February 13, 2006

Bar Belle

[Here's a peppy li'l country ditty written by me and Tex about ten years ago. It's not one of the greats, but I've always had a soft spot for this one. :)]

'Twas 'bout a quarter to ten on a Saturday night
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a flicker of light
Someone was moving a flame to the cigarette between her lips
I'd seen her before working the bar
and waiting on tables for tips

I'd thought of letting her know exactly what's for real
and makin' it clear to her just how I feel
but everytime I begin to open my mouth
she's called away and the words that I say
just ain't what's supposed to come out

I'm tryin' to pick up a bar belle
but my mind is beginning to drift
If I could get it together I'd get up and get her
and give that young lady a lift
I'm tryin' to pick up a bar belle
I'm looking for a heavy date
I'm starting to burn
When will I learn
that I just can't stand the weight

Now it's a quarter to two, I hear "Hey, Buddy, last call!"
If I can't do it now I'll never do it at all
She's moving my way, giving me my last shot
Her eyes are aglow in the neon rainbow
and the jukebox plays One From The Heart

With a closing time smile she sets down the glass
I slam it 'cuz dammit I gotta act fast
She's turning away, I say "Hey, just a sec..."
And she turns back around and I'm reachin' deep down
and I come up with the cash for the check

[repeat chorus]

Why do I give in to this endless hesitation?
It just leaves me stranded in a quiet deperation
Her days may we filled with lovin' or they may be drowning in sorrow
I'm gonna find out
when I come back tomorrow

I'm just tryin' to pick up a bar belle....
[repeat chorus and end on the Major 6th]
....I just can't stand the wait
I just can't can't stand the weight
I just can't stand the wait
I just can't stand the weight...

--Tuning Spork / Tex Kaliber circa 1995

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2005

Blessing the rains down in Africa?

A short time ago Ted had a post about song lyrics that grate on his nerves, then asked readers for examples of lyrics that grate on our nerves. I couldn't think of any at the time, but now I've got one! I actually like this song. ( I liked it more when I didn't know what the @#$% most of the words were.) Without further ado I present the lyric to Toto's Africa:

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in, 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars,
That guide me towards salvation

Okay. What are the drums that are echoing? Drums in the jungles of Africa? Drums of the band as they rehearsed or recorded or played live? He doesn't say; they're just "the drums".

But, clearly, the singer and his gal are not together at the moment so what in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks does he know what she is hearing? Maybe he just presumes that because she's on a 12:30 flight she's hearing muted conversations.

"The moonlit wings reflect the stars"? I'm pretty sure the wings would have to be full-fledged mirrors to reflect stars. And, even if they were, they'd be reflected UP, and our narrator is presumably on the ground below the incoming plane.

I guess he's on his way to the airport...

I stopped an old man on the way
Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies

Huh? Does he mean "words of wisdom"? "Advice"? Or just some long forgotten words like "betimes", "milkbox" or "that baseball player's winter job"...?
"...or ancient melodies"? What is this, a love song or an archeological dig? The old man sees that the singer is becoming distracted:
He turned to me as if to say,
"Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you"

Aah, the plane has landed and the gal is waiting for him. He snaps to and ironically insists:

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had, oooh

First of all, third-person "she" suddenly becomes second-person "you". Tsk tsk, very clumbsy.
Secondly, why is he blessing the rains down in Africa? What the huh? Is she returning from Africa because of a monsoon? But, it sounds more like they're meeting up IN Africa for some quality time together to "do the things we never" did. ("...had" is just wrong. I cannot abide grammer that bad in a song lyric. **shudder**)

Onto the second verse:

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company

While the "wild dogs" crying out make it seem more like the American plains than the African plains, this is actually a pretty good line. "Solitary company" is a euphemism for mating, and the narrator uses it as a reflection of his own state. But then we have this:
I know that I must do what's right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti

Um, Kilimanjaro is a mountain. Olympus is a mountain. Most rediculous. Simile. Ever. But that's not the half of it. This is Olympus; elevation 7,965 ft:


And this is Kilimanjaro; elevation 19,340 ft:


Kilimanjaro is well over twice the size of Olympus. To say that "Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus" is a slight!

I seek to cure what's deep inside,
Frightened of this thing that I've become

Now, what in the world does THAT mean? What has he become? Perhaps he and his gal were estranged because of his wild oats sewin' exploits and now he has decided that he needs to change and he's meeting up with her in rainy Africa for some make-up sex.

Perhaps it's the lack of rain in Africa that's a metaphor for the narrator. His world is a desert and his love is like rain...?

Then again, maybe the "you" in the chorus is Africa, not the woman. In that case the singer is lamenting giving up his safari lifestyle for the love of his gal. And while "a hundred men or more" couldn't drag him away from Africa, love can. But, then why is she flying in on a 12:30 flight to join him in Africa? Maybe they're meeting there only to fly off to somewhere else. I dunno. I just don't get it.

[instrumental passage]

Hurry boy, she's waiting there for you.

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa,
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa,
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had, oooh

Next up, Yes' Close To The Edge. Just kidding.

P.S. Is anybody seeing the Olympus photo?

P.P.S. Photo is working now. Duh.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2005

Never Say Good-bye

Wrote a song today. Yay! This is very Beach Boys-y, just like my last few. Tempo and beat-wise it's kinda like Surfer Girl, but the mood is more like Warmth of the Sun.

Right now it has some pretty predictable chord changes, but the melody has some nice phrasing. And I've got some interesting ideas for vocal arrangements on several of the lines.

So, this is a mid-tempo 3-part harmony ditty. Very "swoony". I don't usually write lyrics this, er, sappy, but this one just seemed to want to get written today. So, without further ado, I present Never Say Good-bye. (It's still a work in progress.)

Now it's so late and we're sle-e-e-epy
I really hate to be le-e-e-aving
but until when
we're together again
we'll have to say goodni-i-i-i-ght...

there's so much your touch is reve-e-e-aling
I can't describe what I'm fe-e-e-eling
but I'd never go
without letting you know
what this kiss does to me every ti-i-i-i-i-me...

it makes me believe
that you're always with me
so I'll never say "good-by-y-y-ye"

[full instrumental passage... or maybe I'll write some more words to go here.]

now comes some sweet so-o-o-rrow
wish I could watch you awaken tomo-o-o-rrow
letting go of the touch
it hurts us so much
it almost makes us cry-y-y-y-y-y...

but I have a wonderful fee-e-e-e-ling
two hearts, one love, no wa-a-a-iting!
what's coming 'tween us will pass
we're not broken in half
it's only space and ti-i-i-i-me...

so believe, as I do,
that I'm always with you
and never say "good-by-y-ye"
no, never say "good-by-y-ye"

goodni-i-i-i-i-ght, I'll never say good-bye
say goodni-i-i-i-i-ght, please never say good-bye
I'll say goodni-i-i-i-ght, but I'll never say good-bye
say goodni-i-i-i-i-ght, but please never say good-bye...

