Posted by: Phil Leith

Words - 02/12/19 08:31 AM


I wrote this song probably 8 or so years ago for someone I know who had taken his eye off the ball momentarily, that's about as much as I'll reveal. And the situation was corrected and everything is more than hunky-dory now. Not necessarily due to this song. He's aware I wrote it for him, but he wasn't even aware of the song until after all this passed. It was just the inspiration for the song.

It's another hybrid BIAB - Pre-BIAB arrangement. It was pretty simple to start with. The guitar you hear in the beginning is me, and it's the "riff" (probably an overstatement) that kicked the whole idea for the song off. My first recording IS out there, when I did it on my old BOSS-600 - just me and the guitar. I'd applied an effect to the guitar with this kind of hard-echo that actually made it sound like a chugging-train high-hat beat, but it was all an artifact of the guitar, and I liked it - but the performance and recording left much to be desired.

I did it again a few years later, in Reaper, with the same riff, FX dialed back, and a pattern picking track (me again) and I programmed a midi drum track which was in keeping with the slap-back "ghost drums" the guitar FX in the original recording had suggested - but is much fuller and has changeups.

Still, not up to snuff with my post BIAB productions. And I have a soft spot for this song. And my wife really likes it. So, time to polish it up for the upcoming CD.

This new version I kept my original riff and the drums, swallowed my pride a bit and dropped my pattern picking track in favor of one from BIAB (1526:Guitar, Electric, Rhythm PopPowerPushA-B Ev 120 - seriously, I can barely call myself a guitar player). I also added a bass track(1523:Bass, Electric, PopPowerA-B Ev 120), and a piano track(1535:Piano, Acoustic, Rhythm PopPowerPushA-B Ev 120), which I think adds a bit of a spiritual aspect while keeping the energy up. Re-did all the vocals, adding some backing vocals. It's a very repetitive song so I needed to break it up a bit. I looked and looked in BIAB Real Tracks Solo Guitar options for something that fit the feel.

I settled on this (2203:Guitar, Electric, Soloist PopPromiseBrent Ev16 100), though at first I thought it a bit over-the-top. But it's always been a high-energy song, and with a little slicing and dicing and re-arranging of bits and pieces, I have an arrangement I think works.

(Phil Leith/Walking Bird Music)

"I Love You" ain't just three words
That you can forget about once they've been heard
Actions speak louder than words
So come on, boy, this is your chance

"I Do" ain't just two words
That turn life to a fairy tale once they've been heard
Actions speak louder than words
So show her a little romance

Our Baby ain't just two words
He's our little miracle, the center of our Earth
Actions speak louder than words
So show him your love every day

Sometimes Words really do hurt
We say we don't mean 'em but they start a slow burn
The ashes crumble, it's too late too learn
To show her how you really feel

Actions speak louder than words
So watch what you're doing and think about her first
You can't hide it despite what you've heard
It's love and trust makes your house a home

"I'm Sorry" ain't just two words
That make everything better once they've been heard
Actions speak louder than words
So show her a little romance

"I Love You" ain't just three words
That you can forget about once they've been heard
Actions speak louder than words
So get up on your feet and dance!

Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Words - 02/12/19 12:41 PM


A good song. A well thought out lyric and a really nice melody. Very Catchy.

A good arrangement. The drop at 1:50 is well done. Very pleasant vocals. And a good mix.

An enjoyable listen.

Posted by: Scott C

Re: Words - 02/12/19 06:39 PM

Excellent backtrack Phil. Super vocal and lyric. Well done. Harmonies were excellent as well
Posted by: Jim

Re: Words - 02/13/19 01:56 AM

Impressive song...
Strong lyrics with good hooks & appeal...
Reinforcing the message "Actions speak louder than words"...
I enjoyed the listen!
Posted by: Deryk - PG Music

Re: Words - 02/13/19 08:28 AM

Wow - what a tune! Very impressive, I agree with Jim. It showcases a strong understanding of songwriting. Really powerful vocals and poignant lyrics that help them stand out. It flows magnificently well, and it perfectly as as well.

You should be proud of this one - thanks for sharing smile
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/13/19 11:49 AM

Thanks, Floyd, that means a lot to me.

I really enjoy your compositions. I think "Mistakes" is still my favorite -- I need to go through your "catalog" out there on SoundCloud and really dig into more of your work.
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/13/19 11:50 AM

Thanks, Scott. As I'm sure you know, songs are a little bit like your kids ... always want to give them the best treatment I can.
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/13/19 11:51 AM

Enjoyed the listen -- hey, can't ask for a better compliment. That's kind of what it's about. :-)
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/13/19 11:56 AM

Deryk, when it comes from the heart, you pour a lot into it.

I ran across my first draft of this song. The heart was there, but the flow wasn't.

Like most of my songs, they start out with a basic shape, and they get re-worked and honed over time as I play them, make recordings, listen to them, and work on spots that seem awkward.

