Showing posts with label songwriting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label songwriting. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Life's Phases


I've had a lot of interests in my (okay, long) life. Ninety-nine per cent of them involved the creative arts. I think that derived from the fact that I spent most of my time as a young child alone, with nothing but my imagination for company. I was a middle child, with much older and much younger siblings. My mom had her first child at age nineteen, me at thirty, and my youngest sister at thirty-seven. My oldest sister's first-born son is but one year younger than my little sister.

So, in the winter our basement was my playroom. I played teacher to my dolls and even a priest serving Mass. Upstairs in my room I lip-synced to records in my bedroom mirror. Summers were spent walking along country paths or exploring our little grove of trees, most of the time making up songs in my head and singing them to the birds. If anybody ever asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said "teacher" (which I sort of actually became). What I didn't tell them was "singer". That was too preposterous for even a naive little girl to utter.

I grew up and stopped singing. I had a couple of stops along the way ~ a western trio with two of my cousins when I was nine, a one-time reel-to-reel recording of myself singing three-part harmony to Silver Wings, which I admit wasn't bad, but also wasn't the hardest song to tackle. I never sang again, except along to my car radio, until I was forty-five. My songwriter husband said something to the effect that "you can write; why not try to write a song?" I accepted the challenge, wrote my first song and then my husband recorded me singing it. I wasn't terrible, but I wasn't all that good. I did manage to stay on key without any hocus pocus auto-tune, though. It kind of snowballed from there. I wrote songs like crazy, most of them horrible, until I hit my stride and wrote a bunch of good ones. And my voice got better ~ stronger. It's amazing what a shot of confidence can do.

Around nine years ago I quit writing songs. It wasn't a conscious decision. I did FAWM (February Album Writing Month) for four years, which is a songwriting challenge, the goal being to write fourteen songs in twenty-eight days. All fifty-six songs I wrote weren't awful, but they were a labor, and not of love. I think our band actually recorded one of them. The only reason I did FAWM was that I had no new ideas and I was hoping the nudge would spark my creativity. It didn't. That's when I quit. 

I didn't quit because I was a failure, because I wasn't. I simply lost interest. I think some pursuits have a shelf life. Songwriting is not like collecting stamps, or baseball cards, where there's always a new quest to pursue. A songwriter's quest is only what her mind can conjure, and honestly, I'd already said all I had to say.

I've had a few creative pursuits in my life. Photography was a huge one for me for about ten years. I still like it, but I don't walk around looking for subjects to frame. I was a crafter even longer than that. I tried getting back into it a couple of years ago, but again the desire simply wasn't there. Think it's not creative to raise and nurture houseplants? Well, it is, lemme tell ya. I did that for a time and I accumulated quite the collection; maybe fifteen or so. But after a time the thrill of keeping them all alive dissipated. 

So, after I finally abandoned songwriting, I returned to my tried and true ~ writing prose. I wrote a memoir and briefly published it before I realized that I was intruding on others' private lives, so I took it down. But that project led to (so far) three novels and three novellas. 

I now view songwriting as a fork in the road, one that led to mystical, exhilarating sights, yes, but ultimately bumped up against a dead end. I still don't regret the detour, though. Every single thing one does teaches them something.

I think I might hang on to this fiction pursuit for a while. But if I run out of ideas, I'll find something else.

I always do.


Friday, April 26, 2019

What Inspires Creativity?

If I could live wherever I chose, I'd live by water. Not a brambly river bank, but near a cool blue lake, where I could stroll on the sand swathed in the rolling fog, my cheeks caressed by tiny droplets of spray.

Some people are inspired by mountains; others love getting lost in a dense forest. For me it's water, but a special kind of water. Not a dinky mid-Minnesota freshwater pool inhabited by leaping sunfish, but a BIG lake with a murky, mysterious history ~ Lake Superior, to be exact. Gordon Lightfoot will tell you ~ the skies of November turn gloomy there.

Lake Superior is my special place, a place tucked in the creases of my memory that I reclaim from time to time. It exists in the same state where I live, yet it's a whole world away, like nirvana chanced upon in the midst of a parched field of prairie grass.

I've ambled along the Lake Walk and spied painters, their easels braced into divots of grass, staining the canvas with splotches of sky blue and green and ash. I don't linger long, but I come away with the impression these people are true artists. They could be talentless hacks from The Joy Of Painting school for all I know, but they sure look like artists.

I wrote a song once as I lounged on a chaise beside the shore of Lake Superior. The words were good, but the song itself, unfortunately, turned into one of those airy Graham Nash ditties (he spent far too much time by the water). I also journaled a lot, which degenerated into amateur pencil drawings of trees. I, unbelievably, was blocked. And with all that nature surrounding me!

The bottom line is, one can be inspired, but don't look for miracles. It's not the place that incites creativity; it's the mind. I could write a better song about My Lake sitting in my desk chair in a stuffy bedroom than I ever did when I had the whole tableau before me.

So, what inspires creativity? It's part memory, part craving; but mostly it's simply long slog ~ elbow grease.

I still wish I lived by the Big Lake, though.


My Lake Superior song:

A better song:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


I write about my life here on this blog a lot, mostly to try to make sense of it. I wasn't unique, growing up in a dysfunctional household -- every kid has his own story -- but my story is mine. I think I write a lot, too, because I was there, but I wasn't there; if that makes any sense. I was so busy trying to survive that I forgot to remember myself. This makes things difficult when I try to look back. Music is my prompt. Maybe that's why music holds such a dear place in my heart. It helps me remember me.

I wrote my autobiography and published it for a while. Then I unpublished it because I was embarrassed. I'm not really a sharing person. I wrote it for me and then realized that I told my story so well that it could be worth someone's time to read. Then I reconsidered. The point isn't to have somebody tell me that I write well. The point is to get the words down. If I was to re-write it for publication, it wouldn't be totally honest. I'm not on board with that.

I used to write songs. Used to. My husband is a songwriter and he doesn't understand why I am not flinging song after song out into the universe. Songwriting for me was a phase. I've had lots of phases in my life. I'd latch onto something and be completely immersed in it for a couple of years, sort of how my dad liked certain foods so much he ate them exclusively until he didn't. Everything is essentially finite. For years I made counted cross-stitch pictures; framed them, hung them on the wall, gave them away as gifts. Maybe for ten years in total. Then I stopped. I got tired of it. I don't know why. Crafting was a balm for me. Songwriting was like that. I did it for more than ten years, but I slowly slipped out of the need to do it. Now I don't do anything -- except blog.

