FADE AWAY

FADE AWAY

I’ve been teaching myself to play the guitar. Today at lunch and while screwing around and learning a particularly tough set of chords (for me to master – I’ve had my left wrist broken and it makes me slow) I thought about Tom Petty and the lyrics to the following song came to me. I have the basic chord structure, and the progression, and the flourishing but haven’t yet begun to write down the music.

This is only the second song I have ever composed on the guitar. By that I mean I usually songwrite by creating the lyrics first, then compose the music on piano. Because I’m a slow composer.

But in this case I composed the music first, on guitar, which as I said, I’m teaching myself and I’m new to playing it or working off of it.

Nevertheless I hope you like it.

FADE AWAY

Well where you think you go
Or you find you stay
The time will come
When you
Fade away…

For the wind will blow
In the bitter cold, and
Your heart will slow
When you
Finally go…

Well, the years seem deep
And the days are sweet
But the night still comes
When you
Can’t wake up…

Yes the dreams are clear
In the lonely air
When you lay it down
When you
Wander there…

Yet a man is through
And his heart is too
When he’s breathed his last
When he
Can’t undo…

Then his future’s past

See another world
Where your soul’s unfurled
For just another day
What would you like to say?

Doesn’t matter much
What you cannot touch
For the wind will blow
Then can you ever know?

Well, see my friend
First you start, then end,

And if you want to go
Or you wish to stay
Still the time will come
When you
Fade away…

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I GOT SAD TODAY

I GOT SAD TODAY

Rarely do I actually get sad. Well, not about myself anyway. But today I got sad about myself.

Oh, on occasion I become melancholy, but I enjoy being melancholy. But I do that primarily for aesthetic reasons (it helps me with creativity) and for personal enjoyment. But I do that intentionally. That is, I intentionally, from time to time, put myself into an intentional state of melancholy.

But rarely do I get sad and only on very, very, very rare occasions do I ever get sad about myself.

Today, however, I got sad. After taking Dorett to pick up her car I stopped by 2nd and Charles and Mr. K’s.

At Mr. K’s I picked up Les Fleurs Du Mal by Baudelaire in English translation. (The Flowers of Evil.) Perhaps my favorite foreign book of poetry read in college. I tried to get it in French to practice my French (I’ve been getting old texts in Latin and Greek and other foreign languages to work on my language mastery) but no such luck.

At 2nd and Charles however I got four CDs – the 36th and 38th symphonies of Mozart, the 6th symphony of Mahler, the 2nd symphony of Enescu, and four symphonic poems of Bax including Tintagel and the Happy Forest.

I was riding home listening to Tintagel (a favorite symphonic poem) when I suddenly thought of all of the symphonies and tone poems and concerti and operas and far lesser musical compositions I have either already sketched out or are in various states of composition and it made me very sad.

For lately I have felt a really pervasive, almost all-pervasive, desire to compose music. (Maybe because it is springtime, I don’t know, or maybe it is just one of those phases that hit me occasionally.) But I know I have no time. Certainly not the time I would need to do the kind of quality compositions I wish to do. For I am a self-taught and slow composer I have great ideas but am slow in execution.

And between my attempting to become a published fiction author, an established poet, a song-writer, seeking funding for my inventions and start-ups, and helping my wife establish her career and getting my kids through college (or into college) I simply have no time for anything else, and often not enough time for any of the things I am already doing. And that saddened me.

As a matter of fact I have come to the conclusion that I may never have enough time to do all that I wish. For their will always be other things that will also demand my time (children, family, friends, grandchildren, etc. and I am not complaining about those things, as they bring me satisfaction and joy, but I acknowledge the truth that they are a drag on my work efforts) and if I live to be one-hundred or more I may still not do all I have assigned myself to do. Or simply wish to do.

And unfortunately, given my current situation, music and art must take a back-seat or go completely ignored for the sake of my other efforts (which are likely to prove far more profitable and important anyway).

(I often, still to this very day, wonder if I did indeed choose the right careers to pursue, and should or will I ever be able to pursue all of the things I so very much desire to pursue. I guess only God knows, as I suspect I may never know. Not, perhaps, in this world anyway.)

But still, if I had the time then I could spend many a day in composing music and drawing and painting things.

I simply do not have the time.

So I don’t.

But if I had the time it would make me quite happy to do so.

Yet because I don’t have the time it makes me sad that I cannot…

I DONE PAID (IN FULL), AND LOOKING FOR A COMPOSER

I wrote an excellent set of lyrics to a Blues song today I’m calling I Done Paid (In Full).

Started a second Blues song (though I may make it a rock or even a pop song) called Stop Dis Missing Me.

Which I’m pleased with thus far but it is far from finished and I got two or three different ways I can go with it, and just haven’t decided yet.

I also have a backlog of about 150 to 200 songs (the lyrics that is) completed now which I have been unable to compose the music for. Unfortunately I have had no time to compose in the past year. Between my wrist surgery and working on my novel, my book of poetry, my start-up, helping my wife with her new career, and my inventions I have had no time to compose music at all. (I’m a slow composer anyway.) All I’ve had time to do is write the lyrics.

So, if you are a composer looking for a lyricist, or even a band looking for a song-writer then I’d like to talk to you. We can enter into a joint songwriting agreement. 

But I’m only looking for serious and ambitious people who want to produce and sell finished, entirely completed songs. I write in a variety of musical styles and genres, everything from Blues to Rock, from Bluegrass to Opera, Pop, and even Religious music. I have a wide range of musical interests, plus I have some unfinished compositions that I’d be willing for others to take a look at right now and finish if they wish. Splitting the Work and the Profits evenly, of course.

