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we change

If I got Holger (MotorPlanet) right my lyrics are for a band called INPUT written to their tune. I have had no feedback yet if my lyrics are okay (= accepted and will be sung) or not.

your temper got at me
better to make myself scarce
don't nurse you grudge 'gainst me
there's no need to be that terse
I'll explain to you my point of view
could be that we both were wrong
maybe something that I said
had come out a bit too strong

I say
I can change
you can change
we can change
I'm sure we can make up

the night had got too long
somehow I couldn't get away
I sent a message - but too late
sorry if that had gone wrong

I say
I can change
you can change
we can change
I'm sure we can make up

let us try to never cross the line
leave us no chance to reconcile
let us go the extra mile
so we can be fine

I say
I can change
you can change
we can change
I'm sure we can make up

we're changing
changing
anyway

changing
each single day

Is it okay to be proud?

PRIDE is a deadly sin. Time to confess:

Yes, I am proud of my lyrics writing because, over the years, I have developed my own style. It didn't come out of the blue. In another post I told the story of "Joy". In a manner of speaking its history reaches back more than 49 years to John Lennon's song "Dear Prudence". Actually to my getting the song all wrong, thinking it must have been meant to be allegoric, or at least ambiguous. It wasn't. But I started writing allegoric and partly allegoric songs myself from 2001, considering myself to write in his tradition. In the long run "Joy" (written 2013) became what I though "Dear Prudence" was. My most advanced song text in that manner is "by the seven Seas" that combines metaphor and allegory: the seasons standing for the stages of life, and the first person standing for the seasons. Mind you, the lyrics use quite simple language. That's what I'm very proud of, too. My hero in that regard is Keith Reid for most of what he has written EXCEPT "A whiter Shade of pale" ;-)

The other day I decided to open my combined reading and concert show with "One of seven Billion" (written and published 2011) that I consider my essential song. It is all me with regard to style, language, structure, and message. As it is a rock song that's partly based on a rock riff I will read most of it and just sing the lift and chorus to the acoustic guitar I'll be playing. When I now read its lyrics again after a long time I realized how very close they are to "Sympathy for the Devil". I had been aware that I'm often influenced by the stones, not just the music, but also Mick Jagger's lyrical style. What I call "episodic lyrics" is clearly inspired by "Brown Sugar", yet also "Satisfaction" and probably many other songs. As are the rudeness of many lyrics and their weird sexuality, take "chew me up" as an example. I don't think the lyrics of "Sympathy for the Devil" are that typical for Sir Mick, but they obviously had been in my subconscious mind when I wrote "One of seven Billion". You could see my lyrics as a blend of Jagger's text with Cecilia Ahern's book "The time of my Life"(!) that was published in the same year (2011) although I actually read it two years AFTER writing my song.

Maybe there are two lines of development that in the end define my own style. One goes from "Vanity" (my first allegoric song) over "Violet" (ambiguously metaphoric) to "legalize me" and "Mary Jane" (metaphors) and now "Joy". It might be seen as rooted on the Beatles' songs. I also often use similar chord changes in my folk and pop songs. The other line of rude rock lyrics and songs would go from lyrics like "holy Hooker" (about 2001) over "that Girl got Balls" (2012) to "Miss Worry" (2017). This line of songwriting is clearly influenced by the Rolling Stones and sometimes AC/DC. In "Giants fall" (2010) and "One of seven Billion" both lines meet. In addition the latter also tries to convey my philosophical message: "make the most of your life". That is why I consider it my most characteristic song.

I was there when you shit your pants
I fell in love with your first romance
I was the man in your wet dreams
I'm famous for my cunning schemes

I'll be with you when you despair
when you need help I will be there
one day I'm there to show the way
next day I'm leading you astray

live your dream before you wake up
live your life before you die

I kill people
I give birth
I make fortunes
I eat dirt but you see
I just want to be
one of seven billion

I'm your story as yet untold
I'll stay young while you grow old
eventually I'll see you die
but you will never make me cry

live your dream before you wake up
live your life before you die

I kill people
I give birth
I make fortunes
I eat dirt but you see
I just want to be
one of seven billion

let me seduce you
give us a try
let me tease you
give me your smile

live your dream before you wake up
live your life before you die

I kill people
I give birth
I make fortunes
I eat dirt but you see
I just want to be
one of seven billion

make up your mind

Written for Ritchy to his music. See also my former blog entry. I had to rewrite the chorus, but we kept the lines "when will you make up your mind" and "when will you tell me your answer":

we got on like a house on fire
we talked, and we laughed, the time stood still
for an evening

comradeship layered on desire
beneath the surface lurked a thrill
maybe I'm dreaming

should you
think that we shall stay together
would you
please decide this now or never
could you
take me as your friend and your lover

should you
think that we shall stay together
would you
please decide this now or never
could you
take me as your friend and your lover

when will you make up your mind
when will you tell me your answer

are there reasons for your aloofness
when I called (you) you seemed not too keen
to see me

