A blog about songwriting and about the songwriter Luigi Cappel

Posts tagged ‘songs’

New Song ‘God If You’re Listening’

So I’ve now finished the first cut of my Christmas song for 2011, which as the name of the blog suggests is called, God If You’re Listening. This started off as Santa If You’re Listening, which I wrote about in my last blog. It started as my 2nd to last Harmony assignment for the year. I finished it this morning, 1 January 2011 and recorded the first cut which you can listen to here. God if You’re Listening

I decided to change the name because God If You’re Listening is more generic and while Christmas makes the concept more poignant, and is a time that many people do lose their jobs, it could happen at any time to anyone. Most people will lose their jobs at least once in their lives and often when they least expect it.

Here are the lyrics. I hope you like it. I’ve sent the song off to someone who offered to master a song for me for free. I’ll wait a few days and see what comes back before putting it onto my favorite music sites. So you’re the first to hear the raw demo. Let me know what you think.

God If You’re Listening © Luigi Cappel 2011
Verse One
There’s a young boy on the corner sitting on a garbage can, his red rimmed eyes are looking at the sky. He says
Santa if you’re listening, can you bring my Dad a job? Since they closed the plant we’re barely getting by.
Chorus
Santa if you’re listening I sure could use some help my Mom is lying crying in her room
I don’t need no toys or such, I’ll just do my chores and please Santa can you make it happen soon.
Verse 2
In the bedroom sits his mother and she’s staring at the wall, her eyes glazed over can’t see through her tears, she says
God if you’re listening can you help my family? Our food is low and the rent is in arrears.
Chorus
God if you’re listening I sure could use some help, my husband’s tried most everywhere he can.
I don’t need no Christmas Tree or fancy clothes to wear, I just hope that you have a plan.
Bridge
The same could happen to you or me, if you see someone in misery throw them a lifeline if you can
It don’t have to be much, just a friendly hand and a loving touch can be all it takes to revive a weary soul, and she said
Chorus
God if you’re listening I sure could use some help, my husband’s tried most everywhere he can.
I don’t need no Christmas Tree or fancy clothes to wear, I just hope that you have a plan.

Songs about the depression

When i was a tiny tot there was a song on a record that my parents used to play, the group was Peter, Paul and Mary and the song was Buddy Can You Spare a Dime. I used to sing it and thought it was about a guy down on his luck. Sort of like the old Blues standard, rejuvinated in recent years by Eric Clapton, Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out.

Here’s a great version by Tom Waitts

I really liked the lyrics, “Don’t you remember, you called me Al? Iit was Al all the time, don’t you remember, I was your pal? Buddy can you spare a dime.” Now that I know those lyrics were written by Yip Harburg in 1931, it makes more sense.

We’re in the Money came out just after the depression, but I never paid much attention to the lyrics. I just thought it was a happy song from a stage musical. “We never read a headlne about breadlines today. And when we see the landlord, we look that guy right in the eye.” Written by Songwriters Hall of Famer,  Al Dubin and Harry Warren’s catchy tune in 1933, ring a little more poignant. Especially when we read in our newspapers that middle class people are now starting to line up for food parcels at Foodbanks around the country.

It’s funny how we are out doing our Christmas shopping and not yet realising what’s going on. IK had a look at Big Boys Toys,  my favourite expo today and  the show seems to be a good 25% smaller than previous years and there appears to be more tyre kicking than buying from the reduced crowd.

Then there were the  blues, but I won’t go into that. I want to know about the songs of the 21st century. There bwill be lots of stories in the papers and on the streets. Today’s blues will probably be Rap and Hip Hop, but the concepts will be the same.

I can’t text you babe

My account’s been cut, I’m flat on my ass, no money for gas, I thought I was fine, can’t even afforfd to rhyme.

Tube Mogul Promote Your Music Video

I only have a couple of video’s at the moment and video is really stretching it a little because they are my songs played to a photo slideshow. You can find them by searching for me on YouTube or going to my MySpace page.

Only Memories Survive was my first. Both of these were done by my friend Noel Schlachter. If you get him to do one for you, tell him that I referred you. I don’t get anything for that, I just like it when people know that I have recommended them:)

The other song video, which you can find here, was Watch Me Daddy.

