Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘song lyrics

Twenty Questions

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I’m not going to number them, so you’ll have to count if you want to find out if there really are twenty. It’s just that a question came to mind during my morning commute yesterday and I found myself mentally careening down a rabbit hole of not-necessarily-related questions that went on for so long –pretty much the rest of the way to work– I figured it deserved to become a blog post.

Now, if I could only remember what it was I was pondering so deeply in that westbound commute at almost zero-dark-thirty. Oh, that sentence triggered a memory of feeling really grateful to have been able to drive west in the morning and east in the afternoon during most of my working life. I’ve avoided fighting the daily glare of sun in my eyes while driving.

Speaking of being triggered, a song lyric during the morning commute got me to wonder, do people know who it is that taught them how to love? Or how come some humans can play instruments faster than my ear is able to discern? Have you ever heard Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper play Tall Fiddler? Wow. Seems pretty fast, until they suddenly go even faster.

How come I’ve never been able to get my left and my right hand to work together at breakneck speed to hit the correct notes at the correct time on the strings of my guitar? That’s just black magic to play that unrealistically fast and actually produce recognizable melodies with every note presented, if only for a micro-fraction of a second each.

When it appears like our dog is trying to bite the cat, is it possible to know which of the two was the instigator? Does Delilah suddenly start barking at something outside our house because of a sound she hears or some canine sixth sense that tells her there is an invisible thing out there that needs to be barked at?

Actually, I think it’s become a learned behavior that she is unconscious about. There was once a squirrel up in the big tree towering above her kennel outside. She barked up at it, logically. Unfortunately, now she barks up at that tree every time we put her in the kennel, regardless of any squirrel sightings. Does she associate being in the kennel with needing to bark up at the tree? Apparently so.

Are digital HD subchannels radio’s best-kept secret? Is it weird that one radio or television station is actually multiple stations?

Is there a general age break where the reference of something being bigger than a bread box no longer makes any sense? Maybe it has been replaced with, “Is it bigger than a video game console?” Of course, I have no idea if game consoles have a general size at this point, but I have seen pictures of people opening wrapped packages of the latest impossible-to-get hot item that have me thinking there might be.

Have you noticed how Cyndie’s photos have been more interesting than mine for the last few years? I am very lucky that she shares them for use on my blog.

Does it matter if I don’t offer answers to all the questions I am bringing up? Can you tell when my posts run a little long? Who’s counting words, anyway? It’s all about how long it takes to read, not how many words there are. You just skim the sentences like a speed reader after all, don’t you? What words catch your eye enough to slow you down and really read a full paragraph?

Without knowing any of the answers, it still just boils down to the question that started it all, do you know who taught you how to love?

I heard the question in a song.

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Written by johnwhays

November 18, 2021 at 7:00 am

The Lyrics

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For those of you who didn’t have time to sit through the slide show of the song I wrote, and also for me, because I have a hard time remembering all the words… here are the lyrics to “The Middle of June.”

What if it fit in the form of a perfect song?
The trial of surviving a ride through a daylong storm?
Some things come ’round only one time a year
You need to grab and hold tight or chance missing the magic parts
That live in the stories and sweet spots of our minds
You know so many friends who can’t fathom that you do this
And fashioned a bond with the rest of us
Who’ve joined you once again

It’s the middle of June
And here I go again
I’m getting back on my bike
To go Jaunting with Jim

You might call it neurotic, that pallid look that arises
When all too quickly I discover my time for packing has expired
And I’m suddenly in some form of campground in some outstate small town
The faces are familiar, though sometimes names come too slow
A ritual of pack and lock the auto, a parting glimpse to ways of yore
You can watch it as it blossoms and the trip so deftly is born

It’s so great to see you, tell me how have you been
I want to share within your laughter and bow my head to hear your tears
Who is it brought a new bike there, who hasn’t changed theirs in twenty years?
If you put a piece of tape there it might work fine, just look at his
Can I be your tent neighbor, will you snore more than me?
Once I’m packed in the morning, I’ll have much more than I meant to bring