The reason I bring up my songwriting is that I realized tonight that I wrote my whole life in my songs. Which leads me to wonder why I've spent so many hours putting words to paper. My husband put together a CD of our early stuff, songs I haven't heard in years. Most of them were autobiographical. Maybe that's why I stopped. Maybe I'd said all there was to say.

So, tonight instead of embedding my favorite top forty videos, I thought I would share some of my own.

I've written about the time I lived at my uncle's bar, Triple Service when I was nine years old and how that experience shaped me. When one is nine, pretty much any experience will shape them. As a farm kid, moving to a "town", which Triple Service actually wasn't in, was the absolute most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. And it granted me my life-long love affair with bars. Things like that imprint on one's mind. Had I moved to a restaurant that exclusively served spaghetti and meatballs, well, I would be in love with Italian cuisine. It doesn't take much for kids...

Ghost Town is sort of about Triple Service, too. In my early forties, I traveled back to Lisbon, North Dakota, to try to find it. The building was still there, but it was lost and forlorn. The gas pumps were no more. The building was a big white blob. The big red letters that spelled out TRIPLE SERVICE had been torn down sometime in the sixties. Somebody in town told me that the premises was now an Eagles Club or something. Well, when I traveled down the lonely road and finally found it, nobody was parked in the lot. I guess the Eagles weren't a burgeoning enterprise in Lisbon. The only remnant, the only shard that told me I was in the right place was the bulging propane tank that still squatted at the far end of the abandoned rectangle.

I wrote a song about my dad, too, once I finally reconciled inside my brain everything that had happened. It took me a long time, decades, to see things from a perspective other than my own. Actually, it didn't happen until my dad was gone. I was so proud of my dad for getting treatment (that took) for his alcoholism. I'd endured his first two failed attempts as a teenager and had eventually turned against him and banished him from my consciousness.  I gave up on him and owned up to the fact that he didn't give a damn about anyone or anything except Johnny Walker. Age has a way of bestowing wisdom:

Too, I wrote about my first real job and the new dysfunctional family I'd inherited. In our little microfilm office in the back of the Vital Statistics Department, three of us sat and traced over ancient birth and marriage records to ready them for filming. And we smoked and listened to AM radio. And Gordon Lightfoot sent a dire warning through the radio's speakers:

I wrote a lot of songs, most of which don't have accompanying videos, because I didn't much feel like creating them. Which leads me to my "lazy" song. I will not deny that I was a lazy kid. My husband played a VHS tape once of family memories, and there I was, lying back on a chaise lounge, my head propped on my elbow, looking for all the world like the most bored child in the world. I was mostly bored, I'll admit, but that's really no excuse for laziness. Apparently I was waiting for the world to come to me. It actually never did. 

I'm still waiting.
This was supposed to be a dub vocal, but we never got around to doing it right. I'll chalk it up to laziness:

This is my favorite song of all I've written.

You can take the girl out of sloth, but you can't take the sloth out of the girl.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Small Town Living

Our experiment in small-town living didn't last long.

Don't get me wrong; we loved the town, but hated the commute.

I don't know exactly what possessed us to buy a house in Rockford, which was 25 miles from my workplace, and even further from my husband's.  On a winding two-lane blacktop.  I think it was the lure of the quiet.

We looked at the house, and it was fine.  It needed work!  But overall it was a nice simple house.

But it wasn't the house.  It was the ambience.  The Crow River was but a few footsteps outside our front door.  And leading to the Crow was a huge, mostly deserted city park.  We'd walk across a couple of quiet street corners, and up the hill to the park and down the graveled trail to the river.  I don't know if we ever crossed paths with one single person on those walks.

The Crow was a pretty, meandering river, most of the time.  But during the spring that we lived in Rockford, it became angry and effusive. It overtook the second major throughway out of town, and we'd walk up to the edge of it and marvel at its insistence.

Rockford had 3,484 inhabitants when we lived there.  That's a nice, small town.  It didn't offer a whole lot in terms of amenities.  It had an A and W Root Beer store.  Remember those?  It had a couple of convenience stores on the outskirts.  It had a mostly empty shopping mall, in which some brave soul decided to open a book store while we lived there in town.  Sadly, the guy had only a few books and no customers.  We walked in one day, and perused the shelves, and pretended to be really interested in his offerings, but alas, we walked out without making a purchase.  I always felt really bad for that guy.  His book store didn't last long.

The little mall did have what I guess one would call a "general store".  Sort of like a Ben Franklin, only locally owned.  I love stores like that!  One can find the neatest curios in those stores; nothing that could be found anywhere else.  One-of-a-kinds.  I bought all manner of knick knacks there.

Just down the street from us was Virgin's Furniture (and, oddly, video rental store).  Again, Virgin's had unique furniture pieces that could not be found elsewhere.  I bought my mauve gliding rocker at Virgin's (pronounced Vir-GEENS; embarrassingly not, "VIR-gins", like we mistakenly thought).  We also bought other furniture pieces there, and we, sadly, only still have a couple of those.  We'd also rent our Friday night VHS movies at the store.  And then we'd drive over to the locally-owned convenience store and buy Subway sandwiches at the counter way in the back.

Every Tuesday night, we'd visit the local library, which was tiny!  It was just a hop and a skip from our house.  I kinda liked that it was tiny.  Too many choices can leave one feeling confused and frustrated.  At Rockford's library, we took what we could find, and returning our checkouts was a breeze.  No hassle.  A short walk down the street, and voila!

One late Friday night, we took a tentative walk through the Rockford cemetery, which, again, was but two blocks from our home.  It was mystical; eerie.

In daylight, I took endless pictures of the town's landmarks.   There was a small-town bar, which reminded me so much of my Uncle Howard's place from long ago.  I think this one was called the Red Vest.  We went there once.  Ordered a beer; bellied up to the bar; and that was the first and last time we ever saw the inside of the place.

We walked our dog, Henry, down underneath the stone bridge to the river, sat down on a log, and proceeded to be attacked by killer bees.  Neither of us (not to mention Henry) had ever been stung by a bee in all our years of living, but we found out that evening that we could live through it!  The vicious bee attack didn't kill us!

