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Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Monday, December 19

Song Writing Dilettante

This will be an indication of just how far down in the bottom of the barrel I've come for blog ideas. I’ve fiddled with songs, both lyrics and music, for my whole life, starting about when I was fourteen or fifteen and continuing off and on to the present. What an odd endeavor, and so frustrating because, except for a very few, they’re never been heard by anyone but me, and then only in my head. When I was in New York in that youthfully abortive attempt to write and sell songs with my friend Chuck, we had a demo recording made of two songs we wrote, and many years later I paid for a demo tape of another song I’d finished. But those were the only times my songs ever actually came to life. And also for my entire life, whenever an idea for a lyric would pop into my head, I’d dutifully write it down and then try to complete it. Most of the time I can get a song finished, but many just remain as ideas that I swear one day I’ll get around to finishing. But, as I said, how frustrating. To what end do I finish these songs that will never be heard by anyone? I have no idea. Just another side to my compulsive, obsessive character, I guess.

Here’s one that’s about halfway done.

“Never talk about what might have been,
I don’t want to know the why or wherefore.
All I want to know is you still care for me.
Never ask me for profound commitment.
I could never take the ball-and-chaining.
I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining,
But you and I are way too much the same.
You and I have no one else to blame.”

Once upon a time, the following song was actually complete. But then I misplaced it or it somehow wound up with “The Borrowers,” and except for this first chorus I couldn’t find the rest in my mushy memory:

“The world was made for living
And life is such a beautiful song,
So if you really truly love me,
I‘d be so happy if you sang along,
In two-part harmony.”

Here are some of my unfinished businesses, some about halfway, most just tiny ideas that never got expanded.

“I like the give and take of living,
But there’s a whole lot
More taking than giving.
I like the bump and rub of loving,
But there too little rubbing
And too much shoving.”

“You can turn a sunny day cloudy,
You can turn a blue sky to gray—
All you have to do is
Tell me that we’re through,
That’s all you’d really have to say.
So why do I
Keep thinking about you,
Feeling sad without you?”

“You can’t hurt me any more
Than I’ve been hurt
Too many times before.
So take your best shot, Baby,
This heart’s been broken
By better gals than you could ever be.”

“Every little day I get a little older,
Get a little older, feel a little colder.
Every little day I get a little older.
Where in hell will it end?
Every little week I feel a little weaker,
Feel a little weaker, life’s a little bleaker.
Every little week I feel a little weaker.
Where in hell will it end?”
(Other verses might be: Every little month, then year, the world’s a little duller, or maybe My hair’s a little thinner, or My skin’s a little looser, etc.)

I keep coming up with hooks and catch phrases that are clever enough to be made into a song, but then I can’t take them any further. For example, “I don’t love you anymore, But I sure as hell don’t love you any less.” “The harder you hang onto love, The more it always seems to slip away.” “Each time I see you, I see you for the first time.” “We must be the most unlikely lovers.” “Woe to man is woman.” “Hold onto your dreams, But don’t put your dreams on hold.” “Sad hearts grow sadder, Empty hearts grow emptier, But full hearts will always fall in love.”

Obsessive? Oh, yes. Compulsive? Yes again. With me, it must be like it is with people who compulsively do crossword puzzles, or like my wife who’s completely obsessed with Sudokus.
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