I would prefer working with people in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, so that we can meet and even work some in each other’s company but I’m not necessarily limiting myself to those in SC, NC, or GA. With the right composer or people, and if we can establish a good and productive working relationship, then I could work with anyone in the United States, or even in other parts of the world.

I’m not gonna set artificial limits on this, the important thing is that we are good at what we do and can produce excellent Work together.

If you are interested then leave a message here or contact me by email.

See ya,

Jack.

P.S.: you can see some prior examples of my song lyrics in this archive category: My Writings and Work

You’ll have to look for them though. All of my work is listed in that archive, not just my songs.

Or you can also just go to this archive: Songs

 

SORROW AND PAIN, SORROW AND SHAME

SORROW AND PAIN, SORROW AND SHAME

I had a weird and kinda sad dream right before waking this morning. In it I was attending a military event in which at the end a group of soldiers were singing as part of the event.

There were two guys standing on a platform above most of the others and these two guys were carrying the song. Suddenly the taller guy stepped down and a much shorter and far younger guy (Audie Murphy type guy but with jet back hair and dark eyes) started singing alone. His voice was, well, let me be honest, incredible. Far deeper than you would expect from such a little guy and clear and resonant and so loud he almost shook the building. It started softly but it became a truly rousing extremely powerful song.

But it was not just how he was singing, but what he sang. He was singing an “autobiographical song” about his short life (he was probably only in his early twenties but had seen a lot, and I mean alot) and the lyrics were astounding. Truly astounding. I have tried to remember them all morning (although I remember the music clearly as will compose it later today), to no avail except for a few snippets. If I could only recall them it would be the best song I’ve ever written.

As he sang by the way you could actually see the scenes he was describing hovering in the air about him. He had truly suffered a lot.

Two lines I do recall clearly, from the chorus, were: Sorrow and Shame, Sorrow and Pain.

He repeated them often.

DARK SONG – FIRST VERSE

These are lyrics from an unfinished song I began last week. It’s my First Verse entry for today.

DARK SONG

There’s a dark song in my soul right now
And I can’t shake it anyway,
Might as well just sing along,
See where it goes

Well, there’s a dark song
I hear it on the wind

There’s a dark song
Where are we going?

Can we ever make amends?

Well, I don’t know this road no more
But I know it’s me

Where are we going anyhow?
What do you want me to see?

There’s a dark song in my soul right now
I can hear it far away
I’ve known, I’ve known it all along
We’re on the same road

But to where?

Just tell me that…

To where?

FOREIGN LANDS – FIRST VERSE

FOREIGN LANDS

The old things and the new things
You think they’re not the same
And yet they both are constant
And yet they both remain
A measure of the manner
By which all things are made
When more or less the answer
Is the last place that we laid
Our hearts upon the altar
Our flesh in foreign lands,
Our souls a’drift through nowhere
So we could not understand

Chorus

Oh come and see us stranger
Oh come to see us friends
You’ll find us at the end of things
The place we all begin,

Home is endless miles away
Though always where we are
We started out for paradise
But never got that far…

______________________________________________

This is a new song I began over the weekend. It is not yet completed, I just started on it.

THE DARK ROAD – FIRST VERSE

It has been awhile since I’ve posted a set of my song lyrics. I’ve been so busy with my two start-ups and my novel that I’ve had very little time to write any new songs. But here is part of one I recently started for Halloween and which I like. It is unfinished as at the moment I am pressed for time…

DARK ROAD

There’s a dark road through the old woods
Ain’t never lost a man they say
But if a man can’t find his soul
He’d best just go another way

The witches ride the moon each night
The snakes they slide the mud
What can’t be seen hides in your sight
Like shadows in your blood

A cabin green with moss and things
That no man seems to know
Creeping up the hidden graves
Those dead things from below

Well it’s a Dark Road
A Dark Road that men don’t know
A Dark Road, no road above but down below
There’s a Dark Road,
You can find me there
If you ever dare –
No way back through the poisoned air
Or the black despair
Of the Dark Road,
Oh you just don’t know
Where ya gonna go
On the Dark Road

AFRICAN ANGEL – FIRST VERSE

I wrote this song two weekends ago. I was driving home one evening when the first few lines occurred to me. I worked on it for three days before finishing the lyrics.

This is the first song I’m publishing on my publishing schedule First Verse. Hope you like it.

I dedicate it to my wife, who although she is not African, she’s American, her ancestors were African. If you wish let me know what you think of it.

AFRICAN ANGEL *

Skin so soft, smell so sweet
Hair so dark, eyes so deep
Wish I knew just what you were
I think that once I might have heard

Of African angels

Yes, African angels

I wonder now if you might be…
An African angel

Your lips invite, rich and full
Whisper me a miracle
I want to know just who you are
Are you the same or similar…

To an African angel?

Some African angel?
Where will I go
Having been with you
When will I know
If this is true?
When will you prove
What I think I know
That you heard above
When I prayed below

For an African angel

Yes, an African angel
Oh, where can I go
Once I’ve seen you
When will I know
If this is true?
When will we
Take up your wings
See if we don’t both agree
You’re doing everything

Like an African angel

Well, I dreamt of gold and Zanzibar
Of silver seas and endless stars
The nights were black the moon was bright
You smiled at me, I saw the light

Of an African angel

My African Angel

My African Angel…

 

* Note: the artwork is not mine but by a very talented artist by the name of Kerry Rockwood White

see here: http://fineartamerica.com/art/digital+art/african+american+angels/all

 

IT’S NOT JUST WHAT YOU SAY, IT’S WHAT YOU IMPLY BY OMISSION

This statement is entirely true: “It’s what is left out of the song that keeps us coming back for answers.”

This image, and the accompanying lyrics, are superb examples of this.