[repeat and fade]

BTW, that coda, as I hear it in my head now, sounds almost exactly like the coda to Surfer Girl. Just like sing to the tune of "Little one... my little surfer girl..." and you'll get an idea of how I hear this song.

I really gotta find my microphones....

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 08, 2005

All-American Girls

[Started this lyric today. It's got a glorious tune. Very Beach Boys inspired. I'm definitely going to record this one and post it, though the lytic is still a work in progress. Not sure if the words hold up without the melody and harmonies, but here's the lyric so far.]

The beautiful girls of summer
are dark-haired and they're strawberry blonde
Far too many to number, but,
all the better to have to move on

Like the birds of the air I see them ev-er-ywhere
and I can't stop falling in love
I believe I can say they'll never get in my way
'cause there's always never enough...

All-American girls (girls, girls), All-American girls (girls, girls)
All-American girls (girls, girls), All-American girls (girls, girls, aah. ooo...)

Her blood took form in the summer
on a dark continent at dawn
Many there were left to wonder
where so many of them had gone

Her mothers and fathers sailed over the seas
for the life with the jimmy crack corn
'Twas a long journey 'til everybody was free
to celebrate on the day she was born...

an American girl (girl, girl), an All-American girl (girl, girl)
She's an American girl (girl, girl), an All-American girl (girl, girl, aah, ooo...)

[This part slows down for some intricate harmony stylings!]

For the darkest wonder, look into her eyes
at the grace of a samurai warrior's bride
And, just over yonder, from the islands I see
bella vista, baby-y-y-y....

How in the world is it possible
that there are so many ways to be beautiful
Can't imagine where I would roam
All the different girls
from all over the world
keep me happy at home

[Back to the peppiness!]

Through winter, cold war and wormwood
she could never get past the bloc
She left the abacus in the marketplace
as soon as the opportunity knocked

Now she drinks tea, not chai, with a slice of apple pie
If she can think it she can say it aloud
Feasting on the fruit of the tree of sweet liberty
she crossed the world just to taste it and now...

she's an American girl (girl, girl), an All-American girl (girl, girl)
She's an American girl (girl, girl), an All-American girl (girl, girl)

All American girls (all American girls)
are All-American girls (are All-American girls)
All American girls (all American girls)
are All-American girls (are All-American girls, girls, girls)

aaaaaah oooooooooo...


Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:23 PM | Comments (1)

February 07, 2005


You need lyrics...

She belongs there, left with her Liberty. Never known as a non-believer. She laughs and stays in the one, one won, wonderful.

She knew how to gather the forrest
when God reached softly and moved her body.
One golden locket.
Quite young and loving her mother and father.

Farther down the path was a mystery.
Through the recess, the chalk and numbers,
a boy bumped into her one,
one won, wonderful.

All fall down, and lost in the mystery,
lost in all to a non-believer,
and all that's left is a girl
who's loved by her mother and father.

She'll return, in love with her Liberty,
just away from her non-believer.
She'll sigh and thank God for one,
one won, wonderful.

---Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks (Listen to it!)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2005

Oh, I Wish You Could Hear this Played on a Piano

The tune is set. It used to be called "Empty", but I'll retitle it soon. Just a simple little lyric -- still a work in progress...

One half was born a little boy
the rest of the joy
was born a little girl
No use to ever wonder why
they were seperated by
a half a world

The wall came down and she
was finally free

She found him standing all alone
waiting to go home
without a care
She didn't know it was his secret wish
to live like this
She climbed his stare

The wall came down and he
was finally free.

I might retitle it "Busy"... :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2005

Slept Late

Slept late this morning;
slept late.
Dreamt about what I don't think about when I'm awake.
Somewhere I stopped looking for someone with your embrace.
Someone who could make me pursue what I was always afraid to chase.
Someone who could sweep away my daydreams and leave memories in their place.
Slept late this morning. Had a dream to face.

Smoked a cigarette today;
smoked a cigarette.
I thought about the fire we lit on the day we met.
We built it high, we fed it fast, 'til it lit up the night.
And in it sacrificed our tomorrows and all the wrong and right,
but it burned out too soon like a star that burns too bright.
Smoked a cigarette today...
...had to bum a light...

Never meant to do you wrong,
never meant to lie.
Never meant to go where I don't belong,
but didn't I go and try.....?

Drank a glass o' wine tonight;
drank a glass of wine.
Hey, wasn't it a night like this when you left for the last time...?
Maybe I said too much. Y'know, I could really bend your ear.
Maybe the things I never said were the things you needed to hear.
So, like a dream, you came to dance in my heart and disappear...
Drank a glass o' wine tonight
and it was all mine.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:12 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2005

That Which She Thinks

Late to the party again. Not keeping up with the news.

So, like, Kid Rock was invited and then disinvited to perform at the inaugural? Making a case for his disinvitation, Michelle Malkin has posted some lyrics of his that are particularly repulsive. Some commenters have made a case that KR's early lyrics be dismissed as he as just a youngun' at the time, and he's since mellowed out a bit.

Okay. So, maybe those lyrics were the product of just a 25-yr-old hell-bent on making it in the music biz. Well, I was was 25 once and I never wrote crap like that.

Which brings me to the point of this post, yay! I present a lyric I wrote when I was at the unripe old age of 25:

[This also happens to be set to one of the greatest tunes that Freedom's Slave has ever conjured up...!]

The eyes that watched me dressing are now staring 'cross the room at the portrait of a lady in a white lace galoon She has spoken of her history her sad and sordid tale I have promised that it's ended or at least it will be soon

and her fingers drum the table
leaving marks in settled dust
an expression of an emptiness
that I think she's come to trust
As she weighs the tired adversities against the possibilities
she seems to, once again, conclude that what she is in need of isn't me.

She knows I've tried to love her
she knows I want to care
One more look in the mirror and we'll be off somewhere
There's a sense of certain confluence when there's no time to think
but everytime we settle here
her look becomes that stare...

...and her fingers drum the table
leaving marks in settled dust
an expression of an emptiness I think she's come to trust
As she weighs the tired adversities against the possibilities
she seems to once again conclude that what she is in need of isn't me.

I should put up the original recording of that some time...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:26 PM | Comments (2)

January 05, 2005

Surf's Up! (an interpretation)

[I tried to post this last night. I thought I did, buy it looks like I didn't. D'oh! Luckily I saved it in wordpad! :)]

It was the spring of 1981. I was a senior in High School and had become disenamored with the current trend in punk rock. All L.A. hardcore all the time and all sounding the same: crash and burn and scream and moan. So, I looked backward and re-discovered the Beach Boys.

All I had at the time was the double-album Endless Summer and the single disks Best Of... and Best of...Vol. 2. (They were mainly what was on Endless Summer, but was some added flair -- most notably "Kiss Me, Baby".)