A glorious wonder of nature existed there; south, and across the railroad tracks and up about three miles; it was called Lake Rebecca.  One of the prettiest lakes I've seen in all my life.  And it was just there; alone; seemingly isolated, undiscovered.  Not really, though.  It was popular; in fact, hugely popular.  It was just that we had never chanced to ride our bicycles there at a time when picnic-ers and mommies with floatation-equipped babies happened to drop by.

And speaking of husband seemingly had the good bike.  I had the crappy one.  We'd bought our bikes at a garage sale, and apparently I drew the short straw.  He'd be riding so far ahead of me that I would lose him if he happened to finesse a curve in the road.  He made me think I was a weakling; a shirker.  Those rides to Lake Rebecca would have been so much more enjoyable to me if I'd had something that would have actually propelled me forward.  I actually had to stop at times; alight from the evil two-wheeler and walk around a bit until I re-found my breath.

One of the neat things about living in a small town is that one can walk the streets and explore.  There were always interesting new things for us to discover.

We could likewise drive the country roads and experience a bit of forgotten Americana.

We were somewhat curious about a bar along the main street in town; one that apparently attracted bikers from far and wide.  Some Saturdays, there would be Harleys parked extremely neatly, one by one, in a polite formation, along the block in front of that place.  Again, we walked in one time.  I ordered a Diet Coke.  I think I also used the pay phone.  And then we left.  We just really wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

We switched our banking to the Bank of Rockford.  That seemed only reasonable.  We wanted to attain that small town spirit, after all.  The Bank of Rockford was but two blocks down a deserted street from our home.

Everything was close.  Really close.  We loved it, but we came to detest it.

We loved the atmosphere.  Hated the small-town-mindedness.  The obtrusiveness, and yet the possessiveness.   The only shop keeper who ever made us feel welcome was the Pakistani owner of the convenience store.  I guess he knew what it felt like to be an outsider, too.

My husband had never experienced a small town.  I had.  I knew what existed below the surface. 

For FAWM 2008, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek song called, Leaving Rockford.  Here are the lyrics:

I’m leavin’ Rockford
It’s the bane of my existence
This might sound harsh
But I think there’s somethin’ missin’

You can say ain’t it quaint
There’s only one traffic light
And you don’t have to be afraid
To be out on the street at night

But let me tell you there’s some serious
Passive aggression goin’ on
Sure they smile to your face
Don’t turn your back
They’ll strike you down

I’m leavin’ Rockford
It’s been nothin’ but a heartache
Don’t wanna end up diving
Head-first in Rebecca Lake

You can say oh I wish
I could trade my life with yours
It’s so tidy and maintained
And you’ve got pretty little stores

But let me tell you there are stories
Here even I don’t want to know
My neighbor’s holdin’ secret
Meetings in his gazebo

I’m leavin’ Rockford
With what’s left of my resilience
I’ll get on my knees
When I pass the city limits

If you read an ad for a nice
Two-bedroom number
And you think it sounds really
Sweet and unencumbered
Please buy it, I need the money
To move on

©   2008   Michelle Anderson

I also wrote another song about Rockford, although I purposely obscured the details.  It's called "Rundown Town":

Things never change
In this rundown town
Except it gets more
Run down

People disappear
And they never come back
And the store windows
Are black

They say why you don’t you go
I say hell if I know
Is it any better someplace else

The devil that you know
Might not give a real good show
But I’ve determined life
Is just like that

I walk down the streets
Of this rundown town
I can close my eyes
And know the way

From time to time somebody goes
Leaves little curios behind
I pick them up  
And haul them away

They say why don’t you go
I say hell if I know
It don’t feel like this is my day  

The cracks are getting deeper
And my bones startin’ to moan
But I’ve determined life
Is just that way

©  Michelle Anderson  08-19-11

So, I have kind of a love-hate relationship with the town, obviously.  But I wouldn't, for the world, change the fact that we lived there, we loved it; we sometimes hated it.

And I will never regret it or forget it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Everything's Been Said

My husband told me to write a protest song.  So I did.  I don't like it.  But at least I can say I wrote one song in 2012.

The trouble is, the songs I write when I'm pissed off are ugly to me.  I want to write something pretty.  If I write something.

Everything has been said.  It's been said the same way, with minor variations, ten zillion times.

Thus, the old axiom comes into play.  PLEASE YOURSELF.

This whole music thing is just a scam; a delusion.  Everybody wants to get rich off their music.  Nobody's getting rich.  Nobody is making one thin dime.

Neil Young is recording old folk tunes.  Just like Springsteen did awhile back.  "This Land Is Your Land"?  I sang that in my third grade music recital.  And just as good as Neil does it.  Maybe better.

Even Neil Young has forgone his Harvest Moon days.  If Roy Orbison was alive today, he'd be recording Diane Warren songs.

Because it's all been done.

I think maybe music has an expiration date.  After, say, sometime in the late nineteen eighties, music expired.  Like sour milk.

Why do we all keep going back to the trough of "oldies music"?  Because that's the last time music was good.

I was reading an article in Entertainment Weekly (which is becoming increasingly irrelevant to me), about this HUGE hit song, "Call Me Maybe".  It's supposedly one of the best songs ever created, in the annals of all mankind.

So, curiosity got the best of me, and I checked out the song on YouTube.  I'm always on the lookout for good new music.

What the hell?  

The article went on and on about how this song got wedged into everyone's brain, and they couldn't shake it, no matter how hard they tried.

I couldn't recite one line of that song to you now, if my life depended on it.

This is what passes for genius nowadays?

You be the judge:

I take it, one just has to come up with a three-word hook, and the world will beat a path to their door.

I could probably cobble something together like that, but geez, I just don't want to.

I want to say something, not necessarily profound, but meaningful.  At least to me.

That's where the "please yourself" mantra comes into play. 

If I was to write a song, it would be something pleasing to my ear.  It would be personal.  Not universal, because what is universality nowadays, but another word for crap?

I prefer something like:

I have seen the morning burning
Golden on the mountain in the sky
Achin' with the feelin' of the freedom
Of an eagle when she flies

Neil may have abandoned his Harvest Moon days for oddly-construed renditions of Oh Susanna, but not me. 

