Drawing On My Surroundings

December 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

The other day, my son had a pre-screening job interview at a local hotel. After I drove him to the interview, I sat down to wait in the lobby until he was finished. As I often do when I am out and about, I had my notebook with me.

As soon as I sat down to wait, I began to get the start of a song lyric. As soon as the first line came out, I immediately flashed back to the 1975 Amazing Rhythm Aces song, “Third Rate Romance.”

My effort has a similar theme and feel at the start of the verses, I think. As for the rest of it, please let me know what you think.

Buyer’s Remorse

Sitting in a hotel lobby, wondering what I’m doing here
A woman in heels walks over, sits down, says let me buy you a beer
We have a drink at the bar, then head out to her car
I guess you know where it goes from here
Not for the first time, I crossed the line once again

Now I’m waking up to breaking up
It all goes as a matter of course
One or the other ends up with buyer’s remorse

Sitting in a darkened lounge, thinking, here we go again
A woman, well dressed, sits down, says you look like you could use a friend
The pre-ordained chase leads back to her place
We both know how it’s going to end
One night, nothing more, then I’ll find the door and be gone

(Instrumental Verse)

I keep looking for love in the wrong place
Sitting on a stool at the bar
Looking for love in the eyes of a stranger
Never gets me too far

Sitting in the hotel parking lot, thinking about heading home
A woman from the bar taps on the door, asks if I’m leaving alone
She gets in my car, says she doesn’t live far
It’s a little too late to atone
As we drive away, I know she won’t stay past the night

Now I’m waking up to breaking up
It all goes as a matter of course
One or the other ends up with buyer’s remorse

© 2018 Walt Huntsman.

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Digging For Inspiration

December 11, 2017 § Leave a comment

For better or worse, I tend not to rely or draw much on my own experiences for inspiration or lyric topics. Instead, I rely on what I see, hear, and feel in the here and now. Occasionally, that leads to a few dry spells for writing. It also lends itself to sudden inspiration.

Every once in a while, though, I get to thinking about my journey to this point and some of the events in my life. When I was younger, I lived the life of a nomadic television reporter, moving from market to market attempting to advance in my career. While my career, such as it was, was anything but meteoric, I did get to live in some parts of the country I might not otherwise have ever visited.

I was thinking about that journey when I wrote this song. Unusual for me, I started writing the lyrics without a sense of the melody. Often, they come almost simultaneously. Or the melody will begin to reveal itself within a line or two.

As I was writing, I remembered that my wife had recorded this strum pattern in E-minor a month or so earlier. When I listened to it, I realized it was perfect for much of the song. We will, of course, need to flesh the chords out a bit and figure out the chording for the bridge and refrain  portions.

Nevertheless, here it is. I hope you like. Please let me know what you think.

Ride It Out

Loaded everything I owned in an old station wagon
Thought that I was on my way
Wound up in a small Montana town next to nowhere
No one told me ’bout the dues I had to pay

Cold and lonely nights, I questioned what I’d done
My choices placed my chances between slim and none
Nothing to do but ride it out

Made my way to the Black Hills of South Dakota
In the wilderness, seeking my place
Felt as bare as the Badlands and getting nowhere
I looked and looked but found no sign of grace

Cold and empty days, tried to make the fire burn
Out of chances and choices, didn’t know where to turn
Nothing to do but ride it out

Got to ride it out until the end
The choices we don’t make are the ones we must defend
The truth will always show itself
No matter how much we pretend

Wound up in the middle of Louisiana
Couldn’t fit in, didn’t speak out
Reached into the darkness, it led me nowhere
And made me wonder what my life was all about

Cold and dusty roads lead me round and round
Not sure where I’m going, the starting point can’t be found
Nothing to do but ride it out
Nothing to do but ride it out
Nothing to do but ride it out

© 2018 Walt Huntsman

Inspired By The Everyday

December 10, 2017 § Leave a comment

The other day, my son decided to make a fruit salad to go with dinner. The fruit salad included blueberries (and their juice). He used a wooden spoon to mix the fruit salad together, then left the wooden spoon to soak in the blueberry juice. You can probably guess what happened to the spoon.

As I was washing the spoon and trying to get the blueberry juice stain out, I began to imaging a story for the spoon. As I did, I also began to think of my grandmother. As far as I know, none of what I ended up writing actually happened for anyone in my family, but I could imagine it happening. Hopefully you can too.

Old Wooden Spoon

Pulled an old wooden spoon from the kitchen drawer
I remember how you held it in your hands
I’m not sure why it made me think of you
The memories come and go like grains of sand

Your grandma’s initials carved in the handle
You said the first time that you picked it up you cried
It’s the little things that I remember
They come like yesterday from deep inside

Like a face up on a movie screen
That’s how you seem to me now
Or an actor on the stage
Taking your final bow

You used to talk of times together laughing
While you watched learned old family recipes
That memory rewinds and plays back in my mind
Now that you’re no longer here with me

That old wooden spoon’s seen a lot through the years
Now it sits in a drawer and gathers dust
When I hold it, it’s as if you’re here with me
Stirring up emotions I no longer trust

Like a face up on a movie screen
That’s how you seem to me now
Or an actor on the stage
Taking your final bow

Pulled an old wooden spoon from the kitchen drawer
I remember how you held it in your hands

© 2018 Walt Huntsman

It Isn’t All Flag Waving

December 8, 2017 § Leave a comment

After the election of our current President, I saw numerous posts on Facebook and the like urging me to give him a chance and align myself with those who support him. I saw many more posts decrying those professional football players who would take a knee for the National Anthem in order to call attention to the racial issues they see in this country.

