The Artist’s Rule Blues (#lyrics #poetry #50/90)

When I was young, I wanted to run
Seeking adventure around every corner
I never knew who I was back then
The family I had was really a foreigner
That’s when my search began
for the real piano man

Mama gave me a piano
Daddy strummed the guitar
I sang in the choir
I never got very far
I had the Artist Rule Blues

Rule #1: the hardest of the three
Rule #2: stability for me
Rule #3: playing like a fool
Obedience calls for always being true

As life wore on, I could no longer deny
The need to look that man in the eye
The one responsible for my very life
The one who now had a different wife
That’s when my search began
for the real piano man

Mama gave me a piano
Daddy strummed the guitar
I sang in the choir
I never got very far
I had the Artist Rule Blues

Rule #1: the hardest of the three
Rule #2: stability for me
Rule #3: playing like a fool
Obedience calls for always being true

I found him on a mountain
We sang all night and day
Of one thing I’m quite certain
His love made me want to stay

Mama gave me a piano
Daddy strummed the guitar
I sang in the choir
I never got very far
I had the Artist Rule Blues

Rule #1: the hardest of the three
Rule #2: stability for me
Rule #3: playing like a fool
Obedience calls for always being true

One Year Ago (Today) Original Song #50/90

I posted the original lyrics written in the wee hours of the morning as a tribute to my father’s passing, one year ago today in the John Wayne and Jacqueline post.

Then I took the story and wrote an EDM track, with stripped down lyrics, compete with groggy vocals, all recorded on GB on the iPad with earplugs in the living room so not to awaken the house. Here’s the outcome:

John Wayne and Jacqueline (#lyrics #poem #50/90)

They drove down to Tijuana
He asked her do you wanna
They headed for the courthouse
To pledge their love as man and spouse

Today one year ago
He left us don’t you know
How hard to say goodbye
I cannot even cry
Drowning in the lies
Until the day I die

They drove up to San Francisco
Amidst kisses and moonlight glow
Cable cars under the stars
Waiting to be sent off to war

Today one year ago
He left us don’t you know
How hard to say goodbye
I cannot even cry
Drowning in the lies
Until the day I die

Waving good-bye to the ship
Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Promising to faithfully wait
Surrendering to chance or fate

Today one year ago
He left us don’t you know
How hard to say goodbye
I cannot even cry
Drowning in the lies
Until the day I die

A handsome stranger stepped in
Deep blue eyes, an Elvis grin
Promised her the moon
She couldn’t help but swoon

Today one year ago
He left us don’t you know
How hard to say goodbye
I cannot even cry
Drowning in the lies
Until the day I die

Little baby on the way
Did not stop her walk of shame
The letter started with “Dear John”
His wife and child now were gone

Today one year ago
He left us don’t you know
How hard to say goodbye
I cannot even cry
Drowning in the lies
Until the day I die

Life goes on
I must be strong

Remember When (#poem) (#lyrics) (#50/90)

Big problem haunting me
is now resolved
Not feeling excitement
but relief
Sneaking in day by day
can barely celebrate
Searching for the home I
vaguely recall

This is how this chapter
ends then
From a caterpillar
to a butterfly
Leaving behind that life
I know not why
Forever recall with
“remember when”

Remember when his breath smelled good
First beer, first kiss out in the woods
Remember when the grease smelled nice
Flipping burgers on a Friday night
First job, first car was “Out-a-sight”
Remember when
The way it was back then

Now I ask
oh where is home
Now that the old one
has fled and gone
To be content I must
cease to long
From here on out am I
called to roam?

Remember when his breath smelled good
First beer, first kiss out in the woods
Remember when the grease smelled nice
Flipping burgers on a Friday night
First job, first car was “out-a-sight”
Remember when
The way it was back then

I hear a song
writing in my head
In that moment
I am always home
Memories are close
I record on my phone
And thumb through photos
to remember when

Remember when his breath smelled good
First beer, first kiss out in the woods
Remember when the grease smelled nice
Flipping burgers on a Friday night
First job, first car was “Out-a-sight”
Remember when
The way it was back then

 

Highway Noise (#lyrics #poem #50/90)

The rhythm of the highway noise
At six o’clock in the morning
Playing like a drum beat
The troopers are storming
down the road, chasing dreams
before the day releases heat
I begin my day, my choice
Banging on my toys

In a world of men statistically
I don’t let that fact stop me
Never thought I couldn’t do anything
Just because I am a woman
Move over boys
It’s all just highway noise

The rhymes come to me before my coffee
Timbaland’s tips on making beats
Inspire me to follow my heart
Destiny I must not cheat
My father told me from the start
Reading my writing from afar
His words meant so much to me
Now he’s gone how can it be

In a world of men statistically
I don’t let that fact stop me
Never thought I couldn’t do anything
Just because I am a woman
Move over boys
It’s all just highway noise

Driving cars on a highway fast
Expecting men it seems
Babies and all their accessories
Women discuss by the kitchen sink
Sitting on the front porch I dared to be me
Listening to men talk about beer that’s free
If I couldn’t be free I’d never last
And highway noise is just more sass

