Riding The Blues Train

June 13, 2017 § Leave a comment

Every so often, I like to try my hand at writing a blues lyric. Based on an earlier effort that incorporated a good deal of religious imagery (edited to reflect some changes), I decided I wanted to write something that incorporated the religious notion of giving thanks. For some reason, I also hit upon the metaphor of love as a train.

Say Amen

I saw the proof, I learned the truth
And then, I caught you in a lie
Make no mistake, my heart won’t break
Because I’m telling you goodbye

You can pack your things and get off this train
‘Cause it won’t be stopping here again
I looked for sunshine, all you brought was rain
When you’re gone, I’ll give thanks
And say Amen

Just save your lies, your alibis
‘Cause they don’t mean a thing to me
No memories, no saying please
My eyes are open, and they see

This train’s about to leave the station
And it won’t be coming back again
I’ll say goodbye without hesitation
And when you’re gone, I’ll give thanks
And say Amen

I’ve given all I have
There’s nothing left for you to take
Falling for you was not my first
But it’s my biggest mistake

Closing the file, after a while
I know my heart will start to mend
But after you and all you put me through
It’ll be some time before I love again

You can pack your things and get off this train
‘Cause it won’t be stopping here again
I looked for sunshine, all you brought was rain
When you’re gone, I’ll give thanks
And say Amen

When you’re gone, I’ll give thanks
And say Amen

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Putting Up Some Resistance

June 6, 2017 § Leave a comment

Today’s post borrows from what has become a popular hashtag on both Facebook and Twitter. However, while today’s entry was inspired by that hashtag, this is not a political post.

Instead, today’s lyrical endeavor deals with fighting back against whatever life has handed you. I don’t know if this song will ever be recorded or performed as I envision horns and/or some rocking piano, and neither my wife nor I plays horns or piano. Imagine this slightly uptempo with some horns behind the lyrics in a slightly syncopated jazzy rhythm, and you may get a feel for what I hear in my head with this song.

Resist

Resist, react
If you’re pushed aside
Fight back with all you’ve got
Don’t give up, don’t give in
Don’t surrender, don’t let ’em win
Take a chance – make a move
Even the least of us got something to prove
An open hand can do more than a fist
When you’re feeling disrespected
Resist

Sometimes it feels you’re being pushed away
Even the least of us got something to say
Your beliefs, your point of view
Just ’cause they’re different don’t make ’em less true
I know you feel downhearted
Defeated before you ever get started
Give me your hand; get up and stand
I think it’s time for a brand new plan
So . . .

Resist, react
If you’re pushed aside
Fight back with all you’ve got
Don’t give up, don’t give in
Don’t surrender, don’t let ’em win
Take a chance – make a move
Even the least of us got something to prove
An open hand can do more than a fist
When you’re feeling disrespected
Resist

I see you’re hurtin’
But one thing I know for certain
Now’s not the time to lay down and die
He may be goodbyin’
But there’s no need for cryin’
It’s not too late to act
Once you make your mind up and that’s a fact

Resist, react
If you’re pushed aside
Fight back with all you’ve got
Don’t give up, don’t give in
Don’t surrender, don’t let ’em win
Take a chance – make a move
Even the least of us got something to prove
An open hand can do more than a fist
When you’re feeling disrespected
Resist

When you’re feeling disrespected
Resist

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Writing Through The Pain

June 4, 2017 § Leave a comment

I’ve been writing lyrics for longer than I’d probably care to admit. For most of that time, my lyrics were my therapy, serving to help me cope with emotional pain, setbacks, and even triumphs.

In the last few years, my writing has finally branched out to become more universal, I think, and my songs have gotten better as a result. My lyrics still at times serve a therapeutic purpose, but I think even those seem to speak to something bigger than me and my problems.

Today’s entry comes at the end of a recent creative spurt which found me writing lyrics for three songs in two days. (No, I’m not bragging.) This song was borne out of the misfortune of a fellow singer-songwriter who had her guitar all but destroyed (the jury is still out) by another person.

Based on the pictures I saw of the guitar, I began to imagine a bit of back story, and I came up with the following. I hope she doesn’t mind and is not offended.

