bnewman: (explorer)
[personal profile] bnewman
Wow, it's been a long time since I posted a batch of songs here — more than 2.5 very eventful years, about which I have said more elsewhere. During that time I have written fewer songs than I might wish (I am afraid this is a side effect of being sane), but I have written some, and I also have a huge backlog of songs written, perhaps posted to my songs page, but not mentioned or discussed here. I will post them in several batches, to give you all plenty of time to comment, because I miss getting comments on my songs.

So, without further ado, some songs:

Broken Dreams of Uplift (mp3) was written one day when I got "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day stuck in my head. I looked up the chords online, and when I started playing them, I realized they were the same as the chords to Uplift by Andy Eigel. It's meant to be sung against the verses of "Uplift" (as you can hear — if you want to hear just my lyrics, listen with just your right ear), but with its own bridge and coda. The lyrics focus on the downsides of the inexorable progress of civilization, as a counterpoint (not a refutation) to the more positive lyrics of "Uplift".

The Withinward Garden (mp3) is a sort of meditation. As I've mentioned before in connection with "The Secret of the Festival of Sandcastles", I have a thing for miniature landscapes — a mountain in a stone, a chain of islands in a tidal flat, a forest in a patch of moss, a river running down a path after rain. This song is a journey into a miniature landscape, and is (like "Secret") recursive. Somehow I find the idea of a landscape endlessly repeating at all scales to be comforting and grounding. Maybe you will, too. This is one of the first songs I wrote after All That Shit Happened.

A Mazing Grace (mp3) is another meditation, this time on the Labyrinth. It imagines life as a twisty maze of little passages, all different, marked out in "loops and whorls" tattooed on Our Mother (Earth and Goddess)'s skin, and invites us to savor those wonders and blessings that we can most easily find when we get a little turned around or lost. I was a little crazy when I wrote this, but I think it holds up well — certainly, it has remained close to my heart and been a source of comfort during my recovery.

What's the Rule Now? (mp3) is a mathematical parody of "Martin Said to His Man", a medieval drinking song which I learned from the amazing Heather Dale. In the original, each verse competes to deliver the most ridiculous drunken tall tale. In the parody, each verse introduces a mathematical constant and a "well-thunken" (a past participle of "think") rule for its definition or application. "Martin" here is, of course, Martin Gardner. Please feel free to add or suggest additional numerical constants (or other mathematical topics) — a song like this can always accommodate another verse or two or many.

I've also posted a new mp3 of Altar of Fire, perhaps the only neopagan stir-fry song in the world — I had updated the lyrics some time ago, but hadn't gotten around to re-recording it until now.

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bnewman: (Default)Ben Newman

September 2017


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