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 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

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.