So, in the spring of '81 I borrowed the Beach Boys' album Surf's Up from the local library.

I liked Mike Love's opening song "Don't Drink The Water" just 'cause it was an environmental song with a neat message. I also liked Bruce Johnston's "Disney Girls" for some reason.

But there were two tracks on that album that stood head and frickin' shoulders above the rest; "'Till I Die" and "Surf's Up".

"'Till I Die" is a morose little ditty. Perfect listening for an angst-ridden teenager who wants to "relax". Beautiful harmonies put to a swooning melody. A boy could sink into oblivion listening to that song in the headphones.

I like it less today because it's so pessimistic. Just the idea that a man older than I was at the time wrote that. But I also like it even more today because I can better appreciate the craftsmanship of the arrangement. It can still make me swoon so long as I forget about the meaning of the lyric.

So, there were four songs from that album that I taped to cassette. By far the most interesting one was "Surf's Up".
I didn't know anything about Smile at the time. To me this was just another song on their album of 1971. But, this one was different from the rest. While my fascination with it was mainly for the sound of it, I'd also always been fascinated by the lyric. It was like a painting set to music; and a puzzle of sorts. For years and years I've listened to this song and figured that the words were just word-association fun-time gibberish along the lines of "I Am The Walrus" or "Come Together".

I now know that I was wrong. Having heard Brian Wilson's new rendition of Smile on New Years Eve, I've been running this tune through my head nearly non-stop, and I think I finally get it.

Now, and without further ado, let's delve into Van Dyke Parks' masterpiece: the heel-to-the-brimstone-written "Surf's Up". It takes place, initially, in a concert hall. Imagine you're in Royal Albert Hall watching a symphony sounding....

A diamond necklace played the pawn

Firstly, I think of a chess pawn: the player of least value; the one that's most easily sacrificed for the good of the whole. Then, there's the diamond necklace; presumably a thing of great value. The most becomes the least in this "play".

Or, maybe it's just that the narrator has pawned a diamond necklace for the price of admission to this song. Either way it works for me, though it's probably just a pun that was thrown out as an opening line. Word has it that Van Dyke Parks and Brian Wilson wrote this at a piano in, like, five minutes or something.

Hand in hand some drummed along,
o-o-oh.. To a handsome man and baton

See the conductor waving the baton whilst noticing that others in the hall are drumming along. But there's something more to be heard: the background vocal sighs "by God, by God..." God is the conductor, or the music, or the orchestra, or, most likely, I think, the entire package.

A blind class aristocracy

As opposed to a "class blind" society, we're imagining a more real and immediate "blind class aristocracy". The wealthy dowager raising her glasses to her eyes.

Back through the opera glass you see
the pit and the pendulum dra-a-awn...

The orchestra pit is reflected as the pendulum motion of the baton is swaying upward. This also introduces the painting theme with "pendulum dra-a-a-a-wn...". The conductor looks a painter making very broad strokes that result in the fine intricacies of the music. Which brings us to the most seemingly convoluted lyric of '60s popular music:

columnated ruins domino

Imagine Carnegie Hall or some other grand music hall. There are columns, and what happens inside them is what's going on here. The narrator is sleepy and wondering where and when the next music will be made. So, Van Dyke Parks and Brian Wilson weren't writing about themselves, they were writing about this song! As they wrote it! (It's a neat thought, anyway.)

Okay. That goes along with the visual image of ancient columns falling into each other like dominos. But, a "domino" has another definition. It's a masquarade, a cloak, or "half-mask". (Think Phantom Of The Opera.)
The "domino" in the lyric is could be the half-mask; or, that eye-mask on a stick that looks like an opera glass.

Or, the entire theater, or life itself, could be the domino - the masquarade. What kind of domino is it? Why, it's a columnated ruins domino. And this song is about getting past the very mask it presents, and so we have the outward and encouraging:
(I imagine the conductor's pendulum-like baton movements to be not unlike a painter's brushstrokes and, on first hearing it, "canvass" sounds like "canvas".)

Canvass the town and brush the backdrop

Taverse the town, search it's essence, yet just brush (ssshh) the backdrop like a passing stranger. Just a passerby to what may or may not be permanant, for the sake of interacting with what may or may not be beautiful. I wonder if the next line is partly an in-joke...

Are you sleeping?

Nope, silly. The narrator is in a drowse. He awakens to the strains that seem to fade from here there, now to then, and the ornate music hall surrounds him:

[Incidentally, if that last bit seems out of place it's it is. Originally there was supposed to be a lyricless interlude there, and the whole "canvas the town..." part was to appear only where it appears the second time. In the Brian Wilson solo piano version that appears on the CD box-set Good Vibrations, Brian doesn't sing that part at this time.]

The second verse begins:

Hung velvet overtaken me,
Dim chandelier awaken me
to a song dissolved in the da-a-a-awn

Again, this is followed by the Carl Wilson's soaring and angelic "by God, by God..."

Have y'ever been half-asleep and heard a song on the radio? You're not sure of you dreamed it or not, and if it's a particularly ethereal piece it can be an enchanting experience.
(My most amazing experience of that was hearing Paul Simon's "Run That Body Down" while "half" asleep. If you've never heard a song while half asleep then y'need to take naps more often!)

The "dawn" is, of course, his awakening. This poor sap is still dozing off, though. Either in spite of, or because of, the orchestral beauty that has him surrounded.

The music hall; a costly bow
The music; all is lost for now
to a muted trumpeter's swa-a-a-n

This might be my favorite line. A "swan song" is a farewell; a final performance; a last work; a death wail. The angelic - though "muted" - trumpeter announces the esteemed arrival of the ending of something.
It also introduces the water theme, however slightly. The bow of a ship points where it's heading, but, is it heading for the swan's song?
Again the Music Hall's masquarade establishes it's presence:

Columnated ruins domino-o-o-o...

But the following is a bit curious...:

Canvass the town and brush the backdrop
Are you sleeping, Brother Jo-o-o-ohn...?

We all know the French lullaby that the is lifted from, and maybe Van Dyke Parks just through it in for laughs. But, I suspect this line may refer to John the Baptist.
Brian always said that Smile was "a child's symphony to God". Invoking John the Baptist would make sense as he is, obviously, associated with important things that happen in the water. The narrator is then asking if the baptism has left him, if John is "sleeping", since he feels so disconnected from the conductor's music.

The song shifts in tempo and meter, and becomes less lush as we are now outside the theater and cabvassing the town at midnight.

Dove nested tower,
the hour was.
Strike the street, quicksilver moon.

Gawd, I love that line. The tower is a clock tower with doves (or pigeons) nestled in it as the hour strikes. It sounds like midnight. I'd always heard the line before as: "the hour was strike. the street. quicksilver moon," which made no sense at all. But, hearing like I wrote it makes all the difference.

