Songwriting Challenge

As per the weekly songwriting challenge this one is late to posting. I didn’t approach writing this song until two days ago, because I didn’t know how to distill down what I wanted to say into a few stanzas. I wish you to know these are personal opinions I’ve long held. I don’t wish to be inflammatory to the reader. It’s not this particular blog’s format to voice political/racial topics, but as it relates to expression through art, in this instance, music, I feel compelled to share the thrust behind the song I wrote.

With recent events concerning the Kamloops Residential School and watching the documentary Exterminate All the Brutes, by Raoul Peck earlier last week, my heart was (is) awash in a consuming sadness for the lack humanity we can inflict on others. I never will understand what it is that makes any one group subjugate another, and it’s sickening we build on this heinous legacy still today.

Why do we give our logic, reason and compassion over to charismatic individuals (dictators and religious leaders) believing we must do their will, follow their orders? What goes through the mind of someone under the influence of those characters? They surrender autonomy to their so called “greater cause;” they no longer think for themselves, falling under a kind of herd insanity perpetuated by delusional individuals in positions of authority. Fear plays the largest part in this scenario most certainly; fear of retribution by torture and death under a dictatorship (pressure from a physical presence, but one they could have, at the least, a slim chance to fight against) and fear of eternal damnation and suffering under religion (something invisible and deemed all powerful); both entities steeped in fear and control. What recourse does an individual feel they have within an existence of assumed hopelessness and incapability to rebuke their “authorities;” to think/believe it’s out of their hands because it comes from a “higher order,” which they interpret as exemption from all responsibility of any wrong doing. It’s easier to believe, to go along, than think critically.

Awareness, and courage to stand up and recognize social, religious and political madness when it presents itself, in all its guises, is lacking in us. I don’t have an answer. I wish I did.

We are ONE RACE. ONE SPIRIT. ONE HOME.

Believe D. Brint June 8, 2021

Before you did what can’t be undone, before the smoke blocked out the sun

What were you thinking just then, when you shut the doors and sealed them in

Did you question how this came to be or did you think, better them than me

It’s easier to believe

It’s easy when it’s out of our hands

Kneel beside that fresh running stream

The pure water washes them so clean

When you took that oath of love and light, what made you believe you had the right

To lay claim to all land and life, then chain the hands and force the knife

Believing your acts were sanctified, is this how your god is gratified

Its easier to believe

It’s easy when its out of our hands

Kneel beside that fresh running stream

The holy waters wash them so clean

Centuries long trail of blood and tears, carved under the boots of greed and fear

This merciless lust for domain over people, land and souls is profane

But we can find our crimes redeemed, cleansed in that pure water stream

It’s easier to believe

It’s easy when it’s not in our hands

Kneel beside that fresh running stream

The pure water washes them so clean

Original songwriting challenge

A day late and a dollar short but here it is. I wrote this song today beginning to end, and rushed to record and post so to at least get it in the ballpark of the weekly challenge I set. The idea for this song began, as per usual it seems with this practice, as a very different story. But after several re writes another story began to emerge. Let me first say the inspiration for the song came from a hike Bob, his niece, and I did on Saturday. We had intended to hike up Mount Benson, a local mountain in Nanaimo. We did a bit of a climb but decided instead to descend and walk around the lake at the base of the mountain. Witchcraft Lake. We had our picnic lunch on the gravel shore next to the long, narrow, brown lake. It was a beautiful day entirely; warm and sunny, Squilly was in her unbounded glory, but of course the lake’s name stuck in me and had to be the theme for a song. I mused over it yesterday, and then spent all day today writing lyrics about the lake in a literal vein. It was when I decided to turn the lyric and tone of the song into a tale of loss and magic that it seemed to gel and take some shape. I had fun writing this.

Witchcraft Lake D. Brint May 31/2021

At the foot of the mountain where columbine bloom

There’s a path my love and I did take

It was long and narrow and led through the woods

To the stoney shore of witchcraft lake

The water was cold and the colour so brown

With a hollow tree pale and sharp as a stake

And the wind whistled through it an eerie lament

That lulled my love at witchcraft lake.

