Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Go to Him / Unguarded / Something More

The writing continues.


A lot of the songs I finished a week or two ago but I'm trying to balance out when they're posted. This is a good mix.


The first, Go to Him, is reflective of a relationship that is caught - maybe in its own evolution. As I've said before, unrequited love is the basis for many songs. This is one of those instances. Sometimes when you're too close to that person who's wanting to be close to someone else - you lose your perspective.


The next song, Unguarded, is from last weekend. It is a sexy, summer song...that I wrote close to midnight on the train coming back from White Plains, New York. When I re-read it - I feel like I should've written it while sitting on the stoop to my building or while stretched out in Central Park. The song is about complete abandon...running headfirst into a crush. That first smile. That first look. I imagine this taking place on my New York City rooftop during a block party.


Something More is the last song and is one of my recent favorites. This song is about discovering and striking that balance when a new relationship is growing into...well...something more. There are little things that happen, when you least expect them, that let you know you're falling in love. Then there are the not-so-little things...when you find yourself making space to incorporate someone else into your life. Those experience are my favorites...I like those tell-tale signs that you're completely falling for someone...when you catch yourself saying "we" and "us" instead of "me" or "mine."


Enjoy.

-J



Go to Him

8/12/09, 8/15/09

v1

I don’t need details

I don’t need rhyme

Or reason

This choice isn’t new

It no longer

Tastes of treason

The bed you made

Is where you both will lie

I’ve let go

Or at least I try


This feels like more

Than either of us

Bargained for

To great a sacrifice

To not be with you

But still share your life


Chorus

We can’t move on

With you looking back

Deciding who to save

Yourself or me

You can’t come along

With me pulling back

Making me be brave

Instead of free

So let me go, let me go, let me go

To sink of swim

Let me go, let me go, let me go

And go to him


v2

I don’t need escape

I don’t need cause

Or effect

This is no mystery

No speak easy

Or lost secret

I know fully

Who we were to each other

Has been lost

Left to bury and cover


This feels like more

Than either of us

Is really ready for

Always too close to you

Deep inside your skin

Like your first tattoo



Unguarded

8/22/09, 8/23/09


v1

Feel the sun

Turn up the music

Feel this groove

Turn up you

Make your move

It’s summertime

Baby, I’m feeling fine

I’m here waiting on you

Waiting on you


v2

Feel the air

Turn up the sound

Come get close

Turn up you

Make the most

Of summertime

Baby, I’m feeling fine

Don’t over think this

Let’s just kiss


Chorus

Let loose

The ties that bind

Let go

Let fly, be mine

Throw caution to the wind

Your plans all discarded

And let’s run into this, arms wide

And unguarded

Maybe hit and miss, then ride

And live unguarded


Bridge

Lights go low

Temperatures rise

We all know

It’s no surprise

Colored lights hang off the roof

In my eyes you’ll see the proof

Lean close, lean in and listen

This kiss is your permission



Something More

6/12/08, 8/17/09


v1

I like your toothbrush in my bathroom

Your clothes left on my floor

These everyday

Throw away’s

Make me think there’s something more

Yep, I'm pretty sure, there’s something more


v2

I like how you just go to things in my kitchen

When you slip and say “our” bed

The little things

You just bring

Make me thing there’s something more

Yep, I'm pretty sure, there’s something more


Chorus

Something more

About you

Something more

About me

Something more

You feel

Something more

You see

I've got no clue what will follow today

But that something more makes the unknown feel ok

I'll gladly settle for

Something more


v3

I like how your head always finds my pillow

Your shoes kicked by the door

You're in the way

Most everyday

Makes me think there’s something more

Yep, I'm kinda sure there’s something more


Chorus


Bridge

Stay

And let’s drive each other crazy

Stay

And let’s make each other sane

I'll make room in my closet

I’ll make room in my bed

Why go back to your place

Stay

Right here, let's make this Our place instead


Chorus


The Plaza


There are a collection of little things that make you a New Yorker...over time. One of them is religiously referring to the weekly magazine: TIME OUT NEW YORK.

Last week I noticed that there is a free tour of the famed Plaza hotel twice a week. One of them was today, at 3pm. I had errands to do today but I made time to get up to the south end of Central Park to check it out.

