Monday, November 28, 2016

Dance with a Stranger Lyrics, Link Historic Background

Musical Performance for Dance with a Stranger

*MP3 May Take you to another site...I never posted it to YouTube

I wrote this song while playing around with a few chords. During a change, I bent a note on the D-string upward. I liked the rift and eventually added a bridge.

The lick allowed me to squeeze four chords into the space of three. I also lifted my second finger up and down on the small e-string when I changed to a D-chord.

I continued strumming through the changes until they stuck and the words came along on their own.

We took it into the studio. I wanted to make it 100% acoustic, but my co-producer mic'd his violin. The engineer wanted to add a drummer; then everything got electric, and my stylized voice didn't fit. I don't do country.

I brought Stephanie Johnson from Dallas to start a vocal track, and we finished off the song as it stands. Stephanie changed a few words, but she got zero mechanicals.

The lyrics follow:

Dance with a Stranger


Across the crowded room
You find someone who reminds you of
Someone you used to love
Not too long ago

It's dark inside that room
The lights are low, and you won't take a chance
Not even one slow dance
Not with a stranger


Will you take a chance
Will you dance
Will you dance with a stranger
Young love was easy
But now you're experienced
And skeptical
You wonder if it's possible
To ever love again
To even find a friend
Be there to the end
And never be lonely again


He walks across that crowded room
He takes his time
And all the while he stares
Then he whispers in your ear
Do you have the time to talk with me a while

It all begins with a smile
And here is all I have to say
Sometimes love slips away
And that's the price we have to pay
To play this game of love


And isn't that your plan
To never hurt  again
Take this chance
Dance with a stranger
He wants to dance with you

Bargaining with Beauty

The way light nimbly paints your cheek as with the master’s brush


And exposes the even contours


Of a face where beauty reigns


You smile with your eyes


That smile rising up to your face


As it lifts the corners of your mouth


Brightening the space about you


Painting an aura felt, but not seen


Your dark hair frames your face


As it should


You slightly lift a shoulder as you laugh


I have never gazed on one such as you


Your gentle gestures appealing not just to the eye but to one's hearts as well


For you can pierce a heart by the way


You hold your lips and glimpse across the room and return


How your neck moves slightly with the motion of your eyes


Your movements like dawn on water’s surface


So still and in a wind so gentle


That I can see my breath on a summer’s day


Yet the one who gives such pleasure


To my senses


Fails to know


Her own eloquence


And trades her beauty


For a doubt


Sunday, November 27, 2016

God is Not Your Audience

Recently, a friend introduced me to Bishop Robert Barron. I didn't meet him face to face. Instead, she gave me a link to a YouTube Video. I found it ironic since the good Bishop did three short takes on early Bob Dylan songs. The songs covered his early works as a folk singer.

People have compared my vocal style to him. Some astute musicians have accused me of channeling Robert. I don't attempt to imitate him; I just have a stylistic vocal quality to my songs. If you grew up in the coffee house era, you might understand. We all sounded like Bob Dylan. No one I knew, however, wrote and performed "Like a Rolling Stone."

Years ago, I knew the Dylan catalog. Artists favored different cuts, and my favorite started out with these lyrics

Darkness at the break of noon
Shadows even the silver spoon
The handmade blade, the child's balloon
Eclipses both the sun and moon
To understand you know too soon
There is no sense in trying

As a Catholic, I had a slight problem reconciling some of Dylan's early lyrics with my beliefs and tenets of the Church.  Then, I saw and heard the following Videoes, and they changed my mind. Call this a personal Sea Change.

Bishop Barron on Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."

Bishop Robert Barron on Bob Dylan

Bishop Barron on the Disorienting Quality of Real Prayer

What did I find compelling in these videos? 

In the Bishop's discussion of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, I saw an ugly part of myself. One I denied existed.

In 1992, during a recording session, Chris O'Connell, made an offhand comment that got my attention. Chris said that I thought of myself as the center of the universe.  Evidently, something I said to my co-producer, Danny Levin pushed one of Chris' buttons. Almost 25  years later, Chris's words came back to haunt me.  I'm full of myself.

As I continue to add materials to "Cold Soup," you'll understand how Bishop Barron blew my mind as he discussed the Pharisee and the Publican.

For now, you will get what you get.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Just getting Started

Your beauty always struck me deeply
All the while considering you unapproachable

Then I asked a simple question and
You opened arms
And your heart

You presented yourself and the love I once glimpsed
Waited for me

As a gentle rain one could compare
As if falling in the midst of wind and thunder
Neither twisting or challenged
Who could guess such things exist?