WINNERS OF THE 2017 SPRING LYRIC CONTEST

by Lyric Contest Director, Gene Schillaci

SEMIFINALISTS
“Letting Go” by Myra Litton, London, UK
“Cheap Motel” by Michael R. J Roth, Gregory Thoroman, Arlington, VA
“That Girl”  by Ireland, Grapevine, Tx
“Two Ribbons”  by Robert Bowen, Bishopville, SC

1st Pl: “Letting Go” by Myra Litton, London, UK
I like the message of the song, that of Letting Go.  It starts out like a love song, but its almost a “Thank you” to providence for not matching the singer up with his love interest.
The song has the benefit of years of hindsight, kind of a looking back at a relationship that didn’t work out, was devastating at the time, but turns out to be so much for the best.  
I would suggest some changes, it takes a lot of cojones for a songwriter to rhyme “pique” with “lovesique” and I’m not sure that works.  Also in the chorus “ended up a drunk in bars” sounds a little labored to me.
But I like the couplet “It was most providential, I ended up non-provencial”.

You were always one to make men’s heads turn
I remember you twenty five years ago
So hot, on a slow burn
You had glossy hair and a bossy air
Both you and I had a lot to learn

We had a flirtation
I thought it was my salvation
But you broke my heart
LIke it was an art
And married the boss’s son

I left that sleepy town
In a fit of pique
Took everything I owned
So lovesique

I flew the coop
Travelled far and wide
Did loop the loop
Without you by my side

Letting go was a catalyst
I should thank you for saying no
I had my oats to sow
Now I’m on the Forbes list
Bathing in the afterglow

(Chorus)Letting go is a necessity
Because some things aren’t meant to be
Some things aren’t ordained in the stars
Hanging on I could have ended up a drunk in bars
Living a life of regrets and grime
Fighting the system, committing crimes

So thank you for your nonchalance
I now own a home in Provence
I am a man of the world
It was most Providential
I ended up non provincial

2nd Pl: “Cheap Motel” by Michael R J Roth, Gregory Thoroman, Arlington, VA
I really liked the imagery in this song, things like “…shattered life I left behind, Like a beer can ashtray…”  really puts me in the Cheap Motel.
I’d like to know more about what put the singer in the Cheap Motel, what misfortune put them there.  The verse about a “man who made it all the way…” is not clear to me, I don’t really get why they are singing a chorus about a Cheap Motel.  But the verse lyrics really made me feel the Cheap Motel room, with a groaning, haunted bed.  

Living in a cheap motel,
I’ll mail you a postcard from hell,
Gideon bible in the nightstand drawer,
It’s a passport to heaven I’m sure.
Stains on the carpet,
hair in the drain,
I swear this bed is haunted
with the groans of a saint.

Living an alibi
From the shattered life I left behind,
Like a beer can ashtray
in the corner of my mind.
This is where dreams come to die
under pink neon lights,
Looking for the truth behind
A whiskey colored blind

CHORUS:
This is not the mansion I was promised,
This is not the life I’m supposed to lead,
These are not the girls I meant to kiss, Lord,
For a love that only hits me where I bleed,
in these cheap motels

I knew a guy who made it all the way,
Got himself a mansion and famous name.
He lay awake one night alone in his bed.
These are the words he said:

(CHORUS)

BRIDGE:
Between the rocky road to heaven
And the long and lonesome
highway to hell,
no matter where you live,
it’s just another cheap motel.

3rd Pl: “That Girl”  by Ireland, Grapevine, Tx
This song has some strong parts and some weaker parts that could be strengthened with a rewrite.  I really like the lines “A million stars in the sky, you are the brightest to my eye”
But the song is unclear to me in many places, why is the singer thinking they are on solid ground in this relationship? What are the details of that relationship?  It does seem to capture some of the confusion a lover feels when they are first struck with evidence of their partner’s unfaithfulness.

Verse
Look at him holding hands
With that girl that gets around
I don’t know what he sees
I thought we were on solid ground
Why do you put me through….

Chorus
A million starts up in the sky
You are the brightest to my eye
All your light shines on that girl
She took the starlight from my world
That girl, that girl
Why are you with that girl?

Verse
Look at me all alone
In my own head talking it out
I don’t know how to feel
I’m stuck between heartache and doubt
Why do you put me through….

Chorus
A million starts up in the sky
You are the brightest to my eye
All your light shines on that girl
She took the starlight from my world
That girl, that girl
Why are you with that girl?

Bridge
Nobody knows what I think, when I think of him
His brown eyes I could get lost in
I don’t believe in love
So why did you come and prove me wrong
Nobody knows what I think, when I think of him

Chorus
A million starts up in the sky
You are the brightest to my eye
All your light shines on that girl
She took the starlight from my world
That girl, that girl
Why are you with that girl?

Honorable Mention: “Two Ribbons”  by Robert Bowen, Bishopville, SC
This song also has some parts that are stronger than others.  I like the lines, “I still see her in her mirror, where her beauty took my breath”.
But the line in verse two “Then she’d come and take me to her, Like a mother to a child”, confused me, because I thought I was reading the lyrics of a love song up to that point. The previous lines indicate a sexual attraction, so I don’t believe the mother and child reference really fits.  
I’d like to see more description, and I don’t understand why the memories will fade in time, or why the two ribbons will have any value after they have.  
Other than the Oedipus couplet, I really liked the lyrics here.  

She left Two Ribbons
on the table where she dressed
I still see her in her mirror
where her beauty took my breath

She would smile and slowly brush her hair
Tease and coyly drive me wild
Then she’d come and take me to her
Like a mother to a child

And all I have of her are Two Ribbons
And the memories that will fade away
with time
When her mirror’s cracked with age
Her image just a haze
I’ll still have Two Ribbons that are mine
I’ll still have Two Ribbons that are mine

guitar break (rpt chorus)
I sit alone at night
Hear the clock just marking time
Then her laughter echoes through the room
Her soul plays games with mine

Then she sits down at her mirror
Though I know she isn’t there
And I reach to touch Two Ribbons
Two Ribbons in her hair

And all I have of her are Two Ribbons
And the memories that will fade away
with time
When her mirrors cracked with age
Her image just a haze
I’ll still have Two Ribbons that are mine
I’ll still have Two Ribbons that are mine

Two Ribbons that are mi—i—i–i–ine