There is so much history wrapped up in this beautiful landmark. The pictures came out a little fuzzy because they encourage you not to use flash photography inside.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

14 COWS FOR AMERICA

I was off today...and it was a great day just to catch up. I slept in and did some things around my apartment. Then I did more writing and I ran some errands.

While running errands I saw that my friend Carmen Agra Deedy's new book 14 Cows for America was out on beautiful display at the Barnes & Nobel on the Upper East Side (at 86th Street and Lexington Avenue).


Earlier this month the book received a wonderful review in the Wall Street Journal and I've been passing it along to my friends and family.

I can't wait to see how the life of this book unfolds in the weeks and months ahead. This is an incredibly moving story about an African tribe's response to news that America had been attacked and wounded on September 11th.

Though some may bill this as a 9/11 book - it is really a true account that captures the beauty of the human spirit. How complete strangers could ask, "What can we do?" speaks to the heart of what it is to be human.

I hope you'll check it out...you'll be better for it.

Some other reviews:

"...elegant sentences...The suspenseful pace is especially striking when surrounded by Gonzalez's exquisite colored pencil and pastel illustrations. The colors of Kenya explode off the page..." -School Library Journal * STARRED REVIEW *

"...gentle yet piercing present-tense prose...A stirring, heartwarming tale that made headlines when it happened-and is now, thankfully, preserved on the page for children." -Kirkus Reviews

"...just as affecting for adults as it is for kids." -Cookie Magazine Online

"...the words and the glowing mixed-media illustrations show empathy and connections across communities..." -Booklist

Witness to My Life / Connie & Karen's Wedding





Back in March of this year had the honor and privilege of flying home to Atlanta for the wedding of my pastor Connie to her partner, Karen. It is always good to be back in Atlanta and my trip was made even more special by sharing in their special day.

As a wedding gift I wrote a song for the two of them called Witness to My Life. This marks only my second "Wedding"-style song, the first being Let Me Walk Beside You which wrote (and sang with music written by Dennis Lewallen) for my brother's wedding.

After experiencing such an incredibly beautiful, moving ceremony - I scrapped the song with a promise to revisited it. A couple weeks ago I sat down with the lyrics and these photos from the ceremony and started again.

With their permission, I'm sharing it here.

Witness to My Life

For Connie & Karen

3/14/09, 3/19/09 8/11/09

v1

This is the story

Of you and me

One and one

Upheld by many

The writing of our history


Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses

Grounded in the grace of ages

We have found what we will name as True

I have found love

I have found you


Chorus

Be a witness to my love

Be a witness to my life

As my love

As my life

In a million moments

Threaded through thousands of days

Every season beautiful

Every season difficult

Stand beside me

And I beside you


v2

This testimony

Of you and me

Reaches beyond here

For all to see

Honoring Love’s mystery


Above all in this life it’s you I promise to treasure

Our love will be how we measure

This love we know to be pure, worthy and true

I have found love

I have found you


Chorus


Bridge

So for all of days

Be a witness to my life

As my lover, friend and wife

As a mirror of the best and worst in me

Bind us together

To set us free





Thursday, August 20, 2009

6 of the New Songs...In One Post

So...here are 6 of the most recently posted songs...all in one place.


If you want to check out some snippets about when, where and why each song was written...just scan some of the previous posts.


Enjoy.

