A couple of years ago, I did a talk for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association about obsessions. We write books because we’re obsessed with something and we’d like other people to share our passion. I decided to illustrate the talk with some music. My son Scott recorded the talk, and did a fine job considering he had to stand quite a distance away and use the microphone built into the camera. The first song was “Borderline” written by David Francey, a Canadian singer/songwriter who gets a lot of airplay on my ipod. He’s got a really cool voice, so my version is much different from his.
I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate videos and music into a blog. Haven’t quite figured it out, but I managed to post that one song at:
One of my sons gave me a book of old Irish songs published in 1808. I paid for my college education (back in the Pleistoscene Era) by teaching guitar, but am not the world’s fastest sight reader so learning songs via sheet music takes me some time. This book contains melodies and words, but no chords or instructions. Very slowly I began to learn the first song, trying various chords until I found ones I liked, transposing into a key more appropriate for my voice. Continue reading →
Songs are like any other creative thing. There’s a certain amount of fiction in each one (I am not, technically, a tarantuala, for example) and commentary about life, and emotions, and ideas. I wrote “Sing Out Loud” at a time when the ayatollahs in Iran outlawed singing, certain kinds of speaking, and a lot of stuff to do with women. The song says, how can speaking be sin, how can loving be a crime? Khomeini and his buddies were the “men who do not smile” but then they’re also some attorneys and bankers I’ve had to deal with. With any song or poem or book, some of it is dead on real, some is flat out fiction. But no one knows where some part comes from, not even the person who wrote it.
The phrase “sing out loud if you feel it, you might lose it if you hold it in” isn’t only about Iran. It felt like a phrase that probably applies to a whole bunch of areas of life, including literal singing.
There you go. That’s more explaining of a song than Bob Dylan did in his entire career.