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#521663 - 01/31/19 02:01 PM [User Showcase] You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife)
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
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Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Tomorrow is our 27th anniversary (Feb 1). I wrote this song and recorded it for her for our 25th anniversary, but now I'm polishing it up for my album.

You Are My Song (Vicki's Song)

YouTube Video: Your Are My Song (Vicki's Song)

I did all of this before I got Band in a Box in Reaper (My DAW of choice), and I did it to the best of my ability, recording a rhythm guitar track and a pattern picking guitar track played by yours truly. I played xylophone on it, too, and it took me many, many takes to get it right because I do not really play xylophone.

I faked the bass track by shifting the rhythm guitar track down an octave and putting a low pass filter on it. Not too bad. And I'm rather proud of my midi drum track I programmed every beat - to sound exactly like what I wanted. I used the VSTi plugin MT-PowrDrumKit by Manda Audio.

It was basically all monural, I hadn't panned it at all. It was a pain to get the volumes of the tracks adjusted so that it didn't all sound like one big muddy mess, I think because of the lack of panning. And my original vocals were not up to what I'm capable of now. So I panned everything, added ONE Band in a Box track (I looked so hard for something that fit the feeling of the song, this is all I could find but it did the trick), "1593: Fiddle, Background Pop 16ths Ev 065". I actually generated two different arrangements and used some of both in it.

And I re-recorded all of the vocals except for my "Ooooh" tracks.

The original lyrical inspiration was the realization that the best things in my life, our kids, their wives, and our grandkids ... and of course her ... she is the center of all that. "Everything that's good in my life revolves around you". That line just popped into my head. It sounded like Peter Cetera singing it (it did!). But I don't. I did throw a little tribute to him in there in the backup vocals the first time I sing it. Subtle. But it's meant to mimic his style and a bit of his sound.

It has also occurred to me that ... yes, more women find me attractive now than they did before her -- but that I wouldn't be the guy they are attracted to if it hadn't been for her. She gave me space, supported me, and allowed me to develop social skills and talents along the way. I owe it to her.

The rest of it -- well when I think about what my life was like before her, how she basically rescued me from a life of depression and yeah, frankly lonliness. I had a fairly socially sheltered childhood and I had crappy social skills through college. I met her basically at the end of my college days. She was the single lady downstairs with two young boys, who eventually became mine.

She saw something good in me and allowed me to develop. And, well, here we are, 30 years later, married for 27 of them. What can I say?

It's about ready to re-present to her tomorrow. Well she knows I've been working on it. She can hear me through the door in the studio. But she hasn't heard the new mix. It's way better.

You Are My Song
(Vicki's Song)

I was alone and lost
And tossed across the open ocean
A message in a bottle
Longing to be found and opened
Wounded, weary, wandering
Burning in the salt of my own tears
From chasing after butterflies
For so many years

You came along like a melody ...

Now you are my life
You are my song
You are my love

Without you by my side
To help me find my way
I would never have become
The man I am today
Living, loving, learning
Laughing in the face of my old fears
I'm running with the butterflies
After so many years

You came along like a melody ...

Now you are my life
(You came along and the message is a song to be sung to your melody)
You are my song
(Put 'em together and you have a love letter that was written for you and me)
You are my love
(Now it seems you're the answer to my dreams
'cause everything that's good in my life revolves around you)

Without you by my side to help me find my way
(You are my life)
I would never have become the man I am today
(You are my song)
Living, loving, learning - now everything that's good in my life revolves around you
(You are my love)


Edited by Phil Leith (02/01/19 09:25 AM)

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#521680 - 01/31/19 03:53 PM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 06/16/00
Posts: 1944
Loc: Texas
Jim Offline
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Registered: 06/16/00
Posts: 1944
Loc: Texas
Very, very, very good...
Dripping with honey...
A nice 27th anniversary gift indeed!
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#521763 - 02/01/19 03:02 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 06/28/06
Posts: 7174
Loc: Scottish Highlands
furry Offline
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Registered: 06/28/06
Posts: 7174
Loc: Scottish Highlands
LOVE this one Phil, your wife must have been thrilled to bits

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#521788 - 02/01/19 06:49 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: furry]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
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Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Thank you. Furry!

She cried. Tears fell all over me.

Happy cry.


Edited by Phil Leith (02/01/19 06:50 AM)

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#521789 - 02/01/19 06:49 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Jim]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
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Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Then I have succeeded! Mwaaa-haaa-haaa-haaaa-haaaaaa!!!

Thank you, Jim.


