Back Yet Again

April 20, 2019 § Leave a comment

After reaching 50 consecutive days of posting lyrics yesterday, I seriously considered taking a few days off. But I am nothing if not a glutton for punishment, and I do like a challenge.

In a way, posting every day reminds of my earlier career in television news, when I had to have copy ready every night by a certain time or there would be no newscast. One difference, though, is that I don’t necessarily have to edit for time.

Today’s lyrical entry came about a little differently from most of my efforts. Normally, I come up with a line that ends up being the first line of the first verse, and everything then flows from there, usually in the order that ends up in the final product.

In today’s entry, I actually came up with the refrain first. Not even the entire refrain, though. What came first were the three lines that ended up being the end of the refrain.

From there, I made a conscious effort to incorporate as many word pictures into the lyrics as I could think of that fit the situation of the song. I hope you like it.

Make Her Stay

There’s a half-drunk cup of coffee on the counter
There’s a half-packed suitcase sitting on the bed
There is half a conversation swirling ’round you
Hoping that you didn’t hear what she just said

You know that you’ve taken her for granted
She knows that’s not ever gonna change
Now, you find yourself on the defensive
Everything familiar now seems strange

REFRAIN
Now she’s packing up her things
And using words like “letting go”
As you rack your brain for answers
To the questions you don’t know
Looking for a sign, a clue, and wondering
What can you do?
What can you say?
How do you think you’ll make her stay?

There’s a cab, its engine running, in the driveway
And you watch her, heading slowly for the door
In your mind, you think you’ve done the best that you could do
In your heart, you always knew she needed more

You say with another chance that you can change
She knows that is just the way you are
You still hope to make it last forever
But her heart just cannot see that far

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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The Beat Goes On

March 5, 2019 § Leave a comment

Welcome to Day Five of the challenge. And yes, I do have another lyric to share, surprise, surprise.

I’ve been writing song lyrics for a long time, so I have plenty to choose from in order to stay up to the challenge, as it were. So I have no doubt I can achieve this goal of sharing a song a day every day in March.

I won’t claim that every song I write is good. In fact, I know most of them aren’t. When I get to Post 300, I may share the very first lyric I ever wrote, hideous as it is, and it is really bad.

That’s a decision for another day, however. Today’s lyric fits into a vein I’ve recently tapped: relationship type songs where the woman is completely in control of the situation. If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you’ve seen several examples of that in recent months.

Much of what I write falls into a folk-pop or folk-country vein, with the occasional excursions into blues, jazz, and rhythm-and-blues. Today’s song is, perhaps, a little closer to late 60s rock or pop-rock in style.

Each line of the song basically breaks into two parts when sung, with a slight rhythm break between sections. The song I think it most closely resembles rhythmically is “Time Of The Seasons” by The Zombies.

That slightly syncopated rhythm holds for the verses and refrain. It becomes more straight-forward in the bridge before return to the original rhythm for the final verse.

Do let me know what you think. See you tomorrow.

Last One Standing

There’s a look in her eyes
That no makeup can disguise
A look of fire and you can tell
She is quite prepared to walk through Hell

Her eyes make it crystal clear
She is walking without fear
Seen the worst that men can do
So the games you play are nothing new

REFRAIN
Bring it on
She’ll take your best
If you put her to the test
She’ll take everything you can dish out
And she’ll be the last one standing
Of that, there is no doubt

If you think you know the score
With your pride she’ll mop the floor
And you’ll learn you have no clue
She is always a step ahead of you

BRIDGE
She’s got you beat at every turn
She’ll teach you things
You never thought you’d ever learn
You’ll soon find out
That she is way out of your class
You’d better hope
That your heart’s not made out of glass

She will leave the way she came
Champion in everything but name
Leave you beaten, on the floor
Holding up your hands, saying “no more”

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Day Four, The Challenge Continues

March 4, 2019 § Leave a comment

Yes, this is day four of my song a day every day in March challenge. And yes, I do have another song to share.

I actually wrote these lyrics yesterday while making breakfast. It was a balmy 23 degrees F° outside and frosty. Those two things helped inspire some of the lyrics.

The song is a simple song of thanks for those little things that make life worth living and help to make the world go round. I hope you like it.