-J


Planets and Stars

10/08, 2/14/08, 8/15/09, 8/18/09


v1

Careful,

Quiet now

Do you see

Above in the sky

So easily lost in this moment

So deeply lost in your kiss

I don’t want to miss

Just how the planets and stars align

The very moment you become mine

Chorus

Saturn, Orion, Jupiter, Mars

All fears set adrift

As the planets shift

Bathing in the light of a sky full of stars

All chances done

Like eon old suns

This love, our love

Will heal time-remembered scars

As witnessed by

The planets and stars

v2

Easy,

Here now

Do you know

How it feels to love you

So intensely how you love me

So easy to be with you right here

Outside in the clear

Under this dark blue blanket sky

Lying still we close our eyes and fly

Chorus

Bridge

Stay close beside me

Practice your astronomy

Connect the freckles on my skin

Left over from the day’s sun

Lay down beside me

Tell me dreams held in secrecy

Making love in a night air so thin

‘Til the blue sky of morning come



Overdue Love Song

8/13/09, 8/15/09

v1

This is it

This is the one

It should’ve been written

Way before

We were done

There’s no counting

The stars in the sky

Or missed

Opportunities

But this is a chance

If only for the record

A second chance

For days past to be rediscovered

Chorus

Here it is

A half-ass explanation

Here it is now,

Eyes-wide resignation

An apology

To you, from me

For knowing what was right

While I got it wrong

Here it is

Just an overdue love song

v2

Hear from me

I wasn’t blind

You were truly beautiful

I was lucky

To call you mine

You were deserving

Of knowing me

Not just my

Insecurities

Run from yes to maybe

There is no excuse

Only a maybe

Lost inspiration or a misplaced Muse

Bridge

One day, should you hear this song

On the radio

You won’t even have to second guess

You’ll just know

Sure it’s too little, too late

That’s how I know,

Some times in life, we create our own fate




Bring Me Bruises

8/15/09

v1

Your eyes

Brings no solace

Your touch

No longer sets me free

Outside of the pain

It’s left me ambivalent to your answers

When you try to explain

You say you hurt

Like me

You say you wish

I could see

Chorus

I say

Bring me bruises

Come back

When you are

Wearing evidence

Bring me bruises

Return

When your proof

Is real experience

v2

Your heart

Shares no memory

Your words

Hold no shred of salvation

Hanging in the air

It’s no longer left up to you

To decide how I care

You say you learn

I know

You say you feel

What I show

Chorus

Bridge

The extremes

From lost dreams

Sends me so far

Away from you

Come back when

You’re wearing scars

Chorus




Through

11/08, 8/15/09

v1

You

You of all people

Made it in record time

You stumbled right into this heart of mine

Unprepared, unaware

Of walls I can quickly mortar

And reckless traps I’ve been known to lay

Keeping ones like you at bay

But now here you are

Here you are

Chorus

Now, what do I say?

Now, what do I do?

When the one who didn’t even have to try

Made it through

I lose my defenses

You bring me back to my senses

Like only you know how to

So, now, what do I do?

v2

You

You of all the ones

Who came bravely before

You came in bringing less but demanding more

Unsuited, unaffected

Of how I made myself

With my self-trained power of persuasion

Making me easy to abandon

But now here you are

Here you are

Chorus

Bridge

Past broken hearts, played tricks on me

Turned me into someone, I gave myself the excuse to be

If there’s any chance for safety, any chance at all

Then build again, build a higher wall

This time dig, dig, a moat

Bloody your hands, and surrender hope

Then you

A smile and a mirror standing opposite me

Giving me permission
To set myself free

Chorus


Take Texas

4/5/08, 8/10/09, 8/11/09

v1

You and me

What do you know

We’re both here

Country music on the radio

I can find myself

Lost again

From the start

Wrapped in you

Two country boys at heart

Chorus

Never thought

No, I never thought

This New York City boy

Could be tempted to take Texas

But here I am

Yes, Here I am

Trading the subway for the sky

If it means getting an “us”

Our of you and me

Then baby, I’ll take Texas

v2

Didn’t take much

To make me fall

A well-timed kiss

Another dropped “Ya’ll”

I could see myself

Right here

Right with you

I fit right in

Then it all comes true

Chorus

Bridge

I lose all sense

Lost in that Southern cadence

You in white T-shirt and blue jeans on

Standing six foot, nine

Smiling sly at me

Next thing, I’m just doing time

Counting minutes

Til I give up

Manhattan’s skyline

Chorus


To See You Happy

8/6/09

For ARB

v1

So this is how it feels

When enough time has past

Making things real

Get a little distance

Allow the hurts to heal

From here

I can look at you and finally understand

I was many things

Just not enough to be your man

Chorus

It’s good

To see you happy

And now

To see you happy

Means so much to me

It’s right

To see you happy

So good

To see you happy

As you deserve to be

v2

I will let the future thaw

And just rest outside the past

Though it still feels raw

Trips my tongue

Sticks to my jaw

Doesn’t come easy to call you a friend

Given our history

But our lives will let us write the end

Bridge

I can hold the memory

He’ll hold you, instead of me

It’s gentle ache

To acclimate myself to

A quiet break

I appreciate when I see you

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On the High Line / Planets and Stars



So fresh off vacation - I had a day off from work yesterday. I had some errands to run but I decided that if I did nothing else I would re-visit the High Line Park.

