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#550942 - 08/24/19 04:51 AM [User Showcase] But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper)
Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 1855
Loc: Netherlands, Haarlem
Birchwood Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 1855
Loc: Netherlands, Haarlem
Hi everyone,

The very first time I entered this forum, it was with a song called But the children play.
It is about children in refugeecamps, seeing terrible things, but always play. It's their way of surviving, I believe. But it inspired me writing this song.
And some of you said very nice things about that song. So that inspired me to keep coming back on this forum with a buch of songs. And your reactions keep inspiring me to continue that 'habit'...

But now I'm back with that first song. Only this time it is sung by Joanne Cooper, because of her beautiful voice. She couldn't resist my plea to sing it. But there was one condition: she would like to alter some parts in the song, because she is more a Folk Singer and the song wasn't like that. Of course I agreed (if only she would sing it), but only if my melody and cello stay in it. Well she did, but introduced a metall guitar!!! ... and I liked it.

The style is Readers, key is A. The new tempo is 110 bpm (the original: 120).
The new song: https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130/but-the-children-play-joanne-cooper

The original song: https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130/but-children-play-1?in=user-296497130/sets/birch-2018-part-1

I do hope you like it too,
Hans

The lyrics:
But the children play
(c) HwBerkhout, 070218

Tensions in all regions
people on the run
Nothing more to fight for
Their homes are all gone
We provide them food and shelter
but mostly not in our homelands
This is not our war, we said
So, we won't shake their hands

But the children play
in every camp they stay
While they hear their mothers cry
and see their fathers die
But children play
Regardless where they stay
They laugh and cheer
but with hearts soaked in fear

Traffickers do their evil job
their boats maybe float one mile
Drowned babies at the shores
Will only take a while
Although we're shocked to watch
we see them as a plague
They mustn't reach our borders
Therefore our aid stays vague

But the children play
although no place to stay
While they hear their parents cry
when their loved-ones die
But children play
They have nothing to say
They laugh and cheer
but with hearts soaked in fear

They saw we'd built high fences
with barbed wire all around
They expected some warm welcome
but only meet cold ground
Yes, Merkel helped them on her own
but 'Wir schaffen das' made people mad
Right-wing populists gain support
by stating humanity is bad

But the children play
where ever they stay
For justice they must wait
In every place, every state
Oh, they hear their fathers cry
while their mothers die
Still children play
'cause they have no other way

but their eyes see
terrible tragedies
And when they realized
Its us who denied
How long then do children play?
There comes a day...
But children have the right to play
and somewhere safe to stay
Somewhere safe to play
_________________________
Hans Berkhout
(Birchwood)
https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130

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#551001 - 08/24/19 11:37 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 12562
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 12562
Loc: GA USA
That is a powerful write and beautifully performed by Joanne.

The delicate backing tracks are ideal for the poignant lyric and vocals - lovely harmony.

Joanne, you seem to be exploring the lower end of your range...you sound excellent there!

J&B

_________________________
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#551099 - 08/24/19 09:30 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2811
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2811
Loc: South Africa
This was a beautiful write by Hans. When he contacted me to sing on this song I immediately agreed. I loved the concept of the song and it is certainly a topic that is near to my heart. Thank you Hans!
_________________________
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#551100 - 08/24/19 10:17 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 5143
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
rayc Offline
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Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 5143
Loc: Cooran Queensland Australia
There is a wild innocence in your lyric Hans - like the children playing despite the horrors of their lives - your lyrical style reflects that.
Oddly as I listened to Ms Cooper I heard you as well.
The metal guitar is well placed - it is a little fizzy but that's a genre thing I suspect.
Excellent singing - mains & harmonies Joanne. You've done Hans proud.
_________________________
Cheers
rayc
"What's so funny about peace, love & understanding?" - N.Lowe

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#551126 - 08/25/19 05:29 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 4629
Loc: Ontario, Canada
BlueAttitude Offline
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Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 4629
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Very good writing! You really captured the situation well I think, Hans.

