Trying to Channel a Little Prine

June 24, 2019 § Leave a comment

I recently accompanied my wife to a weekend women’s music camp. The last couple of years, she has gone on her own, but this year, since the camp was going to be more of an informal event (get togethers to jam rather than organized classes), families were invited to come along. So I went.

Normally, the camp takes place on private land somewhere north of Boise. This year’s get together took place at Bruneau Dunes State Park, and that meant putting the RV to use.

I often find myself coming up with new lyrics whenever we go camping (or “glamping,” as purists might likely refer to what we do). This trip was no exception.

During one of the informal jam sessions, the women began playing John Prine’s “Paradise.” The song got me thinking about how things change over time. That thought process led to today’s entry. I hope you enjoy it.

This Old Town

There’s a rusted old pony
Outside where the drug store once stood
A sign of the times
And the changes in my neighborhood

The old school is shuttered
The one traffic light has gone dark
And weeds are in charge
Of the place they once called Miller Park

REFRAIN
This old town is dying
Some might say it’s already gone
All of the folks under 30
Have packed and moved on
The stores here are closing
The streets here are silent
And badly in need of repair
The way things are going
The old town will die
With nobody left here to care

The lumber mill closed down
And locked up its gates long ago
The money dried up
Left the workers with nothing to show

Old man MacKenzie
Who owned the town’s lone grocery store
Moved on last week
Saw no reason to stay anymore

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Once home to nearly 5,000
Fir trees stretched up to the sky
But fire and man ravaged the land
And nobody thought to ask why

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Sliding Into Some Blues

June 22, 2019 § Leave a comment

As I have noted a number of times previously, every once in a while I attempt to write something in a blues vein. Lately, I have been doing that quite a bit.

Usually when I write, I have a sense of the melody but not necessarily of the instrumentation. From time to time, I can hear in my head (along with the voices – just kidding) some sort of solo and the instrument on which it is played.

Today’s entry is a little different, perhaps, in that I can envision one particular instrument (or more specifically, a particular style of playing) throughout and one that usually does not come to mind when I write, even a blues song. For today’s entry, I could literally hear slide guitar as I was writing.

I don’t play slide guitar and barely play guitar at all, but I try not to let my musical imitations stop me from trying to “hear” various instruments as I write. This song is also a little different from much of what I write in that the slide guitar really does carry the song because I envisioned and allowed for multiple instrumental breaks as I wrote the lyrics. Enjoy.

Empty House Blues

Drink can ease the sting
But it can’t take away the pain
Drink can ease the sting
But it can’t take away the pain
Can’t stop these tears from falling
They keep falling just like rain

Walked out on me this morning
Didn’t even leave a note
Walked out on me this morning
Didn’t even leave a note
Snuck out sometime last night
I guess that was all she wrote

(SLIDE GUITAR)

BRIDGE
She told me that she loved me
I trusted every word
There must have been some hidden message
That I never heard

Now, this house feels so empty
Left a hole that I can’t fill
Not enough dirt to cover
Up the fact I love her still

(SLIDE GUITAR)

She left me with no warning
And no chance to plead my case
She left me with no warning
And no chance to plead my case
Now her side of the bed
Is just one big empty space

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Using A Little Geography

June 17, 2019 § 2 Comments

In the last few posts, I’ve been sharing lyrics that all began to come to me on one single day recently. I’ve shared three completed lyrics, but the fourth is still not yet finished. So today, I have something else to share.

As I’ve stated numerous times in the past, I’m always trying to stay open to song or lyric ideas. I’m writing down lines and phrases all the time, even texting them to myself when i don’t have paper and pen available. Sometimes they lead somewhere, other times they don’t.

Today’s entry is one that went somewhere. Until recently, I took weekly voice lessons in downtown Boise, a trip that always took me past the corner of Fifth and Main Streets.

For several years, a restaurant occupied one of the corners of that intersection. A few months back, it closed and relocated. Its place was taken by a cookie shop.

