SONGS

WHERE it begins

EVERYTHING I offer begins with the songs. For the most part, they are “channeled”— that is to say, some invisible window in my mind spontaneously opens and a song floats in, unbidden. I have little control over it. The “Source” has not yet revealed why I have been chosen for this or what I’m to do with them, so my best guess is to share them in useful ways with anyone interested.

Themes vary from ethereally idealistic to socially engaged, from lived stories to love songs and from serious to silly. Lately, I have been focusing on the climate crisis, our collective indifference and how to encourage engagement. But there is more to life than that.

 


AUDIO Recordings

SINGLES: The Song of the Month

THESE SONGS are recorded and mixed by me in my tiny digital recording den, dubbed “Shoebox Soundworks.” Each single is released free on YouTube and is also available for purchase as a CD-quality WAV-file download. To receive your free monthly Song of the Month link, please subscribe to my newsletter.


1: LIVING THE DREAM

AN ANTHEM for the singer-songwriter road warriors, the unsung artists whose courage and commitment to bring new insight and vision to a mostly indifferent world leaves me in awe. It’s more than I’m capable of enduring.

Next time you come across one in a tavern or on a street corner, stop and listen. You, and this world, will be better for it.

  • YouTube: FREE video of the song with lyric subtitles.
  • CDBaby: Purchase a CD quality single.
  • Sheet Music: FREE download of the words and chords.
2: CARRY ON

A SONG for our times, dark and troubling, yet infused with a stoic, stubborn call to carry on—as have our ancestors in their own times of despair. I wasn’t feeling hopeful when I wrote this song in the summer of 2017—nor am I feeling all that hopeful now—but apparently we humans are hardwired for it. And that’s a good thing.

An acknowledgement: I owe a profound debt to Leonard Cohen for pioneering a songwriting style that finds its redemption by honestly staring into the abyss.

  • YouTube: FREE video of the song with lyric subtitles.
  • CDBaby: Purchase a CD quality single.
  • Sheet Music: FREE download of the words and chords.
3: LITTLE HEART 

LITTLE HEART is a song I wrote to myself twenty years ago about opening up to all life. It’s an ongoing process.

Due to studio upgrades (some by choice and some not) it took me an extra five months to get back in the monthly recording groove, but here it is. I think the upgrades have added a new sheen and spaciousness to the recordings. Or is it wishful thinking, due to all the time and effort!? Let me know what you think.

  • YouTube: FREE video of the song with lyric subtitles.
  • Sheet Music: FREE download of the words and chords.
4: BIRTHDAY CAKEWALK

I OFFER this rockabilly ditty as a possible replacement for the shopworn “Happy Birthday” song of yore. Like that one, this version has a place for the birthday recipient’s name (just shout over the “Dick and Jane” placeholder). Or for those so inclined, download the sheet music and lead the way. It’s only three chords.

The inspiration? Our next door neighbor’s daughter was celebrating her birthday. I was headed over, guitar in hand, to once again slog through yet another rendition when I thought, do I really want to sing this again? And then, as if by magic, “A Birthday Cakewalk” leapt onto a page nearby. Apparently the muse approved. I hope you do too.

  • YouTube: FREE video of the song with lyric subtitles.
  • CDBaby: Purchase a CD quality single.
  • Sheet Music: FREE download of the words and chords.
5: DON’T HEAR NOTHIN’

ACCORDING to the 2018 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, we have twelve years left to cut our global consumption of fossil fuels by half. Otherwise, we will pass an irreversible tipping point into a climate cataclysm, a cascade of horrors beyond imagining. So, how are we doing? In 2018, the year the report was released, American CO2 emissions increased by 3.4 percent.

Our corporate media’s response? Dazzling distractions. Oh they relentlessly report the storms, fires, floods and even scorching droughts—exclusively framed as “human interest” events. The breathtaking devastation, tragedy, trauma and heroics are covered endlessly, until they squeeze out the last drop of pathos. The underlying cause?  Nary a word.

It falls to we the people to shake off this mindless complacency and fight for life. I offer this song as both a reality check and a rallying cry.

If we are not the people we have been waiting for, no one is.

