Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Three Songs



Something a little different from the RantZ I've been reprinting lately, fellow babies!

I wrote the above title with the theme song from the old sitcom, "My Three Sons," playing in my head. But that's someone else's song. Today's post is about three of the songs I've written, arguably the three best  songs I've written. They are, in my opinion, anyway...

These songs have all been featured on this blog before, but I have several new readers, and some of you long-time readers may have forgotten them as well, so I figure I can get away with giving them another go!

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The following song was written on October 10th, 1978! It's a light-hearted (albeit not really humorous) C&W tune, the kind of thing someone like Jerry Reed would have given us. I really like the wordplay in this one.

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Don't Let Me Love You on the Rebound

When people start to treat me hard, I just grow harder,
And their cold shoulders just make me more cold.
I need companionship before my troubled life ends.
Oh, Lord, I guess I'm really gettin' old.
I'm also gettin' kinda sick o'losin' lovers.
So many women put me on the shelf,
And told me they were kinda sick o'lovin' losers.
So here I'm feelin' sorry for myself.

CHORUS
Don't let me love you on the rebound,
For it might up'n'fade away.
This lover's fog I'm in might vanish
Before the cleansin' light o'day.
Oh, yes, I'll love you on the rebound,
When it's too late for you, you'll finally see,
And you are much too sweet'n'sensitive a lady
To be sufferin' for love o'scum like me!

My life has been a downhill trip to darkest Hades,
An' lots o'people say it's just as well,
Cuz I ain't never gonna get to Heaven, darlin',
So here on Earth, I'll just prepare fer Hell.
My friends are special cuz they truly can accept me,
But you, m'dear, see somethin' thet I'm not.
You see good in one who's somewhat less than Satan,
But acts if he's somethin' more than God.

CHORUS
Don't let me love you on the rebound,
For it might up'n'fade away.
This lover's fog I'm in might vanish
Before the cleansin' light o'day.
Oh, yes, I'll love you on the rebound,
When it's too late for you, you'll finally see,
And you are much too sweet'n'sensitive a lady
To be sufferin' for love o'scum like me!

Yes, you are much too sweet'n'sensitive a lady
To be sufferin' for love o'scum like me!

*  *  *

A while back, this blog featured a serialized story called Two Ships, which told a story about a single man, Dan, who falls in love with a married woman named Eve. During a blizzard, Dan and Eve are stranded at a motel, which offers entertainment in the form of its owner, Art, a guitarist who tends to play either Country & Western or blues. Dan, a former musician himself, is pressed into service for part of the evening, at which point, he plays a song he's written for Eve. (I've included a segment of the story itself, and not just the song.)

By the way, I should mention that this song came pouring out of me as I wrote the appropriate chapter of Two Ships. That's never happened with any other song or poem I've ever written. I guess I was really inspired that day!

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Eve's Song

Then I announced my final song of the evening, and tenderly lifted the Dobro from a stand Art had placed next to the piano bench. For a moment or two, I sat there lost in thought. I didn't look at the crowd. I didn't even look at Eve. In fact, after having fitted the Coricidin bottle on the little finger of my right hand, I closed my eyes and played the bluesy notes that formed the intro for the song I was about to play. But those "bluesy notes" were only a teaser of sorts. The song wasn't a blues song in structure, although the lyrics certainly gave the impression that it should have been.
As I began the song for real, I glanced at Eve, Millie, and Art. Art's brow was furrowed, and his arms were crossed on his chest. He seemed somewhat irked that he didn't recognize the song I'd started playing. I smiled and began to sing, giving the vocals my own sound, with a little Leon Redbone thrown in for additional character.
Though I've got the blues.
It's a wonderful feelin'.
I've got the blues,
Cuz my poor head is reelin'.
There should be pain enough to break me for all time,
Cuz this woman I hold,
She can't ever be mine.
I should be sad,
But I smile when I see her.
I should feel chained,
But I've never felt freer.
She's someone else's, but I know she cares for me.
I'm selectively blind
And she's all I can see.
I should be screamin' & cryin', and climbin' & punchin' the walls.
But all I know is that I'm happy whenever she calls.
I've got a thousand reasons I should tell her goodbye,
But the thought of her gone makes me break down and cry.
Now it was time for the instrumental break, my guitar solo, as it were, and even in the structure of this non-blues song, I did everything I could to channel Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, and as many of their original blues guitar influences as I could. I wish I'd had a second guitarist to keep up the rhythm section, but I filled in to the extent of my ability. As a lead guitarist, I'm usually passable, but nowhere near great. Having said that, however, I can honestly and objectively say that I don't think I've ever played better than I did that night, during that song.
As I ended my solo -- which garnered some scattered applause, I was pleased to notice -- I repeated the bridge.
I should be screamin' & cryin', and climbin' & punchin' the walls.
But all I know is I'm in Heaven whenever she calls.
I've got a million reasons I should tell her goodbye,
But the thought of her gone makes me break down and cry.
So I've got the blues
And they say that's a downer
Yeah, I've got the blues
Yet I thank God I found her.
She's a perfect woman, and me, I'm only a man
Who will give her my all,
While she gives what she can.
Though I've got the blues.
It's a wonderful feelin'.
I've got the blues,
Cuz my poor head is reelin'.
Yeah, I've got the blues...
As I played the last few licks -- bluesy notes once again, of course -- there was a tangible moment of silence... and then the little dining room was filled with the sound of enthusiastic applause. Ya done good, kid, I told myself. I stood up, gave the audience a little half-bow, and in my very best Elvis voice, slurred "Thank yuh evver'buddy, thank yuh so much, yer beautiful people!" and walked back to my table. Eve jumped to her feet, threw her arms around me, and gave me a lip-lock that literally took my breath away.

