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Factory Fresh – Song Lyrics and Analysis

This song is a social commentary on our relationship with food, especially processed food, and how we as a society eat. Most shelf space in grocery stores is filled with food that came from a factory….

 

This is one of my songs, with lyrics and my analysis to help you write better songs… what are your songwriting takeaways?

 

 

Factory Fresh: Lyrics

Verse 1

My friends tell me lies I’m too smart to believe.

I know that pigs and cows don’t get hurt when they make meat.

I know that organic means it’s made from dirt.

And I know that the food chain is where I buy good things to eat!

 

Pre-Chorus

My food grows in grocery stores

In boxes, bags and tins.

Everyone knows at night when they close

the food grows back again!  

 

Chorus

Feed me chicken nuggets, feed me mystery meat,

Factory fresh is good enough for me!

Feed me frozen pizzas, feed me liquid cheeze,

Factory fresh is good enough for me!

Factory fresh is all I ever eat!

 

Verse 2

I eat every food group: salt and spice and sweet.

I love each and every one, but the best food has all three.

One day I hope to find someone like my Mom.

Who knows how to reheat food just like she did for me!

 

Pre-Chorus

 

Chorus

 

Bridge

I tried to cook one time, it didn’t go so well

Set fire to the kitchen and burnt the toast to hell

Without my microwave, I couldn’t feed myself!

 

Pre-Chorus

 

Chorus

Factory Fresh - Song lyrics and analysis

 

Song Analysis

 

Factory Fresh – Backstory

I enjoy people watching, it’s fun to guess what people are thinking or figuring out some of their story by the expressions of their faces, how they move and by what they are doing. I also enjoy grocery shopping, more because I feel better having a well stocked refrigerator than because I like hanging out in grocery stores. I often make a game of figuring out people from what they put in their grocery carts. It’s observing not judging, but those observations originally inspired Factory Fresh. I recently noticed that the fresh meat in the coolers is slowly being replaced by frozen packages of meat. Processed food is the new fresh… or at least an acceptable alternative.

 

I buy and eat some food that isn’t healthy, but I also like to cook (and eat!) so I find most processed food unappealing. I have noticed a growing distance in North American society between food and ourselves. We “forage” for food in grocery stores. There is more variety available to us than ever before, yet we are blind to the plenty. Years ago, a friend told me a story of two recent immigrants to Canada. She took them to a grocery store and they were shocked to tears at the amount of food available in one place. It was completely outside of their experience.

 

To write this song, I imagined myself as someone who ate processed food because it was all they knew, it’s what they grew up eating. I didn’t want to write a preachy song or get judgemental, so I wrote from the first person and put myself in the song. I’m not able to cook and have little experience with fresh food. To me food magically appears in grocery stores. I don’t know or care where it comes from… only that it tastes good and that I feel full when I’m done eating….

 

 

Lyrics – Meaning

The song sketch I first outlined only changed slightly as I wrote:

Chorus: Factory fresh is good enough for me

Verse 1: My friends tell me lies and mock me, I don’t know that I don’t know anything

Verse 2: I eat what tastes good, 3 food groups salty spicy and sweet

Pre-Chorus: My food grow in grocery stores

Bridge: I tried to cook once, never tried again

 

Verse 1:

I think I know where my food comes from so when my friends tell me differently, I think they’re lying. Obviously everything the narrator believes about food is wrong. The third line “organic is made from dirt” went through several variations before I found the final version. It was too good to cut but it took time find the best rhythms to fit it in. “Good things to eat” ironically refers to taste, not nutrition.

 

Verse 2:

Starts with more mistaken “truths” and three food groups, salt and spice and sweet… the three main flavours of processed food. The last two lines are are an allusion to home cooking, but the narrator only knows processed food because that’s what his mother fed him when he was growing up. The gender “he” is implied by the line “looking for someone like my mom” but otherwise could be either male or female.

