El Dorado

Posted by: floyd jane

El Dorado - 01/06/19 02:53 PM

Through the 16th and 17th centuries, European explorers searched for a legendary (mythical) "City Of Gold" - El Dorado - in the New World ... (see below links to learn more)

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/archaeology/el-dorado/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Dorado

In 1849, Edgar Allan Poe published a poem about the search for El Dorado.
I will post that below...

In 1979, The Philadelphia Inquirer published a 2-page story about an all-night diner in the bowels of downtown Philly... and the cast of characters that found their way there in the wee hours of the morning. The El Dorado Diner. (I tried, but could not find an archve of the story).


I combined it all into a song (a rather long one - there was a lot to tell).
There are references to the Poe poem - which you will only "get" by reading the poem (the post below this - it's quite short).
Most of the characters in the song came from the Philadelphia Inquirer article.

Telling the story (singing the song) with just an acoustic guitar is "okay", but lacks something...
That "something" is now available (to me... to us), by the magic that is provided by Band-In-A-Box.
May the golden gods bless everyone at PG Music for giving us this incredible gift!!!


EL DORADO

he stops in the door til he's noticed
shouts that he's journeyed long
from somewhere in space
but they all know his face
old man, quit putting us on

the food and the coffee are cheap here
so the talk fits in just fine
spaceman orders pot roast
potatoes and gravy
gets the coffee for his panhandled dimes

   your search for el dorado
   is coming to a close
   the city is cold
   where shadows unfold
   to reveal what the gallant night knows

they drink their filled of what they can afford
then flock to the el dorado
the bars have all closed
each of them knows
there's no other place he can go

the sign in the window invites "tables for ladies"
but no lady would ever come near
so they provide their own company
talk to themselves
or to the shadows that directed them here

   your search for el dorado
   is coming to a close
   the city is cold
   where shadows unfold
   to reveal what the gallant night knows

the general talks of the big war
he bought his bravery from a man down the street
a pawn shop hero
battling beer
oh, too often he falls in defeat

joseph is a prophet of doom
the stock market will crash, wait and see
so jimmy gave his savings
for holy cross in the seventh
doc gives them opinions for free

   your search for el dorado
   is coming to a close
   the city is cold
   where shadows unfold
   to reveal what the gallant night knows

swaying to the jukebox while doc sing along
JP serves his ghetto gourmets
a spatula for his septor
a crew cut for his crown
his kingdom, this all-night cafe

jimmy and the general dream of winning
the spaceman and the prophet watch the door
JP and the ladies
who never come near
dance one final waltz 'round the floor

   your search for el dorado
   is coming to a close
   the city is cold
   where shadows unfold
   to reveal what the gallant night knows
   the gallant night knows





The Golden BAND:

Style is _JBALADP.STY (Jazz Ballad with Piano (85 RS))

RealTracks in style: ~481:Bass, Acoustic, Jazz Ballad Sw 085
RealTracks in style: ~487:Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm Jazz Ballad Sw 085
RealTracks in song: ~750:Sax, Tenor, Soloist Jazz Ballad Sw 060
RealDrums in style: JazzTerryClarke^02-a,b:Brushes



I hope you enjoy the journey.
The search continues...

floyd
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/06/19 02:54 PM

Eldorado
By Edgar Allan Poe

Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’

‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’


Source: The Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
Posted by: PeterF

Re: El Dorado - 01/06/19 03:39 PM

floyd,

Well that was stunning. Wonderful story telling, melodic chorus, nice jazz band (an unexpected twist) and no surprises an excellent vocal.
Lots of talent on display and another excellent song to add to your list.

Peter
Posted by: dcuny

Re: El Dorado - 01/06/19 04:45 PM

Well, it's exactly as you described it, with exactly the same level of polish I'd expect from you.

More importantly, I enjoyed the listen. smile
Posted by: Greg Johnson

Re: El Dorado - 01/06/19 06:35 PM

WOW!!!!!!! What a tale, what a vibe, what a production, and WHAT a vocal....love the performance and the rich sound!! This is absolutely captivating, ABSOLUTELY!!! Some of the best writing I've ever heard ANYWHERE!!!! This is pure DORADO!!!!! Wonderful Floyd!!!! Take care. Greg
Posted by: rayc

Re: El Dorado - 01/06/19 08:07 PM

A bit of Tom Waits with a gallery of characters ankle deep in life archived by an excellent melody and a fine, fine, fine voice.
Up there with the sipp'n whiskey Floyd.
Posted by: BlueAttitude

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 05:07 AM

Well, that has to be one of the coolest songs I've ever heard on this site!

