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#1179262 - 08/05/21 12:48 PM Southbound Train  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Gavin Sinclair  Offline
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A song I'm working on. All suggestions/comments appreciated.

https://soundcloud.com/themysteriousbeings/southbound-train/s-M8933jKgB2h

The Tay is a river in Scotland. There is a famous bridge across it, almost three miles long, which gives you plenty of time to think or dream.

SOUTHBOUND TRAIN
(Words & Music by Gavin Sinclair)

You found my dream again last night
And crept in uninvited
Furtively you flashed a smile
Childlike, excited
And only the damned alarm clock
Preserved my brittle vows

Grey the Tay and the cold wind spray
Over the bridge again.
I stare through speckled windows
On a southbound train
And there you are, a shadow
That passes barely seen
Along the moon-soaked cobble streets
Of what wasn’t but should have been

Oh, the smell of duffel coat in the rain
Damp curls on my skin
Shivering in shop doorways
And the innocence of sin

At night you pressed a shimmering breast
Upon me in your bed
And the milk white waves beneath my hand
Drowned out the words you said.
Did you whisper, “Love you,”
Or did I just assume
As the orange cotton sunlight
Took a last look round your room?

And now you’re back. I wished you gone
But somewhere deep you hid
Awaiting my forgiveness
For what you did

Grey the Tay and the cold wind spray
Over the bridge again.
I stare through speckled windows
On a southbound train

#1179269 - 08/05/21 03:15 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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John Voorpostel Offline
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Real nice Gavin. Well played and sung. Did want the duffel coat line to extend where you have two lines as IMO it would lead into that section better, but works as si


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

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#1179271 - 08/05/21 03:35 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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I really like how the vocal sounds on this. Well done.

I think id try to get Tay in the title so people know what it is. You could then put it on youtube and see if you get clicks from people who know what it is. Im working on a song called RT. 23, which is a highway near me, and a few others that name landmarks. They can be interesting to people.

I dont hear a chorus, but it seems more of a folk song.

Enjoyed.

#1179272 - 08/05/21 04:02 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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PaulCanuck Offline
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Hi Gavin
"Damn alarm clock" Who can't relate to that line?
Well there's a Tay river in the small town of Perth I live near - think it was named after one in .. Scotland?
Great lyrics here - you paint a picture that puts us at the scene.
Vocals and guitar sound good too.
Had it on repeat - but can't find a nit, nope - not one smile

Good song
Paul

#1179277 - 08/05/21 06:58 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: John Voorpostel]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Originally Posted by John Voorpostel
Real nice Gavin. Well played and sung. Did want the duffel coat line to extend where you have two lines as IMO it would lead into that section better, but works as si

Thanks John. I'm not sure what you mean by wanting the line to extend. Can you elucidate?

#1179279 - 08/05/21 07:46 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
I really like how the vocal sounds on this. Well done.

I think id try to get Tay in the title so people know what it is. You could then put it on youtube and see if you get clicks from people who know what it is. Im working on a song called RT. 23, which is a highway near me, and a few others that name landmarks. They can be interesting to people.

I dont hear a chorus, but it seems more of a folk song.

Enjoyed.



Thanks FD. Yes, I think it can be a good idea to include a local angle in a song. Niche marketing smile My most often played song on SoundCloud is a not-very-good one about Dundee United football club. Fans of the club must be playing it,

No, no chorus. This was originally a poem and then a melody started playing in my head, so I put it to music. It's folk, but a lot of my favorite songs when I was much younger were by German "Liedermacher," where the lyric is king and the melody just has to be pleasant enough to make people want to listen. They often don't have choruses because they have a lot to say. I guess that rubbed off on me smile

#1179280 - 08/05/21 08:17 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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JAPOV Offline
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This seems a little awkward...

At night you pressed a shimmering breast
Upon me in your bed
And the milk white waves beneath my hand
Drowned out the words you said

That night you pressed your shameless breast
Upon me in your bed
And the milk white warmth of your skin
Drowned out the words you said

Great lyric as usual Gav!
What did she do? wink

#1179286 - 08/05/21 10:23 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: PaulCanuck]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Originally Posted by PaulCanuck
Hi Gavin
"Damn alarm clock" Who can't relate to that line?
Well there's a Tay river in the small town of Perth I live near - think it was named after one in .. Scotland?
Great lyrics here - you paint a picture that puts us at the scene.
Vocals and guitar sound good too.
Had it on repeat - but can't find a nit, nope - not one smile

Good song
Paul

Hi Paul, thanks for the kind words - and for listening more than once in search of nits smile

