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Posts Tagged ‘songwriting’

To be frank, writing week five’s song for #songaweek2018 was not among my favorite songwriting experiences. The theme was “lies” and I just wasn’t feeling it, but I had nothing else in mind so I decided to work with it anyway.

I did love basking in the warm sunbeams radiating through my south-facing windows as I wrote, and feeling/hearing the warm tones of my old classical guitar as I focused on more intentional finger-picking than is my usual habit.

The lyrics are only minutely autobiographical, but that’s something I love about songwriting. I’ll probably never write a novel, but I’ve created plenty of stories – and characters – through my songs. “Write what you know” is good advice, but it’s not exhaustive.

I think this may be the first time I’ve posted a video made exclusively with my phone. It was late when I was ready to record and I wasn’t feeling terribly interested in taking it further, so it was adequate for this week.

Lie to me
lay the words
down like snow
cold white melting in the light

Say you care
like you care
hold me close
locked tight secrets in the night

Now I
have had
enough
of this

Look at me
face the truth
you plus me
will not ever add up

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This year the #songaweek2018 group has a prompt word every week. For week four, I used the prompt for the first time. The word was “water.” Here’s the song:

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I could only stay away for a year, I guess. Writing a song a week in 2016 was one of the highlights of my writing life, and now that we’re settled in our new digs in St. Paul, I decided to join again in 2018.

So without further ado, here’s the first song. (There’s a lag because we write and record and submit our songs in the current week, and then they are released the Sunday after that week. So this was my song for the first week, and I’m finally getting around to sharing it on my blog halfway through the second week! Week two’s song is written and I plan to record it tomorrow, and will shoot to post it here earlier next week.)

Okay I guess that was some further ado. *Now* here’s the first song:

It’s cold outside under old gray skies

and the oak leaves rustle alone

but I feel like smiling

I’m walking with my baby in the snowlit morning

and the lacy flakes drifting down

and I feel like singing

So I’m gonna sing

I’m gonna sing

The wind is severe with a serious chill

And the ice is hard underfoot

but I feel like laughing

cause after forty winters I’ve learned a few things

about dressing for the occasion

and I feel like dancing

so I’m gonna dance

I’m gonna dance

the sun’s going down but it’ll come back around

the light’s fading fast but not even that can last

be still be moved be part of this great whole

in space and time we’re breathing in

why don’t we sing? why don’t we dance?

life is a fleeting thing, might as well take a chance

Let the past go free let the present be

the gift that keeps on giving

 

 

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It’s the last day of another year, and here is my last song for #songaweek2016.

In the middle of writing it, I realized I was quoting from the Bible, the gospel of John, when Jesus is talking to his disciples about getting ready to say goodbye, and he leads up to something I hold as central to my faith – that his followers will be known by their love.

Here’s hoping that maybe in 2017, that can become a little more true.

It’s been an amazing year of songwriting, and I look forward to reflecting on it a bit in another post, as well as making a central list of all the songs and highlighting some of my favorites.

Here’s my song for week 52 of #songaweek2016. Oh, and PS – if you or someone you know might enjoy trying this challenge, check out #songaweek2017.

I go out into the night
I go out I go out like a light

In a little while
you will look for me
you will look for me
and I won’t be there

I go out into the night
I go out I go out like a light

In a stranger’s face
in your daughter’s voice
in the love you share
you’ll know me there

I go out into the night
I go out I go out like a light

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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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Since “Scrooge” has unfortunately become synonymous with a bad chapter of a fictional character’s life, this song is called “Ebenezer” because I think Ebenezer Scrooge actually represents all that is good and hopeful about humanity – that no matter how miserable we become, we can change. We can dance again.

Here’s my song for week 49 of #songaweek2016:

And now
I reach
the end
of me
and find a universe of joy
beyond
control
a miracle of dawning hope
Hold out your hands
and let us dance
again

 

 

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Be the love you wish to feel in the world.

I believe in the infinite power of love, and I also believe that I can’t just wait around for love to rise and save the world. Love will always rise again. And I can be one of many who give it legs. Even when it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. Especially then.

Here’s my song for week 47 of #songaweek2016. Apologies for its very rough draftiness. I wanted to finish early this past week so I could enjoy my parents’ visit for Thanksgiving (which I did!).

When the ugly words of angry men come screaming on the wind
Love’s gonna rise again
When the comfortable complacent ones keep keeping quiet
love’s gonna rise again
when you can barely believe it, keep singing anyway
love’s got to rise again
when you can’t really feel it, keep hanging on anyway
love’s got to rise again

love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again
love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again

out of the mud, out of the ruins
out of the rotten remains
love’s gonna rise again

when you lay her down into the ground and feel your heart stop
love’s gonna rise again
when days are dark and nights are long and cold sets in
love’s gonna rise again
when you can’t see the point, get out of bed anyway
love’s got to rise again
when all seems lost, keep reaching out anyway
love’s got to rise again

love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again
love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again

love paints the world in vibrant colors and sings in many voices
love’s gonna rise again

love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again
love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again

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