2016 Fall Lyric Contest Winners

SEMIFINALISTS
The Days by Ireland Casteel, Grapevine, TX
Still by Lonnie Jordan, Casar, NC
The Cowboy Rides Away by Lonnie Jordan, Casar, NC
Big Enough To Be Small by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Cufflinks by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
I’ll Make Your Dreams Come True by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
That Makes Two and a Half Times You Broke My Heart by Derek Houghton,

WINNERS

1st Place  “Cufflinks” by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, PA
  The lyrics tell a story, and it left me wanting to know more about the woman who “was taken in an accident”.  I believe a re-write might help flesh her out a little bit more, but I liked the development of the story.  I also liked how something relatively ordinary, like cufflinks, could be a trigger to so many memories.  At first I thought the singer was finding the cufflinks in his OWN closet, years after her death, and it triggered his memories of her.  But re-reading the lyrics, it appears that he was cleaning out HER closet, shortly after she’s been taken from him.  It might be more poignant my way, but it still works in my opinion.  Many people, including myself, have ordinary objects like this stuffed in drawers that we only come across rarely, and when we do they trigger bittersweet memories that seem to instantly transport us back to that time in our lives.  These lyrics did a good job of developing a story and building two characters that the listener could care about.  

V-1  I WAS CLEANING OUT HER CLOSET, SAW SOMETHING BELOW
A FANCY WRAPPED BOX, WITH A CARD AND A BOW
I OPENED THEM SLOWLY, STILL MISSED HER SO MUCH
MY HANDS ON THE BOX, I COULD FEEL HER SWEET TOUCH

V-2  SHE WAS TAKEN IN AN ACCIDENT, IT WAS RAINY AND  LATE
I WAS WAITING FOR HER, WHEN LOVE TURNED TO FATE
IT WAS HARD TO GO ON, SHE WAS ALWAYS THERE
TO PICK OUT MY CLOTHES, AND FIX  MY HAIR

CHORUS:  THE SILVER CUFFLINKS I  WANTED,  BUT COULDN’T AFFORD
CARD SAID,” HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY, LOVE YOU FOREVER.”
THE CUFFLINKS SHINED LIKE THE SMILE I’LL NEVER FORGET
CAN’T WEAR THEM WITHOUT HER, AND I HAVEN’T YET

V-3  IT WAS HARD TO MEET ANOTHER, IT TOOK A LONG WHILE
BUT FINALLY FOUND SOMEONE, WHO COULD MAKE ME SMILE
I FELL IN LOVE SLOWLY, AND JUST HAD TO WAIT
IT WAS AWKWARD AT BEST, WHEN I ASKED FOR A DATE

CHORUS:  THE SILVER CUFFLINKS I WANTED, BUT COULDN’T AFFORD
CARD SAID,” HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY, LOVE YOU FOREVER”
THE CUFFLINKS SHINED LIKE THE SMILE, I’LL NEVER FORGET
CAN’T WEAR THEM WITHOUT HER, AND I HAVEN’T YET

V-4  I WAS EXCITED BUT DISTANT,  AS I STARTED TO DRESS
WAS FEELING GUILTY AND MY NERVES WERE A MESS
TOOK THOSE CUFFLINKS OFF, IT JUST DIDN’T FEEL RIGHT
I’LL CHERISH THEM FOREVER, BUT WON’T WEAR THEM TONIGHT

 
2nd Place – “Big Enough to be Small” by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, PA
  I liked the message in this lyric, and also the way that it was put.  I believe it has real potential, but the verse and the chorus sound very much the same, and are very generalized.  If the verses could add something specific, some details, then the chorus would be more effective in delivering the over-riding message, that of “are you big enough to be small, when it serves our relationship and mutual best interest?” For example, what specifically did the subject of the song DO, that was selfish, or grasping, that hurt the singer? If some details were placed in the verses, I believe the chorus could vary each time, using some of the lyrics that are currently in the verses.  I think this lyric has lots of potential with a re-write.  