The Tay does flow through the original Perth in Scotland, so I'm pretty sure the name of the river is no coincidence. There's a bridge there too, but the river hasn't opened out yet, so it's pretty short. The famous Tay bridge is between Dundee and Fife, just where the river joins the North Sea. It's mostly famous because of the bridge that was there before it and collapsed in a storm in 1879 taking a train full of passengers with it, made even more famous by the poem by Dundee's celebrated "worst poet in the English language," William McGonagall. He's a fascinating character, who would fit right in here on JPF.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45828/the-tay-bridge-disaster

#1179294 - 08/06/21 03:28 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: JAPOV]  
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Originally Posted by JAPOV
This seems a little awkward...

At night you pressed a shimmering breast
Upon me in your bed
And the milk white waves beneath my hand
Drowned out the words you said

That night you pressed your shameless breast
Upon me in your bed
And the milk white warmth of your skin
Drowned out the words you said

Great lyric as usual Gav!
What did she do? wink

Not sure that change would work as warmth wouldn't drown out words the way a wave would.

As for your question - that's best left to the imagination smile

#1179320 - 08/07/21 11:56 AM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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The Lyric may be too poetic for popular Song. For those who know the Tay, and perhaps the bridge and train, it could easily engage them.
Ideally in Song the title, THE Hook, is mentioned a minimum of three times, to emphasize it as the main idea, the summary of the theme. You have two mentions, but the first one is buried as Line 4 in an 8-Line Verse I.
Melodically, the first use of the Refrain of that Line leaves me expecting more exposition. It doesn't seem to be summing up. The final giving of it does suggest the finality of the Storyline. But the Song ends quickly there, so that Line is negligible in emphasis.

You get it done in 2:47 which is appealing.

'duffel coat' may need explaining, perhaps not to the local audience but to travel meaningfully the world, perhaps.
The words 'brittle vows' are obscure, poetic, but the word 'vows' is dropped in enunciation, which may rob the Line of meaning. To succeed in communicating obscure poetry enunciation is of strategic importance. I think you noted a bass Note thumps on that word, perhaps obscuring it further.


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1179373 - 08/09/21 12:09 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Thanks as always, Gary, for taking such a detailed look. We had an interesting discussion about "breaking the rules" on another forum, in which I listed some great songs that did so, devoid of a hook, a chorus and sometimes with a title that wasn't even mentioned in the song. It's a case of using the rules to your benefit and consciously following a different pattern to write a different kind of song.

I tweaked the song so that the word "vows" falls just before the first of those three bass notes. It should be more distinct now smile

#1179392 - 08/10/21 05:45 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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fife scotland
Hi Gavin, I like this, but I think the title is more American than Scottish, there are many songs with Southbound train in them, Dylans
Rock me mamma like the wind and rain
Rock me mamma like a southbound train
was covered by many,and instantly springs to mind,

I think it might be stronger if you used Scotrail train, which is the company that mostly uses the line.
any road up, your choice
all the best,john


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#1179400 - 08/11/21 09:44 AM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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I like this a lot. Has that English ballad "feel" that I really dig.
Great instrumentation. Love the atmosphere, here. Good singing, as well.
Bravo!
My hat's off..............

-Tom

#1179401 - 08/11/21 10:21 AM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Mackie H. Offline
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Gavin--

Very high-brow writing to me!

Brings back memories of English Poetry!

I think the song should start with I'M ON A SOUTHBOUND TRAIN...........UNFOLDING LOTS OF FOND MEMORIES!

SOME nice thoughts in this song!

A VERY GOOD RECORDING

Mackie

Last edited by Mackie H.; 08/11/21 10:22 AM.
#1179407 - 08/11/21 11:34 AM Re: Southbound Train [Re: johnparagreen]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Gavin Sinclair  Offline
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Originally Posted by johnparagreen
Hi Gavin, I like this, but I think the title is more American than Scottish, there are many songs with Southbound train in them, Dylans
Rock me mamma like the wind and rain
Rock me mamma like a southbound train
was covered by many,and instantly springs to mind,

I think it might be stronger if you used Scotrail train, which is the company that mostly uses the line.
any road up, your choice
all the best,john

Thanks, John. I think you make a good point. A quick Google search turns up a lot of songs with Southbound Train as the title. I'm not going to do an ad for Scotrail but I will certainly look at changing the title either by changing those words to "late night train" or just going with a completely different title like "Over the Bridge."

I think you're just concerned because if I was heading south on that particular bridge, I'd be headed in your direction.

