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Brandi Carlile “The Eye”

Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 | Comments Off on Brandi Carlile “The Eye”

I got a direct message through twitter asking about a Brandi Carlile song called “The Eye” (thanks Helen!). While I’ve...

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Eric Church “Record Year”

Posted by on May 6, 2017 | Comments Off on Eric Church “Record Year”

We’ll deconstruct Eric Church’s “Record Year” to discover the songwriting devices that made this song a #1 on...

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Chris Stapleton “Parachute”

Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 | Comments Off on Chris Stapleton “Parachute”

“Parachute,” written by Chris Stapleton and Jim Beavers, is one of my favorite songs on Traveller.  It delivers a universal...

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Lori McKenna “The Bird & The Rifle”

Posted by on Nov 13, 2016 | Comments Off on Lori McKenna “The Bird & The Rifle”

Lori McKenna’s “The Bird & The Rifle” is a lesson in song craft. And, she’s a great example of how writing...

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Adele “Hello”

Posted by on Oct 31, 2016 | Comments Off on Adele “Hello”

Written by Adele and producer Greg Kurstin, “Hello” focuses on a telephone conversation/voicemail. The song brilliantly...

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Aaron Watson “Bluebonnets”

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 | Comments Off on Aaron Watson “Bluebonnets”

How do you make a very personal moment a song that can connect with thousands and top the Texas Regional Radio Music Chart? Aaron Watson...

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Personification In A Song: “I Am A Town”

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 | 0 comments

Personification in a song is hard to do well. Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Am A Town” is not only the most ambitious, with...

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Tyler Farr “A Guy Walks Into A Bar”

Posted by on Feb 14, 2015 | 0 comments

Cliches are well – cliche. They’re predictable, boring, and not something your ears perk up for . . . except when done in a...

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Even Dialogue Songs Need A Scene

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 | 0 comments

Dialogue songs are songs that are really nothing more than direct address.  Basically, a dialogue occurs whether the listener knows it or...

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Song Themes: Same But Different

Posted by on Jun 28, 2014 | 0 comments

Listening to these two songs is a great way to hear how the song themes can be the same, but written in two very different ways....

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Dolly Parton Jolene Best Direct Address Ever?

Posted by on Jun 21, 2014 | 0 comments

Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” was based on a young girl who approached her early on in her career. She had red hair, green...

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Joni Mitchell “The Magdalene Laundries”

Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 | 0 comments

On her 1994 album Turbulent Indigo Joni Mitchell has one of the most descriptive, powerful songs you’ll ever hear. She crafts a...

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Song Outline Worksheet: Stripes

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 | 0 comments

 Brandy Clark’s “Stripes” One of the things I’m not so good at is the song’s story. I tend to get a little...

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‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ (II)

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 | 0 comments

Part 2 of the post Song Science: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ (I) Written by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves...

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“Mama’s Broken Heart” (I)

Posted by on Dec 27, 2013 | 0 comments

Three terrific songwriters: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves took an age-old story line (mother / daughter “you...

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Suzanne Vega “Small Blue Thing”

Posted by on Jul 13, 2013 | 0 comments

Master of Becoming the Other!   Suzanne Vega’s “Small Blue Thing” is one of my favorite songs.  I first heard it in...

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Reba’s “Consider Me Gone” (II)

Posted by on Nov 27, 2009 | 1 comment

The “Consider Me Gone” Simile Concern   Let’s run through how the song gets us to Verse 2, where the problematic...

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Reba’s “Consider Me Gone” (I)

Posted by on Nov 27, 2009 | 1 comment

  A Weak Simile In Reba’s Song?   In fairness this isn’t really Reba’s poor simile.  Because she’s a...

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Adele “Chasing Pavements”

Posted by on Feb 1, 2009 | 1 comment

A recent comment on the blog got me thinking. The comment was downplaying the songwriter’s lyrics, mentioning they sounded as if...

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