Wednesday, April 30, 2008

284 : 1/19/99 : Stand Up

1,096 : 1 ?

I heard a man say
that pride goes before the fall
I know I have strained to to hold my pride up
in the face of the One who knows all
But I’m gonna get down on my knees to stand up
Get down on my knees and pray
that You would turn my pride to the strength I need
to follow in the one true way
You got to get down on your knees to stand up
You got to get yourself near the ground
You must forget yourself enough to listen
Listen for a small still sound

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Friday, April 25, 2008

283 : 1/18/99 : A Certain Thing Arises

A certain thing arises
When I see you cross a room
Like a chill on my spine
like the ghost of a goose ran ‘cross my tomb
And you known that I see you
I see it in your secret smile
I feel it in me rising
I’ve crossed my moonlight mile
A certain hesitation
I see it when you talk to me
Believe me when I say you’re getting
exactly what you see
I see you rise to take my hand
I feel a flash of what’s to come
You feel what I feel there beside you
What we got we both need some
A certain thing arises
There it is something between us
A thing that passes back and forth
some wind to intervene for us

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, April 24, 2008

282 : 1/17/99 : Jennifer’s Secret Bell

Jennifer wears a bell under her shirt close to her skin
The rings as she walks and rises and falls as her breath goes out and in
And I said Jennie why’d you put that string over your head
And slip that bell under your shirt this is what she said
You get a bell for your waking and rising
A bell to signal the next downsizing
of the significance of your life
Bell that tells you you’re next in line
Bells that ring if I take what is not mine
Bell ring get dinner from the oven like a good wife
Jennifer’s secret bell rings as she walks down the street
Music playin in cars but it has its own special beat
And it rings and rings and rings against her heart
She said I gotta ring my own bell if it makes the world fall apart
There’s a bell that rings when it’s time to talk to your friends
The bell tolls someone comes to a nasty end
Again again the bell calls you to take your place in the roll call
The bell rings so the plane has left the ground
I’ll get to the bottom of it but it’s a long way down
The bell tolls for me for you someday the bell will toll for us all
And there she goes shaking that bell that rings for all of us
It chimes for you on the corner as you’re waiting for the bus
And if we’d all just listen to that secret bell
There’s just no saying what it might tell

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

281 : 1/16/99 : Sanctum Sanctorum

There is a chamber in stone
Some things are better left alone
My god the way the time has flown
Time for harvesting what seeds were sown
In the Sanctum Sanctorum
The ancient of days takes tea with great decorum
Just as it was in the days of the forum
Human hands tore them down but angels will restore them
The cognoscenti descend to ask
When will you quit your crypt and take your task
in hand open the flask
reveal yourself remove the mask
The ancient only laughs and sings
Are humans still such reckless beings
Obsessed with pride and shiny things
You know a lot but the truth still stings
Back to sunshine I count the clock
You'll have other plans by the third crow of the cock
I'll take tea while you take stock
Time moves so slowly down here in the rock

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

280 : 1/15/99 : Timetable

We have revised the timetable
on Armageddon for your race
so as to give you one last chance
which we fully expect you to throw back in our face
Look around you and look within
Is this what you sought to achieve
You have created a clockwork catastrophe
A machine designed only to deceive
Anyone awake enough to listen
Listen: your time is not so long
As you think so think about it
What is your calling what is your song
Our engines are ready to descend
The appraisers are among you
Your value has been weighed and measured
You can be replaced believe that it’s true
So we thought it best you knew
Better set your clocks ahead
Set your own timetable better safe than sorry
Punch your own clock or you’ll be punching ours instead

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, April 21, 2008

279 : 1/14/99 : Axe to Grind

I was never satisfied
to leave the thing alone
I had to pick the scab
I had to gnaw the bone
I saved up my pennies
And waited for what I knew I’d find
Now I’ve got what I was looking for
I’ve got an axe to grind

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Saturday, April 19, 2008

278 : 1/13/99 : Ray of Sun

I get crazy waiting for the moment to come
I get lazy and listen to the guitar strum
The same old rhythm the same old rhyme
I can’t live with ‘em and I can’t stop time
The same old scheme the same old voices
the same old theme and all the usual choices
so sick of my hackneyed verse I could cry
things could be worse but I’d still wonder why
I want so very much and get so very little
Such a little nonesuch to the last jot and dittle
I make my way like a good bee should
I wait for a ray of sun in a dark wood
Am I close to the edge or smug like a cat
Am I driving a wedge or blind as a bat
I don’t know my own face in the glass
I been put in my place but this too shall pass
All for a ray of sun I wait here standing
It could be me or anyone it’s not too demanding
But it holds me tight and breaks me down
waiting for a ray of light in this dirty town

