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#545287 - 09/29/07 05:14 AM A Thousand Miles Away  
Joined: Feb 2001
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Two Singers Offline
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Northern Alabama
I posted this on the MP3 Forum. But many of you here on the lyric boards don't often get over there, so I posted it here as well.

I finally put music to this...3 years after having written the lyric. This is my lyric that was a finalist for "Best Lyric" at the 2006 JPF Awards Show in Los Angeles last year. It didn't win, but we had a good time in L.A. The link is at the bottom of the song. Thanks for listening. I appreciate it.

And, I'm going to be posting a new lyric real soon...first time in a couple of months! It's gonna need a little help, though.

A Thousand Miles Away

© July 2004 / Revised July 2007, Alan D. David, BMI
All Rights Reserved

At last youíve gone and left me
I saw it coming on
Becoming more apparent
With the breaking of each dawn

Canít tell you how I miss you
Or how many tears Iíve cried
Itís so lonely here without you
Couldnít even say goodbye

I donít know where youíve gone off to
After all these years together
But I know youíre never coming back
Not tomorrow, now or ever
When I kneel and pray to God
I donít know what to say
Though youíre just across the room
Youíre a thousand miles away

You didnít mean to leave me
It wasnít in your plans
And when I lean to kiss you
You donít know who I am

You donít look any diffírent
Thatís what makes it oh so hard
Knowing I canít reach you
Is tearing me apart

Why does it have to be this way
So cruel and so unkind
To leave your body perfect
But steal away your mind

Yes I can touch you, I can hold you
But youíre a thousand miles away


Last edited by Al David; 09/29/07 06:39 AM.
#545289 - 09/29/07 05:32 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
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Aaron Authier Offline
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At least it makes sense and sings very easily and is short to the point but in all honesty a lot of them words just ruin it for me

Dawn, goodbye, cried, without you, I miss you, kneel, pray to god
tearing me apart

Not really a fan of cliches but somebody liked it enough to make you a finalist so good luck with it

Take care

#545296 - 09/29/07 06:02 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Aaron Authier]  
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Two Singers Offline
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Good Morning To My Canadian Friend!

Glad the message resonated with you. As far as cliches, they don't bother me much if they work and say what needs to be said. It went before 3 review boards of half a dozen people, or so. But, I am sure that there are a lot of people who will agree with you more than me. I appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment. Thanks a bunch for that. All the best to ya!

And yeah, hockey season is just around the corner. I never was much of a hockedy fan. I grew up with baseball...my father played in the mionor leagues for a few years. But, the new ownership of the Blues have me interested in Hockey for the first time ever. I plan on catching a couple of games this year.

Thanks again, and all the best to ya!


Last edited by Al David; 09/29/07 06:03 AM.
#545339 - 09/29/07 11:07 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
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John Voorpostel Offline
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Hey Alan, only one suggestion in the lyric...If I'm right, "she" has Alzheimers .... and one word implies it came on suddenly, that "I couldn't even say goodbye".... may I can't say goodbye works better, because you could have, back when she was still lucid...

As for the "cliches", I've been told don't avoid them just because they're cliches. If they fit, serve a purpose etc, then by all means use them...which I guess leaves you the judge smile

Musically, for me the jury's out...I felt it a bit too homogenous...oh it works technically and all, but nothing about it "stands out" and screams for attention....maybe work some more musical hooks into the arrangement??


If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

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#545418 - 09/29/07 03:46 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
Joined: Feb 2006
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Laura G. Offline
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Charlotte, NC
Listened to the MP3. Has a Johnny Cash quality about it. Good Western song. You might want to swell more leading up to the chorus, and raise the chorus up maybe a third or so, so it stands out from the verse. Also some lines in the chorus seem rushed "But I know you're never coming back".

Take my comments with a grain of salt, I don't write many melodies. I do like the lyrics; a great song.
Laura G.

