Dallas Songwriters Association

DSA is a 501 C3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing learning opportunities on the craft and business of songwriting. All styles of music are welcome in the DSA, and membership includes writers of all ages. DSA monthly activities include meetings with guest speakers, song critiques and performance showcases that are open to the public. In addition, the DSA supports and promotes workshops and contests and publishes a monthly newsletter.

CELEBRATING 31 YEARS IN 2018
MOTIVATING & UPLIFTING SONGWRITERS THROUGH EDUCATION

LYRIC CONTEST

LYRICISTS GAIN RECOGNITION THROUGH COMPETITION
Next Lyric Contest Deadline is Sept 30th
for Summer Lyric Contest
Entry fee is $10
Enter by mail: Dallas Songwriters Lyric Contest, Sammons Center For The Arts, 3630 Harry Hines Blvd #20 Dallas, Tx 75219
Enter online:

Winners 2018 Winter Lyric Contest


SEMIFINALIST
Shey  by Kenneth Adams, Rockwall, Tx 
Dreaming by Bill Kapac, West Wildwood, NJ
Homeless Sky by  Michael Roth, Arlington, VA
If You Have any Questions, Ask You by Ken Adams, Rockwall, TX
Five Day Weekend by Bill Kapac, West Wildwood, NJ
The Bridge is Higher by Minnie Murray, Sante Fe, NM
You Are My Fantasy by Myra Litton, London, UK

WINNERS

First Place::   Shey  by Kenneth Adams, Rockwall, Tx 
Second Place::  Dreaming by Bill Kapac, West Wildwood, NJ
Third Place:: Homeless Sky by  Michael Roth, Arlington, VA
Fourth Place: If You Have any Questions, Ask You by Ken Adams, Rockwall, TX
Honorable MentionFive Day Weekend by Bill Kapac, West Wildwood, NJ
Honorable MentionThe Bridge is Higher by Minnie Murray, Sante Fe, NM
Honorable Mention: You Are My Fantasy by Myra Litton, London, UK

We have some winners

First Place::   Shey  by Kenneth Adams, Rockwall, Tx 
    I liked this song because it did not have a lot of hazy, gauzy imagery in its first verse --- it gets directly to the pointThe singer and Shey have a problem they've been avoiding and its "time we faced the truth".  Shey wants a structured life, which apparently isn't to the singer's tasteShe wants children, a house, a conventional life, and judging by the "sigh" it sounds like she's been seeing it, although she doesn't want to face it.  
When the song breaks for the chorus, I like the imagery, he's "hungry for the wind, a Texas tumbleweedI can feel his joy as he sings about the blowin' in the wind lifestyle in the last two lines of chorus, I can almost hear them without even knowing what the musical structure of the song is.  
    This is not a new song subject, it has been done before, but it is well structured, well thought out so that all the lines contribute to the song, and well written in my viewI would like to know what went wrong, Shey and the singer obviously had something that drew them together so that they are in the close relationship they find themselves in now, what happened to change thingsChange of heart? Or maybe there's no simple answer, but the fact that I WANT TO KNOW MORE tells me the lyricist is crafting something that draws me inMaturity changes things, and the bridge might be better used to explain where things went wrong rather than rehashing positions that Shey and the singer have already staked out in the early verses of the songStill I believe this is a fine lyric, and I would love to hear the finished product, with music, as I felt I could almost hear the chorus in my head in the "waiting for me, Ah hah, waiting for me, waiting for me, Ah hah" ending.   