 

Pre-Chorus:

The first line was the original inspiration for the song and came to me as written. It was originally the chorus, but the song had a better plan. I remember noticing that most of the shelf space in my favourite grocery store was taken up with boxes and bags of food. The tins (and bottles) makes up the majority of the rest of the food in the store. The fresh food section is small by comparison. The health food section often has less shelf space than the soft drink section. The biggest question I have about the food industry is why the label “health food” can’t be applied to every food that is produced, but then I’ve always asked troublesome questions

 

Chorus:

Factory Fresh is intentionally contradictory… processed food isn’t fresh, but it succinctly sums up the conundrum in two words. I tried changing the title line “Factory fresh is good enough for me” but I left it when I realized that except for “enough” it was exactly what the narrator would believe.

Chicken nuggets are notoriously gross, if you like to eat them don’t find out how they’re made. I used “mystery meat” because it was easier to rhyme than “hot dogs” the original lyric I used in the first line. Frozen pizzas was the next gross food I listed because I once saw more than a dozen piled in a grocery cart because they were on sale. There is no frozen pizza that takes as good as delivery, regardless of what is written on the label. Liquid cheeze is another mystery to me… most of what is sold as “cheese” in North America tastes rather bland and waxy, but then I guess there’s a legal reason cheeze is spelled incorrectly.

 

Bridge:

Calling burning toast trying to cook amused me. I always try more than once before giving up but I can’t eat more than two processed meals in a row without feeling terrible so who am I to judge? “Without my microwave I couldn’t feed myself” sums up the entire problem… if processed food wasn’t so convenient it wouldn’t be popular enough to be a steady diet for so many people.

 

Factory Fresh - Song lyrics and analysis
Happy Times!

 

Lyric Techniques

Vocabulary:

To create a consistent world and make a believable narrator, I intentionally limited the vocabulary of the lyrics. It felt odd writing without words I normally use. A few of the words I avoided:

Devour, ingest, digest, inhale, consume, dine, diet, foodie, gourmand, gourmet, cuisine.

Vitamins, nutrition, nutrients, nourishment, balanced, beneficial, nutritional, healthy, wholesome….

 

Allusions

Verse 1

Pigs and cows don’t get hurt when they make meat = I don’t know where meat really comes from

Organic = made from dirt

Food chain = chain of grocery stores

 

Pre-Chorus

Food grows in grocery stores, food grows back again = my food is magically created in the store

Everyone knows = so I can believe it without any proof

 

Chorus

Factory is the new fresh, Factory food = good for me,

 

Verse 2

3 food groups (by taste) = salty, spicy, sweet

Mom’s “home cooking” = I grew up on reheated processed food

 

Bridge

Cooking = making toast… originally I planned to tell how I couldn’t boil water either

Set fire to the kitchen = cooking with smoke detectors

Microwave = reheating is cooking

 

 

Rhyme Schemes

(A’ is a slant rhyme for A)

 

Verse A’AXA

Rhyme words 1: believe, meat, eat

Rhyme words 2: sweet, three me

 

Pre-Chorus: ABAB’ (A=a+a, 2 internal rhymes)

Rhyme words A: grows, stores, knows, close

Rhyme words B: tins, again

 

Chorus: A’AA’AA’

Rhyme words: meat, me, cheeze, me, eat

 

Bridge: AAA’

Rhyme words: well, hell, myself

 

Looking back, I have no idea why I used the same rhyme words and sounds in both verses and the chorus. It’s rare that I miss something so obvious and it’s probably the first thing I would comment on if I was critiquing this song for someone else. Usually, I intentionally plan out different rhyme sounds and rhyming words for each section. Here’s more about the dangers of (among other things…) lame rhymes)

 

What really surprises me, is that it doesn’t bother me when I play it or listen to the song… there are a few possibilities:

  • The naive “narrator” would probably write and rhyme like this
  • The pre-chorus separating the verse from the chorus provides rhyming relief. (This theory doesn’t hold up when the chorus leads straight into the second verse)
  • The use of slant rhymes throughout the verse and chorus loosens up the rhyme scheme
  • Or a combination of all three factors.

