Posts Tagged ‘lyrics’

IMG_4100A clear night

But street lights outshine the stars up there.

And who knew Venus has phases

Just like the moon?

The boy asleep on the backseat,

I close the car door quietly.

We’re coming home without you.

The work week

And trash night,

I think about all the fights

We’ve ever had-

“Who’s in charge here, me or you?”

But for once we just might agree

It’s not your or me.

Not when we’re coming home without you.

What a mess we must look like

From the outside.

You show up larger than life

And me, always trying to hide.

But I could bring you to your knees

And you wouldn’t resist,

Or so I’d like to believe.

That’s when it feels dangerous.

Makes me think I should leave.

But I’m never sure when to run.

And tonight there’s no one here to run from.

A clear night

But street lights outshine the stars up there.

And who knew Venus has phases

Just like the moon?

We do

Because we’ve been through

So many phases

Still I never thought I’d be

Coming home without you

~Paula Sutor, 2005

A long time ago, 1996 or so, I wanted to be Kate Bush fronting Marillion; a winning combination certain to win the hearts and minds of middle America.  Unfortunately I had neither the voice of Kate Bush nor the enigmatic charm of Fish and so every project to which I brought this vision floundered for a bit, hemorrhaged drummers, and then died a slow, whiny death.  I’ve gotten over that now.  It took me almost 20 years but I have  finally come to realize I cannot sing and perhaps more importantly, prog really is the fine china of the music world- it should only be used on special occasions under certain circumstances.

Despite all this, I believe I came closest to my dream in this song.  Inspired by a binge of both watching and reading Dune,  “Little Death” is performed by a short lived band tentatively named , Make Way for Ducklings.   My poorly drawn husband is killing it on piano, and Glen Douglas  plays lead guitar;  I think Russel Pickett is on  bass, but that may also be a midi controlled keyboard bass.  The drums are programmed, because just like my vibrator, programmed drummers do exactly want I want them to do for exactly as long as I want them to do it, and don’t expect me to make a sandwich for them afterwards.

The video was filmed in Second Life in Forgotten City.

 

Welcome, Little Death

Black wings flutter in a flag of surrender

My dreams like vultures pick the corpse bare and fly off to another

Welcome, Little One

The world in your head is immense and you cross it with a step

Reluctance conquers and rules with innocence

She was never pretty, she was not the best,

She had expectations just like all the rest

She was not the brightest, she was never blessed

She held out for more, and ended up with less

Welcome, Little Fear

You sense your time has come, you jump the gun and march

on your own country

Compromise the borders and find

There’s nothing left of me

Welcome, Little Death

We always knew you’d come our sole excuse

and all forgiving friend

So kiss this demon dream goodnight

And let it end

She was never pretty, she was not the best

She had expectations just like all the rest

She was not the brightest, she was never blessed

She held out for more

And ended up with nothing

Unforgivable, the things we do sometimes

The posture we take in a room and the way we hold our eyes

The stares we never meet and the things we never say

We think we’re holding out but we’re giving it all away

 

 

womans' land army

 

In honor of the study of how unemployed men versus unemployed women spend their days, as presented by Jezebel. com (one of my favorite news filters), I present lyrics to a song I wrote for an all-mom punk band, circa 2002.   Now the gist of the current study is that unemployed men are more likely to spend their time watching television, while unemployed women spend more time caring for others or doing housework.  They did a study on this?  Did the government spend money on it?  They should ask me the next time they think they might spend tax payer dollars on such a study,  because I could have told them . . . and I would have estimated some mighty believable numbers for a whole lot less than they spent on the staff who made the calls/entered the data, etc.  Just wanted to get that out there.

I will admit my song is a bit proto-feminist, but I’m not ashamed.  The cultural references are also a bit dated, but if you’re over 25 you probably remember these things.

Housewife Army

 

I’m going to start the revolution right now, gonna raise up a housewife army

Sisters, rise up, lace your Keds on tight, we’re gonna march on the patriarchy

Pack a snack for the kids if you can’t get a sitter; making history’s at hand

Leave your dishes and your laundry undone, and take to you minivan

Housewife Army, Housewife Army, It’s a Housewife Army

Changing the world’s on my To-Do List today

The man can’t keep us down here in the ‘burbs watching Trading Spaces all day

We’ll clean your house, we’ll cook the meals, but now we’re gonna do it for pay

We’re gonna mobilize, we might just unionize, don’t talk down to me anymore

Not you auto mechanics, not you health care professionals, we mean it – this is war!