Lyric Of The Week: Traditional, “Barbara Allen”

Written by March 9th, 2015 at 8:40 am

Forget_Me_Not_Songster_-_Barbara_Allen_p.1It’s been beguiling audiences for a half-millennium or so, perhaps longer than that. It’s been covered by artists ranging from the sublime (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Everly Brothers) to the slightly ridiculous (John Travolta and, in the 1951 Warner Brothers short “Robin Hood Daffy”, Porky Pig.) So what is it about “Barbara Allen” that makes it so enduring and affecting?

The first known reference to this mysteriously captivating folk ballad dates back to 1666, in an entry by the famed English diarist Samuel Pepys. Pepys called it a “Scotch song”, and it flourished throughout the United Kingdom in that era until it was brought to the U.S. by immigrants. As the population of the America slowly spread westward, the song went with it, as noted by famed musicologist Alan Lomax in his book The Folk Songs Of North America. “This ballad, if no other, travelled west with every wagon,” Lomax wrote. “As someone remarked, they sang ‘Barbara Allen’ in Texas ‘before the pale faces were thick enough to make the Indians consider a massacre worthwhile.”

What transpires in “Barbara Allen” is simple enough on the surface. Yet since the lyrics provide little exposition or back story, the reasons for the behavior of the main participants are enigmatic. The song tells the story of young William who, as he lies on his deathbed, calls out for Barbara. She takes her time getting to his side, only to treat him coldly due to a social foul he committed against her at a tavern. On her journey home, she hears the “death bell knellin” and, knowing it tolls for William’s death, suddenly regrets her hardness and knows she will soon die of grief for him.

Harsh stuff, right? Maybe too harsh, even for audiences who were used to Shakespeare’s plays and their numerous deaths. As such, a variant on the song quickly arose that included a leavening epilogue whereby the lovers are buried side-by-side. From William’s grave grows a rose, from Barbara’s a briar, and the two flowers eventually intertwine, providing the deceased pair eternal unison.

It’s whats left out of the song that keeps us coming back for answers. If all William did was drink a toast to the wrong ladies, surely he didn’t deserve treatment so nasty from a girl he truly loved. Or was this single incident indicative of his wayward behavior as a whole? And what changed in Barbara’s mind and heart from the time she left him to when she heard that bell? In that short journey, she transformed from hard-hearted to sympathetic without any middle ground spent in consideration of all that had transpired.

This sort of unexplainable behavior from characters was also emblematic of Shakespeare (think King Lear or Hamlet), so maybe the original writer had that kind of strangeness in mind. It makes the song more psychologically realistic, since we all tend to do things when guided by passion or spite that defy logic and reason.

The murkiness of the motives and the beauty of the melody is an irresistible combination. As such, many legendary contemporary artists have found the song irresistible. Dylan, for one, not only covered “Barbara Allen” at various times in his career, but he also used Barbara’s home base of “Scarlet Town” as a jumping-off point for an equally mysterious song on 2012’s Tempest.

While there have been many powerful and moving renditions of “Barbara Allen”, Art Garfunkel may have given the definitive modern reading on his 1973 solo album Angel Clare.  Whatever lesson you take from the song, whether it’s that even a moment of taking the one you love for granted can come back to haunt you, or that life is too short for petty grievances, you’ll likely be mesmerized by the mercy Garfunkel’s ethereal vocal grants these two lovers. It’s just too bad they didn’t show each other that same kind of mercy until it was far too late.

GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

I searched for the Guild of the Golden Door
Across the Fields of Filidhic Lore
To the House of the Wights who shielded the Scop
Neath the blouse of the night through the tales that crop

When grown under moon, and groaned under woe
Sprout slew from the Earth, as above, so below
Then the Master’s Apprentice to servitude bent
Broke under sentence, in fervor all spent

(Chorus)

Guild of the Golden Door
Gild yourself in guilt
All the wrongs adorned
All the harm you’ve built

Guild of the Golden Door
Gate of the ruined hoard
Facade of the secret morn
That dawns on the desperate horde

Golden Door, Golden Door
Hide and then reveal
Guilded Door, Gilded Door
Open wide, conceal

I sought for the Guild of the Golden Door
In the high merchant hills and the long shipping shores
I went to the banks that circled the world
Found all was lank loss, not a swine for a pearl
All the gain hidden, and all the made-men
Chains long forbidden, the same once again

Golden Door, Golden Door
Open, hide, conceal
Guilty Door, Giltied Door
Despised in your appeal

I watched for the Guild of the Golden Door
In the streets of the cities, in the eyes of the poor
It would not appear, was disguised far too well
The shrewd financiers were as crafty as hell

Guild of the Golden Door
Gate of the wasted hoard
Arch of what comes before
The birth of the desolate horde

I tried for the Guild of the Golden Door
Heard they governed the Halls of the Temple Floor
Found them buying and selling dressed in their rags
Pretending to credit; deceit, theft, and swag
All the pain ridden, your principles thrown
You claim to be bidden, you’ve purchased your thrones
Disguised by your voices, a’swim in your vice
Covet your choices, then play them like dice

Guild of the Golden Door
What is it that you’ve built?
All the wrongs so long adorned
All the blood you’ve spilt

Guild of the Golden Door
Won’t you share your guilt?
Yes drink of the cup of your own reward
For all the blood you’ve spilt

You should drink of the cup of your own reward
By the door of the world you’ve built

 

 

THE CORRUPTION OF THE GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

This is my next song for FAWM.

I worked on this until about 3:00 one morning. Then went to bed and got up around 9:00 or so and worked it again. Finished it that day.

I’m pleased with the final product, though I may change it around a little more before I eventually post it to my blog and use it on my new album, Locus Eater. It came out to be a lot longer and far more complicated song than I had anticipated. (I had expected it to be a small song and the short tie in to the Myrddin’s Tower poem.)