How can that be Jim’s whistle? Good morning right back at you
Do I wear the new tights yet or will it be 95 degrees?
I can’t see yet if it’s cloudy, nor discern if there’s any wind
Where’d I put my water bottles and oh my god do I have to pee
We thank you oh Conductor for this special opportunity
Please forgive me if I waver and consider a jaunt to a B & B

We eat like we think we have to, then have some more when it tastes so good
Wait in line to use a restroom and see our bottles all start out full
Then just repeat Jim’s instructions, did he say 59 not 23?
We’ll snack in eighteen hill-free miles, can it be this easy?
The road just rolls past our tires, “On your left” so you say
Who’s that singing while they’re riding? Haven’t you passed me twice today?

We fan out across the horizon, dodging roadkill and debris
Shouting Gravel! Hole! & Bump! while speaking with whomever we happen to be
We notice wild flowers ‘tween the farm fields, gaze on lakes as well as woods
Wave at gawking rural town folk and race with dogs past the point they should
It isn’t always smooth sunny tailwinds, yet it always ends up manageable
And we should out the joys of elation the sight a water tower can tend to bring

Soon one day gets confused with others, it’s hard to say where we’ve been when
I remember bits of one funny incident, though in which town I can’t quite claim
Shared meals more than nourish us, joint accomplishments give common bond
Communal showering to humbles us and ties like family are coming on
Mere words can’t describe it, when you ride with us then you know
After years of having done this, it gets more important for me to go

All too soon the trip is over, the time just comes, the dancing’s done
Bittersweet to reach the start again, don’t want to stop, can’t wait to get home
What will it feel like back in my bed again, how’ll I do riding on my own
I’ll pretend to hear a morning whistle, the sound of tent poles breaking down
But I’ll rarely find convenience, such as the freedom from planning out
All the details of my day’s plan, as on Jim’s annual ride around

It’s the middle of June
And here we go again
We’re getting back on our bikes
To go Jaunting with Jim

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Written by johnwhays

June 21, 2017 at 6:00 am

In Mind

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Lately I’ve had Chastity Brown‘s music in my mind, particularly, her song “Lift Us.” It suits me. You know how I feel about love, that it certainly does lift us. I think she’s got it right with these lyrics, and every other nuance of this recording, as well. She wins me over right away at the opening guitar up-strums, but then the way the bass slides to enter with the drums; the background “ooo ooos;” the light balance, yet fuzzy substance of the electric guitar; the emotion with which she distorts the pronunciations –getting “lift” to sound like “leeeeft;” the rhythmic bounce that carries the whole thing all the way to the end.

I highly recommend you take the time to pay extra attention to the details as you listen, but be forewarned, when you listen to all the detail, songs have a way of burying themselves in your mind.

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I was heading down a road
Going nowhere
But I didn’t even know
Ya know I didn’t even care
But along the way
Came a word I was needing to hear

Chorus:
Love can lift us
Oh love real love
Love can lift us
Talkin ‘bout love real love

So you say you’re all alone
Drowning in a sea of people
I will throw you a rope
Pull you to shore
So you can feel this

Chorus

Talkin bout love
If you’ve ever been on the floor
Aint go no where to go
Just lookin up keep lookin up

Chorus

credits: from Back-Road Highways, released 24 March 2012

© all rights reserved Chastity Brown

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Written by johnwhays

February 7, 2014 at 7:00 am

Latest Crush

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I can struggle to not hear this song in my head, or I can give in and enjoy my latest music crush: Rufus Wainwright’s “Out Of The Game.”

Check it out. “Look at you, look at you, look at you Suckers!” What a fun chorus to listen to. Infectious. It works because of the way he sings, “Suckers.” You don’t immediately recognize it for that. It’s my earworm for today.

Written by johnwhays

May 9, 2012 at 7:00 am

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Speaking Of

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Speaking of singing, check out this great example of letting the voice loose, from American indie pop band, “Fun.,” and featuring singer Janelle Monáe to wonderful effect on this song that has become a hit for them, We Are Young. I am drawn to the non-traditional song structure, with a melody line that is unpredictable, and a somewhat free-form style that moves outside of the lines of obvious verse/chorus/verse. It does have an infectious chorus. How can you keep from singing along?

