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An acoustic Blues for FolkBernd

I'm adding to my live repertoire. This time it's a simple acoustic blues. Lyrics:

Don't be late

you are not quite sure
you feel inscure
things may need more thought
so I will have to wait
Baby, take your time
but don't be late

you need to unwind
and make up your mind
cut the Gordian knot
and stop to hesitate
Baby, take your time
but don't be late

girl, make up your mind
and don't be too late
Baby, read the signs
and don't be late

Baby, I'm a man
I've done what I can
I want to be your lover
and not just your mate
girl, make up your mind
and don't be late

You got to live with rejections

When you write lyrics (or songs) for others it's them who decide if your suggestions meet their expectations. In the end the singer must decide if he/she can identify with the lyrics and sing them. Sonya from Hot Mama, for example, would not sing a text about a woman who declares revenge after having been raped. I quite understood. It would have been tough stuff, not to everybodies taste (in a song). Quite a few of my lyrics never saw the light of day in a song.

As most of my lyrics/songs do NOT make any money, I usually give it two shots. If my second lyrical suggestion is rejected as well I call it quits. The other day I wrote a text for Erjan that was not to his taste. He is from Canada, hence my European flair did not appeal to him, I guess (the Spanish title was his own suggestion):

First version of the chorus (rejected):

fiesta en la playa
we order a Sangria
while marveling at the flamenco show
the thrill, arousal, energy,
and rhythm get us on our feet

bailamos en la playa
we dance the BulerĂ­a
to guitar strumming and the castanets
we dance until the break of dawn
where magic summer days are born


That one was too Spanish. So I wrote a more Caribbean version (accepted):

fiesta en la playa
dance and jambalaya
we let ourselves in for Caribbean vibes
the sea sends a refreshing breeze
we join the dancing party tribe

fiesta en la playa
we are catching fire
we're in a trance, we're mesmerized
we've sailed across the seven seas
to reach this place of unknown highs

to all things living

I wrote "to all things living" a while ago. It is intended - as the title suggests - as a toasting song. Originally I thought that it should have an Irish flair. Somehow that didn't work out, or not quite. Although I often had a melody in mind, I never seemed to remember it. Today I thought of recording what I had in mind this morning. Nothing fancy, mind you, it has become exactly what it was supposed to be. Here is my draft:
to all things living - draft

These are the words (I don't sing the third stanza - I just recorded it to remember the tune):

the salmon hunting bear
the roaring lion's might
the pregnant zebra mare
the small mosquito's bite
here's to all things living

the forests, lush and green
the hunter's sense of smell
the tortoise beetle's sheen
the tiny ocean shell
here's to all things living

the sharp eyed bird of prey
the dog's bark at the moon
the salmon's odyssey
the first spring flower's bloom
here's to all things living

the sly and cunning fox
the black martin's wing
the old, cart-pulling ox
the common nettle's sting
here's to all things living

the beauty of your eye
that beholds my soul
the beauty of your mind
that beholds my soul

making money

I saw her on the corner of the main street
she stood right under the streetlight
wearing high heel boots and a flimsy skirt
because she wanted her bare legs to be seen

she waited for drivers to slow their speed,
size her up, maybe make up their mind,
gape at her tight, low cut faux leather shirt
getting ready to pay for this street corner queen

I asked
what are you doing deep in the night
posing half-nude here in the light
she said
what do you think? You've got one guess.
If you're willing to pay - then be my guest.

I'm making money
making money
the only way I know
making money
making money
the only way I know

a man seemed to take cover in a back lane
and preferring to stay out of sight
hooded jacket, dark colors, and sneakers
he looked a rather dubious shade in the dark

I approached him trying to show no disdain
and also overcoming my fright
he seemed to be waiting for me to speak up
while in his hand he kept dangling a crowbar

I asked
what are you doing deep in the night
hiding yourself outside the light
he said
what do you think? You've got one guess.
If you're willing to die - then be my guest.

I'm making money
making money
the only way I know
making money
making money
the only way I know

I asked a banker, taxi driver
asked a lawyer, and a teacher
a professional deep-sea diver
asked my cleaner, asked a preacher
asked a crook, a politician
asked a mason, a physician

they're making money
making money
the only way they know
they're making money
making money
the only way they know


I've left the irregular meter as is (at least for the time being) because I think I can actually do it in a (rock) song, i.e. find a matching tune and sing it. As you may note I added a bridge in which I mention my favorite profession and target of scorn, the banker, albeit without any hint of irony or sarcasm ;-)

two more parts (or another two part verse) for "making money"

... using the same odd meter, I'm afraid. The meters of the two parts differ slightly (as in the first verse), and the meter of the very last line is 'off' in comparison with the corresponding line of the first part as well as the corresponding second part of the first verse. That is because the line only has three stresses instead of four and also ends on an unstressed syllable. I may have to find a different rhyme or rewrite both corresponding lines. But then, I may have to rewrite the lot ;-)


a man seemed to take cover in a back lane
and preferring to stay out of sight
hooded jacket, dark colors, and sneakers
he looked a rather dubious shade in the dark

I approached him trying to show no disdain
and also overcoming my fright
he seemed to be waiting for me to speak up
while in his hand he kept dangling a crowbar


Did I mention that I always have a tune in my mind when I write? That doesn't mean that I remember the melody when I get back to adding to a text. It means that the rather weird meter DID work at least once (actually I could make it work with a different tune when I edited the first verse). But the lines don't 'flow' particularly well. What to do about it I will decide when I try to sing them for real - or someone else does.

Currently the meter (number of stresse per line) goes:
3 - 3 - 4 - 4 in the first parts
4 - 3 - 4 - 4 in the second (in the second verse - the one above - it is: 4 - 3 - 4 - 3; if you put a stress on "while" it also would be 4 - 3 - 4 - 4, but the last syllable would still be unstressed).