In the darkness of midnight the silvery moon is shining above. The beauty of the line is the phrase "quicksilver moon". Quicksilver is metalic mercury. We use mercury in thermometers because it is so close to it's freezing point in our normal temperature range that it's sensitive to subtle changes in ambient temperature.
(The moon is very cold in the shade and very hot in the sun, but we can think of it as being a very cold place for our purposes here.)

So, the light of the cold "quicksilver moon" is invited from above, and then contrasted to light from below:

Carriage across the fog,
Two-Step to lamplight's cellar tune.

The moon slow-dances across the sky while houselights come up from a basement apartment where music is being played/sung, and the narrator makes this observation:

The laughs come hard in Auld Lang Syne.

It's not only midnight, it's New Year's!
I'm not sure why the laughs are coming hard, though. My best guess is that hearing the sound of laughter from the cellar is difficult for the narrator, as he's in no festive mood at the moment and is feeling left out in the cold.

Then the tempo speeds up dramatically for this phrase:

The glass was raised, the fired rose,
the fullness of the wine,
the dim last toasting...

Woah. A wine glass was raised for a toast as the embers in the fireplace were also rising and toasting. Light from the cold quicksilver moon above, light from the toasty warm cellar below, and the narrator caught between them.

Then there's this delicious pun:

While at port adieu or die

It's a port wine they're toasting with, and the narrator is (nautically speaking) "at port" He then expresses the idea that change is essential to his survival. Either ring out the old and ring in the new, or die. (Which reminds me of the Dylan line "he not busy being born is busy dying".) Our narrator is in need of a change:

The choke of grief, heart hardened,
I, beyond belief, a broken man too tough to cry.

He is "beyond belief", without faith; cold and alone. Then the music shifts slightly and a gentle tune of baptismal realization comes in with:

Surf's Up, mmmm...
board a tidal wave.
Come about hard and join the young and often spring You gave

Onto the water he goes in a big way. The music he heard at the beginning and middle become, in the end, a new beginning:

I heard the word,
Wonderful thing;
A children's so-o-o-o-ng....

The cry that Brian Wilson wails is reminiscent of the last "oh, Caroline, no-o-o-o-o..." from Pet Sounds. But this time it's an epiphany, not sadness. It sounds similar, though. I guess it's because they both represent a kind of surrender; one to fate, one to the future, and sounding like a promise that they're not the same thing.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2004

Just talkin' Heroes again...

You don't wanna hear me rant about my day.

Trust me.

But I'll just say: Note to a certain bus driver: Set yer watch to Eastern Daylight Time. You've cost me 2 hours and 20 minutes today...

Other than that, I wanna sing this old song out loud. If you know the tune to this old song then do yourself a favor and learn it...!

A world without Heroes is like world without sun. You can't look up to anyone without Heroes. A world without Heroes is like a never-ending race; It's like a time without a place: a pointless thing devoid of grace

where you don't know what you're after --
or if something's after you --
and you don't know why you don't know..
...in a world without Heroes.

In a world without Dreams
things are no more than they seem.

A world without Heroes is like a bird without wings,
or a bell that never rings.
Just a sad and useless thing

where you don't know what you're after
or if something's after you.
And you don't know why you don't know.

In a world without Heroes
there's nothing to be.
That's no place for me.

-- Gene Simmons (1981)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:27 AM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2004

I am stubborn...

...that's why I'm still searching for a perfect photo that won't destroy my frickin' computer...

But, I wrote a poem today... Yay!

I humbly present my crappy style of poetry with:

"A Wanton Ode to an Asian Beauty":

Being too distant for me to offer a pass
and with your faraway face as long-frozen as glass
and with your twilight visage under a rising sun
you're the beauty that I want to have already won.
I want to touch you and to love you and know
such a bone-chilling heart-warming falling of snow.

So much like the cherry blossoms scattered on your floor,
that came from beyond the mere rice paper door,
you're so meekly framed while you're hiding behind
the sartorial grace of a Warrior's bride
as your midnightly locks drape you softly and low
surrendering as gently as the falling of snow.

There's a whole nether world that lives in your eyes -
- two prisms splitting darkness away from the lies.
I could wonder if I'll ever discover, in time,
how your lips might feel if they'd ever meet mine.
But, alas, I might as well let my heart down and go
and start listening for the sound of the falling of snow.

Bah. Still looking for a photo...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:46 PM | Comments (8)

September 07, 2004


I just read THIS over at RP's:

I'm a liar.
I lied about something really important today. I told my daughter that there are no monsters in the world and that she is safe and that there really isn't anything scary. The thing is, she doesn't need, at 3 1/2, to know differently. But I know.

This woman knows:

Click on the above link to read the rest. I'll wait right here!

I wrote a song in the spring of 2000 -- about a year and a half before 9/11 -- called "Lullaby". I was working on an album-length project that was purposefully very dark. I wrote it almost as a joke, but not really as a joke; an exaggeration, maybe... hopefully.

Shortly after 9/11 I listened to it again. When the line "where fire cries and people burn" came out of the speakers I had to turn the thing off. I haven't listened to it since -- until just now.
It's a slow, quiet song - in 3/4 time. The music is a high piano riff intended to sound like a music box. The lilting lyric goes like this:

Hush my baby, sleep will come close your eyes and pray for some The day is done and now you lay where peace is just a dream away

You'll be safe, I know you will,
from gremlins who've got time to kill
Sail on and leave the land astern
where fire cries and people burn

Where monsters out there on the loose
will knife you for your tennis shoes
and demons hide in ivory towers
honing all their secret powers

Where dragons promise love forever
while one eye looks for something better
and devils, they want nothing else
then to turn you into one yourself

You must beware, the most of all,
shadows dancing on the wall
for, haunting ghosts are just as real
as anything you'll ever feel

So, hush my baby, sleep will come
close your eyes and pray for some
Your day is done and now you lay
where peace is just a dream away

Sweet dreams,
sweet dreams...

I hate this song for the same reason that I hate seeing the photos of the kids in Beslan. I hate the terrorists for destroying the illusion that people just aren't capable of committing atrocities in cold blood. Even still, I held out hope that there weren't possibly people that were worse than the few who beheaded Nick Berg. Wrong again.

Maybe before 9/11 we were all a little like the Girl Child; we didn't need to let ourselves know just how dangerous and twisted humanity is capable of becoming under certain circumstances. But 9/3 was even worse because, at least on 9/11, we knew that the terrorists knew that they'd never directly face their victims as they killed them, and would never have to face the consequences of their actions. But these %$*#&s (there is no word) in Beslan shot women and children in the back as they ran for their lives.

More than ever I believe that the culture that breeds such people is a disease that can't be allowed to continue. Containment -- quarantine -- is not an option. The disease much be dealt with directly. From the indoctrination schools, to the mosques, to the governments that both feed and fear the resentments that their people harbor toward individual liberty.