Track sounds good to me, and of course Joanne always sounds great.

Nice collaboration, enjoyed the listen!

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#551146 - 08/25/19 06:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 5373
Loc: New York
rsdean Offline
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Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 5373
Loc: New York
Hans / Joanne,

A great song in the finest folk tradition...

Loved it - Joanne's vocal really shines here.

Bob

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#551207 - 08/25/19 02:08 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 10702
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 10702
Loc: Florida
Hans/Joanne,

Y'all did a nice job with this.

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#551210 - 08/25/19 02:34 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3575
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia
Rob4580 Offline
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Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 3575
Loc: Murgon Queensland Australia

Really well done on this.
Congrats to all involved.
Rob4580

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#551233 - 08/25/19 05:53 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5518
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
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Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5518
Loc: Sacramento, California
Excellent write! As Bob said, it's part of a long and important folk tradition.

Just a note - there's a small glitch at 3:32.
_________________________
-- 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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#551273 - 08/26/19 06:05 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 1855
Loc: Netherlands, Haarlem
Birchwood Offline
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Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 1855
Loc: Netherlands, Haarlem
Dear commenters,

I appreciate all that you said about the song, the writing and the singing. I bet Joanne will agree with that.
The originall song was very dear to me, so it was more than 'just a bit' exciting someone else would play and sing it.
now I'm in that position I do like both versions. Joanne did a very good job1

But I smiled broadly reading Ray's comment 'oddly heard you (me) as well'. I think that's why my family and friend say they can tell when a song of mine is a real Bichwood.

And I became curious when Janice and Bud say Joanne was exploring the lower end. I admit, when trying to sing along (yesterday, trying this) it was me who had top explore much lower end then I thought possible. And it sounded awful. But to me her voice was very clear. So our voices together will be some challenge... Janice, maybe you and Joanne could sing a song of mine. Is that an idea?

Dave, thanks for that 'capture-complement'. It is always difficult to sing about topics that been widely exploited on the news. But this perspective was sensitive enough to make this song.

Bob, Floyd and Rob, thanks for your compliments. If we could, we have to drink on that!

And David, also thanks for your compliments on the lyrics. Look at my answer to Dave. Only that glitch-thing you mentioned... I listened the whole song and four times at your specific time-moment. It could be my ears, but I heard nothing strange (and Joanne wasn't complaining either).

Hans
_________________________
Hans Berkhout
(Birchwood)
https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130

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#551336 - 08/26/19 03:31 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 5087
Loc: Sydney Australia
PeterF Offline
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Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 5087
Loc: Sydney Australia
Hans / Joanne

A strong powerful song. Nice arrangement and a lovely vocal.

A well done collaboration.

Peter

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#551409 - 08/26/19 06:47 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3323
Robertkc Offline
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Registered: 06/09/16
Posts: 3323
Hans & Joanne,
Good lyrics and a vocal that carries the gentle passion of protest.
I liked the build and use of drums/electric guitar towards the end.
Well done to you both.

Robert

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#551415 - 08/26/19 07:03 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1518
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1518
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Hans,

Pretty tune, and timely. Joanne nails the vocals and I think you made the right call on the cello—it’s compelling behind the vocal. Beautiful, beautiful song—with some sweet, sweet harmonies that just kill.

Kind regards,

Deej

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#551439 - 08/26/19 10:49 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 1372
Tangmo Offline
Expert

Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 1372
Hans & Joanne, Extra fine song deep in the folk tradition. It's hard to say I "enjoyed" a song with such a theme, but it brought images to mind and helped rekindle compassion. Maybe one day love and joy will win over fear, hate, and maybe even the state itself. I hope it happens sooner and not after all other options are exhausted.
_________________________
BIAB 2021 Audiophile. Windows 10 64bit. Songwriter, lyricist, composer(?) loving all styles. Some pre-BIAB music from Farfetched Tangmo Band's first CD. https://alonetone.com/tangmo/playlists/close-to-the-ground

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#551520 - 08/27/19 10:04 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 02/03/16
Posts: 1660
Loc: Germany
Crossroads Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/03/16
Posts: 1660
Loc: Germany
Hi Joanne, Hi Hans,

I have to admit that I'm almost speechless (which doesn't happen very often, I'm afraid...). This is a very, very important topic and whenever it gets that emotional there's the risk that it might get too sentimental.

