A Song For Leon

February 20, 2018 § Leave a comment

Elton John once referred to Leon Russell as a mentor and an inspiration. John was such a fan that he teamed with Russell on a great album called “The Union” in 2010 and almost single-handed resurrected Russell’s career.

The other day, my wife was strumming the chords to Leon Russell’s classic “A Song For You.” Hearing those chords started me on today’s lyrical journey, hence the title of this post. Today’s entry is no Leon Russell, but I hope you enjoy it.

The Day The Angels Cried

Stereo in the other room
Playing “A Song For You”
Leon Russell’s voice
Singing sweet and true
So many places
In this life I planned to go
Postcards, cheap souvenirs
All I have to show

The truth revealed itself
Now there’s nowhere left to hide
Simply mark the date
The day the angels cried

Don’t know what I did to lose you
You were a friend of mine
Where did I cross over?
Didn’t see you draw the line
Something I should not have said
Can’t cap a bottle spilled
The truth is always messy
Especially when served chilled

I could have tried harder
I should have done more
But I didn’t see the danger
Till you were walking out the door

I see you running
‘Cross the pages of my mind
A chapter in my life
I can’t put behind
I think of all the faces
Never knew which one you’d show
Didn’t think I’d ever see
The one that said you had to go

The truth revealed itself
Now there’s nowhere left to hide
Simply mark the date
The day the angels cried

Simply mark the date
The day the angels cried

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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Going Country?

February 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

The other day, I was inviting a friend and her husband over for dinner. When I asked about any dietary restrictions or foods they avoid eating, she mentioned a few things that we also happen not to eat.

Then she passed along that her husband said he especially liked barley, hops, and grapes. I said that sounded like it should be a line in a country song. So I decided to make it one. I also decided to use that phrase as the title.

This song is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it pieced together nicely. I changed a couple of lines, but the rest of the lyrics are as originally written. Enjoy!

Barley, Hops, and Grapes

Now you’re gone, I’ve no need for flowers
Love and romance, they hold no appeal
These days, I depend on Southern Comfort
To block out all the things I used to feel

Now I get my grains and fruit
Twelve-ounces at a time
Barley, hops, and grapes
Whiskey, beer, and wine

In my mind, I see you with your friends
Doing all the things we used to do
I’ve introduced myself to Johnnie Walker
Hoping that he’ll help to see me through

Now I get my grains and fruit
Twelve-ounces at a time
Barley, hops, and grapes
Whiskey, beer, and wine

The bar where we first met
Has a seat saved in my name
My good friend, Sam Adams
Helps me drink away the shame

I know that you’ll land on your feet
Me, I’ll end up face down on the floor
When I pass out, that’s when I’ll forget you
Until then, there’s time to have one more

Now I get my grains and fruit
Twelve-ounces at a time
Barley, hops, and grapes
Whiskey, beer, and wine

Barley, hops, and grapes
Whiskey, beer, and wine

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Putting Up Fences

February 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

In our own backyard and, I imagine, across most or all of suburbia and urban America, there are fences.

We erect fences to delineate our property from the neighbors, an extension perhaps of the old cliché of a man’s home being his castle. Often, we also put up fences to block out our neighbors, to separate ourselves from him or her.

You can extend the idea of fences metaphorically to include doors and walls and also metaphysically, to include the emotional fences we erect to protect ourselves from heartbreak and to keep people from getting too close.

This latter idea is the one I explore in today’s lyrical entry. The idea came as I was looking at the fence in our own backyard while waiting for a landscaper to come and give us an estimate for some yard work. The lyrics also gave me the chance to reference a Robert Frost poem of the same name. Enjoy!

Fences

Thinking ’bout the fences
That I’ve put up ’round my heart
To keep me safe, they keep me alone
Fences that protect
But shut the world outside away
Slowly my heart turns into stone

It’s said that fences make good neighbors
But they block out the other side
Creating boundaries
Fences behind which we can hide

Thinking ’bout the fences
That we build so that we know
Where we belong, where we can’t go
Fences that divide
And tell us who is welcome here
And who is not, how can we know?

I’ve heard that fences cause divisions
Some people want what they can’t see
It makes you wonder
And any of us really free?

BRIDGE:
Fences keep us safe
Here inside our little worlds
And our little thoughts
Closing off our minds
It’s no wonder all the wars
That we have fought

INSTRUMENTAL

It’s said that fences help protect us
They also shield us from the truth
And barricades us
Against the forces of our youth

Thinking ’bout the fences
That I’ve put up ’round my heart
To keep me safe, they keep me alone

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Another Challenge, Another Song

February 12, 2018 § Leave a comment

One of the Facebook group pages I follow, Learn How To Write Songs, issued a challenge to write a song using one of the following titles: Quiet Secret, The Last Drink, or Weeping Angels.

Although I am not what one would call a religious man, I do like to think I am somewhat spiritual. So, I opted to write a song called Weeping Angels. This is a quick effort, so it needs some polishing, but I’d love to get your thoughts.

Weeping Angel

I heard the angels cry again last night
I felt their tears upon my cheek
I stood there in the darkness listening
In case one of them should speak

I heard the angels calling out to me
Voices I could not understand
An invitation or a warning
Praise or a reprimand

Weeping angels in the shadows
Waiting to come into the light
Crying to wash away the pain
Their weakness is their might

I hear the angels crying in my dreams
Their tears a raging flood
Crying for all of those forgotten
Who were washed clean in the blood

Weeping angels in the shadows
Waiting to come into the light
Crying to wash away the pain
Their weakness is their might

I heard the angels cry again last night
I felt their tears upon my cheek

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Cutting Ties, Writing Songs

February 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

The other day, I posted on my personal Facebook page the rather cryptic post, “Cutting ties.” Several people asked questions, a few people made tie jokes, and one person said it sounded like a song coming on.