In a religious context, the word "submission" can mean a lot of things. In a theocracy it can only mean one thing: tyranny. We can either fight the tyranny Islamofascists with our belief in freedom of the individual to live in peace and freedom, or we can wallow in nuance and a naive belief that peace at any cost is a righteous goal, and watch our children die at the hands of religious tyrants.
But then, we all know this already and I'm sick and tired and going to bed.

May the sun shine tomorrow.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:01 AM | Comments (2)

August 15, 2004

God in popular song...?

I've mentioned before that I'm an athiest/agnostic who actually reads the Bible. I do it because I'm always struck by how true it is if you read it as a parable.
I was a practicing Buddhist for a few years -- off and on -- in the mid to late '80s and, while I stopped chanting and attending meetings, I've always valued my time as a Buddhist for what it taught me about the value of Faith.

One of the most popular stories told and retold by practicing Nicherin Buddhists, is the story of General Stone Tiger. He got his name by piercing a boulder with an arrow that he thought was the tiger that had killed his daughter. "It was his faith in the fact that the stone was a tiger that allowed the arrow to penetrate the rock", they told me.

When I insisted that it was a parable, most of my fellow Buddhists would insist that it was absolutely true. "Faith can change the physical world; it's all in the Mystical Law of Cause and Effect!"
When I asked if he or she had ever stubbed their toe in the dark because they were so-o-o-o convinced that the way was clear, but that the table leg had something to say about it, I usually got blank stares. That's pretty much why I stopped going to the meetings.

Anywho, for some reason I've been trying to think of occassions when God is mentioned in popular songs. Not the obvious references by, oh, the Singing Nun, or when God is specifically the focus of the song such as in Three Dog Night's Jesus Is Just All Right or George Harrison's #1 hit My Sweet Lord. I'm looking more for instances where God/Jesus/Zeus/Thor/Buddha/whatever is just mentioned in passing with no more drama than would be given to mentioning a refridgerator.

While I'm not sure that it was ever a single, the Beach Boys' God Only Knows has usually been mentioned as a "spiritual" love song because it mentions God in the title. But I've always heard it as almost a taking-the-lord's-name-in-vain moment.
White the song sounds beautiful, even somewhat spiritual, my guess is that Brian Wilson wrote the signature line, "God only knows what I'd be without you", according to the phrase's common usage - usually in exasperation: "Where's the beef?" "God only knows..."
So that doesn't count.

God is mentioned in the old song Little Green Apples, and it almost cuts the mustard, but there are two disqualifiers. One: it's in the chorus and, thus, too prominant a mention to satisfy me; and, two: it's delivered as part of a sarcastic lyric:

"God didn't make little green apples / and it don't rain in Indianap'lis in the summertime..."
It's like saying "I'm not a crook and the Pope ain't Catholic".
So that doesn't count.

Another one that almost made it was Meat Loaf's Paradise By The Dashboard Light. Near the end he bellows "I started swearin' to my god and on my mother's grave / that I would love you 'til the end of time...".
The problem with this one is that ir's delivered in anger/frustration, and that it says "my god", not "God". Jim Steinman, the author, was obviously worried about mentioning God by name and, in the end, chickened out and neutralized it to "my god".
So that doesn't count.

But, alas, I have found one! It's in John Denver's Rocky Mountain High. Tucked inside one of the non-repeating lines of the chorus we can hear:

"But the Colorado Rocky Mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply
Rocky Mountain high, in Colorado"

There it is. God is mentioned in passing, matter of factly, unassumingly, drawing no more attention to itself than the word "campfire" later on.

Are there any other examples of this?

There is one other that I've found that doesn't mention any God, but that certainly sounds like a hymn: the Jackson 5's (and, later, Mariah Carey's) I'll Be There.

If you take out the final half-verse, "If you should ever find someone new / I know s/he better be good to you / 'cause if s/he doesn't / I'll be there", it almost seems to have been first written as a hymn, sung by God, but then changed to become a standard love sung.

"You and I must make a pact
We must bring salvation back
Where there is love
I'll be there

I'll reach out my hand to you
I'll have faith in all you do
Just call my name
And I'll be there, I'll be there

And, ohhhhh
I'll be there to comfort you
Build my world of dreams around you
I'm so glad that I found you
I'll be there with a love that's strong
I'll be your strength. keep holdin' on

holdin' on, holdin' on, holdin' on
Yes I will, yes I will

Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter
Togetherness is all I'm after
Whenever you need me
I'll be there, I'll be there

I'll be there to protect you
With a non-selfish love that respects you
Just call my name
And I'll be there, I'll be there

And ohhhhh...
I'll be there to comfort you
Build my world of dreams around you
I'm so glad that I found you
I'll be there with a love thats strong
I'll be your strength; I'll keep holdin' on

holdin' on, holdin' on, holdin' on, holdin on''

I'd like to know if there are other examples of God being mention matter of factly in song along the lines of Rocky Mountain High. Anybody?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:36 PM | Comments (6)

August 09, 2004

MadLyrics are in!

I've gotten three responses to the MadLyrics post.

First up is from kermit!

Just fly right back and you'll hear a fart,
it's the tale of a smelly trip
that farted from this dirty port
aboard this rotten ship

The mate was a stinking sailin' man
The Skipper ugly and sure
Five bastards set sail that 9 months
on a 44 hour tour,
a 44 hour tour

The weather starting getting fake
The crunchy ship was caterwauled
If not for the open-mindedness of the hollow crew
the Buttcheek would be slithered,
the Buttcheek would be slithered

The ship oozed on the kitchen table
of this greasy isle
with Glenn Reynolds, the Skipper, too
the pimp and his cane,
the ho
the cop and FrankJ,
all here on Mr Fisk's Isle!

ROFLMFAO!! I think it actually made sense! FrankJ and Glenn Reynolds stuck on an island together with a pimp a ho and a cop! Much merriment for the Skipper to write about in his log! Thanks, kermit!!

(But, who the $^&% is Mr Fisk?!

Second installment comes from the lovely Claire (<--and don't forget to click on that link, it's hysterical!):

Just bleep right back and you'll hear a mooooo
it's a tale of darkish trip
that bit from this alive port
aboard this petulant ship

The mate was a feathered sailin' man,
the Skipper painted and sure
Five sillibi set sail that flash!
on a 3.14 hour tour,
a 3.14159 hour tour (just to be more specific, mheh)

The weather started getting blurry
the stolid ship was plotzed
If not for schizophrenia of the leafy crew
the Bull**** would be lost,
the Bull**** would be lost

The ship enchanted* on the self-doubt*
of this blue desert isle
with Snoozebutton Jim, the Skipper, too
the taster and his horse,
the sorter,
the plucker and Bill INDC,
all here on SondraK's Isle!!