Shey, isn't it time we talk about it
Shey, isn't it time we faced the truth
I'll never be what you want 
A man to be, what you want
We both know it Shey, we know

Shey, you want the house, you want the kids
Shey, two for sure maybe more
Don't look at me that way
What's with the sigh?
I've seen your eyes light up just thinking about it
Shey, I'm too shaky for the ride
Shey, the clock is ticking

(Chorus)

I get hungry for the wind
Like Texas tumbleweed
I stagger and stumble unpredictably
Deep inside there's a flying machine
Waiting on the runway, waiting for me
Ah hah, waiting for me, Ah hah

(Bridge)

Have the house, have the car, have the kids, have the yard
Call it desire, call it destiny
We're all hunters searching for a place in our dreams

(Chorus)

I get hungry for the wind
Like Texas tumbleweed
I stagger and stumble unpredictably
Deep inside there's a flying machine
Waiting on the runway, waiting for me
Ah hah, waiting for me, Ah hah

Shey, before things get more complicated
Shey, let's take a minute to reflect
You want that life, make it, you have a right, take it
I'll only zig zag down the road, get out of line eventually 

(Chorus)

I get hungry for the wind
Like Texas tumbleweed
I stagger and stumble unpredictably
Deep inside me there's a flying machine
Waiting on the runway, waiting for me
Ah hah, waiting for me, Ah hah

(Conclusion)

You can't change me Shey
You can't save me Shey
I might stay for a while but the day will come
When those engines call for me.


Second Place::  Dreaming by Bill Kapac, West Wildwood, NJ
    I liked this song because it has a very nice description of dreaming, and I can relate to what the lyricist describes about their dreams, I've had the same kind of dreamsThose familiar faces, the feeling of deja vu, that I've been in this strange place before, brought the experience of a dream to me in a way that is down to earth enough that it could be a pop or country song, or it could be done in a very spacey, Pink Floyd way with misty synths and string sections, they lyrics sound like they would work either wayI also like the way the chorus is a summary of the whole experience, it draws the whole song togetherIf anything, I might add a bridge or some more specific description in verse of people or places that the writer has seen in his dreams, preferably something that everyone can relate to, such as a dream about grandma, or a long past love, something like thatBut I liked the flow, everything seems to move coherently togetherNice lyric!                         

 V-1  I LAY MY HEAD DOWN ON A PILLOW, AND TRY TO GO TO SLEEP
         BUT MY MIND IS SPINNING ROUND, THOUGHTS ARE DIGGING DEEP
         SOON I GUESS I’M SLEEPING, BUT I’M NEVER REALLY SURE               
         EVERYWHERE SEEMS SO REAL, LIKE I’VE BEEN THERE BEFORE


 V-2  I DON’T GO TO BED WITH A PLAN, I JUST CLOSE MY EYES
         WHEREVER THE NIGHT TAKES ME, IS ALWAYS A SURPRISE
         THE STREETS, HOUSES, TOWNS AND SO MANY PLACES
         REMINICENT SMILES, ON FAMILIAR FACES


 CHORUS:  DREAMING YES I’M DREAMING, SLEEPING MY LIFE AWAY
                      THE MORNINGS COME TOO FAST, I WANT MY DREAMS TO LAST
                      DREAMS TAKE ME BACK IN TIME, I NEVER KNOW THEIR MEANING
                      THE WAY I FEEL IT MUST REAL, BUT I’M ONLY DREAMING


       V-3  I RECOGNIZE THEM RIGHT AWAY, HAVEN’T SEEN SOME IN A WHILE
               BUT EVERY OLD FRIEND I RECALL, IS SURE TO MAKE ME SMILE
               MY DAYS ARE ALL TOO LONG, I CAN’T WAIT TO GO TO BED
               WHERE THE BEST TIMES OF MY LIFE, ARE STREAMING IN MY HEAD


CHORUS:  DREAMING YES I’M DREAMING, SLEEPING MY LIFE AWAY
                      THE MORNINGS COME TOO FAST, I WANT MY DREAMS TO LAST
                      DREAMS TAKE ME BACK IN TIME, I NEVER KNOW THEIR MEANING
                      THE WAY I FEEL IT MUST REAL, BUT I’M ONLY DREAMING