Little Things

Sunday morning, the sun is shining
There’s a thin layer of frost out in the yard
Smell the coffee in the kitchen
The dog looks out the window, standing guard

REFRAIN
It’s the little things I have
Make me glad to be alive
It’s the little things I share
With you here by my side

Cook the breakfast, set the table
We sit down together to begin our day
Sun peeks over snow-capped mountains
Sending out its light to guide us on our way

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Little things, taken one by one
May not seem like much to you
But add them up, and when it’s said and down
You’ll see the power of those little things we do

Sunday evening, the stars are shining
There’s a stillness and a calm out on the street
In the quiet, there’s contentment
The dog lies on the floor here at my feet

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Another Song, A Personal Challenge

March 2, 2019 § 1 Comment

First, let me thank all of you who follow my meager efforts here on My Wordsmithing. It means a great deal knowing there are people who check in to see what I might be sharing.

My apologies if you have a blog and I have not reciprocated. Between the blog, actual songwriting, performing, supervising a special needs adult child, and hosting and producing a music podcast, plus trying to manage housekeeping and cooking duties, my days are full.

Having said all that, after posting yesterday, a crazy thought occurred to me. What if I were to share a different set of song lyrics every day for an entire month?

This morning, I decided I would try to do just that. Among other things, doing so would put me over the 300 post mark on this blog, a place I never thought I’d reach when I posted the first entry on June 1, 2014.

Since then, I have added 279 more entries. Nearly all of them shared a new lyric, sometimes two. If I factor in rewrites and revisions, it is safe to say at least 250 of my lyrics have made it onto this page.

Not every song I’ve shared has been great, and some of them may not have been good. However, having this blog has helped encourage me to keep writing and to put my stuff out there, in the process helping me to improve as a lyricist (and, hopefully, as a songwriter).

Today’s entry could be seen as sort of a companion piece to a song I shared back on June 15, 2015. In that post, I shared lyrics to a song about a veteran who had seen so much horror in Vietnam, he could not take it anymore and turned his back on the world.

The lyric was inspired by seeing what I assume was a homeless man pushing a shopping cart along the road where I was driving. I imagined a back story for him and came up with the song titled “Crazy John.”

Today’s entry is a complete figment of my imagination, based on nothing I did and no one I saw. I can’t really say how the idea came to me, but it did. I hope you enjoy it.

Hidden In Plain Sight

Last Friday night, went downtown
Couldn’t find a place to park
I left my car six blocks away
Started walking in the dark
A man stood on the corner
With a Bible in his hand
Told me for five dollars
He’d described the Promised Land

He said, “You don’t believe me
I can see it in your eyes
You’re concerned I’m selling
Some unholy pack of lies
But if you search long enough
You might find hidden jewels
And sometimes,you’ll hear wisdom
Coming from the mouths of fools”

REFRAIN
In the strangest places
That’s sometimes where you’ll find
The truth that’s only given
To those deaf or dumb or blind
First impression often turn out
Not to be quite right
The truth is often hidden in plain sight

As he told his story
I began to turn away
He said, “Most people don’t want to hear
What I have to say
So I understand it
If you decide to go
But what I have to say
There’s few that ever know”

He had me hooked, he knew it
And so, I turned back around
He said, “You may not know it
But you stand on holy ground
There’s a little bit of God in us
In each and every one
And no matter where you stand
You and God are one

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
In his face, I could see
A mixture of belief and honesty
Tried to give him money
But he pushed my hand away
Said, “I’m not selling what you’re buying
Have a blessed day”

As he walked away, I asked him
“Will you be alright?”
He merely gave a wave
And then walked off into the night
That one-time chance encounter
Has always stayed with me
And over time, the wisdom of his words
I’ve come to see

REFRAIN

© 2019 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Story Time

December 28, 2018 § Leave a comment

As I continue my songwriting journey, I find myself trying more and more to write what I guess you would call story songs At one time, I had dreams of writing short stories or even a novel. So I guess it makes sense.

I’m not exactly sure where the inspiration for today’s song came from. I like, from time to time, to write (or try to write) songs about ill-matched or ill-fated couples. So it started there, I suppose.

As I was working my way through the first verse, I suddenly remember one of history’s ill-fated couples, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Armed (as it were) with the additional inspiration of Bonnie and Clyde, I came up with today’s entry. I hope you like it.