Really well done, Floyd, loved everything about it.
Posted by: rsdean

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 05:28 AM

Floyd,

I'm blown away by this song...

I love the way you have put this together and also the way it showcases your versatility.

"swaying to the jukebox while doc sing along
JP serves his ghetto gourmets
a spatula for his septor
a crew cut for his crown
his kingdom, this all-night cafe"

AMAZING STUFF!

Bob
Posted by: Joe -PG Music

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 07:43 AM

Great work on this Floyd! Quite enjoyed the overall vibe to this. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: 44kfl

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 07:45 AM

gallant night (knight) love it

stretching the writing muscles !!!

a fine write, great presentation

reminds me of BJ Piano Man (great scenery, fleshed out characters)

It's like I know these guys, I've wandered into this place needing a late night caffeine fix

I can smell the grease and feel the dying dreams

feel a bond with these soldiers

enjoyed the heck out of it,

Kenny
Posted by: David Snyder

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 08:08 AM


Floyd,

This is really cool. I like arrangement you chose for this.

I can totally hear Tom Waits doing this. In fact, it sounded very much like a Tom Waits song to me, just sung by someone with a silky smooth voice, and not a truck load of gravel.

Great write man!!!

smile
Posted by: Belladonna

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 09:50 AM

Pure wonderful story telling here. Love all the imaginary. I sure it was challenging to write but you pulled it off masterfully. Reminds me of Jimmy Webb's storytelling. The vocals are excellent and love the foreboding melody. The instruments provide a sassy, jazzy sort of 1920s backdrop for this story. Great prosody!!!
Posted by: beatmaster

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 11:44 AM

what a mix, what a story, what a song, and what a singer.


Excellent sound all round on this.

Really enjoyed this.
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 01:31 PM

Originally Posted By: PeterF
floyd,

Well that was stunning. Wonderful story telling, melodic chorus, nice jazz band (an unexpected twist) and no surprises an excellent vocal.
Lots of talent on display and another excellent song to add to your list.

Peter


Thanks for that very nice review, Peter!!
Posted by: Robertkc

Re: El Dorado - 01/07/19 03:24 PM

Floyd,

One of the best lyrics I`ve ever read on this site ( yup, they make a darn good read without the music),and the music is just right to get the feel of that diner and those brokedown characters.
Brilliant in all respects!

Robert
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/08/19 06:08 AM

Originally Posted By: dcuny
Well, it's exactly as you described it, with exactly the same level of polish I'd expect from you.

More importantly, I enjoyed the listen. smile


Thanks, David. Glad you enjoyed it...
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: El Dorado - 01/08/19 06:21 AM

cool take on some jazz. I like reading the poems of the classic writers.
Posted by: jannesan

Re: El Dorado - 01/08/19 11:44 AM

Very nice feel. The story and the band bring images from time of gold rush. Excellent arrangement and vocals.

Janne
Posted by: HearToLearn

Re: El Dorado - 01/08/19 11:52 AM

With my bronchitis I'm not supposed to be around smoke; but this club was worth it!

I'm not kidding when I say I NEVER know what your songs are going to sound like. Seriously. Over the course of a few months think of the styles you've covered.Saying it's a Floyd Jane song only gives you that it will be a well written, well produced, well delivered song. Beyond that...you'll just have to listen.

You know I love the "mood" a song creates. This is ALL mood with a great story. What an ambitious lyric write that is pulled off (seemingly) effortlessly.

Quote:
to reveal what the gallant night knows


This line specifically gave me goose bumps/pimples/? with how you sang it. Your timbre was PERFECTION for it. The whole song was sung really well.

I found the bongo solo in the middle out of place though (just seeing if you are paying attention). The sax was beautiful as was the treatment of the bass and drums.

That's all I've got without going on too long. Great song man! Great song!
Posted by: Jim

Re: El Dorado - 01/08/19 03:46 PM

Excellently thought out, written, sung, & produced...
I also liked the play on Poe's words, like your use of "to reveal what the gallant night knows"...
It makes me wonder...
If Poe were alive today would he only be a poet, or would he also be a songwriter presenting songs on this forum?
Posted by: bluage

Re: El Dorado - 01/08/19 08:17 PM

Floyd Jane laugh !!!

