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Posts Tagged ‘Cabin of Love’

Being over 40 is strange. One week I get hit on by a store employee, the next I’m given the senior discount without being asked about it (and I live in a back-asswards society that tends to see the second situation as more offensive than the first!). It seems to depend on what I’m wearing, how my hair is done – I’m a chameleon at this age. I can hide my youth, I can hide my age. I’m in the middle, middle-aged.

I started writing this song when I was out for a run at the end of February two days after the second big snowstorm in a week. The sick-of-winter time of year. I haven’t run much the past month or two because there’s been so much ice, so I was feeling out of shape and a bit cranky at first. But the sun was shining, and I got into my groove, and I discovered, I’ve still got it!

It doesn’t matter what you think when you look at me; if I know I got it, I got it. “It” is something we are all born with, and can joyfully exhibit for our whole lives. It can shine through for that brief part of life when we match our youth-crazed culture’s definition of attractive, but it’s way more than that.

I spent the last couple weeks watching the Winter Olympics, all those toned young bodies, and the “old” ones slightly over 30 wistfully discussing the end of their careers. I think, oh you cuties, there’s so much ahead of you, you’ve only just begun!

But that’s only if you want to.

Here’s my song for week nine of #songaweek2018:

I’m just a little bit thick in the head and the middle
Just a little bit sick of playing second string fiddle
But don’t you worry bout me boy
I’ve still got my voice
Don’t feel bad for me my sweet
I’ve still got my feet
And they know how to go

I’ve still got it
Down to the soles of my feet
I’ve still got it
I’m more than what you see

She’s just a little further back on the same road as me
When she gets to where i’m at I think she’ll get what I mean
Aw, don’t you worry bout me dear
I’m still breathing here
Don’t go crying for me honey
I’ve even got a little money

I’ve still got it
Down to the soles of my feet
I’ve still got it
I’m more than what you see

So don’t you worry bout me son
I still know how to run
Don’t you worry bout me dude
I’ve still got it pretty good

I’ve still got it
Down to the soles of my feet
I’ve still got it
I’m so much more than what you see

 

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In the course of writing Week 7’s #songaweek2018 song, I learned a little something about e-cigs. You just never know what might happen when you decide to write a song! The theme/prompt was “change” and I decided to go with it. (We don’t see the themes in advance of the week; otherwise I might have saved last week’s “I Could Be Wrong” for this week, but then – well, we wouldn’t have had so much fun making this song!)

I came up with a little bluesy piano part and melody, and then I put the call out on Facebook for any suggestions of things you change (batteries, a twenty, your mind . . .). I got a ton of suggestions including a persistent one, “change your underwear,” and even though lots of things rhyme with that and I could feel its popular appeal with my friends, I just couldn’t make it work this time around. But hey, maybe someone can take this song and change it!

I wanted to mention changing the oil, so I needed something to rhyme with that. I googled “change the coil,” hoping that maybe there is some sort of coil-y car part that needs occasional changing. Maybe there is, but the most common coil that needs changing, Google told me, is the one in your e-cigarette. I’m not a fan of smoking, so I snuck in a little note of disapproval to ease my conscience and make it feel more like a PSA.

Nathan heard me playing the song on the piano and he got pretty excited about all he could do with it! I gave him the basic canvas of piano and vocal, and he took it from there, throwing multiple guitars and drums and bass and synth and a teeny Dylan impression into the changing mix. I am awestruck that he managed to keep one of my longest songs (five and a half minutes!) so interesting right to the end.

I might change the address where I live
Might change the reasons that I give
Might change my modus operandi
But I’m never gonna change
The way I keep on changing
Time has changed my voice, and changed my face
It’s changed my plans, and changed my pace
Changed me to silver-brown from blondie
But it’s never gonna change
The way I keep on changing

I’ve changed my locker combination
Changed my major, changed occupations
I’ve changed my name and changed my babies
But I’m never gonna change
The way I keep on changing
You might change direction, change position
Change the person that you’re kissin’
Change your definites to maybes
But don’t you ever try to change
The way you keep on changing

Bob said the times they are a-changing
Sheryl said a change would do you good
David said ch ch ch ch changes

Change the litter box, the fish bowl
change the toilet paper roll
change your password change your settings
change the sheets and all the bedding
change a tire change the oil
if you must vape change the coil
change the batteries, the thermostat
change your shoes and change your hat
change the game, change the score
change the team you’re cheering for
change the channel, change the station
change to metric my stubborn nation
change your mind, your attitude,
change your heart, your tone, your tune
change the key and change the locks
change the calendar and clocks

See the leaves turn, feel the wind blow
know the ocean’s ebb and flow
observe chameleons and cocoons
But don’t let’s ever try to change
the way we keep on changing

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Well, how about a little country flavor? Here’s my song for week 51 of #songaweek2016. One week left in this year-long challenge!

Today I don’t feel like a love song

today I just wanna be loved by you

today I feel somehow we’ve gone wrong

today I just want to be right by you

baby, baby, baby, baby mine

tomorrow feels already faded

yesterday holds all our lovers dreams

we’re cynical hardened and jaded

impervious to juvenile extremes

baby . . . mine

let’s take these scraps and scars

and start again for the umpteenth time

forever feels empty without you

so right now please fill up my arms with you

and cover my aches with your kisses

and breathe here with me in the space we keep

baby . . . mine

 

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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

 

 

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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

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A little goofy, a little sparkly-dreamy, a lot of synth for week 35 of #songaweek2016:

 

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Oh this one was fun to make! My amazing daughter Luthien, with her dad’s help, worked out a cello part and recorded her first-ever cello track. And then Nathan threw in all those sweet guitar tracks, in just a few hours! Visions of a family band are most certainly dancing in my head.

Here’s my song for week 31 of #songaweek2016:

 

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