Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll

Remember when all we had to worry about was kids turning to “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll”? lol! But one thing leads to another and I must say something about some of the messages I’m seeing out there.

For example, some of the posts I’ve been seeing about abortion lately prompted me to link to this article, Men and Abortion, one of several that points out that often women who choose to have abortions are victims of those who convince her to have one. This is a Society issue – not just a women’s issue.

Billboards in Florida that say something to the effect of “Your mother chose life, shouldn’t you?” don’t really address the issue. In fact, it picks on the woman – but there is more than a woman involved here. There is the father and even the extended family, even if they know nothing about it. There is also Society, who pressures women to have an abortion, because Society has deemed it legal, and, therefore okay.

How about the “Hate the sin, but love the sinner” billboards in Tennessee in the news lately? We’re all sinners so why should one particularly sin be pointed out? The truth is, I’m not in charge of other people’s lifestyle choices. What you do as an adult in the privacy of your home is your responsibility. I’m not the bedroom police. However, when a certain group’s rights tromp on other people’s rights, then I have to speak up.

Take, for example, this article, Breaking the Silence: Redefining Marriage Hurts Women Like Me and Our Children. I’ve spoken out about the rights of children to know their biological mother and father for over ten years now – ever since I met my biological father and wrote Myths of the Fatherless. Ideally, children would be raised by their bio mom and bio dad. But when you create high-tech babies or adopt (whether by same sex couples or opposite sex couples), or divorce, you interrupt that normal cycle of life.

Each successive generation creates more and more problems by ignoring this basic human need.

More and more people are speaking up about the “dark truth that isn’t being spoken” about same sex marriage, children, and divorce – what you see in the media isn’t the complete story. So I feel the need to continue to address this issue through my blog, fiction, and songs.

“Screamie Birds” may be more and more appropriate for what I have to scream about. :)

Never Met a Song with the Word “Sin” in it I Didn’t Like

I used to say that about the word fool. It seemed any song with the word “fool” in it spoke to me. And then in my pre Berklee songwriting class days, I wrote these lyrics:

Song of a Fool

I was the fool who trusted,
I was the fool who dared,
When I got close, you betrayed me,
Long before I was born.

I once loved songs about fools,
Until I knew I was one,
You should have been a safe haven,
It should have been you all along.

If I couldn’t trust you then the question would be,
Who can I trust at all?
For mothers were made for children to trust,
Because God gave them that call.

And now I’m all done with the word fool – lol!

My latest magic word is sin – maybe because the world is shouting that there is no sin! What fun is that? Why deprive ourselves of one of the great conquests in life, which is to conquer our sin – or at least put up a good fight.

bourbon_street_picSo my fascination with the word “sin” is probably why my latest infatuation with a “sin” song is “Bourbon Street” by Jeff Tuohy. Ironically, he says he’s never been to New Orleans. But that doesn’t surprise me actually. I find that my strongest writing, whether novel or lyric, is about something out of reach of my ordinary life and exists in the fantasy world of my head.

Check out the lyrics from Jeff’s web site:

Bourbon Street

I’ve been living in sin for about a month
Something turns me round it’s something that I just
Can’t understand, the way I behave.
Some people you can never save.
On my right hand, I’ve got a girl on my ear
And in my left hand, I’m throwing back a beer.
What can I say? Of me, you steer clear
When I driving down on Bourbon Street, yeah
Every night we through this little soiree
Gonna turn her head until she’s mine, all mine
Every night I breed a new disaster
I might be right, I might be wrong
Try to get away and I will bring you right along, so
Sit back, have a seat
Sometimes salty, sometimes sweet
Hard to swallow, but fun to eat
You ain’t never leaving Bourbon Street, come on!
When I walk the street people step aside
Twirling my cane and smiling wide
Some would say I’m a carnal slave
I put my hands on what I crave
I’m the mayor of this crazy town
Where the queens will party with the clown
Try to swim with me and you’re bound to drown
Throw you a line while you’re going down
Yeah, I know this street and I own this crowd
And my only companion is a lightning cloud
I seem real nice and easy to trust
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust
I’m gonna lead you a path to self destruct
On this crazy train that I conduct

And, of course, the video, which, I warn you, is highly addicting. It’s been running through my head for several days now. I’m hoping it’ll kick start something.

I got the chords from Chordify so I can *attempt* to play this song and then, hopefully, be inspired to write my own song. Something like it might work for “Candy Apple Red.” It all seems quite possible in my head. :)

Songwriting: So Much to Master

bbvocalsBack in the days when I sang in my school choir, all I had to worry about was learning the song, staying on key, and knowing when to breathe.

With the guitar, I learned a few chords.

With the piano, I learned a few scales and notes to a few simple songs.

But songwriting, well, you have to know it all!

You must know how to write good lyrics, rhyme scheme, rhythm, line length, stable and unstable.

You must also know how to match the rhythm of the lyrics to the rhythm of music so, yeah, it helps to know how to play an instrument.

You must also tune up your voice and get it in shape after years of neglect.

You must also know how to produce all of the above on your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

So as a full-time music student at the moment, I spend every morning with my piano book, piano exercises, and sheet music.

Then I move on to vocal exercises. I might then record a couple of songs on my DAW to see what works for my voice. I keep learning that the Key of A is my key so I’m paying special attention to it.

Then I continue on to writing lyrics. I might start with a title and continue on from there. I might stop to play other songs and analyze the music and lyrics.

I might even try singing a song using AudioScore to see what the notes are. Today’s “Black Coffee” told me I was singing in the Key of A – again.

Then I might create music from scratch and notate it using Finale – so many software programs to learn, too.

By evening I listen to KCSM, Bay Area Jazz station to see what else my ears can pick up.

And then I start all over again the next day.

Sometimes it feels like I’m making no progress at all but I’m loving the process!