32. Cello groove

This is sort of cheating, in my own eyes. To me the difference between this year’s songwriting and the preceding 30 years is lyrics – I’ve noodled and improvised my whole life, but never really sat down and made complete songs. And here I’ve basically just recorded an improv. But hey, we’re heading into the pointy end of 50/90 and I’m counting anything, anything vaguely song-shaped as a song now 😀 This is a cello rhythm and bass groove with completely improvised vocal scat over the top. First take, which is why it’s sort of distorted. The cello is recorded with a pickup and therefore sounds like ass, but it’s too noisy to record via mic at the mo.

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31. Shimmering hope

Not the most original of images, or indeed melody – spot the melodic fragment that I borrowed from Notre Dame de Paris 😀 Planes in the background, joys of living under the flight path.

Shimmering hope

A rainbow’s born of tears in the sky
A summer’s born of winter’s tears running dry
Sun from the rain
Joy from the pain
The morning from the night

Chorus
When the world’s got you beat
At the end of your rope
On the other side shines
A shimmering hope

A tree is born of death and rebirth
A flower’s born of flesh and bones in the earth
Dark into light
Loss into life
A blessing from a curse

Chorus

An oak that’s weathered fierce, wild storms
With branches that are shaken, battered and torn
Still it remains
Firm under strain
And peace comes at the dawn

Chorus

Your strength is born of scars that have healed
As fire forges iron and tempers steel
Diamond from coal
A fragment made whole
Your beauty is revealed

Chorus

30. Falling into dark

Look ma, no chorus! Hey, I’m 60% through 50/90, on track to completing the 50. Already feeling like I’m scraping the bottom of the creative barrel, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Falling into dark

Falling into dark
The city settles and takes a breath
Soft summer rain
Leaves the streets refreshed
In swelling silence
Slumbering beasts
Awaken in the depths

Falling into night
The creatures roam and glide
Moving without sound
Shadows drifting by
House to house
Bed to bed
Into dreams they dive

Falling into dreams
The creatures watch the show
Terrors and delights
They cannot stop the flow
They only sit
Wait til morn
Make sure we wake, then go

Falling into dawn
The creatures sink away
Gentle morning light
Marks the coming day
In gloom they hide
Await the night
To guard us all again

29. Squeeze me

Well another day of wanting to writing something true, and ending up noodling aimlessly. Musical ideas are endless, lyrical ideas are my problem. So I turned to my usual writer’s block-buster, song skirmishing – writing a song in an hour, to a prompt. A bit of silliness to clear the pipes. This was on the prompt “orange”.

Squeeze me

Orange-ya glad that oranges exist?
The sweetest fruit
Ain’t that the truth

Chorus
Squeeze me
Til my juices drip
Suck me
Taste me on your lips
Bite me
Your tongue on my zest
I’m best when I’m pressed
Oh, squeeze me

Your hands will be sticky
If you don’t take care
Just need to licky-licky
My flesh laid bare

Dig your nails right in
Peel me nice and slow
Press on my dimpled skin
Til my oils explode

Chorus

I’m plump and I’m curvy
Don’t call me round
I’ll protect you from scurvy
My virtues abound

I’m quite adaptable
I go well with duck
And chocolate’s compatible
With me, you’re in luck

Chorus

28. Daughter of mine

One of my favourite songs as a teenager was Mon frère, by Maxime Le Forestier, about the brother he never had. Heartbreaking. This is quite similar in theme.

What I like about writing is that it’s an exercise in empathy. I’ve never been through this experience myself, miscarriage or infertility or losing a child, but I’ve got friends and family who have. Although it’s impossible to know what it really feels like from the inside, this is a kind of reaching.

Daughter of mine

You should’ve been born on a bright summer’s day
Your father speeding through lights on his way to the
Hospital’s doors, forgetting to pay for the car
You should’ve been clutching my finger in yours
My world exploding in joy and in awe as I
Smelled your head and felt your fluttering heart

You should’ve been holding your grandmother’s hands
As she helped you up from sitting to standing and
Watched you take your first steps one day in the park
I should’ve kissed your eyelids at night as you
Drifted in dreams of butterflies in flight and I’d stay
For a minute, listening to breaths in the dark

Chorus
Daughter, daughter of mine
You live in my heart and my mind
Daughter, daughter of mine
If only you’d been born
To see the sky

I should’ve waited beside the school gates for you
Dawdling as you waved to your mates and you’d
Prattle and gossip and sing on our way home
It wouldn’t have always been roses and smiles, you’d be Stubborn, impatient, because you’re my child, we would
Fight over nothing, you’d cry in your room alone

We would’ve made up with tea and hugs and we’d
Snuggle and giggle into our mugs as we
Sprawled on the couch watching Pride and Prej
It would’ve been hard seeing you packing your bags
As you left to go travelling, kissed bye to your dad
Mama bird blessing her fledgling off the ledge

Chorus

27. Apocalypse

I’m nowhere near as doomsdayish as this song is, although I do often quietly note potential signs of the apocalypse as they pop up. Prams for grownups. Sex robots. Giant bits of ice just falling off things. And so forth. Mostly though, this was a fun exercise in rhyme-play. Assonance and family rhymes and internal rhymes.

