Carpe Lyric! Seize the Song!

March 29, 2017 § Leave a comment

I suspect it is safe to say that no two writers (whether they be novelists, poets, songwriters, etc.) take exactly the same approach to writing. Heck, even I don’t always take the same approach.

There are times when I will sit down, pen and pad in hand, and deliberately set out to write a song. Sometimes, that approach is successful. Often, it is not.

At other times, I just open myself up to the opportunity and wait for a line or two (sometimes more) to come to me. Then I am able to enter into that writing space, and the words flow.

The other day, one of my Facebook friends, a fellow songwriter (even though I’ve been writing for years, it seems strange to call myself that somehow) was talking about getting a melody and lyrics while he was in the shower.

I replied that things like that often happen to me. I’ll get a line or two while I’m in the shower. I’ve also had songs come to me while in the act of washing dishes.

Perhaps with tongue-in-cheek, he suggested that next time I try writing with dish soap on a paper towel. I haven’t tried that (yet), but the suggestion brought forth an image of words disappearing from the page, washing away, if you will.

That gave me the first line, and the rest followed from there.

When The Words

When the words all wash away
All that’s left is what we feel
When the words no longer matter
It’s the feelings that are real

When the words have all dried up
We can still speak with our eyes
Though our words may sound sincere
We can still see through the lies

Love isn’t found within a phrase
Sometimes what we hear is what we hope
Love is found in how we spend our days
Sight can show us both ends of the rope

(Instrumental)

Sometimes what we say and what we think
Are different things
But I believe that feelings never die
Nothing rings as true
As the heart that beats in you
That’s what feeds the feelings till we die

When the words all go to dust
Who’ll remember what was said
Better, then, to share a touch
And make sure the heart is fed

Love isn’t found within a phrase
Sometimes what we hear is what we hope
Love is found in how we spend our days
Sight can show us both ends of the rope

When the words all wash away
All that’s left is what we feel

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Writing My Truth

March 25, 2017 § 1 Comment

My sister and I grew up with a single mother. She worked as a cocktail waitress, which meant that she wasn’t home most nights.

When our mother was working, my sister and I would stay with an older couple at their home well outside of town. He was roughly twenty years older, but she seemed to me to have the older soul. They were about 180-degrees opposite in terms of their personality.

All these years later they still hold a place in my memory, especially him. I’ve tried to write about him before. This time, I succeeded.

Old Jack Penguilley

Old Jack Penguilley
Was older than dirt when I met him
He kept to himself and he never said much
But I know that I’ll never forget him

He took a boy who was scared in his bones
And made him feel that he wasn’t alone
Showed him some kindness
When kindness seemed hard to find

He must have been 80
The first time we came face to face
He had a gentleness there in his soul
Time nor hardship could ever erase

He made me feel I had something to give
When I wasn’t sure that I wanted to live
Helped me to still all the demons
Loose in my mind

His wife was younger
With a hardness that he never had
Unforgiving, the desert dried up her heart
Took the good, leaving only the bad

Short with her love but quick with the rod
Puritan-like with the fear of her god
In her eyes, I wasn’t young
I simply was blind

So many years have passed by
Water gone under the bridge
Yet I can see them as if it was still yesterday

Old Jack Penguilley
Found joy in being alive
He had an old Studebaker he loved
But his wife would not let him drive

I think that he would take trips in his mind
Leaving the frailties of his age behind
Imagination sometimes
Can be much more kind

Old Jack Penguilley
Was older that dirt when I met him

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Inspired By Events

March 22, 2017 § Leave a comment

Last week, the family and I ventured up to the Sun Valley area for the 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival. For anyone who loves movies beyond the latest overpriced, overproduced, over special effected action film du jour, film festivals are a great experience and a great opportunity to see and be exposed to films you might otherwise miss out on.

For me, the entire experience was a bit otherworldly. Not in a Hollywood, star-struck, overwhelmed by celebrity sort of way. Rather, it was both humbling and inspiring to be around so much passion for film and utter creativity.

For the most part, I was very comfortable being around and amongst these creative types, striking up conversations with directors and others involved in film. However, the first night of the film festival had me feeling a bit out of my depth.

No doubt because of the newness of the experience, I felt a bit like a pretender in and among all these film people. So I did what I normally do in such situations. I wrote a song.

Odd Man Out

I’m way in over my head
I’ve gotten myself in deep
Not sure what I should do
I only know I can’t sleep

‘Cause when it all goes to Hell
When it all hits the fan
Will someone come and say
It went according to plan
When they push the panic button
Who’ll be left holding the can?

Odd man out – I just don’t seem to fit
There’s no doubt and this feeling won’t acquit
And this time there won’t be any
Getting over it

Feels like I’m one step behind
With every day losing touch
There seems to be no escape
When it gets to be too much

Can’t read the signs and I can’t make out the clues
They’re in a language I can’t speak
When I’m confronted and it’s either win or lose
Not sure of what it is I seek

(Instrumental)

I’m standing right at the edge
Just one push and I fall
Dancing ’round in circles
Until I hit the wall
Then I’m left here on my own
No one to catch me when I fall

Odd man out – I just don’t seem to fit
There’s no doubt and this feeling won’t acquit
And this time there won’t be any
Getting over it

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

In These Times

March 6, 2017 § Leave a comment

We live in a divisive time. The left blames it on the right. The right blames it on the left. Christians blame it on Muslims and vice versa. On and on it goes.

I don’t know whether we are more divided now than we have been recent memory or whether the advent of 24-hour news and social media simply makes it seem that way. I do believe that social media has squeezed out many voices of reason and made it easier for people to say things they would not say to another person’s face.

Since Donald Trump was elected as our 45th President, many of these trends seem to have escalated, at least on my social media feed. I have been called a “libtard,” a “whiner,” a “crybaby,” a “liar,” and “college boy.” If I looked more closely, I’m sure I could find other names I’ve been called.

Judgments come fast and furious in this age of social media and instant gratification. While all sides share the blame, there are some who are nastier and meaner about it than others. This effort is directed at them.

Judgment Day

I hear you judge me
But I’ve never seen you walk a mile in my shoes
So unforgiving
Always seem to look for someone else to accuse
When you look in the mirror
Do you like what you see?
Perhaps you’d better get your own house in order
Before you come after me

That judgment day you keep talking about
It might be close at hand
I can’t imagine that your hate-filled mind
Is gonna make it to the Promised Land
You use God like a weapon
Point a finger at me just like a gun
Does that make you any better
When it’s all said and done?

We’ve all done things that we regret
But I haven’t heard you fess up to a single one of them yet
You seem to know that I’m damned
But who put you in charge of the crystal ball?
You know what they say about pride
It comes before the fall

I read the words you use
But would you call me them to my face
I’d like to think that both of us
Would use a little more tact and grace
Can you even hear yourself
All that you’re calling me
Perhaps you’d better listen to your own words
And stop complaining to me

That judgment day you keep talking about
It might be close at hand
I can’t imagine that your hate-filled mind
Is gonna make it to the Promised Land
You use God like a weapon
Point a finger at me just like a gun
Does that make you any better
When it’s all said and done?

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

EDIT: Added another verse.

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