At the time, I had no intentions of writing a song. I was actually indicating that I was getting rid of a few connections who seemed to bring nothing but negativity into my social media world.

In the overall scheme of things, it only turned out to be some minor pruning (two now former Facebook friends). At the same time, the idea that “cutting ties” could also end up being a song stuck with me.

So I wrote one. I had originally thought the song might fit the theme of what I was doing on Facebook in cutting social media ties with some people. So I sat down to try to write that song.

But when I started writing the song, the Muse, as She often does, had other ideas. The direction She led me resulted in what I think is a better song. I hope you agree.

Cutting Ties

Cutting ties and letting go
No hard feelings, don’t you know
But it’s time I was leaving you behind
It might hurt a while
But it takes a great big weight off of my mind

Cutting ties and moving on
Time has come that I was gone
On my way, no reason now for me to stay
Words are not to blame
Sometimes, it’s the things that we don’t say

Can’t deny it
Maybe you were right and I was wrong
Though I try
I can’t escape the thought I don’t belong
So I’m moving on

INSTRUMENTAL

Can’t deny it
Maybe you were right and I was wrong
Though I try
I can’t escape the thought I don’t belong
So I’m moving on

Cutting ties, not looking back
Time I took a different track
Where I’ll go, I can’t say I really know
Maybe you can find someone
To give the love you say that I can’t show

Cutting ties is all that I can do
The only way to let you go

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Channeling Family Memories

February 9, 2018 § Leave a comment

Growing up, I was almost 12 years old before I knew I had cousins and aunts and uncles. That’s because we lived in the desert, while nearly all of them lived in and around the Seattle area.

A few months before I turned 12, we moved back to the family’s home base, and I began to get acquainted with all of the relatives I never really knew I had.

Among all the aunts and uncles and cousins was a cousin who, based on dusty and long-buried memories, had a bit of the screen idol look about him: dark hair, a disarming smile, and a look that said he knew more than he was letting on.

This cousin was a few years older than me, and when he was of age, he joined the Navy. Along the way, he married, and had a son.

Not long after he left the Navy, a few years perhaps, he got sick. Tests and treatments were of no avail, and he died. At the time, the cause was, at least for those of us who were younger, a mystery. Somewhere along the way, I’m sure I learned what caused his death, but I have since forgotten.

For whatever reason, his memory popped into my consciousness recently after having lain dormant in the hidden recesses of my mind for years. That memory inspired today’s lyrical entry, a song in which all of the particulars have been changed. I hope he won’t mind, and I hope you like it.

Bobby’s Gone

He was just a few years older
I didn’t know him all that well
They said that we were family
To look at us you couldn’t tell
He went in the service
And they sent him over there
Now Bobby’s gone
And I don’t know where

He had a motorcycle
He left behind to gather dust
He never came to claim it
Guess it’s somewhere, turned to rust
They sent him overseas
No one knows what happened then
Now Bobby’s gone
He’s not coming back again

Had his whole life stretching out in front of him
The thread cut short by a twist of fate
Was it by design or simply on a whim
The answer, when it comes, will be too late

INSTRUMENTAL

He didn’t make it back
No one knows just how he died
Now Bobby’s gone
And we’re all left to wonder why
Now Bobby’s gone
And we’re all left to wonder why

No one told us how he died
Why it had to be his crime
We never really learned the truth
What exactly was his crime?
Reunited with his brothers
He is sleeping with the just
Now Bobby’s gone
Ash to ash and dust to dust

Now Bobby’s gone
Ash to ash and dust to dust

EDIT: Decided to remove the last half-verse and add a full third verse that I think strengthens the song and gives it a more powerful ending. Please let me know which version you like better.

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Out Of Thin Air

February 7, 2018 § Leave a comment

I have written on several occasions that the source of my inspiration is hard to pinpoint. I get ideas from just about everything and everywhere.

Case in point: the weather here in SW Idaho has been unseasonably mild for much of the winter. Getting of my car to go to my weekly voice lesson, I noticed how sunny and mild it was for early February.

Almost as soon as that thought enter my consciousness, the first lines of today’s lyrical entry paraded into my head and said “here we are!” The song’s basic underlying premise is that things aren’t always as they seem, along with the notion that we often say and even mean one thing as we do something completely different. I hope you like it.

Up Is Down

The calendar says February
Feels more to me like early May
Not sure what to make of it
On such a strange, confusing day

You said you were leaving
Yet you were the one stay
I dug in my heels
Now it’s me going away
What I thought I’d lost you’d never found
Seems up is down

Thought I had my feet set on the ground
Now I’m falling through the sky
We had barely said hello
Before I heard you say goodbye

You said you were leaving
It was me who had to go
Guess I could have fought it
Why I didn’t, I don’t know
Passion simply died without a sound
And up is down

Upon the pedestal I built for you
Down in the dungeons of my heart
An empty space where I can trace
Every wrong step we made from the start

The calendar will change again
But it’s always winter in my soul
Alcohol can’t dull the pain
Or ever fill the gaping hole

You’ve found someone new
And I act like I’ve moved on
But no matter what I do
You’re never really gone
Feels as if you’ll always be around
‘Cause up is down

Feels as if you’ll always be around
‘Cause up is down

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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