Song-starts and Roadtrips

I posted on Facebook yesterday that I had a new song brewing and quite quickly got a ton of excited responses, which makes me feel like I should have waited til I knew how it would turn out.

12I have friends in business that are always talking about new business starts – the assumption is that some work out and many don’t. It’s the same with songs.  This one started with some considerable energy but quickly turned from a happy mountain stream to a slow sliding mud slough.  Sigh…  I only really got as far as a first draft of a verse. This was a day’s work:

Why do we toss about
And trouble with trifles
Why bother to glory
In honour and dress
Why so enamoured by trinkets and treasures
(Lord) that which you cherish
in our hearts impress

(It’s better with music – think traditional sounding folk/country.)    Yup – that’s a day’s work – except for the break to write about it on Facebook – and maybe a couple of Twitters throughout the day.  Gotta stay on top of the Twitters ya know.

I haven’t written much in the last few years.  I don’t know why really, but it does bother me quite a bit.  Everything sounds like something I (or someone else) have written before.  So I had this idea in the middle of the night that perhaps I should post this new song unfinished on the net as an ‘open source’ song – let folks add or detract as they will and see what happens.  That might be fun, and might even produce something delightfully surprising.

I’ll think about it (not sure how I’d deal with the legal battles over the tens of dollars of royalty earnings.)

Gillian Welch
Gillian Welch

So then, last night while walking Crazy Daisy (our Jack Russell terrier) a Gillian Welch song came up on my ipod. I know the song well enough but had forgotten this little gem and it helped me remember why we keep fighting for songs.  It’s for those delightful turns of phrases, subtle, unanticipated shifts in chord structure or melodic trajectory.  It’s these little nuances that remind us of mystery and re-awaken our sense of adventure for those happy surprises yet to be found in the midst of routine.  These remind us there are endless layers of nuance and meaning to be mined that are so worth the effort. That in turn, reawakens our sense of anticipation in all things – in our work, our leisure, spouses, parents, friends, encounters with nature etc.

One Little Song by  Gillian Welch  – Album: Soul Journey

There’s gotta be a song left to  sing
Cause everybody can’t ‘a thought of everything
One little song that ain’t been sung
One little rag that ain’t been wrung out completely yet
– that’s gotta little left

One little drop of fallin’ rain
One little chance to try again
One little bird that makes it home every now and then
One little piece of endless sky
One little taste of cherry pie
One little week in paradise and I start thinkin’…

There’s gotta be a song left to sing
Cause everybody can’t a thought of everything
One little note that ain’t been used
One little word that ain’t been abused a thousand times
In a thousand rhymes

One little drop of fallin’ rain…

(It’s better with music – think folk/country)

Anyway – enough about that. I need to go pack. Tomorrow at 4am I leave on a road trip with my son Micah to go collect the belongings he left in London On. when he moved back home earlier this spring.  We’ll drive both ways through the States  (46 hours in total) and on the way back take in a day of the Lollapalooza rock festival in Chicago.  Micah is perhaps more excited about the festival than I am, but it’ll be fun to hang with the lad and listen to bands like Ben Folds Five, Fleet Foxes and The Kings of Leon.

When we get back, my daughter Sarah and grandson Luca will be here for a visit. Did I mention I have a grandson? No?  Turns out I have a picture handy! 🙂

Luca loves Brando
Luca loves Brando

8 thoughts on “Song-starts and Roadtrips

  1. Wow, those first few words resonate so much… having been the Mother of the Groom this past weekend and amazed and wearied at how much time and energy had to go into the dress, the trinkets, the embellishments of the day, all superfluous layers on top of the real heart of The Wedding. At least, however, when we are connected and aware of the Holy Spirit in us, (albeit in the midst of much noise around and within us at these times!), there is much room for growing and seeing the parts which are oh so precious and meaningful. We need to remain mindful no matter what we are caught up in! Bless you Steve.

  2. Song words ideas
    “Seeing the trouble, feeling the pain of a world that ne’r bothers with the heart of a thing
    Why do the deed, why say the words ,if not for the heart of the thing
    Jesus, His Light is the treasure, love beyond measure so given with pleasure because it’s the heart of the thing

    Nice to include your fans. Very selfless. May God give you His song

    Keep up the Jesus presence in your music.

  3. Such genuine sweetness, seeming to be an uncomplicated man yet..look at the new lyrics, who can predict, who can tell where the stream will flow. I already own Waiting for Aiden
    I have to paint again, I have dozens of photos I can use, collected by my ever alert Okanagan eye. A sign: at the big Vernon Art Gallery fundraiser, the Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts, my name was drawn from the participating artists as the winner of $100. of art supplies, ah, fresh paint! I have a stack of canvasses waiting, waiting, as I continue to amass a collection of photos and do my summer canning, keep up my Aquafit and my walking and delicious time with my grandson. I hesitate as I know the timelessness painting will create for me. Can I create visually the way Steve creates in melody and profound lyrics ? I will of course photograph the painting and send it to you.
    Music on the changer: Corey Doak, Jacob Moon, Andrew Allen, Devotion, Jay Calder..decisions, decisions..
    Heat has eased, much less smoke so was able to walk outdoors again today. It has been called being in Hades…I am appreciating winter more that I ever thought I would!

  4. Hi Steve,

    Thank you for the emails – and your new website is wonderful! Hearing that Sarah has given you a grandson is amazing news. Iisn’t grandparenthood just the best? I absolutely LOVE being a Nana!

    See you in December!
    love and blessings,

  5. Music touches our souls and joins us to God in a blessed way!
    This song start correlates with my exasperation and experiencing humans lat work lately. Why are we so mean to each other? Why is teamwork and respect not the first approach to a problem. How did we get this way?
    Hurts my head and breaks my heart.
    Good luck with your song, Steve,

  6. But I say to you friend
    That our trinkets and dress
    Were never intended the Lord to Impress
    It’s for those who do not know you
    And know not your heart
    Here for today, Tomorrow depart

    Your trinkets and treasures will not sustain you
    As the worth of your soul or the love you impart
    For through your life journey
    You have wealth and treasure
    That you share with us daily in music and Art.

  7. Steve,

    I appreciate your musings…and don’t worry, you have more talent in your pinky finger than I have in my big thumb. Heh! I personally sing, but I can’t write a lick…at least not stuff that sounds good with music attached to it. So you are blessed to be able to write such inspired words. I feel like a voice without a song. A piano without keys. Hey, not bad…maybe I could use that in a song, heh, or you could. See? I also don’t play an instrument, so I feel handicapped. What’s the point of having a talented voice if you can’t add your personal words to express your thoughts and emotions? Anyway, Hope you have a great time with Micah, Sarah and Luca.


Comments are closed.