The music was soothing, gentle and sweet

And he lay himself down on the cold grey slate

I saw his soul get spirited away into the depths of witchcraft lake

I ran to the waters edge calling his name all through the night until day break

Then I turned to find his body was gone

But his voice rose out of witchcraft lake

Turn and go he said, there’s nothing for you here to remain would be a grave mistake

And know that I love you but I’ll be free no more

My soul’s bound to witchcraft lake

I give you fair warning if you find yourself there to spare you from certain heartache

For if you tarry you’ll lose your love to the wiles of witchcraft lake

At the foot of the mountain where the columbine bloom

There’s a path my love and I did take

It was long and narrow and led through the woods

To where my love lies deep in witchcraft lake

Sunday Original Songwriting challenge

I hadn’t planned to take a week off from my blog, but it happened. I have two words for that, Spring and Garden. The season is amping up with lots to do. The past few days were busy with buying seeds, preparing the soil, plotting, and planting, and the days flew by. Vegetable garden is in, now only to wait for signs of promise.

I wrote this song Sunday, May 16 but didn’t get it recorded in time for my deadline (and neither Monday or Tuesday), so I decided to surrender to tardiness and carry it forward to this week.

For this week’s song a lullaby came out. But, I do have four small grandchildren, so it’s a handy song to have, uh, on hand, and the Ukulele seemed like the perfect instrument choice, and my first song written on it.

Little Baby Mine D.Brint May 16, 2021

The sun is heavy and low in the sky

See how he slips down behind the trees

The deer have all gone back in the woods

The birds have hushed their singing

The stars begin to blossom in the night

Their twinkling eyes look down from heaven

And the moon glows so bright

To watch over your safe keeping

Hush little baby mine, sleep is nigh

Hush little baby mine, close your eyes

You float like a leaf on a breeze so soft

Drifting and swaying to and fro

The moon peeps out from her starry loft

In the wink of an eye you’re sweet dreaming

The stars begin to blossom in the night

Their twinkling eyes look down from heaven

And the moon glows so bright

To watch over your safe keeping

Hush little baby mine, sleep is nigh

Hush little baby mine, close your eyes

Sunday Original Song Challenge

It was written yesterday in one shot. Not expecting to write on this topic, I was writing words on something else – a tragically sad experience – but it wasn’t coming. Then I wrote the first line; Nothing I can do to make things better, (that I later changed to Nothing is feeling much better) and the rest of the lyrics just rolled out.

Fellow Man D.Brint, May 8/21

Nothing is feeling much better, with my back against the wall

Can’t help but feel the pressure, question the sense of right and wrong

One side says we must do more, others say to do less

Some ask what’s it all for, sometimes I agree I must confess

Does anyone ever have the answers

Is someone drawing up a better plan

Is humanity really making advances

For the good of the fellow man

Conflict always follows us, like a dog snapping at our heels

Like a ride we can’t get of off, caught in the spokes of a spinning wheel

And the sun still rises, the moon shines on the sea

They watch over our crisis, impartial to you and me

There’s trouble in the east, and in the west, fights in the south, the north is melting

We’ve seen the powerful undressed, we’ve joined the throngs of protest marching

And it’s round and round day after day, corruption sits in the power seat

Deaf to why it has to be that way, dumb and blind with greed and conceit

Does anybody ever have the answers

Is someone drawing up a master plan

Is humanity really making advances

For the good of the fellow man

Sunday Original Song Challenge

Ok, two days late.

Inspired by Canadian Artist Emily Carr. I stared writing this while I was away this week and finished it last night at midnight; recorded it this morning, which is why I sound like a wrung rag. Oh, and May the 4th be with you 🙂

EMILY

D.Brint, May 4

I saw your ghost through the trees, you were walking through the garden, the place you loved

Your arms were full of white lilies, your voice like the coo of a dove.

You came on the bite of a winter storm, a tempest in your eyes, a heart untamed

From where the wild things are born, that hands of nature ordained

You’re not so small in this world at all, Emily

The western forest deep and ethereal set fire to your soul, the light that guides you

Your own sacred cathedral, your passion, your truth

You’re not so small in this world at all, Emily

When you felt your world so hostile you took shelter under eagles wings

Your eyrie high as a steeple, safe in the solace it brings

You’re not so small in this world at all, Emily

You walk alone in your forest home, Emily

Sunday Original Song Challenge

This song barely made the Sunday deadline! I wrote half of the lyrics yesterday afternoon and the rest this morning and put the final music to it this afternoon. Then it takes me several, and I mean several takes to get the recording down. All week I couldn’t seem to find reflective time to work on lyrics, waiting for nudges or cues to come to my attention. But by Saturday I made the time, made space, for something to come, whatever it would be. I started just writing on an idea, whatever words came up, free association, then scraped what I had. Then I played a chord progression – C/F/G and hummed hoping to coax out some words, and what came out was carry them down. It immediately felt like coal mining, which is what my city and my little island is steeped in. Strange that that theme was not on my radar at all initially, but came out regardless. One of the fascinations I have with Writing; who’s doing the writing or am I being written? So off I went with writing the rest of the song.

