Songs, Sweet, Video Recording

Song: “I Dreamt of Superman”

“I Dreamt of Superman”

I have received a lot of Superman birthday cards over the years, probably close to two dozen. And that’s fine with me.

My friends and family know I was a passionate lover of superheroes in my boyhood, and Superman was “the key, the granddaddy of them all.”

Why?

He is powerful, yes.

He is good, yes.

And he is full of purpose.

Maybe just a hint of melancholy

Lyrics

I dreamt of Superman again last night,
he was flying through a pale blue morning sky.
The rising sun set fire to the 'S' upon his chest,
and struck a searching glint from his eye.

Where are you flying to, Man of Steel?
Who needs saving today?
The Last Son of Krypton bursts from the earth,
blazing the hero's golden way.

Now I'm not a hero, I can barely help myself;
I never mastered any martial art.
But when I think of his enduring toil, with no thought of earning spoil,
a flicker ignites my frozen heart.

Where are you flying to, Man of Steel?
Who needs saving today?
The Last Son of Krypton bursts from the earth,
blazing the hero's golden way.

Maybe we've got heroes hiding in our breast,
brave like the man with the high red boots.
Maybe we can fly with our feet upon the ground,
and inspire in our ordinary suits.

Where are you flying to, Man of Steel?
Who needs saving today?
The Last Son of Krypton bursts from the earth,
blazing the hero's golden way.
Songs, Video Recording

Song: “Gravity”


“Gravity”

I was sitting in traffic on a Friday, driving to pick up groceries at QFC, when this line came into my head: “I am helpless when I fall into your eyes.”

My first instinct was to write a song about love-sick obsession, where the singer’s love is not requited. That’s something I haven’t felt in a long time, if ever. I don’t like the idea of that kind of dependency either — so why should I write a song about it?

So I worked on a version that made it about a person coming to grips with being in a relationship. I wrote it metaphorically, staging the song as a journey; first, falling from the sky; second, washing up on a shore; third, climbing a hill; fourth, descending into a valley. Different stages of a relationship.

I finished the song, but it felt “blah” to me.

So I went back to the original concept: obsession and dependency. It’s not really the song I wanted to write, but it’s the song that wanted to be written.

I know, I know … that sounds a bit pretentious and artsy-fartsy. But that’s the way it played out. I’m not sure whether to force a song according to a concept or go with my first instinct. Sometimes following my instinct has generated a song that sounds pretty trite. Sometimes pushing myself to think of something fresh has given birth to a better song. I don’t have a rulebook yet.

NOTE: I’ve included the lyrics for the alternate version of the song at the bottom of the page. If you’re interested in hearing a recording of this, let me know in the comments and I’ll record an audio version of it. If you prefer one version over the other, let me know also in the comments.

A little bit of sweetness

Lyrics

I am helpless when I fall into your eyes
I won’t get very far today.
I should go, ’cause we both know
what’ll happen if I stay.

You’ll be the end of me
I’m caught in your gravity
Gonna try to enjoy the ride
And hope that I can make it
out in one piece on the other side.

I am restless when I walk these streets alone
chewing my worries to the bone.
I am reckless to be standing at your door
asking you, begging you for more.

You’ll be the end of me
I’m caught in your gravity
Gonna try to enjoy the ride
And hope that I can make it
out in one piece on the other side.

Why won’t you ever let me stay here?
Why won’t you ever let me say “dear”?
You know I cannot keep on circling
over this barren land,
like a buzzard,
hoping for a helping hand,
like for something small to come crawling out and die.

You say you’ll miss me, when you kiss me,
then you make me watch you walk away.
I am drifting I am spinning in the void,
with no light to find my way.

You’ll be the end of me
I’m caught in your gravity
Gonna try to enjoy the ride
And hope that I can make it
out in one piece on the other side.

Lyrics for the Alternate Version of “Gravity”

I am helpless when I fall into your eyes 
You've got me captive as a moon.
I am streaking through your dark untraveled skies
wrapped in a blazing hot cocoon.

I'm caught in your gravity
held fast to where I want to be.
Though some days I may try to break free,
but always I return to solid ground.

Your tides have swept me up a steep and rocky shore
a wild country I must tame.
So I'm sweating up this mountain in my mind
gotta reach the top to stake my claim.