A bizarre trip, indeed! The taster, sorter and plucker, eh? Sounds like they'll at least have some good wine on that *sniff* blue island.

**** I added the asterisks to Claire's "bull" to make it flow and funny.
* Claire missed two words among all the confusing verb past tenses, so I grabbed my dictionary and used the first noun and verb that I saw: "enchanted" and "self-doubt". Gives it an air of enchantment. And, self-doubt.

And, finally, we have Stevie's rendition:

Ju-u-u-u-u-st bounce right back and you'll hear a *squick*
it's a tale of a fugly trip
that spitted from this stupid port
aboard this hairy ship

The mate was a pissed-off sailin' man
the Skipper slovenly and sure
Five cajones set sail that decade
on a 729 hour tour,
a 729 hour tour

The weather started getting creamy
the spikey ship was assaulted
If not for the hypocrisy of the slimy crew
the Manure Pit would be punched,
the Manure Pit would be punched!

The ship farted on the snotrag of this
thumb-dicked desert isle
with Mad Mikey, the Skipper, too,
the Artificial Inseminator and his teabag,
the Nuclear Valve Tech,
the Fluffer and Acidman
all here on Velociman's I-I-I-I-sle!!!

I couldn't stop laughing when I typed this one!! Oh, crikey, that was the funniest thing I've ever typed!! Whe-e-e-w-w-w!!! Thank for that one, Stevie!!

Oh what are Acidman and Velociman gonna do with that Inseminator and Fluffer (and, no, I don't know EXACTLY what that means, but I'm laughing anyway...)..?

Thanks, kermit, Claire and Stevie!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:13 AM | Comments (9)

August 08, 2004

Things I miss

Rachel Ann has a wonderful post about her oft silent grandfather. Read the above link, then come back.

Okay, yer back?

Well, as you have read, I wrote in the comments:

Aah, a bittersweet memory. That sounds like the title of a book about trading the complex essence of the beautiful for the simplicity of the superficial and ending up with pretty emptyness. Or something.

Keith Richards once said that "the eyes are the whores of the senses." I don't remember the exact context, but that line always stuck with me.

I was going to try to write a post about specific instances where we've lost the proverbial scent of the flowers for the showyness of the blossoms. But I want to just spout off about a few things that I miss about the way things used to be, as I've been thinking about these (just a little, now and then) since reading a post at Random Pensees, where he said all there is to say about soda fountains.

Watermelon. I swear watermelon doesn't taste like it did when I was a kid. Now, maybe my taste buds have changed a little in the past 30 years. But, usually, that means that sweets are too sweet now. But most of the watermelon I come across now doesn't taste as sweet as I remember, it just tastes bland and the texture is more heavy and soggy. I don't remember ever having a slice or hunk of watermelon as a kid that was anything but firm, light and oh so sweet. Never!

Ice Cream Trucks. Remember the ice cream trucks that rode around in the late afternoons during the summer? The driver rang the bells and all the kids in the neighborhood came running out with their 15 cents, or whatever it was. You'd stare at the, seemingly, hundreds of pictures of what he had in the freezer.
But, if you wanted a cone, the guy in the truck, dressed in white with white cap on his head, pulled a lever and sploodged you a soft cone of vanilla or chocolate ice cream! Then he'd ask if you wanted shots. Yay, for shots!

Now we got this truck that comes around in the late afternoons blaring some synth-o-crap through loudspeakers. You go up to the truck and there's, maybe 15 or 20 items to choose from, and no fresh ice cream dispenser. And the guy doesn't even wear a uniform. It's just a Circus Man freezer case on wheels.
Bring back fresh ice cream trucks!

Penny candy! Remember the rows of big glass jars of penny candy in the drug stores? You scooped out a few of these and some of those and, hey, let's try this one today! The guy with the visor on his head counted them up. For, y'see, each peice cost a penny.
About ten years ago a went into a candy store in the *gag* mall. I flipped up the little door on the plastic dispenser and got a few of these and a few of those. The chicklette behind the counter weighed my little bag of treats. 8 bucks! WTF?!!!

An' speakin' of plastic, everything's made of plastic! Toy trucks, milk bottles, bathtubs, toboggans (if you can find any), toothpicks, tongue depressors, and, ferscrisakes, Lincoln Logs! You can't build a wooden log cabin out of plastic!!!

Drive-In Restaurants. You pulled up to the parking spot and the waitress came out and took your order, then she'd come back with the tray that she clipped onto the car door. I don't know why that's actually better than any other way of doing it, I just miss it, that's all. You can eat in the car without having to struggle with the lack of elbow room while you jockied things around. Just once more in my life I'd like to pull into a drive-in restaurant on a nice summer's day.

Drive-In Theaters!! These I really miss. The last one 'round here closed when I was in High School. No better place to watch a movie after a hot summer day than by sitting in the car with the windows half-open, watching the movie on the gigantic screen, with the speaker hanging on the driver's side window.
When the movie was over, you didn't have to fight the crowds through the lobby of the 12-screen megaplex to get to your car; you're already in your car! You just put the speaker back on the poll and off you went.

Of, course, Drive-ins will never be profitable again because they'd have to have several speakers per car to offer the THX surround-sound (or whatever they call it these days). The only remaining active Drive-In that I know of is in Skowhegan, Maine; some seven hours away from me. Road trip! Who's with me?!

The old Hershey wrappers. Remember those? The candy bar was wrapped in silver paper and the silver paper-wrapped bar was wrapped in the brown paper sleeve. As you ate the Hershey bar you shimmied it up the sleeve and tore more and more of the silver wrapper apart. Aaah, memories.

Chief Big Wheel! OMG! He was just the Drakes version of a Hostess Ring Ding. (Or was he the Hostess version of the Drakes Ring Ding?) Aaah, foggy memories.
Chief Big Wheel was one of my favorites as a kid. The cake was in a yellow wrapper, and the logo was a Big Wheel with an Indian Chief's headdress, holding a tomahawk. Tasty little guy!

Wax Harmonicas. You could actually play them, and then you ate the wax. That was weird. Do they still have wax candy? Beats me.

Candy necklaces! We'd go out playing all day in the woods and in the yards and getting all dirty and sweaty while eating these pieces of candy that we'd been wearing on our necks all day. What were we, nuts!!

Okay, I could go on forever with this, probably, so I'll just stop now. Thanks for letting me yammer on about

things I miss.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:24 PM | Comments (2)


Well, Stevie's got me thinkin' about MadLibs now. I'm gonna put one up, but with a twist. I invite all comers -- Stevie, I'm looking in your direction... -- to give me words that I'll insert into a song lyric!

Come on, all y'gotta do is leave a list of words in the Comments. It's fun!