According to the digital sheet music published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is written in the key of F major and follows a tempo of 120 beats per minute in common time.[1] “We Are Young” starts out with a confused, fumbling apology in a bar — a young man trying to atone to someone for a mysterious past offense — before breaking into an anthemic chorus about being young.[3] In the song, “careful arrangements layer sharp, bright piano melodies with big, booming drums and multiple vocal harmonies.” Reuss shifts from “vulnerable verbal tumbling in the song’s sonically sparse intro to the grandiose declaration, ‘Tonight, we are young / So let’s set the world on fire’ in the massive chorus.”[4]    from Wikipedia

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Give me a second I,
I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she’s waiting for me just across the bar
My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses asking bout a scar, and
I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you’re trying to forget
But between the drinks and subtle things
The holes in my apologies, you know
I’m trying hard to take it back
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Now I know that I’m not
All that you got
I guess that I, I just thought
Maybe we could find new ways to fall apart
But our friends are back
So let’s raise a cup
‘Cause I found someone to carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Carry me home tonight (Nananananana)
Just carry me home tonight (Nananananana)

The moon is on my side
I have no reason to run
So will someone come and carry me home tonight
The angels never arrived
But I can hear the choir
So will someone come and carry me home

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

Tonight
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home tonight

Written by: Nate Ruess, Andrew Dost, Jack Antonoff, Matthias Bell, Samuel Means

Written by johnwhays

March 31, 2012 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with ,

More Lyrics

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I’m feelin’ lonesome. The novelty is wearing off. Rick Danko and The Band tell it so well in their song, “It Makes No Difference.”

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It Makes No Difference lyrics

It makes no diff'rence where I turn
I can't get over you and the flame still burns
It makes no diff'rence,   night or day
The shadow never seems to fade away

And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Now there's no love
As true as the love
That dies untold
But the clouds never hung so low before

It makes no diff'rence how far I go
Like a scar the hurt will always show
It makes no diff'rence who I meet
They're just a face in the crowd
On a dead-end street
And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

These old love letters
Well, I just can't keep
'Cause like the gambler says
Read 'em and weep
And the dawn don't rescue me no more

Without your love   I'm nothing at all
Like an empty hall  it's a lonely fall
Since you've gone   it's a losing battle
Stampeding cattle
They rattle the walls

And the sun don't shine anymore
And the rains fall down on my door

Well, I love you so much
It's all I can do
Just to keep myself from telling you
That I never felt so alone before

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Composed by Robbie Robertson

Written by johnwhays

December 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Random Segues

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Yesterday I walked in the door with the mail and found a $10 iTunes gift card I had ordered through exchanging points in my Recyclebank account.

I’d forgotten I ordered it, since it had been a couple weeks.

During the drive home from work, a song on the radio (that I was hearing for the first time) intrigued me enough to want to look it up when I got home.

That reminded me I had been meaning to search for a Levon Helm song I heard playing on the credits of a movie I recently bought.

Found Levon’s song, “A Train Robbery,” on the 2007 album, Dirt Farmer.

I listened to the samples for most of the songs on the album and liked them enough to want all of them.

Price of the album download on iTunes: $9.99.

Forgot about searching for the song I had heard on the radio.

For some entirely unknown reason, the Levon Helm songs brought to mind some Bob Dylan lyrics from his song, “When You Awake” that The Band performed.

Ollie told me I’m a fool. So I
walked on down the road a mile, Went to the house that brings a smile
Sat upon my grandpa’s knee, And what do you think he said to me?

When You Awake you will remember ev’rything, You will be
hangin’ on a string from your… When you believe, You will relieve the only soul
That you were born with to grow old and never know

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Snow’s gonna come and the frost gonna bite, My old car froze
up last night. Ain’t no reason to hang your head I could wake up in the
mornin’ dead. Oh! And
if I thought it would do any good, I’d stand on the rock where Moses stood.

