Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

North Dakota Bound

Get Flash to see this player.

My buddy told me about a song writing contest with a $5,000 cash prize. (Sorry, deadline was yesterday.) The contest is sponsored by an outfit in Medorah, North Dakota-- a beautiful place in the northern badlands & jumping off point for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. These folks put on a show for tourists in the summer in an open air amphitheatre. A sort of Grand Ole Opry meets broadway musical, I guess. I've never seen it. Anywho, the cash goes to the song that best "captures the many attributes of the state of North Dakota and the spirit of North Dakotans".

I learned about the contest last week and wrote and recorded the song in a couple days. It's just a voice and guitar demo.

In the bridge ("softball games & rodeos") I'm reaching for what I hope is a little musical theatre vibe. But it a friggin' country/folk song at bottom.

I haven't written anything in awhile so it's good to have a new one. Nothing like a deadline!
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
North Dakota Bound

Left the farm first chance I got and headed for the city
Dad said “son, you’ll soon be back”. I said, “you must be kidding”
Don’t need this country life, I’m leaving town
I swear I won’t be North Dakota bound.

Chased my dreams for a dozen years, a big home outside Dallas
But hardly saw my wife and kids, strivin’ for that palace
Through the walls you could hear the freeway sound
Far away from North Dakota bound

Mom called, said that Dad was sick: “son we really need ya”
Could you work the combine just to see us through the season?
On a night flight back home to that prairie town
Seemed all the stars were North Dakota bound.

I worked through the harvest time, stayed on through September
Spent mornings in a duck blind ‘neath a sky of burnin’ embers
Flew in the wife and kids to look around
They want reason’s why we’re North Dakota bound

Well, there’s softball games and rodeos and Nana’s potluck dinners
And a country church that could really use sopranos and a tenor
There’s room to breathe, to get lost and get found
Reasons why we’re North Dakota bound

Round here people know your name, and where your grandpa’s buried
I made my first communion in the church where my folks married
In time you feel connected to the ground
Can’t help it now I’m North Dakota bound.

The geese are in the potholes now, the fence lines are in flower
A golden sun sinks behind a silver water tower
On God’s front porch we’re sleeping safe and sound
And forever now we’re North Dakota bound.

Song Stats
Hits: 2307
Comments: 18
Fans: 14
Plays: 68
Downloads: 58

Uploaded: Sep 15, 2010 - 10:53:21 PM
Last Updated: Sep 15, 2010 - 10:53:21 PM Last Played: Jan 09, 2018 - 04:39:14 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
Mac, mic
dantimmermans said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
this is nice tune, John, and it sounds like you have had a complex relationship with your hometown. the lyrics are suitably earthy and I like the sparse approach to this demo. looking forward to hearing any future versions.
Check out my latest song called One Way Street
hackneybloke said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
north dakota bound
shades of tilt=a=whirl running through this....and i can hear that track all day. your lyrics always tell a story effortlessly and without any contrivance to rhyme. vocal as ever warm and intimate. lovely john.
Check out my latest song called If Symptoms Persist
Jarvoid said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
Pleasant Country
Song Storytelling.If this is just the demo,cannot wait for the full blown article.


Check out my latest song called Port Arthur Blues
davezero said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
north dakota
m. whitehead, thx for the comment, glad you listened and liked. you have good songs as well, ii have done a few songs a clean as your n. dakota song. one thing i did was just to have the gits a tad larger so as to sound like you may be playing in at least a club as opposed to a sound room, is to make a duplicate of the guitar track, have it be the exact mix os the original if you like, pan one a little to the left and the other a little to the right, and then your voice pops out in its own place and the guitars surround it. its not too much of a trick but it is a subtle one that is nice. if you were so inclined, you can also drag one of the performances a little bit off time, a very little bit, so as to sound like it is reflecting off of a wall, and that is a natural effect.
if you don't want to do any of this i understand, but it is good to use our little GB to make us sound good, cheers
Check out my latest song called FEBRUARY
RAVENS said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
Your voice is so pure, wow just lovely. Along with the acoustic, this is really a wonderful listen. Many good wishes heading your way, but with a terrific song like this, you pretty much have that contest in the bag!

