One Song Leads To Another

November 15, 2019 § Leave a comment

One of the things many songwriters do (and, truth be told, I don’t do as much as I should) is listen to other music – different artists, different styles, different methods of arranging and playing, etc. We do it, not so much to copy what other people are doing but to draw inspiration to help us bring something new to our own music.

I don’t quite know if today’s entry falls into that category, but it is at least related. My wife and I were recently at a house concert staged by a few musician friends of ours, Lynn Tredeau and Joseph L. Young. (If you have yet to hear their music, you should most definitely check them out. Lynn’s piano work is beautifully melodic and sublime on all of her CDs, while Joesph’s most recent CD, Every Moment, is simply superb.)

During the house concert, Lynn played a tune from her new CD, All The Pieces, titled “Broken Pieces.” I’ve told her I want to try to put lyrics to that at some point, if I can. In the meantime, the title of the song itself inspired today’s entry, a sort of R&B meets Gospel type torch song. (Another incident at that same house concert inspired the lyrics posted in my previous post.) Enjoy!

Bruised But Not Beaten

You took my heart
Like it was a toy
That didn’t work anymore
And you threw it away

Without a thought
For what it meant to me
Then, you walked out the door
Like there was nothing left to say

Now I’m left to pick up the pieces
Of a heart that’s been broken
Scattered on the wind
I am left to try and find a way
To move on from here
To begin again

You took my love
Turned it into dust
Brushed it all aside
But you won’t hold me down

I’ll find a way
To find a way over you
Once the tears have dried
I’ll get back to solid ground

I know one day I’ll pick up the pieces
Of this heart that you’ve broken
And just tossed aside
I will be stronger than how you left me
Bruised but not beaten
My heart will not hide

Bruised but not beaten
My heart will not hide

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Inspired By A Moment

November 11, 2019 § 2 Comments

It’s funny sometimes where the inspiration for a song will come from. As I’ve stated in the past, I can be inspired by the seemingly tiniest of things. Case in point.

My wife and I recently attended a house concert staged by a couple of musician friends of ours. Afterward, my wife was talking to another attendee, unaware that she was blocking the aisle and making hard for the woman behind her to easily pass.

I interrupted my wife’s conversation to let her know that she was blocking someone else’s way, telling her that she was “standing in the line of fire.” She remarked that the phrase sounded like a song title, and she was right.

Here, then, is today’s entry, initially inspired by an otherwise routine moment. Enjoy!

Standing In The Line Of Fire

Standing in the line of fire
Go ahead and take your shot
Hit me right between the eyes
I’ll take anything you’ve got
You may think you’ve got the upper hand
But there’s one thing you don’t understand
My heart’s hard as steel
Forged in the line of fire

Standing in the line of fire
I am standing unafraid
If this is our battleground
Better sharpen up your blade
You don’t know the things that I can do
But you’ll see them all before I’m through
Better stand aside
You’re in the line of fire

BRIDGE
I’ve been battle tested
Hardened in the flame
If you dare to test me
You’ll never be the same
I’ve got tricks you’ve yet to see
Best if you don’t mess with me
Just another notch
Is all you’ll be

Standing in the line of fire
There is nothing you can do
Nothing that I haven’t seen
Nothing you can put me through
I’ve already been to hell and back
And if you show me a little crack
You’re gonna get burned
Here in the line of fire

Better walk away
You’re in the line of fire

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

It’s A Double Feature Day

November 8, 2019 § Leave a comment

Normally, each blog entry shares the lyrics to a song I’ve recently written. Today’s entry, however, goes that one better.

That’s right. Today, instead of sharing lyrics to one song, I’m sharing lyrics to two songs. If I were smarter, I would probably wait and do this for my 400th post on this blog, something which should occur by Thanksgiving. But I never claimed to be that smart.

One of the reasons I’m sharing the lyrics for two songs is that they are both of a similar theme and were written back to back. (In fact, I was revising and adding to the second of these just this morning.) The themes share a common element, but the melodies are vastly different.

The first song is one I imagine being sung almost in a gospel style, perhaps with an organ accompanying the song. The second song is more uptempo, with a slight funk beat to it, perhaps.

Both of these are songs I felt compelled to write. So I did. As always, I welcome your comments and constructive criticism.

In Freedom’s Name

Angry voices, from a past we thought long buried
Full of fear and full of rage
Sending echoes of another time
Can’t bring themselves to turn the page

I hear the doubt beneath their anger
Holding on to familiar things
But we cannot be afraid to change
If freedom is to ring

REFRAIN
Like a bell, the sounding note
Must now and forever proclaim
That we shall lift each other up
And do it in freedom’s name

Frightened people, afraid to lose what they never had
Feel it all slipping away
They try in vain to turn back the clock
No going back to yesterday

BRIDGE
Change is never easy
But if we don’t change, we die
Let’s keep moving, climbing ever higher
So that freedom echoes to the sky

REFRAIN

We shall lift each other up
And do it in freedom’s name

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

That Ain’t Right

We got guns in the churches, guns in the schools
Guns in the hands of haters and the hands of fools
But that ain’t right . . . no, that ain’t right

We put a TV huckster in charge of everything
He calls opponents “enemies” and acts like he’s a king
But that ain’t right . . . no, that ain’t right

REFRAIN
There are some afraid to let the truth into the light
But that ain’t right

We’ve turned this planet we call home into a garbage pit
We see the damage that we’ve done yet still refuse to quit
But that ain’t right . . . no, that ain’t right

Our brothers and our sisters fight to make a living wage
I guess talk of equality’s just words upon a page
‘Cause that ain’t right . . . no, that ain’t right

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Once the land of the free till it was stole from you and me
They took it all in plain sight for everyone to see

We got some marching in the streets and speaking words of hate
If we don’t say something now, it might soon be too late
And that ain’t right . . . no, that ain’t right

REFRAIN

No, that ain’t right

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Living Under Pressure

November 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

For the most part, each of us deals with pressure in our lives in very different ways. Some of us bottle up stress. Some scream and yell or curse, and then it’s over. Some lucky few don’t seem to feel stress or pressure.

