I wrote this song several years ago. I've never posted the song as I wanted to wait until I could produce it as I heard "it in my mind" with a full orchestral production. The song, in my mind represents no matter what war a soldier has fought in," when in peril, his/her thoughts are more about those they love back home rather than perhaps the controversial "political climate" of the war. There is in this song both an element of some "flag waving" and a little anti-war sentiment as well, and purposely so to embrace both sentiments. The theme is really neither actually, rather, just the tragedy of a beautiful life snuffed out. My goal was to achieve musically and lyrically the dramatic emotional tragedy of a soldier losing his precious life-sadly so, however, a harsh reality of war - and the same no matter which era of war.
I felt influenced by the music/theatrics from Jesus Christ Super Star & Tchaikovsky's bombastic 1812 War Overture--thus the bombastic ending. I wasn't sure the lead guitar would fit in the outro with the orchestra clamoring away, but I think it works--let me know what you think? Comments are always welcome, though doubt I take this back into production.
Theyíre sending me off to join our ranks in Afghanistan I felt it was right when I signed up to fight, in that distant land Though Iím not so very sure, just what weíre fighting for Some days I think understand, and others, Iíll just be dammed A soldierís got to walk the line, and leave the politics far behind Now itís time for me to go
Vs 2 My Grandpa was in WWII, my Daddy did Nam They left as boys and came back as men protecting our freedom My Grandpa was really sure, just what he was fighting for My Daddy had some second thoughts, but duty called and he fought You see, duty is a soldierís friend, because Democracies weíll defend Now itís time for me to pray
Vs 3 I got your letter today Iíll finish writing to you, when I get the chance Weíre taking enemy fire, and my squadís moving out, to stop their advance Iíve never been this scared before, upon my God I swore Some days I think understand, and others, Iíll just be dammed I promise that Iíll be backing home, it wonít be long until youíre in my arms again Iíll never say goodbye
Vs 3 Ė extension transition
Now darling donít you start to cry Yes, a soldierís got to walk the line, now donít you worry, cause Iíll be just fine Iíll never say goodbye, __no-no-no
1st guitar solo
(Journey Transition - enter orchestra)
Iíve been hit, and Iím sighing, Iíve been hit, and Iím crying, Iíve been hit, and Iím dying Iíve been hit, and Iím dy-y-y-ying!
Iíve been hit, and Iím dy-ing! (Faster tempo change @ 4:16)
You covered all the bases for me. Not sure which I liked best... the lyric or the melody! After a couple of listens... both are top notch. There aren't too many songs written about our longest war and I'll bet they will be playing this one "over there" soon.
Well done production of a heartfelt song, with some nice lines throughout. Great vocal and harmonies, and the melody kept me guessing and interested, so surprised me along the wayówhich is what a good song should do. My only comment, which is wholly subjective so I offer as such, is that I didnít like the ending, as a listener. It seems disconnected from ďnever say goodbyeĒóIíd almost prefer that you be more ambiguous lyrically at the end. Just a thought, and as you often say, use or lose.
Killer production on this. Use of the orchestra is perfect!
Thank-you for your kind comments, and glad you liked the song.
As far as any "tips" on vocal mixing--there really are "so many variables" from capture/mixing/room/ears. So there's lots to consider! But I'll offer a tip that has seemed to help me on my more recent mixes. First, I don't think it matters whether you're using Pro Tools/Logic/Reaper/Studio One for your recording software---it's more about learning mixing skills with getting the right parameters within your DAW set to best suit your voice in your mix. No question a decent microphone & interface/converter at least are needed to optimize your vocals. If using a pre-amp on your mic/capture you can also have some advantages there as well--I don't use an analog mic pre-amp or channel strip, but would like to--on my wish list!
Find any pre-sets within your EQ plug-ins that you like best with your vox--that is a starting place to find your "sweet spot." Then experiment with finding the most unwanted frequency in your vox (using a narrow midrange que) that you need to roll down and remove-usually for "me" around the 300-500hz range. I like having the drums/bass & rhythm guitar/piano in place and mixed "fairly well" at this point before spending a lot of time on the lead vox, else you may have to start over. Every song is a little different with final eq etc due to the sonic elements of each song--sometimes a vocal needs to cut through more than other lighter weight songs, other times you may not want the vox in front or on top as much. I use very little compression on most songs. Getting the volumes right is also important, I usually have the vox louder initially, then back off until I felt I've gone too far, then bring it back slowly. Always listen with fresh ears when doing final polishing.
The last thing that I do LW, which I think is sort of a quasi "pre-mastering" move, is insert a pre-set called "Enhancement," from my "Studio One Professional" software stock Pro-EQ plug-in on my "master post" fader. Once I set that pre-set, which enhances the entire mix's very low mids and inserts a high shelf giving the mix "more air." yet leaving the midrange que in neutral--I then just click on the midrange que which is defaulted to 500hz zero DB which gives just a slight boost--without moving the que off the zero DB line--sometimes a hair positvely. I'm not sure if I'm making sense to you, (if not contact me PM) but this last step (for me) gives the lead vox a much better presence even with a busy mix. This is technique that would work with any DAW with a similar plug-in pre-set. Sorry to write a novel here, but it's just what I do, and if it makes sense, maybe it will be helpful to you, though our optimal parameters may differ, the technique may be of value to you.
I hear you man, and get it. My original mix before keyboards/orchestra--you would have heard both the 6 string and 12 string significantly more. You do get it early in the mix, but it was designed to be a major building mix given all the tracks etc, and that was the goal of my project from the beginning, as I really wanted serious cinematic climactic drama. If I raised those volumes late in the mix, it would get muddy, tried it. I even dropped the piano and electric rhythm guitars out of the ending to make room for a more clear orchestra and allow Colin's outro solo to fight through the mix. You're are correct however, I did lose a little of those nice acoustic sounds--but stayed true to the project--thanks so much for your comments!
