Home (Another Song)

might be about life

might just be about sailing

I’ve sailed upon this wilderness all my life
This sea has taught me everything I’ve learned
It’s taken from me everything I ever had
And all I ever had has been returned

Hard weather howled horizon to horizon
Tackle overboard and lost for good
Fearsome creatures prowling in my wake each day
Sun and stars still found me when they could

So many islands green and fair crossed my bow
So many times I thought to go ashore
But not one held the port I knew awaited me
One by one they fell astern forevermore

The time has come to furl my sails and ship the oars
Time to end this life on brine and foam
My time’s been spent in just the way it should have been
And now’s the time, and now, oh now I’m home


Headlights (Another Song for 2020)

Breakfast sound effects included at no extra charge.

“Try the peach pie, hon; it’s to die for.”

Headlights shine on down the road
Headlights shine on down the road
Headlights shine on down the road, gotta keep moving so I don’t get towed
Headlights shine on down the road

Big wheels rolling through the night
Big wheels rolling through the night
Big wheels rolling through the night, gotta keep moving ’cause it’s almost light
Big wheels rolling through the night

Wipers scraping through the rain
Wipers scraping through the rain
Wipers scraping through the rain, gotta keep moving to make that train
Wipers scraping through the rain

Radio scratching out a song
Radio scratching out a song
Radio scratching out a song, gotta keep moving while the signal’s strong
Radio scratching out a song

Headlights shine on down the road
Headlights shine on down the road
Headlights shine on down the road, gotta keep moving get what I’m owed
Headlights shine on down the road


Do the Math

Second of four songs I wrote in February.

Best Beloved’s feet are even itchier than mine. We’ve driven all over two countries and we’ll never really settle down.

Seed for the song (this version, #3 I think) came from the discovery that Best Beloved’s favorite client was born in the tiny hamlet of Valentine Nebraska, a place we considered moving after driving through, just because it was so beautiful.

A few forced lyrics; I was in a hurry. Suggestions for better wording are always welcome.

like I said last night it’s time to go
ain’t sayin nothin you don’t already know
can’t do the math to stay in one place too long
I’ll tell you something so you know nothing’s wrong

gear’s loaded, truck’s warming up
good strong coffee, poured you a cup
guitar behind the seat, backpacks in the bed
so get your boots on, we gotta go just like I said

can’t do the math where you and I get divided
pluses and minuses are all pretty one-sided
you’ve already seen some action
but I’m telling you it’s only a fraction
add it all up you’ll get the same answer I did

valley in north Nebraska near Valentine
couple of minutes from the South Dakota state line
peaceful quiet and green where the river winds through
I’ve seen it before but now I wanna see it with you

can’t do the math where you and I get divided
pluses and minuses are all pretty one-sided
you’ve already seen some action
but I’m telling you it’s only a fraction
add it all up you’ll get the same answer I did

middle of the country the tall grass covers the plains
speed limit means we can have some fun racing the trains
sit behind the Flint Hills see the sunset silhouette
I’ve seen it before, but I haven’t seen it with you yet

can’t do the math where you and I get divided
pluses and minuses are all pretty one-sided
you’ve already seen some action
but I’m telling you it’s only a fraction
add it all up you’ll get the same answer I did

follow the ocean San Diego up to Vancouver
water left, dirt right; not a complicated maneuver
head across to Newfoundland take a ferry over the sea
how you do the math doesn’t make any difference to me

except I can’t do the math where you and I get divided
pluses and minuses are all pretty one-sided
you’ve already seen some action
but I’m telling you it’s only a fraction
add it all up you’ll get the same answer I did


Dark of Night

I’ve been participating in February Album Writing Month for 15 years. Though I’m not aiming for 30+ songs during February like the past two years, or even the standard goal of 14, I couldn’t let the month pass without writing something. Which, of course, happened spontaneously as I was trying to sleep one night last week.

Dark of Night

You’re the dark of night
You steal the sun from the sky
You’re the dark of night
Make the songbirds cry
You’re the dark of night
And I don’t understand why

You told me you loved me
Sweet as a slice of peach pie
You told me you loved me
Intoxicating as rock and rye
You told me you loved me
You knew all along it was a lie

You took my heart
Made me think I could fly
You took my heart
Told me I was your guy
You took my heart
Was just a piece of meat for you to fry

You’re the dark of night
You steal the sun from the sky
You’re the dark of night
Make the songbirds cry
You’re the dark of night
I’ll never understand why



02022020

Palindromes fascinate me, even palindromic dates.

Here’s a video about what made yesterday (missed it by that much!) not only unusual, but unique in the Gregorian dating system.

Music! Laughs! Bad Hair!

And, more fun perhaps, here’s Weird Al’s take on one of the best music videos ever created, Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues. You’ll see why it’s in today’s post.

Al

Bob

Here’s some 02022020 art I made.


A Month into Winter

Not that the Phoenix valley has much of a winter, but this year was more wintery than the past two; December’s highest temp was 73ยบ but the previous two years it was in the low 80s.

For the first time in 15 years, I’m not knee-deep in songwriting. I’ve participated in February Album-Writing Month since 2006, some years writing as many as 32 songs in a single month. I want to write at least one to celebrate my 15th FAWM, but I’m having a hard time dredging up the feeling.

I’m also 6 months or so behind on delivering the third Jake Calcutta story. And don’t get me started on the third Irish Adventure; poor Web Martin ended his second adventure on a low note and I’ve been meaning for years to lift his spirits with another chapter in his life.

The family band used to practice music 5 days a week. We’ve been up in the music room twice in five months. I’ve barely strummed my brand new 3/4-size Orangewood guitar. It’s beautiful, easy to play, great-sounding, and parked beside my desk. But, parked. In the same stand as my Blueridge tenor, the most wonderful musical instrument I’ve ever owned.

Moving my mother into assisted living absolutely trashed me physically and emotionally. Getting herself evicted in under 90 days because she’s so uncooperative was a gut-kick to Best Beloved and I after all the time, energy, and money we spent making it happen.

I usually ignore my age; I don’t celebrate birthdays, and the only reason I know my age most of the time is that it ends with the same number as the year. I haven’t been conscious of anything special about turning 60 the end of last month, but I have been feeling old, slow, a bit bleak.


2020

me, on a boat, on a lake, in Wisconsin, in the fall [smiling at Best Beloved as she takes my picture]
I am so old that I remember how odd it was to write 1970 on my school papers instead of 1969.

Half a century ago.

The previous summer I had watched, live, as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

Even earlier: one of my earliest memories was everyone crying about something on the radio. It was November 22, 1963.

When I was born, Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was President of the United States. There have been 11 more since then.

My maternal grandfather was born in a tiny village outside (then) Berlin (the village itself was absorbed by the city long ago.) That was in 1880, 140 years ago.

In 1630 or thereabouts, three brothers named Canfield were well-known businessmen in New Haven Connecticut.

In 1066 a chap with the last name Campfield (he was Belgian so I don’t know where that spelling came from) crossed over from Europe with William the (Soon to Be) Conqueror.

This history lesson (?) brought to you by the numbers “2” and “0” and the letters j, d, and c.


I promise not to make an issue of it, but the new decade doesn’t start until 2021. Decades start with 1, end with 10, rather than starting with 0, ending with 9.