I'm caught in your gravity
held fast to where I want to be.
Though some days I may try to break free,
but always I return to solid ground.

I am sliding down the slopes of my own way
to a meadow full of green and gold.
I think I'll stay, if that's okay
and watch our afternoon grow old.

I'm caught in your gravity
held fast to where I want to be.
Though some days I may try to break free,
but always I return to solid ground.

Songs, Video Recording

Song: “A Little Fame”

“A Little Fame”

Here’s a cheeky song … with a little basis in biography.

From 8 years old onward, I acted in plays every chance I got. I remember having a conversation with my mom, I think, about whether I should audition for commercials, movies, etc. (We lived in a small town, nowhere near close to major TV/film markets, so it’s not as if I was turning down solid opportunities. But the effort could have been made.)

If I remember right, I said something like “no, I’ll keep on acting in local plays. Have a normal childhood. Then I can get famous when I’m older.”

Now, much older, I don’t have too many star-studded dreams anymore, and I’m pretty much fine with it. (I’d like to share my songs … but not so sure about being in the spotlight.) But every so often I get the itch to stand at the center of a stage with all eyes on me. This song takes that little urge, embiggens it, and has some fun.

Not really bittersweet … but I don’t have a flavor for “cheeky.” Hmmm … maybe salty? Taffy?

Lyrics

I'm glad I wasn't famous 
early in my life.
No refreshing crop of groupies
to spoil me for my wife.

And I'm glad I learned the value
of eking out a wage.
Learned to grin and bear it
and bottle up my rage.

But now I think I'm ready for the movie to begin
Close up on my sparkling blues and my million-dollar grin ...

Ooooh, just a little, Ooooh, just a little,
a little star-struck when they see --
Ooooh, just a little, Ooooh, just a little,
I think I'm ready now
for a little fame
a little fame for little old me.

See I always had the feeling
that I should be a star.
Like everyone should know me,
but like, know me from afar.

When I speak I'd hook my listeners
without the need for a sharper wit.
And I'd just kind of glide off problems
on the wave of my latest hit.

Yes I know I'm ready for the movie to begin
Close up on my sparkling blues and my million-dollar grin ...

Ooooh, just a little, Ooooh, just a little,
a little star-struck when they see --
Ooooh, just a little, Ooooh, just a little,
I think I'm ready now
for a little fame
a little fame for little old me.

Won't I be unhappy with that spotlight in my eyes?
Just hand me a pair of designer shades
and I'll be fine.

Yes, Lord, I am ready for the movie to begin
Close up on my sparkling blues and my million-dollar grin ...

Ooooh, just a little, Ooooh, just a little,
a little star-struck when they see --
Ooooh, just a little, Ooooh, just a little,
I think I'm ready now
for a little fame
a little fame for little old me.

Songs, Video Recording

Song: “Crom”

“Crom”

This song started as an exercise for a lyric class I was taking, and quickly took on a life of its own.

As gods will.

When I was in high school, my best bud Jesse and I got into the musical score for the great and grim film Conan the Barbarian (the Schwarzenegger/Milius version.) The score was composed by Basil Poledouris, who deftly captured (and help create) the archaic, unforgiving, desolate feel of the film.

I wanted to echo that same feeling with this song. And have a little fun while I was at it.

A little sea salt sprinkled in, too

Lyrics

Their gods may be the four great winds 
they may strip my hills to stone.
But I reap the rock and shape it to my will
with blades that splinter bone.

I am Crom
the god of doom.
I shroud the earth in dread
and fields of blood.

If you seek to earn my bloody blessing
I demand a heavy toll.
Your sword will leave many widows weeping
and the price is your soul.

I am Crom
the god of doom.
I shroud the earth in dread
and fields of blood.

I will turn you on my wheel of pain
I will turn your skin to stone.
Your hand will strike down every man
you will trod my earth alone.

I am Crom
the god of doom.
I shroud the earth in dread
and fields of blood.

Why do you call my name?
Beg for me to speak?
Crom feels no pity
for the weak.

You will build your throne on a stack of skulls
their skins will be your cloak.
The world will know you're coming
when they smell the blood and smoke.

I am Crom
the god of doom.
I shroud the earth in dread
and fields of blood.