Edited by Phil Leith (02/01/19 06:50 AM)

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#521793 - 02/01/19 06:57 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 09/02/18
Posts: 2007
Loc: Virginia USA
Ezekiel's Storm Offline
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Registered: 09/02/18
Posts: 2007
Loc: Virginia USA
I can see why your wife loves this. "You came along like a melody": This is the perfect line. For songwriters, a melody seemingly comes out of nowhere and is the most beautiful thing to us. The chorus is exceptional. I think you've captured the thoughts of all happily married men. Thanks!

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#521801 - 02/01/19 07:21 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Wow - this is a beautiful tribute, Phil smile I love the harmonies, and you can truly hear the sincerity in your voice on this song. Nicely catchy as well, and showcases a strong understanding of songwriting as well.

You should be proud of this one - thanks for sharing!
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Deryk

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#521813 - 02/01/19 09:23 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Deryk - PG Music]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
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Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Thanks, I kinda am, Deryk :-)

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#521855 - 02/01/19 03:52 PM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 01/18/16
Posts: 1664
Joe -PG Music Offline
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Registered: 01/18/16
Posts: 1664
Nice work on this Phil, very inspiring and capitivating lyrics. This very clearly evokes a mood. Well done!
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#521916 - 02/02/19 01:35 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 2991
Loc: Finland
jannesan Offline
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Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 2991
Loc: Finland
Congratulations! Thanks for sharing the touching story behind the lyrics. Really lovely song, beautiful melody and catchy chorus. I like the transformation from "chasing after butterflies" to "running with the butterflies"

Janne
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#522009 - 02/02/19 10:27 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 6910
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
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Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 6910
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Cool tune Phil. Super vocal and backtrack. Well done

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#522033 - 02/02/19 01:07 PM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 1679
Loc: Cremona-Italy
Sergio Guarneri Offline
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Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 1679
Loc: Cremona-Italy

Very nice and sentimental song.
Nice listening.

Sergio
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#522070 - 02/02/19 03:28 PM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 4681
Loc: United States
Torrey Bliss Offline
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Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 4681
Loc: United States
You did a beautiful job on this Phil! The programming on the drums was fantastic, you achieved an excellent sound and avoided the pitfalls so many face in trying to do too much or be to repetitive with fills and such! What I am most impressed with though is the vocal work! The lead vocal is very good....so smooth and resonates so well. The background vocals send this one over the top for my taste. I loved those suspended harmony parts in the chorus! Happy anniversary to you and your wife and congratulations on an excellent track! Thanks, Torrey
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#522133 - 02/02/19 10:58 PM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 16074
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
AudioTrack Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 16074
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Fantastic production from start to finish. Beautiful, warm, sung with feeling and just so well presented.

Vicki must be just so very happy.
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#522203 - 02/03/19 04:42 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 5373
Loc: New York
rsdean Offline
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Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 5373
Loc: New York
Phil,

Beautiful song. Nicely mixed and a very cool vocal.

Bob

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#522243 - 02/03/19 07:44 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 10523
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 10523
Loc: Florida
Phil,

A very nice song. Good arrangement and a good mix.

The vocals are exceptional.

Congrats!

fj

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#522415 - 02/04/19 07:00 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Torrey Bliss]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
That makes me feel really good, Torrey, thank you. I *still* struggle with liking my lead vocals and I even know I've gotten a lot better. It's probably true with everyone here, I hear every little thing I think could sound better, while others just hear the music because they're not comparing it to what's in my head.

The harmonies ... if you've been following my stuff I'm big on that, always have been. Such a huge fan of The Beach Boys, Beatles, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Mamas & Papas, the Byrds, the Hollies ... and the harmony has a lot to do with that. I also used them a lot before BIAB because I can barely play the guitar, much less other instruments, and so I filled a lot in with a lot of backup vocals and I think it's just kind of become my "style".

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#522419 - 02/04/19 07:50 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 2360
Loc: Middletown, PA.
44kfl Offline
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Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 2360
Loc: Middletown, PA.
Cool song

very nice vocals

good mix and arrangement

enjoyed the listen,

Kenny

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#522568 - 02/04/19 08:26 PM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: jannesan]
Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Phil Leith Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/17/18
Posts: 205
Loc: Columbia, MO
Thank you, Janne ... from Finland, no less! I liked that turn of phrase as well ... it just flowed naturally.

I have to tell you, I live in the middle of the US, in Missouri. When I was a senior in High School, we had this Finnish exchange student named Johanna ... man ... easily the most beautiful girl in our school that year. Very nice young woman. Looked her up recently, she's an eye doctor in Helsinki today, and looks just as stunning at 55.

Sorry. "Finland". It's a "trigger" for that wonderful memory. :-)

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#522685 - 02/05/19 10:13 AM [User Showcase] Re: You Are My Song (a power ballad for my wife) [Re: Phil Leith]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 12278
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 12278
Loc: GA USA
Excellent harmonies!

Enjoyed the listen.

J&B
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