Week 4 Challenge- Inner city cowboy

In a blink of an eye it’s week 4. I must say, time flies by when you’re busy…

This weeks challenge was to write an “edgy” country song for a male singer in their early 20’s. I had mixed feelings about this.  I felt like it was really off my element but at the same time it would be fun to tackle a new challenge.

So where to start? I would say the most fun part of this challenge was just sitting down and analyzing country lyrics. I looked up the top country hits and loaded them up on youtube. Spent about 2 days looking through lyrics, trying to zero in on patterns. After listening to countless hours of songs I started to notice some key things.

A really memorable country song has a witty element to it. The songwriter would take a simple title but put a unique twist. Let me give you an example. There’s a song called smoke about how the girl is addictive like a cigarette or when he tries to grab her she disappears like smoke. Or another song called “Toy Gun” by Miranda Lambert about how words are so hurtful when used in an aggressive manner. She wishes words were like toy guns, just playful and harmless. There were also some funny songs like Toby Keith’s “As good as I once was”, which was about how he’s too old to do young things.

As I listened to more country songs, I noticed how the genre is changing. A lot of new songs are trying to fuse popular elements into the sound such as hip hop percussions, R&B melody phrases and that big chorus that pops out. Guess it’s hard to define country music these days…

I think this week was difficult for me because I had a few juicy ideas but my songwriters A.D.D kept kicking in. I didn’t really know which idea was the strongest so I kept jumping back and forth. Once I jumped to one song, another song idea would pop up and next thing you know, I’m working on a different song with a total different feel. By Saturday I had to make up my mind and I decided to go with the girl empowering angle.

I know that in my generation and the future ones to come, the female population is more independent with way more responsibilities (career wise). Why not take the tough girl angle and sing about a girl who is more of a man than the man is?

So here is my guitar and vocal demo. I felt if I tried to imitate the country production I would mess up the feel of the song so I kept it simple…

Happy listening =)


Soft Side by Gordon Wong
Verse 1
I’m in love with a tough girl
Been dating for a while
Pretty face
But with a Tom-boy style
Tried to make a move
but set off her alarm
guess she’s still a little worried I’m a break her heart
She’s not into the sweet stuff
I’m trying to open her up
But I guess it’s just been really tough
Cuz her daddy use to tell her it’s a man’s man’s world
So raise up your walls and never get hurt
Rough around the edges
She’s thick around the skin
Baby I can change it if you let me in
Show you that I love you
Never make you cry
Girl I just wanna see your soft side
your soft side
your soft side
Verse 2
Snuck a little kiss last Friday night
Watched her blood boil
She was ready for a fight
Told me if you want me
You’re gonna have to wait
Try it again and I will sock you in the face

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