Song Within A Song : Notebook

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It is especially nice when someone from far away pops me an encouraging email regarding a song of mine. It happened recently regarding this song, “The Road We Didn’t Go”. It was actually written during a time when I was waiting to enter the recording studio to record a DIFFERENT song of mine. Funny how that works.

I was killing an hour or so while waiting for my producer to pick me up from the hotel. And the day’s plan was for us to work on an entirely different song. But as I pleasantly and aimlessly roamed around in solitude in a “new” town, watching the shops open and begin their day of retail, etc., the lyric and melody for this song came to me. And I plopped down with my notepad and pen (nearly always with me for just such occasions) and I worked out this song’s basic structure.

Many times, such songs never make it to production, but this one did and I’m glad. And so is someone about 2,100 nautical miles away

Fl to Ca

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New Song Etiquette

Ed Verner Sheet DWTW 01

A pet peeve of mine is when people are sometimes totally disrespectful in how they listen to a song new to them, even when they have specifically asked to hear one.

There are several variations on a theme of how it can happen and how the scenario starts, but allow me to describe some “typical” situations:

Scenario #1 – Somebody hanging around the studio says something like, “Hey dude, have you heard anything cool recently?” Or, “Hey man are there any songs you really like that are, like, you know, indy… you know something different maaaan?” And so then I will take a second to find something that fits the bill in my music library and say, “yea, here listen, check this cool song out.” And the music begins to play — and they listen for anywhere from 5-12 seconds as the song begins to unravel itself and get going. Then right as the intro is wrapping up and the song is going to deliver its first line or melody, the person blurts out something relevant like, “dude, that reminds me, did you see that cool commercial with the fat guy and that pregnant cat?”

Scenario #2 – Somebody hears that I play piano and write songs and while at my home they ask with genuine sincerity, “He man, why don’t you play me one of your songs, man?” I try to let them off the hook with, “tell ya what, here’s a disc with some of my better works so you can listen later.” And they insist now with, “No man, I want to hear you play something live guy.” So I go sit on the bench, crack my knuckles, and start into a song – to which after listening for 5-12 seconds they blurt out something about how the song sounds great and then they ask me some sort of question as I’m playing the melody and singing a line. Something like, “That is cool, man, it kind of reminds me of… oh what is that song about the bull horn humping the unicorn? — You know!” It’s as if, to them, that my providing a radio quality performance of an original song is only taking maybe 10% of my mind and surely I can answer a question on a non-sequitur topic while I’m doing it.

03-04-08-non-sequitur

Scenario #3 – A fellow musician who is going to play on a song of mine asks me to play it for him one time, “so that I can hear it man.” — To prevent their pissing on my peeve I say, “Ok, but do me a favor and listen to it all the way through one time before you doodle around with it, ok?” They agree. I relax into performing the song as if I am at a coffee house style soiree’ setting. Less than 30 seconds into the song, and long before the 8 key-change bridge that will totally surprise them and make it impossible for them to just “wing it”, they say something like “Oh, that is cool” and then they start jumping in – though not really jumping in, but rather smearing over (since they have no idea where the song is gonna go – even though they may have already complimented my songs on being “unpredictable” at times).

FOLKS: If you have requested to hear a new recording, or a live performance, please be prepared to listen with quiet attention for at least 30 seconds before launching into turning the spotlight back unto yourselves. Just sayin’ – really. OK OK, rant accomplished.

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The Week After Valentines Day

I recall quite well being younger and times when it almost felt good to be single and unattached during Valentines Day.

Ed hobie cat 1981

And then I recall also how it could be a very lonely holiday indeed; full of reminders of past loves gone wrong, or simply just gone.  I also look back and reminisce about the joyous activities in my life and how glad I am to have someone with whom I have and can share those times. Of course there are things that are a pleasure to share, or a talisman of remembrance of trips together or romantic moments of the past. But so too it is hard sometimes to conjure up the urge to provide a romantic “thing” on cue. 