Recently, that street corner popped into my head for some reason. I decided to use that intersection to anchor the lyrics from today’s entry. I then worked in the restaurant and cookie shop.

Some of the lyrics were written in an order different from what I’m presenting here. For some reason, what seemed to me to be the ending came before the middle section. I hope it all makes sense, and I hope you enjoy today’s entry.

Fifth And Main

Standing on the corner, Fifth and Main
Thinking ’bout the last time we were here
You leaned against my shoulder
Put your hand around my waist
Then you softly whispered in my ear

You said, “Baby, you know I love you
You know I really do
That’s why I have to leave you
Because I’m not in love with you”

Cafe on the corner, Fifth and Main
Where we met for lunch most every day
Now a little cookie shop
That we’ve never been inside
Not the only thing to go away

BRIDGE
Where did we lose traction on the dreams we had
When’d we let the magic slip away
Why did we surrender to the changing winds of fortune
How did we ever reach that day?

Standing on the corner, Fifth and Main
I watched as you turned and walked away
I knew there’d be no pleading
Couldn’t beg you not to go
In the end, nothing I could say

But baby, I guess you loved me
That’s what our friends could see
But you had to set me free
Because you weren’t in love with me

Oh baby, your leaving caused pain
Though I guess no one was to blame
But the memories remain
There on the corner, Fifth and Main

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

From First To Third

June 14, 2019 § Leave a comment

Today’s post continues in the vein of the last two posts, as I share the recent flood of lyrics that all began on a single day. As I mentioned in those posts, I had a day where I got the beginnings of four possible sets of song lyrics.

Today’s entry started as the first idea, though it ended up being finished third. Hence the title of this blog entry.

The idea came to me while I was at a local venue listening to an artist I happened to know. While listening, I looked up toward the ceiling at a bank of lights high up on the wall. One of the lights was not working, but the light inside my brain quickly came on.

I couldn’t tell by looking just how long the light had been out of commission, but I quickly began to form a story in my head. The resulting lyrics have nothing much to do with the light in question, but they likely would not have come about without that light.

Here’s hoping your inner light inspires you to create something today. In the meantime, enjoy!

Right Past Me

There’s a light up on the ceiling
Hasn’t lit up for a year or more
Never cared enough to change it
Hardly notice it anymore

So much escapes the naked eye
So much that I don’t see
The seconds pass unnoticed
Just slipping right past me

There’s a paper in the corner
Dated a year ago today
That was when you stood and told me
Things I thought you’d never say

So many things I should have done
So much I couldn’t be
Your love was lost unnoticed
Just slipping right past me

BRIDGE
Like a car out of control
Our love crashed on some unexpected turn
One last thing we couldn’t let roll off our backs
Instead, we stood and watched love burn

There’s a crack there in the window
Where I’d sit sometimes and watch for you
I don’t see the need to fix it
Ask myself, what good would it do

So often I could not admit
Seemed like a guilty plea
The distance grew unnoticed
Just slipping right past me

Indirect Inspiration

June 12, 2019 § Leave a comment

In the last post, I mentioned that in a single day I somehow managed to get lyrical ideas for the beginnings of four different songs. Today’s entry was the fourth of the ideas I received and the second lyric completed.

The idea for this one came while I was out to dinner with my wife and son. Our son, like many others, I suspect, is into video games and Pokemon. During dinner, he was talking about both, among other things, and not really saying anything we could understand about either.

As can often be the case, his conversation began to blend into the conversations of others around us and soon became part of the background noise. I began to think of party conversations, the small talk where people sort of listen but don’t necessarily listen to what you are saying.

When I got home, I began writing the lyrics for today’s entry and finished them up the next morning while cooking breakfast. (That’s my form of multitasking.) I hope you like it.

