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#703068 02/05/22 07:16 PM
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Hi, all:

I’ve been pretty absent from the board for various reasons—hoping to catch up on things over the next couple of weeks. Anyway, I haven’t really been working on much new, so decided to give this song a go. I wrote it a few years ago, but never geared up to do a full version of it because I had two main reservations about doing so:

First, I knew it would be a long song, in the end running 5:30 or so. I generally don’t like going beyond 4:30 at the very most, but there’s no way around that on this song. Which is to say, there’s nothing I want to cut. I could probably save 15-20 seconds on the arrangement, but in for a penny, in for a pound. My hope is that there are enough changes in the elements to keep the ear interested, but . . .

Second, the bridge. I had a very distinct idea on how I wanted that to sound, but always knew I could never pull it off. So, in this effort, I came up with the what my small talents could muster, and hope it works well enough.

So, despite those reservations, here’s how it came out . . . at worst worth the effort I hope. Thanks for the listen and feedback.

Here’s the song:

PAPER DREAMS

Here are the lyrics:

Momma told me when I was young
She said, Don’t ever be afraid to chase the sun
You never know the heights you can go until you try
And she could play and sing like angels do
She taught me every note and every chord she knew
She told me I could be a big star if I’d like

Momma had her own dreams, too
But she gave them up when Daddy asked her to
She passed when I was nine
But every dream she had and her ’52 Gibson guitar
Well, I made them mine

Swore on her soul I’d be a country star
Played every high school dance and every local bar
I said, I’m gonna hit the bigs like no one else
Daddy said, All your hopes and schemes
You know they won’t amount to more than paper dreams
Well, I guess I’m gonna find out for myself

And so I’ll try to chase down the sun
And I’ll fly to heights no one’s gone
With every breath I can breathe
With every drop I can bleed
I’m never giving up ‘cause I believe
In these paper dreams.

I met a man down on Music Row
He said, I seen every wannabe here come and go
You better pack it up and run back home, boy, while you can
I said, You may have seen a million wannabes
But you ain’t never ever seen the likes of me
And, well, even if I should, I know I can’t

And so I’ll try to chase down the sun
And I’ll fly to heights no one’s gone
With this light in my eyes
And my heart on my sleeve
I’ll give it all I got ‘cause I believe
In these paper dreams

Ain’t no luck, you gotta make your own breaks
I’m gonna do everything it takes

I’m gonna wake up every morning with the dawning sun
Sweat the frets until I get down everything I’ve done
Work the bar every night at the Patterson
While writing lyrics on the back of a napkin
Post my tunes to YouTube and the music sites
Playing in the parks and at every open mic
Knock on closing doors, sell myself and more
Anything and everything it takes to score

And so I’ll try to chase down the sun
And I’ll fly to heights no one’s gone
With every breath I can breathe
With every drop I can bleed
I’m never gonna stop ‘cause I believe
In these paper dreams.

And some day when I make it big
I’m gonna head on back to the place he still lives
And say, What do you think of me now
Hey, what do you think of me now
Hey, Dad, what do you think of me

And here’s the band:

RealTracks 1036: Bass, Electric, NorthernRockBallad
RealTracks 3184: Guitar, Acoustic, Rhythm GrungeSlowQuinn
RealTracks 832: Guitar, Electric, Rhythm AltCountry
RealTracks 1828: Guitar, Acoustic, Rhythm PopModernGroove Ev16 075
RealTracks 1601: Mandolin, Rhythm Pop16Melodic Ev 065
RealTracks 3505: Guitar, Electric, Soloist NashvilleRadioBalladDanny Ev16 075
RealDrums: ModernPopBallad16ths
RealDrums: Pop Country 16ths

Last edited by Deej56; 02/05/22 07:53 PM.
Deej56 #703070 02/05/22 07:30 PM
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The mandolin works a treat.
Those long notes are ACE!
The line
"Playing in the parks and at every open mic"
sounds like there's a mismatch between lead and bvox...may need to excise a word, perhaps "at", for better flow or slice and slide to get it 100%.
I think it's a charming song Deej. Cool narrative, excellent vocals, terrific melody.
Well done.


Cheers
rayc
"What's so funny about peace, love & understanding?" - N.Lowe
Deej56 #703076 02/05/22 08:28 PM
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A song should be as short as possible... but no shorter! And this song isn't too long.

I wouldn't describe you as someone having "small talents", and this song proves the point.

The arrangement is great - the mandolin is standout - but it's the vocals that sell the song, and it keeps my attention throughout the song.

I like that it's Momma's guitar, and not Daddy's guitar - a nice change from expectations.

At 3:50, the balance of the vocal is a bit off in an otherwise stellar mix.

Love the ending! laugh


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
Deej56 #703083 02/05/22 11:31 PM
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Deej, every artist and aspiring artist can relate to this, at least in some way. I know I do. The writing is stellar, your narrative-style of singing/telling the story is no less so. If there's one way I would sum your writing/singing in a sentence, it would be this one: you really soar when you write about what you know - and this is what this one feels like. It's great when you can manage to write about both what YOU know and what others can relate to. In any case, I think you've hit bullseye with this one, once again - one of your best. I agree with David Cuny ... the ending is particularly beautiful. By then, I may have had a tear or two in my eye, anyway ... just maybe :-)

Just as a short comment on the story of the song: there's nothing more beautiful than to genuinely believe, no matter what, in one's (as you call them) paper dreams. Thank you for writing and expressing this in such a beautiful, moving and relatable manner.