I don't want
to hear foul excuses
you can bet
that I was confused when one day
I received your message

should you
think that we shall stay together
would you
please decide this now or never
could you
take me as your friend and your lover

just tell me where we stand now

should you
think that we shall stay together
would you
please decide this now or never
could you
take me as your friend and your lover

when will you make up your mind
when will I know where we stand
when will you tell me your answer, Babe
when will you tell me how you think 'bout us
when will you make up your mind
when will I know where we stand
when will you tell me your answer, Babe
when will you tell me how you think 'bout us

should you
think that we shall stay together
would you
please decide this now or never
could you
take me as your friend and your lover

just tell me where we stand

should you
think that we shall stay together
would you
please decide this now or never
could you
take me as your friend and your lover

when will you make up your mind
when will you tell me your answer
when will I know where we stand
when will you tell me your answer, Babe
when will you make up your mind

time to think

Written for Robin to his music track. Robin tries to 'pitch' songs to other musicians. Many try this, hardly anybody with success. Today you have to have connections into the music industry, and you are expected to provide backing tracks that can be used without any modification. Only the singer, the vocal track, is replaced, should you be successful. Providing rough demos with just your voice and a guitar hoping for some A&R manager to listen to your song and suggest it to a star is an approach from the 1970ies and earlier. My friend Craig tried that approach to no avail in spite of his great tunes, solid guitar playing, and wonderful voice. Unfortunately, he is not interested in trying a singer-songwriter career in the country genre himself. Well, Robin DOES provide the backing track as well as required these days, and he DOES have some contacts, so let us wish him luck!

These are (mostly) my words:

we were lovers
we were of one mind
I all yours, and you all mine

we were best friends
one heart and soul
united all along the line

let’s give us time to think
to realise what we feel
I will not give up hope
that you'll be back with me

let’s give us time to think
maybe reshape our lives
I wish with all my heart
that our love revives

time and routine
made our love wear thin
the happy hours became rare

I hope we will
recover common ground
'cause underneath the love's still there

let’s give us time to think
to realise what we feel
I will not give up hope
that you'll be back with me

let’s give us time to think
maybe reshape our lives
I wish with all my heart
that our love can revive

JOY - 49 years to write a simple song?

"Joy" is a simple song that I am very proud of. Its story goes over 49 years - depending how you look at it:

1968 the Beatles published their "white album". On it is a song by John Lennon that intrigued me, it is called "Dear Prudence". Having read his "John Lennon - In his own write", "A Spaniard in the works", and - of course - had heard the rumours about "Lucy in the sky of diamonds" I thought " he must have had something in mind to choose the name "Prudence" of all things. I was sure the song must have been meant to be allegoric or at least ambiguous.

I was wrong, though. The song meant Prudence Farrow who was at Maharishi Mahesh Yogy's ashram together with the Beatles and other famous people. The Beatles though that Prudence might be depressive because she secluded herself from their company. So John wrote a simple song to cheer her up. That's it. No hidden message, no allegory. I only discovered the history of the song a few days ago.

2001 I visited the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) of Vienna. There I was fascinated by a little wooden sculpture called "Vanitas" (Michel Erhart, dating from the 15th century). You can view it from three sides to see various states of a woman's life: young, beautiful girl, grown up woman, and 'old hag' (excuse my French, but you'll get the idea...). I returned several times to marvel at the sculpture. Back home I remembered "Dear Prudence" and decided to write a song about vanity, a term and name that seemed to suggest itself for an allegoric song. Much more so than prudence:

Vanity, you do look old
the smooth skin of your youth got definitely stained
age spots and wrinkles where once a proud beauty reigned
there's no charm and no grace
in your old worn out face
you've lost your good looks - there is no denying
the time you've wasted is why you should be crying
Vanity, it feels so cold


... and so on.

2012
I wrote the lyrics to "Joy".

And a few weeks ago I added the tune.

On the one hand "Joy" is a very simple song, on the other it is all that "Prudence" had meant to me but never was. You'll find obvious references to "Prudence" it its first two verses.

Hey Joy, come and join me
let's fool around and have some fun
it's such a fine day today
so let's get crazy in the sun

Joy, when you smile at me I feel so good
Joy, when we're making love I get so high
Joy, when we're talking I feel understood
Joy, when you're with me then I can fly

Hey Joy, please stay awhile
you put a smile upon my face
you're always carefree as a kid
you make my life gather pace

Joy, when you smile at me I feel so good
Joy, when we're making love I get so high
Joy, when we're talking I feel understood
Joy, when you're with me then I can fly

Hey Joy, don't leave me yet
while you're here the time flies by
when you're around I feel so free
all sorrows fade into the sky

Joy, when you smile at me I feel so good
Joy, when we're making love I get so high
Joy, when we're talking I feel understood
Joy, when you're with me then I can fly

and all sorrows fade into the sky