 

When asked about Mother’s Day, my father used to say how he tried to make every day feel like Mother’s Day. In many ways I think about trying to make the feeling of Valentines Day extend out to be a lifelong habit. Of course it doesn’t always work out, but so too how often does the idea of a particular day being forced on you in a holiday like this coincide with your feeling perfectly romantic about a loved one?

I think the main point for me now is how Valentines Day feels different to me when compared to how it felt when I was younger, or compared to how it felt when I was single, etc. And so be prepared for how the way it feels for you will change too over time. Just what does it mean for you these days? … Think about it.

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Lichtotropism – Neologism of the Day

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My father is a very learned man. And there are many things about the example of his life that have inspired me in the past. Even now at the age of 89, he continues to inspire me in ways small and large. One thing about him is how he can surprise you – just when I think he has settled into a routine of “old age” or those “golden years” that he and I laugh about, he will come up with something novel and unique.

Recently I arrived at his house to pick him up for one of our routine father-son lunches out, and he announced he had created a useful neologism.

neologisms

He smiled wanting to make sure that I remembered that word from our many previous meals together when I was a boy and he would endeavor to teach me oddball words, like neologism. I told him, “ok, spit it out… what word have you coined now?” He answered with, “Lichtotropism” and watched my face intently as I tried to work it out in my head.

“Isn’t that a bit redundant?” I asked, “because most plants that demonstrate tropisms do so inherently towards the light?” And he beamed with a sparkle of pride in his eye. “But,” he said, “with ‘lichtotropism’ I am speaking of the spiritual side of it – specifically one’s moving towards the light, spiritually.” He went on to give examples of using his new word as regards man’s quest for enlightenment or wisdom, and I found myself enjoying his neologism – oddly enough it also made the think of the Star Wars movies and character plays; the light and dark side of the force, and I found myself moving towards latin derivatives a bit: luxotropism versus tenebritropism – oh mercy my Dad has infected me.

Papa Ed Pride Wall

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Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies are delivered from baby boomer singer songwriter Ed Verner. Weaving together lyrics from personal experiences and tales from a life of people watching, these Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies present contemporary younger songs from a salty renaissance man.

For more information on Ed and his Lyrics, Logic and Lullabies, visit:
http://lyricslogicandlullabies.com/
https://twitter.com/Lyrics_Logic_an/
https://facebook.com/edvernermusic/
https://youtube.com/WindKetcher/
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Patience and A Dangerous Man

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I have many times been referred to as a patient man. And just as often I receive that label with a happy sense of accomplishment. And yet, when some people blanketly refer to patience as a virtue, I’m often left wondering about those circumstances when people take advantage of patience. Or I wonder about times in my life where my employing patience was really just a method of delaying needed conflict with someone who was growing to take more and more advantage of me.

I believe in the end, the variety of patience that is indeed a virtue is more akin to the patient application of faith when doubting a trusted course of action; or the application of patient endurance when awaiting the fruits of hard work or discipline. However when confronted with an agonizingly slow clockwork of justice coming back around on someone who “has it coming”, I have felt more than once that to show more patience towards someone who is being rude, or uncivil, or downright bullying about treating me as a doormat for their selfish urge to climb the ladder of success upon my work, or upon my “patience”, is actually a species of cowardice. I would not want to be treating someone that way, and if I did I would want them to tell me and to stop me – the golden rule.

There really ought to be two different words for these two types of “patience”: One being to define patience associated with trusting in God and having faith in character and in the slow wonderment of seeing nature at work; and the other type wherein one simply endures unjust suffering or rude treatment like a polite doormat as being some other word more akin to the slang usage of words like “pussy” or the phrase “spineless doormat” etc. I suspect there may be a Yiddish term that might apply here, but put this in the bank, “Patience is a virtue” is a phrase that needs a few qualifiers when applied by someone trying to manipulate you.

Dangerous Man revised copy

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Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies are delivered from baby boomer singer songwriter Ed Verner. Weaving together lyrics from personal experiences and tales from a life of people watching, these Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies present contemporary younger songs from a salty renaissance man.