  • YouTube: FREE video of the song with lyric subtitles.
  • CDBaby: Purchase a CD quality single.
  • Sheet Music: FREE download of the words and chords.
6: CHYROS CAROL

 THIS EPIC five-minute and twenty-second ode to the holiday season has been in process for more than twenty years. In 1996, I wrote a Christmas lyric to a previous melody that combined wonder and ambivilence. Sometime in the intervening years I added “Silent Night,” as the guitar parts matched perfectly and the message seemed to add an uplift.

As I considered a Christmas season offering for this year, I was inspired to write a spoken “Canticle” recasting the Christmas narrative as an internal, mystical experience. At that, my ambivalence fell away and the ode seemed complete.

A Christmas offering for mystics.

To top it off, adding a children’s choir to the mix seemed to make it even more complete!

  • YouTube: FREE video of the song with lyric subtitles.
  • CDBaby: Purchase a CD quality single.
  • Sheet Music: FREE download of the words and chords.
7: SEARCHING FOR SOMETHING

 SEEKERS! Just for you! A ninety-second summary of the pits, perils and paradoxes of the spiritual quest. No inscrutable texts to decipher, no intense breathing practices to endure, no arduous treks to the Himalayas to undertake. It’s all here. Set to music. The lyric even rhymes.

It’s a miracle.

  • YouTube: FREE video of the song with lyric subtitles.
  • CDBaby: Purchase a CD quality single.
8: FINAL DAYS OF HISTORY

A SONG for our times. Bleak, haunting, sobering—and yet offering a last, hopeful call to action. Anyone following our escalating climate crisis knows the stakes. The earth is getting hotter. The oceans are rising. Storms, floods, fires, and droughts are increasing in intensity and frequency. But how many are willing to act? That’s my plea. And my hope.

If the system were able to save us, it already would have. We need to act.

To find your place to make a difference, check out these options.

 


ALBUMS: Collections and Contemplations


Story Songs of a Perpetual Pilgrim:  Volume ONE

THESE TRACKS were recorded with a single condenser mic, generally in a single take, to capture the “warts-and-all” authenticity of a live performance. Simple. Concise. Unvarnished.

This collection of song “sketches” will be included in my more painstakingly—and imaginatively—recorded and mixed “Song of the Month” series. I make them available here for anyone interested in just the songs as songs

  1. Rockin’ to the Grave – Pilgrims have to start somewhere.
  2. Little Heart – A love song to the human heart.
  3. Jack – Meet the custodian of a dilapidated office I once rented. It is all true.
  4. Slip Away – A song of transition, written for my mother when she was dying.
  5. Traveling from Babylon – A road song for the pilgrim’s journey. Inspired by a dream.
  6. Will I Find You – A pre-love song, recalling my awkward, early adolescent yearnings.
  7. The Prize Fight – A song of unexpected hope from a time that appeared hopeless.
  8. Jonathan – My first encounter with someone who was dying. Transformed my life.
  9. Heavenly – A love song to the cosmos, written by the cosmos while I listened in.
  10. Like a Snowflake – Short, yet contemplative; a good note to end on.

To preview or purchase this album or any individual songs, click here: Songs of a Perpetual Pilgrim, V1

 

CD-SQ-SlipAway
Illusion: this is actually a sunrise at the sacred Ganges in India.

SLIP AWAY: A Contemplative Song for the Dying

THIS MUSICAL meditation was created for those who are dying and their loved ones. It is based on a song I wrote for my mother when she was succumbing to cancer. I was able to sing it to her the day she died. It created a deep, palpable sense of peace in both of us as she passed.

Shortly after her death, I met a hospice nurse who encouraged me to make it into a recording. That meeting led to this musical production and began my journey into uncharted realms of song and story.

The mediation lasts twelve-and-a-half minutes and can be looped to play continuously. You can download a FREE MP3 file here:

Click link to purchase a CD-quality copy of Slip Away: A Musical Meditation for the Dying

I hope it brings peace to your loved one, family and friends during this profound transition from this life to whatever is beyond.

For more details, go to my Bodhi Blog.


VIDEO Recordings

PERFORMANCE: Live at Hamilton Events Center

A SAMPLING of songs and musical styles from a recent live performance.

  • FREE full length video LINK (28:55)
  • FREE preview version LINK (5:48)

 

“All day and all night, music; a quiet, bright song. If it fades, we fade.” — RUMI

 

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