#545620 - 09/30/07 03:35 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: John Voorpostel]  
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Two Singers Offline
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Northern Alabama

Thanks for the read and the listen...and the comments. And you are right about the cliches...kind of a personal decision there. Some folks will avoid them at all cost. I try to. But, if by using a "non-cliched" line I can't say the message the way I want to, I will use the cliche. My thought, in general...certain phrases become cliches because they are so often used in given circumsyances. Why are they so often used? because people like them. By nature, folks like familiarity, although something new and refreshing is also welocmed. I know that many, probably most, folks will disagree with me about the use of cliches. But, that's okay!

As far as the "saying goodbye" part....no one in Helen's family ever said it, in so many words. They often talked about how to deal with the process...from their point of view...not Mom's. Their agreement was to treat her a usual. They felt that "saying goodbye' to her was equivalent to giving up and just letting her fade away. So, they treated her as usual all the way. They felt they "couldn't" say goodbye. She is the only personal I have known, on a personal basis, with Alzheimers. So, I do not know how others approach as a family. I wrote this based upon how they dealt with it. So, that was the only frame of reference I had.

As far as the music...I am oksy with the chord structure. As far as the production and arrangement...yeah it's pretty generic. But, I record with the resources I have...and the limited recording skills I have. But you are quite right that a better production would improve this significantly.

Thanks John. I apprecuate you taking the time to comment.


#545622 - 09/30/07 03:42 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Laura G.]  
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Northern Alabama

I certainkly will NOT take your comments with a grain of salt! I truly appreciate them. And, the fact that you do not write music makes them even more important to me. Why, because the average listener does not write meoldies. So, your thoughts about the music are more like that of an average listener than a music techno. I think it gives me a better feel of how it would be received by the population at large.

I am very pleased that you like the lyrics. My wife's brother made the comment last year "Mom's sitting just across the room, but she's a million miles away". I changed the million to a thousand. And that is the genesis of the lyric.

I agree that there needs to be a better buildup from the second verse into the chorus. Another project! In this recording, you hear my entire vocal range...very, very limited. If I took it any higher, my voice would sound like the wheels squeaking on a kid's toy! Actually, it's not all that enjoyable within my range.

Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate them.


#545667 - 09/30/07 10:46 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
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Beth G. Williams Offline
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Hey Al,

Well I feel like the class dunce tonight blush...I wasn't even thinking of Alzheimers....

I interpreted it a little less literally, I guess, as more of a marriage gone awry leaving two people together but apart. The wife...maybe she had an affair or something... can't REALLY leave the marriage (for whatever reason), but emotionally she IS gone. So he reaches to touch her -- and while he can physically do so (she's a likely graduate of the "just lie back and think of England" academy) -- she's not INTO it.

Either way, the writing is quite poignant. Personally, I don't have any issues with the occasional cliches in this one...probably because you're not hanging your hat on them --they're just part of this very sad story.

Anyway, belated congrats!!

Ciao for now,



"Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."
#545691 - 10/01/07 03:40 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
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PeterJ Offline
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Posts: 204
South OrangeCounty, California...
First, Thanks for bringing this to our happy little group here on Lyric 3. You're right, I don't get over to the mp3 forum enough (probably because I'm a little out of my depth over there) crazy

This is a sweet, sad love song, and I enjoyed it very much.
There's a bunch of young whipper snappers out there who won't understand when I say this song sounds like a Jim Reeves Classic. The melody is like a river, slow and deep, and as the story line opens up, emotion pours out.

As far as the use of familiar phrases, I agree whole heartedly with you. Allusion is a fine tool for touching the emotion in others without being so specific as to alienate those who don't have a direct connection. Besides, this song isn't exactly "riddled with cliches".

I wish you all the best of luck with this song. I don't know that it would obtain commercial success on its own, but it is the kind of song I'd want to hear during a tribute or memorial for a friend. It has the ability to be an anthem for those suffering the loss of someone to this tragic disease.


If music be the food of love, why is it so hard to keep my family fed?

#545693 - 10/01/07 04:30 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Beth G. Williams]  
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Northern Alabama

Thanks for dropping in. The party really never gets off the ground until you show up.