The words I need are (I know, that's a lot of adjectives):

verb, past tense
pural noun
span of time
verb, past tense
personality trait (example: eagerness)
verb, past tense
verb, past tense
Person in the room
Person in the room
Person in the room

For "person in the room" pick someone from your blogroll... and have fun!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:59 AM | Comments (4)

August 03, 2004

The Long Night

[I still have a few post ideas in m' head that I've yet to find the time to post, but, in the meantime, here's yet another silly song lyric. It's very minor-chord-driven. Hope y'like it!:

Look out for an empty smile;
something's coming into style...
They'll get you to drop yer guard
then buy you on yer own credit card...
700 club and alcohol
will calm you down 'til y'crawl
If pride is yer poison,
bet yer happy hour has come and gone...
There's so much darkness
we must be damn close to dawn

There'se precedents fer jungle law:
"fight fire with fire" and "dog eat dog"
Wanna be left in docile servitude
trading in our thought for food?
We're in a world of handing politicians
words with foggy definations
believing that the Truth must be left or right or wrong.
Oh, there's so much darkness...
we must be damn close to dawn.

talking head shops
killer raindrops
piled up pollution
sneaker Revolutions
zodiac signs
seedless grapevines
pet rocks and gold dust
and an electric toothbrush
caffeine and nicotine
pretend yer always seventeen
while random acts of congress
appeal to our selfishness....

If y'really wanna use your pride
let it take you for a ride
straight through the billboards, and 12-page advertisements,
to the plan of handing our domination down
to the every next generation
I think the choice will be clear
Don't dare ya prove me wrong...

There's so much darkness;
We must be damn close to dawn.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2004


Well, as Annika says: Wednesday is poetry day!

I wrote this in college in December of '83. (Okay, it's not a poem it's a song lyric. Big whoop!)
My friends always looked at me weird when I played 'em this one, but I've always liked it ('specially fer the ending)...
A roommate of mine asked me "Do you know what it's like to know that the girl you love is at home making love to her boyfriend?" Since I knew the answer to that I wrote this song (the music is forward driving yet kinda wistful):

When the waters run deep I can't get to sleep
I'm spending the weekend alone
It's just the extension of a long life without love
but it's the life I've known

I took a long walk today to where the girls congregate
to tell of their latest exploits
while I'm still haunted 'cause nobody I wanted to talk to
gave the chance or the choice

so, I made it to you, like I usually do,
just like in that classroom where we met
when I'm with you I rest
when I leave I'm depressed
never having what I came to get

I love everything you are and everything you're not
I'll arrive with a cluttered mind but by "hello" it's all forgot
I think that anyone who doesn't love you oughta see a wizard for a heart
but I've learned to hide these feelings like a pro-o-o-o
but I want to let 'em go!

I can hear a dog bark as I sit here in the dark
recounting my hours with you
I was hoping there would be a secret fondness for me
that would be, somehow, showing through

It's never a surprise when I look into yer eyes
and only see yet another mystery
it's a shadow of a doubt but I'll figure it out
and then resign it to history

we'll talk for a while
I'll make jokes just to see you smile
and leave the bigger things to fate
but when it's time to leave I can hardly breathe
I'm always leaving a little too late

my whole body is hungry from my hair down to the ground
sometimes I feel so sick I gotta go lie down
I warned myself about girls like you
what have you done to me now?
this burnin' love is too hot to ho-o-o-o-ld
but I don't wanna let it go!

My soul is adrift 'cause that lover you're with
seems to be more than enough
to show you the sunrise
do you see it in his eyes?
Do you love him when you show him your stuff?

Habit, I guess, decides where you'll rest
in that old creature comfort of his arms
Bodies on fire! Don't you ever get tired?!
You'd better disconnect yer smoke alarms!

Oh no, my breath is foggin' up the glass
as I'm lookin' at yer ass
slammin' up and down in his lap
I watch yer shoulders shudder as he's churning yer butter
within a minute he'll be takin' a nap

now his love pump is coughing as yer legs open wide
he's a spill, you're a sponge
you're both twisted and tied
but, I'm fuckin' freezing, when can I come inside?
my lover is about to expl-o-o-o-o-ode
oh, I'm jus' gonna let it go!!!!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:32 PM | Comments (4)

April 08, 2004

Long Time Man

Just so's I don't, in my creative drought, go toooooo long without a post: here's a song lyric from a few years back. It reads like a 12-bar blues number but it's not. It's an intense minor-chord driven ode to connection.

Makes a long time man's head hang low.
Makes a long time man's head hang low.
When yer out on yer own and write no letters to your home...
mkes a long time man's head hang low.

Well, I hear that my dear ol' mother's gone.
Yes, I hear that my dear ol' mother's gone.
I hear she's gone and lying underneath a stone.
Makes a long time man's head hang low.

And I hear how my father drinks alone.
Yes, I hear how my father drinks alone.
He's broken to the heart and the house is always dark.
Makes a long time man's head hang low.

(harmonica instrumental break)

And I hear my baby sister's gone wrong.
Yes, I hear my baby sister's gone wrong.
She's doin' now what the law don't allow.
Makes a long time man's head hang low.

(second [more urgent] instrumental break)

Makes a long time man's head hang low
Makes a long time man's head hang low.
When your out on the road
and write no letters to your home;
Makes a long time man's head hang low......

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2004

I Love You, I Hate You

Yep, I'm finally adding some more of my crappy recordings to the server!
This one is about a girl I met in High School and... well, the thing's pretty self-explanitory.

You might notice that the keyboard "strings" occassionally seem to be playing when they're not supposed to (during the vocal). That's 'cause I kept practicing it as I recorded it but forgot to fade it out during the mix. If I ever unbury my recorder I'll remix it (or just record a tighter version), but for now, that's the only version I have.

[If it isn't on the sidebar yet, it soon will be (crossing fingers).]

A high school from another world; I'd have to play it smart
I met your bus each morning just to watch you stop and start
You offered me you're all to hold and then you stood aloof
I faced that fact then paid you back by telling you the truth:

I love you
I hate you
I love you
I hate you

Years went by and still I tried -- just to keep in touch
never wanted more than we had before -- and not even that much
and you could be so open 'til the past is just a ghost
then lock up like a wheel that went to fast and got too close

I love you I hate you I love you I hate you

I found a stack of letters that you'd written through the years
the rubber band had dried up like the career of Tears For Fears*
I read them all, one by one, 'til there weren't anymore
and left them lying there like daisy petals on the floor

I love you
I hate you
I love you
I hate you.

[* Okay, that's a "dummy lyric". I just haven't found a line that I'd like to go there yet...]

