[2016-11-10] time for a new collection?

I just counted the files in my folder for new lyrics - lyrics, not yet published in an orderly fashion, so to speak. There are 81, minus a few re-writes and one or two co-writes that I must not make available for free use. It looks like a quantity that might be worth being published in a new collection.

[2016-11-08] Ladies...

I had a tune in mind when I wrote the lyrics to "ladies from the past", and I THOUGHT I had the same tune in mind when I recorded the accompaniment. Only after finishing the backing track did I discover that the verses had got to short. One bar at the beginning of the verses seemed to be missing. Therefore, I could either re-record the complete backing track or rewrite the lyrics. I did the latter. And tell you what: they've got better, decidedly better :-)
You'll find the song and its lyrics where you expect to find them.

[2016-10-08] Oops

It happens again and again: when I prepare a backing track I normally have no idea whatsoever as for the tune (voacal line) or text of the resulting song. Only later I try to come up with lyrics that fit in. While writing the lyrics I have a melody in my mind. The surprise comes when I actually try to sing it. Often the pitch is too high. That happened with "stand no chance": everthing's finished except I cannot sing it. Well, I did in the end. In my bass voice. That was not intended, but the only way out ;-)

[2016-09-26] let's bully him

I'd never have thought that anybody would ever pick these lyrics because the first person is a negative character, and the text is cynical. But KOMIR are always good for a surprise ;-)

I was never too happy with the title "let's bully him" because no-one would ever say that. "Give him a hard time", "let's rough him up" are okay, but - for whatever reason- "let's bully him" is not. Neither would you say "let's mob her/him". Both are third person perspectives. On the other hand it creates a distance between singer and lyrics and thus makes it obvious how the lyrics are meant. But it could sound somewhat awkward. I'm not quite sure...
KOMIR: let's bully him

[2016-09-21] Each day and everywhere

This is it:
Each day and everywhere

[2016-09-06] another one for Eric (Yerzhan)

Writing on top of a text you don't understand a single word of feels a bit like doing some puzzle or maybe playing " mastermind". It's fun, actually. I don't have the slightest idea what Eric sings in his Kazakh songs. Most likely my lyrics that I put on top of it like a new layer have nothing at all to do with the original. "Each day and everywhere" is our latest songwriting project.

[2016-09-04] 53 KOMIR songs - plus many more

I discovered two more songs by KOMIR that use my words. That makes it 53 songs - besides their many other songs that use other writers' lyrics. Well, I for my part am proud of the ones that I have contributed to. That's fun, I love it. Keep it up, folks!

[2016-08-15] before & after

My specialty as a hobby lyricist is that I write lyrics to match other people's tunes. Normally, their tunes are presented as Midi tracks (some weird instrument that sticks out of the musical context) or sung syllables ("la la la", "da da da") or nonsense lyrics. Nothing that I could present. But there are rare occasions where the song already exists in some foreign language. "Simorgh" (Phoenix) was Persian, Eric's original tune is sung in Kazakh. As for Eric's song I have no idea what it is about, I simply used the original version as a kind of "template" that indicates how many syllables the lines have and - more important - where the stresses lie. So here is Eric's song, first in the original version, then with my words:
"before"
"after"
my lyrics

[2016-07-19] a RockBernd song without RockBernd lyrics and RockBernd lyrics without a tune

I've had the backing track finished since a little while, but the words were way too nice to make them a RockBernd song. After rewriting the lyrics several times I now have lyrics - "come to life" that I can live with. Still happy-go-lucky love lyrics, but with the little spice that I like in lyrics (I don't like them slimy or obviously sexually ambigous at all - I prefer them straight, yet with a little spice or a hint at something dubious...). After all, it IS a happy-go-lucky song in the manner of "chat me up"

"Do I want to know" is actually more like RockBernd. A bit naughty, a bit mean, you know. There is no music to this text, though. At least not yet. On the other hand there are two more backing tracks...

[2016-07-08] finding words for Alfredo

Alfredo lives in Argentina and creates music. He contacted me because I am used to finding words that match existing tunes where most other lyricists write words hoping that someone might set them to music sometime. Today I completed dummy lyrics that match his tune 100%. They don't make any sense yet but they fit perfectly. Now all that's left to do is find some words that actually do make sense...

[2016-07-06] Phoenix and the psychedelic funfair

After selling or just giving away my guitars, respectively, I bought four new ones. The all feature in two new songs that I recorded at the same time. You can hear "thuddy" the bass guitar, "whitey", the hard rock guitar, and "bluesy", the stratocaster in "Phoenix", whereas "pale, plump Paula", the twelve string features in "psychedelic funfair", a song I wrote for Peter who wrote the lyrics.

