Playing The Blame Game

July 19, 2019 § Leave a comment

My son has a fairly challenging relationship with time and, if I’m being honest, a somewhat loose relationship with the truth. Being special needs, perhaps both of these are to be expected, though that does not make things any easier.

Recently, he got “in trouble” again for something (which happens frequently enough so as to be a blur). He first gave one “explanation,” then a second, before finally falling back on one of his standby “reasons,” saying it was because his (insert body part here) was hurting.

I think at one point he also tried to blame whatever happened on something or someone else, which is where today’s entry comes in. After several minutes of trying to get at what really happened, we concluded by telling him that in this particular instance he had no one to blame but himself for the problems that ensued.

The first two verses came fairly quickly. Several days went by, then I added the bridge and final verse. Enjoy!

No One To Blame But Yourself

You’ve no one to blame but yourself
For the things that you do
Friends try to tell you the truth
But you don’t have a clue
Mistakes are just brushed aside
Obvious sins are denied
Though you won’t see it
One simple fact that is true
You’ve no one to blame but yourself
For the things that you do

You’ve no one to blame but yourself
For the trouble you’re in
You think you know better
But pride’s the original sin
Friends try to tell you the truth
You keep ignoring the proof
You play the same game
Though you know you just can’t win
You’ve no one to blame but yourself
For the trouble you’re in

BRIDGE
You never seem to learn the lesson
You double down at every turn
And when you should be confessing
Defiantly, refuse to learn

You’ve no one to blame but yourself
For the hole in your heart
You were the one full of pride
Blew the whole thing apart
Couldn’t give one inch at all
So you constructed a wall
You can’t tear it down
Because you don’t know where to start
You’ve no one to blame but yourself
For the hole in your heart

You’ve no one to blame but yourself
No one to shame but yourself
You’ve no one to blame but yourself
For the things that you do

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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An Alternate Version

July 17, 2019 § Leave a comment

A few days ago, I shared the lyrics to a song I’d written inspired by a story involving my guitar teacher with a title I was given by my wife. At the time, I mentioned that I had written an initial version that my wife said wasn’t what she had in mind. So I went back to the drawing and tried again.

She was looking for something more universal, and the first effort was a bit more of a story. I was not prepared to jettison that initial attempt, though, so I changed a few lines in the refrain and changed the title and ended up with a second song.

One thing I did in this song is juxtapose verses of hard luck with an optimistic refrain. The pre-chorus sections help to make the transition from the hard luck to the optimism while the bridge strikes a bit of a defiant note. Enjoy!

On My Feet Again

Had me a good job in the city
Boss called and said he had to let me go
Money I’d saved for my retirement is gone
And I have nothing left to show

Guess you could say I’ve had some hard times
But I won’t let that get me down
You know I’m gonna keep on fighting
Long as I’m this side of the ground

REFRAIN
Then I’ll be on my feet again
And in the winner’s circle
On my feet again
Before you can count to ten
Though there may be times
When I may be losing
Soon I’ll be on my feet again

Won me a fortune in the Lotto
But I never saw a single dime
I lost my ticket in the laundry
And so, I couldn’t prove the cash was mine

Guess you could say I’ve been unlucky
But I know luck’s a state of mind
One day, fortune’s gonna smile again
I know I won’t be left behind

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Sometimes, the cards are all against you
There are times the dice are running cold
Though the odds might be against me
I’ll play the hand, no I won’t fold

REFRAIN

Yes, there may be times when I am losing
But soon, I’ll be on my feet again

©2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Echoes Of A Party

July 15, 2019 § Leave a comment

Several days ago, I shared some lyrics inspired by a party I went to. A few days later, that party was still rattling around in my head.

Specifically, I was remembering our host who, in addition to hosting, played some saxophone for those in attendance. That, in turn, started me thinking about some of the music I listened to growing up and later as a young adult, artists like Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Grover Washington, Jr., Duke Ellington. The list goes on.

From that reminiscence, today’s entry started to form in my brain. It uses music as metaphor, I guess you could say. The lyrics perhaps need some tweaking and refinement (I may cut the last line in each three-line section, for example), but I present it here, as written, for your enjoyment.

The Music Stopped

Sweet, sultry sounds
Coming from the stereo
Take me back to a time
When we kicked back and took it slow

Softly, the voices sing to me
About a place I’d rather be
A place where you and I no longer go

REFRAIN
Far away, the sound of strings
A violin or coming from the heart
As the music sings
I think about what made us grow apart
The music stopped

Voices from the past
Sing a timeless melody
Take my soul to a place
Where the angels sing to me

Steady, the tune rings in my ears
A tune transcending the years
Deep down, touching something no one can see

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
We sang different melodies
Couldn’t find a common song
There was never harmony
And so, the notes all came out wrong

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved

Given A Title, Went From There

July 13, 2019 § Leave a comment

A little while back, my wife came back from a guitar lesson and relayed a conversation she’d had with our instructor. (We take lessons from the same person.) Our instructor had recently had a mishap involving her pool and had injured a knee (perhaps both knees).

Because of the injury, she had not been able to get around for a few weeks and had cancelled a few lessons while she recuperated. This lesson had been my wife’s first in a few weeks, and our instructor remarked that she was “up again.”

My wife came home from that lesson and challenged me to write a song called “Up Again.” So I did. In fact, I actually wrote two after my wife said the first effort wasn’t really what she had in mind. (I changed a few words and the title of the first effort rather than scrapping it completely.)