The next song I write will be something nice; something that makes me happy to sing it.

And I will make millions of dollars.  In my imagination.  But that's okay. 

I'm going to go old school.  When people wrote songs for the love of music.  Not for the love of riches.

When all bets are off, that's the time when inspiration soars.

I've got no one to let down, except myself.  I don't intend to do that.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Just Completed A Songwriter Survey

I'd completely forgotten that I had completed a songwriter's survey back in 2009.  It was called a "songwriting, health and well-being" survey, conducted by somebody with a "Dr." in front of his name in Hertfordshire, UK.

Interestingly, one of my very first "fake CD's: was this:

So, I apparently have a kinship with this doctor ~ doctor of psychology, I might add.

This week, I received a follow-up email, asking for my participation once again.

So, I said, okay, I'm bored.  Let's take a look at this.

The survey began by asking if I'd had any life-changing events in the past couple of years.


Then it went on to list a bunch of medical conditions, and asked how severely I suffered from any of them (in the past month).

I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with songwriting, but I did tell him about my allergies.

One of the questions was in regard to "irritability".  Well, who doesn't have that??  I have that at least once a day!  I don't necessarily think that's a medical condition.  I just think it's a byproduct of living in this world.

For example, I had a severe bout of irritability on Friday, when our system went down for three freakin' hours at work.

In fact, I was so irritable, I made a video cartoon of the whole situation:

The IS Guy
by: MichelleAnd

So, Dr. Mindbender, don't blame me for my irritability.  But take it for what it's worth.  I don't think I've written any irritable songs, ever, because that would just irritate me, and why would I want to irritate myself?  That would take all the fun out of writing (which isn't all that much fun to begin with).

But, it's all hocus-pocus, I'm sure.  I'm sure that the good doctor can somehow connect the dots of my song lyrics with some sort of malady that I am apparently suffering from.  Although, again, an allergic rash cannot really account for any of the songs I've written.  That I know of.

The survey also asked questions about "how I feel about myself".  Am I hyper-critical?  Well, yea!  Do I call myself names?  If "idiot" and "imbecile" are names, yes.  Doesn't everybody do that?  At least when they completely screw something up?  That seems normal to me.

Not that I want to "cut myself", as one of the questions asked.  I'm not insane.  I'm just your normal, average, insecure person.  And being the practical gal that I am, I wouldn't want to have to clean up the mess, frankly.

Do I "crave close relationships, but not trust that people will be there for me?"  Oh, blah blah blah.  I'm not nineteen.  I think I can pretty much handle whatever happens to come my way, at this point in my life.  If not, I think I need to go back and start over.

Do I "like myself"?  Well, sure.  I like myself okay.  I'm used to myself.  I don't really have any other frame of reference.  I've lived with myself for fifty-six-and-three-fourths years, so, yes, I'm comfortable.  I'm really kind of over that whole "examine one's life" sort of thing, for the most part.  I strive to be a better person, yes, but I've had a long time to get used to myself, and changes, if any miraculously occur, will be minimal.

The last part of the survey, however, was sort of fun.  It asked me to paste 10 song lyrics that I'd written since I'd completed the survey in 2009.

I honestly don't keep track anymore, so I had to exclude some of my better lyrics, because I had apparently written them before the cutoff, although they seem relatively new to me, so I'm either in a time warp or I'm suffering from some sort of song amnesia.

And, to make matters worse, the songs I wrote for FAWM in 2010, I never transferred to a word doc.  They're all handwritten in a spiral notebook.

The survey asked how many songs I'd written since 2009, and I guesstimated 40, which is pretty good, considering that I haven't written a song in over a year.

So, I kind of scanned my song lyrics, to narrow my choices down to 10, and I found that I had a bunch of good ones.  Too bad the actual songs aren't that good.  But the lyrics are grand-ish.

Being mindful of that fact that this was a psychologist asking the questions, I looked for some kind of hidden motivation or my lyrics.

Granted, the majority of my lyrics are either wistful or sad, but aren't most songs??  I mean, how many happy songs does one hear anyway?  Other than "Walkin' On Sunshine"?

But it was still kind of fun to look back, and, it's not an MMPI test, but I get what the guy (sorry, doctor) is looking for.  Some sort of window into the soul, or the psyche.

I ended up including about eight sad songs, and two happy ones.  That seems about right.

Here's a sad one:


There's an ice storm
Gettin' close, they say
You better get on in
This cold don't look
Like it will subside

Lock your windows
Latch the door behind
It creeps in silently
It gets into your bones
Into your mind

Ice storms, quiet storms
Crackin' hearts in two
Ice storms don't warn
Look out for me and you

You can see it
Through the window panes
When they leave their shades undrawn
They didn't see the chill
'Til it came on

As he sits there
Starin' silently
While she hides away upstairs
They wonder if they ever even cared

Ice storms, quiet storms
Crackin' hearts in two
Ice storms don't warn
Look out for me and you

Pull the covers over, babe
We're gonna keep us warm
Stay inside and we'll be fine
We can fight the storm
We can fight the storm

Ice storms, quiet storms
Crackin' hearts in two
Ice storms don't warn
Look out for me and you

Look out for me and you


Here's a happy one:


Tall lemonade
In the shade of the tree
No one around
‘Cept the birds and me
It’s a cool, cool day
Wastin’ my time away

Puffy white clouds
On a pallet of blue
Conspire with me
For a daydream or two
It’s a cool, cool day
Wastin’ my time away

Everybody says
You gotta do somethin’
I know that’s not true
If somethin’ means nothin’
I’m on board
Cuz that’s what I’m gonna do

The bees go about
Their work silently
I don’t bother them
They don’t bother with me
We’re sharin’ the flowers
While I’m wasting my time away

Everybody says
You must do somethin’
I know that’s not true
If somethin’ means nothin’
Then I’m on board
And that’s what I’m gonna do

The sun’s wavin’’ goodbye
On an orange halo
I think I’ll linger awhile
I’m not ready to go
It’s been a perfect day
Wastin’ my time away


I think the motivation, oftentimes, for a songwriter, is to write in the present.   And if I am sad, wistful, or if I am irritable, what better way to vent than in a song?  It's not that I don't write some happy songs, but, frankly, those are written out of either boredom or desperation, or out of the effects of a couple of drinks.