[2016-05-14] WELCOME

Hello, my friend,

great that you've found me on my new site (the same old and corny design, I'm afraid; just a new location)!
My old internet provider would not let me keep my domain name. Not out of spite, I think, but rather out of complete incompetence

[2016-04-24] New partners, new lyrics

I've begun writing for Eric from Canada and Hannes from Munich(? not sure). The first four lyrics are currently displayed in the opposite frame. "My infatuation" and "secret spell" match Eric's tunes, "hands up" and "to my advance" Hannes'. The chorus of the latter is Hannes not 'hooky' (catchy) enough, so maybe I'll have to rewrite the lot. As I wrote the chorus first and added fitting verses later it is now difficult to find a completely different chorus without having to rewrite the verses as well. Should I have to rewrite the song I will use what I have as a 'template' for a completely different text as the stresses of "to my advance" match the tune perfectly. That would be my usual working method: write anything that can be complete nonsense but that matches the tune to then replace the words with different ones that actually have some meaning. Except that this time the discarded lyrics would be meaningful themselves - and might be used together with some other music sometime.

[2016-04-11] More lyrics pending

After completing the last song for "Rock Bernd II" I'm now busy writing lyrics for two new partners with six new songs. Does anybody want my 'big blue Berta' (the FolkBernd 12-string guitar)? I'm giving it away after I already sold my Mexican girl (the black Fender Strat, made in Mexico). But don't worry (or hope?) - I'm not giving up creating and playing music - not quite yet ;-)

[2016-03-28] Julie's EP

... has come out. I contributed the lyrics to four out of the six songs: Julie Carpino: My World

[2016-03-06] funfair

This is a novum: Peter asked me to set his lyrics to music. I had always thought that I was the lyricist whose texts should be set to music by someone else... Well, let's give it a try. It may take a while, though, because my wife and I are about to change our place and most of our things are already stored in boxes. Today I've begun to harmonize the meter of the parts that I identify as verses or chorus of a text called "take me to the funfair". The structures and meters of Peter's texts are not exactly conventional. And being a conservative myself...

[2016-03-04] downhill from here

Although I had completed the backing track competed by the end of February I still could not sing it because I caucht cold. I hope I'll remember the tune once I've recovered...

[2016-02-14] at your own risk

I just completed the backing track for "at your own risk" so I can record the vocals next weekend. I also rewrote the verses, I think they're more coherent now. Then I am considering to add yet another song to "Rock Bernd II", most likely I will choose "downhill from here".

[2016-02-13] FolkBernd

I created another Facebook page for "FolkBernd" to present my folk tunes and lyrics that I find particulary suited for folk music. Become a Facebook "fan" if you like. FolkBernd could use a few friends - he doesn't seem to be very popular (or maybe the "invite friends" feature didn't work properly). But never mind, I prefer RockBernd myself ;-)

[2016-02-08] more Rock Bernd songs

After redoing "terminal disease", a song from 2007 or 2008, I'm now creating a backing track for "at your own risk". It's actually the first time that I'm doing 'words first' with regard to my own songs. I read the lyrics while I'm recording the main riff and the accompaniment for the verses to make sure the words fit in. Both songs are meant for "Rock Bernd II", my second - and probably last - rock album. I think I'll add another new song besides "mighty Mom" and "at your own risk" to make it 17 tracks again - nice prime number ;-)

[2016-01-14] mighty Mom

I've completed the lyrics and the backing track. It has got the signature Rock Bernd sound of "chat me up - turn me down", "I have won - I have lost" and others. You can listen to the accompaniment of the chorus on YouTube if you like. Now I only have to sing it.

[2016-01-06] more lyrics in the pipeline

Over the last weeks I've begun writing four more lyrics, none of them ready to be published yet, BUT: "mighty Mom" will definitely become a new song for my next album "Rock Bernd II". Other titles are "we gotta get out" and "she comes across". Ironically the most advanced text does not have a title yet ;-)

[2016-01-06] first good news in the new year

I had not heard from Christian from Italy since a while. The other day he sent his new year greetings together with the information that he will set "no guts, no gain" to music. I had written the lyrics to match some pop tune, yet they were rejected by the singer. Now they will come to life after all as hard rock. I can't tell you how much I love to hear that!