As far as illperceiving the lyric, I wouldn't force ya to wear one of those pointy little hats. It's just a different take...that's all. But, if you want to know where the hidden message is...look in the bridge. "To leave your body perfect, but take away your mind". My guess is you just missed that part.

But I'm delighted that you didn't miss the party. We were just a bunch of people habging out until you walked in. Drinks for everyone...on Beth!


#545694 - 10/01/07 04:44 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: PeterJ]  
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Thanks for the visit. I appreciate your time and your comments.

Ah yes... Jim Reeves. The man with the Velvet Voice. He was one of my very favorites. Hard to beat "He'll Have To Go". If I had a dollar for every time I have played and sung that song, I'd buy both of us a nice house! When I was a small kid, maybe 3 or 4 years old, I used to sit around and giggle at his song "Bimbo". For you younger folks, it's a song about a little kid, not a busty, dumb blond! I did the same with Red Foley's "Roly Poly". Anyway, back to the subject at hand...

Glad ya liked it. A good cliche, used at the right time, works just fine, in my opinion. You and I are in a minority with that thought. But, it works for me! I really enjoyed your analogy of the river as the song unfolded. Thanks for the delightful insight! Many of the lyrics I write do not give excessive details. The allusionary approach, as you so nicely labeled it, is one of my favorite writing styles. Again, I think I am in a minority with that approach.

And, I have noticed that about 80%, more or less, of the MP3 regulars rarely show up over here at any of the lyric forums. Although a slightly greater percent of lyrc forum regulars, to the contrary, wonder over to the MP3 forum, it still is a small percentage. In the past I have caught a little indirect flack, by inuendo, about posting the same song on both forums. I can live with it for the reasons I just mentioned about the minimal migration back and forth between the forums!

Thanks a bunch, Peter. I appreciate you stopping in, listening and commenting. All the best to ya!


Last edited by Al David; 10/01/07 04:45 AM.
#545695 - 10/01/07 04:59 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
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John Hoffman Offline
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St. Peters, Mo.
that is touching and sad and for many very real. Reminds of a friend of mine whose mother developed brain cancer. He noticed that "every moment was a new moment" for her. From her point of view he could see that she had a constant sense of discovery.

Very touching,

Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword never had an editor.
#545698 - 10/01/07 05:05 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: John Hoffman]  
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Northern Alabama

Howdy neighbor! Everything's cool here in Lake Saint Louis. Hope all is well in St. Peters. Pretty good rainstorm tonight!

Thanks for stopping in to listen and comment. Glad it left you with the intended emotion. Funny...well NOT funny, just ironic, you mentioned the brain cancer. One of my wife's brothers died of brain cancer back in '84. His last couple of months were much like you described. Sad. frown

Thanks agin for the visit. Take care and all the best to ya!


#545722 - 10/01/07 11:01 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
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Beth G. Williams Offline
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Well, O Wise Al, Appreciator of All Beth Brings to Board,

Actually, I didn't miss that line....that's why I explained my interpretation as I did....I figured the "extra-marital situation" took her heart (i.e. MIND) out of the marriage, but she was still in the marriage physically. So hubby could HAVE her (wink wink), but he could never REALLY have her, heart and soul any more.

Looking back now, that IS a a fairly hefty stretch....and given my predilection for madcap injuries, I probably should never have gone that far. But you know me, always looking for the silver lining sick...!

Glad I was able to perk things up for the gang after a dreary night of "habging out" wink




"Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."
#545725 - 10/01/07 11:09 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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HiDee, SideGuy!

Touching, Sad One, Bro!

Liked It Lots. Ya need to phrase your Singin' more in-synch with da Music...(In several spots)...

I'd repeat "You're a thousand miles...away" after your Tag.

