folk rock

Nothing in its Place by Jack Burton


Last week’s writing prompt was “please move on.” Annnnd we were required to make and post some kind of video of us performing the new tune.
Man, I had nothin. For days. A couple of ideas about waiting in lines, or how hard it can be to let the ol’ heart move on from some hurt.
But nothing was landing. Felt like I was spitting out a bunch of emotional grandstanding garbage.
But on Friday as we were walking the kids to school my wife and I starting talking about the incredibly awful Stonehenge puzzle that the family has been working on for more than a year. Yep, more than a year on the table and not yet completed. The truth is, it is a VERY poorly made 1000 piece puzzle of an image that is mostly grass. And it seems more than 3/4 of the pieces are the same shape. It just sucks. Sucks real bad.
I have been campaigning for them to either finish the thing ASAP or just give it up. But my smoking hot wife says that after so much effort and time, it’s just too hard to “move on”. Boom, song prompt connection.
Somewhere in there we also talked about how hard it is for me to move on from trying to make the piece I’m holding fit somewhere. Can’t give up. She’s way more systematic about the thing. Me, I just wanna make it fit by sheer force of will. So yep, I suck at puzzles.
And yeah, it turns out a puzzle is a giant, life sucking, fountain of metaphor. But that’s not really news to anyone, I suppose.
Uh huh. So this is definitely an 11th hour effort that I whipped up for the deadline. I think I’d rather find another musical style or Time signature and the lyrical phrasing needs a ton of work. But I like the general concept and feel like I was a little clever and cheeky with some of the lyrics.
I hope you dig it.

Listen Here on SoundCloud


You keep staring at it like something’s gonna change
Nothing’s gonna change
Nothing’s gonna fit in the hole you made
That’s the hole you made

Some things you can’t rearrange
Just can’t rearrange
Break the rules and the beauty fades
Broken and it fades

Please move on
You’ve stayed too long
Sometimes you just get it wrong
Does no good to keep hangin on

All those pieces but not one in place
Nothing in its place
Its just a truth that you’ll have to face
Stares you in the face

Might as well give it up
But you can’t give it up

You keep staring at it like something’s gonna change
Nothing’s gonna fit in the hole you made
All those pieces but not one in place

Some things you can’t rearrange
Break the rules and the beauty fades
Its just a truth that you’ll have to face

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When the Hurt Comes Early by Jack Burton

This song comes from some thoughts and experiences in seeing the lasting damage that can be done when a kid suffers. It doesn’t take much. It doesn’t even have to come from abuse. Common things like a parent who never follows through or just isn’t around, bullying, poverty, loneliness, learning disabilities, etc. can lead to so many problems in adult life.
So this should end up being a song about a girl who is desperate for attention but tends to seek it in all the wrong ways or from the wrong people. Same old story. She has talent and gifts that she wants to believe in, but she can’t overcome the negative, or just silent, voices of her past. She has worth but is so damaged that she prefers a life of moving on a soon as someone gets close enough to fail her just like the person who caused all those scars.
...In our wicked busy and connectedly-disconnected age, it’s so important that we pay attention to those around us and make every effort to show love and be caring and empathetic. Maybe going that extra mile will help someone see that they are worthy to be loved and that even when we do fail them we will work to make things right.
As for the songwriting, this is a first draft. I’d like to add a bridge after the second chorus, since it feels like a straight ahead pop/rock song. And I’ve got some word choices I may change to help it feel more story-like. It be good if I could bring some imagery of her music life and connect that to the second verse discussion of how she views men.

Listern Here on SoundCloud

Rome cobblestones.png

Sold her guitar for 25 dollars and a
Bottle of bathtub gin
Put her back to the bones of that dusty old town
Feet on the road again
Back on the road again

Cuz when the hurt comes early
Just won’t leave you alone
One night only
Same sad song
Same old story
She’s been singing it so long
Maybe it’s wrong but she keeps moving on

They say man’s worth much more than just the sum of his parts
But boy she’ll tell you she’s got her doubts
Spent her whole life falling
down into that hole
Never did wanna climb out.