Staying True, Staying Strong

Her guitar was bruised and battered
It’d been through the wars
Her feet were on the ground
But her songs reached for the stars

Every scratch, every crack
Had its own story to tell
Amazing what a song has to say
When its singer’s been through hell

Staying true, staying strong
Keeping on the path when others say it’s wrong
Racing time, chasing fate
Hope against hope it’s not too late
To finally follow through
And for once, have a dream come true

She’d seen her share of heartache
Maybe a little more
Trying hard to learn from
Mistakes she’s made before

Every string, every note
Seems to come right from the heart
Hard to say where the music comes from
When your world’s falling apart

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do
But ride the wave and see it through
Time doesn’t always reveal
What’s up ahead
No guarantee that it will heal

Staying true, staying strong
Keeping on the path when others say it’s wrong
Racing time, chasing fate
Hope against hope it’s not too late
To finally follow through
And for once, have a dream come true

Hope against hope it’s not too late
To finally follow through
And for once, have a dream come true

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

A Touch Of Nostalgia

May 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

As much as it pains me to admit this, I suspect that in some ways I am much like others at my stage of life. If you read or watch the news or listen to the conversations of Baby Boomers around you, you will occasionally hear or at least sense a bit of nostalgia and a long for a return to a “simpler time.”

Not that such a Utopian time actually existed, of course. Yes, I suppose things were simpler in the sense that technology had not yet given us, personal computers, cell phones, or even the Internet, without which I could not share my thoughts and lyrics with the world.

At the same time, the contributions of women were devalued and even ignored, minorities were treated as second-class citizens, other groups were ostracized altogether. (I guess it is true. The more things change, the more they remain the same.) We did not have air bags or some of the other safety features that allow us to survive accidents that would have been fatal in that “simpler time.”

Still, I suppose it is human nature to occasionally look back at what we had and perhaps what we gave up or left behind in order to get to wherever it is we now find ourselves. Many of us, I’m sure, have had at least one “what if” moment in our lives.

Perhaps we wistfully recall the promise of youth and all that our unknown futures seemed to offer. It is in the spirit of such “woulda, coulda, shoulda” thinking and the whole idea of “what if” that I wrote these lyrics. I was also trying to channel a little of my inner John Hiatt. (I’m thinking specifically of his 2001 song, “My Old Friend.”)

When We Were Young

Remember summer days down at the park
And cruisin’ Main Street well after dark
Promise of love was everywhere
Back when we were young

Our futures stretched out like the open road
Livin’ life to our unwritten code
It seemed adventure was in the air
Back when we were young

When we were young
We had it all right in front of us
When we were young
Like musketeers, we knew who we could trust
When we were young
It seemed that life had only just begun
Those were the days
Back when we were young

So many changes in direction
We could never see
A course in need of correction
Always tryin’ to break free

Remember back to graduation day
And how we couldn’t wait to break away
Didn’t know how good we had it then
Back when we were young

When we were young
We had it all right in front of us
When we were young
Like musketeers, we knew who we could trust
When we were young
It seemed that life had only just begun
Those were the days
Back when we were young

Oh, those were the days
Back when we were young

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Dreamers and Doers

May 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

I suppose I’ve always been a dreamer. Growing up, my dreams were my escape from the less than pleasant reality around me. Those dreams, fantasies really, served as a coping mechanism to help me survive. I won’t go into detail except to say that, while I learned to dream, I never really learned to dare or to do.

That realization came to mind whilst reading a story about musician Paul Weller. At 59, Weller has basically already crammed three musical careers into one lifetime. First, as leader of the influential band The Jam. Later, as leader of The Style Council. Finally, his solo music career, which sees about to release his 13th solo album.

The difference between us (not accounting for possibly subjective factors such as talent)? He may have had others who believed in him, but he certainly believed in his own ability and possessed the will to pursue and act on that ability. Until recently, I haven’t.

Growing up, I moved from dream to dream more often than I moved from one address to another. I had the dreams but not the drive, determination, or self-confidence to act on any of them. Friends will say that I’m acting on my dreams now, and that’s what matters. I’m sure they’re right, but I often find myself thinking about what might have been, as they say, if I had possessed a stronger work ethic or greater self-confidence or had been given more encouragement. Or all of the above.

Reading the story about Paul Weller, I got to thinking about all of that, which led to today’s lyrical entry.

Flow Like Days

Dreams I failed to nurture
Seeds planted in unfertile ground
It’s hard to reap what doesn’t grow
Time I let slip by me
Thought I always had tomorrow
But then it passed, where did it go?

