March/April 2022 Lyric Contest Winners

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Congratulations to all our March/April 2022 Lyric Contest winners! Read the winning lyrics for first through fourth place, below.

CLICK HERE to enter the May/June contest.


1st Place
“Out Where The Wind Blows Free” by Dan Edwards

Don’t dig a hole for me, boys, don’t dig a hole for me,
Just set my rump on a cactus stump, out where the wind blows free.
I stayed in the saddle, for every battle, this old world threw at me,
Now it’s harvest time, for a crop divine, out where the wind blows free.

Don’t shed a tear for me, boys, don’t shed a tear for me,
Have a celebration of my graduation, with a sure ‘nuf jamboree.
I fought the fray, every day, to do what was needed of me,
Now I’ll rest, as Heaven’s guest, out where the wind blows free.

Out where the wind blows free, boys, out where the wind blows free.
There’s a brand new start, for every humble heart, down on bended knee.
Out where the wind blows free, yes, out where the wind blows free,
No need to roam because I’m goin’ home, out where the wind blows free.

Don’t feel sorry for me, boys, don’t feel sorry for me,
I persevered, and then I cheered, with every victory.
I planted the seeds and met the needs of the children God gave to me.
Now I’m gonna rest, as Heaven’s guest, out where the wind blows free.

Out where the wind blows free, boys, out where the wind blows free,
There’s a brand new start, for every humble heart, down on bended knee.
Oh, out where the wind blows free, yes, out where the wind blows free,
No need to roam because I’m goin’ home…
Out where the wind blows free.

2nd Place
“Last Drop” by Eric Traul

LAST DROP
(TO HONOR GEORGE FLOYD)

(CHORUS)
(It was the last drop) (echo & repeat 1x)
It was the last drop of rain
That finally made the levee break.
It was the last shot of pain
That was more than we could take.
It was the last drop. (echo & repeat 1x)
It was the last stick of straw
That finally broke the camel’s back.
It was the truth of what we saw
To be American and Black.
It was the last straw. (Echo & repeat 1x)

(VERSE 1)
It was South Minneapolis
The twenty-fifth of May
It was back in 2020
Just an ordinary day.
It was the last drop. (echo)
The cops were on patrol
It was the age of quarantine
But the corner store was open
There were people on the scene.
It was the last drop. (echo & repeat 1x)

(VERSE 2)
There was a forgery in progress
According to a call
Someone passed a funny $20
He was big and black and tall.
It was the last drop. (echo)
Mr. Floyd was in his car
When they arrived upon the scene
They were full of chauvinism
They were zealous, they were green.
It was the last drop. (echo & repeat 1x)

(VERSE 3)
So they pulled a gun and pulled him out
And pushed him to the ground
Then they pinned him to the pavement
As the people gathered ‘round.
It was the last drop. (echo)
They tried him and convicted him
And sentenced him to death
And for nine and twenty-nine
They deprived him of his breath.
Until the last drop (echo)
It was the last drop. (echo)

(CHORUS)
It was the last drop of rain
That finally made the levee break.
It was the last shot of pain
That was more than we could take.
It was the last drop. (echo & repeat 1x)It was the last stick of straw
That finally broke the camel’s back.
It was the truth of what we saw
To be American and Black.
It was the last straw. (Echo & repeat 1x)

(VERSE 4)
But it was filmed from every angle
And the camera doesn’t lie.
It was a public execution
And the public saw him die.
It was the last drop. (echo)
Saw him pleading for his mother
Heard him beg for them to stop
But he was just another victim
Of murder by a cop.
It was the last drop. (echo & repeat 1x)

(VERSE 5)
But it wasn’t just another neck or just another knee
It was a final guilty verdict on police brutality
It was the last drop. (echo)
It was the people standing up against the power of the State
And now the people got the power but the hour’s getting late.
It was the last drop. (echo & repeat 1x)
Justice is the battle cry, the battle’s in the street
Fighting off the fascists, turning up the heat
It was the last drop. (echo)
‘Cause the levy finally broke and now the wave is coming down
It’s a baptism in justice and it’s coming to your town.
It was the last drop. (echo & repeat 1x)