For more information on Ed and his Lyrics, Logic and Lullabies, visit:
http://lyricslogicandlullabies.com/
https://twitter.com/Lyrics_Logic_an/
https://facebook.com/edvernermusic/
https://youtube.com/WindKetcher/
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Types of people who generally dont like me and I’m ok with it.

Types of people who generally dont like me and I’m ok with it. A Lyrics, Logic and Lullabies Blog.
Types of People Who Generally Don’t Like Me

Types of people who generally dont like me. Here we go.

I was in discussion recently with someone and was providing them with some historical perspective about my hometown. And while going through the years of progress and reliving some of the pertinent issues I’ve been involved with along the way, there were of course a few moments to recount that involved personal drama.

And on the two moments when an honest recounting of past events came around towards persons who have shown an active dislike for me, I honestly reported the fact along with the needed history lesson.

However, going through the recollections of the two or three main detractors I’ve had along the way, I decided to really sit back and think about what were the characteristics I showed at that time in my life, and what were the main traits revealed in the character of my detractors back then. I observed an interesting pattern.

Types of people who generally dont like me. Don’t get me wrong.

Now it is not to say that I’m perfect, by any stretch of the word. I’ll readily admit to being stubborn, logical to a fault sometimes as regards keeping compassion alive, impatient when it comes to putting up with bull crap no matter how much BBQ sauce one might attempt to disguise it with, and I can be impatient when it comes to people with an overwhelming urge to steal the work, or image, or credit of another.

In addition, I have a modestly hard spot of bark on my tree trunk when it comes to modern day Pharisees who want the robes and the crown of authority, but forget all about that humility and pride stuff the good book often speaks towards.

Type of people who generally dont like me. My top four.

Yet when I looked long and hard at the few, (thankfully very few) people who have taken great effort to cause me harm or to impugn my personal character; when I really considered each of them with a detached and time tested review, I found some solace in realizing that they possess at least 1 of 4 general traits – in one case all 3 were present.

Generally speaking out of my few outspoken past critics and the types of people who generally don’t like me; one will find them to be: Liars – Posers – Bullies – Windbags

Even so, I think it worth noting how they did indeed teach me something worthwhile, and in the end I remain glad they came into my life. I’m more grateful that we each have moved on, yet I hope they have done so with grace and happiness.
Types of People Who Generally Don’t Like Me, ed verner

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Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies are delivered from baby boomer singer songwriter Ed Verner. Weaving together lyrics from personal experiences and tales from a life of people watching, these Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies present contemporary younger songs from a salty renaissance man.

For more information on Ed and his Lyrics, Logic and Lullabies, visit:
http://lyricslogicandlullabies.com/
https://twitter.com/Lyrics_Logic_an/
https://facebook.com/edvernermusic/
https://youtube.com/WindKetcher/
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Types of people who generally don’t like me and I’m ok with it.

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Why wait when it comes to Christmas and the New Year’s Resolutions

Why wait when it comes to Christmas and the New Year’s Resolutions? A Lyrics, Logic and Lullabies Blog.
why wait when it comes to christmas, tree

Why wait when it comes to Christmas?

I love Christmas time, and yet it always begs the question for me about ‘why wait’? The same goes with the whole New Year’s celebration and the idea of resolutions. I’m pretty bad about not always having the perfect gift for someone at Christmas time.

And yet, the other side of that coin is how if I stumble upon a perfect gift for them in September I will buy it and give it to them. Even if it is not their birthday. Why wait when it comes to Christmas if I found it months earlier? And sad but true, it often feels as though many gifts really wind up feeling like trinkets of clutter that some poor soul had to agonize over purchasing “on schedule”.

But the real tragedy is how the clutter and the business of it all can sap the very spirit of love and giving that it was supposed to remind us of. (who says you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition?)

Why wait when it comes to Christmas or the resolutions?