In a world of men statistically
I don’t let that fact stop me
Never thought I couldn’t do anything
Just because I am a woman
Move over boys
It’s all just highway noise

Fool for A While (#lyrics #poem #50/90)

You told me lies
about loving me
You were just in love with yourself
You came by
almost every day
Wooing me to take me off the shelf

I was a fool
for a while
Only cuz I wanted to be
I no longer
have that need inside
It’s time to stand up to you
Time to stand up for me

Don’t know why
I fell for you
On the rebound, feeling desperately
He was the one
I really loved
So you swooped in so sneakily

I was a fool
for a while
Only cuz I wanted to be
I no longer
have that need inside
It’s time to stand up to you
Time to stand up for me

Must have been weak
Must have been crazy
Too darn proud
A bit of lazy

I was a fool
for a while
Only cuz I wanted to be
I no longer
have that need inside
It’s time to stand up to you
Time to stand up for me

I was a fool
for a while
Only cuz I wanted to be
I no longer
have that need inside
It’s time to stand up to you
Time to stand up for me

 

Dig in and Hold On (#lyrics #poem #50/90)

Fifty Ninety (50 songs in 90 days) is starting in a couple of days so it’s time to start writing poems in more of a song form for potential songs.

I’ve been quiet for too long
Sitting at the library reading those books
Writing in my diary dodging those looks
Gotta show ‘em who I am
Show ‘em what I’ve got
Not gotta lie down, I’m way too strong

Stomp, stomp, scream and shout
Let your inner diva out

Dig in and hold on
It’s time to make some noise
Stuck in my head for way too long
Pedal to the medal, come on, girls, let’s race some boys

I dug out old photographs of my old boyfriends
The ones he “made” me throw away
Instead I hid them along with my dignity
Jonesing for a second chance
now he’s down and out
Begging for some money I could lend no doubt

Stomp, stomp, scream and shout
Let your inner diva out

Dig in and hold on
It’s time to make some noise
Stuck in my head for way too long
Pedal to the medal, come on, girls, let’s race some boys

Not gonna feel guilty
He had more than a second chance
Running through women, drugs, and money
Laughing like the truth was so funny

Stomp, stomp, scream and shout
Let your inner diva out

Dig in and hold on
It’s time to make some noise
Stuck in my head for way too long
Pedal to the medal, come on, girls, let’s race some boys

Stomp, stomp, scream and shout
Let your inner diva out

Dig in and hold on
It’s time to make some noise
Stuck in my head for way too long
Pedal to the medal, come on, girls, let’s race some boys

Tequila, Take Me Home

I wrote this song when we were living in Florida. We were having lunch at La Fiesta, the most Southern California Mexican restaurant in the New Smyrna Beach/Daytona area and I was soaking up the atmosphere, the Mexican music, and the “Mexican Margarita,” as they called it. It was my favorite, if not a bit strong.

A Native Californian, I was so homesick for the West Coast so I took a drink and said, “Tequila, Take Me Home.” That became a song.

So when Taxi A&R had a listing for “drinking songs,” I submitted it. Well, it was not forwarded. But after last night’s episode where they played many of the submissions and we got to vote +1 or -1 as to whether we thought it should be forwarded, I realized my mistake. It was not a “drinking song” in the real meaning of that. It was more of a homesick song – lol!

I have a couple of other drinking songs that would have been more appropriate but they need some work. But it might be good to do the work now because you never know when they might just have another call for that kind of song.

FAWM Day 5: Howling of the Wind (#poem)

Rat-a-tat on my window pane
The treetops holler from the third floor
Like a stranger knocking let me in
Pounding loudly outside my bedroom door

The slider on the second floor rattles my nerves
Is Daisy safe hiding in an unreachable place?
Should I tiptoe downstairs in barefoot curves?
Dodging life’s bullets hurling in space

Slurping kitty quiets the mouse
And the raging fury of the desert wind
Stills my heart praying for grace in this house
While the muse gathers strength to show up again

Creativity hides from a quiet life
Yet the artist resists her vocation like the Prophet Jeremiah
The priest reassures me about suffering and strife
A human lost in confusion in a broken Hallelujah

Once I was lost and now I am found
And the howling of the wind spins round and round…

(My middle-of-the night offering to my King)

Music vs. Fiction: Music Always Wins #amwriting #songwriting

January has just begun and already I’m in trouble. Choosing to focus on writing and music, I realize I must designate one as the priority because both of them take enormous skill and time and focus to succeed. Sure, I can pursue both, but I must choose which will be number one in my life. I keep returning to this truth for me.

Music always wins. And now I have a separate designated studio in my home, which is great because then the cats can’t chew the wires. 🙂

But songwriting still counts as writing, right? Will that be enough or will I have to fit in fiction, too? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Besides, I can always write fiction during breaks from music because you always need breaks, right? But there are just so many pieces to a song, including vocal warmups, as Shelly Peiken writes about in her latest blog post here.