I've listened to it twice, so far ... one more time, to see if any other comment comes to mind. In any case: well done and please keep going ... your songs are reference points for me, by this stage - to listen to them is a privilege I'm grateful for, because - amongst other things - you come up with something different and fresh, each time - without ever compromising the high quality standard which is a given with you, by now. I don't want to gush, but the world (my world, at least) would be poorer without them - so bravo.

With this, one last addendum: please, please, please, always write about what feels right to you to write about, and never doubt yourself. You soar when you do that. Well done.

P.S. I forgot to say this: that drum-like, articulated section, which starts: "I'm gonna wake up every morning with the dawning sun" ... the articulation is superb, really adds to the song, it sounds as if the character is genuinely motivated to make it. A great, new variation to the mood of the song, too. Well done.

Last edited by musician17; 02/05/22 11:40 PM.
Deej56 #703110 02/06/22 04:27 AM
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I like what you say about the length of a song. I remember writing when 3 minutes was the max, then FM radio took away all restrictions --well most. Sometimes the things we want to say can't be cut just to meet an imagined rule. Man, I really like your voice, Deej. The lyrics are so good, and I really like the close harmony. Missed you, man. Keep 'em coming.


Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@babumusic51
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Deej56 #703122 02/06/22 05:04 AM
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The relatable story carries the song through its length, the story full of heart. And same can be said of your singing, very emotional. Enjoyable arrangement works, I really like how the drums are brought to the front at the dawning sun. Let's keep on believing in paper dreams smile

Janne


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Deej56 #703142 02/06/22 05:57 AM
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Epic, heartfelt song... Great work DeeJ,
at first it kinda' reminded me of Cat Stevens.


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Deej56 #703144 02/06/22 06:05 AM
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Time is a fleeting thing when there is something to say.
Excellent story and arrangement, Deej.

Vic

Deej56 #703149 02/06/22 06:35 AM
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Deej, every song is as long as it has to be and this one is the correct length. You had to get all of the lyrics in otherwise the song wouldn't flow properly.

"my small talents" WHAT! That is BS and this song is proof.

Everything about this is top shelf! Great vocal and lyrics, super backing tracks, and an outstanding mix.

Loved it.


Me, it's not about how many times you fail, it's about how many times you get back up.
Cop, that's not how field sobriety tests work.

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Deej56 #703202 02/06/22 12:35 PM
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Deej,

This track sounds great! Your vocals are always very good, and this continues that tradition!

The chorus on this checks all the boxes for a great tune.... Catchy with a good hook or two and performed with passion!

Some songs justify a long track length and this one certainly does for me!

Thanks, Torrey




Deej56 #703300 02/07/22 03:50 AM
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Hi David
Wow. This is once again a catchy tune with a great lyric
The song structure is top class
The end is great done
Your singing is of course the decisive thing
so that a good song becomes an absolutely brilliant song
For me you are one of the best singers here
Great work, David
Many greetings
Andi ;-)

Deej56 #703369 02/07/22 10:30 AM
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What an epic production with a powerful write and passionate performance!

Your emotive vocals really bring the listener in to this story. I (Janice) was so caught up in it that I was crying out, "don't give up, don't give up, hold onto your dreams!"

The arrangement is excellent and we agree with others on how effective the drums are at the "dawning of the sun" section.

Most definitely worth the effort!

J&B

Deej56 #703407 02/07/22 02:43 PM
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I like it. Good work on the lyrics.
It's a good production. Since you know it's long, I won't get into that.

Yep.... Well done.




Last edited by Guitarhacker; 02/07/22 02:48 PM.

You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com
Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.
You can make excuses or you can make progress but not both.

The magic you are looking for is in the work you are avoiding.
Deej56 #703409 02/07/22 03:07 PM
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OK, DJ, this is epic!

It is also....EPIC!!!!! smile

There is a lot of stuff in here man. It all sounds great, don't get me wrong, but it is, well....

EPIC!

smile

One thing, folks might be singing this ritualistically around a campfire one day like American Pie.

Deej56 #703471 02/08/22 03:29 AM
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Hi David,

What a really wonderful song you made. And with those beautiful lyrics!
I love this all; the style, the sober band and the strong vocal performance.
I wouldn't mind if it had last another extra minute or so. But I know that struggle about the lenght of song very much...

I'm glad you are back here. And what a new start it was. Brilliant!

Hans


Hans Berkhout
(Birchwood)
https://soundcloud.com/user-296497130
Deej56 #703852 02/09/22 04:22 PM
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Super vocal Deej. Loved the way the vocal sat in the mix. Very cool tune


Scott Collingwood
https://soundcloud.com/scottt709
https://soundcloud.com/spiritlevel-ca
https://www.youtube.com/@SpiritLevel-ge3hm/
Deej56 #703930 02/10/22 06:16 AM
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Nice to hear your shining vocals again!

This is EXCELLENT!

Typically, I try to avoid long songs but this one could have gone a few more minutes without overstaying it's welcome.

The band was great and as always the vocal shines.

The story line kept me engaged.

Loved it!

moto

Deej56 #703946 02/10/22 07:09 AM
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Hi Deej,

Really wonderful song!
Your voice sometimes sounds a bit like James Blunt's.
The choruses sound terrific!

Rob and Anne-Marie


We are Rob Meulman and Anne-Marie Bovenkamp from The Netherlands.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1gsdNLE7_Gy8qavoOplQow/videos
http://rnam.net/


Deej56 #704074 02/11/22 07:03 AM
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Hi Deej,
Fantastic write. Did not feel long. Signature vocals! I liked the contrast between mandolin and electro guitar. Amazing effort. Thank you for sharing.

Misha.

Deej56 #704187 02/11/22 07:30 PM
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Well presented, I like the way the song is defined, and combined in a great lyric. Quality vocals, and a quality mix.

Well done.


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