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Love is War


Warren Smith

 Genre: Rock

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My song production develops out of two general approaches - keyboard and guitar-based music.

The difference is simple. When the melody comes first, I most often try to develop it on the keyboard using garageband's synthesized sounds. On the guitar, I usually bang around until a chord progression forms, and the melody later advances from that.

This song represents the guitar approach - the progression popped out, some lyrics took shape, and it was constructed using garageband.
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Cm G
I need to go to sleep
Cm G
I need to rest my weary head
Cm G
I’ve spent the past two days in zombie land
Fm G
Walking like the living dead

When you refused to see me
And say goodbye for one more last time
The pain – it nearly killed me
I felt blindsided by a roadside bomb

You softened me up with an air attack
Then that artillery barrage took me apart
That laser-guides missile laid me low
A bunker-buster to the heart

I need to go to sleep
I need to rest my weary head
They say there’s not much difference between love and war
Especially when you’re walking like the living dead
Song Stats
Hits: 4213
Comments: 31
Fans: 4
Plays: 256
Downloads: 132
Votes: 10
Uploaded: May 19, 2006 - 03:03:59 PM
Last Updated: May 19, 2006 - 03:03:59 PM Last Played: Jul 05, 2019 - 04:36:40 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:

Creative Commons

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Guitar - Aria Pro II
bronco said 4901 days ago (May 19th, 2006)
Good Song
Warren this is really good! Everything is nice, the guitars, vocals,
arrangement, lyrics! Very original to use the military hardware in a love
song. When you think about it I guess love is kind of like a war
between the genders. Excellent lead licks and the tone was good. Nice
job my friend.
Check out my latest song called Stenosis Commitosis
Warren Smith said 4901 days ago (May 19th, 2006)
Good Song
Yes, I was aiming at contemporary warfare imagery, although I don't know
how well they hit the target.

Thanks for commenting, Bronco.

Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
snowdragon said 4901 days ago (May 19th, 2006)
Something said
Elvis Costello to me while listening to this.

It's a unique, quirky tune and definitely not your basic radio schlock.
Works on many levels.

Loved that "bunker-buster to the heart"
Check out my latest song called Nightmares
Warren Smith said 4901 days ago (May 19th, 2006)
Something said
Originally, I was playing around with a mix of "love" and "war" narrative
situations, but once that "bunker-buster" line entered the picture, it redefined
the direction the lyrics went ... as well as helping set some of the "levels" you
refer to.
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
said 4901 days ago (May 19th, 2006)
Vintage Smithtones. I like your absolutely unique profile. From the
bowls of Brooklyn comes not another walking song but a missile
-riding, hang-tough anthem. Whacky chord progressions complement
your vocalizing.

Warren, peace.
Warren Smith said 4901 days ago (May 19th, 2006)
I've been working on "Love is War" for almost a month. Much of that time was
spent trying to find a suitable bass guitar sound. I tried this and I tried that ...
and that ... and that ... and that. The problem wasn't in the notes, because I kept
coming up with some interesting enough bass patterns, but I just wasn't happy
with the sound. Finally, I said "screw the bass - the song doesn't need it." The
only reason I was trying to put it in was because of the preconceived notion that
a rhythm guitar and drums had to have a bass to fill out the "rythym section."
Once I lightened up and I quit trying to force the issue, the song came together
as a more organic piece with its own distinct sound.
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
screamalexz said 4901 days ago (May 19th, 2006)
i think the vocals are a little infront. interesting and creative lyrics. nice lead guitar work. the vocals have an interesting style to them. the vocals i feel could use a little more emotion that connects with the lyrics and the meaning of the song. over all this is good tho.
Check out my latest song called Broken Spirit
Warren Smith said 4900 days ago (May 20th, 2006)
I think your comments are pretty much right on. Thanks for making them.

If the vocals are a little too in front, it probably comes from a general
response to past critiques that my music has a tendency to overpower the
vox. I fiddled with this quite a bit on this mix. I finally decided to let the
vocals come out a little stronger than I usually make them, to see how that

You touched on three salient points of this song - the vocal styling, the guitar
and the lyrics. Because my voice has such limited range, I have to rely on
phrasing, not expression, to convey style. That becomes part of the creative
action for me when I develop the lyrics - messing with meter and structure to
advance variation, and create tension, and foster meaning, through phrasing.

