You’ve Got it Bad So Good

In 2023 I’m changing my songwriting pacing from a song a week to a song a month. Partly because I’m now working 30 hours a week at my day job and partly so I can spend more bandwidth working with songs I’ve already written – playing out and recording.

January’s song feels like it should be February’s but oh well, here it is . . .

You can’t think when you’re with that gorgeous soul
You think of nothing else when you’re alone
Oh you’ve got it bad
And it feels so good

There’s a name on repeat in your ears
A face your mind will not let disappear
Oh you’ve got it bad
And it feels so good

Hold it close
Sing it out
Let the whole world feel the truth
Oh, you’re in love
And it’s got you good

Happy Everything!

From my family to you and yours, season’s greetings!

And, here’s a song I wrote in November, recorded in early December, and am posting on my blog late December. My song-a-week pace has certainly slowed this year, and I expect that to continue next year. Shooting for a song a month, which I plan to continue posting here on the blog.

Three Songs in Three Weeks

I have actually written a song each of the last three weeks but didn’t get around to putting them on the blog each week. So here’s a catchup post.

Week 41: An acquaintance was in ICU with COVID the week before I wrote this song. Her husband left her phone with her at the hospital, hoping she would wake and call him. He texted me Sunday afternoon that she had finally woken up and called. I was so touched thinking about that moment, and it (along with the week’s prompt of “too soon”) inspired this song.

Sunday afternoon she woke up
Rolled her body over
Picked up the phone and called to talk to him

Not a moment too soon
This is the right time
No turning back now
Everything unwinds

In the dusky light I heard them
Lovely hungry birds in
Trees where my hands had laid their table out

Not a moment too soon . . .

You there staring at the mirror
Shedding weary tears for
the years that have turned and walked out of your life

Not a moment too soon . . .

you’ve been
too hard

Breathe now, feel your body slow down
Feel the trees below ground
Reaching their roots to feed their leafy crowns

Not a moment comes too soon
This is the right time
No turning back now
Everything unwinds

Week 42: A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, published in 1918. The video features a ceramic candleholder made by my talented niece Eva.

I awoke in the Midsummer not to call night, in the white and the walk of the morning:
The moon, dwindled and thinned to the fringe of a finger-nail held to the candle,
Or paring of paradisaïcal fruit, lovely in waning but lustreless,
Stepped from the stool, drew back from the barrow, of dark Maenefa the mountain;
A cusp still clasped him, a fluke yet fanged him, entangled him, not quit utterly.
This was the prized, the desirable sight, unsought, presented so easily,
Parted me leaf and leaf, divided me, eyelid and eyelid of slumber.

Week 43: Do you name your cars? We do. Our oldest car (randomly dubbed Joe Bryanson by my then-nine-year-old son) deserved a special tribute this week because poor Joe has been through a lot, including getting mugged last week. Bonus track is a voice memo my co-pilot Nathan sent me today, I think he’s working on his own ballad for Joe. You’ll have to watch the video to see/hear the bonus track and maybe understand the depths of Joe’s despair.

I started out in Colorado
in the mountains carrying a
treasure of a woman to a
job she didn’t love
She left me in the foothills with a
Big crack in my windshield and I
Sat there being hopeful I could
still be of some use

I am Joe Bryanson
I’ve been around the block
Mile after mile I have run
I don’t drink much, I’ve got a hitch
I’m such a dream to park
Count on me to get the job done

A couple came from Loveland and they
Laid their money down and made
Me their one and only
And got that big crack fixed
And then a few years later we
Drove across the Great Plains and they
Parked me in a driveway in a
City on the river

I am Joe Bryanson . . .

Soon enough I had to share that
Driveway with a minivan and
Then they turned me over to a
Newly licensed kid
They kicked me to the curb because they
Went and bought a third car that they
Plugged in like a toaster
And babied like a baby

I am Joe Bryanson . . .
But that kid became a treasure of a woman
And she played my radio loud
On her drive to her first job that she just loved
And I felt so young again

But life out on the street, well it’s no
Asphalt bed of ease, I’ve had my
Mirror cracked, my side swiped, I’ve been
Robbed of precious metals
I’m getting near three hundred thousand
Miles and I don’t know just how much
Farther they might let me go
But I just keep on truckin’

I am Joe Bryanson . . .

Baby Mine

When I was a child, I discovered my baby book – a scrapbook that was sent home with my mother from the hospital, titled The Book of Baby Mine. Being a word nerd from a young age, I was struck by that grammar – “baby mine” – it felt incorrect to me. It should be “my baby” or “the baby of mine,” I thought. (I hadn’t encountered the song by the same name from Dumbo yet, which might be where that title came from.)

Now, years later, being a parent whose first baby recently moved out of the nest – “baby mine” makes a whole lot more sense that has nothing to do with grammar.

You were so sweet you were so bright
You were so deer in my headlights
I helped you out, gathered you in
Held you gently against my skin

Baby mine I love you all the time
Baby mine you’re always in my mind

You are my joy born from pain
You’re the deep happiness I named
You are the laughter kissing my tears
My life restarted when you got here

Baby mine I love you all the time
Baby mine you’re always in my mind

Sleep well darling wherever you are
And know I’m close, though it feels far
I’ll sing for you all night long
These are the words, this is the song:

Baby mine I love you all the time
Baby mine you’re always in my mind

The Road the Day the Ground the Clouds

At last, my #songaweek2022 group used a photo for a prompt instead of a word or phrase. This felt like a game-changer to me in terms of connecting with a prompt for inspiration. I think the photo was of the Great Wall of China, but I thought of a road, then of the song from The Hobbit that starts, “the road goes ever on and on. . . ” and I went from there.

I felt like deliberately slowing down in the writing and playing of this song, and so I did.

If you listen closely and/or with headphones you might be able to hear the crickets singing along outside the open window.

The road goes ever on
And over it a song
That if you hear will draw you near
to where you never know where you might go

The day lies before you
And with it much to do
But there’s a song that draws you on
To where you always know you’re going home

The ground carries your load
The clouds catch evening’s glow
They’re changing you, and changed by you
Till everything will never be the same