God gawd a'mighty! Where you been hidin' that jazz bone you done dug up for this here song, "El Dorado" ??? Will wonders never cease...

Better watch out! Tom Waits might resort to all kinds of trickery to steal this one away from you. It's got the spirit of the night and many bottles to be emptied. Yep, ol' Tom would love this.

"a spatula for his septor
a crew cut for his crown
his kingdom, this all-night cafe..."

Now, listen here, "fj", you gotta...you just gotta know that's as cool and clever a lyric as you ever wrote. You mean to tell me you got all this inspiration from an archaic poem and a news story??? Holy guacamole, Batman! You're a man with many musical souls, yessiree, a reg'lar jack-of-all-jukeboxes.

Please excuse me while give 'er another listen...

Shaking my head in playful disbelief,

LOREN


Posted by: Skyline

Re: El Dorado - 01/09/19 06:42 AM

Another stunner Floyd. The whole piece conjures up for me a vivid picture and mood which is a masterful thing to have done with a song. The music is a perfect foil to the louche lyrics. And you always write great choruses!
A simply perfect closer to side 2 of the album! wink

Regards
John
Posted by: Crossroads

Re: El Dorado - 01/09/19 09:18 AM

Floyd,

that is far more than just impressive - a masterpiece.
Congrats on this one!

Stefan
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/09/19 05:52 PM

Originally Posted By: Greg Johnson
WOW!!!!!!! What a tale, what a vibe, what a production, and WHAT a vocal....love the performance and the rich sound!! This is absolutely captivating, ABSOLUTELY!!! Some of the best writing I've ever heard ANYWHERE!!!! This is pure DORADO!!!!! Wonderful Floyd!!!! Take care. Greg


Greg - I think I'll just sit back and bask in that for a while.... smile smile smile
Much appreciated.
Posted by: Rustyspoon#

Re: El Dorado - 01/09/19 05:57 PM

FJ, putting the sweet stuff aside,

To my taste, from what I have heard of yours, this is one of your best tunes. Period.

Thank you!
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/10/19 08:41 AM

Originally Posted By: rayc
A bit of Tom Waits with a gallery of characters ankle deep in life archived by an excellent melody and a fine, fine, fine voice.
Up there with the sipp'n whiskey Floyd.


Thanks for that, Ray. (pour me some of that, will ya?)
Posted by: dani48

Re: El Dorado - 01/10/19 02:22 PM

Hi, Floyd !:))

I have the opinion that
this is your best tune
vocaliter that is ! :))

The feeling was there
from the first chord
and held one enchanted
thru til the end !

Absolutely super !

Cheers
Dani
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/11/19 10:29 AM

Originally Posted By: BlueAttitude
Well, that has to be one of the coolest songs I've ever heard on this site!

Really well done, Floyd, loved everything about it.


What a nice thing to say, Dave! Thanks!!
Posted by: W. Tracy Parnell

Re: El Dorado - 01/11/19 04:09 PM

Great job, very good vocals.
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/12/19 11:12 AM

Originally Posted By: rsdean
Floyd,

I'm blown away by this song...

I love the way you have put this together and also the way it showcases your versatility.

"swaying to the jukebox while doc sing along
JP serves his ghetto gourmets
a spatula for his septor
a crew cut for his crown
his kingdom, this all-night cafe"

AMAZING STUFF!

Bob


Bob - if I can get that kind of reaction from a word-guy like you, I am quite pleased... smile Thanks.
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/12/19 08:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Joe -PG Music
Great work on this Floyd! Quite enjoyed the overall vibe to this. Thanks for sharing!


Joe - Thanks for having a listen...
Posted by: Scott C

Re: El Dorado - 01/13/19 04:44 AM

Wow Floyd what a cool song. So different from your last pieces. Jazzy. Such a great story and so easy to follow. Mix is so clear and precise. Well done Floyd
Posted by: Ezekiel's Storm

Re: El Dorado - 01/13/19 08:28 AM

MAGNUS OPUS! That term sums up this track. Absolutely superb vocal performance. You're right: An acoustic guitar accompaniment would not convey this song well enough. Excellent style choice. I cannot imagine any other accompaniment working as well as this one.
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: El Dorado - 01/13/19 01:38 PM

FJ the master storyteller!! This is certainly a different backing than we usually hear for your vocal/lyrics but man does it work! This is a very good production by any measure! Thanks, Torrey
Posted by: F.M.M.