This song really transports the important message very, very well - a brilliant write and a song that fits the lyrics like a glove.

Eh, but the two versions are so different, one might object... Yes they are, but the song itself just works, either arrangement just can add.

Joanne, everybody says (and they all said it before) that you have a beautiful voice, so there is no doubt that you will make any song shine even more, but altering the arrangement, tailor it to your personaäiity and musical world you added your soul to it. Just marvellous.

Hans - it will come as no surprise to you that I think that Joanne's voice is a bit (een ietsje maar...) more beautiful than yours, but I'm stunned by the original version (which I hadn't heard before), too - it's totally convincing and really got me.

The cello is gorgeous - in both versions.

Let me add that I really appreciate the "Wir schaffen das" part. I'm not patriotic (which will be difficult for most Americans to understand, I'm afraid), but that was the first moment ever that made me feel proud of my country. What a pity that the populists turned that great achievement of humanity into their inhuman and , yes, filthy and hateful thinking and acting. Sorry - had to let off steam...

So, I'm really overwhelmed by the song itself and the way both of you gave it your very own interpretation.

Chapeau !!!!!

Thank you so much - all the best,

Stefan

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#551645 - 08/28/19 07:57 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Wow - what a dark but addictive song. Very somber both in the instrumentation and vocal delivery - it sounds lush, beautiful, and haunting all at the same time. This one definitely caught my attention. Incredibly well executed, and it is absolutely moving.

You should be very proud of this one. Thanks for sharing smile
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Cheers,
Deryk

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#551885 - 08/30/19 06:13 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 7014
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
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Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 7014
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Lovely song. Very cool lyric. Joanne's vocal was excellent. Loved the backtrack and instrument selection. Well done

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#551899 - 08/30/19 08:38 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 1855
Loc: Netherlands, Haarlem
Birchwood Offline
Expert

Registered: 09/30/16
Posts: 1855
Loc: Netherlands, Haarlem
Hi Stefan, Deryk and Scott,

I really appreciate your response. And I bet Joanne does the same. We wrote this afternoon.
Stefan I knew you would become sentimeltal when I wrote about Wir shaffen das, from Angela Merkel. It's such a pitty that her end is near (in a political sense). The world changes.

But as Deryk stated, it is a dark (and very sad) situation we have to deal with. And no solutions to be found. This topic is everywhere around us. I only know if we can't give an answer to it, we will face more serious trouble.

But than I come to Scott. You liked the originall song as well! And here we have to discuss how a song sounds and what instruments suits the best in it. I thank you for that Scott. I thought the metall guitar would be a bit too 'heavy', but it's not.

Nice day to y'all (a tryout in slang),
Hans
_________________________
Hans Berkhout
(Birchwood)
https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130

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#551936 - 08/30/19 11:01 AM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6736
Loc: Davis, CA
Greg Johnson Offline
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Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6736
Loc: Davis, CA
A beautifully executed song about a tragic situation! Really nice work!! Great vocals from Joanne! Good stuff guys!! Take care. Greg

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#551976 - 08/30/19 02:19 PM [User Showcase] Re: But the children play... (with Joanne Cooper) [Re: Birchwood]
Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 4316
Rustyspoon# Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 4316
Hans,
Sad and beautiful! Joanne's voice flows very smooth!
Very good mix and production. I believe that this collaboration and re-mix took the original version a notch higher.

Thank you for sharing!

Misha.

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