Housewife Army, Housewife Army, It’s a Housewife Army

Changing the world’s on my To-Do List today

First pull QVC off the air, quit selling crap that we don’t need

Shut down Cosmo and Woman’s Day, no one needs that kind of trash to read

Fuck Jenny Craig, fuck Dexatrim, we know a chocolate shake from SlimFast

And the designer who brought us those low-rise jeans can kiss my cellulite-covered ass

Housewife Army, Housewife Army, It’s a Housewife Army

Changing the world’s on my To-Do List today

We demand to be identified by more than what we buy and where

We want a choice, a political voice, a party beyond Tupperware

Housewife Army, Housewife Army, It’s a Housewife Army

Changing the world’s on my To-Do List today

 

 

 

 

A stretch limo, broken down in an underpass

I pull up behind because I know that this is my last chance

The driver reads the paper, he’s waiting on a tow

Do you mind if I sit in the back for a while?

We both have no where to go

And let me ride

It’s the ride of my life

Let me ride

It’s the ride of my life

The TV is broken, the wet bar is empty

It reeks of puke and perfume from last night’s bachelorette party

The windows are tinted to keep the rider in anonymity

Which I find ironic, since I want out of this obscurity

So let me ride

It’s the ride of my life

Let me ride

It’s the ride of my life

Let me ride to my glory, I want to ride to my fortune and fame

Let me ride to the big time where I can stake my claim

And all the kids from my high school

Now grown up and so mundane

Well they can still have the last laugh, because I am still the same

So let me ride

It’s the ride of my life

Let me ride

Yes, it’s the ride of my life

limo

I’ve been putting my music “out there” for many years now and I’ll be honest – I have no fans (insert heavy sigh here).  Well, I do have some very supportive friends who assure me my music is good and I once had a person contact me after I played a show on Second Life and ask for mp3’s of my songs, which I gladly obliged, but beyond that I have yet to find an audience.  Sometimes when I’m in the car listening to Top 40 radio I compare  my music to what’s getting a lot of airplay.  Then I try to quantify what makes music good music. 

The strange thing is you can listen to a song objectively, evaluate all the pieces, declare it pretty good, and then have no desire to hear it ever again. That’s the big mystery.  What’s the special secret ingredient that makes a “pretty good” song into the song you have on repeat for two days straight and still gets you excited when it comes on the radio at work?

For a little while I had formulated a quick and dirty response to this question.  If it makes me want to dance, fight or f**k, it’s good.

Makes me wanna dance:

Makes me wanna fight:

Makes me wanna  f**k :

Makes me wanna dance, fight and f**k, but only if it’s 1994:

But my simple little checklist of music appreciation doesn’t even begin to cover the rest of my music collection.  Mozart’s Requiem, Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Satie’s Gymnopedies, all come to mind.  Obviously there is music that is technically beyond reproach, and I won’t even attempt to address that aspect of music.  Whatever I learned in my three semesters of college as a music major has been all but forgotten, and most pop music isn’t attempting to compete on that playing field.  

Still the emotional response elicited from a piece like Barber’s Adagio for Strings is undeniable; it puts you in touch with the human condition in such a way that you feel both humbled and elevated by the experience.  Popular music can do this too.  Peter Gabriel, Arcade Fire and Death Cab for Cutie have all created music that is emotionally charged and cathartic for me.

So obviously there’s an emotional component to good music beyond the fighting and . . . that other thing I mentioned.    Sometimes the emotion comes through solely in the delivery.  Perhaps it’s the singer and not the song, as the old adage goes.  Certainly there are performers whose voices are so evocative and/or unique that they could sing their weekly grocery list and have the audience hanging on every word.

But sometimes it’s in the lyrics.  A strong message that can be applied liberally, like a musical disinfectant, to many situations seems to work well, as evidenced in pop standards like “Wind Beneath My Wings”, “Greatest Love of All”, and “Unchained Melody”.  However, I think some of the best tunes have messages that are vague or difficult to decode, and by connecting the dots as a listener the song becomes very personal.

“I never listen to the lyrics,” many folks will tell you.  For these music fans, it’s all about groove and energy.  They don’t really care what’s being said; they let the rhythm do the talking.  I guess this brings us back to “makes you want to dance,” but sometimes popular songs work because you’ll be hearing them on the radio in your office, a place where  you can’t or shouldn’t dance, so there’s this mid-tempo upbeat tune that raises your energy without getting your groove on.

For the record, “I’m bluffin’ with my muffin” isn’t too far removed from “Yesterday was Thursday, today is Friday, We so excited . . .” in my book.  And yes, I am just bitter, thanks for asking.

If you’ve made it this far, I would love to hear about your favorite song or what you think makes a good song tick.  Heck, I could really go for a guest blogger on this subject right about now, so don’t be shy.    Drop me a line if you’re interested – paula@phaseslikethemoon.com