The same analysis probably applies to my guitar work. When I was working on
the lead passages, I kept thinking about a comment an art instructor made to
me many years ago about drawing. He said, when you're making a line, try to
anticipate where it is going before it goes there. Perhaps some of these leads
reflect that thinking?

As far as the emotion=meaning thought, I can't see me emoting these lyrics
(and not just because my voice lacks the range). Let's face it, the allusions are
over-the-top ("roadside bomb," "laser-guided missle" and "bunker-buster").
To deliver them with grand emotion would make the meaning blatantly
sardonic. By delivering them strait-up, the cynical element doesn't explode in
your face (which is probably what Snowdragon was hinting at when he
mentioned the "levels").
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
screamalexz said 4900 days ago (May 20th, 2006)
hmm your emotion point makes sense. i often have vocals a little powered in songs too, because i tend to record as one track because it's ussually easier for me to sing that way. it's a creative track. you do a good job of making the small vocal range not noticeable.

Robert Smith lied, boys do cry
Check out my latest song called Broken Spirit
renecalvo said 4900 days ago (May 20th, 2006)
nice one
I'd like to hear two guitars. One free of the rhythm soaring above the other. Or perhaps a keyboard solo. Needs one more element.
Check out my latest song called Another Mother's son
Warren Smith said 4900 days ago (May 20th, 2006)
nice one
Thanks for listening and commenting.
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
Macaudion said 4900 days ago (May 20th, 2006)
Okay Warren
You have just entertained me, but not without disbelief - I had to go
back to at least your tunes "November Nasty" and "Still with me" just to
make sure that you are indeed, Warren Smith. I only had "Pliny's
Natural History" deeply carved into my thick stone of associations with
your name. I hadn't recalled that you were such a whacky kinda guy -
And I don't have a clue, the workings that take place to assemble this
kind of tune - That facinates me - This is funny stuff - Yes, you are
one of those people who will default me to one notch closer to less
strange - LOL - And this is not a small thing, you know - Thank you
for sharing this with us - I'm smiling - Dion
Check out my latest song called Picture country living
Warren Smith said 4899 days ago (May 21st, 2006)
Okay Warren
Me making you seem less strange? Ha-ha-hah - that's a good one! LOL,

Just as I appreciate diversity in life, I also enjoy diversity in making music. I
don't see myself shooting for a specific personal style - a sound that is
distinctly identifiably mine - for a number of reasons, not the least of which
is the challenge of exploring new and different areas of composition. That
doesn't mean I want to try my hand at every different genre (I'm not that
ambitious, nor that talented). But garageband and macjams have helped
broaden the target range.

After finishing a recent concentrated four-year effort to record 100 walking
songs, it has been liberating to make some different kinds of songs. I
appreciate you taking the time to make a comparison study. This particular
song really is a return to the basics, circling back to my rock roots, and I have
to say it felt pretty dang good to bang on the guitar again - physically,
intellectually and emotionally. But I guess that's why we are all making our
own music - whatever are our methods.
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
jiguma said 4900 days ago (May 20th, 2006)
From one to another ....
Shades of Neil Young in the lead guitar tone and style here Warren. For
obvious reasons, I don't agree about being able to leave the bass out -
call iit a personal quirk if you like, but I feel this could lift a couple of
notches with a good bass track. Like the lyrics and the production in
general. From one singer with limited vocal range to another, I think
you've done a very good job on the vox, and the song gets by well
without over emotionalising the delivery. Another instrument (as Rene
suggests) may be a good idea if ever you looked at revising the song.
A good post.
Check out my latest song called Le Chemin De La Vie
Warren Smith said 4899 days ago (May 21st, 2006)
From one to another ....
Who needs the radio when you can have listeners on the other side of the
earth through the magic of the internet? What a different world we live in
compared to the days when we first started playing, writing and recording
music. Thanks for listening, commenting ... and making the responses global.