This is a song of resilience. I hope you like it.

Up Again

I’ve climbed a mountain, and I’ve fallen down
I’ve lagged behind as the world was going ‘round
But I’ll keep on moving one step at a time
Until I’m up again

I’ve known some heartache, and I’ve known some pain
Felt I was drowning in the pouring rain
I’ve had days felt like an uphill climb
Trying to get again

BRIDGE
Like a boxer in the ring
Been knocked down a time or two
When I get knocked flat, pick myself off the mat
Get back in the ring, nothing else to do

INSTRUMENTAL

I’ve seen some highs, been through some lows
I’ve suffered setbacks and taken the blows
But I kept on fighting to get back on my feet
And got back up again

Knock me down, push me around
But I’ll get back up again

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Singing In The Shower

July 10, 2019 § 2 Comments

Even before I began sharing my songs with others, I would sing in the car, in my room as a teen, anywhere that was not public. My favorite place to sing was (and sometimes still is) in the shower. That’s where today’s entry originated.

I was in the shower where this snippet of a melody began to form in my head. For me, this is highly unusual, to say the least.

Normally, when I write, the beginning of a lyric comes to me, and by the time I have the end of the first line, a melody begins to form. This time was not like that.

Instead, I actually had the first melodic line of the song in my head before the first words of the lyric began to make their way into my consciousness. From there, the rest of the song came quickly, and within a day or two, I had the chords figured out.

In some ways, I suppose this song could be a bit autobiographical, even though the subject of the song is female and I am not. In many ways, I’ve always been a dreamer and not a doer. Before I married, I lived alone and spent a lot of time on my own in apartment sitting and dreaming and not doing.

These days, I still dream, but on occasion, I also do (as in act). At least I do a little something with my music, including share my lyrics with you. I hope you like today’s entry.

Nothing New

There’s a girl
Stands on the same street corner every day
Watches the bus as it pulls away
And dreams of getting on

In her head
She’s writing poems, having love affairs
When someone catches her unawares
Like that, the vision’s gone

REFRAIN
She goes home to a small apartment every night
Sits in a big chair, turns on a single light
Drifts off to another world where all her dreams come true
Wakes in the morning to nothing new

Every day
Thinks of the love there on the movie screen
And in her favorite magazine
Imagines she’s the one

BRIDGE
She never dreamed of being lonely
Her life played out different in her head
She sometimes stops and thinks, “If only”
She might be somewhere else instead

Sometimes thinks
Of a life where she is not alone
Friends and lovers call her on the phone
But that moment never comes

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Love Is A Battlefield

July 7, 2019 § Leave a comment

Those of you of a certain age or older may remember 1980s rock icon Pat Benatar. One of her signature songs, “Love Is A Battlefield,” I shamelessly took to use as the title for this entry.

That’s because today’s entry, while not a rock anthem like Benatar’s song, does deal with the idea of love as a battle. I went so far as to try and include a few phrases and references meant to evoke the idea of war and battle (with an addition allusion to boxing thrown in for good measure).

Those of you who have been in relationships for any length of time likely have experienced those episodes where it feels like battle lines have been drawn. Someone gets hurt, someone gets mad, and often, there is a moment when one person or the other doesn’t really know how things escalated to that point. That’s the idea I was going for here.

As always, feedback is welcome and appreciated. Enjoy!

High Alert

She’s sleeping in the other room
You’re sleeping in the bed alone tonight
But you’re not really sleeping
Went to your separate corners after another fight

You can’t recall what got it started
And you’re not sure when it will end
But now you find yourself on your own tonight
A lonely kingdom to defend

REFRAIN
Armor at the ready
Your heart on high alert
But victory would be hollow now
It can’t take away the hurt

There in bed, your mind is racing
Can’t recall just what it is you said
Seems like there’s so many things
You did or didn’t say led to this half-empty bed

If only you could just remember
Maybe then, you could make it right
Instead, you find yourself on the defensive
Preparing for another fight

BRIDGE
Casualties on either side
Truce or surrender not in sight
Two hearts, both full of pride
There will be no peace here tonight

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Inspired By A Party

July 5, 2019 § Leave a comment

I recently went to a party where live music was provided (some of it by my wife and I). The party’s host has also been known to play a little saxophone from time to time, and he did so on this day.

The party itself was a festive affair, with food, drink, and even some dancing. As the host played his sax, my mind took a left turn, I guess you could say, and came up with today’s entry, which is not as festive.

In the refrain, I reference Billy Joel and Elton John. Our host played songs from both of them, including “Your Song,” which is mentioned in the second verse. (He did not, however, play “Yesterday,” which I refer to in the first verse.)

The song is intended to be slow and languid and, therefore, is not as “wordy,” perhaps, as some of my other songs. The title is the same of a Hall and Oates song, so alternate title suggestions are welcome, as are any other thoughts you’d like to share. Regardless, I hope you enjoy.

She’s Gone

The sax player blowing soft and low
For the love that got away
Each note drenched in emotion
The sad refrain from “Yesterday”

REFRAIN
From Billy Joel to Elton John
Plays all the familiar songs
As the night goes on
The notes go out then disappear
Nothing he can do to bring her back
She’s gone

Stands there playing “Your Song” just for her
Though she isn’t there to hear
Blows out a sad and mournful sound
Guaranteed to bring a tear

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Wrenches the feelings out of every note
From the depths of Hell to where the angels sing
Pouring his soul into every song
As if it meant everything

INSTRUMENTAL

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.