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#587316 - 02/16/08 12:32 PM "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!!  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 5,788
Lynn Orloff Offline
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Lynn Orloff  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2006
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PA of the great USA
Did you ever hear a song you hadn't heard in ages and then out of the blue you catch it on the radio and say......how could I have forgotten about that song, I absolutely love that song!! That happened in work yesterday. The song is "Almost Like A Song" by Ronnie Milsap. Look how short, sweet and simple the lyrics are. You just never know when you see somewhat sparse words on paper how they might sound when they are matched with that magical melody. You just never know...

"Almost Like A Song"

Once in every life
Someone comes along
And you came to me
It was almost like a song

You were in my arms
Right where you belong
And we were so in love
It was almost like a song

January through December
We had such a perfect year
Then the flame became a dying ember
All at once you weren't here

Now my broken heart
Cries for you each night
And It's almost like a song
But itís much too sad to write

Now my broken heart
Cries for you each night
And It's almost like a song
But itís much too sad to write

It's too sad to write

_______________________________________________

Wondering your comments/thoughts on the song's structure???...it seems in the sing it's verse verse bridge verse verse, but the last verse is sung higher and in a way that the listener knows it's the final verse. Do I have the format correct if we are to get technical here, I am curious??? If you never heard this song, I encourage you to give a listen, it's beautiful! smile

Last edited by Lynn Orloff; 02/16/08 12:38 PM.

My Music at Soundclick
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=788266

~call it a blessing or call it a curse, but I see all of life in verse~

Always open to collaborations smile

God Bless Our Military!!!
#587318 - 02/16/08 12:52 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
Joined: Apr 2006
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Ft. Myers, FL. USA
Hey Lynn, I found it on Youtube. Don't know who the couple in the pictures are but the song is there. Ben
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RlG4zYAT4g

#587324 - 02/16/08 01:21 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
This is a gorgeous song, as were all of Ronnie Milap's hits.

It's lyrics are deceptively simple, the sort that songwriters who do not care for simplicity would scoff at...yet most would be unable to match in quality, but it's not the lyrics I find most compelling. It is the song's prosody (the sung rhythms, as opposed to the poetic meter of the lone lyrics).

Musically, the verses are repetitions of the theme. 5 4 3 5 4, leads from 5 being the weak fifth of the one chord, to the final 4 (not roundball) being the strong root of the four chord. The rhythm is: Half rest, three and four and one(twothreefour). eighth eihgth eighth eighth whole. That rhythm repeats for each line: 5 4 3 5 4.....4 3 2 4 3...3 2 1 3 2.....2 1 7 2 1...

Then come the choruses, with their sopohisiticated "change up."

It starts with a rhythmic repeat of the hook, under the 6th chord breaking, as most good songs do, one of the rules. 1 7 2--8th 8th 8th...then the changes start flying. FRom the start, the notes are: 1 7 2 7 1...1 7 3...4 4 4 3 2 4 3...1 1 1 1 1 1 3 . 7 . 3 . 1....6 6 6 6 5 4 6 5...

The rhythm is one and two and threefour and one twothreefour quarter rest two and three and four and whole...quarter rest two and three four and one two three four... quarter rest two and three and four and whole.


The lesson here is, the lyrics are simply metered in the verses, very simply metered, but sung they don't start on the one beat, and the last word is given a whole note making it the "sung" note...words like "life" "love" and "song." The choruses are very sophisticated with a flowing quality and upbeat accents. And, in the last verse Mr. Milsap sings an improvisation, which may or may not have been written originally, that makes it soar.

Structurally, it breaks a few of the rules for country music. It doesn't really have a "chorus" it has a refrain at the end of the first two verses that is put in the third line on the last verse. What is, musically, the chorus, doesn't contain the hook.

Beautiful song, great production, great songwriting. WHO WROTE IT? Bet they'd like credit, I'll find out and edit (simple rhyme) smile

################################EDIT

It was written by Archie Jordan and Hal David.

Archie Jordan's writing's been on seven gold and three platitum albums, he's been recorded by Ronnie Milsap, Barbara Mandrell, Kenny Rogers, B.J. Thomas, Tina Turner, Glenn Campbell, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Tams, Anne Murray, Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman.

Hal David, along with Burt Bacharach, may have been part the most successful songwriting team of all time. He's won the Academy Award, the Tony, and is in the grammy hall of fame. His songs have been covered by everyone from Willie Nelson to the Beatles.

Last edited by Mike Dunbar; 02/16/08 01:34 PM.

You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#587340 - 02/16/08 02:09 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,199
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Most likely if somone here posted those lyrics they would be critiqued as too basic, too trite. Probably wouldn't get a second listen by most in the music business. It just shows that if you have the right song in the right place at the right time you can be sucessful. It's why I don't give up. Everyone here probably has a song or songs that are as good and even better than this song. Getting it in front of the right person at the right time is what is most difficult.