So it seems fitting to include a link to my short story “Pocket Watch” about the story of Protection Islands coal mining tragedy.

Carry Them Down D.Brint April 25/21

Carry them down, deep down in the ground

Into that long dark hollow

When the work is done they’ll rise and then

Return again on the morrow

Living by the lamp the air cold and damp

Stooping low to work that seam

They’ve come from so far to be where they are

Digging down their roots for a dream

Carry them down deep down in the ground

Into that long dark hollow

When the work is done they’ll rise and then

Return again on the morrow

Heeding the call there was work for them all

There was land and steady pay

Earned by a hard run both father and son

Clawing Dunsmuir coal from the clay

Carry them down deep down in the ground

Into that long dark hollow

When the work is done they’ll rise and then

Return again on the morrow

Like a mole in that deep dark hole

Swallowed into the belly of a snake

Each man devoured by long tunnels and hours

A cruel barter that seals their fate

Carry them down, deep down in the ground

Into that long black hollow

There they’ll stay the rest of days

They’ll not again come on the morrow.

Sunday original Song Challenge

This came out as a rather long song, over 4 minutes of your life you won’t get back if you listen to it. Thank you for your time if you do. It started off with an offhand thought of the phrase, days like these, and went from there. Yes, I did have soooo many great concerts lined up for the summer and into the fall….

Days Like Those D. Brint, April 17/21

I was hanging out in cafe’s, I was out shopping for shoes

There was a bustle out on main street, and family BBQ’s

I was planning my vacation, I was booking my hotel

I was hugging all my friends up until

Days like those became days like these

Got to go with the flow, but we’re on our knees, with days like these

I had tickets to my favourite concerts, I was going to the movies

I was meeting friends for lunch, and going out for sushi

We gathered around the table, we gathered in small rooms

We shook hands with total strangers whose hands weren’t so well groomed

Days like those…

Last year I saw whole faces when I went to the grocery store

Saw their smiles heard their voices as they came and went through the doors

My friend just out of surgery, I sat at his bedside

Nurses weren’t so tired then, not so much anyway

Days like those…

These days became a waiting game, looking for ways to bide our time

Learned a language, reno’d the kitchen

Took up macrame and made a batch of wine

Days like those…

Sunday Original Song Challenge

Here is week 5 in the challenge. This song comes out of what I think everyone has gone or is going through. Words are many things, but the hardest ones are ones left unspoken.

Words D.Brint, April 10, 2021

Words are fickle things, the easy way they fall from our lips

And words can be heavy things, smooth and dark as a stone on the tongue

Words are wasted things, tossed like pennies in a shallow pool

Or locked down deep inside, till the last breath from our lungs

Words can come too late, thinking we have the time

To voice the things that’s in our hearts

To say the things we meant to say

And I am here, but you’re not here to hear the words I have for you

They’re grounded like wounded bird

Whose colours have turned to grey

Sunday Original Song Challenge

I believe this 4th song in my challenge constitutes as a Ditty, in that it’s short, simple (and I think, a little cute). The inspiration for it came when my husband was reading inscriptions from his parent’s wedding guest book from 1948 the other day. Reg, just home from WW2, and Florence, a young accomplished bagpiper, were both born and raised and living in Parry Sound Ontario, where they remained after marrying, raised their children, and died in old age. Some of the entries in the guest book, I’m yours until butter flies, and, Yours until the kitchen sinks, written by their friends piqued my sweetness bone and I thought, why not a song with those play on words? So I did.

I’m Yours D.Brint April 4, 2021

The moment my eyes fell upon your face

Is the moment I knew my heart had found its place

My world stopped the day you took my hand

Birds sang, flowers bloomed, there was peace upon the land

I’m yours till butter flies, until the bed springs

Till thunder storms and Niagara falls

Until tulips kiss and the kitchen sinks

When hot dogs bark and the barn dances

As the years gather and the road behind us long

There’ll be no doubt in our hearts it’s here where we belong

I wouldn’t change a thing in this life I have with you

And I thank my stars it’s me you took a shine to

I’m yours till butter flies, until the bed springs

Till thunder storms and Niagara falls

Until tulips kiss and the kitchen sinks

Till hot dogs bark and the barn dances

Sunday Original Song Challenge

A childhood event was the inspiration here. The idea for this song was initially different than what actually came out when I began writing, and it came in one day. Interesting how the writing process works, like the of writing a story that seems to take on a life of its own, sometimes it dictates what will be written despite your intention. I’m including the lyrics under the videos now, thanks to a suggestion from a follower.

