Shy Girl

My song for week 42 of #songaweek2016 is partly autobiographical. The shy girl part in general, and very specifically, once I was running in the predawn and a car pulled up just in front of me, a window rolled down, and something flew out of the car and scared me good and proper. Then I realized it was the morning paper delivery.

The song is also partly spontaneous lyric-writing. Not as spontaneous as it could have been though. The first line initially popped into my head as, “I waited all night in the pouring rain just to give you back your guillotine.” There’s quite enough mystery around the umbrella and how the girl got it and who she’s waiting to give it back to, but a guillotine? That’s just a bit too random.

And it’s partly finished. Someday I’d like to add at least another verse and round it out. But for now, here it is:

I waited all night in the pouring rain
just to give you your umbrella back
and when the paper lady stopped and rolled her window down
I nearly had a heart attack

I’m a shy girl, it’s true
just shy of you

I like to imagine that we’re holding hands
underneath a cloudless sky
but I’m lost in this fog ’cause I can’t even dream
of looking you in the eye

I’m a shy girl, it’s true
just shy of you

I even tried to make a deal with the devil
but the devil didn’t notice me

I’m a shy girl, it’s true
just shy of you



Long Hard Fall

A good bit of this song for week 41 of #songaweek2016 was inspired by this poignant article by Andrew Sullivan, which was the cover story for the print version of New York magazine, which was sitting on my coffee table when I wrote the song. The headline on the cover reads “Put Down Your Phone.” The article discusses Sullivan’s identification of and struggle with his own “distraction sickness,” and its title and subtext read, “I Used to Be a Human Being: An endless bombardment of news and gossip and images has rendered us manic information addicts. It broke me. It might break you, too.”

And I was thinking about fall, this seasonal descent into dark and cold and emptiness, when organisms break down and fall asleep, and look dead, come so apparently close to death, but somewhere deep inside there’s a dream of spring, of impossible things happening, of starting over, giving it all another go.

Put your phone down, take it easy
sing a song with me
what is this old world coming to anyway?
When you think you’ve got it made cause you’re the top of the heap
of the people all sleeping their lives away

It’s a long hard fall into lonely winter
and summer’s a fading memory
it’s a long hard fall into lonely winter
and spring’s an impossible dream

Hold your hand out, let me touch it
let me know there’s life
out beyond my self-contained planet
all those dreams they made us dream when we were only sixteen
are now battered and broken to bits

somewhere there’s somebody, something, somehow
and nowhere there’s nothing at all

keep your faith in evolution
let your life unfold
give it time and anything can happen
from the ashes of the past rises new and resilienter
you even brillianter now

It’s a long hard fall into lonely winter
and summer’s a fading memory
it’s a long hard fall into lonely winter
and spring’s an impossible – springs an impossible,
ever, eternally, springs an impossible dream

The Gift to Sing

Well here we are at week 40 of #songaweek2016. I joined the second week, so this is my 39th weekly song. I set to music James Weldon Johnson’s poem “The Gift to Sing,” that cheered me up in yet another week of feeling homesick (and fall gathering around me, bringing darker nights and mornings and more melancholy in general).

Sometimes the mist overhangs my path,
And blackening clouds about me cling;
But, oh, I have a magic way
To turn the gloom to cheerful day –
I softly sing.

And if the way grows darker still,
Shadowed by Sorrow’s somber wing,
With glad defiance in my throat,
I pierce the darkness with a note,
And sing, and sing.

I brood not over the broken past,
Nor dread whatever time may bring;
No nights are dark, no days are long,
While in my heart there swells a song,
And I can sing.

My song for week 39 of #songaweek2016 was inspired by photos and videos from my Aunt Marti, taken on her regular outings with her mother, my beloved Grammy. I’m not really sure which of them has more fun when they get together!
You can also download the song for free here: https://soundcloud.com/julia-tindall-bloom/you-wont-be-young-forever

Someday you can take yourself less seriously
Someday you can look the world full in the face
and smile like you mean it
because you do
and take no notice of
meaningful glances
uncomfortable silence
and awkward questions

You won’t be young forever
won’t always be stuck in these ruts
won’t be always a slave to fashion
or scared of bad haircuts
so if you’re feeling like your life is getting dull and sick and tired
just remember that you won’t be young forever

We won’t be young forever
won’t always be stuck in these ruts
won’t be always slaves to fashion
or scared of bad haircuts
so when we’re feeling like our lives are getting dull and sick and tired
let’s be thankful that we won’t be young forever
we can be thankful that we won’t be young forever
hey aren’t we lucky that we won’t be young forever?

