Tutorial: How To Write A Song In Just 23 Years. Nice Guys Sleep Alone (Original Song)

in music •  last month

It took me 23 years from start to finish to complete the process of writing this song. Here's the story.

It was 1995. I was at my friend Dave's house in Hermosa Beach, California. We were hanging out watching football...it was Sunday morning. Out of his roommate's room came this beautiful young girl, still getting dressed, looking pissed off, running out the door. My friend's roommate, Shawn, came out a couple of minutes later. Now, Shawn is not the best looking guy in the world. And on top of that, Shawn was always kind of an asshole, especially to women. Never physically abusive, but he just wasn't very nice. And yet, he was always with someone beautiful. And different. I don't think I ever saw him with the same girl twice.

So, this day, I asked him. I said "Shawn. What is the deal. Every time I see you, you're with someone way more attractive than you. And you're always kind of a dick to them. What gives?"

He turned and looked me and just said: "Nice guys sleep alone". And he went back to his room.

And so begins this long journey for a single song.

Now I wasn't pleased with his response in any way. But it struck me that in some way, he may be right. At least I should explore this. And those words stayed with me the entire day. So, when I got home later, I wrote it down. And soon came a set of lyrics that built around it.

The first half of the song is based on Shawn doing just fine with his theory. The second half of the song is me not doing so well, and thinking that his way may have some merit after all. In the end, I couldn't bring myself to be that guy. Could it be...that nice guys sleep alone?

The problem with this song was that I could not find the music to go with it. The phrasing of this is odd...I was at a period as a songwriter where I wanted to be wordy, and I wanted to come up with interesting phrasing. But I just couldn't make this one work. I could not find it.

And so, "Nice Guys Sleep Alone" found its way into my book of lyrics. Unfinished. I would try once in a while, but I could not make it work. Eventually, I stopped trying altogether...for a long time. But I kept the lyrics. You know...just in case.

And then, just the other day, I was thumbing through my big book of lyrics, and stopped at this one. I looked at it for a minute, then started playing. It came immediately. Just as if I had right then rolled the lyrics and music together out of my head. It clicked. It worked. And so, 23 years later, I finished my song.

The lesson here? Don't give up. On your art. On yourself. On what you want to accomplish. Be it a goal. Or a piece of art. Or a song. Keep it around. You never know when the time will be right to bring it all together.

And so...here it is. 23 years after it was started, the finally finished song.

NICE GUYS SLEEP ALONE
Words and music by DINO ROMANELLI

My friend Shawn he never sleeps by himself
He says a different woman every night
Is good for his health
He says nice guys sleep alone
Nice guys sleep alone

He's always lying to them and he treats 'em like dirt
Next day he's got one cooking breakfast for him
Wearing his shirt
He says nice guys sleep alone
Nice guys sleep alone

I never found it in my heart
To be so cold
But it'll probably keep me by myself
Until I get old
Nice guys sleep alone
Nice guys sleep alone

I met a girl, I fell in love, I treated her like a queen
She told me that I was the nicest guy
That she's ever seen
You know nice guys sleep alone
Nice guys sleep alone

One day she met a guy who acted like he just didn't care
She broke up with me and where he went
She would follow him there
Nice guys sleep alone
Nice guys sleep alone

But I'd rather die lonely
Than end up with a girl
Who wants a lover who's cruel
And keeps her life in a whirl
Nice guys sleep alone

I never found it in my heart
To be so cold
But it'll probably keep me by myself
Until I get old
Nice guys sleep alone
Nice guys sleep alone
Nice guys sleep alone

© Affordable Music, BMI

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This post has been selected for curation by @isaria and has been upvoted with the @msp-music account as well as the @msp-curation account, and will be featured in @isaria's weekly music curation post. It will also be considered for the official @minnowsupport community curation post and if selected will be resteemed from the main account. Feel free to join us in the Minnow Support Palnet Discord!

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Ah! I saw the curation post before yours. Thank you so much, Isaria! I really want to be able to play on your show someday. The work gods have to align for that to happen, I guess. This is much appreciated!!!

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I know, the work gods are horrible!
You are welcome on the show anytime!

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Thanks, you! I will make it there someday. I promise!

Now that's a great story there ! I loved the song my friend , loved the lyrics.. so glad you kept them ''just in case'' ;) ! A couple chords and some truth bombs = awesomeness . Cheers brother!

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Pechi! Thank you so much! It really means a lot that you like this. That you get this. Cheers right back atcha!!!!!

This is definitely an epic story Dino! I'm happy you are persistant here on steem, I dream of an abundant world where we can share our passions and have a great life.

Going to listen in a bit when I can get some headphones on. c;

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Awesome. I'm really glad that you enjoy whet I do here! It's highly encouraging to know that people are listening and caring. I'll do what I can to keep it going!

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Ooo...nice!

You did It for sure, now you got It!
I'm glad that 23 years later I'm here on Steemit attending it's birth.
I'm with your friend, "nice guys sleep alone" ,totally.
Thanks so much for sharing this great song with us 😊
Keep rock'n steeming!

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Thank you, brother! I appreciate you taking the time to listen, and I'm glad you get it!

I've had songs in the making for long... they happen at "episodes" until their story is finished.... you beat me though :) hahhaah
and yay what a cool song, always thanks for sharing your art with us
kind of a sad but great story!

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Thank you, Pris! I was very pleased that this one finally came together. It's like a child who has finally grown up and gone on to bigger and better things. It's joined my family of completed songs. Such a proud father moment!

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I just realized I had commented but not upvoted!! fixing itttttttttt!

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Aw...thank you so much, Pris! You are awesome, as you always have been!

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Aww you are welcome :-* and thanks for the compliment. Hugggs

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What a great take on the cliche of "Nice guys finish last, " which within, sadly there is much truth...
Nice one, Dino!

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Hey...thank you, brother! I worried about this one a lot. I'm really glad you get it!

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Though I've had my moments of occasional conquest in my youth...
By and large, I'm one of the nice guys, brother...
As such, I totally get it!
It's a great song, man!


This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

glad you stuck with it and amazing story

thanks for sharing this with us

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Thank you, @paulag, and you are quite welcome. Stories like this keep the songs coming...hopefully there will be many more!

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That's a hell of a great song, Dino! I'm glad you were able to finish it, it's sad but often true, and the same with women, too. in a slightly different way. I think you did an amazing job. Love it as always. Thanks for sharing!
❤️❤️❤️

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Awww...Serena...it means the world to me that you like this! I'm always so unsure of myself, and I thought that this might be silly in some way. But you have a way of reaffirming the part of me that knows better. Thank you SO much!

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I am quite honored...thank you @minnowsupport!

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Oh, wow...thank you! I don't know if you will see this @isaria but I appreciate this very much!

My goodness... sometimes you find a treasure in a sea of posts. I've enjoyed very much your song with storytelling👍

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@rafaelricardo...Thank you so much for your kind words! And I'm happy that you enjoy this. It always makes it worthwhile when a song can touch someone.