Originally it was a song about government claims to be assisting the poor and they are really just disguised profiteers seeking to use government as their “Golden Door” for personal advancement. Using government tyranny to line their own pockets by deceiving the ignorant and the naive.

But eventually the song became about financial and monetary corruption in general (such as crony or socialistic-capitalism), and in all fields, but especially by those who openly pretend to be working on behalf of the poor but are actually using them (and everyone else around them, including their partners) for their own grasping, covetousness, and greed. Hence the corrupting aspect of the Golden Door , and the corruption of the song itself from my original intent.

I didn’t plan on the song going that way, it just did. It became much bigger than I had expected.

I still, at this point, plan to use it as the sister-song for Myrddin’s Tower but it may have grown far too big for that. It may have to stand entirely alone.

THE CAVE OF THE UNKNOWN PROPHET

This is my second song (the lyrics) for my FAWM project and my new album, Locus Eater. I finished this three days or so ago but didn’t have time to write it up on finalize it.

I’ve been behind because I started late (only recently heard of FAWM – though I was already gonna write a new album), because of power outages, and because of repair issues, and family health problems. But I’m still working it. So here ya go, The Cave of the Unknown Prophet.

THE CAVE OF THE UNKNOWN PROPHET

The Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Glittering and bold
The dust of ancient ages
Relics all foretold

The throne of sceptered tyrants
Cast down with a curse
A man to grind down mountains
Cut valleys in the Earth

I saw the prophet wander
Across the broken skies
The future all in labor
While ruined kingdoms died;
His cave the great circumference
Round which the world did turn
His name is now forgotten
Yet still his omens burn

Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Well of the Wasted Past
Womb of the Coming Ages
Born in the world at last

He spoke of Countless Wonders
If only we would heed
The things he heard in thunder
When the dawn was but a dream

I saw the prophet’s anger
When we ignored his voice
The present much endangered
By our reckless, selfish choice;
The wind it moaned at midnight
The seas they rolled in fear
Time shook like an earthquake
Ruptures soon appeared

He asked of man a miracle
That love might guide his hand
Not hatred, blood, and murder
To soil and taint the land, but

The cave of the unknown prophet
Was buried with the man
Whatever he had foreseen
Written in the sand

I’ve looked a thousand ages
To find it all within
There are no maps or pages
To lead me back again

I saw the prophet Wizened
With the burden of his Sight
He sought to warn of darkness
We never saw the light

The Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Does he sit there waiting still
For us to finally answer, and
His words to be fulfilled?

BABA YAGA STANZAS

Some of the experimental stanzas for my song Baba Yaga on my new album Locus Eater.

…Bind me in a chain of gold
With silver teeth to chew your babes
Fires, wolves, and howling ghosts
I bred (or bled) the Witches Crone and Queen
Baba Yaga, yarn and thatch
A trap of thorns, a bowl of blood
Baba Yaga, dark and dread
I’ll stitch (or break) your bones inside my hutch…

BABA YAGA and THE CAVE OF THE UNKNOWN PROPHET

Well, I got registered with FAWM (which I only became aware of on Monday) and started work on my first two songs: Baba Yaga, and The Cave of the Unknown Prophet.

It’s not really so much of a songwriting contest as a songwriting/album creation version of NaNoWriMo.

Both songs will be for my new album Locus Eater.

LOTUS EATER

LOCUS EATER

Edit: I have changed the name of the album from Lotus Eater to Locus Eater.

Baba Yaga (The Dead Witch)

Barden and the Serpent (The Viking Ship)

Cave of the Unknown Prophet

Cumhaill’s Causeway (Clochán an Aifir)

Fall of Sisyphus

Gram’s Glass

Hephaestus and Prometheus (The Tyrant’s Overthrow)

Isle of the Invisible Darkness

Myrddin’s Castle – longest song

Myrddin’s Tower – spoken poem with musical background

The Four Rivers of Paradise

The Rape of Medusa

The Spider and the Bones – short instrumental

The Storm of Tiamat – long multi-instrument instrumental

Vadd’s Desperation

Wendel’s Curse

White Stag – medium length guitar instrumental

I’ve bene thinking about doing this for awhile and last week, while out and driving around I began sketching out the titles and notes for a new album of songs I’m going to write.

Last year I finished writing my first album of songs, a country album I call “Going South.”

This year I’ve decided to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time but never got around to. Writing an album of rock, art rock, and hard rocks songs in the style of music from the 1970’s (if you ask me the most productive and artistic era of American music in history).

This will be my homage and tribute album to the best rock music of the 70s (and 60’s – Tales of the Brave Ulysses, etc.) although there will also be ballads and instrumental pieces and some experimental and even some Prog Rock pieces (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer).

It will be called “Locus Eater.”

I have listed the songs in alphabetical order as I haven’t yet decided on any kind of arrangement. These are the songs I have decided to include at the moment. It may change as I develop the album. It will be a double album of course, and loosely, even a concept album.

Many of the songs will be in written in these general types of styles, though the lyrics will be considerably different:

WATCH AND SEE

These are the lyrics to a new Blues song I wrote this past weekend. Actually I wrote this song, and two new poems (When Night is No More, and First the Enemy, Then The Fool) on the same day, but I only finished the song that day. The poems I didn’t finish until Sunday night.

Then last night I rewrote and edited the song and put it into its final form. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

WATCH AND SEE

Well you ain’t got nothin in you
And you ain’t left nothin out
I’m telling you now baby
Even if you scream and shout
That I won’t just come a runnin
Cause you make a fuss
You don’t do nothin baby
But a’ mess around with us

So throw your temper tantrums
Or curse us both by name
Don’t make no difference to me
It all comes out the same

But if you want me round ya
Then you better tighten up
I’m telling you now baby
Your time with me is up

Well you play the fool in public
You act the witch at home
You feed me all your poison
Then you won’t leave me alone
You ask me where I’m going
When I try to get away
I’ll tell ya, “not your business
Just sit right there and stay!”