Re: El Dorado - 01/13/19 03:29 PM

hey Floyd totally engaging great write well arrange vocal was super eric
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/13/19 08:55 PM

Originally Posted By: 44kfl
gallant night (knight) love it

stretching the writing muscles !!!

a fine write, great presentation

reminds me of BJ Piano Man (great scenery, fleshed out characters)

It's like I know these guys, I've wandered into this place needing a late night caffeine fix

I can smell the grease and feel the dying dreams

feel a bond with these soldiers

enjoyed the heck out of it,

Kenny


Kenny - thanks for the great review. A comparison to Piano Man is certainly smile-producing smile smile smile (3 in fact)... I would expect you would know these guys, yes!

And I hope you are already writing a song with "the smell of grease and the feel of dying dreams"... (you are a natural).
Posted by: Charlie Fogle

Re: El Dorado - 01/14/19 04:50 AM

Excellent storytelling. All the elements, arrangement, production and performance come together nicely with the storyline. I enjoyed my listen.
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/14/19 02:45 PM

Originally Posted By: David Snyder

Floyd,

This is really cool. I like arrangement you chose for this.

I can totally hear Tom Waits doing this. In fact, it sounded very much like a Tom Waits song to me, just sung by someone with a silky smooth voice, and not a truck load of gravel.

Great write man!!!

smile


Thanks, David. Next time you run into Tom, let him know this is here waiting for him...

smile
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/15/19 08:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Belladonna
Pure wonderful story telling here. Love all the imaginary. I sure it was challenging to write but you pulled it off masterfully. Reminds me of Jimmy Webb's storytelling. The vocals are excellent and love the foreboding melody. The instruments provide a sassy, jazzy sort of 1920s backdrop for this story. Great prosody!!!


Thanks, Donna. Appreciate that...


Originally Posted By: beatmaster
what a mix, what a story, what a song, and what a singer.


Excellent sound all round on this.

Really enjoyed this.


Thanks! beatmaster...
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/15/19 01:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Robertkc
Floyd,

One of the best lyrics I`ve ever read on this site ( yup, they make a darn good read without the music),and the music is just right to get the feel of that diner and those brokedown characters.
Brilliant in all respects!

Robert


Robert - You gotta KNOW I appreciate that review!!
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/16/19 05:35 AM

Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
cool take on some jazz. I like reading the poems of the classic writers.


okay...

Originally Posted By: jannesan
Very nice feel. The story and the band bring images from time of gold rush. Excellent arrangement and vocals.

Janne


Thanks, Janne...
Posted by: Janice & Bud

Re: El Dorado - 01/16/19 06:42 AM

Janice vividly described a scenario with Frank wearing a tilted fedora strolling through different scenes on the set.

She further said the scenes are of different people in a diner, all chrome in B&W, and she could smell the cooking and coffee and see the cigarette smoke.

Then we were melding Frank with Waits and a beatnik scene smile

The allusions to the poem were very effective as was your vocal performance and the terrific jazz group.

This is a wonderful addition to your catalog sitting along with Ybor City, Clare And The Wonderland Waltz and In The City.

Simply superb story telling!

J&B
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/16/19 06:28 PM

Originally Posted By: HearToLearn
With my bronchitis I'm not supposed to be around smoke; but this club was worth it!

I'm not kidding when I say I NEVER know what your songs are going to sound like. Seriously. Over the course of a few months think of the styles you've covered.Saying it's a Floyd Jane song only gives you that it will be a well written, well produced, well delivered song. Beyond that...you'll just have to listen.

You know I love the "mood" a song creates. This is ALL mood with a great story. What an ambitious lyric write that is pulled off (seemingly) effortlessly.

Quote:
to reveal what the gallant night knows


This line specifically gave me goose bumps/pimples/? with how you sang it. Your timbre was PERFECTION for it. The whole song was sung really well.

I found the bongo solo in the middle out of place though (just seeing if you are paying attention). The sax was beautiful as was the treatment of the bass and drums.

