Wednesday, June 24, 2009

May Songwriters' Circle at Sparkytown

At the end of May’s session, Dana urged me NOT to blog about that session. I’m not sure why. I found it to be one of the more interesting with a song about masturbation sung at the break and the songs offered for critique that evening right up my alley: poetical and/or political.

“Do Frogs Dream?” I didn’t care what it meant….wasn’t that the purpose of this piece? I just wanted to get lost in the melody and lyrics, and I did. I wanted to hear it again and again. I keep reading the lyrics. It’s great as a poem.

“The Olive Tree”….a poem turned into a song….a sweet, sentimental song that with a little tweaking could be a song we all remember. There’s a personal touch here that makes you want to love the song, but it’s just not there quite yet. It will be. He’ll get there. I hope to hear this one again in the future.

I’m always up for the quirky, Tom Paxtonish tune….and “The Men’s Room Wall” delivered. Lively discussion followed, including whether someone standing there urinating would be “cogitating” or “contemplating”. Hmmm.

Sometimes I’m just plain jealous of a lyric…..why didn’t I write that first? That’s the jolt I got when Joanne sang “conversation spills a memory into my lap”….ah man, she sometimes just nails an emotion and then sings in such a pretty voice, you can’t help but love the song. “Any Given Day.” I always imagine Emmylou Harris making a million or so on one of Joanne’s songs someday….unless Joanne does it herself first.

“In My Reverie” was the source of lots of discussion that I didn’t understand. Too much repetition? What did it mean? I kept wondering what Bob Dylan might have gone through had he been a member of this group. I like the rhymes in this piece….they don’t seem forced or words put there just for the sake of a rhyme. I like the repetition…it’s like a day dream. Maybe the folks who didn’t get it should spend more time fishing. Or day dreaming.

The most discussion of the evening came at the end of the night. It was a Mark Zane song that did it, called “An Army of One” about an Army Recruiter. It could be interpreted as the recruiter gloating that he’d roped in another sucker. “Another notch toward promotion” as the song quotes. Some took exception to this. Perhaps it was the late hour. Perhaps it was a lack of experience or personal knowledge. Perhaps I’ll just never understand that politics do in fact make strange bedfellows and not everyone believes as I do. Anyway, I’m glad Mark wrote this song and I hope he found a corner of the campus he works on to sing it the next day when the Army recruiters were working there.

And isn’t that the purpose of songwriting…..especially in the folk style? To record the story of the day? Whether it’s what’s written on the bathroom wall or what’s happening on a college campus?

Thanks again to Sparky and to Dana and to the group for allowing me to be a fly on the wall.

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