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Friday, April 18, 2008

277 : 1/12/99 : Constancy

I went to the bible I went to the bard
I went to J. S. Bach he said I worked very hard
I sought for enlightenment
I sought to find the cure
I went looking for the lotus in the waters so impure
I sought constancy and devotion
I wore myself out with emotion
Consistent effort brings reward
the truth is such a two-edged sword

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, April 17, 2008

276 : 1/11/99 : Sleepless in Chernobyl

Think you got handed the bitter cup friend
Think you know how things will end
up don’t you
don’t you
On the flaring magnesium highwire
Wormwood dreams made me a gun for hire
I made it through
made it through
Since the incident I don’t seem to need much sleep
since my baby left me I can only weep
touch my face
my face
Wormwood in the cup is what made the drink bitter
I’m pretty beat up but I’m no quitter
think about it
about it
I cannot turn back and I just don’t dream
Some things are exactly what they seem
Won’t you come back home
You come back home

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

275 : 1/10/99 : I Am Neither Wise Nor Young

I am neither wise nor young
A truth that lingers on my tongue
between wild youth and sage old age
On that strange pinion hung
Faced with a childish half writ page
And prospects that I cannot gauge
the road less traveled has been turned
Into an offramp to a cage
that waits with all things that I spurned
the lessons of the world I learned
when all was fresh and all was new
And all the fire inside me burned
But continuity’s the glue
And here’s a lesson sad but true
It fits ill still I wear the shoe
It fits ill still I wear the shoe

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

274 : 1/9/99 : I Am Neither Young Nor Wise

I am neither young nor wise
And there’s a riddle true
I guess it comes as no surprise
the foolish things I do
It seems that everyone must come
to this strange midway mark
the unyoung body suffers from
the unwise deeds that bark
And howl out from the unwise mind
Obeyed despite my brain
That whispers that I’ll pay in kind
And take my dose of pain

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, April 14, 2008

273 : 1/8/99 : Lightning Strikes

1,077 : 0 ?

In an ink black inky night
No sound ozone without light
A darkness so complete
Hear only grass soft beneath bare feet
Up from above I feel a force
Reverse from that that fouled my course
So long so long ago now
In the air I feel it know how
It is and taken into hand
One stop drop to the promised land
Somehow the darkness sinks
Another notch and makes me think
But before the thought's completed
In an agonizing heated
Moment there that place that night
the universe explodes in light

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Sunday, April 13, 2008

272 : 1/7/99 : Mission, Vision, Goal

Send me strength for the Mission send me strength for the Goal
I don’t care what it takes fill my mouth with burning coal
Send it down in a Vision, Lord set my head on fire
Send me strength for what it takes to get under the wire
I see a wheel in the skies
I see a wing that’s full of eyes
I’ve said it once I’ve said it twice
I need strength now not advice
Push me under the water Lord, make me beg for air
I try so hard to live in this day I just want to get there
Pull me up with you when you go fly me up past the swill
I can’t get by with just myself with just an act of will
I saw the cheaply flashing screen
I’m sure that can’t be what you mean
The mission for the vision is the goal
The stone just needs a little angel push to roll

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Saturday, April 12, 2008

271 : 1/5/99 : Raise the Flag

If I could raise the flag of all I see and all I do
If I could put it on a stick and raise it up to you
If I could codify this undulating tapestry of life
I would be satisfied I would be content to consent to the knife
If I could make the rhymes that say all that I want to say
I would regain my equilibrium enough to live my life in one day
If I could raise the flag at least it would be a start
I’m sick of standing under your flag, I’m sick of my part
If I could make a right hand turn away from this dull prose
I would find at last the answer to the truths I pose
Paradox has stripped me of my virtue leaving only vice
And the impulse of the moment has mortgaged my existence to the dice
If I could get away from trying to understand
What is not mine to know I’d find a bird nestled in my hand
I would hold it gently ready for a gentle toss
that would baffle the giants into permitting me to cross
I can’t stand it anymore I’m done I’m done I’m done
I don’t have it I am nothing I am no one
I won’t let it push me push me push me anymore
Once trice thrice I’ll say it then I’m out the door
Raise your own damn flag and solve your own damn riddle
Pay the devil what he’s due it’s you that hired his fiddle
Don’t come to me to wrap you in a flag
I’m gonna crawl on in and zip up my own body bag

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Song a Day, So Far: April 11, 1998 - April 11, 2008

A brief interruption to note the tenth anniversary of the inception of the song of the day project! Of course, due to my taking 5-ish year hiatus in the middle of it I've only written 2,077 songs to date, instead of more than 3,600, but nevertheless.

I must also look back in some consternation at the posting of the first lyric on this song blogging project. July 2006! Can that be right?! Almost 2 years to post 270 songs. Clearly this will not do, I'll be 103 before I post the final lyric*.

It's cool: that's what we call job security, my friends. I hope to increase the frequency of posting to near one a day - although staying on top of writing the new songs remains my highest priority. In fact I think I'm due to write one right about now.