That's all I've got without going on too long. Great song man! Great song!


I will defend that bongo solo to my dying day!!!

Other than THAT, thanks for the great comments!

wink
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/18/19 07:44 AM

Originally Posted By: Jim
Excellently thought out, written, sung, & produced...
I also liked the play on Poe's words, like your use of "to reveal what the gallant night knows"...
It makes me wonder...
If Poe were alive today would he only be a poet, or would he also be a songwriter presenting songs on this forum?


Thanks, Jim.

I think if Poe were alive today, he'd be a drugged-out Rock'n'Roll star (much like he was in his own time). Tabloid fodder...



Originally Posted By: bluage
Floyd Jane laugh !!!

God gawd a'mighty! Where you been hidin' that jazz bone you done dug up for this here song, "El Dorado" ??? Will wonders never cease...

Better watch out! Tom Waits might resort to all kinds of trickery to steal this one away from you. It's got the spirit of the night and many bottles to be emptied. Yep, ol' Tom would love this.

"a spatula for his septor
a crew cut for his crown
his kingdom, this all-night cafe..."

Now, listen here, "fj", you gotta...you just gotta know that's as cool and clever a lyric as you ever wrote. You mean to tell me you got all this inspiration from an archaic poem and a news story??? Holy guacamole, Batman! You're a man with many musical souls, yessiree, a reg'lar jack-of-all-jukeboxes.

Please excuse me while give 'er another listen...

Shaking my head in playful disbelief,

LOREN


Loren - Thanks for having a listen and for the fun comments.

Now and again, we should all spread our wings a bit, dontcha think?
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/19/19 08:37 AM

Originally Posted By: Skyline
Another stunner Floyd. The whole piece conjures up for me a vivid picture and mood which is a masterful thing to have done with a song. The music is a perfect foil to the louche lyrics. And you always write great choruses!
A simply perfect closer to side 2 of the album! wink

Regards
John


John - Thanks for that really nice comment. (Maybe it is time I put out another album smile )




Originally Posted By: Crossroads
Floyd,

that is far more than just impressive - a masterpiece.
Congrats on this one!

Stefan


Stefan - I cannot ask for a better comment than that!!! Thanks!
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/19/19 03:20 PM

Originally Posted By: Rustyspoon#
FJ, putting the sweet stuff aside,

To my taste, from what I have heard of yours, this is one of your best tunes. Period.

Thank you!


Thanks, Misha...
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/20/19 05:15 AM

Originally Posted By: dani48
Hi, Floyd !:))

I have the opinion that
this is your best tune
vocaliter that is ! :))

The feeling was there
from the first chord
and held one enchanted
thru til the end !

Absolutely super !

Cheers
Dani


Thanks, Dani!
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/20/19 06:59 PM

Originally Posted By: W. Tracy Parnell
Great job, very good vocals.


Thanks for having a listen
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/21/19 07:38 AM

Originally Posted By: Scott C
Wow Floyd what a cool song. So different from your last pieces. Jazzy. Such a great story and so easy to follow. Mix is so clear and precise. Well done Floyd


Thanks for the nice review, Scott...
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/22/19 06:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Ezekiel's Storm
MAGNUS OPUS! That term sums up this track. Absolutely superb vocal performance. You're right: An acoustic guitar accompaniment would not convey this song well enough. Excellent style choice. I cannot imagine any other accompaniment working as well as this one.


Thanks, Scott! That is a term I have not seen used before smile ... I truly appreciate it...


Originally Posted By: Torrey Bliss
FJ the master storyteller!! This is certainly a different backing than we usually hear for your vocal/lyrics but man does it work! This is a very good production by any measure! Thanks, Torrey


Thanks for the nice comments, Torrey...
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/23/19 09:39 AM

Originally Posted By: F.M.M.
hey Floyd totally engaging great write well arrange vocal was super eric


Thanks for having a listen, eric...


Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
Excellent storytelling. All the elements, arrangement, production and performance come together nicely with the storyline. I enjoyed my listen.


Always pleased to hear your impressions of a song and it's production, Charlie. Thanks...



Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
Janice vividly described a scenario with Frank wearing a tilted fedora strolling through different scenes on the set.

She further said the scenes are of different people in a diner, all chrome in B&W, and she could smell the cooking and coffee and see the cigarette smoke.