In June the High Line opened and


it is one of my favorite spots in NYC. Before the famous subway went underground it ran on rails above ground. Those tracks have long been abandoned and an eye-sore.

Several years ago a group of guys decided to transform the rails into an above ground park. Using wildflowers and the original tracks the park currently runs from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street. Eventually it will continue up the West side of Manhattan to Javitts Convention Center.

It is beautiful. I love the concept and how its been executed. It is a great escape that incorporates both the concrete and steel and nature of Manhattan.

I went down close to sunset...I walked. I read. I had my journal with me but before I had a chance to settle again I heard a familiar French voice. I looked to my right and saw my friend Luc sitting on a bench talking to a lady who had lost her camera. Within 5 minutes we were joined by Luc's boyfriend (and dear pal of mine) Marcos. Once again I had smile and laugh that even in a city of 8 million...it is still possible to run into someone you know.

When I got back to my neighborhood and was leaving the subway station at 116th Street...the sky had opened up and it was pouring rain. It was a deluge. Lightening and thunder sparked and cracked across the sky and the streets flooded.

I ran home and was soaked through and through...but it was still a wonderful day. I spent the last couple hours, before going to bed, working on a couple more songs. I'm working on a love song to New York City...it is a city that constantly inspires and challenges. There's no where else like it in the world. My love song for NYC (can't give away the title just yet) isn't finished...so I thought I would share another love song.

Planets and Stars is a romantic, intimate love song. Some of my friends say that I write a lot about heart ache and longing...this song will prove them wrong. This song is all about falling in love and closeness.

Planets and Stars

10/08, 2/14/08, 8/15/09, 8/18/09

v1

Careful,

Quiet now

Do you see

Above in the sky

So easily lost in this moment

So deeply lost in your kiss

I don’t want to miss

Just how the planets and stars align

The very moment you become mine

Chorus

Saturn, Orion, Jupiter, Mars

All fears set adrift

As the planets shift

Bathing in the light of a sky full of stars

All chances done

Like eon old suns

This love, our love

Will heal time-remembered scars

As witnessed by

The planets and stars

v2

Easy,

Here now

Do you know

How it feels to love you

So intensely how you love me

So easy to be with you right here

Outside in the clear

Under this dark blue blanket sky

Lying still we close our eyes and fly

Chorus

Bridge

Stay close beside me

Practice your astronomy

Connect the freckles on my skin

Left over from the day’s sun

Lay down beside me

Tell me dreams held in secrecy

Making love in a night air so thin

‘Til the blue sky of morning come


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Overdue Love Song

Here's another song from my writing days at the beach...

It's called Overdue Love Song. I wanted this song to be playful and honest...with an emphasis on honest.

This song was written from the vantage point of being a writer and artist but not using that creative force in a relationship until it's too late. For whatever reasons I tend to write more before or after a relationship...something to work on...

Overdue Love Song
8/13/09, 8/15/09

v1
This is it
This is the one
It should’ve been written
Way before
We were done

There’s no counting
The stars in the sky
Or missed
Opportunities
But this is a chance
If only for the record
A second chance
For days past to be rediscovered

Chorus
Here it is
A half-ass explanation
Here it is now,
Eyes-wide resignation
An apology
To you, from me
For knowing what was right
While I got it wrong
Here it is
Just an overdue love song

v2
Hear from me
I wasn’t blind
You were truly beautiful
I was lucky
To call you mine

You were deserving
Of knowing me
Not just my
Insecurities
Run from yes to maybe
There is no excuse
Only a maybe
Lost inspiration or a misplaced Muse

Bridge
One day, should you hear this song
On the radio
You won’t even have to second guess
You’ll just know
Sure it’s too little, too late
That’s how I know,
Some times in life, we create our own fate

Monday, August 17, 2009

HAIR - The Movie

Peace. Flowers. Freedom. Happiness.