(CHORUS)
It was the last drop of rain
That finally made the levee break.
It was the last shot of pain
That was more than we could take.
It was the last drop. (echo & repeat 1x)
It was the last stick of straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
It was the truth of what we saw
To be American and Black.
It was the last straw. (Echo & fade out)


Since 1984, American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters get noticed and have fun. Enter today before the deadline:


3rd Place
“Twenty More Candles” by Doc Strassberg

Lyrics: [Verse]
Morning comes calling, our spirits will rise
Coffee is brewing, wipe sleep from your eyes
Wake up the kids put the dog back outside
Some of us walk there and some of us ride
Greetings are shared as the crowd fits in place
Take a deep breath and anticipate grace
Nobody noticed him hiding in back
Now on his feet and they hear the first crack

[Chorus]
They were raising their voices
For the maker to hear
They were raising their hands
As the moment grew near
Twenty more candles would flicker and fade
Twenty more candles would join the parade

[Verse]
Some left there running and others would crawl
Twenty were carried and witnessed by all
Written in blood on the halls of belief
Brothers and sisters now live in our grief
Leaves in the gutter a rake in the yard
Mailboxes fill up with letters and cards
Balls in the bushes, a car on a jack
Pots on the boil because no one came back

[Chorus]
They were raising their voices
For the maker to hear
They were raising their hands
As the moment grew near
Twenty more candles would flicker and fade
Twenty more candles would join the parade

[Bridge]
Gather again in the mist on the hill
The sun’s trying hard but it can’t cut the chill
Call out the names as we add up the bill
Just like we have and I guess that we will

[Chorus]
They were raising their voices
For the maker to hear
They were raising their hands
As the moment grew near
Twenty more candles would flicker and fade
Twenty more candles would join the parade

4th Place
“24 Miles to Mobile” by Lauren Smith

Verse:
She said I’ll pray for you, I’ll write you every day
Straightened my new uniform and watched me drive away
Posted to a strange land half a world from home
Wearing holes in her letters, feeling so alone
There were times I thought I’d never make it back
Now I’m winding out this Tahoe laying hard on the gas

Chorus:
It’s twenty-four miles to Mobile
Twelve more exits and she’ll
Wake up to the sound of gravel underneath my wheels
Six more songs on the radio
How fast can this Chevy go?
Gonna hold her in my arms and tell her how I feel
Twenty-four miles to Mobile
And she’s mine…

Verse:
She was just a freckled girl the summer I turned ten
Yankees cap, emerald eyes, a crooked little grin
Swore to be friends forever, crossed our hearts and hoped to die
Her memory kept me going as the weeks and months went by
Now there’s a thin line between friendship and love
I finally crossed over and thank God above it’s only

Chorus:
Eighteen miles to Mobile
Nine more exits and she’ll
Wake up to the sound of gravel underneath my wheels
Four more songs on the radio
How fast can this Chevy go?
Gonna hold her in my arms and tell her how I feel
Eighteen miles to Mobile
And she’s mine…

Bridge:
I don’t know if she feels the same
But there’s one thing that I know
I miss that girl more and more
With every mile I go, but it’s just

Chorus:
Twelve more miles to Mobile
Six more exits and she’ll
Wake up to the sound of gravel underneath my wheels
Three more songs on the radio
How fast can this Chevy go?
Gonna hold her in my arms and tell her how I feel
Twelve more miles to Mobile
And she’s mine…

Honorable Mentions

“The Measure Of A Man” by Jerry Silverstein
“Like Daddy Did” by Cody Clark
“My Hurricane” by Ryan Sanderson
“Six New Strings” by Paul Bethel
“Car Crash Survivors” by Hank Erwin
“Never Left Home” by Wyatt Cote
“Sinner on the Skids” by Joe Appleby
“Little Me” by Carson Millican
“Watching The River Drift By” by Jeffrey Strawn
“Watch ‘Em Grow” by Bryan Lanning


Photo courtesy of Dan Edwards.

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