September/October 2021 Lyric Contest Winners

Congratulations to all our Sept/Oct 2021 Lyric Contest winners! CLICK HERE to enter the November/December contest, deadline September 15 @ 11:59 PM CST.

1st place

“Road That Coal Made Black”
By Ryan T. Miller (Read Q&A)

Verse 1
The mountain took my momma when I was nearly 17
And I don’t recall it making any kind of apology
It was dark and cold and heartless and free of any sound
And the stone was unrelenting as I laid her in the ground
The mountain took my momma just like it took hers too
And with daddy gone now 16 years, there was nothing left to do

Chorus
I walked on down the mountain and I left her bones behind
Along with every winter, every hardship, every lie
I walked on down the mountain on a road that coal made black
I walked on down the mountain with no plans of going back

Verse 2
My daddy left that mountain soon as I had come along
Said he wasn’t built for staying, said his heart had got it wrong
Never heard my momma crying, nor talking in her sleep
She had every right to hate him, just not the energy
My daddy left that mountain as a coward and a cheat
But he was smart enough to know that mountain often can’t be beat

Chorus
I walked on down the mountain like my daddy done before
With no hope that I might find him. No questions anymore
I walked on down the mountain on a road that coal made black
I walked on down the mountain with no plans of going back

Verse 3
The mountain lies behind me, but I feel the mountain still
The poison in the sandstone, the power in the shale
It had a way of breaking down what momma wanted most
Instead of loving whispers all she got was daddy’s ghost
The mountain took my momma, but I took it all in stride
And I’ll be damned if that dark mountain takes what’s left of her boy’s/girl’s pride

Chorus
I walked on down that mountain knocking dust off from my shoes
With a chance to find some comfort on a path that I can choose

Since 1984, the American Songwriter Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters gain exposure and have fun.


2nd Place

“When We Get Old” 
By Roy Dufrain

Do you remember
Those early days
The old folks said
We’d never last
One room apartment
Two broke down cars
And all the lovin’
A man could ask

(Chorus)
The years rush by
The lows and highs
The tears we cried
The songs we sung
But we’re still laughing
And love’s still fun
When we get old
We’ll still be young
When we get old
We’ll still be young

The middle years
We worked so hard
The graveyard shifts
The overtime
Nose to the grindstone
No paid vacations
But I was yours and
You were mine

(Repeat Chorus)

We bought that big house
That Cadillac
Then times got hard
We lost it all
Now we’ve been downsized
But we don’t mind
Same wedding pictures
Hang on the wall

(Bridge)
Time ain’t nothing but an unpaid loan
Love ain’t measured by the rooms it fills
You can’t buy happy with a bitter heart
Age ain’t nothing but a tale to tell

Now we’re the old folks
The kids are grown
Ain’t got no mortgage
Ain’t got no job
Come by on Sunday
Drinks on the front porch
Steaks on the grill and
Corn on the cob

(Repeat Chorus)

  
  
  
  
 3rd Place
  
“Free Piano”
By Tom McMahon

I’m looking for a free piano
I think it’s time I learned to play
the three chord songs that I write on guitar
are sounding all the same
88 keys don’t need no pick
can’t be that hard to come up with a lick
I’m looking for a free piano
what I really need is a truck

I’m looking for a cheap old truck
so I can move my free piano
square body Chevy will do
maybe an El Camino
’75 or older so I don’t gotta get it smogged
I’m looking for a cheap old truck
what I really need is a job

I’m looking for a decent job
so I can buy a cheap old truck
maybe something in the arts
with people that don’t suck
my three chord songs don’t provide much dough
they might sound better with a free piano
I’m lookin for a decent job
so I can buy a cheap old truck

I go on craigslist
and I do a search
there’s 20 free pianos in Los Angeles
just gotta show up in my truck
and haul that piano away
and then I’ll drive it to my decent job
with people that don’t suck

I’m looking for a piano that’s free
I’m hopin some of it’ll rub off on me
sometimes life can feel like a trap
a locked door without a key
but a free piano’s got 88
same as one that cost an arm and a leg
I’m looking for a piano that’s free
i know there’s one lookin for me

  
  
  
  
4th Place
  
“If” 
By Rod Young

If war was a flower
Then there'd be blooms everywhere
If peace was a shower
Then It wouldn't rain over here

If hate was a diamond
Then we'd have more than our share
If love was a destination
Then some of us wouldn't make it there

Such a tragedy
That we live so hard
But we work so much

And it's painful to see
When we love so hard
But we hurt so much

Where do we go from here
How do we make the ifs go away

What will it take
To make the ifs go away

If pain cured hunger
Then no one starving could be found
If joy was thunder
Then the clouds wouldn't make a sound

If greed was a mountain
Then the Banks would sit high
If faith was a river
Then the seas would be dry

Such a tragedy
That we live so hard
But we work so much

And it's painful to see
When we love so hard
But we hurt so much

Tell me where do we go from here
What will it take
To make the ifs go away

What will it take
To make the ifs go away

  
  
  
Honorable Mention
  
  
“Better Man Than Me”
By Lane Findlay & Jaxson Findlay

“Nobody Gets Out”
By Kevin Broadrick

“I’ll See You Again”
By Bryan Truitt

“Hard On My Heart”
By Lauren Smith

“American Love”
By Lana Love

“Coffee With You”
By Bob Meagher

“Drip”
By Brad Mays

“It Helps”
By Raquel Telfer


“One More Game of Texas Hold ‘Em”
By Mark Stepakoff

“A Kiss In The Dark”
By Brenden Friel

Since 1984, the American Songwriter Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters gain exposure and have fun.


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