 

 

Alliteration

V1 make meat, means it’s made

PC grows in grocery, boxes, bags, knows at night

C mystery meat, factory fresh

V2  salt and spice and sweet, each and everyone,

B tried to cook one time, my microwave

 

 

Repetition:

Verse 1:

“I know” emphasizes the narrator’s narrow worldview and anchors the false beliefs. The homonym wordplay between know and no adds subtle tension to this verse.

My friends tell me lies I’m too smart to believe.

I know that pigs and cows don’t get hurt when they make meat.

I know that organic means it’s made from dirt.

And I know that the food chain is where I buy good things to eat!

 

Verse 2:

The parallel structure of the first verse is weaker in the second verse because it changes on each line. The fourth line “Who knows” echoes the first verse:

I eat every food group: salt and spice and sweet.

I love each and every one, but the best food has all three.

One day I hope to find someone like my Mom.

Who knows how to reheat food just like she did for me!

 

Chorus:

The first and third lines of the chorus are similar

The second and fourth lines are the same. The title phrase Factory Fresh is unstable with the melody notes circling the 7th degree of F7 and E7.

The fifth line begins as the second and fourth, but creates closure to the chorus, acting as a punchline. It finishes the idea with all I ever eat. The melody in the fifth line resolves to the note A, the tonic of the key, to emphasize it as an ending to the chorus.

 

Feed me chicken nuggets, feed me mystery meat,

Factory fresh is good enough for me!

Feed me frozen pizzas, feed me liquid cheeze,

Factory fresh is good enough for me!

Factory fresh is all I ever eat!

 

Click here to learn the Fastest Way to Memorize Songs (for performing or analysis)

 

Melody

The melodies went through several upgrades as I wrote, adding embellishments and shifting rhythms to make it more interesting. The verse melody in the final version is much stronger than the original. I added several twists to the verse rhythms and melody to play with the tension in the lyrics. The pre-chorus melody also went through several drafts so it would effectively build to the chorus. The melody of the title line “Factory fresh is good enough for me” was the same as the punchline “Factory fresh is all I ever eat” until I moved it up a third to avoid resolving on the tonic before the end of the chorus.

 

Factory Fresh - Song lyrics and analysis
Great take until I forgot the last two lines….

 

Factory Fresh – Strengths

I enjoyed the light hearted tone of the social commentary in the song. I minimized judgemental overtones by putting myself in the song by writing in the first person, I hope this makes it easier for someone who might have similar purchasing and eating habits to relate to and emotionally connect with the song.

The melody, especially the chorus it just out of my chest voice range… this gives me a vocal challenge and a chance to work on evening out my chest and mixed voice. I was surprised to find it harder to keep my voice even coming down to my chest voice than it was to move up into my mixed voice. Always good to push the limits!

 

Factory Fresh – Weaknesses

While the rhyming works well in each section, using the same rhyming sounds in both verses and the chorus is technically weak. It didn’t bother me enough (yet) for me to rewrite it or find alternative rhymes because each section works on its own.

There is no emotional journey within this song. The narrator doesn’t change or learn anything. This is a product of the narrator’s willful ignorance about food. Perhaps it will positively affect a listener with a similar outlook, but this was not my goal. This song is more about expressing my views on deep rooted social phenomena without being confrontational or judgemental.

 

Factory Fresh – Goals:

I successfully wrote about a social phenomenon with deep effects on the relationship people have with the food they eat, without being judgemental.

I like the song… it will go my professionally-record-it list, after I play it a while and made any final adjustments to the lyrics or arrangement.

 

Help other songwriters with your ideas….

What are your songwriting takeaways from this article?

 

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    © Trevor Dimoff, epicsongwriting.com, 2018