Music

In Songs (day 175)

Sometimes I measure the time passing in songs.

 

An especially long moment with you

is the Beatles’ Her Majesty.

 

A night I don’t want to let go of

mutters the power of Dream On

A breath I don’t want to set free

holds the haunting chords of Amber Run

and when everything seems shattered

I Set Fire to the Rain.

 

We’re making soup out of beginnings

and catastrophes out of finish lines

and along the way

there’s music behind the curtain.

 

A heartbeat is old pop songs

I can still sing as well as I can smile.

 

Free falling is

snippets of 500 Miles

sprinkled with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

 

My screams crack your walls,

I’m OneRepublic’s Burning Bridges,

Lights lyrics on my stepping stones,

and when I carry a voice that doesn’t trust you

my throat is etched

Sara Bareilles’ Lie to Me.

 

I sprint and I can feel his heartbeat in my pounding heels,

Taylor Swift’s Sparks Fly,

it’s funny how now

runners and her voice

summon ghosts of his fingers to my face.

 

Pieces of Halsey and Sia and Florence & the Machine and Lost Frequencies,

invisible playlists,

you could call them my devotion

because I feel and feel and can’t speak,

maybe you should

learn the music filed under your name

to know what’s going on in my head.

 

Invisible playlists

spell out the names

of everyone I love,

each of them

messy and heartwrenching and incongruous

and yet somehow

they fit together,

just like you.

 

Half my life has sped by in colors

like the highway on these foggy mornings,

bass and chilling vocals echo

Sometimes I measure the time passing in songs.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 1/18/17

Devotion

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God Went Down to Charlie Daniels

Folder: 
Hillbilly Smiles

by Jeph Johnson

 

The hippy uprising of the turbulent sixties gave us songs like Merle Haggard's unapologetic "Okie From Muskogee", SSgt Barry Sadler's war chant "Ballad of the Green Berets" and Victor Lindberg's God-awful spoken-word advisory "Open Letter to My Teenage Son" which celebrated hawkish patriotism while decrying the liberal anti-war movement, that was portrayed as a bunch of pot smokers.

 

By the early 1970s, the bubblegum pop craze was upon us. The television show He-Haw debuted and country singers opted for more cornball lyrics like songs about smuggling cars from the factory and building them do it yourself "one piece at a time." Novelty singer like Ray Stevens and C.W. McCall emerged and ushered in the novelties like nude streaking and CB Radios.

 

But that damn Vietnam War was still widening the generation gap. Helped along exponentially by war's uncanny knack for literally preventing new generations from occurring.

 

But something eventually happened. Anti-war sentiment (perhaps due to this bubblegum revolution) became too strong. So strong, in fact, even a Republican President broke down and pulled the troops out.

 

Amidst this unrest, a country fiddle player named Charlie Daniels jumped on board the peacenik bandwagon and performed a few controversial songs like 1973's "Long Haired Country Boy" and 1975's "Uneasy Rider."

 

On "Long Haired Country Boy" Charlie Daniels pretty much tells everyone he doesn't give a fuck about anything else. Just "leave him the fuck alone and let him smoke his pot in peace."

 

On 1975's "Uneasy Rider" he mentions how driving and "tokin' on a number" then walks into a bar only to be accosted by a bunch of rednecks. The only way he feels he can escape a fight with these judgmental pricks is by sending one of the dudes to the ground by kicking him just below the knee.

 

Why were these rednecks so upset? Well these cretins happened to spot the peace sign on Charlie's car outside, and when he came inside, they noticed his long hair when he tipped his hat.

 

After kicking the guy, in order to save himself and avoid further confrontation, Charlie needs to make sure someone else is perceived as "less redneck" or else they'll beat the crap out of him!

 

Operation: assign liberal blame.

 

He quickly claims the guy he kicked (who presumably is still laying there clutching his shin) is really "an undercover FBI agent who tears off Republican bumper stickers, votes for Democrats and whose friends include long haired, hippy-type, pinko fags sent to infiltrate the KKK."

 

Whew! Charlie sings it with a LOT better delivery of course. Remember this is the guy who rapped "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" before rap was even invented, so he knows how to tell a story!

 

Despite his vulgar decision to use words like "fag", nothing he has said is seen as too offensive yet because he's on the side of the liberals here. His exaggeration is warranted and, because it is an exaggeration, it makes the song a little funny.

 

Unfortunately this is where the humor stops.

 

Let's take a closer look at how these earlier songs have taken on a disturbing life of their own since Charlie has "grown closer to the Lord."

 

Apparently Charlie Daniels started "giving a fuck" (or as a long-haired country boy might say, he started "giving a dern") around the time shortly after the Iranian hostage crisis and Ronald Reagan took office by writing harmless yet jingoistic songs like "In America".

 

But a mere sixteen years later Charlie's Christian revival had turned him into the very redneck he had railed against!