So my good friend Rebecca passed along the movie version of the musical HAIR. She'd heard me ranting and raving about the Broadway revival of the musical and couldn't believe I hadn't seen the film.

The movie is very different from the current incarnation running on Broadway. The story is more fleshed out in the film and the stage version lightly supports a story while exploding the music.

One thing the movie has that I'm loving is choreography by the legendary Twlya Tharp.

I love the whole vibe and energy of this musical...gives me the feeling that I was born at the wrong time in history.

I think what I respond to is the images of peace, love and expression. Those are voices we desperately need these days.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Errands, Bryant Park & Through

So today...back in the city...

I head back to work tomorrow and that gave me some time run errands and transition back into NYC life.

While I was out running errands I popped over to Byrant Park and officially traded in the past few days of soaking in the sun at the beach to soaking in the sun (and noise) of the city.

I had my journal with me so I decided to grab a chair and sit at one of the small, green cafe tables and write for a bit. I realized that I had been away for a week and even with amble time I had not cracked my journal once.

I had been busy with song writing...so that kinda counts, right? My songs have always been like mini-snapshots of a journal. That's one of the reasons I date my songs...if someone ever wants to...they can take my Journal, this BLOG and my songs and line up and have a biography that's ready to go.

Since the trip was so productive for me artistically, I gave myself a break on not writing in my journal.

In the park today, under the great canopy of trees (pictured above), I was able to catch up a bit in my journal. Reading back over today's entry I noticed that it did borrow heavily from a couple of the songs I wrote last week.

Speaking of songs...

Here's another one to share...this one is a hybrid. I started writing it months ago and yesterday, while waiting at the airport, I deconstructed it, reconstructed it and got it finished. I want a better title but for now it will have to do....it's called Through.

I have several songs to share but since Bring Me Bruises was darker, I wanted something lighter and happier...Through.

This song is about being out of a relationship...and not really looking. Then someone, unexpectedly, makes it through to you.

Through

11/08, 8/15/09

v1

You

You of all people

Made it in record time

You stumbled right into this heart of mine

Unprepared, unaware

Of walls I can quickly mortar

And reckless traps I’ve been known to lay

Keeping ones like you at bay

But now here you are

Here you are

Chorus

Now, what do I say?

Now, what do I do?

When the one who didn’t even have to try

Made it through

I lose my defenses

You bring me back to my senses

Like only you know how to

So, now, what do I do?

v2

You

You of all the ones

Who came bravely before

You came in bringing less but demanding more

Unsuited, unaffected

Of how I made myself

With my self-trained power of persuasion

Making me easy to abandon

But now here you are

Here you are

Chorus

Bridge

Past broken hearts, played tricks on me

Turned me into someone, I gave myself the excuse to be

If there’s any chance for safety, any chance at all

Then build again, build a higher wall

This time dig, dig, a moat

Bloody your hands, and surrender hope

Then you

A smile and a mirror standing opposite me

Giving me permission
To set myself free

Chorus


Home / Bring Me Bruises

There are so many things to love about NYC...

Trying to get home from the airport at midnight, isn't one of them. My checked bag was delayed coming off the plane and I missed not one but two M60 buses (my $2 key back into Manhattan).

When midnight came and went...I sucked it and got a cab. I just wanted to be home. We all know that feeling...being away and just wanting to walk through our own door.

It was a full day of traveling...from leaving the beach to hanging out in the Tampa airport for 6+ hours. I'm very proud that I put the time to good use...I worked on 10 songs, finishing 6 of them.

The first is a song I started four or five years ago...the title, Bring Me Bruises, came to me again while I was walking on the beach a few nights ago. I don't know whatever happened to the original I started writing so long ago, so I sat down and started from scratch.

This song came out of the ending of a relationship...and it's a little darker, heavier. There was a lot of back and forth...and questioning and second-guessing. I became a safety net when the grass ended up not being greener.