For the record, I was feeling sort of lazy, so I didn't do an in-depth analysis of the best all-time lyrics that I ever wrote.  I tend to go by "feel", because you know those artistic folks.  They don't actually "think".  They just "feel".  But these felt right.

NOTE:  Feel free to stop reading here.  I'm mainly including these other eight songs, because I never actually transcribed the lyrics anywhere, and I kinda would like to have access to them.

Here are the other eight.  The recordings are horrible.  One must possess the patience of a saint to actually listen to them. 


I feel like I’m lost
In a thousand towns
Where nobody wants to know my name
Hard as I knock
The doors hold their locks
And it keeps getting’ colder every day

I said your sign says friendly town
They said, that means to each other
The shades are drawn, I don’t belong
I guess I’ll move along

It’s time to right what’s turned out to be wrong

I feel like I’m lost
In a thousand towns
Where nobody wants to know my name
Hard as I knock
The doors hold their locks
It’s time to start all over again

My bag never was unpacked
That simplifies the goin’
I’d say my goodbyes
But no one’s here to tell
I won’t forget this little slice of hell

I feel like I’m lost
In a thousand towns
Where nobody wants to know my name
Don’t change your locks
I’m not gonna knock
You won’t have to see me again

©  Michelle Anderson  2010


It’s two o’clock
And I’m still awake
And I don’t know why
I’m up so late
I got the wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ ‘round blues

I’m gonna hate myself
When it’s five a.m.
And I’m blurrin’ the lines
Between live and dead
Sure hate those wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ around blues

I blame you
It’s almost three
You don’t what
What you’re doin’ to me

It’s time for me
To go to bed
I gotta get you
Outta my head
I got the wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ ‘round blues

I blame you
Cuz now it’s four
I just can take
This anymore

Nighty night
It’ll be a short night’s sleep
It’s not even worth
Botherin’ the sheep
I got the wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ ‘round blues

Wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ ‘round blues



Broken hearts
Missing parts
Feels undone

Muddy skies
Empty eyes
See no one

Never sung
Never begun
When you’re only one

Turn away from hope
It’s fadin’
Can’t go on like this
Much more

Tell yourself lies
Say it’s all right
To be on your own

Cold dark hurts
Dreams desert
And you’re all alone


RUNDOWN TOWN (Yes, I like "towns")

Things never change
In this rundown town
Except it gets more
Run down

People disappear
And they never come back
And the store windows
Are black

They say why you don’t you go
I say hell if I know
Is it any better someplace else

The devil that you know
Might not give a real good show
But I’ve determined life
Is just like that

I walk down the streets
Of this rundown town
I can close my eyes
And know the way

From time to time somebody goes
Leaves little curios behind
I pick them up  
And haul them away

They say why don’t you go
I say hell if I know
It don’t feel like this is my day  

The cracks are getting deeper
And my bones startin’ to moan
But I’ve determined life
Is just that way

©  Michelle Anderson  08-19-11


Words can hurt
Silence costs
You’re lost in anger
I'm just lost

Another day
Another ride
Too lonely, too hurt
To even cry

Can’t say
I’ve stopped trying
I still need to understand
Doesn’t matter
To an unclasped hand

You just might
Say that you love me
But tonight

Chalk up the day
I’ll be a stone
You don’t want me
I’ll leave you alone

Can’t say
I’ve stopped trying
I still need to understand
Doesn’t matter
To an unclasped hand

I’ve done something
I don’t know
Does it matter
I’ll fall asleep alone

Words hurt
Silence costs
I’m feeling
Feeling so lost

© Michelle Anderson 02-18-11


There’s a place I want to take you
Tonight, somewhere so quiet
Away from the house, past the windbreak trees
Nobody knows this place but me

Hold my hand, I’ll guide you
Through the low-hanging branches
That long ago stepped back, a path
They made for nights like this

Stars tumble from an envelope of sky
A blackbird tilts across the moon
I can be anything at all here
Somehow I always knew
What I’d choose to be is
Alone with you

The breeze brushes across your face
Enough to blow the stars in
In the fields lying fallow
Our bare feet kiss the ground

Nestled by this cottonwood
Is a clutch of red wildflowers
Would you mind if I picked
This one for you

As the stars tumble from an envelope of sky
A blackbird tilts across the moon
I can be anything at all here
Somehow I always knew
What I’d choose to be is
Alone with you

No one has ever seen it
Quite like this
All I'm needin’ now
Is your soft kiss

Stars tumble from an envelope of sky
A blackbird tilts across the moon
I can be anything at all here
Somehow I always knew
What I’d choose to be is
Alone with you

© Michelle Anderson 02-19-11


 My best friend has gone away
I wonder where she is
I wonder if she’s singin’ out
Like she always did

Road tales, imposed travails
Intersecting lines
But now she left with no farewell
And I’m cryin’ why

Yesterday I saw
Somethin’ that made me laugh
Then I looked around and realized
Nobody else would understand

My best friend’s still dancin’ ‘round
It’s just with someone else
She’s prob’ly laughin’ at me now
Knowin’ she’ll see me again

But I miss her



I rolled with you down that road
A hundred miles ago
As we grazed that prairie sky

Songs would fade to static there
The sky it was so dark
And we traced the midnight line

All those years I was your biggest fan
But maybe now it’s time to say goodnight
It hurts to hold on endlessly
Even after all these years I still can’t smile

You left your guitar just lying there
No one dared pick it up
So I thought maybe I would

No stones, no thrones, just flesh and bone
And livin’ for a song
Capturing time when it was good

All those years I was your biggest fan
But the pain, it never goes away
I can’t go on like this endlessly
Maybe we should decide to say goodbye

They can say they knew you well, all right
But you and I both know
How the stars glowed on those dark prairie nights

©  Michelle Anderson  2010

It was fun, I admit, to look back.  It almost makes me want to write again.  Almost.

And if I was to psychoanalyze myself, I would say, well, she's a syrupy sentimentalist, with underlying feelings of rejection,  She tends to dwell on the dark side of relationships; yet, she has an optimist's eye for the healing power of nature.

And she's lazy.


Sunday, February 5, 2012


I'm a big booster of FAWM, which is why I'm posting tonight.

FAWM stands for February Album Writing Month.