#1179415 - 08/11/21 05:42 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: IronKnee]  
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Originally Posted by IronKnee
I like this a lot. Has that English ballad "feel" that I really dig.
Great instrumentation. Love the atmosphere, here. Good singing, as well.
Bravo!
My hat's off..............

-Tom

Thanks for the kind words, Tom. I suspect they might be due to you standing too long in the sun with your hat off smile

I forgive you for using the word "English" in reference to me, because I get what you mean LOL.

#1179420 - 08/11/21 08:49 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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JAPOV Offline
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I still think there should be at least a hint about what she did wink

#1179425 - 08/12/21 11:07 AM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Mackie H.]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Originally Posted by Mackie H.
Gavin--

Very high-brow writing to me!

Brings back memories of English Poetry!

I think the song should start with I'M ON A SOUTHBOUND TRAIN...........UNFOLDING LOTS OF FOND MEMORIES!

SOME nice thoughts in this song!

A VERY GOOD RECORDING

Mackie

High brow? This is niche marketing at its finest - my target audience consists exclusively of Professors of English Literaure smile Actually, it's intended to provoke a little thought but not ask for too much effort. It's not for me to say whether it succeeds in that, but I don't think any of the images or ideas are very obscure or difficult, although they do allow for different interpretations. We're all allowed a bit of an artsy-fartsy song every so often smile

#1179677 - 08/24/21 12:34 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin...

This is really super good...This is so artsy and cool, & the LYRIC is outstanding....The vibe is all there...

To me, it needs a splash more repetiition with the HOOK. I would suggest getting that TITLE "Southbound Train" in this tune a couple more times at the end of the VERSES ..With no CHORUS, if you it would be more memorable if you hit me with that HOOK a couple more times...In fact, I WANT to, and NEED to hear that TITLE more...You'd need to re-write at the very minimum, lines 6 & 7 in each VERSE...There's a couple ideas, if you choose to go that route, down below...You could use "Stain" to really couple with your "Shadow line"

Just those 2 simple insertions of your HOOK in those strategic spots, would IMO, take your song from "Artsy" to "ARTSY & MEMORABLE"...You place that HOOK/TITLE in these spots below, & your song will ring in peoples heads all day...Even if they forget the other words to your tune, they will be singing & humming "Southbound train" all day long...


Grey the Tay and the cold wind spray
Over the bridge again.
I stare through speckled windows
On a southbound train
And there you are, a shadow
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -stain
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - Southbound train

At night you pressed a shimmering breast
Upon me in your bed
And the milk white waves beneath my hand
Drowned out the words you said.
Did you whisper, “Love you,”
Or was it just a feign
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - Southbound train






Steve Altonian---"I'll just do my best & let God do the rest"

http://www.stevealtonian.com
#1179689 - 08/25/21 12:20 PM Re: Southbound Train [Re: Steve Altonian]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Originally Posted by Steve Altonian
Gavin...

This is really super good...This is so artsy and cool, & the LYRIC is outstanding....The vibe is all there...

To me, it needs a splash more repetiition with the HOOK. I would suggest getting that TITLE "Southbound Train" in this tune a couple more times at the end of the VERSES ..With no CHORUS, if you it would be more memorable if you hit me with that HOOK a couple more times...In fact, I WANT to, and NEED to hear that TITLE more...You'd need to re-write at the very minimum, lines 6 & 7 in each VERSE...There's a couple ideas, if you choose to go that route, down below...You could use "Stain" to really couple with your "Shadow line"

Just those 2 simple insertions of your HOOK in those strategic spots, would IMO, take your song from "Artsy" to "ARTSY & MEMORABLE"...You place that HOOK/TITLE in these spots below, & your song will ring in peoples heads all day...Even if they forget the other words to your tune, they will be singing & humming "Southbound train" all day long...


Grey the Tay and the cold wind spray
Over the bridge again.
I stare through speckled windows
On a southbound train
And there you are, a shadow
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -stain
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - Southbound train

At night you pressed a shimmering breast
Upon me in your bed
And the milk white waves beneath my hand
Drowned out the words you said.
Did you whisper, “Love you,”
Or was it just a feign
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - Southbound train


Thanks for the kind words, Steve. That would be quite a rewrite smile. It would mean jettisoning words that took years to form in what passes for my brain. You might be right - sometimes someone with a little distance can see ideas and directions that the original writer can't. I will definitely think about it.

To be honest, I wasn't really going for memorable in the catchy sense and had pretty much decided to change the title, because a quick google turned up a large number of songs with the same name. Also, it's not really about the train. It's more about the bridge.

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