Jun 062011
 

Last year I started a collaboration with a lyricist on a new song that looked promising, but after many rewrites and varying attempts at orchestration, we called it a day. Part of the problem stemmed from the lyrics not being something that I would personally sing. I had a disconnect to the story and to the verbiage. But, I liked the melody and the arrangement that I wrote, it had this bright-spookiness to it that was interesting. I hated to see it abandoned.

I let the track sit for a while and revisited it to see if I could rewrite it somehow, but the original lyrics kept getting in the way when I tried to write something new. I just decided to let it sit. I had to let it sit long enough that I would be able to “forget” the lyrics that we had written.

So recently, I was writing something about a musician who has been out on the road and is coming home, but doesn’t really remember his place in the life of the person he left. I’ve been seeing a lot of stories on the news about soldiers that have been on a tour of duty for a year and then come back to their households and have a hard time trying to fit back into the flow of everyday life. The only time it seems to work is if the person that was left behind has a lot of patience and love.

I started the lyrics and wan’t sure of the form they were taking and then I remembered that I had this finished arrangement with the expendable lyrics. The hard part was making the new lyrics fit the exisiting melody and the form. I had to replace a bunch of words that didn’t work with the rhythms; a lot of scratching my head trying to think of different ways to say the same thing and still have them rhyme.

The only thing I kept from the original lyric was the phrase — beautiful again — which, in the case of the new lyrics, became the title and the resolving feature of the story.

Moral of the story is: never throw anything out… and, revisit the bone yard every once in a while to see if there’s stuff there that might inspire you.

Let me know what you think of “Beautiful Again”. Do you re-work old material? or do you just let it die?

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Beautiful Again

Verse 1:

Heading home

After miles on the road

Called you on the telephone

To lighten my load

It’s so damed hard

To just fit back in

I forget about the pleasantries

Don’t know where to begin

PreChorus 1:

But now you welcome me back with dust on my shoes

Tired to my bones I got nothing left to lose

Chorus:

Cause you pick up all the pieces

We left on the the ground – and then

You add some love and tenderness

And you make life beautiful

Beautiful again

Verse 2:

You know my heart

I’ve been a traveling man

Singing ‘bout the lonely road

Guitar in my hand

I broke your mirror

Threw my luck on the floor

Couldn’t stand to see myself

Walking out your door

PreChorus 2:

But now you kiss me like I never told you good-bye

You hold me together and make everything alright

Chorus:

Cause you pick up all the pieces

We left on the the ground – and then

You add some love and tenderness

And you make life beautiful

Beautiful again

Bridge:

Hypnotized and mesmerized

Counting all those white lines flyin’

Underneath my wheels

I knew this wasn’t real

But now I see

Now I see

How I colored it wrong

This is where I belong

With you –

Chorus:

Cause you pick up all the pieces

We left on the the ground – and then

You add some love and tenderness

And you make life beautiful

Beautiful again

 



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