Sarah and Eddie

Sarah was a small-town girl
Kind of short and kind of plain
Eddie was just passing through
Waiting on a train

Both of them were after more
Than part-time work at the local store
Seeking something new
Robbing banks seemed like the thing to do

REFRAIN
They weren’t lovers or even friends
Each a means to the other’s ends
Catch a thrill, have some fun
Maybe get famous ‘fore they were done
Their favorite movie, “Bonnie and Clyde”
Even the part where the two of them died
Hoping to go down in history
That was Sarah and Eddie

They decided they’d start out small
Hit the local S-and-L
Soon they moved n to bigger banks
On their way to Hell

Neither one right in the head
Didn’t care if they ended up dead
Looking for a thrill
Knew that they had some time to kill

REFRAIN

BRIDGE
Sarah, she felt invisible
Eddie, he just felt lost
Together, thought they were invincible
Thought it was time someone else paid the cost
In the end, they met their fate
Like they knew they always would
Just a footnote on a page
Their names lost behind the prison gate

REFRAIN

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Aiming For The Blues

March 3, 2018 § Leave a comment

Although the argument can certainly be made that most of my songs are of a particular style, I try not to limit myself – with a few exceptions. I have no interest in trying to write an opera or write rap or hip-hop, and I generally (though not always) stay away from country.

One style of music I enjoy listening to is blues, and I will occasionally try to challenge myself to write a blues song. Although on the surface, many blues songs seem simple, both in structure and in lyrical content, I would argue that it is deceptively hard to write a good blues tune.

I don’t know whether I’ve yet written a good blues tune, though I have written a few I like, and I keep trying. Today’s entry is yet another attempt. This song probably marries a couple of styles. I think of it as blues with a little bit of swing to it. I recognize that the last line could be a bit difficult to sing smoothly, but I think the intended rhythm allows it to come out fine. I hope you like it.

Just A Memory

Well, I’m sitting here, nursing my drink
Got time on my hand, so I started to think
About you and everything you did to me
We haven’t got a future
And what we had’s just a memory

When you walked out the door, left me alone
I wondered if I could make it on my own
Without you and everything you meant to me
It seemed like we had it all
Now those days are just a memory

The sky was the limit
We were flying so high
There were days I felt
As if I could touch the sky
But the higher you go
The further there is to fall
I fell as far as I could
When you said goodbye

Well, I guess it’s time I found someone new
It’s not that easy getting over you
Moving on doesn’t come naturally to me
I thought we had forever
But all that’s left’s just a memory

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

This post puts this blog three away from 200 posts. Be looking for that post as I have an announcement that is big (at least to me) that I hope will keep people interested for some time to come.

An Active Muse

January 31, 2018 § Leave a comment

I have never claimed to be a great songwriter or lyricist or even a good one. Deep down, I think I have written some songs or at least some lyrics that I think are pretty good, which is one of the reasons I started this blog.

I realized I was never likely to get noticed as a songwriter or a lyricist, especially given where I am in my life, but I didn’t want my words to simply disappear without a trace. Over the years, I have written lyrics for more than 1,000 songs, the vast majority of them not very good and some of them simply awful.

What that means, though, is I am a very active writer. While I have a few times gone for months without writing very often and once for several years (mainly when I first gave up on the idea of making it as a songwriter), for the most part I have kept writing.

I am blessed by a very active and very present muse. Often, she will present me with a verse and the start of a melody as I am simply sitting and looking out the window or while I am doing dishes.

Today, it was as I was getting dressed. By the time I finished tying my shoes, I had the melody and the first verse (aside from the hook, which will be apparent once you read the lyrics). For better or worse, the lyrics came together in less than 20 minutes, with only two word changes.

While some of my lyrics don’t seem to warrant further work (chording and arranging), once they are “finished,” I think I will end up doing something with this one. Let me know what you think.

Only Fooling Ourselves

Maybe you were all right
Maybe I was all wrong
Maybe what it came down to
Is we were never that strong
Only fooling ourselves
Only fooling ourselves
We thought we had it figured out
Only fooling ourselves

We were young and so proud
Had the world by a string
It was all in front of us
Thought we had everything
Only fooling ourselves
Only fooling ourselves
We thought that we had all the answers
Only fooling ourselves

Slowly, the distance grew between us
We found ourselves on different planes
We didn’t so much fall our of love
As out of trust
We couldn’t break those chains

Maybe we were just lost
And we just didn’t know
Tried to stay above the surface
Without sinking below
Only fooling ourselves
Only fooling ourselves
We thought we knew what we were after
Only fooling ourselves
Only fooling ourselves
Only fooling ourselves

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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