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Posts Tagged ‘lyrics’

The Bird has wings…

8 April, 2016 Leave a comment

I know I said this was over and done with… But I have reason to return!

For those of you who follow(ed) this blog and hoped to hear what became of the lyrics written during this process then I have a pleasant surprise for you. Having left Morpheus Rising almost 5 years ago I was unsure what would happen with the lyrics I’d written and some of the musical ideas I had. I quickly decided I wanted to continue to write the songs, I wanted them heard, but I wanted to do them justice.

Five years later and I’m finally in the place I need to be to start working on these again and, hopefully, do them justice. Of course, they’ll sound nothing like I first envisaged, I wrote them with the guitars/style of Pete and Daymo in mind and I’m now working on them with my own guitar style with contributions from across the UK and beyond.

It’s coming together! Slowly, but there’s definitely movement.

Over the last few years I’ve had little or nothing to do with any bands, or music in general, other than as a voracious listener of all styles and genres. At least that’s the public face of it. In actual fact I’ve been slowly working away on my own songs, writing notes and lyrics, sketching musical ideas, teaching myself mixing and recording techniques, learning how to improve my ability to play the guitar (after a fashion) and generally keeping my toes in the water so to speak.

I’m now at the point where I have sufficient ideas and, perhaps more importantly, the promise of more free time which will allow me to focus more on actually working towards getting these ideas in to some form fit for public consumption. I’ve spoken to a few musicians I respect regarding contributing their talents to some of the tracks and, thankfully, they’ve agreed to assist me in fulfilling my aim.

The first of these collaborations was actually completed some time ago. As a first step I wrote, and recorded, the music for the Birdsong lyrics while I was in Kenya and recorded some basic tracks myself. I contacted my longtime friend Craig Hughes, a well respected solo musician and founding member of Dog Moon Howl, to ask him if he fancied writing some lead guitar parts. He got a bit carried away! I ended up with three additional guitar parts and a couple of stunning solos to add to the mix.

You can hear the work in progress version of the song on my new SoundCloud page, but be warned, there are still some rough edges to knock off. I hope you like it and please, if you do (or even if you don’t!), do share it any which way you fancy… The more people that hear it the merrier ;o)

In the coming weeks and months I’ll be writing on the blog on the new Scaedunengan site. I’ll pop back and update you once this has been set up and it’s all systems go.

In the meantime, I hope you like the track…

A Female God* and Falling Angels

20 September, 2010 Leave a comment

Having meandered from the true path of music, in all its forms, in the last post I’m about to return with a vengeance to the reason this blog was created but…

Before I do I’d like to discuss one more song which smacks me straight in the face every time I hear it.

Now, before I go any further I must emphasise that, despite being a ‘modern man’, I am not really that into ‘chick flicks’ as they are called, but every now and then something comes along which really has an impact. Most recently it was ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife‘ and others would be ‘Meet Joe Black‘ or even ‘The Champ’ (but that’s going back a way… But of these, none comes close to the sheer splendour of a film about an Angel choosing to fall from grace in order to feel love.

City of Angels‘ has something special about it, a quality I can’t describe or quantify, and it doesn’t diminish no matter how often I revisit the film.

Perhaps because of this, or perhaps because it is such a powerful song in its own right, I have developed a great feeling for the song performed by Alanis Morrissette for the soundtrack.

Uninvited‘ is a haunting track using the passion created by strings to great effect over a simple keyboard and percussion setting. Perhaps better known now as the dance version released by Bailey Tzuke (I can appreciate both versions), the original is something quite special. Even before I took the time to listen to the awkwardly phrased lyrics (part of its charm?) I felt the pain and anguish it portrayed. Having taken the time to listen to the lyrics I can’t believe how accurately they reflect the emotion of the film’s primary characters

Like any uncharted territory I must seem greatly intriguing
You speak of my love like you have experienced love like mine before
But this is not allowed
You’re uninvited