You tell me that you’re coming
But I tell you not with me
I’mma headed somewhere diff’rent
Ain’t you smart enough to see?

Cause if you stay around me
Then you better loosen up
I’m telling you now baby
That your time is almost up

Yeah, you tell me that you’re coming
But I tell ya not with me
I’mma heading somewhere diff’rent
That’s the way it’s gonna be!
Yeah I’m heading somewhere diff’rent woman
Just you watch and see…

LIVING THE BLUES – a song

LIVING THE BLUES

Ain’t got no future
Ain’t got no past
You’re through with me
I’m through with you
Ain’t got no reason
But I got proof
I’m livin the blues
Cause baby, come high or low
I’m livin, oh must be dying
Living with you
But,
Still, ain’t got no future
Ain’t got no past
Done thought about it
Can’t make it last
Now, ain’t that a shame
Don’t know what to make
Of this…
This mess o’ ours
Now, this ain’t good
This sho ain’t right
But I ain’t gonna fight
No mo about it
Cause baby, I’m living the blues
You know it’s true
Now woman
You bringin the blues
Ain’t got no reason
But I got proof
Don’t matter the season
Cause you tha proof
I’m living the blues
Woman, don’t you know
I’m livin, ought not be trying
To live with you…

Living Proof (by Buddy Guy) inspired me to write a new Blues Song of my own, Living the Blues (even though they’re on completely different subjects), which I did while I waited on the girls. Or I wrote 90% of it anyway. I’m going to edit, rewrite, and finish it today. Everyone who has read it so far really seems to like it.

Over the weekend after listening to the whole Guy CD I also began to write four inter-related songs which I call the “Bad Road” songs. I was going to call the first song, Hot Sun on a Bad Road. But then as I started writing lyrics I got the idea for a set of four related “bad road” songs, each dealing with a different point on the compass. All will deal with a similar theme, a bad woman who leads a man in the wrong direction.

So now I intend to call the songs: Bad Road Down South, Cold Road North, East Road to Nowhere, and Hard Road West.

The South song will be about a Black woman, the North song about a blue-eyed blonde, the East road about a green-eyed brunette (jet black hair, a Witchy woman) or possibly a red-head, and the West road about (possibly) an Hispanic woman, though I’m still thinking on that one.

I’ve got about two thirds of Bad Road Down South written, and sketch notes for the other songs already developed.

HARD LOVE (a song)

Woman you got hard love
The kind that cuts and bleeds
Woman you got hard love
The kind I’m gonna need
Woman you got hard love
Make it sting and burn
Woman you got hard love
Make me twist and turn

Woman want your love
Woman want it now
Woman you ain’t near as tough
As you pretend no how,
Yes you’re mean and angry
But you’re lonely too
I’m the man with love so strong
I’ll fix what’s wrong with you

Woman I got hard love
Love so hard it breaks
Whatever’s down inside of you
Let’s see what you can take
Woman I got hard love
You ain’t seen nothing yet
I’ll get so deep inside of you
Be begging me to quit…

A FAR BETTER LAND… a New Song

A song I wrote this morning. The blower motor in our main air unit has failed and we’ve been without heat for two days waiting on the replacement motor to be delivered and installed. During the day, and to keep warm, I’ve been going outside to lie in the grass in the sunshine. (It is actually much warmer outside than inside the house at this point, especially around daybreak).

I did that again after lunch just now and these song lyrics came to me as I was soaking up the sunshine. Actually I’ve been thinking lately on events in America and in the world and have sort of reached my bellyful of all the recent bullshit. So yeah, the cold and the sun sparked the lyrics, but they’ve been weighing on my mind for a while now anyhow.

After I went inside and wrote them down, I put them aside for a bit and had a cup of coffee. Then I went back to the lyrics and did some editing and a bit of finagling to develop a final draft.

It’s sort of a hippie song, I’m the first to admit it, but nevertheless I like it.

A lot. I mean it too. Both for myself and this nation, and even for the world.

 

A FAR BETTER LAND

Gonna hop me a train to somewhere
Somewhere I’ve never yet been
A place that’s full of better ways
A place I can start again

Gonna fly me a plane to Shangri-La
A land that will never end
With star-bright nights and golden days
Where the dawn of my heart begins

Gonna sail me a ship to Paradise
Find me the coast of the moon
Where the mountains are high, and
The water is wide, and the grass
Is as deep as the sky

Come with me People
Let’s go somewhere else
Leave all your troubles and cares

Just think of the World
We could make for ourselves
If only we ever would dare

Gonna build me a starship
Gonna build her real soon
Rig her with sails made of light
Gonna crew her at sunrise, launch her at noon
God! What a beautiful sight!

Come with me People
There are new worlds to roam
Gonna leave all our hatreds and wares

There’s a place that is waiting
We could build a New Home
If only we ever would dare

Gonna fill up my heart-chest
Gonna pack up my soul
Gonna leave just as soon as I can

Come with me People
Come young and old
Gonna look for a far better land

Yeah…

Gonna go to a far better land

Yeah,

A new, and a far better land…

SHORE OF THE SEASON

To relax tonight, and to listen to some Halloween music (this time of year I like to listen to darker, more moody, spookier music), I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of Howard Shore’s soundtrack for The Hobbit.

To be honest, although a few tracks are weak, overall it’s nearly as good as Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for the Man of Steel. I don’t think Shore is yet as good a composer as Zimmer, but in his own way he’s quite fine.

And some of this music is very atmospheric indeed and perfect for Halloween and this season of the year.

