bittersweet, Songs, Uncategorized, Video Recording

Song: “The Prize”

“The Prize”

Behind the Song

When I began writing this song, I had a very different idea in mind. I started off with the line “Don’t go picking petty fights / with you people you call friends.” I was going to sing about how easy it is to get angry at the people we love and admire — particularly heroes — when they fail to live up to our lofty expectations.

I’ve felt that way about people I admire. I get all jazzed about a set of ideas they propound …. then I find something I don’t like so much … feel disillusioned … and finally, stew in my piquant juices of anger and judgment. So I thought I’d write a song to myself about it.

But I couldn’t get the song to gel. And as I filled my song journal with different versions, I scribbled down “release your grip / on your painted sword.” Interesting. That led to the image of “armor” — i.e. emotional armor — that we grow in order to protect us from getting hurt.

So I reworked the song top-to-bottom with that idea in mind.

Plus, now I have a song that mentions a sword, armor, and a castle. My ten-year-old self approves.

Just a little on the dark side

Lyrics

You forged a suit of armor
when you were just a child.
It kept you safe from the devils in the wild.

But now you're at the castle,
you've reached your journey's end.
But with that visor down, you can't tell foe from friend.

Release your sword
let it clatter to the ground
there's no enemies around
you're safe and sound.

Strip the armor from your chest
you won't need it anymore
if you wanna fit through that door
that takes you to
the prize.

You say they're out to get you,
that I am just naive,
seeing fairies in my land of make-believe.

But I'm not saying there's no monsters,
I'm not saying there's no pain.
I'm saying you can find companions in the rain.

Release your sword
let it clatter to the ground
there's no enemies around
you're safe and sound.

Strip the armor from your chest
you won't need it anymore
if you wanna fit through that door
that takes you to
the prize.

Let me drop the other shoe:
your love will leave you blue;
sometimes you'll hurt so bad you'll swear you'll drown.
But don't you know that it will pass?
The dark skies never last.
And when dawn comes you'll be glad you stuck around.

Your steed can smell the stables,
it's stomping for a rest.
So drop the reins, and you'll complete your quest.

There's music in the courtyard,
dancing in the hall.
The gate is open, there's no need to storm the wall.

Release your sword
let it clatter to the ground
there's no enemies around
you're safe and sound.

Strip the armor from your chest
you won't need it anymore
if you wanna fit through that door
that takes you to
the prize.
Songs, Sweet, Uncategorized, Video Recording

Song: “Happy Independence Day”

“Happy Independence Day”

Behind the Song

We didn’t brave the crowds at our town’s 4th of July Parade this year. Maybe next year once the kids get the vaccine.

So we threw a parade in our backyard. I improvised this song as we marched, then added a few stanzas today.

It’s a light, celebratory, hopeful kind of 4th of July song.

Lyrics

Happy fourth of July,
let your rocket fly.
Hear the freedom ring as we say,
Happy, happy Independence Day,
Happy, happy Independence Day.

Happy fourth of July,
raise your flag up high.
Watch the colors dance about and play.
Happy, happy Independence Day,
Happy, happy Independence Day.

Happy fourth of July,
hold your head up high.
As we widen freedom's mighty way.
Happy, happy Independence Day,
Happy, happy Independence Day.
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.