Then there are some people who don’t seem equipped at all to deal with stress and pressure. So, they turn to drugs or drink to try and dull things. Those are the kind of people at the heart of today’s entry.

Under The Gun

He stares at his glass of whiskey
And thinks of mistakes he has made
Times he fell short or simply fell down
So many he has betrayed
Wishes somehow he could make amends
But now, he has gotten in too deep
He thinks of the people around him
The same ones he sees in his sleep

REFRAIN
So many misgivings
So many regrets
Tries to put them behind him
But he’s not the kind who forgets
He carries the weight
Of the things he has done
Lives his life like he’s under the gun

He looks at his glass that’s now empty
And thinks of the chances he’s lost
He came so close, only to fail
Mow like a ship that’s been tossed
No turning back, reliving the past
Despite how the future appears
He feels like he’s run out of choices
Can’t run away from his fears

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Dylan On My Mind

November 2, 2019 § Leave a comment

Most days, I’m at home on my own. Plenty of time to think, create, write, as well as do the things that often need doing around the house – washing dishes, taking out the garbage, and so on.

The other day at home, I was sitting quietly (at least that’s how my mind reconstructs it) when suddenly, the chorus to the 1964 Bob Dylan song “It Ain’t Me, Babe” popped into my head and wouldn’t leave.

Of course, i did what any self-respecting would-be songwriter would do. I grabbed a pen and my notebook and started writing.

I make no claims as to how my lyrics compare to Dylan’s original song and inspiration. I will leave it to you to judge.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

That Ain’t Me

We seem to talk in circles
Never getting anywhere
Looking ’round for common ground
Not finding any there
I think I know the reason
That we never can agree
You’re looking for someone who’s just like you
And that ain’t me

REFRAIN
That ain’t me
I can’t be changing for you
That ain’t me
What you were getting, thought you knew
You’re looking for someone that I can’t be
‘Cause that ain’t me

We seem to want different things
Neither getting what we want
Me and you, seeking a clue
A lovers’ scavenger hunt
We were never able
To see the forest for the trees
You’re looking for someone who’s just like you
And that ain’t me

REFRAIN

It’s time that I surrender
Give you the victory
You’re looking for someone who’s just like you
And that ain’t me
You’re looking for someone who’s just like you
And that ain’t me
You’re looking for someone who’s just like you
And that ain’t me

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Getting Off This Merry-Go-Round

October 30, 2019 § Leave a comment

I think many of us dream of ditching the working world, taking our noses off the grindstone, and doing something more enjoyable with our lives. I know I’ve done so from time to time.

Recently, in addition to getting up early to fix coffee and lunches, I’ve been driving my wife into work. I’m not sure, but I suspect that change in routine helped inspire the opening of today’s entry. Having not done much traveling and dreaming of doing so may also have helped to inspire this entry.

I envision the song as proceeding at a moderate tempo, with something of an early 60s Latin feel to it. As always, let me know what you think.

Cut It Loose

He gets up early in the morning
And gets back home so late at night
Seems like there’s got to be a better way
‘Cause what he’s doing don’t feel right

He’s working hard to make a living
Getting a head start toward the grave
He thinks it’s time to draw the line
And free this working slave

REFRAIN
Gonna cut it loose, gonna let it go
Gonna shake these blues, kick off his shoes
Just go with the flow
Gonna ditch the nine to five
Find out what it means to be alive
He’s slipping off the noose
He’s gonna cut it loose

He works inside his tiny office
Feels like he never sees the sun
Each day’s lunch comes from a microwave
Tastes like it’s always overdone

He’s working hard to climb the ladder
There’s someone on that higher rung
It’s not to soon to change the tune
To one he hasn’t sung

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Tried to have it all
But all he has don’t mean a thing
Time to cede the crown
To the others who want to be king

REFRAIN

Word Salad?

October 26, 2019 § Leave a comment

The other night I went to a recital of music students, including my wife (who did very well, by the way). Looking around the room, it was clear to see that most of the people in attendance were friends or family of the performing students.

It seemed, though, that there were some people who weren’t sure what was going on. (The event was held in a public business. So some of the people may well not have been aware.) As I looked around the room at the various faces in attendance, my imagination began to take over, and I wrote today’s entry.

The lyrics don’t necessarily have anything to do with any of the people who were at the recital, but the first two lines came into my head, and the rest flowed from there. What meaning they have, I’ll leave up to you.

World Of Regrets

Sitting in a room of strangers
Empty faces all around
Looking for the time they’ve lost
Or maybe something never found

A multitude of empty pages
Stories that they’ve never told
Hoping dreams will keep them warm
Even after memories have dulled

REFRAIN
In a world of regrets
The one who forgets
Or the one who remembers
Who’s the lucky one
When it all is said and done?

Standing in a crowd of people
Angry voices crying out
Trying hard to find the truth
Drowning in a world of doubt

BRIDGE
Time is not the answer
When you’re standing on the edge
Sometimes, you find yourself
Without a bet to hedge

Looking for the things I’m missing
Everything that I don’t know
When I’m lost out in the darkness
Will I know which way to go

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.