 

If the song "(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks" isn't proof enough, I have a few more examples of his Jekyll and Hyde hypocrisy.

 

At the dawn of the 1990s he has graduated from early '70s pot smoking long haired peace loving hippy liberal to "Simple Man" of the Bush-era neoconservative South. What were once redneck exaggerations we all chuckled at, have now become intolerance and bigotry ingrained in the new redneck personification of Charlie, chosen by God himself!

 

But Charlie, it's supposed to be satire!

 

Did you not take notice of the redneck shtick successfully demonstrated by Jeff Foxworthy in a much less threatening (and more entertaining) manner four years after you cried out for more rednecks?

 

One quick glance at the lyrics from 1989's "Simple Man" illustrates your hypocritical insanity:

 

"Now if I had my way with people sellin' dope I'd take a big tall tree and a short piece of rope, I'd hang 'em up high and let 'em swing 'til the sun goes down."

 

Charlie, if you want to lynch everyone dealing drugs, perhaps you should start with your own 37-year-old self of 1973.

 

Yeah, Charlie was "over thirty" back when we weren't supposed to be trusting anyone over thirty! We should have known then, but we trusted you because you were still inhaling the cannabis smoke.

 

What the hell happened?

 

Maybe Charlie has some insight. Let us go once again to the source:

 

"Well, you know what's wrong with the world today? People done gone and put their Bibles away. They're living by the law of the jungle not the law of the land. The good book says it so I know it's the truth: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth..."

 

So let me get this straight, selling an uneasy rider a joint is on equal footing with being lynched? The Biblical edict against such things isn't even THAT condemning! In fact to those who distribute recreational drugs it is sort of Christ-like. Jesus himself turned water into wine for the sole purpose of making a wedding "more recreationally festive."

 

Well Charlie's sense of equal value has always been a little skewed. Remember, this is the same guy who at one time was willing to wager a fiddle of gold against his very soul!

 

The contradictions continue from Charlie when we notice him contradicting himself in the very same song:

 

"I've got a way to put an end to all that mess, just take them rascals out in the swamp, put 'em on their knees and tie 'em to a stump. Let the rattlers and the bugs and the alligators do the rest."

 

It seems to me as though that's about as close to the "law of the jungle" and as far away from the "law of the land" (which prohibits vigilante justice) as anyone can get!

 

Charlie apparently likes getting royalties from both sides of the ideological aisle as those songs are still available in his catalog. He's even updated "Uneasy Rider" to "Uneasy Rider '88."

 

This time the threat in this homophobic song is much more dangerous. Instead of getting the shit beat out of them, the threat is now their own sexuality!

 

They've inadvertently stumbled into a bar where orange-haired punk rock singers entertain transsexual women with songs about suicide.

 

"We walked through the door and the place was jammed, the lights were low they had a punk rock band and some orange haired feller singing about suicide..."

 

Because everyone knows by 1988 punk was all the rage and disco was dead to most male homosexuals. And do I even need to tell you how much gay men like listening to songs about suicide when they're on the prowl for redneck bears sporting Duck Dynasty beards?

 

Like some strange mash-up of Frankie Valli's "Walk Like a Man" and Journey's "Walks Like a Lady", Charlie Daniels sings:

 

"He looked like a girl but he talked like a guy, he had lipstick on and mascara in his eyes and everybody in that place looked just about like him. I said Jim this ain't our kind of bar, let's just go on out and get back in the car..."

 

He mentions wigs, lipstick and mascara hiding "somethin' missin'" much like the Scorpions had done with their song "He's a Woman, She's a Man" back around the time the first "Uneasy Rider" was written.

 

And he channels the worst spirit of the innocuous Kinks song "Lola" by concluding "Uneasy Rider '88" with the pledge to go "back where the women are women and the men are men."

 

And how is it that Charlie, (a bear himself) can say to the cross-dressing man:

 

"If you don't get your paw off me, I'm gonna locate your nose around the other side of your head"

 

Later on in the song Charlie admits that at least one of these men is "beautiful", so why the bestial language?

 

And in a response I am sure all gay cross-dressing men use right before getting assaulted, his final words to Charlie were:


"I love it when you get that fire in your eye."

 

It's a miracle Charlie isn't lisping the lyrics!

 

So the man whose only crime is that he put his hand on Charlie's knee gets laid out, and we have to presume his nose gets relocated to the other side of his head.

 

Thank goodness it was just his nose, otherwise it becomes increasingly difficult to apply the lipstick and mascara I assume Charlie Daniels believes all liberal homosexuals use.

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

2015 

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"Muses Amuse"

by Jeph Johnson

 

Music is beautiful all alone.

Beautiful and standing on its own.

But used to accentuate language

Songs are created...