I see a similarity in this song and some of your recent work, where a distinct
sound bed is made for laying in the lyrics. How those elements work together
becomes an integral part of the meaning, enveloping the lyrical content, and
creating a different kind of harmony than that produced by the singing or

Feedback suggests my sound bed could use another blanket or two. I'm
comfortable with hearing that, because it means people have listened,
evaluated and reacted. That's the point - everybody needs to make their own
bed. An above note tells why I passed on including the bass, because it was
detracting from, rather than adding to the mix. The nice thing about
GarageBand is, should I come across the "right" sound that integrates with
and complements what already is there, it could be added as a new track.
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
said 4899 days ago (May 21st, 2006)
Great arrangement, playing and production. You were wise to take your
time on this piece. It deserved the patient and meticulous treatment you
gave it. Only one hitch: add some bass! Every song needs it!

Be well!

Check out THE CAVE: http://www.macjams.com/song/20883

Warren Smith said 4898 days ago (May 22nd, 2006)
In some ways, for me, the arrangement becomes the most important element
for making a song like this - given my amateur instrumental abilities and
limited singing range. What I mean is how the structure allows a variety of
components to work together to create a whole, while allowing for thematic
variation. For example, I knew from the start I wanted to vary the sequencing
of the verse order, singing the first two verses back-to-back, but then
spacing out the final two verses with guitar solos in between. That alone
created differing subtle tensions in the fluency of the text and the flow of the

I appreciate you taking the time to listen and comment. I'm not denying
there's room for a bass line in this song - just noting that I never found the
right sound which added to, rather than subtracted from, the arrangement.
So maybe I wasn't patient enough? But I'm wary of statements like "Every song
needs it." Beware of formulas. They kill originality ; )
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
said 4897 days ago (May 23rd, 2006)
Yeah, you're right---an overstatement on my part. I let my love of bass
overwhelm my reason. I stand corrected!

Be well!
Warren Smith said 4897 days ago (May 23rd, 2006)
One more thought about arrangement - after the lengthy 21-minute "Natural
History," I purposely wanted to come back with a short piece. I think it's asking a
lot of listeners to give that much of their time - especially if it becomes time-
consuming time after time. It would be nice if macjams allowed us to arrange
the order of our postings (I know I'd make some changes in mine) to better
manage the flow of the music. I had recorded a copy of other pieces, but they
didn't seem the right thing for following the "Natural History." Thanks again for
commenting - even if I have veered in a different direction on the concept of
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
said 4897 days ago (May 23rd, 2006)
I too would like it if we had more liberty to arrange our postings. It would be
cool to be able to change the order, the colors and even the typeface. You have
some good ideas friend!
said 4899 days ago (May 21st, 2006)
Good job
I think you could boost the music to match the vocals. Seems they are in
front too much. Nice vocal effect. Sounds like modern garage band rock.
Good job.
composerclark said 4844 days ago (July 15th, 2006)
Random thoughts
Hi Warren, here are some random thoughts after listening to this a few
times; hopefully some of them will be useful!

-something, possibly the rhythm guitar, seems just *slightly* out of
tune; no big deal, but if you ever revisit this song you might want to
check that.

-the point in the intro where the descending chromatic line enters is
cool, because the previous line is still hanging onto a sustained G, so
you get a little overlap. Maybe more of this sort of thing would be a
good idea?

-the chromatically-descending line stands out because it goes on far
longer than the listener expects (this listener, at least). This is good,
but the rhythm of the line is very straight - all eighth notes - and feels
kind of rigid, so perhaps at least some of the time (since it returns
later) it could have a freer feel?

-I like the way you throw in "I need to..." at the end of the first line.

-maybe you don't need "I've" at the start of the third line? Try starting
that line just with "Spent..." and see what you think.

-the words are extremely clever. I've looked at the lyrics in a couple of
your other songs, and to me it seems obvious that lyrics are your forte.
I don't know if it's possible for lyrics to ever be too smart/clever for
their own good, but it occurred to me that this song seems like the
antithesis of the old rule/guideline in fiction/poetry, "show me, don't
tell me." Is this necessarily a problem? I don't think so... it's just
something that you might want to be aware of as you write other
songs, in case it might lead you to experiment with a different
approach. Maybe the angst that the protagonist is expressing could
come out in a more visceral way...

-I am not sure about a fade-out ending here... it makes it feel kind of
unfinished to me.