Susan

Susan was new to the neighbourhood, we walked to school

Picking oranges from a grove marked for demolition

She had no mother, lived with her dad,

Grade five, California, 1967

He was never home until the end of the day

But Susan had her own key to the front door

And she wasn’t allowed to play down the street

I guess it was his way to see her safe and secure

I’d go to her house most day’s after school

We’d eat captain crunch and watch national velvet

Or turn the radio up loud and make up crazy dances

Doing our best to imitate Elvis

I remember a pool table stood where a dining table should be

And stacks of country albums in rows on the floor

I remember her dad and his short, black, shiny hair

And the cans of beer he bought from the corner liquor store

We started out as friends but for reasons I didn’t understand

She became cruel and condescending

I became the target of her hurtful remarks

By the time the school year was ending

By summertime a white moving van parked in front of her house on the road

And I saw men carry out the pool table, and boxes of everything they owned

I could see Susan in the passenger seat of the station wagon

Her dad beside her at the wheel

She never looked or waved at me standing, stared straight ahead

never let on how she feels about

Leaving another home, leaving another town,

leaving another school, leaving another friend

Issues

I may be having issues posting videos to the Sunday Song Challenge. Not sure if this last one worked. It always shows on my site, and I check it on my husbands iPad to confirm if it comes up on another computer. Last night it was there- this morning it wasn’t, nor on my iPhone, so not sure what’s going on as I did the same procedure when I posted two previous videos successfully…?

So bear with me, and I appreciate any feedback concerning trouble viewing the clip 🙂 Ah technology ~~

Cheers!

Sunday Song Challenge

Just finished the second song in the challenge! I was soooo busy this week with family (my bubble) and lots of activity, I was worried I wouldn’t get a song down before today. Worked all day yesterday on it, starting by just writing on a theme to see what would come out, then carved out some stanzas. This is a real challenge. The songwriting process is fascinating, even if the results are not. For instance this song went through a massive transformation in one day. I had an entirely different meter going, and longer lyrics. Then I tried putting a melody to it, and was having some, well, a lot of, difficulty; more I think because my guitar playing is rudimentary, to be generous. It’s ok to keep it simple! I’ve heard songwriters when interviewed asked the question; ‘what comes first the lyric or the melody?’ I think I’ve discovered I must begin with the melody and fit the lyric to it.

Cheers!

Pathless Road, D Brint 2021

Spent a long time passing through rooms that led down dark hallways

Through doors leading nowhere, no direction to guide me

I’m as rootless as a cloud

My heart in my hand, collecting broken pieces I thought I could mend

Pathless road don’t own me

Don’t lead me astray, and make it hard to find my way

Finding footholds made of sand and shifting stone

My hands remained empty, in the end I stood alone

Not every smile is a home

Nothing to give, but still wanting more

Pulling blood from a stone

My heart felt squandered and misused, desired for meaning

Questions unanswered, barely left beating

Then I touched down

To ground unmoving, and arms embracing

A heart’s that’s true.

Sunday Song Challenge

Ok, here goes, first song of the challenge. I’m not sure if I have the kinks ironed out regarding posting videos on my blog. My first attempt failed yesterday and I pulled the post because the video wouldn’t display, and please let me know if there is an issue on your end. ( Thanks Marilee! ) This is a project I have been wanting to launch for some time; I’ve challenged myself with an overly ambitious exercise to write one original song a week, for as many weeks as I can, and post it. This might, no, I’m certain, will result in some lame ass material, so, goofy or not, you’re welcome to watch me fumble through.

This song is in response to the front line workers over the past year. Seven Bells is 7 pm when we all went out on our balconies and decks to give our thanks ~

HERO’S D. Brint, 2021

In the light that’s slowly fading, over empty city streets

Another shift is starting, shuffled in on tired feet

And they’re close to collapsing, from long hours on the line

And they crave what their heart’s thirsting

Just an end to these hard times

Marches and angry hollers, holding out their flags of doom

Their rhetorics hard to swallow, while we drown in this monsoon

But the giving that you’re giving, all the hearts that you have won

What will shine as bright as ever, is the work that you have done

A mother without her child, a husband without his wife

Behind these walls they’re exiled, In their last moments of life

And it’s you who held their hand, when no one could be there

We’re walking through a wasteland

Littered with our thoughts and prayers

Seven Bells called us out of hiding

With shouts of praise, this war that you’re fighting

Sound the drum for the bullets that you’re biting

You’ll walk the boulevard as hero’s