I hope to do my first real music video this summer, for my song Muriwai Beach, which you can hear on my Music Forte page.I’m just waiting to get my broken wrist back in shape.

Anyway, whatever your music video is, I recommend checking out Tube Mogul. I haven’t actually used it properly yet, because I don’t have accounts with many of the sites that it supports and the ones where I do, I have already posted my videos.

The concept is that they post your video to a huge list of websites, so that your music will get heard, which is awesome, but there is a lot of time involved. In order to post it on all those sites, you need to have an account with them. If you are going to have an account with them, it will mean completing all the forms, creating bio’s and all the other things you need to do, but then if you want to get heard, you have to do something.

So this gives you a list of all the places you can post your video’s, but it does much more than that. It allows you to go to one place for reports on how many times they have been played on each site and lots more.

I’ve decided I really like this site. I’m going to stop blogging and get into it. You should too:)

JAFA Jokes in The Aucklander

This morning the cover story of The Aucklander was about JAFA jokes. The question was Taking the proverbial out of Auckland is a national sport. But can Aucklanders laugh at themselves?

It was an excellent story by Debrin Foxcroft, well written and very entertaining. For the uneducated, JAFA stands for Just Another effing Aucklander. It starts with “Auckland is the safest city in the world. Al Qaeda would never attack us because there is no public transport system to blow up.

Jokes include: You know you are a JAFA when

  • You never bother looking at the train timetable – you know the drivers have never seen it either.
  • You are genuinely surprised to meet someone who was born in Auckland
  • You know you’re part of a neighbourhood watch group, but have never actually met any of your neighbours

There are books full of JAFA jokes, there are forums and if you search the web, you will find plenty of them. The funniest part is we don’t care, we do have a sense of humour.

The funny thing though is although people, especially on the Mainland (aka the South Island) love telling JAFA jokes, they hate it when the tables are turned on them.

This is where the Songwriter part came in. 18 months ago we took a tour of the South Island, most of it was wonderful, but when we got to Reefton, thing were pretty laid back and we didn’t enjoy our stay other than the feeling we had arrived somewhere in the twilight zone. Reefton was in fact the first place in New Zealand to get electricity and my first song was along the lines of, will the last person to leave please turn of the light.

Anyway, I lost interest in that song because if you hadn’t been there, you wouldn’t know what I was talking about. Actually it wasn’t bad, it was quite cool in a quaint sort of way and I didn’t see anyone with 6 fingers.

So last summer I was performing at an outdoor concert on one of a number of live stages. I decided to have a bit of fun and play my new song, called What I like about Reefton. I told a little story about the trip and said that it had inspired a song. I then performed the song which has no words, lasts about 8 seconds and is based on the doppler effect where you can hear a car slowly driving into town and then zooming out the other end.

When I had finished, some people laughed and applauded, some looked at me blankly and one elderly woman stood up, called out at me “That’s not very nice” and walked away in an huff.

So here are the lyrics:

What I Like About Auckland

1.

On communication and Sunday Sundown

Just a quick blog today with a little message. I woke up this morning feeling like crap, I was barking like a seal, had a blocked nose and it was cold. I have a suspected broken bone (from playing hacky tennis) in my hand (scaphoid in case you are interested) and got up for a shave and shower and put my hand back into its splint.

It has been very cold in New Zealand the last few weeks with roads around the country closed with snow and ice and it was about 3 degrees in the house overnight, guess we were lucky.

Anyway, I hate winter and I become a bear. I write music, but I don’t gig very often. I hate playing in venues where the doors open and let the cold in every 5 minutes as smokers go out for some frsh air. Why is the stage always so close to the door? Don’t they know that it makes it harder to entertain?

So here’s the thing, I got up this morning and stuck my iPod into the Dock and listened to a couple of podcasts. The first was from Radio Free Amsterdam, some awesome blues whch got me moving and gave me the energy to clean the shower and other bathroom furniture and then I got into Sunday Sundown, a podcast which I listen to in English, but originally found when I was looking for some Dutch language podcasts to keep my mind thinking in 2 languages so that when I want to, I can call my friends and relatives in the Netherlands (I get that for free on my new Orcon account) and because being multilingual is good for the brain.