The goal is to write 14 songs in 28 days; or seeing that this happens to be a leap year, 14 and a half songs in 29 days.

A lot of people don't get the concept of FAWM. I participated in FAWM for the last three years, and I've heard comments such as, "The songs come when they come"; "I don't believe in forcing yourself to write a bunch of songs in a month".

Well, the songwriting skill is the same as any other. Practice it, and you get better. Wait for "inspiration" and it may never come.

What FAWM forces one to do is to stop self-editing. By its nature, it prohibits that kind of thought. Because you have to get them written...all fourteen of a finite period of time.

Self-editing is the death knell for artistic people. We're an insecure lot as it is. Left to our own devices, we could chew on a song for a year, and it still wouldn't be good enough.

Hey, it's just a song. We writers need to get over ourselves.

The reason I am not participating in FAWM this year is; (a) I don't really write anymore; and (b) I sort of forgot about it.

And here it is (as I write this), February 4. That's four lost days, and I'm not of a mind to try to make those up.

As a writer (or as any artistic person), although we're a solitary bunch, most of us find that having a supportive community of like-minded dreamers is really helpful. And one of the best things about FAWM is their discussion board. One finds people who speak the same language, which is an epiphany in itself.

Ever try explaining, or even mentioning, songwriting to someone who thinks you're some kind of crude alien being? I have. I've actually seen the glazed look in their eyes; their minds beginning to drift off, to things that make a bagel or an online shopping site.

They think we're weirdos.

Which is why I don't talk about writing.

Well, except here.

I miss writing (music).

But I think I miss FAWM more.

FAWM'ers don't look at the results so much as they look at the journey.

I would say that in the three years that I completed the challenge, I probably wrote two good songs. Seriously. And fourteen times three equals 42 songs. That's less than five hundredths of a per cent success rate. Sad.

But I'm not sad about it. I learned stuff; stuff about myself, and stuff about songwriting. Too bad I don't put it into practice now, but never say never.

I can go back and listen to those songs, and remember exactly what I was feeling, and what I was thinking, when I wrote every single one of them. Those are memories that have meaning to me. Just me. But did I say songwriting is a solitary existence? If I didn't, well, it is.

Why did I stop? I was repeating myself too much. And I can't play, and I'm frustrated that I can't play, and that I don't know enough chords to change things up. I reached the limits of my abilities. And my desire.

Some time away from songwriting is probably what I need. I pass my guitar in the hall twenty times a day, and I never once have the urge to pick it up. I'm a pseudo-songwriter.

I love music. That's why I write this blog.

I once thought that I wanted to be part of the music. I don't know now. Maybe I am just supposed to be an historian of the music.

You're maybe wondering about those two songs. The two good ones.

The story behind the songs is probably only interesting to the person who wrote them. But I'll tell you my story anyway.

Well, it was a cold February day (duh!), and we'd had a coating of ice. Ice is the worst! Give me snow; give me cold. Just don't give me ice. Ever try driving on that? Well, don't! Just stay home!

I was sitting on my loveseat with my guitar, and I was looking out the window (at the lovely ice coating on all the trees and on the sidewalk). And I thought, hmmm, ice storm. That could be a good metaphor for a relationship.

And I wanted to write something reminiscent of the Eagles, because I love the Eagles. And I think Don Henley is a very clever writer.

So, all that stuff was going through my mind, and I sat there on the loveseat with my spiral notebook and my guitar, and I worked the whole day getting that song the way I wanted it.

And the finished product was Ice Storms. Sorry; no video. I had a video, but I took it down for some reason. I'm very insecure about my singing. I'm thinking that's why.

Wastin' My Time Away
was written on an evening when I was feeling serene and happy.

What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking about seeing Paul McCartney in concert, and him doing a tribute to George Harrison, on the ukelele. This is sort of my Paul McC song.

I wrote the song in the key of D, which is a happy chord. The song came really fast. I wrote the lyrics in probably less than half an hour. But that's the kind of song it is, isn't it? Nothing too profound.

I like this song, because it's the me that I like being. We never did a proper recording of it, because sometimes things just get lost in the shuffle, you know? There are three of us in this band, and we have to take our turns.

Looking back, I'm pretty happy with these two songs. These two five hundredths of a per cent.

You know, Paul Simon wrote a lot of songs that no one has heard, too. We only march out the good ones. We're not stupid.

But I've got all my FAWM songs online, just for me. Just to have them in one place, so if I want to go back and relive the FAWM days, I can do it. Nobody else listens to them; nor would I expect anyone to.

To me, even the bad ones are cool. But I guess you'd have to know the story behind them.

Anyway, it's still not too late, songwriters! Head on over to FAWM and join up! I'm still reading the discussion boards, so I'm with you all in spirit! And who knows? Maybe next year...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame 2011 Inductees

(Somehow, it seems like there should be an apostrophe in there someplace, but I guess it's technically correct).

Still, maybe "Songwriter's" (although that would only be ONE songwriter). How about "Songwriters'"? It's the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. It belongs to them.

Sorry, I'm off on a tangent before I even start.

Well, the latest inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame were honored on October 16. (I bet it was in Nashville, right? It would be sort of counter-productive if it was held someplace else: "The latest inductees into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame were honored today in Wichita, Kansas."

I guess it was quite the gala, although from the paucity of information posted on YouTube, one would never know it. Maybe it was one of those "secret" inductions.

Well, their secret is unsafe with me! Because I somehow found out about it.

The 2011 inductees make up quite a lofty group. In researching the songs written by these guys, I find that they've written a whole bunch! Granted, most of them I haven't heard of, but that's my problem; not theirs.

And really, is it quantity or quality that matters? I say, quality. Because you could write one monster hit song, and there you go! Retire! And then, while you're lolling about in your mansion, and someone stops by and asks, "Hey, let me hear some of your other songs!", you could slap a CD on the player (or hand them a set of little tiny earbuds and make them listen through your iphone, but that's sort of awkward). And they'd listen for awhile, and then mutter, "Geez, you were really lucky to get that ONE big hit, weren't you?" But you wouldn't really be that offended, because after all, you have lots of MONEY! So, what do you care?

So, in trying to single out ONE big hit song from each of the non-performing songwriters, I shot for ones that I was at least familiar with. If you care to do the research to find out what other 4999 songs each of them wrote, well, it's pretty easy. Google is your friend.

