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 . . .

Human
you’ve been
waiting
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 . . .

This Much and More

I launched several songs this week but landed none. Determined to turn something in for week 40 of #songaweek2022, as I’ve been a bit more hit or miss this year but was currently on a four-week roll, I turned to my stockpile of public domain poems and found this tiny treasure. It’s not much but it’s “This Much and More”:

If my lover were a comet
Hung in air,
I would braid my leaping body             
In his hair.

Yea, if they buried him ten leagues           
Beneath the loam,
My fingers they would learn to dig           
And I’d plunge home!

The Hard Way

Everybody in my house has been sick the last week, but I still managed to get a song written. Turning in a quick and easy lo-fi laptop recording this week.

Nobody told you how to let the best ones go
Nobody told you so how were you to know?
There’s some things you can only learn the hard way

She looked so good until you saw the splinters in her eyes
Well ain’t it awful but you just won’t compromise
There’s some things you’ll just have to learn the hard way

Love has seen it all
Love’s heard everything
Love loves it all
Love learned the hard way

Don’t try to count up all the ways you got it wrong
All it amounts to is the will to carry on
There’s some things you can only learn the hard way

So don’t you fear now, just take each breath for what it is
And what it is is another unexpected gift
There’s some things you’ll just have to learn the hard way

Love has seen it all
Love’s heard everything
Love loves it all
Love learned the hard way