They and I are often called unpatriotic, even traitors because we don’t fit the stereotypical model of a patriotic American – flag-waving, my country right or wrong, apple pie, and the like. To me, patriotism also means calling out your nation’s leaders when you see a wrong committed in the name of America or you see a situation that needs correction.

It was from that frame of mind, from that view of patriotism that today’s lyrical entry came to me. I don’t claim to have answers, but in my mind it is never wrong to ask the questions.

Where We Are Led

I can see dark days ahead
It’s as if we’re losing sight
Of everything we once believed
That kept us in the light
There’s a storm, I see it coming
And all hell is breaking loose
It’s time to act
Not make up some excuse

The time has passed for playing safe
I can see the cliff ahead
Will we take a stand
Or meekly go where we are led

The forces of division
Trying hard to drive a wedge
Between north and south, right and left
Now we’re standing on the ledge
If we take a wrong step now
It will surely be the end
Heads in the sand
Won’t make it all pretend

So many voices are not heard
Simply pushed aside
Ridiculed for who they are
By those with misplaced pride

The nights are getting colder
Seems the fire is going out
We’ve lost sight of all the things
We used to be about
Drawing lines now in the dirt
With no room for compromise
Lady Liberty
Has tears now in her eyes

The time has passed for playing safe
I can see the cliff ahead
Will we take a stand
Or meekly go where we are led

© 2018 Walt Huntsman

Inspired By Events

December 7, 2017 § Leave a comment

The last several months have been a bit of a roller coaster ride for many here in America. Divisiveness plays itself out in families, towns, and states throughout this country, and common ground and compromise have become endangered species in the current political landscape.

It is from that disorder and division that I sought to approach the writing of today’s entry. While the lyrical content is directly inspired by what has happened politically since the inauguration of our current President, I sought to write lyrics that could also be applied at a more personal, relational level. Let me know if you think I succeeded.

Nothing Seems To Please

So much has changed
The normal now unusual
You try to wrap your head around it
Nothing seems to make much sense

Up is down and black is white
The storm has come before the lull
You try to push against the tide
There seems to be no defense

Can’t find an answer
The question always seems to change
And your friends fast become your enemies
Just another dancer
But the steps all seem so strange
Nothing that you do seems to please

Not much to say
Who’d believe it anyway?
You try to explain it to yourself
Everything seems upside down

Left is right and true is false
The night has covered up the day
You fight against the darkness
To pick yourself up off the ground

Can’t find an answer
The question always seems to change
And your friends fast become your enemies
Just another dancer
But the steps all seem so strange
Nothing that you do seems to please

Nothing that you do seems to please

© 2018 Walt Huntsman

A Birthday Ditty

December 5, 2017 § Leave a comment

Today is my birthday. (Happy birthday to me!) As is often the case around my birthday, this year, I got a bit reflective lyrically.

Last year, I posted a song I wrote on my birthday about the inability to control time and how it slips away when you aren’t looking. This year’s effort has some similarities to that effort, but is more accepting of mistakes I’ve made along the way.

One thing I wanted to do with these lyrics was to treat life itself as a song, with the days and years each resembling notes in that song. Hopefully, I succeeded. Let me know what you think.

Melody Of Life

Another year has come and gone
Another trip around the sun
I’m older but no wiser
Than when the journey was begun

I’ve made mistakes, more than a few
Regrets now won’t change anything
The past is but a signpost
Notes played in the song I sing

The melody sometimes goes out of tune
Life has been sharp and left me flat
And while my song may not end the way I planned
I wouldn’t change a note for all of that

Another year, where did it go?
It doesn’t seem it’s been that long
And the choices that I made
I can’t say they all were wrong

Wishing now won’t make it so
Might as well play the hand I’m dealt
This life has been a mix
Of all I’ve done and all I’ve felt

The melody sometimes goes out of tune
Life has been sharp and left me flat
And while my song may not end the way I planned
I wouldn’t change a note for all of that

Another year has come and gone
Another trip around the sun
The past is but a signpost
Note played in the song I’ve sung
The past is but a signpost
Notes played in the song I’ve sung

© 2018 Walt Huntsman.

Love As Journey

December 4, 2017 § Leave a comment

I’ve been writing a lot lately, even for me, trying my hand at different styles and different types of songs. So you can expect a year-end flurry of activity here on the blog.

Every once in a while, I like to try my hand at writing something that I envision with more of a light jazz feel. Today’s entry falls into that category.

Before I began writing, I had this image or idea of someone who was taking a trip or a journey and took a wrong turn or went the wrong way. The image that came to mind was that of Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, who in 1938 planned to fly from New York to California but instead wound up in Ireland.

I took that idea and married it to the notion of taking a wrong turn or going the wrong way in a relationship. With that in mind, most of the lyric came together quickly. Because the song is intended to swing a bit, I left space for a bit of improvisation using one of the four-line verses as the base.

Wrong Way Around The World

I thought we’d reached the point of ignition
Instead, you felt the need to abort
I saw myself over the horizon
But you brought me up short

I looked everywhere for straight answers
But it seemed as if your tongue was curled
Feels as if I took the wrong way around the world

With you, I’m a bit short on cognition
Don’t understand your language of love
Feels like your affection is missing
Just like a misplaced glove

I was trying to find some conviction
But your flag of love never unfurled
With no map, I took the wrong way around the world

Headed for Ireland
But I wound up in France
My heart is indentured
Repayment for a lack of romance

(Instrumental)

I was lost in time with no direction
Placed the wrong bet when the dice were hurled
I lost track and took the wrong way around the world

I got lost and took the wrong way around the world

© 2018 Walt Huntsman.