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That last line has rolled around in my head for as long as I’ve heard it, starting sometime in the 1970s.

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If I thought it would do any good, I’d stand on the rock where Moses stood.

Written by johnwhays

December 9, 2011 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with ,

One Week

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I have survived the first week of living alone. My wife left for Boston a week ago Friday night. The grand plan of staying connected through Face Time on our brand new anniversary iPads has been altered for now, as Cyndie decided to leave hers with her mother in town here. Cyndie was told she would get an iPad when she arrived for work. Unfortunately, the one she got didn’t include the camera feature. Isn’t it funny how things like that work out?

It wouldn’t have mattered much, anyway. She as been working nonstop everyday, into the late evenings, with barely a chance for a bathroom break, let alone meals. Talking to your husband, or other family and friends, or even shopping for groceries and toilet paper for the new apartment, are luxuries that are below the essentials of sleep and just breathing to make it to the next scheduled meeting. Right now, between the two of us, I have the much easier burden of adjusting to our separation.

Life at the empty house in Eden Prairie is pretty calm. I have noticed a common theme of songs running through my head all week…

“So how are things goin’, in the small dark movie of your life…” (Greg Brown, “Small Dark Movie” from Further In)

“Every time I think of you, I always catch my breath…” (John Waite, “Missing You” from No Brakes)

“And when you’re gone, I can run through the house screaming…” (Michael Johnson, “Bluer Than Blue” from The Michael Johnson Album)

“I’ll fold the laundry like I want to, I might not even fold it, I might just wad it up and stick it in the back, happy, happy, happy, by myself…” (Greg Brown, “Just By Myself” from The Live One)

“You don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone…” (Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi” from Ladies of the Canyon)

And from my perennial favorite, and oft quoted, Bruce Cockburn, “Don’t Feel Your Touch” from Big Circumstance

Infant of a newborn moon pushing up its glistening dome
I kiss these departing companions – take the next step alone
I just said goodnight to the closest thing I have to home
Oh – and the night grows sharp and hollow
As a junkie’s craving vein
And I don’t feel your touch, again.

To be held in the heart of a friend is to be a king
But the magic of a lover’s touch is what makes my spirit sing
When you’re caught up in this longing all the beauties of the earth don’t mean a thing
Oh – and the night grows clear and empty
As a lake of acid rain
And I don’t feel your touch, again.

The last light of day crept away like a drunkard after gin
A hint of chanted prayer now whispers from the fresh night wind
To this shattered heart and soul held together by habit and skin
And this half-gnawed bone of apprehension
Buried in my brain
As I don’t feel your touch, again.

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Written by johnwhays

October 29, 2011 at 9:01 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with

Too Big

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Long ago I intended to feature lyrics that resonate with my way of seeing things. I have yet to do that idea justice. One artist who has particularly inspired me for years is Bruce Cockburn. I first discovered him way back in 1979 when I was working at a local record store. He caught my attention for his guitar playing accomplishments, but it was his songwriting that ultimately drew me in to want to hear his recordings over and over. He is a great storyteller and often recites large portions of his lyrics before singing a chorus. His writing paints pictures for me.

Here is one of his songs with few lyrics: To Fit In My Heart

Endless silver
Wave forms crash in
Sea’s too big to fit in the frame
Nothings too big to fit in my heart

Seas come, seas go
Where they stood deserts flow
Time’s too big to fit in the brain
Nothing’s too big to fit in my heart

Spacetime strings bend
World without end
God’s too big to fit in a book
Nothings too big to fit in my heart

© Copyright Bruce Cockburn

Written by johnwhays

October 17, 2011 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with

The Middle of June

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I may be jumping the gun just a bit, because the picture party for Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures’ “Jaunt with Jim” bike ride, won’t occur until this evening, and that is where I will be premiering my video to a ‘live’ audience, but loyal readers here at Relative Something deserve some special privileges…

Here is a sneak peek at my version of Jim’s annual week-long bike trips around the state of Minnesota and surrounding region:

Written by johnwhays

August 12, 2009 at 7:00 am