Brave Stunt

The third of the pre-blog songs for your consideration. Should this be on the album? Let us know what you think.

Lyrics:
I’ve been staring out my window
I’ve been hiding from the sun
I’ve been lurking in the shadows
But please don’t
Demand an explanation
For my cold front
It’s only preparation for my
Brave stunt
When I come out with all my signals flashing
And I crash into the world

If I could put you in a sentence
Fully of adjectives and verbs
Would you let me be the object of your
word games?
Whisper in my ear like I’m an
old flame
Come to free your mind of all its
dull pain
Say you realize you need a friend and I’ll be
right there till the end

I’ve decided to be open
To every scatter-brained idea
Let my mind be like the ocean
‘cos I know
a thing or two about the way that
love grows
let yourself be taken where the
wind blows
I read a lot of books about it
Now I’m going to shout about it

Please don’t …

Sweetest inventions

Another of the pre-blog songs in contention for the upcoming album. Let us know if it’s good enough to be one of the 12 that makes it onto album.

Lyrics:
Castaway crows in the rain
Credence to those who keep losing to gain
All that in silence remains
Surround me with love once again and I’ll change

I need a little reflection some passing attention I’m too shy to mention
My craving for love’s intervention my only intention the sweetest inventions of love

The soldiers that march in the night
Are dying for dreaming of feeling alright
The gusts of the whispering wind
Speak to me softly then leave me again

I like to drift gently along
Hoping to stumble on somebody’s song
But mostly the hollowest sounds
Are all that I hear as my feet strike the ground

Slow down

There were quite a few songs that I wrote in the time between the recording of my last album ‘Blinking and Breathing’ and the start of the blog. These songs are of course also candidates for the new album, so I’m posting them to the blog so that those interested in helping us to choose can have a listen. Enjoy.

Lyrics:
I don’t know where to begin
To weed out the ailing within
Deadly and even it flows
Pulling me down as it goes

But then I slow down and I see you
Despite all my fear you have always been there
And you slow down and you see me
Through the fear

Under the evening sky
I kiss all my troubles goodbye
I rise to the smell of the wind
I cover the tracks of my sins

And then I slow down and I see you
Despite all my fear you have always been there
And you slow down and you see me
Through the fear

I slow down and I see you
Despite all my fear you have always been there
And you slow down and you see me
Through the fear

It’s easier playing this game
Believing we are what we claim
Promoting ourselves up the chain
Waxing ourselves as we wane

Then I slow down, and I see you
Despite all my fear you have always been there
And you slow down and you see me
Through the fear

Week 52: Just to help one another survive

And here it is folks, song number 52. Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “I put my big question about life to my biological son Mark. Mark is a pediatrician, and author of a memoir, The Eden Express. It is about his crackup, straightjacket and padded cell stuff, from which he recovered sufficiently to graduate from Harvard Medical School.Dr. Vonnegut said this to his doddering old dad: ‘Father, we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.’ I read that a long time ago and it’s always been one my favourite quotes, so I thought I’d see if I could use the idea in a song.

Huge thanks to Chris Tuck who patiently recorded all the songs for the blog. Chris will be working with us soon to produce an album of the best of these songs.

      Just to help one another survive - Simon Van Gend

52 Just to help one another survive
To stream all 52 songs on soundcloud, click here.

Lyrics:

Yesterday, on my way to the station I saw
A nest full of chicks in the treetops crying for more

Chorus:
No-one seems sure
What they were put on this mad world for
But I guess we’re alive
Just to help one another survive

She phoned me up, said she’s ready to do herself in
We spoke for hours about nothing and everything

Chorus

Here on our rock we go endlessly circling the sun
Another year over and we’re back to where we began

Chorus

Success isn’t measured by nuggets of gold in your sieve
The winner’s the one who gives someone else reason to live

Week 51: Fight to be loved

One of the stranger songs to come out of this process. The words were totally unpremeditated, I just allowed things to appear as they popped into my head – sometimes this produces the kind of honesty one finds in dreams – strange images who’s meanings are unclear, but that are somehow more revealing for being so uncontrived and un-thought-about (I’m sure there’s a better word for that – spontaneous maybe).