Then we were melding Frank with Waits and a beatnik scene smile

The allusions to the poem were very effective as was your vocal performance and the terrific jazz group.

This is a wonderful addition to your catalog sitting along with Ybor City, Clare And The Wonderland Waltz and In The City.

Simply superb story telling!

J&B


Thanks for that fine review! And I love the fact that you would recognize the connection between the four songs you mentioned - they all "come from the same place" in more ways than one... smile
Posted by: furry

Re: El Dorado - 01/23/19 09:55 AM

What a great song, and a super great story as well Floyd. LOVED THIS to bits
Posted by: Al-David

Re: El Dorado - 01/23/19 10:09 AM

Hello Floyd,

I thought I'd commented on this when I listened to it a few days ago. So much for what I think! Between trips to and from the hospital and taking Di around to various appointments, I guess I just let it get away.

Some folks assemble words into some sort of format. There are folks who write a pretty dang good lyric. There are folks who write and compose a full piece of fabulous music. And then there are those very few who belong to the Floyd Jane Club. And those are the rarely gifted ones who know how to massage the human emotion into blissful submission and take them on journeys no one else can. It's a treat and a privilege to have been massaged by the president of the club.

I agree with my good friend, Stefan. This passes impressive by a huge margin and takes residence with the masterpieces of my era.

Alan
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: El Dorado - 01/24/19 05:52 AM

Originally Posted By: furry
What a great song, and a super great story as well Floyd. LOVED THIS to bits


Graham - that is very nice of you to say...


Originally Posted By: Al-David
Hello Floyd,

I thought I'd commented on this when I listened to it a few days ago. So much for what I think! Between trips to and from the hospital and taking Di around to various appointments, I guess I just let it get away.

Some folks assemble words into some sort of format. There are folks who write a pretty dang good lyric. There are folks who write and compose a full piece of fabulous music. And then there are those very few who belong to the Floyd Jane Club. And those are the rarely gifted ones who know how to massage the human emotion into blissful submission and take them on journeys no one else can. It's a treat and a privilege to have been massaged by the president of the club.

I agree with my good friend, Stefan. This passes impressive by a huge margin and takes residence with the masterpieces of my era.

Alan


Alan - Thank you - you are always very generous in your comments... Hope all is going well for you guys...
Posted by: Noel96

Re: El Dorado - 01/25/19 07:04 PM

floyd,

This is a really, really fine listen!

I don’t recall ever hearing you sing anything before that is so comfortably tailored in the jazz idiom that it could be called ‘bespoke’ jazz. This is a perfect fit for you in every possible way. Your vocals carry the story magnificently in the same way as Bobby Darin’s vocals in “Mack The Knife” (see Youtube clip below); the arrangement is superb (I love that jazz bass – that’s one I haven’t yet discovered); the mix has the kind of clarity that I strive for but rarely manage to obtain. In short, you have excelled (once again)!



Before talking about your lyrics, I’d like to look at the Edgar Allan Poe’s poem that you’ve also included in the thread. Thanks for that smile What I particularly like about Poe’s work are: (a) its AABCCB rhyme scheme and (b) its development of content.

To my mind, this poem serves as a very useful template for any lyricist or songwriter who is looking for ways with which to develop song lyrics. While the stanzas of this poem journey through time, their strongest development is created by the effect that time has on the protagonist.

In the first stanza,

Quote:
Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of El Dorado.

Poe sets the scene. This is largely ‘external’ imagery.
  • Poe gives the reader enough purposeful words to build a clear and vivid picture of a “gallant knight” who has been on the road for some time and whose morale is high. For the most part, these words are ‘external’ in that they show the reader a scene that’s on the ‘outside’ of the leading character in the same way that one would obtain the information by looking at this knight on the stage against a set and watching him journey from stage left to stage right.

In the second stanza,

Quote:
But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

Poe expands on the protagonist's feelings using both external and internal imagery.
  • First we see that he has aged since stanza 1. This visual information is ‘external’; it is something that is on the outside of the character. Then, however, Poe moves us into ‘internal’ imagery with information that we cannot see and that comes from within the mind and body of the protagonist. Poe, as narrator, talks about how the leading character is feeling and how the knight’s morale is waning as the years of searching for El Dorada have taken their toll.

