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Songwriting 101: Good Morning to You My Sweetheart

This article is about songwriting as it applies to my song Good Morning to You My Sweetheart. Here you will find out how I put to work the suggestions of a great songwriter, to improve my song.

Good Morning to You My Sweetheart Tom and Mary Kay

Ever since I composed the song Good Morning to You My Sweetheart, I have been singing the first couple of phrases to Tom whenever we wake up and start our day. It's a catchy little tune with clever lyrics that we also sing for folks a our local gigs. However, the song never did get much attention from music streaming websites, having about 120 views on Youtube and definitely not making it to our Top 10 Downloads list.

You might even say that Good Morning to You My Sweetheart has been pretty much ignored, even though everybody who hears it puts on a smile and tells us they love it.

The Songwriting Workshop

I just figured that like so much of my music, Good Morning to You My Sweetheart just doesn't have much Cool Factor, being just a clean little happy song to sing for someone you love, like maybe your spouse or your kid. So, when I attended Songwriters Woodshed hosted by John Gillette and Sue Demel, where I announced that my musical offering to the group would be this way uncool song, I was flabbergasted when Tom and I performed it to see the other songwriters smiling, laughing, and swaying along with my music as we sang! My gawd, they told me they loved my song and I gotta say that was super encouraging to me as a songwriter!

Before the workshop I had been working on a new version of this song, to add the songwriting suggestions I found in Jimmy Webb's book, Tunesmith. (Just in case you don't know who Jimmy Webb is, think Wichita Lineman, Galveston, MacArthur Park and numerous other super great Pop hits that he wrote.) I had made several additions to the original simple version, which was really just a super short little Verse-Verse-Chorus two times through type of song.

Here's what I added while working through Tunesmith:

  • a prolog with a fun little bass line and accordion accompaniment,
  • an introduction with lyrics that set the stage,
  • a couple of 7th chords at the end of the intro, with the last of these being on the 2-chord, to peak the listener's interest,
  • a bunch of short little fills throughout the song, which I played on my happy little accordion,
  • a bridge that I also played on my accordion, to lead into the second verse,
  • a bass line. These days I think songs just really gotta have a bass line,
  • vocal harmonies on the chorus, for Tom to sing with me.

That's a lot! It was a lot of composing and twiddling on my part, but it sure was fun to put the suggestions in the book to work to improve my song. And, I think if you compare my new version to the original, you will agree. Especially if you are into songwriting, like me. Perhaps you may even find a Before and After comparison educational and inspiring.

Let's go backwards in our Before and After comparison, and check out the new version first.

The Before and After Comparison

After: The New Version

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Before: Original Version

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Let us know what you think

If you liked this presentation, please head over to our Facebook page or our Youtube channel @tuneytwosome, and leave a comment. Thanks for listening, and happy songwriting!

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