51 Fight to be loved
If the soundcloud player doesn’t load, click here
For a playlist of all the songs so far, click here

Lyrics:
She’s in her high heels, playing in the water
Teasing the storm wind with her crazy laughter
And I’m on the veranda trying to stay empty
And keep my head clear of those memories of love

If I wasn’t so alone maybe I’d believe in friendship
But I’m so self-involved and egocentric
But she seems to be ok with our strange connection
And we can drift along and not think about love

We fight to be loved
But at the same time we push the love away
We search for that safety
But it’s never safe enough and so we run away

We gather up the teacups and reconvene in the kitchen
We laugh at the way we’re both slurring our diction
And deep down we know that our love’s a fiction
Just something to distract us from sadness for a while

Sometimes we speak when it’s best to be silent
But it’s hard to be sure when the self is so violent
But sometimes our words are like cool, clear water
And we swim down deep so far from the world

We fight to be loved
But at the same time we push the love away
We search for that safety
But it’s never safe enough and so we run away

Week 50: Far flung ferociously forlorn

A song about the voices in my head that shout me down – the constant babble of criticism. Like some computer virus that infected my brain somewhere way back. I’m working on the antivirus. This song is part of the work.


50 Far flung ferociously forlorn
If the soundcloud file won’t load, click here.

For a playlist of all the songs so far, click here.

Lyrics:
Today I need every little thing to float away
This noise to fall to little whispers fade away
Just need to live this lonely day alone
With no if I had, then maybe I’d’ve
Been a better man and then I might’ve
Found the love and held it tight and
Never strayed so far from my home.

That thing you said that made me feel like I was sinking
Was it revenge for what I said when I wasn’t thinking?
And now we both feel that much more alone.
And if I hadn’t maybe I’d’ve
Been a better man and then I might’ve
Found the love and held it tight and
Never strayed so far from my home.

Far flung ferociously forlorn.
These feelings from the void are torn.
And in between the dark and dawn.
I hang round waiting to be born.

That thought I had that pulled me down and held me under.
Whose voice inside of me, who put it there I wonder?
A never-ending stream of don’ts and nos.
And if I hadn’t maybe I’d’ve
Been a better man and then I might’ve
Found the love and held it tight and
Never strayed so far from my home.

Talking to myself all day.
Fighting through the things I say.
Dreaming of a cool, clear day with
Thoughts that dangle in the air and gently float away.

Week 49: Sooner or later

A song about sexual frustration – I had it pretty badly in the week I wrote this, and it seemed like it was time to tackle the subject in a song. I’m always looking for things to write about that we all feel but that doesn’t get discussed much. Part of what I like about songs is it seems you’re allowed to express stuff that isn’t necessarily appropriate in most social situations, and often there’s stuff that society is uncomfortable discussing, but that we need to process somehow. Hopefully I’ve managed to help lighten someone’s load with this one. Chris the producer gave this quite a dirty treatment, which is probably appropriate for a dirty song.


49 Sooner or later
If the soundcloud player doesn’t load, click here.
For a playlist of all the songs so far, click here.

Lyrics:
The night is growing absurd this urge is killing the fun
You might as well be a bird I might as well be a gun
I go to bed you’re all in my head
I want to feel flesh I feel sheets instead
each creature’s goal’s to be a procreator
I’m gonna get some sooner or later

I’d probably figure it out, and find the right things to say
To bring the smile to your eyes, to make the fear go away
If only my brain was not so blood drained
If only my shame were not so ingrained
why be ashamed of being a procreator
I’m gonna get some sooner or later

It seems like some kind of cruel and and nasty natural law
The more I think she is hot, the more she finds me a bore
And then the girl that thinks I’m a hot stud
All she can hope for’s maybe a cool shrug
She’s such a cruel bitch, mother nature
I’m gonna get some, sooner or later

All I ask is for someone take me home
I don’t know why I get so all alone
When you get near me I get so greedy and my libido get’s overactive
The thing I fear’s that you’ll find me needy to you it might seem unnatractive

Now I’ve been working it out and I’ve been doing some sums
All these daughters in need and all these ravenous sons
The math is easy, it’s a no brainer
For every need, there’s a container
each creature’s goal’s to be a procreator
We all must get some sooner or later

Week 48: Meerkat and Cobra

I have a folder on my computer where I keep recordings of little ideas I have that I’m not sure what to do with, and that’s where I found the guitar part that I use in the verses, and the rest of the song evolved from that. Not sure how the image of the meerkat and the cobra popped into my head, but once I had it I worried that it should be mongoose and cobra, as these two are probably more famous for fighting each other, but I googled ‘meerkat and cobra’ and found plenty of videos of those two fighting, so I went with it as it somehow has a nicer ring to it. Hope you like it.