There's ONE awkward spot in this song that I hear every time I listen, but I can't think of a better way to say it -- so like I've done from the beginning when I hit a spot like that, I just do my best to "sell" it! :-D
Posted by: Ember - PG Music

Re: Words - 02/13/19 05:00 PM

Wow, the lyrics seem super profound and cleverly written. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: Ezekiel's Storm

Re: Words - 02/13/19 06:22 PM

As an English teacher, I really appreciate good lyrics in a song. I really like the repetition of "words" and the change you bring to the start of each verse. Great lyrics -- they caused me to eagerly anticipate the content of each verse. Good melody and singing. Yes, very catchy--keeps me humming.
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/14/19 01:35 PM

Ezekiel's Storm ...

Thanks, I'm a lyric guy, too. A good song can have a catchy tune, or good lyrics, true. You can have one without the other and have it be enjoyable (up to a point).

But the very best songs have both!
Posted by: 44kfl

Re: Words - 02/14/19 06:13 PM

Great write

very nice vocals

a catchy song

enjoyed the listen,

Posted by: Joe -PG Music

Re: Words - 02/15/19 04:57 PM

Hi Phil, nice work on this! Really enjoyed the overall chord progression. The vocals are great too and harmonize very well with each other. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by: Crossroads

Re: Words - 02/16/19 05:53 AM

Hi Phil,

very impressive - I like everything about it: awesomebacking track, top-notch vocal, great job on the guitar! Emjoyed the listen.

Take care,

Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: Words - 02/16/19 03:13 PM

Very nice Phil! You are really stepping out there more and more with your vocal work and it's great...harmonies also! Very good song and highly enjoyable! Thanks, Torrey
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/18/19 01:07 PM

Thanks, 44kfl,Joe, Crossroads, Torrey ... this is good to hear. I'm trying to put together a dozen or so of my originals for a CD sometime this year ... in my spare time, such that it is.

Getting a bit more confident in the vocals... hopefully I won't get OVERconfident :-P

Doubt it. :-D
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/18/19 09:39 PM

A video with the final mix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqfbffL168U
Posted by: Janice & Bud

Re: Words - 02/19/19 06:25 AM

Excellent. The various permutations of "words" in the lyric is clever and delivers a good message.

Take that lyric and wrap it in a fine production featuring nice vocals, an engaging melody, a great arrangement and the result is one memorable song.

Well done!

Posted by: David Snyder

Re: Words - 02/21/19 10:44 AM

This sounds really great Phil. Super job. I could hear the vocals a little but louder though. But great song, like I said.
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/21/19 07:33 PM

Dave, there might be a little more room to amp the vocals up a touch. We'll see.

Thanks for the feedback!
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/21/19 07:40 PM

It's the bass. It's up just a bit too high and is swallowing some of the vocals.
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/22/19 10:58 AM

There. I dropped the bass track by 1db. I think that'll help a lot.
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: Words - 02/22/19 11:28 AM

nice song. Sounded good on these speakers.

Did I miss a chorus somewhere? or.... is this just a simple AAA format? Either way.... sounded good
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 02/22/19 12:49 PM

Pretty much AAA. It was one of my early compositions, which tended to be that way.

I got a comment on it on YouTube, the original "just me and the guitar" version that said "you might have something here if you could maybe give it a middle 8".

I knew it was a very repetitive song. All I had managed to do to try to address that at all was to change the melody at the beginning of what sort of comes off as a "bridge" in this version, and I had one "instrumental" break which consisted of me strumming the chord riff that goes through the whole song. Which is about all I can do very well on a guitar. Pretty boring.

I did a second version a few years ago where I'd played a finger-pattern track over the strumming and programmed the midi drums in Reaper and it sounded better, but not up to my more recent productions of songs with Band in a Box - which I only bought a year ago.

What Band in a Box allowed me to do was to add a bass, a real guitar solo, piano, some backing vocals, and I also replaced my finger-pattern picking with someone who can actually play one well, consistently. I also added a second instrumental break to help break it up even more

So the song is AAA-AA'A-A

In short, BIAB took a song that was a pretty good idea, but not very interesting-sounding overall, and let me turn it into something that people actually seem to enjoy. Good enough. Like most of my songs, they are pretty personal, and I just want to give them the best treatment I can give them to put on a CD.
Posted by: dani48

Re: Words - 02/22/19 12:56 PM

Hi, Phil !

What a wonderful tune
and so beautifully
arranged and sung !
I enjoyed it very much !:))

Posted by: dcuny

Re: Words - 02/22/19 11:17 PM

Upbeat, positive, and catchy.

Nice little song. smile
Posted by: Greg Johnson

Re: Words - 03/01/19 12:27 PM

Nicely done!! Love the retro vibe! This topic reminds me of a favorite Don Henley lyric: Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can break your heart. Nice job on this!! Take care. Greg
Posted by: Jim

Re: Words - 04/05/19 10:17 AM

I came for another listen...
Its a great little song...
Again good write!
Posted by: Catherine

Re: Words - 04/05/19 01:15 PM

Great tune Phil! The lyrics were spot on.
Posted by: Phil Leith

Re: Words - 04/06/19 06:57 AM

Thanks, Jim it is one of my favorites … of mine... which sounds weird to say. But... there it is.