Ray E. Strode
#587356 - 02/16/08 03:39 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Mar 2005
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Samuel Harris Offline
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Samuel Harris  Offline
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Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Thanks for posting this Lynn, and Ben for the link and Mike for the lesson. This is really JPF working together! And Lynn, the idea driving this song packs a lot of punch. I think all good songs must have a strong idea and if the idea is simple, the song is even better.

I agree, this is one of those forgotten treasures. I have my own "find" recently. I was invited to do a show recently and for the first time in 7 years I will be doing covers. Looking for material, I discovered Sawyer Brown's song "All these years". It is constructed in an unusual way because the second verse seems like a continuation of the first verse. I normally don't sing songs about infidelity, but this one is so haunting, I had to learn it. The chords listed on Chordie.com don't seem right to me so I created my own chord progression.

The second "find" was to discover how much I love "18 wheels and a dozen roses". It has got to be one of the most sadly sweet songs I have ever heard. There is an underlying humanity in that song that I cannot even express. I don't think it is expressed just in the words or just in the music but together wow! And that chorus belongs in the "chorus hall of fame" it is so perfect!

Here are the lyrics to each:

All these years- Sawyer Brown

She likes adventure with security
And more than one man can provide
She planned adventure feeling sure that he
Would not be home 'till after five
He turned on the lights and turned them off again
And said the one thing he could say

All these years
Where have I been
Well I've been down the rode to work and home again
And I'm still here
Untill I'm gone
Don't you rub it in too hard that I've been wrong
All these years

She said, "You're not the man you used to be"
He said, "Neither is this guy"
She said, "There's some things you refuse to see
But I guess sometimes so do I"
She made no excuse why she was lying there
She said the one thing she could say

All these years
What have I done
I made your supper and your daughter and your son
Still I'm here
And still confused
But I can finally see how much I stand to lose
All these years

I'm still here
And so confused
But I can finally see how much I stand to lose
All these years



Eighteen Wheels And A Dozen Roses
(Paul Nelson/Gene Nelson)

A
Charlie's got a gold watch
Dmaj7
Don't seem like a whole lot
E
After thirty years of drivin'
D A
Up and down the interstate
A
But Charlie's had a good life
Dmaj7
And Charlie's got a good wife
Bm D E
And after tonight she'll no longer be countin' the days


CHORUS
E D A
Eighteen wheels and a dozen roses
F#m B E
Ten more miles on his four day run
D F#m D
A few more songs on the all night radio
A D E A
And he'll spend the rest if his life with the one that he loves


A
They'll buy a Winnebago
Dmaj7
Set out to find America
E D
Do a lotta catchin' up
A
A little at a time

With pieces of the old dream
Dmaj7
They're gonna light the old flame
Bm
Doin' what they please
D E
Leavin every other reason behind

(Repeat CHORUS)

(Instrumental) Dmaj7 - Bm - D - E

(Repeat CHORUS)

(Instrumental ---> Out)




"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#587371 - 02/16/08 05:31 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Samuel Harris]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 678
Lee Arten Offline
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Lee Arten  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 678
The second verse of "All These Years" has always struck me as brilliant writing.

Not so much of a fan of "18 Wheels..."

The local oldies show played some Tom T. Hall today.
I found myself wishing I'd hear "Ballad Of 40 Dollars," and "Ode To A Switchblade."


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Johnson.
#587386 - 02/16/08 07:25 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
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Ande Rasmussen Offline
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Ande Rasmussen  Offline
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Martindale, TX, USA
beautiful simplicity
I'm a fan of songs with sparse lyrics
because it makes room for interesting melodies



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#587448 - 02/17/08 01:09 AM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Ande Rasmussen]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 5,788
Lynn Orloff Offline
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Lynn Orloff  Offline
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PA of the great USA
Thanks guys for weighing in here....I was out buying a puppy today and getting her all set up, she's a cutie!!

Ben,
Appreciate the link, smile thanks for posting that so much...it allows though who haven't heard it to hear it, but I'm not too sure that's Ronnie doing the singing. It doesn't sound exactly like what I heard on the radio. Does anyone know, I mean it's close but if you've heard the original it seems at certain spots it doesn't sound like him and even certain parts don't have the same distinct "Ronnie" accentuations, someone please tell me???

Mike,
Thanks so much for that very in-depth analysis of the song, geeeeeez, I have to read that several times for it just to begin to sink in. Thanks for listing the songwriters, Hal and Archie. You are quite the consumate music scholar so I'll have to do some homework just to try and interpret what you said. You talked about a "sophisticated chorus" but then I was confused because you said it didn't really have a Chorus??? Are you calling what I called the bridge the refrain?? Yikes, I'm sorry, it's me of course, I'm just not up on all this. Would you be able to maybe paste the song and give it labels (maybe in paranthesis or something) so I could grasp better. Please forgive me, I'm having a blondeish/brownish moment. smile

Ray,
You are so right about the lyrics possibly getting a bland review. They are so basic and yet so wonderful. I'm not sure if Ronnie had already established a name for himself when this was presented but it really goes to show w/the right melody even lyrics as simple as this (and they don't get much simpler) can work given the right melody and the right vocalist. Is that Ronnie singing on Ben's link?? Maybe it's Ronnie on a later version since the link provided didn't sound as good as the one I am used to hearing????