48 Meerkat and cobra
If the soundcloud file won’t load, click
here

For a playlist of all the songs so far, click here

Lyrics:
Lightly aching I wake and I screw my head on
And I stretch out my feelings and push myself along
With my feet in the shallows of shadowy dreams
I go into the kitchen to plot and to scheme

Philosophy, all I ask for’s a raft for these days on the ocean alone
Apostrophes are all I have now for words like I love you and honey I’m home
Absolution and blame, meerkat and cobra inside me
I hope that if I call it names, my bad self will no longer abide me

Lightly aching I wake and I take on the day
And I plug in I switch on and I plug away
Feeling overly worked feeling underly paid
I live for the moment when I hit the hay

Philosophy, all that I ask for’s a raft for these days on the ocean alone
Apostrophes are all I have now for words like I love you and honey I’m home
Absolution and blame, meerkat and cobra inside me
I hope that if I call it names, my bad self will no longer abide me

Lightly aching I wake and I make up my mind
Not to let you negate all the things that I find
In the streets where I wander and work to be kind
Always watching my back should you sneak up behind

I hate you now, the way you keep popping into the movie that plays in my head
Please take a bow and exit the stage the shows over the actors have all gone to bed
Philosophy, all that I ask for’s a raft for these days on the ocean alone
Apostrophes are all I have now for words like I love you and honey I’m home
Absolution and blame, meerkat and cobra inside me
I hope that if I call it names, my bad self will no longer abide me

Week 47: Smoke Signals

The biggest thing I’ve had to deal with when writing my songs every week has been my tendency to reject whatever I create – I’m way too critical. This can be a good thing sometimes, as it means I set the bar high, but it also tends to take the pleasure out of the process of writing songs, as I’m seldom free just to enjoy what I create without tearing it to pieces. It also tends to make me want to give up on a song before I finish it, which is exactly why the weekly deadline is such a good thing – it forces me to finish the song no matter what i think of it. So, this week’s song I wrote and then hated the result. I recorded it anyway and today Chris sent me the recording to post on the blog, and when I listened to it, the perspective of time showed it to me in a new light and I realised it was actually a pretty good song. I was trying some interesting key changes, and maybe my initial rejection of the song was just my conservative side reacting to the slightly risky chords. Anyway, enough said, hope you like it.


47 Smoke signals

If the soundcloud file won’t load, click here

For a playlist of all the songs so far, click here

Lyrics:

In a moment you opened me up with a smile
Flashing light in the corners and making me feel like a child for a while
Pangs of joy, stabs of fear
Waking all my abandoned dreams of having somebody near

Chorus
For too long now I
Been looking at empty skies
Alone I kindle sad smoke signals
But now I can see
There’s never been anything wrong with the sound of my song
It’s just that it needed a home in a heart that’s free

I was out of believing folded small
I got a sense of your love and I got a fright and I started to fall
Out of the window and over the wall
You found me wandering aimless and lost like a child in a shopping mall

Chorus

There’s thunder somewhere under the ground
You’re fading in and I’m falling and flying and fading into your sound
I’m all shook up please don’t shake me down
In you there’s a light emanating and raising the profane to the profound

Chorus

These are the good old days

There’s a great little documentary online called Slomo that I happened upon and found very true and inspiring. Right at the end of the movie, the guy says “these are the good old days”, which I thought was such a great line and a great idea for a song. I had the line going through my head as the final music for the movie started playing and i just started singing it over the slow music and it just felt right so I picked up my guitar and wrote the song with that same slow, epic feel. I think this could be great with the right production – not really sure it’s meant for just guitar and voice. Hope you like it.


46 These are the good old days

If the soundcloud player doesn’t load, click here

For a playlist of all the songs so far, click here

Lyrics:

These are the good old days
In next to no time, they’re gonna be on their way
Don’t let this moment just slip away
And leave you longing for
The good old days

These are the good old days
Ask any old man, I bet he’ll say
Don’t sit around waiting, get out and do
The things you really want to
In these good old days

These are the good old days
I’m going to find a way
To really live today
To notice things you say
To find the time to play
And hang out in cafés
To breathe the earth’s bouquet
And taste the salty spray
To notice tiny things
Like how the white-eye sings
The smell the rain wind brings
The taste of nectarines
Find time for wandering
Out where the silence rings

These are the good old days
Untouched by time’s forgetful gaze
Life’s lived in moments, not memories
So please take notice of
These good old days