[2015-12-12] personal names in songs

Sometimes I love playing with ambiguous terms. In several lyrics/songs I use personal names that have a second meaning, in "Vanity" I use the word like a name. "Fanny" is one "girl" out of five who share this fate: Vanity, Violet, Mary Jane, Joy, Fanny.
So far there is only one male name I use in that manner, it is "Dick"! The song, that I intend to redo these days goes by the title "dirty Dick"...

[2015-12-07] no secret anymore...

The young singer rejected my lyrics in favor of lyrics written by another young girl that are supposed to better fit her style. Small wonder as I'm nearly 63 - and male, into the bargain! I am quite proud of my idea to blend "no pain, no gain" and "no guts, no glory" to get a title/hook "no guts, no gain". Unfortunately, these lyrics - as many others that I'm writing - have been written to match an existing tune. That actually lessens their chance to be picked by someone else. But you never know...

[2015-11-28] top secret activities

I have been working on pop lyrics these days that I must not talk about. Allegedly I'm indirectly working for some major label whose name I don't even know. Probably the name is also top secret? Anyway, that is why I have posted no new lyrics
Then I've begun collecting songs for a second "Rock Bernd" album SHOULD the first ever make at least 69 dollars so I can re-invest them on CD Baby. I already remixed eleven songs, applying little patches here and there. Two more songs will have to be recorded anew and maybe also rearranged. "Spill blood", that I promoted today (the old mix) is on the list. Right now I remixed "push in". Both worthy Rock Bernd candidates, harsh and naughty. But there will also be a few curiosities. That is, SHOULD there ever be an album. You can help bring it to life by buying the first one: Rock Bernd on CD Baby.

[2015-11-22] A new lyrics collection: Rock Bernd Lyrics

All lyrics from my "album" have been published before. But since they are scattered over several files I decided to provide a separate collection that can be downloaded from the Internet Archive.

[2015-10-17] Have I become a musician?

My alter ego, RockBernd, has come to life. Have I all of a sudden learned to play the guitar properly and become a producer in my own right? Neither, I'm afraid. I simply decided to put the not-too-bad rock pieces in a bundle and sort of test the market. They are still what you'd expect from me: simple, rustic, home-made rock pieces. Over the years there actually have been some people who liked one particular song or the other, now they can buy them in a (technically) better quality than I could offer. Also, I may be reaching people I'd never thought of, like Spotify users or Amazon customers from Japan etc. I would probably buy my own stuff, but fortunately I don't need to.

[2015-09-25] episodical lyrics - 'travelogues'

What I call 'episodical lyrics' Pat Pattison ("Writing better Lyrics") calls 'travelogues'. He says: "A travelogue not only makes for a dull movie, it makes for dull verse development in a lyric." And "There's no real connection (other than the title) between the verses. It's certainly a way to give us a new look at the title, but at the cost of forward momentum and accumulating power and weigth." So this kind of lyrics are crap, aren't they? Although I'd second his note on momentum there might be a reason to actually write this kind of lyrics. Namely, if the essential message sort of lies behind (or under?) the words. My songs or lyrics "lost", "scavengers", right now "downhill from here", and many more are written in that manner. In them the different 'episodes' in the verses not only have something in common with regard to the chorus, yet also (try to) convey a message that lies behind them if you conceive them in combination. Have you got their message? There's actually no need to be aware of my 'hidden' intention, I think the lyrics can even work on a subconcious level.

Pattison, Pat. Writing better Lyrics, 2nd. edition, pages 93, 94

[2015-09-25] "downhill from here" - risky second verse block

Well, the structure of "downhill from here" goes: verse, chorus, verse, verse, chorus... Normally, it should be the other way 'round, two verses in the beginning, only one in the 'block' after the first chorus. Yet I simply could not squeeze the message into such tiny space. On the other hand I did not need a second verse to convey the message of the first part (hiling in the mountains). And then, I could not just swap the parts if I wanted the more dramatic part later after lulling the listeners in the beginning. The music will have to 'fix' this by adding more intensity or change the key, I guess.

[2015-09-11] challenges

Larry is the second (or third if you count Phil, which you shouldn't) 'native' I write for. So I got to watch my English a bit. He's already informed me that 'lurch' - I used 'to be left in the lurch' - is 'not the most pleasant English word'. Oops! Well, actually the main challenge is his music that I had to find words for. I'd call it Jazz. Anyway, it's piano music with rather uncommon song structures. Not a single chorus in three songs! You can find the resulting lyrics on my pages. The titles are "with my eyes closed", "when you're here" and "shadows".