V-1  ARE YOU TALL ENOUGH TO SEE ABOVE PERCEPTION,  REACH FOR TRUTH
RESPECT EARTH AND NATURE, WORK WITH OLD AND YOUTH
DO YOU FEEL THE PAIN OF OTHERS, HEAR THE TEARS SILENCE MAKES
WILLING TO CHANGE, AND LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES

V-2  CAN YOU HOLD BACK YOUR WORDS, AND LET OTHERS SPEAK
LISTEN WHILE THEY’RE TALKING, KNOWING PATIENCE ISN’T WEAK
DO YOU FEEL THOSE THINGS, THAT HURT SO MANY OTHERS
WILL YOU STOP AND HELP, REACH OUT TO YOUR BOTHERS

CH:  ARE YOU BIG ENOUGH TO BE SMALL, WHEN IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO
MAKE CHOICES BASED ON FAIRNESS, NOT WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU
CAN YOU STAY THE PATH, WHEN THE ROAD GETS ROUGH
FORGIVE AND FORGET, ARE YOU REALLY BIG ENOUGH

V-3  ARE YOU BIG ENOUGH TO REACH THE CLOUDS, SEEK WHAT’S UP ABOVE
OR TOO BUSY TO CARE, AND MAKE NO TIME FOR LOVE
CAN YOU LET THINGS GO, BEFORE THEY EAT YOU UP
SHARE THE GIFTS YOU GET, KNOW WHEN YOU’VE HAD ENOUGH

CH:  ARE YOU BIG ENOUGH TO BE SMALL, WHEN IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO
MAKE CHOICES BASED ON FAIRNESS, NOT WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU
CAN YOU STAY THE PATH, WHEN THE ROAD GETS ROUGH
FORGIVE AND FORGET, ARE YOU REALLY BIG ENOUGH
ARE YOU BIG ENOUGH
ARE YOU REALLY BIG ENOUGH

 
Third Place –  “Still” by Lonnie Jordan, Casar, NC
  I like that this lyric is specific, the verses especially tell us exactly what the singer misses about Grandpa and all of the things that he did to make their early life so special.  Playing hide and seek, getting tucked in at night after a bedtime story, pine cone wars(nice, personal touch!), hunting, fishing and camping. I’m certain there are a bunch of songs that talk about grandpa taking their grandson fishing or hunting, but mentioning the pine cone wars, and playing hide and seek personalizes this Grandpa, makes him come alive a little, and stand out.  A story develops nicely at each successive verse.  
I wasn’t really clear on what the Chorus of the song was, is it “And Grandpa I miss you still” or was there more to it than that? It appeared it could be the part about “Grandma when she made her apple pie” but it was not clear to me.  I would like to hear this one, as well as read the lyrics, it might have the power to evoke a lot of emotion with the right song structure around it.  A re-write might make room to describe what Grandpa looked like, his stature or his eyes, or something about what he looked like.  Only a short phrase or a couple of words might go a long way toward setting a picture of him in the listener’s mind. 

V-1.
I always will remember growing up in Tennessee
A boy without a Father but you took good care of me
A firm hand to guide me you were tender tough and strong
I never will forget those special years
And Grandpa I Miss You Still
I remember as a little boy sitting upon your knee
Waiting for to come home from work so we could play hide and seek
Yes work hard but you had the time to tell a story to me every night
Then tuck me in and gently kiss my cheek
And Grandpa I Miss You Still
CHORUS – 
Still I remember all the rainy days in the summer time
And still I remember Grandma cooking in the kitchen when she made her apple pie
My childhood memories I’ll hold forever near
I know you’ve always been right there with me
And Grandpa I Miss You Still
V-2.
I remember going hunting and fishing down at the creek
Just sitting out on the front porch counting stars on Christmas Eve
The pine cone wars we use to play
Just walking with you everyday
And going camping high upon the hill
And Grandpa I Miss You Still
CHORUS -
Still I remember all the rainy days in the summer time
And still I remember Grandma cooking in the kitchen when she made her apple pie
My childhood memories, I’ll hold forever near
I know you’ve always been right there with me
And Grandpa I Miss You Still
V-3.
Then I went off to college to start life on my own
I got the call one Friday night said you need to hurry home
I got to see him one last time
He looked at me and softly smiled, and said to me Son this is Gods will
Grandpa I Miss You Still
CHORUS -
Still I remember all the rainy days in the summer time
And still I remember Grandma cooking in the kitchen when she made her apple pie
My childhood memories, I’ll hold forever near
I know you’ve always been right there with me
And Grandpa I Miss You Still
I remember all the rainy days in the summer time
And Still I remember sitting out on the front porch eating Grandma’s apple pie
My childhood memories, I’ll hold forever near
I know you’ve always been right there with me
And Grandpa I Miss You Still
Yes in my heart I know your always here with me
And Grandpa I Love You Still. Still

THANKS TO LYRIC CONTEST DIRECTOR GENE SCHILLACI FOR HIS PICKS & COMMENTS