It was morning in my house, there was a chill in the late summer air, coffee and breakfast were both done while watching the daily version of Democracy Now. It seems always to be bad news, sigh, why watch? I know why I watch, wanting to know as fuel for writing songs and other less useful things. I'd been playing the piano the previous night, listening to Uriah Heep and wanting to learn, so I went to put stuff back in place (storage you might understand). In doing so I was reminded of an old Bob Dylan song, Hard Rain which made a desire to play the song on my guitar. One of those songs I sort of know but never had the inspiration to learn. No lyrics caused a search for them then a copy for use. I had to play a recording of it in order to determine the key, which is dependent on the version, anyhow, I ended up singing and playing the song maybe three times. Once was not enough to drive into my consciousness, the entire meaning of that song, nor was it enough to grasp the phrasing cadence in the lyric. Upon conclusion of that process, I went in the kitchen for something, when a phrase entered my mind, the blue eyed boy... , from Dylan's lyric, "my blue eyed son." I recalled the date of the album it was recorded on, Highway 61 Revisited, 1963. It seems amazing how long ago, at least to me it does. The lyric of that song are so powerful, as the story progresses. It is seemingly about: the depths of thought, in talking of where he had been. Violence and threat, is what he saw. Fear and being lost and or alone, in what I heard. Fear and contrast in what I met. The last verse might sum it up as searching for equality, pointing out how revolting it is. This is at least some of what comes up for me when I go through those lyrics, though if Dylan had a known meaning, he isn't telling me of it!
The end result being this thought of time and how much at least to me, in the moment, the song screamed of inequality. My thoughts went on to watching some of the Newport festival recording of early Dylan, then there was the recent reunion and anniversary of The March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, 50 years later. Better known as the March on Washington, Bob Dylan Played a few songs there that day, though not Hard Rain. None the less, the date of the album , the march there that day and its significance it all reminded me that the big fight was raging back then and is still not resolved, but Dylan was singing about injustice back then, yet still it is a problem of society.
I wrote some words that are both pointed as to lynching, its horror, the fact that this subject was even louder in the public consciousness back then as compared to now although the problems of inequality remain rampant in this country, The whole of it all causes one to wish to hide in a bottle of whiskey because little if anything seems to touch that condition.
The music is a very fast 3/4 time, simple three chords, a 1, 4, 5 sort of thing.
There remains some energy for the second song of yesterday. This one started swarming up while on a walk down to my mail box, down on that gravel road below my house. Like songs this one seemed to come out of nowhere. I have been trying to meditate some in recent days, something I have not done consistently for a few years. That and I have been attempting to remain conscious of my thoughts, being mindful of my actions and sort of disciplining my brain to better concentrate for playing music. Thus the thought of looking past one's memory without dwelling on/in the past, as a contemplation came to mind, then time fades away, as time fades away, but choosing to avoid sounding like Neil the cadence must be far from anything he did. That led to other thoughts that flew out of my head through an invisible hole, as I walked back up my driveway with a wad of junkmail in one hand, picking up pine-cones with the other to add to the collection for winters wood fire starting. By the time I arrived back at my computer many of the good phrases I had come up with while walking had dwindled into the universe, unknown, forgotten. But I got to the computer where I typed out what turns out to be the chorus of the song, I think. That was followed by three verses, four lines each, which had a different pace and cadence than that which I stated as being the chorus.
In the moment there was a coming disruption that was eminent although the timing was not certain. My music partner was said to be on the road driving toward here for practicing. With this in mind, I looked at what was there, momentarily I thought this song, with its structure and organization could easily be continued, lengthened. But with time running out, I wanted to at least grab the inspiration of the moment, hopeful that the momentum would provide something fresh and new I grabbed up my guitar, very quickly followed by a musical theme which I found pleasing. I also realized that this set of lyrics with its obvious two parts needed to be segregated, which lead with ease into a B part. In the end I switched it around, with the initial part I thought up being the B part with its subsequent second part being renamed the A part. I sang the song roughly a time, then in recalling my actual time issue, decided to make a quick rough draft recording to capture its escence. It was rough, but I got a copy made. I had to name the files, both the text and the audio something, so I gave it the name 88, and typed that into the save as box for both files. I had succeeded in getting this completed before my guest had arrived, much to my surprise.
After practice had completed, there was much to do, dinner, and domestic nonsense. During dinner I watched the end of a film I had begun watching the previous night, which led me to the idea of getting back to blogging since I had written so many songs and compositions in these last few days. I was ripe for writing, when I started, but by then it was as it is again now, rather late in my day, which fatigue controlled by disallowing my completion of what I am now attempting.
Dateline, now or actually not now, earlier in the night before what is now, in reality morning, being after midnight, again! Back in the evening of this period of being awake, lets call it that, I found the time to sit down and attempt something that I have found in the past to be nearly impossible. That is, reentering the space of an incomplete song and creating an addition to it which retains the previously written essence, feel or what ever that is. I must now say that I had an unusual success in this particular case. The song is mostly complete now. It is again nearly a ballad, yet it ends too abruptly to actually be a ballad. It doesn't actually tell a whole story as a ballad does, this one leaves the contemplation of what happens to the observer. It ends by making the story a continuous loop, if the observer wishes to understand the story that way. The story ends as a succession back to where it started. The structure is what is not settled. As it is now written the song is introduced in the chorus, leading to the first two verses, another chorus, two more verses another chorus, followed by the last verse which introduces the loop. The song is concluded by another chorus, which is in total 4 lines, where as I repeated the last two lines in the ending. After completing, I renamed the computer files for this song, from "88." to, "Meanings in Rhyme." I followed that up by making a new rough draft recording, incorporating the changes arrived upon this evening.
I've never had a song come together like this. Generally if they get interrupted during the major construction phase of writing, the piece is never concluded. This one is different. I was able to step back into that state of mind well enough to retain the songs essence and even the surprise ending, which was not planned. It is a fact though, I don't plan what I write in song, it just comes and I grab it as though right out of the sky. Creativity is awesome!
I'm trying to make up some video recordings of me performing songs in a very controlled setting, alone, in a place where there is little chance of interruption. I have succeeded at getting 10 songs captured. I am still needing some filler video to complement the production which is meant to enhance the songs story line. Which leads me to another thought, of what the heck are all these songs that I write actually about. In times to come, if I continue playing and playing out (a desire) I need to define what these songs are in order to share them with an audience. Yet when I look at some of them, their lyrics and the poetry contained, some is very vague and mysterious in word, rather deliberately covert or otherwise riddle like.
Well peace and this concludes two in a row!