Best laid plans…

Whichever way I look at my situation as an unsigned lyric writer, I can’t get around the fact that competitions seem to be my best chance to get noticed. I try to silence the cynical little voice inside me that reminds me of the fact that most judges in many of the competitions seem to be people that have been very influential within the music business a few decades ago, but maybe don’t have their finger on the pulse as much anymore. Another time I try to ignore the same voice, is when it asks me “when has any newspaper or radio station ever have had a clue what I’m talking about, when mentioning competitions that have been around for a very long time now?” A third time I try not to listen to this tenacious voice of mine, is when I look up people that have won any of these competitions to see what they are doing now and how much their lives changed after winning.

 
I’m not so stupid that I don’t realise that there probably is a lot of truth in what the cynical side of me is thinking. Even so, for me, competitions seem to be the easiest way to find connections and get feedback from people working inside the business. If the day would come when something I have written would get to the final or even win in any of these places, I would at least have some sort of success to my name to put on my website, thanks to the competitions. That can’t hurt.! Another very important side to taking part in competitions is that I find other people in the same boat as myself. Since I don’t write music personally, I need to find talented composers, and I know these can be found among fellow competitors.

 
Having taken part in competitions for a few years now, you can’t blame a girl for trying to guess what the judges want. One year, the majority of winners in one particular competition seemed to be very patriotic and with religious undertones. This is not my way of writing at all, but I figured that if that is what is needed I will attempt a lyric with both patriotic and religious vibes.

 
I should really be ashamed of myself for how this particular lyric came about because it started as a joke. I planned to fill my lyric with well known phrases and lame rhymes and see where it would get me.

 
Strangely enough, it only took me one verse, before anything cynical was washed out of my mind and I started to think about the words I was putting down on my paper. I started to think about the world we live in and how many families who have to live the life I was describing. The lyrics may have come about for all the wrong reasons with me starting my writing in a very strange frame of mind, but I promise you, when I had finally finished writing it I sent a silent and very heartfelt thank you to all our young men posted in various countries to keep the life we know safe. I sent an equally big thank you to all the young men that have made the ultimate sacrifice through the years for the very same reason.

 
This particular lyric taught me a lesson that had nothing to do with lyric writing, but a lot to do with respect and I will never forget it. (Words are powerful). I got to the semi-final stage with these lyrics in one competition. The judges in the competition I wrote it for didn’t like it that much. I remember one thing that was said, was that my chorus was too long with a bit of over kill when it came to get my message through. They didn’t like my title and hook either, which I can understand. It is one of my stranger ones. I called it “Tomorrow at home today”. So, my attempt didn’t go to plan, but I taught myself a very valuable lesson, and I will always think about these lyrics with fondness.

 
I put in the early demo that has been made of the song. Fredrik Holm has written the music.
Take care until next time and Happy Writing!

Åsa

 

Tomorrow at home today 

She was holding his hand as tight as she could,
but she knew that she’d have to let go.
She followed his steps down the friendly, old road,
when he waved her tears started to flow.

He had polished his boots a long time last night,
he was serving his country with pride.
But leaving for work was much harder this time,
because now he was leaving his bride.

Chorus 1
Out in the desert, protecting us all
from dangers so hard to take in.
Doing his duty, from spring into fall,
still failing to see who could win.
Missing his wife and new baby to come,
but knowing he had to stay.
He spoke to a God he hoped would be there,
the time that was his time to pray.
God, if you’re there and can hear me right now:
Let tomorrow at home come today!
Please let tomorrow at home come today!

She was stroking his hair for just one last time,
and she felt they’d both died in that blow.
But she followed his soul as it left the room,
he’d seen his son before letting go.

She was hugging the flag honouring her man,
as tightly as she possibly could.
Trying to explain to her God up above,
needing to be understood;
He was;

Chorus 2
Out in the desert, protecting us all
from dangers, so hard to take in.
Doing his duty, from spring into fall,
still failing to see who could win.
Now he’s with you, and we’re here on our own,
I’m wondering if there’s a way?
Our son needs his dad and I need my man,
could you show us a way to pray?
God, if you’re there and can hear us right now:
Let tomorrow at home come today!
Please, let tomorrow at home be today!

© Åsa Sandberg 2016

 

 

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