THE LONELY SIDE OF TOWN – or, Blood Moons Must Be Good For Me

One last one for the night. I just took Sam for a walk under the rising Blood Moon (out of the East, you know, the old “There’s a Blood Moon on the rise…”) when I started writing a song in my head. Just kinda spontaneously. Guess the moon triggered it, or at least spurred it on.

By the time we got back to the house I had already written one stanza and committed the chorus to memory.

So, it ain’t finished yet but I’m very pleased with the start. Again, don’t known what genre it will be, I’m thinking slow, moody, soft-rock piece, lonesome with a little blues and a slow, dark guitar run around the middle. Yeah, I could live with that. Already got a few ideas for a tune.

Like I said, it’s far from finished but as far as my overall work-load goes, not bad for one day: a full song, a half-song, more on my Conan short story, progress on my novel, some fine advances on an invention, a separate new invention idea, a good work-out, and a few decent blog posts.

Blood-Moons must be good for me.

 

THE LONELY SIDE OF TOWN

There’s a lonely side of town
Where I still see your ghost
Looking out the windows
Walking down the street

Your voice still haunts the cafes
The boardwalk by the bay
I just can’t see past you
No matter who I meet

Baby it’s been lonely
Don’t know where you’ve gone
Can’t say that I blame you
Knew it all along
But when the night surrounds me
And you’re not around
Everywhere I go becomes
The lonely side of town…

WHERE WOULD I GO – a song

I thought that I would be alone
Then found myself with you
My heart was just a helpless thing
That passed away like dew
Beneath the sunrise of your love
Yes, you know it’s true
Beneath the sunrise of your love
What did you do?
I need you too

I thought that I would find myself
Without a child or wife
Sure that nothing but myself
Would ever be my life, but
Then you took me in your hand, and
Took me as I am
You made me better than I was
Made me a better man
Than long ago
So long ago

Help me now to understand
Help me now to live
Help me now to take these things
And grow them as you give
Yourself to me
Yourself to me

I’ve always been a lonely man
That never bothered me
You never know how far to go
If you have never been
My soul was just a wanderer
That never had a home
Until you took me in my dear, and
Now I never roam
Where would I go?
Where would I go?

I’ve always said and it’s still true
That somehow this would work
That sometimes it would be a breeze, and
Sometimes it would hurt, but
Either way, just name the day,
I won’t be going far away
From you
I’m not alone
Alone with you
No, not alone
When I’m with you

So help me now to understand
Help me now to live
Help me now to take these things
And grow them as you give
Yourself to me
You’re all I need

Yes, all I need

MY HOMETOWN

My hometown city. And there is excellent reason to be extremely proud of it. It is a superb place for Business, Art, Music, and Beauty.

It is an wonderful thing to live in the South.

And as a friend said this is but the tip of the iceberg…

Edwin McCain shows off his favorite places in Greenville

I TOOK MY GUNS

My latest song. It will have a decidedly Western flavor. It’s a vengeance song – avenging a set of murders.

It’s unfinished but I plan to finish it tonight.

I TOOK MY GUNS

I took my guns to town with me
Riding rough like the wind
I came home too late to help
My neighbors were all dead by then

The night was cold the wind was hard
The fires burned, the coyotes roamed
My horse was spent but I was not
Murder and mayhem I won’t condone

Take your guns wherever you go
Take your guns so they will know
Take your guns whenever you ride
So you don’t have to abide
No more a this…

My gut was empty, my heart was stone
You don’t kill men in their own homes
Their ghosts still whispering in my ear
“Find them, get them, be what they fear”

Well the streets were barren, empty, dark
Everything stabled, doors all locked
Except for the Dead Pony
My revolvers both cocked

Take your guns wherever you go
Take your guns so that they know
Take your guns wherever you ride
So you can set right
The wrong that they did…

I swung down from the saddle
The streets were all mud
My horse stood his own ground
We both wanted blood

I kicked in the door, there he sat cold
Smiling and toothless, nursing his drink
I shot off his mouth
Cause whiskey ain’t cheap

THE RIVER

Because it’s Pink Floyd. Actually, I hope it is closer to their earlier work than their later work.

Pink Floyd Roll Out Plans For ‘The Endless River,’ First LP in 20 Years

“‘The Endless River’ is a tribute to Rick Wright,” says Nick Mason. “His playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound”

Pink Floyd
Courtesy Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd, ‘The Endless River.’
By | September 22, 2014

After months of rumors, Pink Floyd have finally announced the details of their new album The Endless River, which hits shelves on November 10th. It’s the group’s first new release since 1994’s The Division Bell. According to a press release, The Endless River is a “four-sided instrumental album,” though one track, “Louder Than Words,” has lyrics by David Gilmour’s wife Polly Samson. It was produced by Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, Youth and Andy Jackson and is available for pre-order right now.

Related Pink Floyd

Readers’ Poll: Your 10 Favorite Pink Floyd Albums

The project began with Gilmour and Floyd drummer Nick Mason sorting through music they recorded with keyboardist Rick Wright (who died in 2008) during the Division Bell sessions. “We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album,” Gilmour said in a statement. “Over the last year we’ve added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”

THE KING HAS ASKED ME… from THE OTHER WORLD

“The King has asked me how I fare, I’d answer him but do not dare
For then the court would surely mourn, to hear my tale
the Knight of Storms…”

THE DYLAN DILEMMA

I‘ve often wondered… 

Though I’ve never cared much for Dylan’s singing, he is my favorite American songwriter. Being a songwriter myself I have great respect for his songwriting abilities. He’s ingenious.

How Did Bob Dylan Get So Weird?