Anyway Sunday Sundown is an awesome podcast from the studio of Maurice Zondag (which is of course Dutch for Sunday). I don’t know how Maurice find the time to find all those great songs and artists, but anyway if you want an easy listen show with great music, check him out. I strongly recommend it.

Something else I strongly recommend is that you put your songs on the PodSafe Music Network and make them available to podcasters, because you never know when one of them might play it. I mentioned a couple of my new songs to Maurice in an email telling how much I enjoy his show and he sent me a Tweet (Twitter message saying that he was going to play my song I Tilted on his next show tomorrow. Hey if you are on Twitter you can follow me at Twitter and send me a message.

One of the great things with podcasters is that in most cases they record their shows because they enjoy doing it and because they are passionate about their music or whatever their interest is. This means that they are also likely to be gerat people to get to know if you share a common interest, especially when it comes to your songs which you are of course also passionate about giving that you wrote them and they are a piece of yourself.

So, if you, like me, listen to lots of podcasts, ad if you (I told you I have a cold lol), like me, often think to yourself, I should contact that podcaster and tell him how much you like his/her show (actually other than Mur Lafferty, Heidi Miller and Liz Barry, I haven’t heard many women podcasters). Stop waiting until you get a Round Tuit. This world is about people communicating with people and if that in’t what music is about, why do you write songs?

Songs have to have WOW factor for A&R people to get excited

So you want to send your song to an A&R person and see if you can get it picked up by a record company or one of their artists.

Take a step back from the song you wrote and love and think about what their email and snail mail boxes look like. How many submissions do you think they get in a week. I’ll give you an idea. Even the smaller ones will get 100’s of demo’s. Why should they listen to yours?

Is your song REALLY GOOD? Who told you? Here’s an analagy. When you watched American Idol (Come on, I know you watched it at least once!) do you remember Simon or Randy ask “Who told you you could sing?”. So I’m asking you, who told you this is a good song? Your friends and family?

But this is only the first question. The record companies get thousands of really good, well constructed, nice songs every year. The thing is they are not looking for a good song, they are looking for a GREAT SONG. They are looking for something UNIQUE and given that there are always numbe one hits, there are plenty of great songs out there.

It can be on the same subject matter as other songs, but it has to have something special, a great hook, a really catchy melody. If your song is going to be a hit, it has to appeal to millions of people not dozens or hundreds.

When the A&R person listens to the first 60 seconds (because that might be all the hearing your song gets, they need to be saying “WOW, this is the ONE!”

So go back to your good song and see if you think it is great, or is it as Ralph Murphy says, a great song for people to dance to in a club after 10 P.M.

Of course not every song will be a hit, most of the songs of the great song writers aren’t hit songs, but it was usually their first hit that started their professional careers.

Now is the time to write your Christmas song

It’s not unusual around November to get opportunities to do something with your Christmas song, but if you haven’t written and recorded at least your demo it’s going to be too late. I don’t know about you but listening to Snoopy chasing the Red Baron anything more than once a year is more than I can take. So how about writing one now and be ready for the opportunity.

Christmas songs don’t have to be all about Jingle Bells, there are many poignant songs about Christmas these days. Songs about please bring dad home for Christmas or, well here I some ideas to get you started. How about trying one of these as an exercise?

  • Christmas Love
  • Christmas Stress (Think about all those people doing last minute Christmas shopping and how happy they look, not)
  • Christmas Shopping
  • I don’t know what to buy you for Christmas
  • All I want for Christmas is a new girlfrind/boyfriend
  • Christmas Blues (I actually have a CD of famous Blues artists performing Christmas Blues, I can’t be the only person who bought it)
  • Family Christmas
  • Christmas on the beach (that’s what a lot of us do in New Zealand and Australia)
  • I love/hate Christmas shopping
  • My Christmas gift to you is me
  • I didn’t want you for Christmas I wanted a new guitar
  • What Christmas means to me
  • My gift to you is this song

That should give you a few ideas for a start. The song doesn’t have to be all about Christmas either. My Christmas song is called Another Stretch in Iraq and you can hear it on my MySpace page.

Oh and a little favour. If you thought this was useful or you liked my song, I would really appreciate it if you would click on the Demand It Competition banner on my MySpace page and vote for me in the Eventfull Competition, I really could use the help:)

If you found this useful and you know of anyone else who i a songwriter and could use some ideas, how about sending them a link?

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