Sunday, September 4, 2011

Song #3 For My Concept Album ~ "The Gray & The Blue"


A cardinal rule of songwriting is that one must be disciplined.

You will find none of that here.

With a long weekend, I sort of wanted to write a song, and I sort of didn't want to write a song.

I was putting laundry away, when the phrase "Hell on Wheels" popped into my brain out of nowhere.

So, I sat down and started noodling around on the guitar, and came up with a few lines. Then I just got silly. I chalk it up to lack of sleep. I, after all, worked long and hard last night to write what turns out to be, in the cruel light of day, a really mediocre song.

Well, that's how it goes, doesn't it? You toss a handful of spaghetti against the wall, and see what sticks.

SOURCE: When cooking spaghetti, if you toss a noddle at the wall and it's not fully cooked yet, it will fall off.

My song #2 was not quite fully cooked.

(And I just realize that I wrote, "noodling" around on the guitar. What a lame-ass I am.)

So, herewith, the lack of discipline part. I was being silly, and just kept coming up with scenarios that made me laugh, and then I had to put them into some kind of rhyming form.

And then the song kept getting longer and longer. It could have become a tome, if I hadn't stopped it at some point. (So, I guess there was a tiny amount of discipline involved, at least in the stopping).

Sadly, and ironically, when I was trying to record the song, I had to shrink the view a bit, in order to fit the lyrics on one page, and then I had to back away from the mic, so my guitar wouldn't be too loud, and then I realized that I couldn't read the lyrics from that far away.

So, I fully understand and appreciate the challenges of getting older. But, I guess, that's what this whole concept thing is all about.

To make a long story short (too late!), here is Hell On Wheels:

They say I’m hell on wheels
I don’t know how I feel
When they say that

Drivin’ in my car
Everything’s too far
And I can’t stand that

But Hell is someplace
I don’t wanna go
And why would I
Want to get there faster

I don’t understand
That analogy
But I wish they’d stop pointin’
And laughin’

Pickin’ up prescriptions
I just have conniptions
It takes so long

Then I gotta get the mail
It seems it never fails
That postman’s so wrong

I beat him to the mailbox
Every day
It’s just at the corner
Of my street

I gotta take the Olds
And fire it up
Four on the floor
And heavy feet

But I just still don’t get it
I know I’d be acquitted
By the jury

They’d look at my license
Say, you’re seventy-five
You’re in a hurry

My motto is go faster
Than your age
You don’t get outta this world alive

The church ladies called for some more
Casseroles
So that explains the way I drive

They say I’m hell on wheels
But they’ll know how it feels
One day
Trust me
Yes, they will

© MICHELLE ANDERSON 09-04-11









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