm Section, which works well here. It was a good idea to have the verse in F major to provide some contrast and help give a sense of good intentions leading to a horrific outcome. The broken 4-bar phrases and simple melodic contour seem reminiscent of 70s rock along the lines of Joe Walsh and Bob Seger and will provide a familiarity to many veterans and military supporters who are classic rock fans.

The lyrics would strike many civilians as quite dark, which is not necessarily bad as it creates an impact and draws attention. I will say that the chorus ("Took out his gun...") is a bit disconcerting to me in that it puts the story out of chronological order. This is not always a negative, but in this case, I truly believe you would have much more impact saving the suicide until the end, such as in the classic short story A Perfect Day for Bananfish by J.D. Salenger, a war veteran himself. This would also give you the opportunity to have the suicide lyrics sung with the slower quarter and eighth notes of your verses , drawing more attention to the words, rather than the faster eighth and sixteenth notes of the chorus. Perhaps the lyrics of the chorus could be a more general reflection and maybe even reference the "Dark Abyss" in the song title. Good job omitting the repeated "He" at the beginning of the lines of the second chorus in your actual performance.

One final note is that I found it a bit strange to change to an A Major chord on the words "from the VA" in the third chorus. It kind of puts some undue emphasis on the VA in comparison to other factors in the story. I would stick to the F Major 7 you used in the prior verses and alter the melody note to match.

With some slight alterations, I could see you getting a local rock, country, folk, or acoustic artist to add this to their set list for performances. Thank you for sharing your work.

#1131988 - 11/03/17 12:30 PM Re: Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss [Re: Maroon_Corey]  
Joined: Jun 2011
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2011
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Sebring, Florida USA
Thanks for your very thoughtful comments. While I appreciate and agree with some of what you said I have stopped writing songs because I can't upload any songs into mp3 as my computer is broken. I am broke and can't afford to fix it or to buy another one. I have heard from many soldiers and their families about this song. The gun part I sing in the chorus and it is really dark but it strikes at the heart of this issue. It is too dark for most and that's ok. I had the same thing from my song Vets Homeless Living in The Street....SO again.....you are probably the only one that will comment on this but it is amazing how detailed your comments are and I thank you very much for taking the time. Do you know anybody who would appreciate this song? IF so maybe you could share it.
Thanks and God Bless.....Barry...

#1131996 - 11/03/17 02:53 PM Re: Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss [Re: Barry David Butler]  
Joined: Oct 2017
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Maroon_Corey Offline
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Maroon_Corey  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 76
Richmond, VA
You are very welcome, Barry. Just trying to contribute to the community here as a new member, and your song sparked an interest. I'm sorry to hear about the computer situation and that it is understandably stifling your songwriting.

I don't know if it would help, but I would recommend burning a copy of the free Ultimate Boot CD from a public library computer as it has a lot of diagnostic tools that could help you identify whether the problem is the hard drive, corrupted RAM, processor, etc. Or, if all your hardware is fine, you would likely need to either run a free anti-virus program like Avast or format your drive and reinstall your operating system from scratch if you can bear to lose what is on your hard drive. Either way, here's hoping you can find away around it very soon!

The fact that you have had many veterans and family members connect with you regarding the song speaks to how the lyrics resonate with their experience and the potential that it has. Thanks for asking about sharing possibilities. If I were going to pass it on to others, I really think that it would need to have some reordering of the lyrics so that it would speak more clearly to me. Again, this is just one guy's subjective opinion.

God Bless

#1132007 - 11/03/17 09:19 PM Re: Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss [Re: Barry David Butler]  
Joined: Nov 2011
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E Swartz Offline
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E Swartz  Offline
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Yes these stories need told. I have a song titled "A Soldier's Got to Walk the Line" -- need to finish that production; a tragic story about a soldier losing his precious young life. Nice write Barry!


#1132045 - 11/04/17 10:23 AM Re: Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss [Re: Maroon_Corey]  
Joined: Jun 2011
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2011
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Sebring, Florida USA
Thanks for the nice comments....

#1132048 - 11/04/17 10:26 AM Re: Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss [Re: E Swartz]  
Joined: Jun 2011
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Barry David Butler Online content
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Barry David Butler  Online Content
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Thanks Steady....I just decided about ten years ago that I'd use my talent to write these types of songs....Just a promise I made to God when I had a strange experience in this little room at 3 AM ten years ago when I asked God a question and he answered in an audible voice back. I asked for a Miracle referring to making it big and he answered...."YOU'VE ALREADY RECEIVED THE MIRACLE" ...I wrote an amazing song about it called THE GIFT and it's on my youtube page....

#1132061 - 11/04/17 12:19 PM Re: Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss [Re: Barry David Butler]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,446
Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Posts: 6,446
Hi Barry:

I have not taken time to listen yet... but I read your mention of not having a computer available for your music and internet activities. People in this day and age seem to "jettison" their equipment by donating it to GoodWill or other outlets where they can receive tax credit (or not) while getting rid of something they no longer need.

A little town north of where I live has a Boys and Girls Club Donation Center as well as a GoodWill Retail Store and you would be amazed at the stuff (computers, monitors, hard drives, software) people get rid of... and a significant number are in perfect working condition. Most of these stores allow you to plug these items into an electrical source to confirm (on a perfunctory basis) that they will, indeed work... or appear to work.

A flat screen monitor for a Microsoft Windows or Linux based Operating System usually costs around $10.00 bucks. I found a used HP Computer, complete with a 100+ Gigabyte Hard Drive, a CD Drive and plenty of Memory, USB Ports for the same $10.00 bucks. The previous owner had not even bothered to erase the hard drive or operating system.

Not desiring to invade anyone's privacy, I decided to make this a Linux Operating System Machine and erased the hard drive with a free program and then installed a free Linux Mint Operating System that includes a graphical user interface very similar to what we are used to in most of the recent versions of Windows. I use this system to update songs on my ShowCaseYourMusic Page with a new set of my original songs every week or two.

There are so many on-line articles of how to accomplish this sort of transition... it is not "rocket science." If you can use an "Arranger Keyboard" you can probably do this easily after just a little reading and/or research. Of course, if you have access to a Guru or high school kid that happens to be really "savvy" on this type stuff... all the better.

I'm telling you all this stuff because I've done it and suspect you can find folks in your area to give you a hand in getting back to an operational status. A guy with your talent deserves the gear needed to further your work. We may be on opposite sides of the political spectrum but that does not mean I don't respect you and your talent.

Send me a PM if you want to discuss this in private because there may be details you don't want to talk about in public.

All the best, ----Dave

#1132065 - 11/04/17 02:02 PM Re: Soldier Suicide / Down A Dark Abyss [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Jun 2011
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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
Thanks Dave and appreciate that you want to help me.
I just decided that I'm done writing new songs. Also I have no ability to know if a computer is good or bad or whatever and it's just way too stressful. I was using a Boss Machine and my keyboard with it's rhythms and different samples and making a cd and then uploading to an mp3.... I have many mp3's on here but they won't go anyplace as it seems as if my media player is a counterfeit one or something like that....BUT I'm retired as far as new songs. I wrote enough songs as I have about 400 on my youtube page....So my run as a songwriter is over...B

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