Song Diaries

Ain't Got Nothin' That Ain't Paid For 

"Tiny Little Wife" - Track 7 - "Seven Women"

This could just as well have been called "Tiny Little Life."  Bobby comes home having paid his debts to God and Country.
Bobby now regrets much of his previous life.

His disregard for his money, his infatuation with statuesque American women, his unrealized longing for undemanding, forgiving, mute friends.

Man's best friends. His dogs - his kids - his tiny little wife.

He harbors no illusions. He does not suffer the burden of pretense. He cannot articulate these abstracts. But he is happy. . .and tonight he dines on catfish and turnip greens . . .stir-fried.

Nowhere Man 

"Nowhere Man, don't worry 
Take your time, don't hurry
The world is at your command." ~ The Beatles


Think of the advantages of anonymity.

In this age of fame-seeking narcissism. everyone wants their fifteen minutes.  Ask your random millennial what they strive to be. Famous. Famous for what?. . .*sound of crickets*

Think of the advantages of anonymity.

Once you reach a certain age you become invisible to pop culture. Don't fret. You had your shot.  Let the spotlight's incessant attention pass to the next generation, however ill-equipped they are to process it.  Exit silently from the stage.  You are now free. Out the stage door and into the street. No one can see you.

Think of the advantages of anonymity.

Nothing is expected of you . . .
Nothing is required.

Burn 

I Burn - (Track 6 of Seven Women)

I wrote this - my sixth cut on 'Seven' - many, many years ago.  It's been so long that my original concept has sort of morphed into more of paternal thing.  Succinctly - I don't really burn like I used to. Now it's more like a dull ache. Oh well, I vaguely remember what it's like to burn for something - someone - you cannot have.

It's easy to exaggerate the meaning of a half smile, a casual touch, when it is delivered by the object of your obsession. Unconsummated relationships are, theoretically, so much more interesting than those that are acted upon. The imagination is freed. One can conjure dark erotica, with no fear of misconception - rejection.   Let her bathe in my sympathy - let her not weigh the price - let her be ever cool like ice.

Just A Put-On 


"Drinks flow -- people forget.  The big wheel spins -- the hair thins -- people forget.
The news slows -- people forget. The shares crash, hopes are dashed -- people forget.
Forget that they are hiding. It's an eminence front -- a put-on." ~ Pink Floyd


Eminence - I think Pink Floyd has given eminence a bad rap here. I for one aspire to a certain degree of eminence. I aspire to have "recognized superiority in a particular sphere." This is a driving force for most artists. Art for art sake? Maybe - but I want to share my talent, exhibit my work before an appreciative audience - acquire distinction - notability - prestige. Oops - is this the slippery slope to narcissism? Oh, the dualities!  Oh the dichotomy! Will I soon be buying things that I don't need with money that I don't have to impress people I don't like? I think not. 

Legacies cannot be purchased. They must be earned - and even then . . .eventually . . . people forget.

 

Changeling 

"Leave your stepping stones behind now someone calls to you. Forget the dead you've left. They will not follow you.  This vagabond who's rapping at your door is standing in the clothes that you once wore." ~ Bob Dylan

Change -- changing -- changeling.

Are you still the person you were five years ago?  Five months ago?  Five minutes? Change is the nature of the universe. It is the only constant. Einstein proved that time can be bent with unimaginable velocity. Bent -- not stopped. Metamorphosis -- evolution -- transmogrification -- these concepts define our existence. Embrace them -- release them -- embrace them -- release them. 

With every breath you are reborn.

Knife's Edge 

I'll Survive (Track #5 of Seven Women)

I've always been a very careful person. . .unwilling to expose myself to situations over which I cannot employ a measure of control. Commitment to intimate relationships always involves a certain amount of vulnerability.

Some people thrive on walking on the knife's edge. It must be very exciting -- until you slip. This guy slipped. He slipped and his heart was cut in half. But as are all of my intrepid protagonists, he is philosophical. He relives his mistakes -- wallows in his heartbreak. It was bad at first -- real bad. But he knows he'll make it. He's young -- strong -- articulate. He's not going to roll over and die. He'll survive --- I love this guy.

Let's . . .ssssway 

"Other dancers may be on the floor, but my eyes see only you.  Only you have that subtle technique, when we dance I grow weak . . .." Sway ~ Dean Martin.

Do you dance?  My daddy couldn't hold a tune in a bottle - he had no discernible musical talent - but the man had rhythm and he could dance.  If you are smart, good looking and can dance, the world is your oyster.  These attributes my daddy had in spades and in unequal measure he passed them down to me.

Shall we?

"I can hear the sound of violins . . ."





 

Of Mice and Men 

Might Have Had It Coming (Track #4 of Seven Women)

I start this piece with a quote from "To A Mouse" by Gaelic poet Robert Burns.  The poem really doesn't have anything to do with the song, I just have always liked the 'of mice and men' line.  Ah, the blessings bestowed upon the fortunate few.

Again, I expand on the theme of a man who, as he ages, begins to question the wisdom of a well-lived life.  

Is the winner really the one who dies with the most toys?
Who is a winner?
What is  won?
What is the value of a scattered, shiny mess?

Narcissism, greed, impatience: These are absent in the smiling, wrinkled faces of wisdom.  Remember . . .the hand of Grace is ever-poised to slap your face.  

Just as a side: Breaking these songs down is a little, well . . .awkward.  I really don't like talking about my work. I just lay it out there and let the cards fall where they may. But ultimately my dissection is ~~ therapeutic.  Again, please consider these my daughters with an open heart.

Once you start twitchin' in my voodoo trance . . . 

Seat of My Pants (Track #3 of Seven Women

The third song on my debut CD illuminates my less serious side (yes, my intrepid fans, I have a wicked sense of humor.) And so does my merry alter ego - Slip Shodley - the subject of this tune. 

He was riding high, but was ultimately brought to his knees by a series of demanding relentless women, hangers-on . . .and the police.  Our tireless hero persevered and retains a worldly approach to his misadventures.

He might need a haircut, may need a bath, but he still has mind like a blue steel trap
. Brains trump luck.

Start twitchin'.

Younger Men are Driven 

"Do I move you, are you willing? 
         Do I groove you, is it thrilling? 

Tell the truth now, are you loose now
         Do I move you?" 

~ Nina Simone

Halfway through the second set.  Three tables in the room. Conversations of politics, careers and the subjective merits of particular glassware as it pertains to one's liquor or liqueur of choice.

Enter a couple of youngish women, dressed to the nines. Little black dresses. Chic heels.  The tall one shoots me a half smile as she passes.  I wait until they settle and order before I lay down any vocals.  

Something slow.
Low . . .suggestive.

On their way out, the tall one drops a twenty in the tip jar. "I love your music," she says. "I love your shoes," is my quick response.

I'm old enough to be her daddy's uncle,
but not too old to lock eyes with a beautiful woman. I am no threat to her and she knows it.

She likes it.

I am disengaged while younger men are driven.  I am liberated.

Do I move you, are you willing?