[2015-08-24] I have won - I have lost

Although the chorus may look suspiciously similar to "turn me on - turn me off" it actually was written about three years ago. I discovered it in my "scrap book" when I was searching for lyrics that I could use for my backing track #2015-05. This backing track on the other side is similar to track #2015-04 which may explain things. I've got sort of stuck with this AC/DC guitar sound. It's not as "smashy", though. At the moment I'm working on a gentler sound and riff which later will require different lyrics. Probably more wordy...

[2015-08-21] turn me on - turn me down

A guy from the songstuff board suggested to swap the two half lines "turn me on" and "chat me up" because that way they would make more sense in their context. Obviously, I then also had to change the title. The chorus now goes:

turn me on or turn me down
give me hope or let me drown
chat me up or mess around
turn me on or turn me down

[2015-08-10] chat me up, turn me down

Once I'm in the right mood I'm "working" real fast. Writing and editing the verses so they fit took about one hour, singing the lot, adding effects, and mixing the result took another. Here it is: chat me up, turn me down

[2015-08-09] a chorus for track 2015-04

I completed backing track 2015-04 a while ago, drums, bass and all. Even played the guitar solo. As usual, the vocal line (the tune!) and fitting words have been missing since. Yesterday I listened into the track and came up with lines for the chorus:

chat me up, turn me down
give me hope, let me drown
turn me on, mess around
chat me up, turn me down

Now I simply have to come up with some kind of story that leads up to this chorus. And, of course, the words should also fit into the spaces provided ;-)

[2015-07-20] new lift for "flowers in spring"

My original lift did not quite match Pierre's tune. An upbeat note would have to be added in the first line, whereas two notes in the rest of the same line would have to be omitted. Pierre would also have had to insert a rest (replacing a note) in the third line. Nonetheless, my words seemed to work in my mind, and I even sung a vocal guide for him, but Pierre insisted that the groove would be lost. Therefore, I had to replace the whole part. For semantic reasons I also had to change the second line although the first version actually did work nicely together with the melody.

first version:
the ice melts and harsh words are forgotten
just as soon as the sun's coming out
we remember what we have gotten

accepted version:
time has come that we leave quarrels behind us
celebrate that the sun is coming out
celebrate what now is lying before us

[2015-07-18] writing for the waste paper basket?

I just completed the eighth text for Christian who creates great rock tunes yet lacks a band to perform them... For some reason he insists on female vocals but doesn't seem to find a woman who'd want to sing his stuff. They all rather do covers because doing covers earns you money whereas to present your own original songs you'd first have to build a fan base. I can understand both sides, the creator and the singers. But I do hope he will be able to produce some demos at least so you can hear his wonderful songs!

[2015-07-04] flowers in spring

is the forth song I've written together with Pierre Cannella from Belgium. So far, two have been accepted by singer Julie Carpino, one was rejected. I link to "breaking away from you" from my home page at this moment. Have you already listened to it? Having contributed to this song is something to be proud of, right?

[2015-05-30] sad(?) stuff

My sister wrote a book, "the shock", that she started writing when she was diagnosed with chronic lymphoid leukemia. It inspired me to write first "chocolate bar", and now "how". More serious stuff yet again that belongs in the ever growing "carpe diem" category, I guess.

[2015-05-26] listen to the music

One of these surprises that I love so much: Craig Pavone's version of "listen to the music" has got a sibling.
This is how KOMIR interpret my lyrics: listen to the music
and here is Craig listen to the music

listen to the music
inside yourself
listen to the music
and you'll be well
listen to the music
inside yourself
listen to the music
inside

[2015-05-16] my template method and scrambling eggs

I have used the "template method" for nearly all MotorPlanet lyrics I've written. That's because Holger sings nonsense lyrics to his tunes that I sort of convert into words with some meaning.I adopted the method for other lyrics as well. If I cannot come up with a sensible idea straight away with lines that match the tune or meter I'm supposed to write for I put down some dummy lines that do match to replace them sometime later. If there is already one verse and I have to write another I obviously can simply use the first verse as a template for the next. If there isn't I make something up. It is said that when Paul McCartney composed "Yesterday" he used nonsense lyrics first that began "scrambled eggs ...".

Right now I still have to write a bridge for Christian's song #2015-03-16 ("whatever it's worth"). I even have ideas as for what I want to convey, but I don't have fitting lines right now. So I wrote this filler text:

"how can I look into your eyes
how will I survive tomorrow
I must cry when I think about the sorrows
that I'm causing all my friends"
...

