Linking Past and Present

July 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

I recently saw a post by a Facebook friend sharing details of what struck me as an impromptu 40-year high school class reunion. (Yes, I am that old.) If such a thing can ever really be impromptu, then I guess less than a month’s notice might qualify.

Despite the fact that a part of me would really like to attend, I got to thinking about my high school days and the fact that I really didn’t fit in that well. I wasn’t what you would call “popular,” and I didn’t belong to any of the well-established cliques.

I got to thinking about those days 40 years ago, juxtaposing them against the current day, and wondering what those same people talk about 40-years on. What I came up with was this:

Too Long (Just Hanging On)

Though it’s been a long, long time
It’s funny how some things don’t ever really change –
I see the same old faces
In the same old circles, really not that strange –

We’re older but no wiser
And it seems that we still make the same mistakes –
Falling down and getting back up
Telling ourselves those are just the breaks –

I see the old gang gets together
Like they always did each Friday night –
Talking ‘bout the good old days
Sharing inside jokes and getting tight –

They tell the same old stories
That they must have told a thousand times before –
I know them word for word
So I don’t really need to hear them anymore –

Like an old calendar page
We seem stuck in our own past
Maybe it’s time to change direction
Live in the present day at last
We’ve spent too long just hanging on
To our faded memories
Missing so much because we couldn’t
See the forest for the trees

(instrumental:)

I think it’s time I said goodbye
And made my way someplace where I belong –
You may find a way
To balance past and present, but I’m not that strong –

Time for me to just let go
Of memories I’ve held on for too long –

© 2014 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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Reminiscing

July 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

“We’ll go dancing in the dark / Walking through the park / And reminiscing” – Little River Band

A short time back, a Facebook friend of mine (and former co-worker) posted that she was visiting and catching up with friends in Lafayette. Louisiana, a city where we both once worked. That got me to thinking back about the two years I spent there in the 1980s. I remember my time there fondly, although looking back I also realize it was a lonely time for me as I really didn’t fit in and really didn’t know how to make friends. (How a really shy person ended up working in radio and television for more than ten years is a subject for another blog and another time.)

Still, things often look different in hindsight, and my friend’s visit to Acadiana (as the region is known) got me to reminiscing. One thought led to another, and they all led to this:

The Sound of Zydeco

Livin’ my life in the land of four seasons
Summers are hot and the winters are freezin’
But I remember my time on the bayou
Boudin and gumbo and crawfish stew

From Bayou La Batre to Bourbon Street
There’s one thing, don’t you know
I miss most of all, and that’s
The sound of zydeco

Gimme some of that squeeze box
It’s a sound that can’t be beat
Guaranteed to get you
Right up on to your feet
When the music starts
And the band gets in their groove
Ain’t no way to stand still
You just got to move

From Clifton Chenier to Zachary Richard
They took the beat and they drove it hard
A sound like none I ever heard before
But once you hear it, you’ll beg for more

From Carencro to Lafayette
And all points in between
Zydeco is the rhythm of life
When you hear it, you’ll know what I mean

Gimme some of that squeeze box
It’s a sound that can’t be beat
Guaranteed to get you
Right up on to your feet
When the music starts
And the band gets in their groove
Ain’t no way to stand still
You just got to move

(instrumental)

Friday night at Grant Street
Everyone would crowd the floor
And when they heard the zydeco
They all yelled out for more

Gimme some of that squeeze box
It’s a sound that can’t be beat
Guaranteed to get you
Right up on to your feet
When the music starts
And the band gets in their groove
Ain’t no way to stand still
You just got to move

(repeat)

© 2014 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Some Like It Hot

July 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

One never knows from where inspiration will come. Almost 30 years ago, The Power Station released its biggest hit “Some Like It Hot”. I was reminded of that song while thinking back on this past Fourth of July weekend, a weekend where temperatures in our part of the country reached triple digits. I don’t mind it hot, but I don’t like it that hot.

In addition to the hot weather, the weekend produced one other thing – the song lyrics below, directly inspired by the heat. As envisioned when writing the lyrics, the song has a bit of a Latin flavor (I guess) with some accentuating horns and alternates between a slightly more up-tempo rhythm and a slightly slower beat, all a bit staggered, hinting at syncopation.

This Hot Summer Night

Feel the heat –
Coming off the street
You start to sweat –
But the worst ain’t over yet
Despite your pleas –
This heat will bring you to your knees
And there’s no relief in sight
From this hot summer night –

105 in the shade and the temperature’s rising
Everyone’s ‘bout to explode and it isn’t surprising
Hard to stay cool –
Out in the street –
Feels like the concrete is melting under your feet

(instrumental:)

There’s no escape –
You’re burning inside –
Feels like you’re headed to Hell – like you’ve already died

Feel the heat –
Coming off the street
You start to sweat –
But the worst ain’t over yet
Despite your pleas –
This heat will bring you to your knees
And there’s no relief in sight
From this hot summer night –

Mercury’s rising and there’s not a breeze to be found
There’s no reprieve from the heat – feel the sun beating down
Nowhere to run –
No end in sight –
Hoping somehow you can make it through this sweltering night

Feel the heat –
Coming off the street
You start to sweat –
But the worst ain’t over yet
Despite your pleas –
This heat will bring you to your knees
And there’s no relief in sight
From this hot summer night –

(Repeat:)
(Music out:)

© 2014 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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