I’ve often tried to express emotions like these in song and, as far as I’m aware, I’ve never succeeded. Songwriting comes in many forms, as my (soon to be teenage) youngest daughter, herself an avid singer/songwriter already, explained to me recently; there are moment songs, feeling songs and story songs. I think I have cracked the latter, and I’m sure I’ve dabbled in the first (I’ll need to check with her first I think!), but the middle one always seems to elude me, because of this I think I respect those who can achieve it so eloquently all the more. And Alanis Morrissette has done it here with such eloquence I’m speechless… well, not quite ;o)

* I do not consider Alanis Morrissette a deity before anyone starts a pogrom, I’m merely nodding to her cameo role in Dogma, a film I’m usually far more willing to admit to liking!

War Songs, Pt. 3: Watching…

9 September, 2010 Leave a comment
Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge in Barcelona 3-6-08

Image via Wikipedia

I was going to wait until the weekend until I posted this, however, as I heard the new single ‘Isolation‘ today, pre-ordered ABIII and ordered tickets for the Birmingham show in October (Yes! I’ll actually be home for a gig!) I thought I might as well make it Alter Bridge day!

Some songs embed themselves in your psyche. Not those songs that hook themselves into your consciousness for a day, but those which you hear and they immediately mean something to you. It doesn’t even necessarily have to coincide with the sentiment of the song. It’s personal, and it’s special.

One such song for me is ‘Watch Over You‘ by Alter Bridge. The reincarnation of Creed, a band whose lyrics I always found insightful perhaps due to my faith or perhaps just due to their skillful creation, were something of an unknown to me when the first album was released.  One Day Remains was very much ‘Creed with a new vocalist’  however Blackbird, their 2007 follow-up, was something entirely different. Myles Kennedy stamped his authority on this one, and then some. His vocal style and breadth of range never cease to amaze me and he is one of a handful of lyricists whose work I wish I could call my own. Tracks such as ‘Blackbird‘, ‘One By One’ and ‘Before Tomorrow Comes‘ are as fresh now, 3 years on, as they were when I first heard them. Thoughts such as

Will I be defined by things which could’ve been, I guess time can only tell

are with us all, and yet they are so hard to write. But of the songs on both albums ‘Watch Over Me‘, in both its original form and as a duet with Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, means far more to me than the simple lyric can.

Leaves are on the ground, Fall hs come
Blue skies turning grey, like my love
I try to carry you, and make you whole
But it was never enough I must go

And who is gonna save you when I’m gone
And who’ll watch over you
When I’m gone

You say you care for me but hide it well
How can you love someone not yourself

And who is gonna save you when I’m gone
And who’ll watch over you
When I’m gone

And when I’m gone who will break your fall
Who will you blame
I can’t go on, let you lose it all
More than I can take
Who’ll ease your pain, ease your pain

And who is gonna save you when I’m gone
And who’ll watch over you
And who will give you strength when you’re not strong
Who’ll watch over you when I’ve gone away

Snow is on the ground, Winter’s come
You long to hear my voice, but I’m long gone

At this time in particular I want to ask these questions of my wife. She has so much going on while I’m away, I need to know she will be safe, and protected from everything and yet I’m powerless to do so. I can only gain strength from the knowledge she has family and friends to lean on in my absence.

I think, of all the songs I’ve sung to myself over the years, this is the one I’d most like to cover. Perhaps not in its original form, but maybe as either the acoustic version seen on the live DVD or, if I could convince someone to play the role, as a duet. A bonus track next year? You never know…

Waking Vigil

8 September, 2010 1 comment

I woke late this afternoon as I’d worked over 24 hours prior to crashing at 09:30 this morning. I had meant to get up during the day and call home but I was woken by a friend to let me know there was a vigil at 17:30 tonight.

Despite the emotions they drag up, especially when the pipes are involved as was the case today, I will not miss one of these services. How could I? I’m part of the process supporting those who do the dirty work and I, as much as you, owe my continued liberties to those who fall.