Thanks so much for your kind comments and thoughts.
I guess for me the idea of song's title was like: When lovers choose not to say good-bye, and rather say, "I will see you soon." From that perspective he doesn't want to say good-bye, and also given the circumstances, he would rather focus optimistically on getting back home to her. Using this title, from my perspective, gives the song both the above meaning which I just described, yet also an actual tragic finality "contrasting" that title statement.........."I'll never say good-bye."
Hi Ed A great production from you and the truth is any man (or woman) not recognizing the hard realty of even survival in conflict is a fool. Sad poignant story well thought through and delivered. Looks a winner by the comments too John
Last edited by Travis david; 04/14/1810:43 AM.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
Thank-you friend. This one was a lot of work, and I learned a lot--I think..........a project that I've been wanting to do for a couple of years and having it come to life is a special moment--thank-you for recognizing and inferring that!
Thank you ever so much for your kind words and support. Yes, I was #279 in that tear-gas suffused spring of 1970'. I dropped out of ROTC which was a decision not easily made. On one hand, I felt a duty, the other, what in the hell are we doing over there--I kind of reflected that sentiment in the song, though subtle. Always appreciate you both checking out my songs!
I would agree with you on the early part of the song having a little late 50's - early 60's vibe. I kind of wanted that to actually, then having it turn more into a rock vibe later. I'm glad you picked up on that! I'm sure most of my songs are somewhat dated given my influences--but I write what I enjoy, and maybe "what goes around, comes around!"
I always enjoy seeing you stop in for a listen, as I just so enjoy your style--thanks so much! You are kind to mention my comrades, as they are integral to this song especially given the many tracks. I'll take this time to personally thank Colin Ward, Dom Sigalas, Johnny Geib for their musicianship and their devotion to giving me their best.......
You nailed this one. Really superb production, Loved the inclusion of all the various parts in the last minute of the tune. A lot of work went into this one for sure. Vocal sounds great and superb lyric! Perhaps your best.
Thought I'd bring this one up from last year. Eddie, you have such a wonderful voice I just want to hear you sing again and again! I get to where I don't even care what you're singing. Just keep singing! =Bob=
Thanks for checking my song out and your kind words!
Thanks much for the spin. Yeah, there's a lot going on here, definite influences from both 60's 70's no question. I wanted the song to travel musically and emotionally. I was fortunate to have some talented musicians aiding me as well to allow me to paint my picture.
I'm really glad Bob brought this to the surface again. I missed it when you first posted it. I absolutely love everything about it - lyrics, melody, performance, arrangement, production...there's so much to like. This is really ambitious and could easily have fallen flat on its face, especially at the end. A scene like that is pretty hard to pull off lyrically and musically, but you knocked it out of the park.
I'm glad to see a song about those who fought or are still fighting these "forgotten" wars. Round where I live quite a lot of kids went off to these places and not all came back.
I have listened to this a couple of times now and I get a little overwhelmed with the thought of trying to pull off such an ambitious production. I thought it was very good. I think lyrically, there are a couple of places where it could be stronger. Mostly, I think the 2nd verse where I think you have an opportunity to use some props to show the lineage of the singer's family.
Every male member of my family served in the military. My father was in the Army. I had two older brothers in the Army and two in the Navy. I would guess service in Afghanistan would be either Marines or Army.
I would maybe talk about medals or something tangible to their service in that 2nd verse. For example, one of my brothers who served in the Army was a Vietnam combat veteran. He had several medals, including a purple heart. I only met him three times in my entire life. I was a baby when he served and when he came home, he was very angry at my dad because he went AWOL. My dad was not going to have it and turned my brother back into the Army. My brother never came home again after that one visit following his discharge. He was homeless for a long time. I finally met him twice as an adult. He died shortly after that.
So I think you could change that 2nd verse to say maybe something about a lucky article of clothing, a medal or a tattoo that could show the lineage of men who served before the main character/singer. I know the point of that verse was to say that the grandfather knew why he was fighting, the Vietnam vet was not as sure and of course, to address the ambiguity of our current presence in Iraq and Afghanistan that still lingers. But I still think you can show this lyrically with props. Like maybe grandpa was always proud of his "zero" flag from Japan and the other relative maybe has a wife from Vietnam, or a purple heart, etc. (Hope this makes sense).
Obviously, your demo is done. I was just thinking of a way to strengthen what you have here b/c it is so good.
Also, I love your cover of "God Only Knows" that comes-up right after this one on Soundcloud!
I appreciate your kind words and ideas lyrically for more detail. My response is I suppose that what you say makes perfect sense looking from your perspective--and we cannot help that as songwriters as seeing/feeling how and why we would approach a composition differently. From my perspective I didn't want the story to be too detailed or about just this one unfortunate soldier. Rather, "a" soldier that could easily be anyone's family or acquaintance or just a stranger perhaps that we feel compassion for. Keeping the lyrics more general and vague I feel allows the lay person or listener to relate more "generally" speaking to this young soldier who like many, is just thinking of his sweetheart in times of peril. I like the fact that though each generation of soldier has a different war climate, "duty" still prevails in the end - in vs 2. That verse is designed to be broad/encompassing, yet demonstrate a common corollary. But no question I get your drift, and your sugs would surely work, and may perhaps be better than my vision.
Thanks so much Wendy, I'm a real fan of your talent! Glad you liked the slower version of "God only knows."