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beauty to behold - the chorus

beauty to behold
stories to be told
futures that unfold
beauty to behold


I first had:
beauty to behold
lost futures put on hold
stories to be told
beauty to behold


As much as I like the line "lost futures put on hold" I scrapped it. It doesn't make sense anyway, but it even makes less sense in this context (less then none! Imagine!).

I next tried "the sheen of wealth and gold" (you see, rhymes are a must - for me) that I wasn't happy with either, I wanted something expressing that some afterglow of former glory still exists, but couldn't come up with anything that met the meter and rhymed as well.

Then the 'futures' (note the plural) somehow popped up again, this time paired with a wonderfully rhyming word that actually did make sense.

Next, I think, I should add a bridge.

beauty to behold - continued

I have written four verses for my new title. The song structure that I have in mind goes:
verse - verse - chorus - verse - verse - chorus...

The first two verses:
smells of decay, and death, and rot
are wafting through abandoned streets
waste has piled up at the curbs
somewhere a kid screams happily

around the corner children squat
they push marbles into a hole
a ragged boy just won the match
he grins because he's on a roll

Verses three and four:
the town's river has all dried-up
its bed is filled up with debris
rats climb over heaps of waste
they live a life of luxury

a vivid red geranium
thrives in a broken flower pot
reminder of a graceful past
that once dignified this spot


I gathered lines as mentioned in the first part about these lyrics, shifting them to and fro until they seemed to make sense. The most important helper that I use is Rhymezone. Finding a matching rhyme for "hole" (bowl, soul, toll ...) was a struggle. I had an eye on "roll", and the expression "to be on a roll", but it only made sense after I had come up with the idea to make a kid win the marble game. "Debris" was not much better. Although I thought of "luxury" I could only use it after I had added the line about rats.

Other helpers that I use are dict.cc to check the spelling and meaning of words, but primarily to check their use in context. When you look up a word dict.cc also offers phrases, expressions, and idioms, which can be most useful.

I also use Google to check if expressions that I have in mind are commonly used. Except, of course, if I intend to use an uncommon expression or word. I once struggled with the simple phrase "I looked out of the window" because it had a syllable too many. Fortunately, I discovered that I could easily omit the word "of".

beauty to behold

Somehow the line "beauty to behold" had wormed its way into my mind and stuck. Don't ask me how or why. Since it wouldn't fade awy I decided to write lyrics (no assignment this time) using "beauty to behold" as their title.

The idea that has accompanied the line in question since it first popped up was that I would describe scenes or situations of desolation, devastation, destruction, or despair, and contrast these with scenes of peace and beauty. Then the chorus would set in: "beauty to behold...".

First step: gathering ideas about what could be described in the verses, and how.

As for desolation (I put down more similar words that you find above) :
drought
river filled with debris, waste, and sludge
smell of rot and decay
untended, ragged, neglected


As for beauty (or similar positive contrasts):
kid playing marbles
children absorbed in their games



flower breaking through
- the cracks in a lava field
- cracked desert earth
- asphalt


There is nothing more at the moment.

Faith and the ferryman (Christian's song 2017-09)

Since Christian seemed happy with my suggestions I completed the lyrics in the manner I had begun them. Christian came up with the title and even sent me a demo straight away.

Faith rinses dresses in the stream
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
she wrings out the dresses and lays them out to dry
the story runs its course

her promise ring sinks in the flood
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
she tries to reach for it but finds the water is too deep
Faith looks around for help

she spots the ferryman nearby
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
he offers help but he's expecting some kind of reward
and jumps into the stream

Faith always takes things as they come
be ready for the luck of draw
that way, she thinks, life is more fun
so far, all things went well for her
nothing risked, nothing won
nothing risked, nothing won

Faith grants the ferryman a wish
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
"it's you I want, no more, no less", the ferryman replies
as he hands her the ring

Faith always takes things as they come
be ready for the luck of draw
that way, she thinks, life is more fun
so far, all things went well for her
nothing risked, nothing won
nothing risked, nothing won

"let's flee the country to be free"
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
he takes her hand, and briskly they move on to pastures new
and thus the story ends
he takes her hand, and briskly they move on to pastures new
and thus the story ends

Song 2017-09 - continued

Song 2017-09 provides a challenge of its own. Christian wants to repeat the second line in each verse which leaves just one line in each verse - eight syllables - to drive the story forward so the repeated line makes sense. The story can be continued in line three and four, of course, but the basic idea must be laid down in the first line. I experimented a little and came up with this (only two verses and a sketch at the moment):

Faith rinses dresses in the stream
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
she wrings out the dresses and lays them out to dry
the story runs its course

her promise ring sinks in the flood
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
she tries to reach for it but finds the water is too deep
Faith looks around for help

she spots the ferryman nearby
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
_
_

BRIDGE

Faith grants the ferryman a wish
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
_
_

SOLO

BRIDGE

"let's flee the country to be free" ???
watch out girl life out there can be dangerous
_
_



In the very first line I needed a one-syllable word to stand for "a pretty girl". I decided to simply give her a name. I found "May" and "Faith", choosing the latter because of its connotation.

I'm not happy with the beginning of the fifth verse because the direct speach is not introduced in any way as in "she says" or "the ferryman says", hence the question marks.