We Were Blind

Small talk, polite conversation
That’s all we ever seem to share
Words spoken in hesitation
That never get us anywhere

REFRAIN
We climbed a mountain
Only to find
What we were after
Was only in our mind
Never to see the light of day
Turns out that we were blind

Where do we go now from here?
This tragedy still in the making
Listen, the sounds of our fear
Perhaps it’s just our two hearts breaking

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Blind to all the challenges ahead
Cries for attention, emotions on the line
We couldn’t solve it all in bed
Now stand convicted of the worst of lovers’ crimes

REFRAIN

And after all this time
Turns out that we were blind

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Let The Lyrics Flow

June 9, 2019 § Leave a comment

I jokingly tell people sometimes that I am both blessed and cursed. Blessed in that my mind is always thinking up new song lyrics. Cursed for the same reason.

The other day while listening to some other performers, my mind started thinking of some possible lyrics. Since I did not have my notebook and pen with me, I ended up texting these song fragments to myself so I would have them.

When the day was over, I had the beginnings of four different sets of lyrics. One of the songs was lyrically complete, another was probably 40% finished. (I wrapped that one up the next morning.)

Assuming I get a four sets of lyrics finished, I will share them in the order I completed them. In this post, I share the first of hopefully four songs, the seeds of which were all planted in a single day.

I can’t say this song had any particular inspiration or genesis. The opening lines just seemed to enter my brain, and the rest flowed from there.

The second verse was revised heavily after the first draft was finished because I noticed that the rhyme scheme did not match the first verse. I’m not sure which version I prefer, but I do think the revision gives the second verse more of an edge.

As always, your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions are welcome and appreciated. Enjoy!

Flows Like Water

Lovers – never meant to last
Looking towards the future
But living in the past
Others just shake their heads and smile
Changing their opinions
Like they change the radio dial

REFRAIN
There’s a reason that love is not easy
And it changes whoever you are
Some people’s love flows like water
Some, it fades like a shooting star

Lovers – like ships in a storm
Looking for a port
Someone to keep them warm
Discover what they’re looking for
Perhaps a night or two
Before they each start keeping score

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Nothing is for granted
And life is just on loan
Cannot hope to win a heart
If you can’t unlock your own

Lovers – trying to hold on
Thinking there’s a chance
Even though love’s long since gone
Mothers teach your children well
Unless it’s right
Love is far from heaven, close to hell

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

A Progression of Thought

June 5, 2019 § Leave a comment

The other day, my wife was watching an episode of The West Wing which featured a song with a chord progression she liked. She took that progression, modified it some, recorded it, and gave it to me to see what I could do with it.

I liked the progression right away, but I let it sit for a few days before listening to it again. After listening to it a couple of times, a story and a lyric began to percolate in my mind, and that is today’s entry.

I immediately got the idea of a free-spirited woman, almost reminiscent of the 1960s. Soon after that, the traditional folk motif of a sailor, gone to sea away from the woman he loves, came to mind. Those two ideas quickly melded together into one for today’s entry.

From there, I got the idea to incorporate the seasons to mark the passage of time and the stages of their love affair. I’m pretty pleased with the result, and I hope you like it as well. As always, feel free to send me your thoughts and comments. Enjoy!

The Sailor’s Mistress

She was sweet, as sweet as honey
Wore a flower in her hair
And a locket with a picture
Of her love, no longer there

They first met in the spring
With its promise of everything
But promises, once they’re made
Are often broken

He had come across the ocean
Was a sailor by his trade
Before long, they became lovers
Thinking not that love would fade

In the summer, they were wed
And as they shared that wedding bed
He promised her one day he’d go
To sea no more

BRIDGE
For a season, they were happy
Then the sea called out his name
And she knew that he would leave her
For the urge he could not tame

INSTRUMENTAL

After summer, came the fall
When he heard the Siren’s call
And he soon forgot the vow
That he had spoken

Now she waits by her window
For the love not coming home
And the locket, it reminds her
She will never be alone

Winter came, and with it, snow
Told her it was time to go
Went to meet her lover where
The ocean meets the shore

She was sweet, as sweet as honey
Wore a flower in her hair
And a locket with a picture
Of her love, no longer there

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Lyrics category at My Wordsmithing.