Third Place:: Homeless Sky by  Michael Roth, Arlington, VA
    I like this lyric because of the imagery and turn of phrase that are used throughout it, but I think it still needs a re-write to make it clearer what the message or theme of the song isLines like "It's not the town it meant to be" hint at some very powerful messages that just don't quite come thru strong enoughIt has the feel of a song that is describing what is wrong with America of today, but I think it needs some wording changed here or there that would make it really shine as a message songI like the line "On the invisible front of the new civil war", but I wonder about the two sides in that new civil war, who are they and what do they representOr perhaps it is better to leave it from the perspective of a homeless person, who is dazed and confused with his own personal battles with lifeI just find some of the lines in it very apt, like "When the weather gets too drunk again" but I'd like a clearer message in itI really appreciate the writer's craft in this lyric, and wish to see the vision brought into sharper focus.  

 Homeless Sky

I’m really not a drinkin’ man
I come here for the atmosphere
A stone's throw from the Goodwill store 
Where the wounded drag in from the battle
On the invisible front of the new civil war
While I’m nursing a beer in Seattle

Chorus:
And the morning fog will steal your dreams 
Like a wallet from your shabby coat 
Before your very eyes
Life never measures up, it seems 
To that poetry you like to quote
Beneath the homeless sky
The homeless sky

Body shops on boomtown streets
It’s not the town it meant to be
It always wants a little more
And who am I to begrudge them
The evergreen air is perfect and pure
But it carries the odor of judgment

(Chorus)

I’ll sleep beneath a highway bridge
When the weather gets too drunk again
Every day’s a poker hand
My luck ran out at the age of seven
I feel like a sailor lost out at sea
Searching for signs in the heavens

(Chorus)


Fourth Place: If You Have any Questions, Ask You by Ken Adams, Rockwall, TX
   I found the turn of the lyric "Ask You" instead of "Any Questions, Ask ME" interestingThe first verse describes things very logically, and it is clear where the lyric is going, and takes the listener with them, step by stepEvery verse takes the listener somewhere different, and it reminds me of "By the Time I get to Phoenix" written by Jimmy Webb and done so well by Glenn Campbell.   I believe the bridge could be re-written to describe other problems that led her to leave. As it is now, it just restates things that are already in the verses.


By now, you read the note I stuck to your door
By now, you cursed me up, down, sideways too
Guess I wasn't sophisticated enough
True, I'm a country girl
This country girl knows how to get rid of you

Sorry to miss tonight's lame excuse 
Something like, "I have to work late, special project, it all falls on me"
Well, I know about your project, it has two legs curves n' curls
I did a little investigating, something just wasn't sitting right with me

Like a room without a wall, a truck without a wheel, a horse without a stall
Something just wasn't adding up you see
Well, I'm half way to Tulsa, took the cat and my guitar
Changed my cell number, changed my passwords, changed them all

Chorus
Ask you if all your fooling around
Ask you if your intention to make me a victim of a sad country song
Worked out like you though it would
Did your double-dipping scam work like it should?
If you have any questions ask you

Bridge
I won't let you steal my self-respect
I don't need some lying Tom to twist me up, mess with my head
I don't need you to warm my bed

I'll be clearing Arkansas by nine
Cat curled up beside me, radio cranked, keeping time
By now, you're probably executing plan B
Give her a big ol' kiss, a hap-hap, hap-hap-howdy from me

Bridge
I won't let you steal my self-respect
I don't need some lying Tom to twist me up, mess with my head
I don't need you to warm my bed

Chorus
Ask you if all your fooling around
Ask you if your intention to make me a victim of a sad country song
Worked out like you though it would
Did your double-dipping scam work like it should?
If you have any questions ask you

Conclusion
If you have any questions
Look in only one direction
If you have any questions ask you.


Honorable MentionFive Day Weekend by Bill Kapac, West Wildwood, NJ
   This is a song I think EVERYONE can get behind, a five day weekend! Nice lyric I can almost hear coming from the juke box of some honky tonkEvery verse moves, chorus is a nice summary of something we can all dream of!


