Song Writing

My first foray into song writing was to write the lyrics to a third verse of Neil Diamond’s “I’m a Believer” (made famous by The Monkees) because i thought the song was too short.  (This was in 2006, give or take.)  Later i updated a verse of Bob Dylan’s “With God on Our Side”, and when i discovered that i was not struck by lightning for tampering with Dylan’s lyrics, i decided that i could write full songs for myself.

My first full set of lyrics was an environmental song set to the melody of “Greensleeves”.  (It originally had two verses, but in 2014 i added another verse.)  My next song writing project was a history of our Afghanistan and Iraq wars — “At War Again”.  I added verses to it over a several year period to keep it timely, though i quit doing that in the first year of the Obama administration.  The initial version was set to the tune of John Denver’s “Back Home Again”, but i soon decided to come up with my own tune for it so that i could say to myself that i had written an entire song, words and melody.

Listed below you can find titles to all the songs i’ve written, in chronological order (so far as i can remember).  By following the links you can find some background on each song, as well as the complete lyrics and an mp3 of me playing and singing it (not very well, i’m afraid).  My personal assessment is that i have a pretty good talent for lyrics (often doggerel, to be sure), but at best mediocre vocal and guitar skills.

 Alas, Poor World
 At War Again
 Thrills, Chills, Spills, and Other Ills
 A Tale of Two Jacks
 The Ballad of 38 Stonewall Lane
 Late Learner’s Progress
 A Place in My Heart
 Hop High, Aspiration
 Toe River Blues
 The Winter Ponderer
 The Ivory Tower Blues
 Knocking on the Bathroom Door
 Instrumental Journey
 Meat Can Be Bad for You
 Just Like a Frat Boy  The South’s Gonna Rise Again!  Invisibility
 Crash and Burn  Visibility  Hey, Mr. Nobel Man
To Mama Six Dead  Hey There
Leaving My Mind Dance in the Rain Mary Hall
It’s Not Gonna Happen