Check out my latest song called Tattooed Scars (w/ Sigmund, Scofugate, Rok41)
Symphony101 said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
Aren't they a fantastic ingredient ? :-) First, I absolutely love your voice. And this is a great song, such a nice melody and guitar accompaniment. It was a great pleasure to listen to this. Thank you.
Check out my latest song called Standing On The Brink (w/ Mosaica)
crissew said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
country vibe with a bit of John Denver and James Taylor thrown in. Well done. Subtle with a very nice melody. Enjoyed it
Check out my latest song called Dollar Store Christmas w/ Jerry Rissew
Stav said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
Guessin you might be a James Taylor fan
Check out my latest song called Cara Part II
michaelkoppenheffer said 2743 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
seemed like it was enough to pay the muse to make a visit! Nicely done--I always love your delivery of fingerpicked guitar-and-vocal tunes (like the one I dawdled on doing the piano part for) and this one is certainly lovely enough to be up to your standard.

I like the rhyme of Dallas + palace...
Check out my latest song called Till the Tap Runs Dry (album version)
michaeljayklein said 2742 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
Take all the well deserved accolades you've received on this excellent piece and multiply them by two--beautiful work! You accomplished your goal in the bridge too, just perfect! Michael
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
alackbass said 2742 days ago (September 16th, 2010)
North Dakota Bound
As pure as it can get! Thanks for the download!
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
dave_b said 2742 days ago (September 17th, 2010)
North Dakota Bound
Nice imagery in the lyrics, and the story is woven in seamlessly. Stripped down arrangement and understated vocal suits the mood of the piece well. I've been listening for structure lately and this song threw me a little, the melody change in the section starting "Mom called" lead me to believe that that section was the bridge. But then the "softball games & rodeos" section came along, and the contrast to the verses are even more pronounced.
Check out my latest song called Llarions Blues
Relic67 said 2742 days ago (September 17th, 2010)
north dakota
nice song...
I like the fingerpicking. cool chord changes in the bridge. excellent singing.
I've been to North Dakota and really liked it there, so it was cool to hear a song about the place.
the water tower image was a really nice way to close it.
good luck with the contest!! it's a winner either way....
Check out my latest song called Dead Archive
MarkHolbrook said 2742 days ago (September 17th, 2010)
Well I hope
you do well in the contest! This is a cool tune for sure!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
mrattue said 2740 days ago (September 19th, 2010)
Beyond the demo
Really enjoyed this. Looking forward to hearing what you do with it. i think you have the basis of a really fine song here. Although there are subtle harmonic changes, i do think that the general feel of the song is more or less the same all the way through and perhaps could do with a bit of a stronger contrast? Perhaps go for a verse and chorus format for instance? The last two lines of each verse could be the chorus, perhaps, if you can come up with two more verse lines each time?

Just a thought. Beat me over the head with something solid and inexpensive!

Enjoyed it. Think it's got to appeal to judges out there.

Check out my latest song called Second Wind
Daugrin said 2736 days ago (September 23rd, 2010)
Pure Rain Water
Rain down these tunes brother, you are in the storm.
Considering that this has the JW lilt, pitch challenge and imagery I just have to love it...

Check out my latest song called Hate Like You
Brian D said 2733 days ago (September 25th, 2010)
Check out my latest song called Crying in the Dark
jimmyrus said 1325 days ago (August 3rd, 2014)
Love it!
Great tune, great lyrics. You have a really pleasant voice. Goes perfect with the guitar accompaniment. Hope you won!
Check out my latest song called Dirty water 2
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: John Whitehead
Location: Saint Paul MN United States
send a note
I've been singing and playing since the age of fourteen when my brother Paul was working his way through the Beatle book and needed someone to play with. From Paul I learned to fingerpick, play barre chords, and to sing the melody while he sang harmo... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Who's Online
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 108