Stormy Weather

September 18, 2019 § Leave a comment

It’s been eight days since my last entry. I couldn’t quite believe it when I checked the calendar. My apologies for the lapse.

It’s been a busy eight days, though very little of it has been spent writing. Daily life has kept me plenty busy, and truth be told, ideas haven’t exactly been flowing like water.

I’ve been through similar “dry spells” before, and i have no doubt this one will pass if it’s meant to. If it’s not, well, life will go on.

Today’s blog title is taken from the 1933 song made famous a decade later by Lena Horne. A number of songs have used weather to convey an emotion or describe a situation, “Stormy Weather” being just one example. (More recent examples include “It’s Raining Again” by Supertramp, “Here Comes The Rain Again” by The Eurythmics, and “Texas Flood” by Stevie Ray Vaughan.)

I’ve written a few such songs myself, and today’s entry is another one. Thoughts and comments are always welcome. Enjoy!

Hurricane

Flood waters are rising
Rain keeps coming down
All you’re doing is trying
Just to reach higher ground

But the storm keeps coming
With no end in sight
Only hoping to tread water
Long enough to make it back to the light

Hurricane winds are blowing
Danger signs everywhere
You’re looking for shelter
Riding a wing and a prayer

Storm is getting stronger
Is luck on your side
Better hold your breath and strap in
‘Cause it’s gonna be one hell of a ride

BRIDGE
You’re just running ’round
Wondering if you’re gonna make it through
Watching the eye of the storm
It’s headed straight for you

INSTRUMENTAL

Batten down the hatches
Got to ride it out
In the wake of the storm
Optimism or doubt

You survey the damage
You’ll never be the same
No way to prepare yourself
To stand against a hurricane

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

War As Metaphor

September 10, 2019 § Leave a comment

War is an awful thing, yet it has been immortalized and memorialized in books and films. War and its associated terms are often used to describe other aspects of life as well.

For instance, in sports, you might hear a tight football game described as “a real battle” or hear the announcer talk about a defender “blowing up” a play. A hard hit baseball is sometimes described as a “rocket” or a “missile.”

I’m sure I’ve used such words in some of my lyrics, and today is another example of that. Today’s entry tries out a few different metaphorical forms in its construction. In its present form, I’m not sure it’s one of my best, but it may have some promise. Let me know what you think.

Walking In A Minefield

Another fight this morning
She walked away without a word
Somehow, he couldn’t read the signals
And so, she felt she wasn’t heard

These days, they don’t seem to talk much
Like two ships passing in the dark
Somewhere, they lost imagination
Now they can’t seem to find the spark

REFRAIN
They’re like soldiers walking in a minefield
Knowing each step might be their last
For each secret that’s revealed
There’s a hurt that stays concealed
And ties them to their past

There’s an unseen wall between them
Neither tries to tear it down
As they go about their business
Resentment builds without a sound

BRIDGE
Like planets, they just seem to hover
Circling each other every day
On a course for collision, but trying
To stay out of each other’s way

Another night uneasy
They go to sleep in separate beds
As the hurt, real and imagined
Rattles ’round their lonely heads

REFRAIN
REPEAT REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

From Memories Into Music

September 4, 2019 § Leave a comment

When I was much, much younger, my mother worked as a cocktail waitress in a small California town near Edwards Air Force Base. Over the last year of so, memories of that time have worked their way into several songs of mine, and today’s entry continues in that vein.

In those days, my mother had no driver’s license. As far as I know, she had never even attempted to drive a car. That changed when my stepfather bought an old German station wagon and taught her to drive it so she could go back and forth to work.

Most people in those days would have been familiar with the German car brands Porsche and Volkswagen and even Opel (BMW was not yet a force in America). This car was none of those. Instead, it was a 1959 Borgward Isabella Combi, a model few Americans to this day are familiar with. (You can read more about Borgward on Wikipedia. You can learn more about the specific model my mother drove and see a picture here.)

A few months after she began driving back and forth to work, my mother’s driving career ended abruptly, not to resume for more than 25 years. One night, as she was driving home, something happened that caused the car to flip over, breaking every window in the car except the rear window. Miraculously, my mother was not seriously injured.

