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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

Business as usual, or "the same procedure as every year"

I'm working on two projects at the moment. Ritchy sent a complete track with "da da dam" standing for the lyrics. Marcell only sent the chorus part. His track already has got dummy lyrics which is easier to work with because the text also covers the intonation so I don't have to listen to the track all the time. That is why I wrote a dummy text for Ritchy's chorus as well. It goes:

Hey you,
can you come along and tell me
something
can you come along and tell me
something
something that I never have heard of

something that I need to hear
something that I want to hear again


... and it became

darling
I could be you friend forever
sweetheart
your decision now or never
beloved
I can't stand the wait any longer

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


Remember? That's my 'template method', i.e. using nonsense text as a template for the final one.

If Ritchy likes the chorus I will continue working on the verses and additonal parts that I have no term for (not 'bridge', anyway; maybe 'tag'? I read that term somewhere...).

Meanwhile I will try coming up with some lines for Marcell.

Did I mention that I normally begin with writing the chorus, and then go from there? Oh yes, of course, I did ;-)

FolkBernd live

An innkeeper suggested that I perform in his restaurant. Since there is no band backing me I said it would have to be acoustic, and I might need to rehearse a lot so my fingers would get used to the 12-string guitar, so it might be a while... Meanwhile my finger tips developed calluses so playing the thin steel strings doesn't hurt any more. Meanwhile I can play about 15 songs, maybe not by heart, but so they sound acceptable. I modified two pop songs and one rock ballad so they can be played as acoustic songs, the others have been acoustic from the beginning. Apart from playing my songs I will also read lyrics that have been used by others or not been set to music yet. Anyhow, on the 27th of September I will play live to an audience for the very first time in my life!

Here are impressions from my rehearsals: FolkBernd live at home

FolkBernd live at home: Joy
My latest song. The lyrics are from 2012, but set to music ten days ago.

FolkBernd live at home: summer time

FolkBernd live at home: glad that you're here
This is one of the pop tunes that could easily converted into an acoustic song.