As for New Year’s Eve and the concept of resolutions, I gave them up somewhere along my teen years long ago upon further consideration of how I shouldn’t wait to begin any worthy goal until a seemingly arbitrary moment of the planet’s orbit around our Sun. My father says, tongue in cheek, how “Time is a convenient assumption, made to explain an apparent succession of supposed events.” Sometimes I feel that many holidays are likewise full of puff and bravado.

If you have a goal that needs to wait until “new year’s eve” before you will commit to achieving it, then perhaps the goal itself is a bit thin. Likewise, if you need for Christmas to arrive before allowing the spirit of love and celebration of the Messiah to motivate you to cherish your loved ones then perhaps you should double-check yourself and your habit of giving to those in your closest circles.

And, why wait when it comes to Christmas… to pick up one of my songs?

So, if your goal is to start supporting mellow indy songwriter/singers or giving good music to baby boomer friends who are sick and tired of waiting for “new” stuff on the radio to enjoy listening to, then by all means buy my music, and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too.
why wait till christmas, lyrics logic and lullabies

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Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies are delivered from baby boomer singer songwriter Ed Verner. Weaving together lyrics from personal experiences and tales from a life of people watching, these Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies present contemporary younger songs from a salty renaissance man.

For more information on Ed and his Lyrics, Logic and Lullabies, visit:
http://lyricslogicandlullabies.com/
https://twitter.com/Lyrics_Logic_an/
https://facebook.com/edvernermusic/
https://youtube.com/WindKetcher/
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Why wait when it comes to Christmas and the New Year’s Resolutions

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Songwriter Singer with an odd voice. Here are a few examples

Songwriter Singer with an odd voice. Here are a few examples. A Lyrics, Logic and Lullabies Blog.
songwriter-singer-sting

Songwriter Singer. In some cases, it should be this way.

“Singer Songwriter” is generally the order that these two words are most often paired. And it is a brutal truth that the general public, desperately seeking live performances to feed an addiction to energy found nowhere else, more greatly prizes the singer/songwriter combination in that order. Some of my musical inspirations, like Dan Fogelberg, James Taylor, Marc Cohn, and more recently Jamie Cullum all fit into that order of things. They have excellent voices which can transport any song, one of their own or another’s, to a place where any songwriter would be proud to have their song go.

The Songwriter Singer… Songs first, vocals next?

Yet, there is another… the “Songwriter Singer”. The Randy Newman, or Jimmy Webb, or Keith Whitley. And though they can sing (for me even I prefer to hear them sing their songs rather than others at times), still they swim first and foremost in the pool of songwriting and leave their vocal performance to bring up a second place finish as far as priorities go.

I am a songwriter singer!

It’s not to say that I can’t or won’t perform, because I will and I have, and I enjoy it. But it is rather to say I acknowledge how I won’t ever be considered a singer. Yes, I can lend authenticity and voice to a song of mine, especially if it is a song that will never be heard otherwise. And there are many who greatly enjoy hearing my song voice. But, I am not blind, nor deaf when I critically watch my performance or listen to my recordings. There is meat on the bone and a genuine song when I’ve given it my best, and I remain proud. But part of me still wishes that if I live long enough, and work diligently enough, that one day a song of mine may be done by a “real” singer.

I’ve paid “real” singers a time or two to reinterpret the vocals on a studio recording of my songs. But it is just not the same as when a performing singer WANTS to sing the song from their gut; from that place where music bubbles up in mysterious wanderlust. And the odds of a “real” performance singer finding my songs and enjoying the wellspring of a collaboration like Webb and Cambell, or Newman and Three Dog Night or Chantal did are slim.

I don’t do it because I’m sure it will work out. I write them because I must, and such is the life of a Songwriter Singer. Perhaps I should write a song about it.

songwriter-singer-randy-newman

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Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies are delivered from baby boomer singer songwriter Ed Verner. Weaving together lyrics from personal experiences and tales from a life of people watching, these Lyrics, Logic, and Lullabies present contemporary younger songs from a salty renaissance man.