"KUDOS" Overall...this IS a Tough Subject to sing about...was a Very Good pair of Programs on it, Back-to-back..on PBS last night. They've come up with a Concoction, "The Pittsburg [Solution?])" that passes thru the Blood-Brain Barrier, makes Amiloyd Plaques (Sp?) VISIBLE in brain scans for the first time-ever by MRI scans...& now are developing Drugs to halt Alzheimer's spread. (NO cure for it YET...but in a few more years, just watch!)

Keep the Faith, Amigo!
Big Hugs,

#545732 - 10/01/07 11:38 AM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: ]  
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Janice Hopkins Offline
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Hi Al,

This is a very tough subject. You certainly did it justice. I thought of Alzheimers right away. I never thought of any other scenerio. I worked with patients for awhile with it and feel that you described their situation so well. Also, you really got to the heart of how the family feels looking on.

In verse 1, just a small nit. I may have tried to avoid using COMING AND BECOMING in lines 2 and 3. Maybe say something like:

IT SEEMED MORE APPARENT....or has that already been said?

I loved the bridge...that really ties it up nicely. Great job. I'm not surprised at all that it was a finalist at the JPF awards.

I haven't listened to the MP3 yet, as I feel I have very little expertise there, but I will give it a listen and tell you my uneducated opinion soon.

A beautiful, poignant lyric,


#545764 - 10/01/07 02:37 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Janice Hopkins]  
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Wyman Lloyd Offline
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Hi Al,
Looks good and sounds good to me.
Sounds like traditional country but might do some good outside that too.
Most folks will probably take it as someone physically gone till the bridge, but I expect that's what you intended. They say the bridge is the most misused part of a song, but this one definitely fulfills it's function of casting a new light on the song.
Seems to "me" that the song could be commercial
Don't really find any nits
Good job
(Still wish I looked distinguished though)

#545796 - 10/01/07 04:34 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: ]  
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Two Singers Offline
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Howdy Clock Doc!

Thanks for stopping in and for the kind comments. First, regarding the vocal phrasing. It's just a style that I jhave always done. Please do not think for a moment that I am comparing myself to the Red Headed Stranger...yeah, like anyone would believe it if I did!...but the singing slightly out of time to the music, in phrases, is a natural and very comfortable style for me. I struggled hard to get this close!

I like your idea of repeating at the end. As simple as that is, it never crossed my mind. Or, myabe it did corss my mind but there was nothing there to stop it...could be!

Glad ya liked it otherwise. All the best to you La Femme Do.


#545797 - 10/01/07 04:41 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Wyman Lloyd]  
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Northern Alabama
Afternoon Wy,

Thanks for stopping in and commenting. Wow...a seal of approval with no nits from one of the finest writers around. Thank you, kind sir! And from a commercial point of view, I think Neo-Traditional Country is where it should be. But, not real sure if it has enough general appeal to be commercial. I'm going to be pitching this to several support organizations in the very near future. We'll see how it goes from there.

And yes, you captured the essence of the bridge exactly as I had hoped it would come across to the listener. I like writing with inuendo and then using either the chorus and/or a bridge to leave a stronger hint about the subject matter. In some songs, like this one, it seems to work real well. In others, not so well.

I thank ya for the very kind comments. But, how do we know that you are or are not distinguished looking if ya don't post a picture? If nothing else, though, your writing is VERY distinguished! All the best to ya. And how 'bout them Cubbies!


#545814 - 10/01/07 07:15 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Two Singers]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,186
Joice Marie Offline
Top 10 Poster
Joice Marie  Offline
Top 10 Poster

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 9,186
Cornish Flat, NH, USA
Hi Alan

Very sad and touching song. I'm glad to hear that you got recognition for the piece. All the best with it. smile jm

perfection is unattainable, excellence is totally within reach

#545968 - 10/02/07 02:54 PM Re: A Thousand Miles Away [Re: Joice Marie]  
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Two Singers Offline
Two Singers  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 9,649
Northern Alabama
Hi JM,

Thanks for listening and commenting. And yeah, it is always nice to be recognized, in a good way, for one's efforts. If nothing else, it suggests that maybe once in a while I actually do write a good one! Thanks for the kind wishes.


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