Bring Me Bruises
8/15/09

v1
Your eyes
Brings no solace
Your touch
No longer sets me free
Outside of the pain
It’s left me ambivalent to your answers
When you try to explain

You say you hurt
Like me
You say you wish
I could see

Chorus
I say
Bring me bruises
Come back
When you are
Wearing evidence
Bring me bruises
Return
When your proof
Is real experience

v2
Your heart
Shares no memory
Your words
Hold no shred of salvation
Hanging in the air
It’s no longer left up to you
To decide how I care

You say you learn
I know
You say you feel
What I show

Chorus

Bridge

The extremes
From lost dreams
Sends me so far
Away from you
Come back when
You’re wearing scars

Chorus

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Heading Home to NYC

I'm NYC bound and enjoying the free Wi-Fi at the Tampa International Airport.

I was hoping to snag an early flight back...and I could've...for $50. It would've gotten me home 2 hours earlier, but I couldn't justify it. Then I checked in and discovered to check just one bag it would be $20.

So it was $20 I had to pay vs. $50 I could pay...so I took, literally, the lesser of two evils.

The airport has amble electrical sockets, so I can charge my computer....catch up on Facebook-ing...and work on a couple new songs (Bring Me Bruises is one I finished today...look for it in a future post).

Last night I was able to meet up with some old friends in Titusville and enjoy an incredible seafood dinner at Dixie Crossroads. I don't have a lot of traditions or rituals...but when I'm vacationing in Cocoa Beach, I set aside one night to go to Dixie Crossroads and indulge.

And that's just what I did. Lobster, Rock Shrimp, Scallops, Crab legs, etc. Delicious.

I woke up early this morning and went out on the small balcony and just soaked in the humid beach air. I listened to the waves crashing as the sun rose slowly over the water.

It wasn't long before I had to be a part of it.

I put on my swimsuit and hit the beach for the last time.

This time I didn't spend time stretching out in the sun. I went straight to the water. I dove, swam and rode waves for an hour or so. There was a small storm over night and that brought in a lot of strong rolling waves. I considered it Poseidon's parting gift.

I packed things up and headed west. I'm here 6 full hours before my flight and making the most of it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

To See You Happy / Take Texas

I recently came across a Tony Kushner quote from his play Angels in America. "Failing at Love is not the same thing as not loving."

That has stayed with me.

As a human. As a lover. As a writer...I tend to meditate on relationships...a lot. I find myself doing that more and more these days. I'm intrigued by what makes them work, grow and soar...or crumble under their own weight.

I have no answers...I simply absorb. And write.

A week ago I spent the afternoon with an "Ex" (Two letters that in no way, shape or form fill in the holes of who two people are to each other...even after they cease being.). During this middle of the day conversation I learned that he was now seeing someone else; information that should not have come as a surprise.

But the heart is tricky.

I was happy and thrilled...and said so. When I left and was walking home, I was left to once again take our history a part and put it back together.

I did and it became the song...To See You Happy.

I wrote it quickly, in one sitting. Everything just seemed to flow as it was being sifted. I read over it and filed it away.

Three days into my vacation (and riding the current wave of posting songs I've written) the song kept waiting on me to be ready to share it. I knew I couldn't share it without a blessing of some kind.

So I sent it off.

Yesterday I got a phone call and the blessing. I also had the opportunity to talk through the song...start to finish with him. It was one of the most healing and honest conversations of recent memory.

This is the song...despite what I've written above in the last few paragraphs...in my head I hear this as upbeat, hopeful and affirming song. A declaration. If we love someone then seeing them happy is it's own kind of reward.

To See You Happy
8/6/09
For ARB


v1
So this is how it feels
When enough time has past
Making things real
Get a little distance
Allow the hurts to heal
From here
I can look at you and finally understand
I was many things
Just not enough to be your man

Chorus
It’s good
To see you happy
And now
To see you happy
Means so much to me
It’s right
To see you happy
So good
To see you happy
As you deserve to be

v2
I will let the future thaw
And just rest outside the past
Though it still feels raw
Trips my tongue
Sticks to my jaw
Doesn’t come easy to call you a friend
Given our history
But our lives will let us write the end

Bridge
I can hold the memory
He’ll hold you, instead of me
It’s gentle ache
To acclimate myself to
A quiet break
I appreciate when I see you

On a completely different note...