Now I can use these words without having to listen to the music again and again. And I can even work without my computer, just scribbling notes on some napkin or whatever you scribble notes on ;-) This is the tune I'm trying to match:

[2015-05-07] The Lysergic Abstract Concept;

After "deaf'ning silence" and "borderline" Peter Foster has used yet another lyrics by me in his electronic music. This time he chose "Mary Jane" (well, that should fit just fine!). Give it a listen: Mary Jane

[2015-05-07] About rewriting "in a sense"

"In a sense" was originally written to match one of Christian's tunes. After his rejection I used the gained freedom from metric restrictions to rewrite the lyrics. Gavin Sinclair, who had also co-written "bang, you're out", made several cool suggestions.

Before (matching Christian's tune):

in the beginning our love was an adventure
full of ideas and of surprises for each other
but then routine would make us sullen and disgruntled
outbreaks of anger that not always could be smothered

we had so blissful times full of love and joy not one (single) day like the other
yet every other day we would raise a storm till we made up with each other

in a sense we can be proud for the storms we weathered
in a sense I guess it's true that we are still together
in a sense we still may be two birds of a feather
in a sense we still make sense

After (among other changes I added a second verse in the beginning to achieve more room for unfolding the story):

in the beginning our love was an adventure
full of ideas and surprises for each other
in the beginning we had huge plans for our future
a happy couple - and two happy lovers

routine crawled in to make us sullen and disgruntled
we'd argue over everything and trifles
in time our house of fantasy just crumbled
in our minds we reached for guns and rifles

yet
our quarrels rise, our quarrels stop
I love the way we're making up

in a sense we can be proud for the storms we weathered
in a sense I guess it's true that we are still together
in a sense we still fly as two birds of a feather
in a sense we still make sense

[2015-04-27] More lyrics for MotorPlanet and for Christian

Christian, the guy from Italy with the funny name, sent quite a few songs that I'm supposed to find matching lyrics for. "Reach for the stars" are the latest that I completed. Holger from MotorPlanet also sent a piece of music. I wrote "princes waiting to be crowned" - I LOVE that title - to match it. But I only wrote words for half the bridge that I considered too long. Maybe I'll have to deliver the missing part, too, eventually ;-)

[2015-04-27] I should NOT play the guitar

... yet I love it so much. Maybe I just shouldn't record and publish my playing guitar ;-) On the other hand my own songs and my own soloing demonstrate that I actually have alittle feeling for music. That is what makes my lyrics better than the ones from people who do NOT feel the rhythm. I posted my latest guitar solo on YouTube. I played it as part of the "longest guitar solo of the world project" (or so). Maybe I'm just a little presumptous:
I playing the guitar

[2015-04-18] three very different lyrics

Over the last days I discussed, checked, discussed again, and double-checked "making off" that I have written for Christian. The title will become "leave it all behind" because "making off" seems normally not to be used per se but in the context with something stolen or taken (making off with money or so).
During a lunch break I wrote "rock till we drop" that I completed a few hours ago. The title had haunted my mind since quite a while.
Right now I completed "song of life" that I wrote to match Christian's tune 2014-12-06.
Three song texts that are as different as can be and sort of display my range of songwriting.

[2015-04-11] writing for Christian again

The band never came about. So he's now composing for - who? Himself, I guess, hoping to form a new band eventually. I like his music so I will resume writing for him. We're re-writing "making off today" at the moment. It looks like nothing much will be kept except the title (I had only completed the chorus anyway when we cancelled the project).

[2015-03-29] some time way back in the past

It took about 20 minutes to record the vocals. 5 minutes to sing the verses and chorus, and 15 minutes to get the bridge right. You could say the song suits me - whatever that means ;-) It's on SoundClick.

[2015-03-29] HOT MAMA: Re-Earth

It's the very FIRST CD EVER with songs that have my lyrics. AND: it's a fantastic piece of shit. Honestly! Hot Mama's genre - whatever it might be called - is quite definitely not at all MY genre, a genre I'd ever have listened to if it wasn't for my collaboration with Hot Mama. BUT: the way Hot Mama does it I've actually begun to like. It's Sonya's vocals, you know. Normally, some male moron would belch into the mike - that's what I despise. Yet Sonya SINGS the songs, and they all have beautiful melodic parts. Quite a few songs are accessible for free over the internet, so you can form an opinion of your own without having to buy a pig in a poke.

[2015-03-15] come out to play with me

... is the other text meant to match yet another backing track #2015-02. It took me a while to come up with a bridge that had got rather wordy - that is, there was plenty of space to fill... I actually like that what I came up with today turns the lyrics from slightly sleazy to rather romantic ;-) I let the rhymes guide me - as I often do.

