Remember December

For funsies.

Hey Mr. Snowman, welcome aboard
You’ve joined a wonderful world
But I gotta warn you, there’s things you don’t know
Because your brain is made of snow

Remember December is not the only kind of month
With its crystalline cold
There’s others coming that you won’t like so much

Your small creator is fickle and young
And prone to temper tantrums
So man you’d better make every moment
count for something before you go

Remember December is not the only kind of month
With its crystalline cold
There’s others coming that you won’t like so much

Sweet little birds will peck out your eyes
Don’t take it personally
We’ve all got problems in our lives
As I am sure you’ll come to see

Beware of dogs and thirteen-year-olds
They’re unpredictable dolts
They might befoul you or decapitate
But they can’t take your luminous soul

Remember December is not the only kind of month
With its crystalline cold
There’s others coming that you won’t like so much

Cold Night In (Lovely Lost Cause)

Week 50! This is one of those songs where the suggested theme (from #songaweek2018) actually caused the song to be written. I wouldn’t have gone this direction at all if it weren’t for the suggested word, “metal.”

Not much I want to say about this song – I think we’ve all been here from time to time and know something about it. The cycle of love, the journey of living well. The bridge (“thieves break in and steal . . .”) comes from Matthew 6:19-20, that little passage about storing up treasures in heaven rather than earth. I interpret that not as sacred versus secular; but cosmic, big-hearted wisdom versus short-sighted, me-and-mine foolishness.

My heart’s made of metal
invincible steel
that’s why when you hold me
there’s nothing to feel

It’s a cold night in
It’s a lovely lost cause

I swam in the ocean
I crawled up on land
but there’s no harder journey
than the one to your hand

It’s a cold night in
It’s a lovely lost cause

Thieves break in and steal
Moth and rust corrupt

Come light your best fire
to melt me all down
I’m sick and I’m tired
But I’m coming around

On this cold night in
For this lovely lost cause

Decembrance

In the season of shortest days and darkest nights, I like to write songs like this. Winter can be a soul-sucking time of year, or from another perspective, it can be a time to slow down, pull in, lay low, and breathe.

As I was writing this song for week 49 of #songaweek2018, I was aware of the following influences: the feeling of an Irish blessing we sang in choir when I was in college; Handel’s Messiah (I love the way the word “comfortably” is sung in “Comfort Ye My People,” so I did it too); and the Christmas song “Oh Holy Night” which is referenced in “harmonies and holy nights.”

And still, on my mind throughout the year and now more poignantly as the year draws to a close, my Grammy, whose health continues to decline as we await her departure into deepest rest.

Slow dance of the winter, deep sleep of the snow
Clear light of the night sky keep you as you go
Soft blanket of crystal, beasts nestled below
Still evergreen branches, lone call of the crow
All of the fragile ones have flown

Winds wending through treetops comfortably sigh
Rivers rest, insects hide
Memories and melodies murmur in your mind
Harmonies and holy nights hold us all through time
All through the night beyond our sight

Save Your Sadness for a Sunny Day

I feel a little like a cheater. And a lot like privileged. I spent Easter Sunday afternoon stretched out in the sun on my brother-in-law’s deck in Denver. No jacket, bare feet. I got a sunburn, so I guess there’s some justice for you.

But now, I’m dutifully back in Saint Paul, under gray skies, watching snow pile up outside, thankful for a few sunny days stolen in Colorado, where some of my March-in-Minnesota melancholy did indeed melt away.

My inspiration for writing this song (for week 13 of #songaweek2018) was taking a walk on a gray day, thinking about the cliche “save it for a rainy day” – and how that doesn’t make much sense here where gray/snowy/rainy days can be so common, so maybe it’s better to save up something for a sunny day – and since lots of gray days can bring on sadness for me, maybe I could save up that sadness, push off the full feeling of it till a sunny day when I could let it all hang out and see it melt away. (I think I sort of inverted the idea of the Jayhawks’ song “Save it for a Rainy Day”!)

Save your sadness for a sunny day
Hang your heartache out in the breezy blue
Let the melancholy melt away
Lift your lamentation off your chest

Whiteout
Hard-nosed ice
Steely sleet
Driving rain

Save your sadness for a sunny day
Hang your heartache out in the breezy blue
Let the melancholy melt away
Lift your lamentation off your chest

Gray skies
Paralyze
Heavy light
Leaden limbs

Save your sadness for a sunny day
Hang your heartache out in the breezy blue
Let the melancholy melt away
Lift your lamentation off your chest

Birds sing
Anyway
Branches reach
Treetops sway

Love’s Gonna Rise Again

Be the love you wish to feel in the world.

I believe in the infinite power of love, and I also believe that I can’t just wait around for love to rise and save the world. Love will always rise again. And I can be one of many who give it legs. Even when it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. Especially then.

Here’s my song for week 47 of #songaweek2016. Apologies for its very rough draftiness. I wanted to finish early this past week so I could enjoy my parents’ visit for Thanksgiving (which I did!).

When the ugly words of angry men come screaming on the wind
Love’s gonna rise again
When the comfortable complacent ones keep keeping quiet
love’s gonna rise again
when you can barely believe it, keep singing anyway
love’s got to rise again
when you can’t really feel it, keep hanging on anyway
love’s got to rise again

love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again
love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again

out of the mud, out of the ruins
out of the rotten remains
love’s gonna rise again

when you lay her down into the ground and feel your heart stop
love’s gonna rise again
when days are dark and nights are long and cold sets in
love’s gonna rise again
when you can’t see the point, get out of bed anyway
love’s got to rise again
when all seems lost, keep reaching out anyway
love’s got to rise again

love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again
love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again

love paints the world in vibrant colors and sings in many voices
love’s gonna rise again

love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again
love’s gonna rise
love’s gonna rise
love’s got to rise again