And So It Goes

Week 38 of #songaweek2016 had an added challenge – write a song using only one chord. So I took it up, and made a rough live recording with my phone, while the girl was sitting nearby talking to me and the boy was outside jumping on the trampoline – all of which you can hear in the recording. A day in the life – a day in a very rich life.

and so it goes
and on and on
so on and so forth
et cetera

what you see
is what you get
unless you’re looking
past your reach

roll the dice
toss a coin
spin the bottle
pick a card (any card)


Another day, another unarmed black man dead. Terence Crutcher’s SUV stalled as he was coming back from community college classes. He was studying music appreciation and was very active in his church choir. Seeing his picture reminds me of any number of big dudes I know who can sing their lungs out. From his view in a helicopter, a Tulsa police officer thought he looked like a bad dude. Instead of trying to help the man with the stalled car, two officers made him put his hands up as he approached them for help. As he reached into his SUV, probably to grab some form of identification, which again, should not have been necessary because he was the one in distress, he was tased and then shot. He was unarmed. He was the father of four.

I feel like ranting and raving about how angry and scared this makes me…

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Minnesota Goodbye

*tl;dr: Absence makes the heart grow fonder and I’ve come down with my first big case of homesickness since moving to Colorado from Minnesota three years ago. So I took a jokey Minnesota cliche and made it into a sad song.

**satcv: You know that feeling you get, how, after you moved away from your small town to the big city up the road, got a job, learned to ride public transportation, bought a house, started a family, then moved back to your small town when the second baby was on the way so your small children could grow up in the same town as their grandparents, then after seven years back in that small town you got the urge for adventure and packed it all up and moved out west and drank in the sunshine and craft beer and hiked the mountains, bought a house, got a dog, and then three years later started feeling a bit lonely in paradise and then your kid (after riding on his uncle’s pontoon boat in Ohio) started obsessing about getting a boat, and then somehow while you and your beloved were drinking mojitos on the front porch and your kids were jumping on the trampoline and your boat-loving kid was going on and on about boats, you started reminiscing about your days owning a sailboat and taking it out on Lake Minnetonka and the Apostle Islands, and then somehow (you can’t recall exactly how) the conversation morphed into the big dreamy idea to buy a houseboat and live on the Mississippi River in downtown Saint Paul, and now even though the houseboat idea is quite enough to get you dreaming, you’re finding that the living-back-in-the-big-city-in-Minnesota idea has not stopped working on you, and you miss your family terribly – all of whom live in that understated state of winter and mosquitoes (and brilliant cultural landmarks and rivers and lakes and the Boundary Waters and fireflies and friends you miss and family you love) – yeah, you know that feeling?

Well, that’s what my song for week 37 of #songaweek2016 is about. And in writing this blog post, I discovered I’m not the first to make a song called Minnesota Goodbye. Oh, hey, that reminds me of another blog post . . .

*too long; didn’t read

**sitting around the campfire version

Anyhoo, here’s the song:

the yellow truck filled up its belly
and now we’re on the road
and the rain starts on the windshield
across the plains we’re making good time
running for the west
we’ll sleep tonight in a halfway hotel

i’m going away, the mountains are calling me
going away, and your river rolls on
I never knew quite how to say a
Minnesota goodbye

here the sun shines nearly every day
winter’s just a cool breeze
and the canyons open deep spaces in my heart
your prairies never sang so loud
your big woods kept their distance
and your lakes just held their peace

the years have passed in golden moments
here in paradise
but I wish you all were here
and now your river has been whispering
in my dreams of late
or maybe the mountains are helping me to hear

I’m so far away, the mountains will always call
so far away, but now your river calls back
I never knew quite how to say a
Minnesota goodbye

no river, no mountain, no golden sun paradise
can hold me like the people who love me

we’re so far away, and mountains keep calling us
so far away, and rivers call back
we’ll never be better at saying these
Minnesota goodbyes