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I need help "modifying" song lyrics

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Jan 11, 2019 - 4:48:01 PM

Owen

Canada

3146 posts since 6/5/2011

This might be an oddball request, but please bear with me.

Overall, I really like the song "When You Go Walking After Midnight. "  I can't find who wrote it, but I understand it's a commonly performed song.  Here's the version I'm referring to:

When You Go Walking After Midnight

   When you go walking after midnight
   Over on the wrong side of town
   Walk down any street many lost souls you’ll meet
   Whose lives are broken like mine

You’ll find souls wandering out in darkness
Whose place in life they’ll never find
Wandering so aimless and hopelessly
Whose lives are broken like mine

Thank God you’ve got a home to go to
And a woman’s love to keep you warm
You won’t find the stars in the honky-tonks and bars
Go home to your woman’s loving arms

 

I want to make  minor changes in V2 line 3 and completely replace V2 line 4.   I've been mulling over various options for a few months, and what I've come up with so far is:   

  "Wandering so forlorn and hopeless   /   abandoned by (to?)  life's uncaring grind."

My take is that the idea/mood/message is one of abandonment, or trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, so I'd like to keep that intact.   Instead of the the word "abandoned,"  I've tried shoved aside / left behind.  

Any comments and suggestions are appreciated... either here or via PM.

P.S.  Since I only sing (?) in private, for my own pleasure, I'm assuming no copyright laws will be broken.  In any event, don't hold your breath waiting for a royalty cheque.    Thanks.

Edited by - Owen on 01/11/2019 16:53:02

Jan 11, 2019 - 5:11:02 PM
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Mooooo

USA

6210 posts since 8/20/2016
Online Now

From what I can find, it looks like Lowell Varney and Landon Messer wrote it and recorded it with Ralph Stanley and are attributed as writers. Check out the back of a Ralph Stanley LP

Edited by - Mooooo on 01/11/2019 17:17:36

Jan 11, 2019 - 7:37:41 PM
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50804 posts since 12/14/2005

Oh, dang!
You're looking for help with CLEAN lyrics!

Well, I'll think it over for a while.

Meanwhile, your suggestions from YOU seem to be just fine.

Jan 12, 2019 - 8:47:17 AM

pickin_fool

Canada

2415 posts since 6/30/2017

why do you want to change it?

Jan 12, 2019 - 9:40:13 AM

Owen

Canada

3146 posts since 6/5/2011

I find it easier to remember songs, and like them better, and will [try to] play them more if they make sense to me.  Line 4 / Verse 1  "whose lives are broken like mine" isn't my absolute favo(u)rite, because I'm not sure how many guys with broken lives are farting around with $XX banjos, but it flows nicely off the tongue, so it's okay.    But to then repeat it to end the second verse sounds to me like the writer(s) must have been suffering "writers' block"  .... kinda like I am... and just decided... "ah... what the h***!"

For some time I considered something using "__?____  ___?___  ___?___, out of sight and out of mind" but couldn't figure out the "___?___" words to get the correct number of syllables(?) to match the beats(?).... so had to consider other options.

Then I'm thinking: are these guys with broken lives cast aside by society?... or are they caught up in a snowball/tsunami effect?    Still haven't solved that one, but while lying awake in the middle of last nite I came up with:  "...swept aside by life's uncaring grind."   

So you can see this ain't cast in stone.... and like I say, any/all comments and suggestions are welcome.

P.S. As a dude who's not convinced of the existence of that entity we can't discuss on BHO, I changed the opening line of Verse 3 to:  Be thankful you've got a home to go to....   to make align better with my thinking.   

[....you were forewarned that this might be an oddball request.]   wink   

Edit:   ... or I suppose I could change it in V1 and leave it in V2 ?!?    aaarrgghhhh!!   indecision

Edited by - Owen on 01/12/2019 09:53:59

Jan 16, 2019 - 3:05:31 PM

Owen

Canada

3146 posts since 6/5/2011

...still working on it... for now (?) it's "...swept aside by life's uncaring grind."   .... but like I say "...for now."

An interesting observation.... at least in my mind... is how "Mike" was the only person to reply. Thank you Mike.  Thank you Mike.   Thank you Mike.

Jan 17, 2019 - 5:35:13 AM
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4575 posts since 9/5/2006

just for historical purposes ,,, it was written by one of my mentors.. roy mcmillan ,, he was from fancy gap va . but lived in lewisville nc,,, he passed away in 2014 and was one of my early influences in bluegrass.. i did several shows with him in my youth,,, terrific song writer and singer plus a top mandolin player....

this passage explains the confusion of the ralph stanley recording

Another cut, When You Go Walking After Midnight was also recorded on both this cassette and the Mountain 1001 release, but incorrectly credited on the latter. It was actually written and recorded by Roy McMillan as Wandering In The Darkness in 1972 on his 'High Country' (Rebel SLP-1517) LP. Unfortunately the mis-credit to Landon Messer/Lowell Varney, wasn't corrected on the Rounder release.

Edited by - 1935tb-11 on 01/17/2019 05:35:56

Jan 18, 2019 - 4:54:42 AM
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phb

Germany

1617 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Owen

This might be an oddball request, but please bear with me.

Overall, I really like the song "When You Go Walking After Midnight. "  I can't find who wrote it, but I understand it's a commonly performed song.  Here's the version I'm referring to:

When You Go Walking After Midnight

You’ll find souls wandering out in darkness
Whose place in life they’ll never find
Wandering so aimless and hopelessly
Whose lives are broken like mine

I want to make  minor changes in V2 line 3 and completely replace V2 line 4.   I've been mulling over various options for a few months, and what I've come up with so far is:   

  "Wandering so forlorn and hopeless   /   abandoned by (to?)  life's uncaring grind."


I don't know the song and English is not my mother language so I may be wrong, but I would assume that "aimless" having the emphasis on the first syllable may usually not be replaced by a word which has the emphasis on the second syllable such as "forlorn" without making the flow of the words with the melody awkward.

"a-BAN-doned by LIFE'S un-CA-ring GRIND" has a rhythmic pattern or metre of

- > - - > - > - > 

which doesn't accurately reflect the original metre of "whose LIVES are BRO-ken like MINE"

- > - > - - >

But then the original lyrics may not reflect the melody well and you are fixing that. Such problems with lyrics aren't all that rare and I sometimes start thinking about how a line in some song could be changed to fit the melody better than the original lyrics. 

Jan 18, 2019 - 2:43:53 PM

Owen

Canada

3146 posts since 6/5/2011

Geez, Philipp... now I gotta worry about "meter" too??  devil    [Although after consulting the all-knowing Google, it's sounds like meter might be a cousin to my attempts at matching syllables to beats.]    Thanks for your insight... I'll get this figured out one way or another.   wink

Jan 18, 2019 - 3:01:11 PM
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50804 posts since 12/14/2005

Just so you know how common we MIKE people are:
MICHAEL was in the Top Ten names given to male children born in the US (& possibly Canada,too) since 1800 or so.

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