*  *  *

Finally, the best song I ever wrote (IMHO) came from a story called Angelina. Angelina's fiancé, Marty, is a teacher and struggling songwriter who plays his latest song for her. (Once again, I've included a segment of the story itself, and not just the song.)

*  *  *

The Life You Never Find
 
Shuffling through some broken glass, I found a diamond.
Stumbling through a field of weeds, I found a rose.
In with icy things I should stay far away from
I found something warm enough to draw me close.

He paused briefly -- very briefly -- and she realized that his piano playing had improved considerably since last she'd heard it.

You may never know the ways in which you’ve touched me,
'Cause you’re so much more than what you had to be,
So instead of using you, I grew to love you,
And my tears mean I may never set you free.

Marty shifted slightly as he played the song's chorus for the first time.

As I look into your eyes,
I see your pain, and all the lies
That you were told
About that better life
That you never seem to find.

Wow, she thought, what woman can't relate to that line!

If I stooped to label you, then I could judge you.
If I judged you, girl, you’d probably start to cry.
If you started crying, I would feel my heart break.
As it broke, I’d wonder who the hell am I?
I could make a lengthy list of all my problems,
And by 'problems' I mean those that are my fault.
So if ever I should dare to act superior
Know the truth, and take me with a grain of salt.

Here, he repeated the chorus, then began the third verse.

I’d give anything if I could sleep beside you,
But I only have to give you up each night.
I can hope and pray we find a way around this,
Or else nothing’s ever going to make it right.
But reality keeps messing with my dreaming.
So damned many things keep getting in our way.
I’m no optimist, but with some perseverance,
Maybe you and I can work things out someday.

She couldn't recall ever having heard the word "perseverance" in a song before. But Marty never had been one to talk down to his intended audience.

He repeated the chorus again, then once more, only with different inflections. His reworking of the chorus' tune made him reach to the top of his somewhat limited vocal range. Successfully, she was glad to see. Damn, his voice has improved, too, she thought.

Shuffling through some broken glass, I found a diamond, he sang, repeating the first verse.

Stumbling through a field of weeds, I found a rose.
In with icy things I should stay far away from
I found something warm enough to draw me close.

As he'd sung the last line of the song, he'd slowed his pace. And the very last note he played on the piano coincided with his final lyric.

"Damn," she said softly. "What do you call it?"

"It's called 'The Life You Never Find.' Like it?"

"Baby, that has instantly become my favorite thing you've ever written," she said, truthfully.

*  *  *

So, fellow babies, there you have them. Something a bit more serious from my twisted mind!

My apologies to those of you who actually want to hear the blasted things.

Thanks for your time.

20 comments:

  1. As soon as I started reading I knew that Art, Dan, and Eve would make an appearance. Two Ships has stayed with me.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. Me, too! Ha. Someday, I may write a sequel.

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    2. I really wish you would. They need to meet again.

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    3. Hm. I've already envisioned how that would occur....

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    4. omg. I think my anchor just sunk.

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  2. Thank you for introducing me to these wonderful songs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're quite welcome. Thanks for the compliment.

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  3. Yeah, I'd love to hear the songs. These are great! I now have the My Three Sons theme in my head now. Only I don't know for sure what that theme was...so it may be the I Dream of Jeannie song in my head!

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    Replies
    1. Fair enough... Now I have the I Dream of Jeannie theme stuck in my head!

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  4. The third really does have some great lines and is the best. I remember the second one from the story and the first was great too, first time I've read that one, I think. Have to get them sung, just don't pop a lung lol

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    Replies
    1. I wish I had the equipment to record these. Of course, it'd help if I could play guitar and piano, as well as sing...

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  5. All three are excellent - songwriting is much more complex than just rhyming. Some of those lyrics have taken up residence in my mind.

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  6. "You may never know the ways in which you’ve touched me,
    'Cause you’re so much more than what you had to be,
    So instead of using you, I grew to love you,
    And my tears mean I may never set you free."

    Awesome!

    They're all great of course, but you knew that. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Would you believe that the character who wrote that song had written it about falling in love with a junkie/prostitute? The stuff that comes out of my twisted mind...

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  7. These are terrific! If you ever get them recorded, even if it's just on Garage Band or Audacity on your computer, let us hear them!

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    Replies
    1. If I ever manage to record any or all of these, I'll let my readers know ASAP.

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  8. i dunno...i rather like the middle one...maybe too it is the story that goes with that that endears it to me....the third though is very well woven sir....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's okay, you don't have to like them in the same order as I do. As long as you like them. Ha.

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