I hope none of this seems negative, and I hope you keep sharing your
music with us! Cheers, Clark.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
Warren Smith said 4839 days ago (July 20th, 2006)
general thoughts
Some time ago I recognized that perfection was unattainable for me. I went through a period of trying to get every note correct and all of the timing right - and all I produced was boring music. All of the life had been driven out of it.

Since then, my general intent is to make recordings that balance the verve of the initial inspiration with the number of takes needed to get it to being "acceptable."

I try to let my pieces develop organically. Often the seed is a melody. Sometimes it's an idea. Sometimes it feels like spontaneous combustion. I generally build songs in layers - often with each new layer reacting to something already there. This is about as close as I get to the idea of jazz - that there is a improvised interaction between the components. Sometimes these moments of serendipidty become inculcated into the piece, and sometimes they get smoothed out or modified through successive takes.

Thanks for suggesting writing may be my forte, because I certainly consider lyrical content important (having been born into a family of wordsmiths), but I struggle with it like most everyone else. Actually, I don't think I have a forte. I'm kind of good at a lot of things that go into writing and recording music, but not outstanding at any particular thing.

At the moment, I'm taking a break from creating new material, while working on putting together an album of "Collected Songs" from the past 13 years. Half of the 200-plus songs I'm reviewing need to be digitized, so that's keeping me busy. As I listen to them I can't help but notice I've improved as a musician and composer (some of this is precipitated by interaction here at macjams; some of the improved quality is due to using better equipment). None of these songs are masterpieces, but I like to think there some life in them.

Thanks for taking the time it takes to leave a thoughful comment. (I have to admit, though, I'd rather have your views on "Natural History" (a much more ambitious undertaking) than this little three-minute rocker.
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
Komrade K said 4834 days ago (July 25th, 2006)
Quirky song and delivery - guitar lead has the feel of Tom Herman once
of Pere Ubu. Like it.

Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
said 4815 days ago (August 13th, 2006)
Like it
Great tune I like this....Tanks for sharing.
Take care Skean:)
bud said 4703 days ago (December 3rd, 2006)
Channeling The Residents
Warren - this is great. Sorry to go to comparisons - but my daughter recently pulled out my Residents and Snakefinger LP's and this has a similar vibe that I love. Great work.
Check out my latest song called mixer 2
ManateeChili said 4588 days ago (March 28th, 2007)
really like this song. started out like an old ween tune, then the vocals popped in and i don't know what it became. roadside bomb. nice.

i appreciate your approach to song writing. keep us listening.
Warren Smith said 4583 days ago (April 2nd, 2007)
Ha-ha ... I went through a Ween-listening-period about 10-years-ago ... so maybe something rubbed off? Thanks for listening and leaving a comment.
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
gregd said 4238 days ago (March 12th, 2008)
Love the vocals . . .
the lyrics seem a bit rushed in the delivery, but your caustic, dry delivery is great. It reminds of The Dickies or The Pixies. The guitar tone is nice and sharp too; did you record from an amp, or did you go straight into your computer? The levels struck my ear strangely: I found the guitar was too quiet in places and the drums too loud. I like the idea and the vocal stylings a bunch, and as with any project there's some room for improvement.

Nice work,
Check out my latest song called 08nov08
Warren Smith said 4233 days ago (March 17th, 2008)
method guitar
Room for improvement? That describes every recording I've ever made : >

I haven't played a guitar through an amp in a good 20 years. Everything has gone directly into a tape machine (old days) or a computer (new way - since about 1997). I don't know if there is any significance to that - it's just the way I make music.

I appreciate you taking the time to listen and critique my song. These kind of responses have been helpful in my ongoing development as a recording artist.
Check out my latest song called Toe Jam
crissew said 3716 days ago (August 16th, 2009)
I like the
staccato chromatic guitar riffs. Once again you can hear the layering way you write songs. "bunker buster to the.... heeeeeaaarrrttttt". Hilarious.
Check out my latest song called Runnin' On Empty
Artist Info
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Name: Warren Smith
Location: Brooklyn NY USA
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Born in a Minnesota blizzard, I'm now residing in a coastal heat of Brooklyn, New York City. I recorded my first original composition as a teenager using a reel-to-reel tape recorder back in 1967, and I'm still finding it a creative challenge... [see more]

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