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#132248 - 10/29/11 10:50 AM [User Showcase] Soldiers Came
Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 80
Loc: Minnesota, USA
kerkenat Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 80
Loc: Minnesota, USA
Soldiers Came- a story about the Laos/Vietnam war, and my wifes' escape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUeli-CtgRM

This song could really use a actual video, instead of the google-image montage.

If anyone is qualified (and interested) speak up.

The vocals are performed by Jennifer from StudioPros.com.

All other tracks are from BIAB. Also used Reaper, Vegas and Sibelius in the production.

****** Song Summary *************
Title: Soldiers Came
File:Soldiers Came4.MGU
Key=C , Tempo 105, Length (m:s)=4:20
Style is _POPAMER.STY (PopAmerican Even 8ths [120RS])
Style MIDI Instruments are :
RealTracks in style: ~~387:Bass, Electric, Metal Ev 085
RealTracks in style: 629:Guitar, Electric, Rhythm PopAmericanDirty Ev 120
RealTracks in style: 632:Guitar, Electric, Rhythm PopAmericanMuted Ev 120
RealTracks in style: ~~362:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Ev 085
RealDrums in Style: PopAmericanEv^3-SdStkB,SnrBB

Other styles used in this song are:
_HROCKLA.Sty and
_PBALADM.Sty

Lyrics:

Soldiers Came
Intro
Looking real fine,/ ripe on the vine,/ I ain't lyin'!/ the world was mine,/
v1
It was going just fine, most of the time/
Some boys were just beginning to notice me,/
but that had to wait,/ my mom passed away,/
and war was breaking out in my country./

Villages were suddenly empty,/
my neighbors and friends were just gone,/
and then my world was shattered,/ my fam'ly got scattered,/
I ran with just the clothes I had on,/

chorus
Soldiers came, with AK- 47' s/
Matching uniforms and guns,/
Doing anything they please,/
Only thing we could do was run!/

v2
My poor tummy ached,/ no time for a break,/
and bombs kept shaking the ground,/
On and on, through fields and trees,/
Praying we wouldn't be found,/

Some older folks couldn't continue,/
some children they had to sedate,/
Some of them never woke up, oh Lord,/
we buried them all on the way,/

chorus

v3
We fin'ly arrived, the bank of the river,/
to Thailand, kissing the ground,/
and we thanked the Lord for our lives that night,/
we crossed the Mekong safe and sound,/

Many long months in the camp,/
I thought my poor mind would crack,/
and always rumours were going around,/
saying we might be sent back,/

chorus

v4
A young teenaged girl,/ all alone with no home,/
Like, whatever, why should I care?/
and then more buses arrived IN THE CAMP ONE DAY!!/
IS THAT MY SISTERS GETTING OFF OF THAT BUS DOWN THERE???/



outro
and yeah the life that we had is over forever,/
but the Thai's have been really great,/
And we got a surprise just the other day,/
they said were going to the U S A

{True story- in like, 1975}
_________________________
If ever a man had it all, it would have to be me, and ooh I love you

Climax Blues Band

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#132249 - 10/31/11 04:47 AM [User Showcase] Re: Soldiers Came [Re: kerkenat]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3104
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3104
Loc: Sacramento, California
Hi, kerkenat.

I hope you don't mind some critical feedback on your song. You've got a very compelling story here, and you've done some interesting things with the production.

And you've done a fantastic job distilling the story down to the essentials. But it feels like you've missed an opportunity to get to the emotional core of the story in the chorus.

Although the soldiers are important (in that they're the catalyst of action), I suggest that they aren't really the emotional heart of the song.

As a listener, I don't care about the soldiers so much as I care about your wife and her story. It seems to me that it's a about leaving things behind: her mother, her childhood, her village, those who died while fleeing. These are laid out in the verses, and turned around at the end where she reunites with her sister, and finally leaves the camp for a new home.

So here's my suggestion: why not make that the chorus of the song? That is, having to leave things behind, and how that made her feel? And then (in the final chorus) leaving the camp behind could add a final, new meaning.

It's also a bit dissonant hearing such a "happy" tune with such a heavy story. There are other songs that work like that, but it can be quite a trick to pull off properly.

Just my two cents...
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#132250 - 10/31/11 05:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: Soldiers Came [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 80
Loc: Minnesota, USA
kerkenat Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 80
Loc: Minnesota, USA
Hi David,

Good advice. I appreciate it.

My goal in the song, if you watched the 'google-image' montage, was to point out the powerful 'stomp-you-into-the-dirt' effect of the meddling, manipulation and power-grabbing of the surrounding superpowers upon the tiny little Kingdom of Laos.

Starting with Marx and Lenin, and then Stalin, Kruschev, Mao Tse Tung, and finally Brezhnev and LeDuan, (and the USA, who was there for awhile and then lost stomach, due to many good reasons, and pulled out of the war.)

The only thing they (the Hmong) could do was run, because they had been siding with the USA against the Soviet armed and backed North Vietnamese Army et al.

I guess it was more of a cynical historical thing that I was trying to express.

But what you said is very interesting.

You said "As a listener, I don't care about the soldiers ...", which made me realize that maybe the song could be more generally appealing if I did as you suggest and relegate the soldiers/weapons to a bridge or something, and redo the chorus to wistfully reflect on 'things lost'.

Thanks for that advice. I absolutely don't mind such critical feedback. And I'm going to revise the song.

One thing, I don't understand how it's in any way 'happy' (except in the beginning and possibly in the end)? Could you expound on that please?

But I think I'll keep this one also.


Edited by kerkenat (10/31/11 05:44 AM)
_________________________
If ever a man had it all, it would have to be me, and ooh I love you

Climax Blues Band

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#132251 - 10/31/11 11:20 AM [User Showcase] Re: Soldiers Came [Re: kerkenat]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3104
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 3104
Loc: Sacramento, California
Sorry I should have been more clear - by "happy", I was referring to the upbeat feel of the music, not the lyrics themselves.

Writing political/historical lyrics can be difficult, because you can't assume that the listener knows or cares about the politics. So the trick is to supply the information but make it appear a natural part of the story. I think Al Stewart does a good job of this - songs like Roads to Moscow, Coldest Winter in Memory and Palace of Versailles are good examples.

But it's difficult to cram all that information into a song and not sound heavy-handed. I think On The Border is more typical, where specific details are sacrificed for more general observations.

Cheers!
_________________________
-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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