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

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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.

The Fire and the Fury by Jack Burton

Just started on this one last week. The phrase I am working from is “the fire and the fury”. For me that is a decent writing prompt because it offers lots of imagery and emotional context to choose from. It’s also alliterative which I like - that often helps to set a rhythm or rhyme scheme in my head - the sounds of certain letters or words, or the combinations of them, tend to create a tone or rhythm for me. As if they already have a musical context in my head.
The imagery of the phrase was giving me ideas about the stereotypical “girl chasing the bad boy who uses her up and leaves” story. But I also wanted to think about how that might be if the roles were reversed. So I wrote it from the perspective of a girl who loves a guy who keeps chasing after someone else.
In the end I may flip it all back to the typical song about a girl. Or maybe put it into first person. Not sure. Which idea feels most compelling to you?
Need to find more ideas for the first lines of each verse, rather than repeating those lines.
Not a bad start, I think. Hope you enjoy it.

Listen here on SoundCloud

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Paper Airplane by Jack Burton

My wife, Maja Burton, wrote this tune, so of course it got tons of compliments and positive reactions from the writing group.
She always brings great ideas and is definitely more succinct. And she’s prolly more honest or open in her songwriting than I am. Either way, I think she makes an incredible songwriting partner. And we make a great team. When I’m too wordy, or am drifting away from the subject/idea she typically has a couple great words or ideas to put things back on track.
That’s basically the same as our life together. Ha.
Yep. So, I had these chords progressions rolling around in my head/fingers and her lyrics definitely fit the mood. I should have had her sing on the demo, cuz this is really in her rock&roll wheelhouse, but I was pressed for time. I hope we can use it for her own project sometime soon.
I’m digging the imagery and general vibe. We have a little tweaking to do to make the whole thing more cohesive, but I think there is a killer tune in here.
And I think we can all relate to these feelings of drifting away, feeling separate or lost. I hope we can also relate to that feeling of someone out there calling for us to “come up air.”

Listen Here on SoundCloud


You don’t know me
I don’t even know myself
Standing right next to you
You think I’m someone else

Maybe she swam away
The one you recognize
Caught in the undertow
Gone with the tide

Come up for air
Are you lost in there?
Come up for air
Or are you lost in there?

I am drifting
A paper airplane on the wind
Maybe I’ll fly away
Never to be seen again

Floating through outer space
Only sound is my own breath
Wrapped in the cold black
Nothing of my head

Come up for air
Are you lost out there?
Come up for air
Or are you lost out there?”

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