Years flow like days
Each one faster than the last
I can’t count the ways
I let my future slip into my past

Things that I chased after
The peace I never seemed to find
It always seemed in front of me
There on the horizon
I hear a whisper, soft and low
Promising something I can’t see

Dreams flow like days
One dies, another takes its place
Each left where it lays
While I take up another fruitless chase

I’ve never been sure, did I chase the dream
Or was it chasing me?
Guess it doesn’t matter ’cause either way
It wasn’t meant to be

Time was once an ally
Stretched out like an open road
But now, the clock is running down
Looking at the ledger
Seems I brought less than I owe
Insecure, the man behind the clown

Years flow like days
Each one faster than the last
I can’t count the ways
I let my future slip into my past
Dreams flow like days
One dies, another takes its place
Each left where it lays
While I take up another fruitless chase

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

From The Mouths Of Babes?

May 2, 2017 § Leave a comment

Inspiration comes in many forms and travels many different paths. As I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes find it in things I see, places I go, and, in this case, things I hear.

One day at breakfast, my son was talking (and talking) about Pokemon and Pokemon Go. It seemed at the time there was nothing else he could talk about. There certainly was nothing else he wanted to talk about (unless it was the Nintendo Switch – sense a theme here?).

While I’m not sure the world is ready for a song about Pokemon or Pokemon Go (I know I’m not), I did get any idea from my son’s singular topic of discussion. This is intended to be a slow blues number.

One Track Mind

You’ve got a one-track mind
I can’t seem to break through
You’ve got a one-track mind
Don’t know what I’m s’posed to do
Every time I try to reach you
I can feel you holding back
You’ve got a one-track mind
But one track for who?

You’ve got your mind made up
I don’t think it’s gonna change
You’ve got your mind made up
See no way to rearrange
Every time I raise the subject
You go on the attack
You’ve got your mind made up
It just seems a little strange

There’s only one thing
You ever want to talk about
But that conversation’s something
I think I can do without

You’ve got a one-track mind
Guess that’s how it’s gonna be
You’ve got a one-track mind
There’s no room in it for me
I can’t keep playing your game
Sooner or later, I’m gonna crack
You’ve got a one-track mind
Guess I’ll have to set you free

You’ve got a one-track mind
Guess I’ll have to see you free

© 2018 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Busy With Little To Show?

April 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

It has been a while since my last post on these virtual pages. (Too long or not long enough? You decide.) There are any number of reasons and excuses for that. The first and most general reason is life.

My wife and I have been pretty busy the last few weeks performing around town or preparing to perform. We’ve also done a bit of work on songs for our next CD. A few others things have been going on as well, all of them combining to keep me away from writing at the same pace I normally do.

Since my last post on March 29, I have started lyrics for eleven songs. Sounds prolific enough. Of those eleven, three are completed, one is close to complete, and the remaining seven will likely never be finished.

I suppose that is still pretty prolific, though not my usual writing pace. The writing pace has also slowed, in part, because I also want to be able to chord and arrange at least some of my songs. In the past, I relied on my wife to do that, which meant I wrote lots and lots of lyrics, many of which never became complete songs simply because she was unable to keep up with that pace.

So far, I have managed to chord one song and have started trying to figure out chords for one other song. Even that limited progress, though, has reduced my writing output simply because my creativity is being stretched and divided in multiple directions.

Being an impatient person at times, I first thought I was suffering from some sort of writers block, but I’m not sure now that’s actually the case. I’m hopeful that the slightly reduced writing output will result in even better songs. I guess you’ll be the judge.

Today’s entry is a slightly uptempo blues number. While a great many of my songs get their seed from something I hear or see or experience, this particular song is based on nothing but my imagination. Let me know what you think.

Nothing Left Inside

I saw her standing on the corner
Looking lost as she could be
I walked over to her
And she turned and looked at me

I could see it in her eyes
She was looking for a place to run
But she had nowhere else to run
And she had nothing left inside

I watched her turn to walk away
But then, she stopped right in her tracks
When she looked back at me
I began to see the cracks

She was balanced on the edge
All her tears were long since cried
Everything had been poured out
And she had nothing left inside

(Instrumental)

She’d been through the wars
And surrendered long ago
Nothing left to feel and nothing left to show
Time had done its worst
Left her with nothing left to give
Said she had no reason left to live

I left her standing on the corner
A far away look in her eyes
Trying hard to keep it all together
But I could see through her disguise

All the times she fooled herself
And all the times she lied
Left her with no one else to trust
And she had nothing left inside

She had no one else to trust
And she had nothing left inside

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All Rights Reserved.

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