Somehow, the memory of those days and of that car came back into my head recently, leading to today’s entry. Since writing the original draft, I’ve changed the title and revised some of the lyrics. Enjoy.

Running Downhill (From 6:00 to 2:00)

My mama worked the shift from six to two
Serving truckers, loners, people who
Even though they tried had no place else to go
Some of them were old familiar faces
They were headed off to the usual places
And then, there were those that my mama didn’t know

Drove an old car made in 1959
Neither had a license, no one seemed to mind
Seems that everyone was just content to let it go
One night, an axle gave, she flipped it over
The car was totaled near a field of clover
But she walked away, a few cuts and scrapes to show

BRIDGE
Was it luck or divine intervention
Or simply some misplaced bad intention
Led to a moment where it felt like time stood still
That night, it seemed like time wasn’t all she had to kill

My mama worked the shift from six to two
Every night, just tried to make it through
Knew what waited every night when she got home
In the darkness, thought about her life
And the husband to whom she’d become a wife
Found herself dreaming of a better life alone

BRIDGE

That night, it seemed like time was all running downhill

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

“Rising” To The Challenge

September 2, 2019 § Leave a comment

A week ago, I received a text from my wife saying she had an idea for a song title for me. She sent the title, along with a couple of possible lines for the song.

Well, I’m not one to turn my back on a challenge, at least not a songwriting challenge. So I quickly grabbed my notebook and sat down to see if I could rise to the challenge.

Today’s entry is what I managed to piece together. Enjoy!

Couch Potato Blues

Beer bottle’s empty, remote don’t work
My woman’s left me, she said I was a jerk
I’m just laying on my sofa
Wondering what more can I lose
Telling myself that I don’t care
I’ve got those couch potato blues

Refrigerator’s empty, empty chip bag on the floor
But I’m too lazy to drive to the store
Watching nothing on TV
Some talking head giving the news
But I’m not really listening
I’ve got those couch potato blues

INSTRUMENTAL

BRIDGE
My friends all say that I’ve let myself go
But I ain’t going nowhere
They say I should do something
To turn my life around
I guess they think I really care

The clock stopped ticking, battery’s gone dead
I can’t remember the last book that I read
Get up or go to sleep
I don’t want to have to choose
Gonna do whatever’s easy
I’ve got those couch potato blues

Mine’s a life of least resistance
I’ve got those couch potato blues

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Yes, There Are People Like This

August 29, 2019 § 2 Comments

You just never know when or where inspiration will strike or what form it will take. Today’s entry is a case in point.

I happened to be checking my email yesterday (August 28) and saw an email with the subject line “BW Clique.” The message is one I receive every week from Boise Weekly, a weekly (duh!) alternative newspaper that has existed here for some 27 years.

Each week’s “BW Clique” lists and links to five or six articles from that week’s issue. Sometimes I look at all of them and sometimes I skip some. Occasionally, nothing catches my interest, and the message gets deleted, meant to wander aimlessly through the ether of miscellaneous ones and zeroes.

This week’s BW Clique had several articles of interest to me, none more interesting than the article about a man who bicycles around the country (30 to 40,000 miles over the last few years), writing and selling “dreams” to other people. In September, he brings his “service” to Boise.

As soon as I had finished reading the article, I started writing today’s entry. Within an hour (probably less), I had the lyrics and a tune in my head.

Since I only wrote this yesterday, it is a first draft, but I hope I captured some of the flavor of the story and its subject. It likely will be tweaked over time – if it ends up reaching a finished form, but I like where it’s at right now. I hope you do as well.

The Dreamer Of Dreams

He is the dreamer of dreams that no one else dares
Kind and polite, down to earth, he don’t put on airs
Crosses the country from end to end
Writing down things you might call pretend
But that moment’s escape can be more than it seems
He’s the dreamer of dreams

He is the dreamer of dreams that no one else dreamt
Dreams in the desert, brings them to the land of cement
He rides a bicycle, don’t drive a car
But his two wheels take him both near and far
He’s old school, writes them on paper, he’s gone through reams
He’s the dreamer of dreams

BRIDGE
Once made a living the old-fashioned way
Then a light came on inside
He would bring out of the darkness
The inner world most of us hide

He is the dreamer of dreams for those whose dreams have died
Dreams for the scared, for the weak, and for those full of pride
He takes his dreams from coast to coast
Gives them to people who need them the most
Moments of grace for those lives lived to extremes
He’s the dreamer of dreams

INSTRUMENTAL

He is the dreamer of dreams in an age of despair
Offering up rays of light when it seems no one cares
Bringing some hope to those who have none
Starting all over again when he’s done
Delivering moments of calm to a world filled with screams
He’s the dreamer of dreams

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

POSSIBLE REVISION (8/30/2019): Since the bridge goes directly into the third verse, I thought of a possible revision to the bridge. Let me know your thoughts.