* (I'm aiming for 10,000 consecutive songs, starting from May 4, 2005 for those just joining us - the first 1,001 songs, written between 1998 and 2001, those which I'm currently blogging, serving as a warm-up to the current project - daily songs that I'm currently writing, and for which I provide a more-or-less weekly status report, as discussed here).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

270 : 1/4/99 : Maybe We Should All Just Die

Maybe we should all just die after all
anyway God knows it’d be easier that way
Maybe in the end we all hear the call
Maybe it’s time to call it a day
But anyway I’ve gone this long
And all I know, all I know
Is that I’m going to go on
As long as I have left to go

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

269 : 1/4/99 : The Way You Came In

Do you think you’re going to back out of this the way you came in
Don’t you know transformation can only proceed from within
And the broad and easy way that brought you here will not suffice
We got no answers here we got no good advice
Do you think you’re gonna talk yourself out of the corner you talked yourself into
That paint’s still fresh and wet there’s nothing you can do
But wait on a message or a miracle from high above
This dirty worn out mortal coil that fits you like a glove
Don’t you know if you could see one thing beside yourself you’d know
You’d be a hero the man of the hour you’d have that special glow
And everyone who put you down and laughed at what you said
They’d be so sorry they missed their chance with you they’d wish that they were dead
Wake up and smell the burning effigy of your big talk
Ain’t a thing you believe that couldn’t get knocked down in one trip around the block
The paint is drying so slowly so dry your weary eyes
Dig your knuckles into the sockets till you see the stars of paradise
or just stand up and walk across this mess you made
The center will not hold and fate must be obeyed
Next time round you’ll learn from your mistakes to make all new ones
Take a break stand in wet paint your pain’s the same as anyone’s

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, April 07, 2008

268 : 1/3/99 : Rise Above

1,073 : 23 ?

I can’t push farther than my reach
I can’t help wishing I was back on the beach
twenty three twenty four half a lifetime back
I died that day swept off the track
I gotta rise above the waves
the weakness of the flesh demands what it craves
Rise above rise above rise above
I got nothin’ but a notion I’m living on love
Push back the dark push one more day
Somewhere you’ll hear a clear voice say
time to rise above limitation
from now on it’s all vacation
back to the days the days of youth
Little Jon and David and sister Ruth
Run back run back swept along
this day this memory this song

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Friday, April 04, 2008

267 : 1/2/99 : I didn’t make the chart today

I didn’t make the chart today
Or do the other thing I said
I would I let the circumstances say
the way in which I’d get my daily bread
I didn’t climb the mountaintop
I didn’t explain the stars
What you may sew you’ll reap that crop
I see my life from behind bars
I saw my life contained too long
By nothing more than thoughts
I took what I had found along
the way and threw away my oughts

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, April 03, 2008

266 : 1/1/99 : The First Day

On the first day since departing
Lonely and my eyes were smarting
Thinking what I might be starting

All the journeys coming to this
Crouching like a praying mantis
On the edge of the great abyss

Searching for the faith for leaping
What I’ve sewn I’ll soon be reaping
Gird myself and stop my creeping

Rising on the first bright Sunday
Drop the false path take the one way
Now departing clear the runway

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

265 : 12/31/98 : The Last Night

The oceans rise raging but the moon is receding
All the rules are broken now the moon is red the moon is bleeding
Stand by my side now my love this is the last night
Everything is ending here and everything will be all right
Locusts swarm down from the sky and crabs boil from the sea
This is Armageddon this is epiphany, catastrophe
What if nothing ever happens anymore from now on
I turned to ask you but I couldn't see where you had gone
What if I spend the last night alone
Waiting by the telephone

The stars are phasing out into confusing folds of space
I have a look of idiotic concentration on my face
There is a violent current circling the globe
I've got a nasty schism brewing in my frontal lobe
And the oceans rise raging but the moon is back
One more bloody harvest then the whole thing fades to black
I saw smoke signals in the hills
One last hurrah before I'm motivating daffodils

I found you once and I'll find you again
The hat is white and the star is tin
I'll rescue you
That's what I'll do
The balloon is ready to launch
We'll cross the canyon if our hearts are staunch
My spider friends are watching our backs
It's time to jump the tracks
And go into the great unknown
Go where only the wind's blown

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

264 : 12/30/98 : Promises

I promise my heart will always desire you
And my kisses will last two days for you
My promises to see the world with you are true
I will always love you

And I promise that my vision quest is for you
Together we’ll laugh at life’s ironies
My promise is to treat you right ‘cause my love is true
I will always love you

I will look into your eyes and explore your depth
There’ll be no games between we two
My depth and beauty await
I will always love you

We’ll watch the thunderstorms with a glass of wine
I am the last of the wonderers a bright shining star for you
Let’s share our life -
I will always love you

Life is an exciting journey baby
I’ll always be dazzled by what you do
We’ll live life to the fullest
I will always love you

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here