Sam,
Thanks for posting those other lyrics also. I remember well "18 wheels and a dozen roses" you don't forget those words but the Sawyer Brown song I think I'd have to hear to shake up my memory on that particular one. Coming across Ronnie's song was like finding a long lost treasure and I of course wanted to share it w/my JPF friends right away. smile

Lee,
Seems like the post has got us all thinking about special favorites from past. :)I was surprised at myself that I let that one get so tucked away for so long until I accidentally heard it at work amongst all the noise. It was such a pleasant surprise and I find myself singing it since.

Ande,
How's the grammy man? Sounds like it was a great time. It was great for you to share all that cause it makes us feel like we were kind of there. I wonder if you gave any more thoughts to that duet. Let me know if you want to tweak or pursue that. smile

Thanks guys!

Last edited by Lynn Orloff; 02/17/08 01:14 AM.

My Music at Soundclick
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=788266

~call it a blessing or call it a curse, but I see all of life in verse~

Always open to collaborations smile

God Bless Our Military!!!
#587457 - 02/17/08 01:31 AM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,099
ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Posts: 6,099
Ft. Myers, FL. USA
I looked up RM on Youtube and found several videos of others doing the cover. I'm pretty sure that the one that I posted is the real deal audio wise, (or a good imitation).
It looks like the video part is some sort of tribute to some couple somewhere.
I couldn't find a video of Ronnie actually performing the song. Ben

#587466 - 02/17/08 02:59 AM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: ben willis]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,226
Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Posts: 7,226
Texas
Hi Lynn and Fellow JPFrs:

Nice topic. Great Song... ultimate simplicity... and to me, points up the importance of the melody. Mike, thanks for the critique... most informative.

Lynn, you didn't tell us what kind of puppy! Please don't tell me it's a Dachshund! We sure miss our Gretel... 10 years after she's gone.

Best,

Dave

#587530 - 02/17/08 01:05 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,199
Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Hi All,
Another song that is deceptively simple, and hard to sing correctly!, is UNCHAINED MELODY. It has been covered a few times since Al Hibbler first did it around 1955. Again today it may not get another look but is a basic but timeless song.

I think writing the basic but sophicicated song is very hard. I find myself heving many ideas like that but usually say it isn't a workable idea or wouldn't work today. Keep Writing! That next hit may be just around the corner!


Ray E. Strode
#587534 - 02/17/08 01:17 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,226
Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Posts: 7,226
Texas
Wow, Ray:

Does that ever bring back old memories. Hibbler's version always stuck in my mind as the best. You are right... it is a tough song to perform correctly.

Best,

Dave

#587625 - 02/17/08 08:41 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 5,788
Lynn Orloff Offline
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Lynn Orloff  Offline
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PA of the great USA
Your right Ray, not everyone can sing "Unchained Melody" giving it justice, though many attempt. LeAnn Rimes did an excellent job I thought. Now there's a song!!!

Dave, she's a cockapoo (combination cocker spaniel and poodle) hence hypoallergenic. Adorable!!! Yes I too love dachshunds, especially the minature ones. If you are missing "Gretel" why not buy a "Hansel"?



My Music at Soundclick
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=788266

~call it a blessing or call it a curse, but I see all of life in verse~

Always open to collaborations smile

God Bless Our Military!!!
#587643 - 02/17/08 09:40 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,226
Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Posts: 7,226
Texas
Hey Lynn:

It just would not be the same. Gretel was a mini and was so unique in our mindset, she could never be replaced. I'm probably going to opt for a larger dog when (and if) we move to our little farm on Chalk Mountain.

Have a great weekend and week ahead.

Dave

#587644 - 02/17/08 09:40 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,226
Dave Rice Offline
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Dave Rice  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,226
Texas
Hey Lynn:

It just would not be the same. Gretel was a mini and was so unique in our mindset, she could never be replaced. I'm probably going to opt for a larger dog when (and if) we move to our little farm on Chalk Mountain.

Have a great weekend and week ahead.

Dave

#588002 - 02/18/08 10:15 PM Re: "Almost Like A Song" (Ronnie Milsap) BEAUTIFUL!!! [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,226
Dave Rice Offline
Top 30 Poster
Dave Rice  Offline
Top 30 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,226
Texas
Hmmm. Senior Moment? Double post... or did the Gremlins do it?

Dave


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