60 Days, 60 Songs!

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Day #60: Things I’ve learned so far:

1. When you have a daily deadline, you can’t be too picky about the quality of your post; you have to remind yourself that you’re not Bernie Taupin–and that you’re doing this to reach out to other aspiring songwriters, not to win a grammy.

2. This started out as just kind of a lark, but I’ve come to enjoy the daily sense of accomplishment that comes from posting a new song.

3. Songs are way more flexible, in terms of structure, meter, rhyme, theme, than I’d ever thought. Basically, yes, you can write a song about anything–and with over 300 songs to go, that’s going to come in handy.

4. I’ve learned something about the discipline it takes to meet a daily deadline. A smart aspiring novelist would apply that discipline to his real dream of writing and publishing a novel. Am I a smart, aspiring novelist? We’ll find out!

5. I generally avoid thinking of my lyrics as being a “pop” or “country” or “rock” song. They’re just words, after all; it’s up to the musician to decide what the song ultimately sounds like.

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Day #60: He is Risen

He is Risen

On the first day of the week
Mary cried outside the tomb
The Savior she had come to seek
Was nowhere in that silent room

The angels sat where He once lay
At the head and at the feet
On this new triumphant day
They asked her, “why do you weep?”

For He is risen, he is risen
He is risen, he is risen
The scriptures are fulfilled
And His love for you revealed
He is risen
He is risen today

Mary thought her Savior gone
Taken from her by the world
He had rolled away the stone
And stood behind her at his word

For He is risen, he is risen
He is risen, he is risen
The scriptures are fulfilled
And His love for you revealed
He is risen
He is risen today

Day #59: On My Way (Stranger’s Shoes)

On My Way
(Stranger’s Shoes)

Lord, I’m leaving home
Cause I feel so out of place
I might find a land
Where they run a different race
It can’t be far from the main road
It’s on my way

I’ve seen people play
Butter-battles in the street
I’ve heard wisdom fall
Worthless doctors at my feet
It can’t be far from the silence
It’s on my way

Chorus:
And I don’t know how it feels
Or what it means to be free
When I wear stranger’s shoes in my town
It was like He’d said, “Don’t touch Me, Mary Maudlin,
You’re still a friend of Mine.”

I have seen the springs
Of the seas, and will again
I have heard of snow
And the father of the rain
The field beasts conjure an image of love, all around

It’s called God’s country, here,
But He’s got a word or two:
“I have sent My gifts,
Now the rest is up to you.
And I remember your last smile,
It made my day.”

And I don’t know how it feels
Or what it means to be free
When I wear stranger’s shoes in my town
It was like He’d said, “Don’t touch Me, Mary Maudlin,
You’re still a friend of Mine.
Don’t touch me, Mary Maudlin,
I’ll be there when you call my name.”

[Instrumental verse]

Chorus

Coda: Lord, I’ve come back home,
And I’m here to stay.

Day #58: Tiny Dancer

Tiny Dancer

Another night on this dim stage
In the hippest part of town
The coffeehouse patrons wait
For one more poem to bring them down

Amid the finger-snaps and sighs
She stood and spread her arms like wings
And then she danced and spun like wind
To spoken words no one could sing

She’s my tiny dancer
Bringing all my words to life
She’s a starry beauty,
Evening colored, feather light
Now we make a love song
My tiny dancer here tonight

Gliding down the boulevard
Between the chairs, she turns to me
Suddenly I’m not on stage
But in the sky, a soul set free

Day #57: Looking for a Love Song

Looking For A Love Song

My love’s gonna live longer than me
Sad songs gonna be all that I see
When she says she’s on her own

Grey skies know the way home with me
No reign like the days used to be
When she says she’s on her own

Chorus:
She said:
I’m looking for a love song
That lives longer than you
Here’s hoping there’s a better way
To spend all my days than with you
I’m looking for a love song

I’ve seen cold tears washing you
It’s that old rain in me, too
When you say you’re on your own

If your heart beats way too long
It’s built for the day love goes wrong
When she says she’s on her own

Chorus

Day #56: (Just Let Me) Die Young

(Just Let Me) Die Young

Spent my time on that cold street
The Avenue of the Americas
Seen that man with no coat in December
College girl sellling all she ever was

Broken asphalt is no kind of mattress
Hot exhaust becomes the breath of life
Is this my future, sprayed like gang signs
And carved into me with a rusted knife

Chorus:
So just let me die young
Let me live fast and not care
Let me die before the world finds me
Let’s all die young everywhere

Tried to close my eyes to all the pain
But my heart never blinks and sees it all
Wish I could fix the world, but who am I
Just a ground-out brick about to fall

Chorus

Day #55: Entitled

Entitled

I’m still waiting for life to entertain me
Anyone still around who can impress me
All I want is escape or an adventure
Sick of this life, hope the world is my cure

Is this boredom or real life taking over
Sure don’t look like the carnival we paid for
Where’s my trophy for being a good sport
Where is my life of leisure, where’s my world

I did all you asked of me
Stayed off drugs and stayed in school
Is all that I’m entitled to
Just hand-me-downs and games for fools
Your words and deeds entitled me
Gimme all you promised me

Gotta break out of this beige cubicle
Gonna leap over this fast-food counter
All I want is escape or an adventure
Sick of working, hope the world is my cure

Chorus

Coda:
Your words and deeds entitled me
Gimme all you promised me

Day #54: The Wild Life

The Wild Life

I hope you’re a hooligan like me
Running roughshod over all you see
Where’s the stuff that folks hold dear
It’s time to piss on all we see and hear

Their cookie-cutter learning didn’t work
They didn’t raise a genius, just a jerk
Now it’s time to wallow in the rage
And burn it all around us page by page

Chorus:
If you’re a member of the Wild Life
You’ll spend your time tap dancing on a knife
If you’re a member of the Wild Life
We’ll celebrate the damage and the strife
Come be a member of the Wild Life

I hope you’re a scoundrel, just like me
We keep it all inside, we’re never free
Those dreams of getting even never live
But kill us slowly, sadly from within

Chorus

Day #53: Into Jerusalem

Into Jerusalem

Tell me, Saviour, can you see
All the palm fronds laid for thee
All the people on either side of you?

And though they’ll turn on you tonight
Side with Pilate for the fight
I will walk with you, Saviour
When you go

Singing “Hosanna,”
Into Jerusalem
I will go
Singing “Hosanna,”
Into Jerusalem with you

You knew what you were going to
The cross, then three days in the tomb
All to save the souls of ungrateful men

That’s the triumph over sin
You were born and raised to win
I will walk with you, Saviour,
When you go

Singing “Hosanna,”
Into Jerusalem
I will go
Singing “Hosanna,”
Into Jerusalem with you

Day #52: Lost in Shenandoah

Lost in Shenandoah

All he ever wanted was a campfire song
Saving every moment in a sing-a-long
Rhyming stars and mountains while the guitar play
Hoping that memories would stay every day

Lost in Shenandoah, we could rock-climb
Toss boulders like the marbles of our younger time
He would point and shout across our mountain home
“Life wasn’t meant to be played all alone”

This song has no chorus, no lines repeated

Tell me how it feels to be out of time
Tell me what it means when our words don’t rhyme
Let these be the last of my words to you
“I’ll be your friend for forever, every day”