Friday, January 31, 2014

I Met A Man

This isn't my song to share. It's by JoAnn Abbot, who is a frequent co-competitor in the SpinTunes songwriting competitions. But it's a good story, and I'm happy to be part of it.

First, the song:



I Met A Man
by JoAnn Abbot
featuring performances by Jenny Katz-Brandoli, Dave Leigh, and Joe 'Covenant' Lamb

I met a man and he asked me for water
Though it was obvious I was a daughter of shame
I did not know his name

I met a man and he told me my story
Married five times and now living with one I'd not wed
I hung down my head

Who was this man that so knew me?
How could he see through the lies to my sorrow?
Why did he want to speak to me
I didn't know
I didn't know

I met a man and he offered me water
So I'd never thirst and could then be a daughter of God
A daughter of God

I met a man and he gave his life for me
Now I tell everyone come share his water of life
To stop tears and strife

Who was this man that so knew me?
How could he see through the lies to my sorrow?
Why did he want to speak to me
I didn't know
I didn't know

Who was this man that so knows me?
How can he see through the lies to my sorrows?
Why would he want to speak to me?
I didn't know
He loved me so
I didn't know
He loves me so.


Musical Notes

JoAnn wrote the words and sang them into a microphone, sending me the file. The intent was for me to add accompaniment. It was a little ambiguous in places, so I made some adjustments to the tune, and did accompaniment for that (partially informed by limitations on the chords I can play). The result was something close to, but not quite the same as, the original tune. Feeling a bit of a Celtic vibe to the tune, I asked Joe 'Covenant' Lamb if he'd provide percussion, and he sent me about four tracks of bodhran.

JoAnn had a little trouble relating the accompaniment I produced to the tune she sent me. So I sang a couple of tracks of vocals for reference. As it turns out, my interpretation is apparently un-singable by your average female. So I gave it to Jenny Katz for her input, and she agreed with JoAnn... my tune was in places "too high" and "too low". So she re-interpreted it, and sent it back, with harmony.

Now, the funny thing is, ALL of these vocal tracks actually fit the tune. So I include them all here... every track that was done. I like it that way.

Lyrical Notes

Obviously, when JoAnn publishes a song bio, anything she says there is correct. (update: the bio is published) As for me, I'm really impressed with the lyrics, and I say this as someone who writes to other people's words most of the time. The metaphors of water for life and "daughter of God" for the Church ("daughter of God" = "bride of Christ, son of God") are uncomplicated. Become a bride of Christ and live eternally. Simple message. Well done.


Credits

Words and original tune by JoAnn Abbott 
Arrangement by Dave Leigh

Jenny Katz-Brandoli: lead vocals & harmony
Dave Leigh: backing vocals, guitar, synth bass, tambourine, and shaky-egg, audio-mixing
Joe 'Covenant' Lamb: bodhran

Track photo: Everett Leigh


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Johnny McGee and SpinTunes

The SpinTunes 8 songwriting contest is ready to commence. William and I are not judging this time, and not shadowing. We're competing, if you can call it that. If you'd like to sign up, you can find out how by clicking the big friendly logo:


click HERE for official contest rules and to find out more.

My son is home from "cop school" this weekend. As we were driving last night he asked me if I was ready to compete. "Let's find out," I replied, "Give me a challenge". He pondered a bit and said, "Write a song about piece of lint." My deadline was 5 minutes. This is what I sang for him:

Johnny McGee

Johnny McGee had a big ball of lint
He gathered where e're he was able
Some of it came from the dryer;
Some of it came from his navel.
Then he wove it into a luxurious wig
He wore on special occasions
Like birthday parties and musical gigs
And also to special liasons.

Let's hear it for Johnny McGee!
And cheer for the obvious reasons!

He wove it into a luxurious wig

And wore it on special occasions!



A song like this deserves a matching performance, don't you think?



Surely that's a five-minute masterpiece. Be very afraid.

Of course, now my son is deathly afraid that someday genetics will kick in and he'll be committed to a rubber room.

Goodnight, Sam

This is for my great-nephew, Sam, at the request of his father, Daniel.
Sam and I haven't met yet. He's fairly new to the world, and Daniel tells me he likes to tell things goodnight. That was really the hook and inspiration for this song.


Goodnight, Sam
dfl - 24 Jan 2014

It's time for me to say goodnight to the sun 
It's time for me to say goodnight to the sun 
Goodnight Sun! 
Sleep tight, Sun! 
In the morning I will rise 
Brush the sleep out of my eyes 
And thank you for the light 
Goodnight Sun 

It's time for me to say good night to the moon 
It's time for me to say good night to the moon 
Good night, Moon! 
Thank you for the light, Moon! 
In the morning I will rise 
Brush the sleep out of my eyes 
And then you can sleep tight 
Goodnight, Moon 

It's time for me to say good night to the world 
It's time for me to say good night to the world 
Good night, World! 
I hope we treat you right, World! 
In the morning I will rise 
Brush the sleep out of my eyes 
And watch you come alive 
Goodnight, World 

It's time for me to say good night to you all 
It's time for me to say good night to you all 
Good night, all! 
I love you with all my might, all! 
In the morning I will rise 
Brush the sleep out of my eyes 
And greet you with a smile 
Goodnight, all! 

It's time for me to say good night to God 
It's time for me to say good night to God 
Good night, God 
Thank you for my life, God 
In the morning I will rise 
Brush the sleep out of my eyes 
And pray you'll make me wise 
Goodnight, God.


Musical Notes

This is repetitive by design. Daniel wanted a lullaby, and to me that means that the goal is to put the little critter to sleep. So, a soft tune, very repetitive, with just enough variation that you know that they're separate verses, and enough of a formula that you can add verses on the fly if you had to.

The chords are all very simple open chords, with the capo set on the first fret.
Am -- F -- G -- C
(transposed)
A#m -- F# -- G# -- C#

I made it modal for family reasons, and to make it a little bittersweet. That's because this is for Sam's parents as much as it's for Sam; their little boy isn't going to be little forever. But someday he'll have kids of his own,
and if he sings this to them. I want Daniel and Michelle to cry their elderly eyes out... in the nicest possible way.