Apocalypse

Chorus
Solar eclipse
Moves everyone’s hips
Get a grip and don’t let slip we’re all about to flip
Solar eclipse
On everyone’s lips
Apocalyptic shit gunna hit our spaceship

Sinister omens surround us all around
Get underground, godawful signs abound
Jackbooted douches gunna shoot you down
Four horsemen of course just trippin’ round town

Bad moon looms as we engineer our doom
Bugs, bots and bombs that looneys make go boom
Retreat to the womb as clocks strike noon
No immunity, impunity to spare us from our tombs

Chorus

Humanity’s vanity will be our destruction
Insanity plea won’t help in the crushin’
Our feces of a species a smudge in the Judgment
Our stink will be extinct, forgive the interruption

Overconsume and overproduce
We enslave and invade, there is no excuse
The earth’s a village that we pillage and abuse
Round our own necks we can’t loosen the noose

Chorus

26. Running dry

I was thinking about how my creative well was running dry halfway through 50/90 and it turned into an environmental song 😛

Running dry

The well is running dry
It’s enough to make you cry
Waters clean and free
The well for you and me
Now it’s bare and dead
We’ll drink the river instead

Chorus
We poison ocean and earth
This, the home of our birth
We can’t seem to get it
Hope we’ll live to regret it

The river’s running dry
It’s enough to make you sigh
Fish and torrents flowed
Back in days of old
Now just dribbles and drips
The sea has to do the trick

Chorus

The sea is running dry
It’s a fact we can’t deny
Bloated whales beached
Rotten bones are bleached
Too late the lesson’s learned
Ain’t got nowhere else to turn

25. First amendment

Well this one was a skirmish where I actually kept to the one hour limit. The prompt is “first amendment.” Eh, I don’t like the song, it’s an obnoxious take on obnoxiousness. If time weren’t a factor I wouldn’t post it, but I’m lagging behind on the schedule so another one down, and tomorrow’s another day and another song!

First amendment

You have freedom of thought and speech
Protected by the first amendment
Though we may not quite agree
I’ll fight for your right and defend it
But wait I can’t! I’m an alien
Forgot that I am Australian

Chorus
Say what you like
Don’t gotta be nice
Spew your views on gays and vice
Just don’t expect
People to respect
Your ideas on every subject

For every side to have their voice
Is essential for democracy
Doesn’t mean that each is right
Got not time for hate and hypocrisy

I’ve got rights to speak for the left
Remember that it goes both ways
Rainbow snowflake, politically correct
Go and moan for the good old days

Chorus

No one’s making you shut up
Troll, comment and protest
Don’t cry foul, “it’s so unfair”
But violence must be suppressed

It’s not disputed
You have the right to be a dick
Just be prepared for rumours
That you have a really small prick

Chorus

24. Ride through the night

I don’t really play mandolin. Got one earlier this year for my birthday, haven’t really gotten around to learning it properly yet. Hence, two-chord song!

Ride through the night

Ride on, ride on, ride through the night
Ride through the hail and rain
Your weary back breaks
Your wounds burn and ache
You ride through the anguish and pain

Ride on, ride on, ride through the night
Ride through the hellish terrain
Your brothers in arms
Return to their farms
You’ll never see them again

Chorus
Ride on, ride on
The call of home on the wind
Ride on, ride on
In peace, your life can begin

Ride on, ride on, ride through the night
Ride through the mud and the mire
The enemy’s undone
The war has been won
It’s time for you to retire

Ride on, ride on, ride through the night
RIde through the blood and the fire
Your fair maiden waits
Her hand at the gate
Her lips are wet with desire

Chorus

[instrumental]

Chorus

23. Dragon

Hit a wall today, staring at the keyboard uninspired. Wrote a banal lyric based on a prompt my friend supplied – not her fault but mine. Was going to give up but in the end noodled on the good old baritone uke and came up with this strange sound.

Dragon

Where the earth meets sky
Where the sky meets sea
There waits an ancient creature
Waiting for all, for you and for me

A dragon without fire
A dragon without claws
His mission to welcome us
To carry us across to distant shores

On leathery back
On scarred scales
We ride the wind
Towards the sails

Where the earth meets sky
Where the sky meets sea
There waits an ancient creature
Waiting for all, for you and for me