John Bettis

I'm not going to quibble that the majority of songs John Bettis wrote are pop songs. Because he is obviously quite capable of writing a country song (as evidenced below). And you know, maybe he lives in Nashville. It's not the "Country Songwriters Hall of Fame" anyway.

Thom Schuyler

Let me just say that I really hate this performance by Kenny Rogers, especially because I love this song. I don't know what's up, but it seems like Kenny just wants to hurry up and get it over with. Why bother? Yes, Kenny, I know you've sung this song thirteen million times, and you're sick of it, but we're not.

Nevertheless, here it is:

Here's how it's supposed to go:

Allen Shamblin

Okay, okay. I just included this video in a recent blog post, but my goodness! If I'm going to pick an Allen Shamblin song, it's going to be this one! And Allen wrote a lot of good ones!


Okay, Allen gets two, because I also really like this song, and I haven't heard it in ages. This was co-written with Mike Reid:

Allen, of course (as if I knew this), wrote "The House That Built Me", which they tell me was a pretty big hit. DORK CONFESSION: Today, when I found it on YouTube, was the first time I'd ever heard that song. Seriously. But you know I don't listen to country radio. I'm more of a music historian than a hipster.

Anyway, my point in bringing this up is that, when you listen to all three of these songs, you see that Allen Shamblin has a soul. Unlike the majority of hit songwriters these days. Unless by "soul", you mean "wallet".

I like them, and I don't apologizing for liking them. Perhaps these songs are a perfect counterpoint to today's songs written by the likes of pseudo-songwriters such as Taylor Swift (And yes, I've heard them. I had to do research for a previous post, so I had to listen to them). You know, songs about, why do you have to be so mean to me? So touching. Really. I hear my church is adding that one to the hymnal.

Don't get me wrong. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame likes "wallet soul", too. That's why they named Taylor Swift their songwriter of the year.

But on we go, to other more important people.

The two performing songwriters who were honored are somewhat familiar names in the music industry. I heard that they each had a couple of hit songs, and have been able to make a comfortable living for themselves.

Okay, the thing about this guy, which is irritating for a music video blogger, is that, yes, he's a nice guy and all, but he's really stingy about allowing his music videos to be shared. I don't know why; that's his business. But this does narrow my options.

I have found a couple, though:

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks - If Tomorrow Never Comes by romans34

Okay, that's it. Sorry. And that last one wasn't even a performance video. It was just a compilation of clips. Look Garth, if you want to get ahead in this business, you're going to have to let bloggers like me help to promote your music. I'm giving you this advice for your own good. I'm sure you'd like to have a little house out in Oklahoma one day, and not have to work anymore. Maybe grow a little garden. All that can be done! But you have to let me help you.

Unlike Garth Brooks, this next guy, you can find all the music videos you want! Nice! Thanks! This, however, creates a different problem. I don't want this post to be three miles long, so I have to pick two, or at the most, three.

By the way, I thought I would insert a plug here for a great music resource: All Music. This is a comprehensive site, and one does not have to wonder about the accuracy of the information here, unlike my old standby, which starts with the letter "W". Sometimes, with W, I have to surf over to another site to verify whether W is lying to me or not.

Alan Jackson

No video for "There Goes", which happens to be my favorite Alan Jackson song, but I also like this one a lot:

Quite a stellar group indeed. All five of these gentlemen are deserving of this honor. And it was fun to stroll down memory lane and revisit some of these songs. I find that there are so many great, great songs that have been almost forgotten, that when I get a chance to hear them again, they sound almost new. That's one of the joys of music.

So, out of these five songwriters, two are my favorites. You already know who one of them is, and I'm not revealing my other. I wouldn't want the other guys to feel like "runners-up". (And yea, I'm positive it would really, really hurt, considering that they just got inducted into a hall of fame and they're rich and they get to accost visitors to their mansions with an ipod filled with songs they've written). But still, I don't want to be uncouth.

I will note, however, that points have been deducted for the sparseness of available music videos. Just sayin'.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thoughts On My Singer-Songwriter Series

I wonder how many people in this world consider themselves to be songwriters.

I'm thinking there's a lot.

I've so far featured three singer-songwriters. Three damn good ones. (Not to confuse you. You've only read about two, but trust me, I've written about three. It's just all out of order, because, well, that's how I roll, apparently).

How many damn good ones are there? I'll say you can count them on the fingers of two hands. Okay, maybe three. But how many people actually have three hands?

I don't think songwriting is like a puzzle. It's not as if you can work on it long enough and hard enough to crack it.

You either have it or you don't.

Yes, I've used that phrase every time I've posted one of my "episodes". That's because it's true.

I've called myself a songwriter for about nine years or so. And I'm thinking, nuts to that. I'm not going to crack the code.

Unlike Radney Foster, I haven't written 25-50 songs per year. I frankly don't have the subject matter. Some years, in fact, I probably wrote two. If it wasn't for FAWM, I would be sitting at about number 13 at this point.

Oh, it's not for lack of desire.

It's for lack of ability.

I'm not trying to discourage anyone. But I will say, write for yourself.

If you like it, that's really the only point there is. I still really like some of mine; not most of them, but some. I guess you had to be there (ha); you know, in my subconscious, to really "get them'. That's, I guess, the problem.

I don't even know what it is about us that makes us want to do this. It's not for commerce. Because that would be the most doomed business enterprise ever created.

Can you imagine a storefront advertising songs for sale? Nobody would stop in. Or, if they did stop in, they'd say, oh, that's okay; I'm just browsing. And then they'd surreptitiously make their way over to the door, and slither out.

There you'd be, following them around, wearing your nice white apron, asking, "Is there something I can help you with?" And they'd murmur, "I was just looking for something bright and shiny; you know, something I can dance to".

"Well, I've got this song about love and loss", you'd say. "Oh, that's okay. I was kind of looking for something different. A little variety. I'm not really in the mood for love and loss today. I've already got a bunch of that at home."

"Well, let me just play you this one. You'll like it, I think."

Then strum, strum, strum. Your three-minute intro.

And you look up, and they're gone. Out the door.

You mutter to yourself, I don't know what people want. Maybe I should have stayed in customer service. Maybe starting my own songwriting business wasn't such a great idea. I guess people just don't understand greatness.