In a recent email rally with Pete we discussed how times of severe emotion have a huge impact on our writing which was, of course, the whole reason for my starting this blog. Some people drink, others look for trouble, myself? I pour my emotion out onto the page, it’s a cathartic process, and one I’ve taken to more readily on this tour than any other.

So, after a month in theatre, here’s the first new lyrical part I’ve written, Think of it as an excerpt, it was written as a stream of consciousness thing and is yet to be refined into some form of lyric.

Buzzsaws and night lights force unwanted into dreams
Cause nightingales to sing no more of distant lands of green
As dust storms clear and sirens sing to herald the return
Of Kings unsung, though not alone, to start their journey home
The men of fire shall heed the call and sell their souls to ease the pain
As Merlin’s return shall once again bring darkness to the land
The uncrowned Kings who rule this land will earn their place in time
At setting Sun we’ll heed the call and send home someone’s son

The sentiment, I think, is clear although some of the imagery is specific to things over here. I think this process will result in something greater than the sum of its parts. We’ll just have to wait and see.

As it stands I’m now holding my breath awaiting the delivery of some new music to work with so that I can form this and some of the other ideas into material Morpheus Rising can put to use, I’m led to believe I won’t have to wait long.

Until then, I’ll stand vigil…

War Songs, Pt. 2: When I’m Gone…

7 September, 2010 Leave a comment

After Iraqi Freedom came Enduring Freedom as the War On Terror trundled on, Op FINGAL became Op HERRICK and our future career paths were mapped for at least a decade. I found myself in Afghanistan with a new trade in a position beyond that which my rank secured and I revelled in it.

This time I believed why we were here, I had a purpose and goals to achieve during the deployment. I had my sights set on promotion, education and experience. I got all 3, although the latter came in ways I’d never expected.

During my tour of duty I made friends with soldiers who faced death every time they left the confines of camp. All of them had experiences they would never discuss, most of them returned home safely with memories they would rather forget and some of them made the journey home under their Nation’s flag unaware they had been carried home by those who honoured their sacrifice. These experiences, and that of losing a friend caused me to write the lyrics to An Ordinary Man on my return. It also made me question my career, my role as a Father, husband and friend.

I’d never heard of 3 Doors Down before my deployment and, had I not worked closely with some US forces I probably wouldn’t have. As it was I received a copy of their album Away From The Sun from the same guy I bought my Ibanez from (yes, I bought a guitar on tour!) and am forever grateful for the discovery.

The straight forward American rock is easy to listen to and original enough prevent it ever sounding stale. The lyrics however, are what had me hooked. This tour was the hardest I’d done so far and, with my doubts over my role, the feelings I had for my family and the thoughts I held regarding all aspects of home they struck a chord. Two in particular seemed to echo my thoughts and feelings at the time, one was When I’m Gone and the other Here Without You. They’re two very different songs, one mainly acoustic, the other much harder and despite the similar sentiments to me they mean very different things. One is full of gratitude for the strength given by someone special and the will to carry on while the other is a promise that, despite all that happens, nothing has changed.  I’ll let you decide which is which…

So hold me when I’m here, right me when I’m wrong
Hold me when I’m scared and love me when I’m gone
Everything I am and everything in me
Wants to be the one you wanted me to be
I’ll never let you down even if I could
I’d give up everything if only for your good
So hold me when I’m here, right me when I’m wrong
You hold me when I’m scared, you won’t always be there
So love me when I’m gone

I’m here without you baby but you’re still on my lonely mind
I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time
I’m here without you baby but you’re still with me in my dreams
And tonight, there’s only you and me
Everything I know and anywhere I go
It gets hard but it won’t take away my love
And when the last one falls and all is said and done
It gets hard but it won’t take away my love

It’s surprising how you can place your life in order through the music you listen to, the effect it had at a particular time and the meaning it inherits from your own feelings when you heard it first. It’s what makes music so special, it’s something different to each and every person who listens.