The other day I finished a song I started and shelved well over a year ago. This song...well, it's just plain fun. It was fun to explore and write.

Based completely on an imaginary relationship (i.e. a crush)...this song is about giving everything up to be with the one you want.

Take Texas
4/5/08, 8/10/09, 8/11/09

v1
You and me
What do you know
We’re both here
Country music on the radio
I can find myself
Lost again
From the start
Wrapped in you
Two country boys at heart

Chorus
Never thought
No, I never thought
This New York City boy
Could be tempted
To take Texas
But here I am
Yes, Here I am
Trading the subway for the sky
If it means getting an “us”
Out of you and me
Then baby, I’ll take Texas

v2
Didn’t take much
To make me fall
A well-timed kiss
Another well-placed “Ya’ll”
I could see myself
Right here
Right with you
I fit right in
Then it all comes true

Chorus

Bridge
I lose all sense
Lost in that Southern cadence
You in white T-shirt and blue jeans on
Standing six foot, nine
Smiling sly at me
Next thing,
I’m just doing time
Counting minutes
Til I trade
Manhattan’s skyline

Chorus

Cocoa at Sunrise...






I couldn't sleep last night...I tossed. I turned. Drifted in and out of sleep...but never really settled.

One plus to a restless night - an early morning...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The View from My Escape





Cocoa Beach/Ronnie Coleman/Dance to the Edge of Heaven

I'm enjoying a week away from NYC...

I'm back at Cocoa Beach. Soaking up the sun. Sleeping in late. Reading. Writing.

I've brought along a couple of projects to work on when I'm out of the sun - I had to put them on the back burner when I received the news that a friend from my youth, Ronnie Coleman, had passed away.

I was shocked and saddened by the news. Huntington's Disease had not been kind to him and it had robbed him of many of the things that made him iconic in my memory. His passion and love of dance come to my mind. As a teenager I would marvel at him...he'd watch a video on MTV two times and then replicate it in the living room.

Hands down my favorite memory is when I went with him and a bunch of friends to see Amy Grand in concert in Orlando. We had floor seats just rows from the stage. When the show started he and I were on our feet living the music. That's what you did a concert. You danced. You sang. You joined in the experience.

Not everyone joined in. Ronnie and I were asked by the people sitting behind us if we'd sit down. Repeatedly they asked. We would try...then a song we loved would start and we couldn't contain ourselves...we'd be back on our feet.

Several songs into the concert, and after being asked again, we sat down. Between songs Ms. Grant started talking about music and how it touched people in different ways. Then she added, "Like these two guys over here...just dancing to every song. They came to have a good time. Guys I hope you dance all night. Have a good time!"

With Amy's blessing we did exactly that.

When I think of Ronnie...I think of dance. After receiving the news that he passed away last Friday...I could hardly think of anything else.

I sat down and wrote this song for him...and all those who love him and will miss him.

Dance to the Edge of Heaven
8/11/09
for Ronnie Coleman


v1
Hear the music play
No reason to stay
Let go, get away
Dance to the edge of Heaven

Exhale close your eyes
Find your piece of sky
Let go, let fly
Dance to the edge of Heaven

Chorus
This is your time
This is your chance
Dance to the edge
The edge of Heaven
Free of a body that kept
You on an invisible ledge
Dance to the edge
The edge of Heaven

v2
Feel the wind in your hair
No one there to care
Let go, on a dare
Dance to the edge of Heaven

Inhale the clean light
As you take flight
Let go, of the fight
Dance to the edge of Heaven

Chorus

Bridge
Dance out the day
Dance out the night
Dance to the One
Who holds the light

Dance on your way
Dance on your own
Dance to the One
Who sings you home

Thursday, August 06, 2009

2 New

I was telling my dear friend Antuan today that I feel like I'm tapped into something different these days.

I've gone the last couple months without writing...songs, in my personal journal, in this BLOG, letters, etc....now...I've hit some underground current. Inspiration has been tailing me lately. I've been inspired by so many things around me.