            V-1  WE’RE GONNA CHANGE THE WEEK MY FRIEND
                    ALL THIS TIME AT WORK HAS GOT TO END
                    WE NEED MORE NIGHTS TO PARTY AND DISCOVER
                     THE FUN WE’VE BEEN MISSING, AND HAVE TIME TO RECOVER        


     CHORUS: A FIVE DAY WEEKEND IS WHAT WE WANT
                        WHO STARTED THIS TWO DAY WEEKEND ANYWHO
                        WHAT WERE THEY THINKING, WE NEED TIME FOR DRINKING
                        THE TIME HAS COME, THE WEEK NEEDS A CHANGE
                        IT’S STILL SEVEN DAYS, THEY’RE JUST RE-ARRANGED  
                        FIVE DAY WEEKEND, A FIVE DAY WEEKEND 
                        WEEK’S STILL SEVEN DAYS, THEY’RE JUST RE-ARRANGED  

              
               V-2  WE’LL WORK EXTRA HARD, ON THOSE TWO WORK DAYS
                        WORK RIGHT THROUGH LUNCH, NEVER ASK FOR A RAISE
                        WITH THIS NEW TIME OFF WE’LL CELEBRATE
                        START A BIG PARTY IT’S TOO LATE TO WAIT


                V-3  NEW SCHEDULE SOUNDS GREAT, A WORKERS DREAM COME TRUE
                        WE ALL NEED MORE TIME OFF, THAT’S NOTHING NEW
                          THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE, WE’VE BEEN WORKING TOO LONG
                           ONLY TWO DAYS OFF, IS ONLY JUST WRONG


     CHORUS: A FIVE DAY WEEKEND IS WHAT WE ALL WANT
                        WHO STARTED THIS TWO DAY WEEKEND ANYWHO
                        WHAT WERE THEY THINKING, WE NEED TIME FOR DRINKING
                        THE TIME HAS COME, THE WEEK NEEDS A CHANGE
                         IT’S STILL SEVEN DAYS, THEY’RE JUST RE-ARRANGED  
                         FIVE DAY WEEKEND, A FIVE DAY WEEKEND 
                         WEEK’S STILL SEVEN DAYS, THEY’RE JUST RE-ARRANGED  
                        A FIVE DAY WEEKEND A FIVE DAY WEEKEND


( IF WANTED)  BRIDGE:  LIVING AIN’T EASY, TIME GOES FAST
                                                LIFE IS FRAGILE, NOT MADE TO LAST


     CHORUS: A FIVE DAY WEEKEND IS WHAT WE ALL WANT
                        WHO STARTED THIS TWO DAY WEEKEND ANYWHO
                        WHAT WERE THEY THINKING, WE NEED MORE TIME FOR DRINKING
                        THE TIME HAS COME, THE WEEK NEEDS A CHANGE
                        IT’S STILL SEVEN DAYS, THEY’RE JUST RE-ARRANGED  
                        FIVE DAY WEEKEND, FIVE DAY WEEKEND 
                         IT’S STILL SEVEN DAYS, THEY’RE JUST RE-ARRANGED  

Honorable MentionThe Bridge is Higher by Minnie Murray, Sante Fe, NM
   This lyric sounds to me like a protest song against building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but it just isn't clear enough for meIt sounds like it is trying to be both a protest song and a bit of a love songI believe it has promise, but needs a re-write to focus it more.

Honorable Mention: You Are My Fantasy by Myra Litton, London, UK
   I like the jist of this lyric, the sort of unrequited love fantasy of it, and I think it shows promisebut it needs to be re-written to eliminate a few of the strained rhymesThe Chorus is nicely doneI'd like to meet this librarian, I'll bet when she takes off her glasses and lets down her hair, she's a real looker!

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