The River's Badge

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Do Write Music Sometimes

Yea, I like to write about music and make fun of stuff. Cuz that's just what I do. That's how I roll. (Ooh, there are no smiley faces to insert here!)

I don't claim to be a Don Henley or a Rodney Crowell. You see, what they've got that I don't have is a good grasp of melody writing.


And I'll let you in on a little secret about my writing:


I'm extremely limited, in that I am a terrible guitar "strummer", and I don't know very many chords. What this means is, I tend to write melodies around the few chords that I do know. This tends to make my songs boring and unimaginative.
I'm just not of a mind to start suddenly taking guitar lessons, at this point in my life. So, I work with what I have.

But, on the plus side, I can write those Americana songs! Because they basically only use three chords, so I've got that mastered!

So, I'm debuting a new song here, and I welcome your feedback (as if anyone is even reading this, which, of course, I know that no one is. So I guess I'll just give feedback to myself.)

I posted an earlier version of this song on FAWM.org. And I got some amazing responses. I was a bit taken aback, frankly, by the words of praise I received. So, I thought, well, hey! Maybe I'd better actually work on this one a bit.

And, by the by, I have a LOT of unfinished lyrics, so if anyone out there (as if anyone is out there) wants to collab and write a melody to my lyrics, give me a holler.

This song was inspired by an article that was written in National Geographic Magazine, about my home state of North Dakota, and how the towns are turning into, basically, ghost towns. (Oh, "Ghost Town"! That's another song I wrote!)

It's all malarkey, really. I guess no one knows North Dakota except the people who actually live there. But let me tell you, it's a great place to live, and I would move back there in a heartbeat, given the opportunity.

But, again, I have wandered off, far away from the topic at hand.

Anyway, here are the words I wrote, and an admittedly bad rendition of "The Wind Wasted Plain":

She clutched her mama’s old suitcase
As she stepped from the train
Into the ramshackle sunlight
Of the wind wasted plain

For three sleepless days and nights
Her world slipped away
And she closed her eyes to it
The wind wasted plain

With strong lines on paper
He’d asked for her hand
He was a hard worker
And a clean, honest man

Now she looked like a stranger
In the cold window pane
No roses were blooming
On the wind wasted plain

The storm took the barn
Didn’t even leave rain
The hail took the barley
The bank took his name

The time came to pack up
What little remained
And start life away from
The wind wasted plain

On this warm July Sunday
The kids loaded up
Her chair in the back of
Her grandson’s new truck

And they drove down that
Old road where dreams had been lain
To the dusty reminders
On the wind wasted plain

In the sun-casted shadow
Of the goldenrod stain
The years fell as tears on
The wind wasted plain
















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