By Bill Wyman

In August, a Bob Dylan album may well arrive in stores concrete and virtual. It may be called Shadows in the Night. It may have a song called “Full Moon & Empty Arms” on it; a stream of the tune was released without comment on his website a couple of months ago. Why Dylan chose to record a cover of an old Sinatra track isn’t clear; it may, or may not, be a clue that the purported album will consist of covers. Dylan has just finished shows in Japan, Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia; will head next to Australia and New Zealand; and may or may not be preparing for a swing through the U.S. in the fall.

We think of Dylan in a pantheon of great rock stars, at or near the top of a select list that includes the Stones, Springsteen, maybe U2, but not too many other active artists. But he behaves much differently. He’s released more albums than Bruce Springsteen in the past 25 years and played more shows than Springsteen, the Stones, and U2 combined. Yet he hardly ever does interviews and does virtually nothing to publicize his albums or tours. For someone who seems to be in such plain sight, he remains hidden, present but opaque, an open book written in cipher. Normal questions don’t seem to do him justice. You want to ask: What is Bob Dylan? Why is Bob Dylan? After listening to him since I was a kid and seeing him live for—gulp—nearly 40 years, I think I’m beginning to figure it out.

YOU GET THAT WAY FROM TIME TO TIME

In the past three days I have written four poems (Three Strangers, Fall Is Not a Season, two untitled as yet), five songs (Waking in the Grave, I Took My Guns, A Hoard Did I Encounter, I’d Really Like to Know, one untitled so far), part of a new sci-fi short story (Proximal), dialogue for my novel (There is a Road), an essay, several aphorisms, 20 or so measures of music, made several blog and message board posts, started a couple of papers, outlined a new Ebook (The Trainable Man), sketched out part of a map, and wrote up part of an invention draft.

That’s a pretty good clip even for me.

For some reason I’ve just been hot over the past few days. You get that way sometimes.

SONG FRAGMENTS

These are some (lyrical) song fragments I’ve been playing around with lately.

 

AIN’T NOTHING

You seem all certain
I’ve nothing to spare
But I never worry
I never despair

Pain is the same game
I’ve always played
I’m telling ya baby
It’s the way that I’m made

____________________

Let’s lay down together
Just come to me now
We’ll both be much better
When we recall how

We’ve done this before babe, we’ve been all through this
Ain’t nothing to fight for, ain’t nothing to miss

____________________

THE WISHING ROAD

There was a long road without you, a long ways to go
Every mile we were missing, every turn in the road

Eight hundred miles and I never got close
A few more tomorrow to lighten this load…

I’m either always deployed or overemployed
At things that mean nothing, I’d rather avoid
But far away baby, as far as it gets
I’d rather be there, and I never forget

That this road that I’m running, this so far away
Ain’t never meant nothing, and sure ain’t the way
I wanted my road to run straight and true
I wanted it baby to lead straight to you

CHORUS:

I wish this road
were a thousand
miles shorter
I wish this road
never led anywhere
I wish this road only
went one direction
Back to you
Back to my home

GOT YOU

Part of a set of song lyrics I wrote this morning after my wife and I had a discussion on the couch during breakfast. The song is unfinished, of course, I’ll work some more on it this afternoon when I’ve got more time.

For now I’m pleased with this foundation.

GOT YOU

I got you right where you wanna be baby
Woman you ain’t never had it this good
Say what you want but your lips do the talking
Stay if you want, you’d leave if you could

But we both know where this leads
We both know what this is
We both are as certain as certain can be

Now that you got me right where you want me
Now that I got you this ain’t gonna quit

Well you got me to keep me, or is that the plan?
Woman I ain’t never had it this good
My head wants to leave but your legs do the stalking
Maybe I’ll stay till it’s all understood

If we both think “I got you”
And we both might be right
Then where is the door when this is all through?

Maybe there ain’t one where we might be going
Maybe there’s no road that we cannot choose

I COME A CREEPING…

I COME A CREEPING…

I come a creeping
Gun strapped to my side
I know where you are
My knife in my hand

I know it’s a trap
I don’t give a damn
I know who you are
But you don’t know me

It’s quiet and it’s dark
I’m silent and unseen
I’ve hunted other men
Much worse than you

Step out or hide away
Won’t make any difference which
I can sneak, I will stay
I can wait, and still I’ll creep

Get ready now, here I come
Look around, what do you see?
Listen hard, the old place creaks
And I’m still here

I come a creeping
Best knife in my hand
Loaded for bear
Though you’re just a wolf

Hide away or step on out
I’ve got no favorite
I’m coming on, I always do
We’ll finish this, I’ll finish you

Ambush on your mind
The same thing in mine
One of us will be better at it
One of us will be right

I’m crouching low
I’m moving slow
I smell you up ahead
I smile to myself

I know ‘bout your traps
I know what you think
I know what this is
I don’t plan to leave

And you won’t get the chance…

THE DREAMER’S DILEMMA

I’ve recently noticed that I’ve been composing a lot of music in my head. I even woke up with a rather elaborate theme running through my head this morning.

However I’m a rusty composer with very little time to compose right now. Most of my effort is going into my novel, my inventions, and my businesses. So the best I’m able to do at the moment is sketch out a few phrases and motifs.

I’ve long had a dream though of going somewhere for about a year or so and doing nothing else but compose. Man, I’d really like to. But I just don’t have the time.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

I’m gonna have a ball this weekend. First of all my wife and I (and maybe my oldest daughter) are gonna have our Idea Sabbath together tomorrow as well as enjoying our Fourth of July. It’s also my wife’s birthday so we’ll have a real throwdown.

Later this weekend my wife and daughters are leaving for their annual summer camp. Meaning I will have part of the weekend and most of next week entirely to myself. I plan to spend that time cutting brush, clearing land, hauling dirt, exercising, talking with God and writing my novel (the Basilegate), on which I expect to make great progress.