"America (My Country Tis of Thee)"

is

Hardly a perversion or parody

of

"God Save the Queen"

Side-splitting laughter nor wild elation

Proud smiles are the only expectation

Author's Notes/Comments: 

2012 

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tags:

Music's hold on me

Music's hold on me

 

It's funny how music can calm the soul,

It can make someone so broken so whole,

You are transported to this alluring place, 

it lets you stay calm in your own space,

It's the only thing in my life I can hold onto,

It freed my soul and it flew,

It went past the sky and the stars,

It spend years pondering if there was life on mars,

It took advice from the piano man,

It journeyed to the day music died and when it began,

I can journey the world with the movement of a hand,

Music has always been here,

No matter where you are it is always near,

It clears the black smoke that lingers in my heart and veins,

It relives me of all my pains,

No matter what genre you prefer,

Whether you like music by him or her,

Whether is about the worst pain you have ever felt,

Or about the strongest love that made your heart melt,

Music can bring back memories or repress them,

It can bring your eyes to tears as they sparkle like gems,

This is why music has a hold on me,

It may have a hold but I always feel free

 

-Akroo

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tags:

All F***KED UP

When I wake up I'm thankful
I slept through the night
'Cause that is the only time I feel alright
Keep my eyes closed
So I sleep the sadness away
When I wake up I'm sure
That it won't be the same

All the panic, depression, the hurt and regret
Lying to myself -
"I don't think of death..."
All the ups all the downs
All the petty concerns
My whole world's imploding
I can't find the words 'Cause the truth is... I'm fucked up.

The truth is that I'm all fucked up - like you
Yeah we're all fucked up it's true
And the truth is, they don't hear the words we say
Yeah they all just turn away

If I wake up tomorrow
Just know that I tried
To find a way out
Without saying goodbye

All the panic, depression, the hurt and regret
Lying to myself -
"I don't think of death..."
All the ups all the downs
All the petty concerns
My whole world's imploding
I can't find the words 'Cause the truth is... I'm fucked up.

The truth is that I'm all fucked up - like you
Yeah we're all fucked up it's true
And the truth is, they don't hear the words we say
Yeah they all just turn away

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This is not my own poem, this one of my favorite songs by the Band The Amity Affliction all credit goes to them

We could see this in the nearer future of poems related to songs like this. Smile

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tags:

Music that impacts

I heard the sound echo through me 

like electricity throughout my body.

A sound that hits the inner thoughts

of peace and passion.

I wonder and I ponder

of the wonderful creation.

How can you talk of now

like it even exsist.

through this passion there is only 

bliss.

 

 

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Not much to say about this poem, just a passion of mine. 

A little side note, I was listening to Phantom of the Opera while writing this. :)

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Eternity's Plan

I wish I were the note that made you smile.

I wish I were the key that sway your head

To the tune you listened to all the while

And played before you crept into the bed.

The bed I wish were still mine. Yet I sing

The lullaby you sang when you lay in my mind

And play like a motif. The distinctive ring

Of your voice forever in the mind entwined.

But Death was deaf to our sweet song sung-

Just as we were blind to Eternity’s plan;

Onto the hopes of harmony we clung

Until the very last moments of our span.

At last, I have learnt to master that piece-

A hymn I must play, now you are at peace.

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Chimes

Folder: 
Simple Thoughts
"Wind chimes,
dazzling across the room
sweet sounds of wood
drumming against wood. 
 
Bamboo shafts,
making soft thuds
float to me,
the soft breeze
 
picking up
to send me
an epiphany of noise,
a realization of music
 
played by no one.
Absent, 
the musician who plays me this rhyme,
the symphony 
 
of the Ocean waves,
crashing onto the beach
played by the rustling,
green leaves
 
with each tree,
swaying back and forth
in dance.
In step,
 
waltzing across the dancefloor
of my mind
a orchestra of noise
turned into high tunes,
 
afternoon desires
grow like blossoming petals;
slow to open.
Though,
 
a sight to see,
smell when finished,
the flower 
of all the sounds surrounding me
 
this southern Summer Saturday
comes together
to soothe me away
into a lull,
 
a state of mind
I wish to hold on to,
while I can.
Before Monday."
Author's Notes/Comments: 

Windchimes are wild.

my dad

He is so happy and so enthused

 

he plays his violin and is very amused

 

everyone tells him how good he can play

 

but he says he cannot play that way everyday.

 

People wonder how that could be

 

when obviously he can play, you can see

 

but when he is sober he is scared and afraid

 

that he will not like the song that he made.

 

Even though it is beautiful, and even though it is pure,

 

he says he needs the alcohol, and that is for sure,

 

to help dull his senses just enough

 

and make playing the violin a little less tough.

 

I hope that one day he will learn to play

 

the violin in a less threatening way

 

so that he too can hear the sound

 

 without all of his other senses bringing him down.

 
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