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2004

I Kissed You While You Slept

Well here I am finally home at a reasonable hour and I got nothin'. So, I'll just post a song lyric that I wrote about 10 years ago (the mood is very intensely minor chord driven):

I kissed you while you slept 'cause there was nothing left no one I could make love or talk to no desire to reconcile I just laid with you a while and wondered where your dreaming takes you off to

I pulled under the covers
like I did when we were lovers
and watched the glow of moonlight on your skin
and it all went by so fast
like a memory of our past
like a closing door that will not let me in

This very kiss I steal
is for all that was wasn't real
and for all that can be just like what it seems
and for the hope that you'll discover
that there really is a lover
like the man who must have kissed you in your dreams.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)

December 12, 2003

Every Other Day It's The End Of The World

Since there'll be light posting this weekend as I work on the new site, I'll just go right on ahead and post a lyric that I wrote when I was 22 (aah, those were the days):

When the spaces between us
spread and divide us
into a bottomless pit we are hurled
While falling we're crying out
what we were ashamed to think about
that every other day it's the end of the world

If you really love me
you wouldn't be so obsessed
to take the time to take the time
to strengthen walls around your mind

Late. Later. Too late.
No chance for a chance of escape
We're both flapping and waving like a flag unfurled
No goal quite accomplished
Enough is never said
when every other day it's the end of the world

If you really loved me
you wouldn't be so impressed
Or race the clock to take the time
to strengthen walls around your mind

But don't cry if you've failed to kill it
or failed to defend it
Every day we can start it all again.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:59 PM | Comments (1)

November 19, 2003

Change Your Mind

I got nothin'. I mean: I got nothin'. So, I'm just gonna post a song lyric that I wrote a few years ago! Yay!!
The lyric is simple, with a simple "message," but I've always liked this one fer some reason.
The music is peppy-folky with a modulation at the end:

Please don't be sad
Things can't be so bad
'cause if you just force a laugh the whole world will laugh with you
Just a little denial
can bring back your smile
and, in a little while, you'll have a new attitude
You could if you wanted to...

Just change your mind
You're heart will follow behind
Y'know, the Truth never changes:
it's always what you believe
I think you'll find
that changing your mind
can turn you into anyone you want to be
want to be

So, you've got the blues,
feeling lower than your shoes,
y'find yourself sadder than the evening news
Well, maybe your fall
is just in your head, after all
and so you've learnt to crawl
or to lay there and lick your wounds
What else are you gonna do? Why not..

Just change your mind
and leave the trouble behind
Y'know, the Truth never changes:
it's always what you believe
I think you'll find
that changing your mind
can turn you into anyone you want to be
want to be

There isn't anyone
who doesn't like having fun
But, what's the fun in bringing down your closest friends?
You listen to your heart,
but what does It know?
The truth is the truth:
you can say it and make it so
If you think you're drowning
you'll sink in the end
so when you think it's all hopeless
just think again...

and change your mind
wont cost you a dime
The Truth never changes:
it's always what you believe, oo-oo...
I think you'll find
that changing your mind
can turn you into anyone you want to be
want to beeeee.........

When I make a decent recording of it I'll put it up for download! :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:10 PM | Comments (2)

August 13, 2003

Understanding Ovation

Since I don't feel like blogging about John Kerry eating Philly Swiss Cheese Steaks, or Grey-out Davis, or Stinger Missile Sting Operations, or anything else I've read about today; I'm gonna post another song lyric! WOO HOO!!!

This is called "Understanding Ovation". I wrote it in the spring of 1993 in about as much time as it takes to play (which is why is may not seem to have much of a point). The tune for it is peppy and playful... :)

"Pick up your cross, put back your sword
mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."
That's how you tell me to do the things I can't afford to do.
My love is ripe and ready for easy picking
but the waiting is so draining, and the clock is ticking.
Hurry now before I hide and seek out some chicken stew.

All I really want is to spend some time
going through your routine with you and have you go through mine
and when it's all over we'll find somewhere to dine, oh yeah.
Could you see your way through to opening up
to the idea of drinking from my loving cup.
If I'm asking too much just tell me to shut up, hey hey.

Got a history inside of me that I've tried to leave behind
I'm a mystery travelling down the passage of time
Confronting my concepts and my own expectations,
and it's getting much too late for understanding ovations.

Sneaking around with a chip on her shoulder,
not believing anything I could-a told her,
focussed on her careful conquest of the older boys.
She loved me deeply for about a month and a half.
she said "make me a woman, and then me laugh",
so I walked around the house squeaking her bath toys.

You're the only desire that I've got left...
I read it between the lines of the tremble clef.
When you're in my mind I become dumb and deaf, oh, no!
Gonna ask the 8 ball, "just what're my chances?"
gonna take notes of all the answers I get
and then learn all of them forbidden dances you know.

Got a history.... (repeat refrain) ...understanding ovations.

"Hell is for heroes," she said out of the side of her mouth
as she cleaned up the kitchen and then the rest of the house
in her pumps and skirt and jewel-neck blouse, hey hey.
She made dinner for two, but I had to leave.
she made double entendres I couldn't believe!
I guess it depends on your state of naivety..

It's been too long, I think I've overstayed,
my thoughts are clouding to rain o my parade.
Anything I might say now would be just a cliche for fun.
I'm givin' up, gonna let it all play out.
I'll learn to live with whatever happens now,
and if I have to fail again at least I know it done...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 08:54 PM | Comments (1)

July 21, 2003

Enchanted Reality

(Okay, here's the fun: If, on a particular day, I don't have anything to blog about I'm just gonna post one of my song lyrics. Try and tell the difference...mwheheh...:)

Once upon another time
I woke up in a dream
where wishing things would make them so,
and I was as conscious as a stream.
I pumped my arms to fly
then I was pumping my own gasoline.

I walked into the Money Store with nothing but a dime.
a magpie with a broken wing cut into the line.
I focused all my rage
and locked him in a cage as small as mine.

I was tickling the ivories,
an elephant joined in
beating on a bongo drum made of human skin.
but even stranger, though,
there was a horse who played a bow and violin.

I dreamed I had insomnia,
I had no place to sit.
I felled a tree to the forest floor.
I never heard it hit.
I guess no one will believe you've dug a hole if you leave the dirt in it.

c-2000 SnotSongs

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:01 PM | Comments (3)

July 19, 2003

YOUR FAVORITE CLOWN (a song lyric)

I get so filled with anger when I'm as shallow as my skin.
Don't let the children touch me,
You don't want to know where I've been
But I'm smiling...:D
this crazy painted grin

I come to all these parties,
get paid up front in cash
Then I show up more loaded
than the diapers in the trash
The kiddies laugh at me every time that I fall down
aw, I'm just being me; your favorite clown

I could twist some balloons around
or play Pin the Tail on the Ass
or start inhaling helium, then I'll pass the gas
Let's bob for apples... maybe one of us will drown
Oh, I know you wont take me seriously
I'm you favorite clown

I just want to be loved for who I am
But I've been reduced to bad hair and baggy pants
My best moments are when I act the fool
Has this ever happened to you...?

Now I've got whoopie cushions that you can really smell
I've started squirting pepper spray from the flower in my lapel
My cans of exploding snakes are extra tightly wound
just like me... your favorite clown.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)
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