Some people might say he’s crazy
Living the way that he does
What does it matter to them
Are they jealous because

He is the dreamer of dreams . . .

 

An Ode To Alcohol

August 28, 2019 § Leave a comment

These days, I’ve come to think of myself as a folkie, especially when it comes to songwriting. When we perform, we do a variety of styles and songs, but when I write, much of what I write seems to take on a folk flavor.

I’m not sure I really have the voice for it, but a part of me has long wanted to be a blues singer. So, every now and then, I put pen to paper and try to write a blues song. Today’s entry is one of those attempts.

It seems as if a great many blues songs either deal with someone cheating on a lover or with drinking and/or getting drunk. As the title for today’s post not so subtly indicates, today’s lyrical submission deals with drinking.

This song is slightly up tempo and so perhaps is closer to the Chicago style of blues than it is to the blues that typically comes out of the Mississippi Delta. Enjoy!

Pour Yourself Another Drink

Sometimes you eat the bear
Sometimes the bear eats you
Sometimes you’re in a rut
And you don’t know just what to do
In moments such as these
Best thing to do is stop and think —
Then grab a chair
Sit down and pour yourself a drink

Sometimes you win the day
Sometimes it knocks you back
Sometimes you find yourself
Far off the beaten track
No need to panic
Relief is closer than you think —
Just take a seat
And pour yourself another drink

BRIDGE
Just pick a bottle and pour a glass
Then let your cares just slip away
You will forget your troubles tonight
And live to fight another day

INSTRUMENTAL

Sometimes you find the truth
Sometimes the truth finds you
Sometimes you find your way
And other times you have no clue
Next moment’s coming
And you might miss it if you blink —
Relax and take a breath
Then pour yourself another drink

Don’t worry ’bout a thing
Just pour yourself another drink

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

One Line Leads To Another

August 26, 2019 § Leave a comment

I’m a big fan of John Gorka’s music and of his songwriting. One of my favorite songs of his is titled “Blue Chalk.”

One of the lines in that song’s second verse talks about being “way above all the clang and the clatter.” I thought about life in this day and age and realized that a lot of what goes on around us is “clang and clatter” and is just so much surface noise.

I thought the phrase was a nice one that had not yet been used to death in a song, so I decided there was room for it in at least one more tune. In fact, I liked the phrase so much, I decided to use it in the title. Enjoy!

The Clang and The Clatter

In your suit of armor that others cannot see
You move uncertain, like a man missing a shoe
What is it you fear, things that may not be
Or do you fear the things you know are true

Beneath the clang and the clatter
You wonder if you matter
And the answer in your mind is still unclear
Look at the man in the mirror
The picture still not clearer
See the question on your lips, why am I here?

In the mere illusion that you call reality
You tiptoe lightly, like a man on broken glass
What is it that holds you like a man who is not free
And is weighted down by the debts that he’s amassed

Beyond the clang and the clatter
Lie the fears that you must shatter
With no pattern to the pieces in your head
See the face in your reflection
As it moves without direction
And you ask yourself, will I lead or be led?

BRIDGE
There’s a one-way journey to the end
Through the minefields and mistakes
That you cannot defend
No need to keep living in the past
The yesterdays fly by you all too fast

You build your defenses like a man under attack
By things he cannot know and cannot understand
Though you’re moving forward, you keep on looking back
As if some unseen force is reaching out its hand

Behind the clang and the clatter
Clear your mind, let your thoughts scatter
Let the silence show you which way you should turn
Many voices seek to guide you
Find the compass deep inside you
Let it point you to the things that you should learn

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Lyrics category at My Wordsmithing.