I also plan to spend at least an hour or two each day relaxing and entertaining myself. I have some films to watch, a new Batman graphic novel, and several new fiction books to read, including The Pagan Lord (Cornwell), an interesting looking new science-fiction book called The Dark Between the Stars (Anderson), and the Western Ragtime Cowboys (Estelman).

I also picked up a new copy of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (my favorite symphony by Schubert), Blood on the Tracks (Dylan), True Believers (Rucker), and the Best of the Doobie Brothers as CDs to listen to as I work.

I’ll finish up my lecture on mathematics by Bloch of Wheaton College, and listen to some more of Mythology by Edith Hamilton on CD. I haven’t read Mythology since college and it’s very interesting to listen to it instead of read it. Listening to it gives me different idea sets than reading it.

Of course I’ll also watch any Cup games being played.

Then finally I was able to download and print out the new version of the Dungeons and Dragons Basic Game (which is free) and once I put those papers in a notebook I’ll read over it this weekend. I’ve only made a cursory examination so far but the game looks very, very good to me. Simple to play, logical, efficient, and interesting Old School goodness.

When my wife and girls return I’ll have an adventure already made up to play. If it works as good as it looks then we should all enjoy it.

By the way you can find the download link the the Basic Game on my new Gaming Blog, Tome and Tomb. Just hit Tome and Tomb here and you’ll find the link. My gaming blog doesn’t have much content yet but I’ll be building it up soon.

If I don’t get back here until after the Fourth then have a Great Independence Day folks.

Enjoy yourselves, stay safe, don’t forget our military friends and family still in service, and be very grateful for your liberties.

See ya,

Jack.

THE SONG SKYFALL

Since I’m on the film Skyfall tonight I thought I might make one more related post. As I said previously I thought Skyfall was the best James Bond film I’ve ever seen. And one of the more realistic as far as the analytical and detective work went. I even immensely enjoyed the theme music, the lyrics of which I later analyzed line by line.

I thought the song was fine for an “entertainment film theme” and even vaguely appropriate for the most part regarding the characterization, but the lyrics of the theme song had nothing whatsoever to do with real intelligence work nor did they have anything much to do at all with the plot of the film.

So about three months after the film came out on DVD I rented the film, made a line by line examination of the lyrics, thought about the film, and real intelligence work, and decided to largely rewrite the lyrics with those things in mind. The result is the set of lyrics you’ll see below which to me far more accurately reflect both the plot of the film and actual intelligence work, as opposed to just being a catchy film theme song.

I set these lyrics to run at the same tempo and to the same theme music (the musical composition itself – which I thought was well done) and to run for the same length of time as the introductory title theme song near the beginning of the film. But the lyrics are different of course.

_____________________________________________________

SKYFALL

So…

Where do we begin
Now that we know we’ve found the end?
I’ve seen them all and once again
I’ve lost the limits of my sins

For I know I cannot mend
Nor can I anymore pretend
You cannot take, I cannot lend
Does this truly make us friends?

When the sky falls
Come the thunder
When the night calls
You cannot get away

When the sky falls
Going under
When the truth palls
There is no coming day

Skyfall has come to us
I cannot say if this is just
I’ve wondered long who I might trust
This seems as if it must…

Just be the way it is

The dark is deep and long in me
You know this, even you can see
I cannot ask, you have no plea
This is the way it all must be…

When others come to look

You cannot know the rest
Just trust me
That is for the best

If you know my name
I cannot say
Wherever it will lead…

When the sky falls
It’s frightening
When your flesh crawls
I will not speak a lie

When the sky falls
Like lightening
When your voice calls
Come find me as you die

When the Sky Falls
When the Spooks crawl
When the night calls
Where will you go that day?

When the Sky Falls
When the Sky Falls
When the Sky Falls
When the Sky Falls

When does the SkyFall?

Neither one of us can say

Oh no we won’t…

 

MIDDLE LOVE

I want a little middle love
The kind that’s easy at the ends
The kind that starts before it does
The kind that borrows when it lends

I want a little middle love
So you can be my better half
So I can be a better man
So you can smile and I can laugh

Middle love, my middle love
You fit me like a well-worn glove
The softness when I hold you tight
The night is quiet, the moon is bright

Your middle love is never far
It wraps around me, keeps me here
Its outer edges mark my heart
So I won’t wander from you dear

I want a little middle love
To buy the future with our past
I want a little middle love
Because that is the kind that lasts

I want a little middle love
The kind that plays, then gently sleeps
My middle love, my truest love
Give your all, and all I’ll keep

Middle love, my middle love
You fit me like a well-worn glove
The gladness when I hold you tight
The stars come close to share your light

And I’m with you girl, here tonight…

I’LL DO ANYTHING – song and music

I’LL DO ANYTHING

This is a link to Reverbnation and a song I wrote (I wrote the lyrics) called I’ll Do Anything.

It was sung by my friend Sherryl Craig and the music was written and performed by her husband Gary Craig. Gary is a member of a band and has previously made records.

When I wrote the song I told the Craigs that I envisioned it as an old hard knock down joint Blues piece. Instead Gary made it into a a sort of very old country blues piece with an antique style record intro and a much slower tempo than I had originally imagined.

After I listened to it for a couple of times I really liked what they did with it. It seemed to really fit the lyrics. I’m very pleased with it.

Originally I had also written it to be sung by a man. Since Sherryl wanted to sing it they slightly altered the lyrics for it to be sung by a  woman. I hope to do more recordings and to write more songs with them.

If this link doesn’t work well I’ll make another post with the link posted into the body of the text.

If you wish let me know what you think of it.

THE SONG

Unlike other forms of poetry a truly great song must be, in the end, completely and entirely personal. An impersonal song will never be a truly great song, indeed, it will never be a real song at all, it will only be an abysmal mistake.