Monthly Archives: November 2009

Point of View in Songwriting

A songwriter friend of mine, Tim Riordan, once said if he writes a song about himself, he writes in the third person, and if he writes about someone else, he writes in the first person. I like that.

Check out Timmy’s website, he’s making a new record now.

-Rob

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House Concerts

In the last few years a new player in the music biz has come on the scene. But it’s not really part of the music biz. It’s outside of the music biz, because it’s not a business; it’s not a music venue trying to make a profit. To call it an underground revolution taking place may be an exxageration, but maybe not. It’s the house concert.

What’s a house concert? Someone invites one of their favorite singer-songwriters to do a concert in their living room. They invite friends and the performer publicizes it, mostly via email and websites. You bring food or drink as in a potluck, and a donation is requested for the performer. The performer keeps 100% of the donations, and also can sell cd’s. The host doesn’t do it to make money, they host because they love the performer and want to turn other people on to them.

I love house concerts. Typically everyone comes an hour early and socializes, eats snacks and drinks. The performer is right there in front of you. Some house concerts are unamplified. It’s like going to a party where someone breaks out an acoustic guitar. Except instead of someone singing “Margaritaville” out-of-tune, it’s a professional singer-songwriter singing original songs.

It will be interesting to see how this “underground” trend develops.

-Rob

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2am

It was snowing in Denver yesterday and today. It reminded me of a song I wrote in 2004. It was one of my first songs, and I made a conscious effort to use imagery, metaphor, and create a good melody– things I had learned at my first Lyons, Colorado Song School in August 2004.

Some other songwriters that I showed it to had some criticism of the lyrics and music. So I tweaked it over the years, and just yesterday and today changed 4 lines. I haven’t figured out a way to change the music, probably because I actually like the melody and chords. Demos of the music are at myspace.com/robroperdemos. Here’s the lyrics as they stand now:

2 AM
© Rob Roper January 2005 revised Nov 14-15, 2009

2am on a winter night
Denver, Colorado
I put on my boots, and winter coat
And step out into the snow
The cars are all sleeping
under their blankets of white
And a snowflake kisses my face
As I stop and view the sight.

The snowflakes toy with gravity
As they dance in the streetlight
Refracted, soft and blurred
Like whiskey eyesight
And the multicolored houses
Are now nuanced shades of grey
Like a black and white photo
A winter painting by Monet

Chorus:
I’ve seen many of the wonders of this world
And I’ve known the touch of a beautiful girl
And I’ve seen the works of the great Van Gogh
Ah, but this is just as fine
Like a great bottle of wine
Standing in the middle, of the street
at 2 am, in the snow.

The snow plays a symphony
of silent eloquence
and I know that I am lucky
to be in the audience
It’s 25 degrees out here
But I don’t feel the cold
And though I’m standing by myself
I don’t feel alone

(Chorus)

Bridge:
Now you might think I’m crazy
And maybe I am
But if you could only be here
I think you’d understand

(Instrumental Break/Solo)

(Chorus)

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New song – The Voice of Doubt

This one started with a guitar riff in the DADGAD tuning, probably 2 years ago or more. Then January 2009 I started thinking of lyrics for it. It sat around until today when I assembled the lyrics into a first draft. You can hear a very rough demo, just me and guitar, recorded on a handheld digital recorder, at my myspace demo site. Here’s the lyrics as of today.

-Rob

The Voice of Doubt
1st draft Nov 14, 2009

Why you wanna be all alone?
Can’t you just do what you’re told?
It don’t matter if you’re right
You will never change their minds
Can’t you see the game is rigged?
And that you can never win?
And what makes you so sure you’re right?
What if everything’s a lie?

Just go along
Pretend it ain’t wrong
Do what you’re told
Let your heart grow cold

I’m just trying to help you, my friend
I hate to see you suffer like this
I hate to see you waste your life
You know we only go around one time
What’s the point if you always lose?
You don’t have to take the abuse
Why you wanna hang on that cross?
Who the hell do you think you are?

Just shut up
Don’t speak up
A fool and his dreams
And you just want to scream

You think too much
and you read too much
A fool and his dreams
And you just want to scream

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