[2015-03-08] topline-writing for myself

I could not find any text that would at least halfway match my backing track #2015-01, so I had to do some "topline-writing" again. First I put down how many syllables would be required for each part. The - four - verses would need three syllables in each of the four lines. The chorus would have two lines with two or three syllables in the first part and three or four in the second. The bridge has three times three lines (or three long lines) with five, five, and six or more syllables each.

I put down some dummy lines first like "can't you see / you and me / are history". But aside from being incorrect (it should read "you and I") I found the lines as well as the subject rather trite. Since I felt like doing something ecological I came up with lines like "dig it out / crack the cask / bring it home / do not ask". That's maybe a little forced and clumsy, I admit. But the idea stuck: imagining a situation maybe thousands of years from now where someone digs out nuclear waste. The title will be "some time way back in the past". I'll fine-tune the lyrics when I (try to) sing them.

[2015-03-04] simple and straight lyrics for straight rock music

Every once in a while I hear complaints (from German singers who cannot pronounce the "th") that my lyrics are too wordy, too sophisticated, too complicated, whatever... Well, after listening to AC/DC for a while I first wrote "rock it up, live it up" the other day. Right now I added "rub it"(!) and "don't give in, don't give up" with the same music in mind: "straight in de face". Now it's your turn to get 'em rocking!

[2015-02-14] added a bridge to "I will lay claim to you"

There are certain aspects of songwriting that I do NOT really like. Adding a bridge after a song is done - or was considered done - is one of them.
I just added a bridge to "I will lay claim to you". Had to match the tune into the bargain. It's not THAT bad, though.It actually fits in rather nicely.

[2015-02-07] two projects on hold

I had started working for an Italian composer, Christian from Milano (from the name you couldn't tell that he's Italian). But the guitar player does not accept foreign influences - or whatever you might call it - in the songs of the band. Mind you, not the vocalist (a young lady), nor the composer (Christian), but the guitar player decides about the lyrics. Sometimes I cannot comprehend how musicians tick... I put the projects - "my own life" and "making off today" - on hold as they were written to match Christian's music and to me seem to be difficult to set to other music.

[2015-01-26] Putting finishing touches on three new lyrics

"no reson for jealousy" had to rest for a few days so I could come up with ideas how to make it easier to sing. The measure was simple: cut out a note here and there - done. "I will lay claim to you" needs three more lines for verse two. The meter must be the same as in verse one, of course. That is: "can't wait to see you again", "the nights with you must never end", and "the time with you must never go by" - just with a different text. "options to make mistakes" (I only invented the title right now) await acception or rejection by Christoph, otherwise they're done.

[2015-01-25] Five more songs in my KOMIR-collection

KOMIR have their own website, of course. But since I pride myself on providing an ever growing number of their lyrics I maintain my own KOMIR collection presenting the results of our online-collaboration: on SoundClick. Today I added five new songs.

[2015-01-24] Finding words for Christoph and Pierre

There are several songs in the pipeline to work on. Pierre sent two song drafts for singer Julie that I shall try finding matching words for, Christoph's music has rested a while on my computer - time to start working on that one...

[2015-01-18] MotorPlanet - no more verses for "no worth" after all

The song seems long enough without the additional verses, Holger will have seen to some overlong guitar solo ;-)

[2015-01-11] MotorPlanet - two more verses for "no worth"

MotorPlanet seems to be working on their CD for real this time (it's their third try, I think). In the process "no worth" was considered too short, so we added two verses. Fortunately, it's one of my "episodical" lyrics, meaning that the verses are independent of each other, so adding new content is no big deal.

[2015-01-10] Blues rock

I've begun working for a Russian blues rock guitarist. Blues rock: my favorite genre! He sends tracks including the vocal lines - I try finding matching words. The same worflow as with MotorPlanet. Three songs are currently in the making. Stay tuned for first results!

[2015-01-06] "still there'll be more"

I named my latest lyrics compilation after a Procol Harum song. In 2014 I wrote 60 new lyrics, re-wrote five older songs, and co-wrote seven more. And there will be more, of course, hence the title. I actually mention one particular co-written text in the collection that I worked on early this year, it's called "I ain't gonna let you go tonight" - my first creative thrust this year. All in all there are 400 original lyrics now (not counting the co-writes). I wonder when I will hit the 500..

[2014-12-16] two more songs in the making

After a longer silence I heard from MotorPlanet again. They used two of my oldest - and admittedly rather crappy - lyrics as dummy text for two new songs. We decided to keep the titles and hooks but replace the rest. So there will be two re-writes: "gonna get my share" and "piece of rock". With a little luck one of them - or even both! - will be 'premiered' on their Christmas concert at the 25th of December.

