New Old Song on Soundcloud

Just posted a new old song on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/paul-race-933212658/

“Heart of the Heartland” was written for my Folk-based play “If the Creek Don’t Rise.”

I posted it on Soundcloud because I had submitted it for review to a Nashville songwriter with a number of hits and they preferred having the song on SoundCloud instead of cluttering their inbox. It’s an old arrangement, written for a piano-playing character in the play, which is why it is piano-heavy, but I still think it’s a good song.

Here’s what I send them, including the lyrics:

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I keep not sending you songs since I had to tear my studio apart for a move. So I figured I’d send in one I demoed some time back just to get the ball rolling and make sure I was doing this right. Feel free to be brutal.

Heart of the Heartland – Words and Music Copyright (c) 2004 by Paul D. Race

Out of my room you could see twenty miles
To the grain elevators and the Methodist spires
Ribbons of blacktop and gold fields of wheat
And the green walls of corn at the edge of the street

Clotheslines and grapevines and screen doors that slam
Are all a big part of the person I am.
All of my wisdom and half of my dreams,
I earned in the fields and the woods and the streams.

The heart of the heartland is where I belong
Though folks there say I’ve been a stranger too long.
If not for misfortune and other men’s plans
I’d be home in the heart of the heartland

Now somewhere I pray there’s a boy running wild
Turning over the stones that I turned as a child,
Tying new ropes on the swimming hole tree
And living the life that’s the best part of me.

The heart of the heartland is where I belong
Though folks there say I’ve been a stranger too long.
If not for misfortune and other men’s plans
I’d be home in the heart of the heartland

I want to taste the fresh strawberries, smell the old pines
Swing on the porch ‘till the lightnin’ bugs shine
Pick every wildflower that I left behind
Take a step backward in time.

Oh, the heart of the heartland is where I belong
Though folks there say I’ve been a stranger too long.
If not for misfortune and other men’s plans,
I’d be home in the heart of the heartland.

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Here’s the feedback I got:

This song is reminiscent of something Neil Diamond might have sung many decades ago… I LOVED the imagery… Lovely lyrics… The melody does work, and although very dated, it really fits the emotion conveyed in this song. The singer is a bit distracting, and sounds like he belongs on Broadway… Now, that’s not a bad thing for the singer, but for this song, I think you MIGHT have a better shot if you replaced the Billy Joel sounding piano with a more modern country track, and used a young country demo singer to make the song fit more into the current market trends… Good luck with this song, and for sure, keep on writing!!!!

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As the singer and piano player, I completely agree with that part of the review!

Also, for more information about the play or about Folk Revival music or traditional instruments, check out http://CreekDontRise.com

Paul

About Paul

Paul Race has been writing and playing all kinds of music since the 1960s, though he tends to favor acoustic and traditional songs. He has created resources like CreekDontRise.com, ClassicTrainSongs.com, and SchoolOfTheRock.com to help other musicians get a good start on their own journeys.

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