In the third stanza,

Quote:
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’

Poe expands even more on the internal workings of the protagonist and also adds abstract and philosophy-like imagery.
  • While failing strength is ‘external’ in that it can easily be seen by those watching the character, it is also ‘internal’ in ways that an audience cannot see unless a narrator provides the information. The information that Poe gives us in the ‘internal’ realm seems to suggest that the protagonist is possibly flirting with either potential madness and/or knows that he is dying.

And in the fourth and last stanza,

Quote:
‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’

Poe uses imagery that is abstract and in the domain of philosophy to bring the story to a close.
  • Here the narrator seems to indicate that El Dorado is a death quest (or maybe a fools errand) that never ends. As I hear these lyrics, they are ‘big picture’ images. Poe also figuatively “pulls the lyric’s ‘camera’ back into a long-shot by letting us see mountains, the moon and metaphorical valleys.

Summarising the poem’s development, it can be seen that…

  • 1. The setting moves through time.
  • 2. The language starts with external-based, scene-setting imagery.
  • 3. Language then moves from external-based imagery to a glimpse of the internal workings of the protagonist (i,e, thoughts and feelings).
  • 4. The words that Poe uses to ‘bring the story home’ become images that are increasingly based on abstract and philosophical language; metaphor assists this purpose. (From an Internal/External perspective, abstract language is also regarded as ‘internal’ and metaphors have both 'internal' and 'external' components.)
  • 5. In the final stanza, the language becomes philosophical and abstract and pulls the figurative camera back into a long-shot so that big-picture (metaphorical) images are visible.

=====

On to your lyrics now smile

I love the way that you have used double verses followed by a chorus to create four single song sections (just like Poe’s 4 stanzas but lyrically heftier!). I also admired how you used XABBA combined with XAXXA rhyme schemes to build your double verses. Having only two end-of-line rhymes in the second of the two verses helped drive the lyrics into the chorus for me. It’s also worth noting that the first two verses (i.e. first double verse) set the scene and the chorus that follows them is like a philosophical summary of the past, present and future all rolled into one (at least, that’s how my ears heard this section).

Your first double-verse, just like’s Poe’s first stanza, is mostly external information that sets the scene for location and types of character(s). I particularly liked how you used “space”, “spaceman” and “...they all know his face, old man quit putting us on” to establish that this guy is not young and is also seemingly delusional.

In your second double-verse, again similar to Poe’s second stanza, you start with external images and then move into narrative that provides ‘internal’ information in that if the narrator had not passed this information on, the listener would not have been able to work it out because it’s ‘not on the outside’.

Double-verse three now moves into the realm of the abstract with images created by the other characters present. There’s occasional metaphor such as “prophet of doom” and “pawn shop hero” that serves to help emphasise the abstract content of these verses.

In the fourth set of double-verses, metaphor has a field day! This amplifies abstract content really well and develops the lyrics superbly. The listener hears about “ghetto gourmets” and kings with their own versions of septres, crowns and kingdoms. In the very last verse, like Poe, you pull the camera right back into a long-shot so that we can see how everything is happening all at once at El Dorado.

I really like the overall development technique that you’ve used! At no time in the nearly five minutes of listening did my concentration wander. You held me spellbound.

In addition to many terrific and fresh rhymes throughout, I also have to congratulate you on the rhyme “hero” with “beer-oh”. How clever is that! That use of enjambment to create rhyme is one that has pretty much disappeared from today’s lyric writing. The song that I admire most that uses this technique is “Mountain Greenery”. It’s incredibly clever.

Below is a link to an article I wrote for the Songwriting Forum a little while back on “Mountain Greenery” and Lorenz Hart’s rhyming. (I still haven’t managed to achieve this technique! Maybe one day.)

https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=426386&Searchpage=1&Main=63658

I thoroughly enjoyed "El Dorado" song. You should definitely do more in this style!

All the best,
Noel

P.S. My apologies for typing so much! It was a very hot day here yesterday (40 C / 110 F) and I had to find ways to occupy myself while cooped up inside. Talking about "El Dorado" filled in the time nicely.
Posted by: mkg50 (Mike G)

Re: El Dorado - 01/27/19 08:01 PM

I think rayc's earlier comments sum up this song up best: "A bit of Tom Waits with a gallery of characters ankle deep in life archived by an excellent melody and a fine, fine, fine voice."
I loved the concept of the song as well as the performance.
Mike