[2014-12-16] breaking away - extended

At least part of the "middle eight" is supposed to be sung, so I had to add some text for the bridge - yet again matching Pierre's tune. First I thought I had got stuck as it can be quite a challange adding to a text that you considered finished. In the end I'm rather proud of my little twist, namely the last two lines:
just pretend it had been you
who had decided to go

[2014-12-13] breaking away

I have begun writing for a Belgian composer who writes for Julie Carpino (great voice - check her out!). Our first shared title might be "breaking away".

[2014-12-13] bang, you're out - cont.

A fellow songwriter, Gavin Sinclair, has made cool suggestions for "bang, you're out" so I will publish a second co-written version. He fortunately agreed to "my" creative commons conditions (BY, NC, SA) - without that the co-written lyrics would have been of little use.

[2014-11-29] rock or bust - rock the place

When ordering the new AC/DC CD and checking out the lyrics of "rock or bust" I felt like writing some straight rock lyrics myself, too. They're not quite as simple as the AC/DC lyrics, and they have got this typical "Harmsen catch" but they should work nicely with some hard rock tune.

[2014-11-29] bang, you're out - refined the meter, added a verse

When I write lyrics I'm "hearing" them sung in my mind. So their meter should be fine. But then, since I don't actually put down the notes or record a tune, they might actually be not that easily set to music for someone else. That's why I decided to "harmonize" the meter of the verses. You can always add a little variation afterwards, for example be scrapping the added (and superfluous) word "just" in the line "who just chose to take the piss" yet again. But it's easier to conceive and match the meter if it's exactly the same all over.

Once working on the lyrics I also added another verse.They seemed rather short, anyway.

[2014-11-24] track 2014-06

I found lyrics for yet another of my completed backing tracks. Browsing my collection "the lot" together with a list of lyrics that have never been set to music so far I dicovered "who is I" which could easily be adapted to match the track. I simply turned the bridge into yet another verse and that was it. Will record the vocals as soon as my voice comes back.

[2014-11-24] bang, you're out - completed

The chorus rested for about 10 weeks on my computer before a few minutes ago I came up with first a first verse, then a second - always easier once the ideas come flowing, and then just added a simple bridge. Done! Enjoy. It's a very typical piece of text, I guess ;-)

[2014-11-24] two more

I've not even yet begun compiling my next collection when two more lyrics kind of jumped into my mind: "Googled" (not quite in the sense the term is normally used), and "Mary Jane". Check them out if you want to enjoy a little weird reading. If you're quick the lyrics are right
<=== there.

[2014-11-06] home

"Home" had rested as a text fragment on my computer long enough. I wrote the verses today to complete the lyrics. Those who know me might notice that it has become a rather untypical Harmsen text...

[2014-11-03] another compilation is due

Since publishing "The Lot" early this year I've written 50 more lyrics. 50 sounds like a cool number to publish yet another lyrics compilation, methinks. I consider naming it "still there'll be more" after a very weird Procul Harum song that I like a lot.

[2014-10-26] rewriting the rewrite

Since "Some go too soon" will not be used in the song I adapted the lyrics to I rewrote the text yet again so now the original bridge, then verse, has become a bridge again. It makes more sense like this - lyrical-wise.

[2014-10-13] green and blue

In the sauna in Böblingen that we visited this morning there is this hot pool in an alcove that has a deep blue colour. In the walls there are displays with green LEDs. This gives the pool a very special atmosphere. That was where I came up with the chorus:

some sort of pink
that's me I think
green and blue
that would be you
up and down
don't make us frown
far and wide
we're side by side

[2014-10-12] topline writing for myself is still okay, I guess ;-)

You may remember that I normally create the backing tracks first when I "write" my own songs. As a result I have to do topline writing for myself to complete them. More often than not I find that I have to write new lyrics as none of my nearly 400 lyrics seem to fit - or at least I never seem to spot the most likely candidate. "push in" is what has become of track 2014-03. Four more tracks are still pending.

[2014-10-11] I guess I ain't working with "producers" no more

After Joe Thompson, who rejected my lyrics because they were too gloomy, now Hamad Arty also rejected my lyrics - because they were NOT gloomy. The joke being that I wrote - or rather adapted - gloomy lyrics for Joe because his tune sounded like that, and I wrote romantic lyrics for Hamad because they seemed to fit his music. Hamad also asked me to delete my recording from SoundClick.