For more information on Ed and his Lyrics, Logic and Lullabies, visit:
http://lyricslogicandlullabies.com/
https://twitter.com/Lyrics_Logic_an/
https://facebook.com/edvernermusic/
https://youtube.com/WindKetcher/
******************************************Songwriter Singer with an odd voice. Here are a few examples.

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Liberal Versus Conservative II

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After writing a blog about how labels can be needlessly divisive and/or polarizing and thus destructive to robust political debate; let me now proceed to pontificate about “liberals” versus “conservatives”.

First off, please know that I would label myself as a fiscal conservative with Judeo/Christian underpinnings and as such, I’m pretty well right of the political center if you believe there is one. Yet I have more than a few friends who are left of the center and healthy debate sometimes springs up between us. Unfortunately, unhealthy spitting at my opinions does sometimes occur from some left of the center, with generally some completely baseless attack on one moral lacking or another they feel must be the center of my motivations.

As I’ve gotten older, I watched several classmates or cohorts migrate from being very liberal in their politics while in undergraduate college, only then to become more conservative as they deal with the issues of marriage, business, parenting, death, and other aspects of (dare I say it) maturation. Similarly, I’ve noticed how few former conservatives migrate to become devout liberals. With obvious and sometimes bold exceptions, I still anecdotally observe how “liberalism” seems to speak most effectively to those who are young, and/or who have come into a large fortune suddenly and with little effort on their part to “earn” it. Sports celebrities, overnight Hollywood celebrities, or a Nouveau riche trust fund kid, all seem to help deal with their inner guilt at “unfairly” having something many deserving people want by embracing a liberal political agenda. It seems to be an emotional thing to them, as opposed to their conservative counterparts who often base their political beliefs more in an intellectual scrutiny of history’s examples.

I do not imply that there is a differing degree of intelligence involved in separating the two camps, rather the motivations draw majorly from emotion on the one hand and from history and experience on the other. Yet I’ve met many absolutely brilliant liberal defenders, and many brilliant conservative ones. Likewise, I’ve encountered more than a few painfully stupid ones in either camp as well. The difference between them is most certainly NOT one of intelligence, or even the desire to do a greater good in one versus the other. The main difference I can observe, once the name calling and attacks on character have died down, is a difference in the belief as to which will bring more prosperity for more people: government edict or freedom.

The balance between too much government and anarchy demands that both liberals and conservatives do their job, yet the balance is best when they are about equally unhappy and find compromise.

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Liberal Versus Conservative Part I

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Election season is here again and it seems like the whole nation is abuzz with an entire buffet of opinions from the mild to the wild. And much like classic football rivalries, there are basically two types of fans: 1) the ones who root for their team to win and be the best while still holding the foe in their world of respect, care, and concern, and 2) the ones who root for their team to win and be the best while wishing all manner of hatred, humiliation, and zealous disrespect toward the foe.

Inside the world of political debate, where the stakes are arguably more important, the media and the world of entertainment (sounds redundant a bit doesn’t it?) have long found that generating and retaining eyeballs on the screen to sell them beer or pharmaceuticals from their sponsors seems to work “better” if the sensational things take the stage. And thus, honest and robust debate on issues falls below personal attacks, outrageous behavior, and the like from any candidate. It has become a sad farce.

And the divide between “liberals” and “conservatives” gets drawn with bolder and wider black markers. The truth is, even when we disagree vehemently, we still have more in common than any ideology that separates us. When I witness the harshness of opinions that begins to call into question an opponent’s motives, I am saddened. Yes, it is important to have correct policies win out over those that are proven failures, and yes some previous failed ideas might succeed in an altered future, but those who fight for their position gain nothing by impugning the motives of their political foes.

Labels like “liberal” or “conservative” distract from the true aim of trying to discern character and intellectual honesty in a potential candidate or ballot amendment, etc. And to disagree with each other on politics is not something to build walls over.  The quote, ‘Somebody who agrees with me 80 percent of the time is a friend and ally, not a 20 percent traitor.’” has been attributed to President Ronald Reagan and is a good reminder to us all.

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