A Dark Concept…

23 August, 2010 Leave a comment

Things have gotten away from me since the last entry… It’s been three weeks since we got here and I don’t think my feet have touched the floor since we did. Well, having said that there are more than enough occasions where you come down to Earth with a bang.

I cannot fathom how much pain and suffering is being dealt out here in the name of whatever we’re meant to be fighting for. The constant stream of flights coming in past the PHF and on into the heart of camp defy belief. An incessant flow of amputees, gun shot wounds, IED victims and the various other injuries and conditions which result in the launch of what has, unfortunately, become a perfectly coordinated process involving the men on the ground, pilots, nurses, surgeons, firemen and God only knows how may others.

On a positive note it seems that, over the last week or so at least, most of those efforts have not been in vain and the number of those who have passed away is significantly lower than those who have been flown in. Small blessing, I assume, for those who must live with their injuries.

It’s overhe this tableau that I’m currently trying to form lyrical concepts for what will be part of the next Morpheus Rising album. Needless to say that, at this point, much of the flow is dark and introverted with the prose concentrating on those thoughts I dare not air in decent company…

Pete and I had discussed at length what we might get out of this process, especially when you consider that many of our original songs were the result of a previous trip over here, or at least the aftermath of that period and we feel that there is plenty of opportunity for us to produce a unique product from this experience.  As the next few months go by you’ll find more information becoming available on the band’s site and the blog… In the meantime I’ll try to keep to my word and (from now on at least) update this one weekly. Until next time, here’s a taste of the dark side:

Buzzsaws and night lights force unwanted into dreams
Cause Nightingales to sing no more of distant lands of green
As dust storms clear and sirens sing to herald the return
Of Kings unsung, though not alone, to start their journey home

Needless to say it’s going to be a journey into the realms of epic gothic prog metal concepts the likes of which you’ve never seen, or heard, before :o)

Are you sitting comfortably?

19 June, 2010 Leave a comment

Then we’ll begin…

The point is, I’m not sure where to start? Should I labour the point about the original lyrics? Should I take you back to where (when) this all began? I think not. Going back the last few months should suffice, to the point where the preparations for this year’s crusade were started.

Before I take you back to the start of 2010 I would like, if I may, to reveal to you the goings on of the last few weeks and then, perhaps, the reason for this ‘blog will become a little clearer.

I am currently on a course, not a journey unfortunately, an educational course which is a prerequisite for the role I am to fulfil in Afghanistan. Now, bearing in mind the fact that on returning from Helmand Province the last time I began my studies toward an IT degree which has now been successfully completed, I would like you to put yourself in my shoes (Converse, if you must know) when confronted with the following introduction to a lesson:

The lights on the front panel of the laptop indicate the following:

  1. Solid Green – The battery is fully charged and power is being supplied
  2. Amber – The battery is charging and power is being supplied
  3. Red – 9% or less of the battery remain

Needless to say my mind has wandered for much of the intervening two and a half weeks and will, more than likely, wander for the remaining week or so.

One benefit of the level at which the course is targeted has been the amount of time I’ve had available for reading, and writing. I started the course having read a couple of chapters of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, a book I can heartily recommend to anyone who has a predilection for horror, vampires, history or simply a well written story. Needless to say the book has not lasted long, it has however rekindled my interest in all things historical. In fact I have spent much of my time in the evenings studying 15th century Balkan history which led to Ottoman history, hence to the Byzantine period and finally, for now, Eastern and Western Roman Empirical history.

In addition to the historical interests it has sparked a bout of lyric writing the likes of which I’ve not experienced since the first five or six songs appeared in as many days. I have found myself writing complete lyrics in a little over two hours, something which in the past has resulted in (to my mind at least) some of the best, most cohesive, lyrical content I have written.

So far I have scribbled on such topics as Drakulya, the futility of history as a teacher, I’ve even managed to revisit previously incomplete songs relating to Dorian Gray and childhood fear of the dark and I am now veering off in the direction of Roman Legions and Holy Crusades.

And that is where we are for now.

I hope you’ll join me for the journey.