I think I'll stick with writing for performing artists - they seem to better know what they're doing. Not that they wouldn't also reject lyrics every once in a while (both Willie and Jürgen rejected lyrics they found too sophisticated), but they are definitely less bitchy ;-)

[2014-10-11] more topline writing for Hamad Arty

Well, actually only the chorus was "topline-written", Hamad had a vocal line for the verses. At the moment you'll find the song "dance into my life" on the top of my player.

[2014-10-05/06] topline writing for Joe Thompson

It's the first time I've tried to do topline writing for someone else. I adapted "human condition" to make it fit in Joe's backing track and sung a rough demo of the tune I have in mind. Now we're looking for someone else to sing it poperly*, I guess. This is our demo: Some go too soon

* We're not. Joe's comment:
"Your melody works very well, and while I think your lyrics are well written and thought provoking (and, actually, extremely well suited to the melancholic nature of the instrumental), I'm not entirely sure I can hear them reaching my target demographic - the teens and twenty-somethings looking for a bit of distraction on daytime radio."

[2014-10-03] yet another chorus

I haven't got a title. Its working title is "on the news", but that doesn't actually fit as you'll see promptly:

don't worry
don't bother
it can't be real bad
don't worry
don't bother
it cannot be true
as long it hasn't made it on the news

That could become yet another 'episodical' text where the verses describe three different - unpleasant - situations. The comes the - rather cynical - chorus.

[2014-09-29] two lyrics rejected, a new demo recorded

"early morning blues" and "full speed" were rejected by the respective musicians. Too sophisticated words and lines, too much (implied) story-telling in "early morning blues"(!). Anyone out there want to set it to music? I really like its lyrics myself! "Full speed" is probably not worth any more effort - I had tried to re-invent a German song in English. But tunes that work nicely with German lyrics need not go smoothly with English words. The song would have sounded somwewhat weird or clumsy to my own ears... So that's no loss. I never published the lyrics anyway.

Good news: a Spanish rock musician sent a demo for "air to breathe" that simply blew me away! Great singer, great rock music, great stuff! KOMIR had set the lyrics to music before, and then there is my own - admittedly crappy - version, so that makes it three songs to the same lyrics (I intend to redo my version sometime).

[2014-09-07] backing track 2014-03 completed

After the tracks 2014-07 and 2014-05 had become "second sight" and "ask you out", respectively, I added the Midi tracks for bass and drums to my backing track 2014-03 today after having played an additional guitar track to beef up the bridge yesterday. Now I need to come up with a few words for the vocals... And I just note that I seem to be working sort of backwards...

[2014-09-07] four more songs by KOMIR

I added four more songs to my collection of songs by KOMIR (only those songs that use my lyrics, there are many more on their sites that don't): "promised land","no worth", "the answer", and "no more". See: KOMIR on SoundClick or visit their own site (German) directly.

[2014-09-06] bang, you're out

Just the idea for a - somewhat acrid - chorus:
bang, you're out
you had your chance
bang, you're out
you blew it
bang, you're out
you had your dance
bang, you're out
and that's it

[2014-09-05] completed(?) "early morning blues"

I had written first parts for Jürgen a week ago. He had given a few instructions how he wanted the song structured. But as I could not tell verse from chorus(!) I was not quite sure which parts should be repeated and which should tell the story, so I stopped working on the text. There has been no response yet to my query (Jürgen is quite busy performing), so I completed the lyrics now as I see fit. I hope they'll match the song structure Jürgen has in mind. Otherwise I'll just have to start from scratch, I guess.

[2014-08-31] translating or 're-inventing' a song for Willie

"Vollgas" (full throttle) is the title of an older song by Willi. He asked me to write English lyrics for it. Although I am free to change its subject I decided to keep as close as possible to the original song. But the rhymes sort of keep getting in the way. Even if I often find a matching line for the first line of a pair I get stuck with the second that not only has to fit the meter but must also rhyme... I'll keep you updated.

[2014-08-31] I recorded a new tune, and 'fixed' an older one

Well, I actually only recorded the vocals for "ask you out" today after completing the backing track back in April. Since then it resided on my computer as track "2014-05". After having sketched a chorus a couple days ago I wrote the verses yesterday. This afternoon I recorded the vocals.

"Second sight" was first published about ten or twelve days ago. But I was not happy with the calm guitar part that accompanies the verses. I re-recorded this particular guitar part four days ago using a different sound as well. Next I also wanted to improve my singing because I hadn't reached the highest note of the tune. I was in for a disappointment, though - the 'D' is definitely too high for me to sing. The disadvantage with preparing complete backing tracks first is that you cannot alter the pitch easily. I had to sing it anew anyway because I had altered the lyrics as well.

You can find both songs at the top of my player.