I'm writing in my journal almost daily...and songs are find their way to me on a daily basis as well...

I commute for work and yesterday as I rode out of the city on the train and then again last night coming back into Manhattan...two songs found me. Both are very different. I know they're only lyrics here...but I do "hear" them in my head. The first I wrote in about four minutes. When I finished I looked up...then looked back down at my chicken scratch and re-read it. It said everything I needed it to say. It's called Name the Fear.

Last night, late, I was heading home. I read a few pages of Harry Potter, took a phone call, listened to my iPod...then stopped and put everything away. Within minutes I had Find Me.

When talking with a couple of friends last week...we talked about fears. One mentioned that if you name the fear - it isn't as scary.

I wasn't sold on the idea.

To me naming the fear meant that not only was it scary...it was scary with a name.

This song is from the other side...written as if I'm a big boy. With no fears and able to save others. In other words, I put myself in someone else's shoes to seem more confident.

Name the Fear
8/5/09
Thanks, KH


v1
Look me in the eyes
Sit your soul down
Inside my voice
Nothing you say can surprise
Things will shine through
It’ll be clear
When you find the words
To name the fear

Chorus
Baby, name the fear
Nothing can reach you here
What you’re facing
Has to get by me to get to you
And I’m not letting anything through
I swear
All you need to do, is name the fear

v2
That vow of silence, bend
I’m not that far ahead
Of where you are
How it starts, how it ends
When what was far
Comes dangerously near
Cornered in a round room
Forced to name the fear

Chorus



And the second...

I'm always intrigued by relationships and how well we know the people we love. This song came from really, really thinking about that...

How often do we let people in to see more of who we really are?

Find Me
8/5/09, 8/6/09

I’ve been right
I’ve been wrong
Come up short
And it’s taken long
To find me

I’ve been a saint
I’ve been a sinner
Lost everything
To feel like a winner
Still I find me

I’ve been there
I’ve been back
Surrendered
Only to attack
So I find me

Chorus

You say
That time always tells
You say
You know me well
Truth is
You know what I let you see
Truth is
I’m my own discovery
I don’t even know me
So can’t ever know
You’d be so far ahead, you’d be behind
You’d be the first person
Standing in the wrong line
It’ll just start again
So count backwards from ten
Then see
If you find me

Monday, August 03, 2009

Calling Off the Search (lyrics)

So...the writing continues.

Over the last few months I have a few songs that I've picked up and put down...more than a couple times. Now they're finding the light of day and I'm sharing them...

The song below is called Calling Off the Search. There are actually two completely different versions of this song...written from different perspectives. One I hear in my head as an upbeat, declaration about finding love you've been longing for...the second, and the one published below, is about a relationship that ends abruptly with no explanation.

Earlier this year I experienced the second...so that's the one where I devoted the most energy and it's the one that got finished first. When inspiration hits, I'll finish the other.

Until then...I give you...

Calling Off the Search
3/5/09, 3/8/09, 7/31/09, 8/1/09

v1
Tell me, did you run like a thief?
Or like a pilgrim hungry for heaven, craving peace?
Or was it something more like the house was on fire?
The speed in which you ran
Or more along the lines of a summer castle
Made from stolen ocean sand?

Who am I to say?
Who am I to say?
I was just the one you kissed
Yet still not called to be a witness
To your exodus

Chorus
I’m calling off the search
Letting you go to the unknown
I’m calling off the search
Standing tall, if on my own
The could be’s and might’ve been
Unanswered questions, why’s and when’s
Who you were to me
Who you really are
Now I see
So, I’m call of the search for you
And I’m finding me

v2
Convenient, how you play the fence
Not even drowned in silence could it make sense
My heart on mine, your secret fraying from your sleeve
Step just one foot into light
Owning the streets of New York City
The other side of midnight

Who am I to say?
Who am I to say?
I was who took your hand
Though not strong enough to make you a man
Don’t understand

Chorus

Bridge

Left to draw my own conclusions, from the silence
Left to climb out of confusion, from the distance
What is left to say
When you took both yourself and the choice away
To cover your tracks, you buried the clues
But this time, I’m not following you