At this point in my songwriting career (okay, I can call it a career if I want), I look at the songs I've written sort of like a diary. I think maybe only one or two of them are completely fictional.

I read something that another songwriter wrote on one of those songwriter sites, and I'm paraphrasing, because I'm really too lazy to go back and re-read it, but he said that every song he wrote had some personal truth in it, even if he had to go back afterwards and cover up all the tell-tale signs. I kind of like that.

Songwriters (at least the un-schlocky ones) are really telling their life stories.

The problem with that, commercially, is that most people don't care about other people's life stories. Not really. Even if you know somebody really well, you are sort of interested, but not as interested as you are in your own life.

So, it's the rare (again, count 'em on three hands, if you have them) songwriter who can transcend that complete and utter disinterest, and invoke some kind of recognition in the listener's mind.

Either that, or the songs need to have a catchy beat.

I can go either way on that.

I'm being semi-facetious, but not really. For what is music, really, if not entertainment? What's wrong with a nonsense song that's infectious? I've got some of those guilty pleasures in my music collection, and I really like them.

That same songwriter that I referenced earlier (I think I'll call him "Jed") likes to talk about hearing music that touches his soul, or something like that. And I like that sometimes.

But sometimes, I've had a really crappy day, or a crappy week. My husband has lost his job (like a quarter of the population, apparently), and I'm worried about stuff like paying our bills, and insurance, and how we will survive when we're old; that kind of fun stuff. And I don't really want to hear some singer crying about...well, anything. I don't need to listen to some sad song to make me feel sad. I'm already sad. I just want to forget my troubles for one measly hour of my life and hear something fun and mindless.

And, come to think of it, the few songs of mine that people say they actually like are those kinds of songs. Entertainment. No offense to Jed, but I don't think the majority of people want to wallow.

So, what is the point of this post?

Well, it's two-fold. Listening to great songwriters (and so far, there have been three, but there are many more to come), I realize that this just isn't the gig for me.

I'm at a crossroads, and the road I'm traveling on right now is leading me toward just writing, but not songwriting.

Maybe I'll change my mind later (probably), when I'm in a better frame of mind. But I'm thinking, why keep beating my head against the wall? It's giving me a real headache, and I've got enough headaches already.

The other point is, let's have fun!

I'm going to search my music collection for "fun" songs, and post a few here and now. The week has been long and difficult (for you, too?), so it's time to kick back.

(Thank you, Dwight. I can always count on Dwight).

(Thank you, George. I used to always be able to count on George).

(Thanks, Marty. You're a rock.)

I know I posted this one before, but I don't care! If you don't like this one, well, I guess you just don't like country, and you just don't care, and you just don't really know what real country music is. Pity.

(My four go-to guys: Dwight, George, Marty, and Mark. George, you're moving further down my list, but you still have time to rise to the challenge. I haven't given up on you yet; at least not completely).

We're not done.

And while we're having fun, and throwing caution to the wind, let's not forget this one:

Tomorrow (or sometime) I will post the sad songs. But not tonight.

Don't forget, songwriters, that music is entertainment. We all just want to feel better; forget our troubles. So, while you're pouring out your guts, and lamenting your life circumstance, everybody else doesn't want to think about that.

I think that's the best advice I can give.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Singer-Songwriter Series

I am fascinated by good songwriters, although, alas, I am not one. I'm not even sure I want to be one, at this point. A songwriter, I mean. I didn't mean that I wouldn't want to be a good songwriter. That would just be dumb.

I have thought about what makes a good songwriter.

And I believe the answer is.....nothing.

I know this will fly in the face of all those people who want you to part with your money; you know, to become a good songwriter. I have probably single-handedly just killed off a bunch of new start-ups, but c'mon; really. You know, Hank Williams didn't go to "songwriting school".

I think either you have it or you don't.

Oh, I'm not saying you can't get better. My theory is, one can get better at pretty much anything, except math.

But "better" is a far cry from "good".

So, my criteria for what makes a good songwriter are these:

1. Intelligence (both lyrical and melodic)
2. Having something to say (surprise!)

Okay, that about sums it up.

Therefore, I tonight begin my series, "The Singer-Songwriter". This is not to snub the non-singing songwriters, but let's face it.....Unless you're a celebrity, you really don't matter (ha).

No, I may at some point feature some non-singing songwriters. In fact, I'm sure I will. And I'm not really sure which category Kris Kristofferson belongs in (I'm just teasing Kris).

And I'm going with my favorites, because this is my blog, and thus, my prerogative.

So, Singer-Songwriter #1 is Don Henley.

It's quite an honor, I know, Don, to be the debuting star of this series, and I'm sure you'll just be all crabby about it, and think it's part of some conspiracy, and wonder where your share of the earnings are, but really it's an honor just to be nominated. Isn't it?

(Okay, let's get this out of way right now: Don is not making it easy for me to feature him, because the Eagles notoriously do not make their videso available online. Therefore, we're going with the bootlegs and other assorted things that I can find. Thanks, Don.)

But let's start where we should start, shall we?

The Eagles - Tequila Sunrise (Live 2008) by goldrausch

Hotel California- The Eagles by dream_ks

The Eagles - Desperado (Live) by cavapanon

The Eagles - I Can't Tell You Why Live by rvdgu2006

My favorite, and I apologize for the poor video quality:

The Eagles - New Kid In Town (Live) HQ by goldrausch

Eagles-Take It to the Limit-Houston 1976 by hansonataint

My new theme song!....

No performance video of this, but let's talk about cutting right to the heart of the matter (yea, I get the irony of what I just said):

We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde
Comes on at 5
She can tell you about the plane crash
With a gleam in her eye
It's interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry

(c) Don Henley

Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn’t have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
When happily ever after fails
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly
But I know a place where we can go
That’s still untouched by man
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They’re beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie
But I know a place where we can go
And was away this sin
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair spill all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
Who knows how long this will last
Now we’ve come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us
I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss
And let me take a long last look
Before we say good bye
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

(c) Don Henley

Listen and learn, wannabe songwriters. This is your competition.

Regardless of what the Dude says, I love the Eagles. And Don Henley. A good choice, if I do say so myself, for the first featured singer-songwriter in my series.