DSA Lyric Contest Winners Winter 2016

FIRST PLACE

IN HIS HANDS © Lauren Smith, Livermore, CA

This is a well constructed song with a good message. I didn’t change much…just changed or took out a word to make the meters match.  I would try to shorten the bridge to 2 lines.

1st VERSE
One Sunday morning there was smoke above the town
I was ten years old the day our church burned to the ground
Folks prayed among the ashes and some began to cry
But the preacher raised his voice and held his Bible high

CHORUS
it’s just a church, just bricks and wood
We’ve got our faith and God is good
He don’t need walls, a roof or floor
Just our hearts and nothing more
Some things are hard to understand
But there ain’t no doubt we’re in His hands

2nd VERSE
In ’98 it rained and didn’t stop for days
The creek broke through the levee and swept the crops away
My wife and I gazed at those storm clouds overhead
When I asked what we would do, she took my hand and said

CHORUS
It’s just a field, just dirt and seeds
The Lord provides all that we need
It’s still our land, I’m still your wife
We’ve got our kids, we’ve got our life
Some things are hard to understand
But there ain’t no doubt we’re in His hands

BRIDGE
Last year Ma took sick and the doc just shook his head
I spent the next two weeks sitting with her by her bed
I couldn’t bear to think I’d never see my mom again
But she said, now honey, this is not the end

CHORUS
It’s just a life it moves along
And in a moment, it is gone
We are born, live out our days
With luck we find love on the way
Some things are hard to understand
But there ain’t no doubt I’m in His hands

TAG
We’re all part of a bigger plan
And there ain’t no doubt we’re in His hands

SECOND PLACE

TASTE OF LOVE SO SWEET © Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
This song is a definition of love with some poetic lines.  My only criticism is it’s probably not commercial.

1st VERSE
Love is not an easy thing, it’s difficult to find
You can’t hold in your hand, what’s only in your mind
Not everyone will touch it, fewer can hold on
Love is always fleeting, in a moment can be gone

2nd VERSE

The taste of love so sweet, sweeter than fine wine
Once you have a little bit, you want it all the time
It’ll turn your tears to gold, stop the rain with sun
Take away your pain and fill your world with fun

CHORUS
The taste of love so sweet can cut you like a knife
Open up your heart and take slices of you life
But the feeling is incredible, as it sweeps you off your feet
Anything on earth is worth the taste of love so sweet

3rd VERSE
Love is overpowering, it can take you way too far
Push you till you fall and make you wear it like a scar
Our lives have little meaning till love makes them complete
It starts out with a kiss, the taste of love so sweet

REPEAT CHORUS

THIRD PLACE

LONG TIME GONE © Ynana Zivich, San Luis Obispo, CA
You have some really great lines in this song and most people can identify with your song.  Good job!

HONORABLE MENTION

SO LONG KAREN © Brian Kerr, Merida, Mexico
This is a good folksy, story song but it’s way too long.  Here’s my suggestion…in the 3rd verse, change 25 years to 5 years.  25 years is too long to grieve.  The 4th and 5th verse should be shortened to one concise verse and it didn’t make sense that she went to her mother instead of you.  Did she leave you?  The listener doesn’t know what happened.  The chorus is good but we need more info in a shorter song.

MY SUGGESTION TO LYRIC WRITERS

Don’t make your lines so flowery that we don’t know what the song is about…make it more conversational. It’s not poetry…it’s a song.  Check your meters…all other verses should match the first verse.  Is the subject matter interesting and can most people identify with it?  Happy writing! 

Thanks to former Lyric Contest Director, Nancy Rynders, for the above critiques.