Tag Archives: music

Original Rag

Original Rag

Scott Joplin played piano,
he had all the notes in the bag.
Wish I could compose a similar tune,
my own original rag.

A tune a tonic to play,
a remedy to mend a mood,
a jangly round to summon happy times,
a refreshment interlude.

A vacancy in the air,
a hollow ache in the heart,
wait to feel the pulse of my melody,
heal by the strum of my art.

I sit and play my guitar,
find the right rhythm, random chord,
the shallow place in this rapid river,
stable stones to help me ford.

Must not yield to winter cold,
must continue to use my gift.
Subtle syncopations are not my skill,
I have my simple load to lift.

I plunge my mind in the pool,
and gather the notes from the bag.
Time to turn the tap on my wayward tune,
my own original rag.

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Sand and Dust

Sand and Dust

A Stradivarius violin
he knew he would never own.
Fated to be a pauper player
while he reaped what he had sown.

No, there were worlds that were not for him,
would remain outside the dance.
Stood against the wall where he was pinned,
stabbed by a glittering glance.

This poorly put together pantomime,
cruel circus antiquated with rust,
revue organised by black suited crime
was to him so much sand and dust.

Helicopters could not rescue him,
if the ocean hid his hand.
Followed the flight of the albatross
to be native to no land.

Content with his gypsy violin,
played for lovers and for wine.
His tunes were his horse drawn caravan,
be the weather foul or fine.

These cold chants to oppose the citadel,
lost with the bare ballads of broken trust,
were to him like marks on a prison cell,
to fade away like sand and dust.

Tom Appleseed

Tom Appleseed

Tom Appleseed woke from a dream in a wood.
After bread and berries for breakfast,
he felt refreshed, put on his cloak and his hood,
grateful for the gift in his hand,
to pluck and strum the strings of his lute,
and with his song, like birds in spring,
bring mirth to the air and the land.

On the back of a cart, he wheeled into town,
stood by a stall in the market square.
The apples were green and the berries were brown.
All in harmony as he planned,
he plucked and strummed the strings of his lute,
and with his song, like birds in spring,
brought mirth to the air and the land.

And where are you now, Tom Appleseed?
Have you returned to your dream in the wood?
Do you sleep warm in your cloak and your hood?
Do you still have the gift in your hand,
to pluck and strum the strings of your lute,
and with your song, like birds in spring,
bring mirth to the air and the land?

Bring mirth to the air and the land.

 

 

Second Album Blues

Second Album Blues

First album took him by surprise
when it became a hit,
even the critics liked it
for its fresh feel and wit.

Now he knew the second album
had to be as good,
if not better than the first,
otherwise you were a one hit wonder,
left in the desert with no oasis
to quench your thirst.

In cellar clubs and coffee bars
they all knew him as Clyde.
Said he always had his tunes
on his solitary ride.

Still talks like a Beatnik
though they were before his time.
He had to hit the road
in the hope to write a rhyme,
and though he’s not American,
he says he’s down to his last dime.

He often wears dark glasses,
calls musicians cats.
Says things like, the air in here is eerie,
like a belfry with no bats.

He told his producer,
keep the shirt but loose the shoes,
laughing in the luxury
of second album blues.

Time for the horns,
a fancy fret work solo on guitar,
then to be a walking cliché,
and head out to the bar.

He felt detached from history,
it’s what happened on the news.
He was happy to be that cat in the corner,
dealing with his second album blues.

Once he dragged his dusty boots
along a dusty road,
now he was on an ocean cruise,
leaning back in his creaky chair,
strumming out on his guitar
his second album blues.

 

Avant-Garde Busker

Avant-Garde Busker

This concert is not worth the ticket,
I can assure you all.
I can’t even play my instrument,
and my songs are poor beyond recall.

My music is not classed country western,
folk rock, blues, jazz or pop,
and if you want to hear my best song,
you might as well tell me now to stop.

I have no musical education,
certainly no music degree.
My songs have no real foundation,
and I rarely sing in key.

I’m really more like an avant-garde busker,
singing my spontaneous rap,
and as you walk by for the sake of high art and pity,
please put at least one penny in my cap.

I’m not interested in social comment
or proclaiming myself as the new poet prophet of the pen.
If you like the music you are hearing,
you can always walk by me again.

This song for me is quite revolutionary,
unaccompanied by my acoustic Yamaha guitar.
I’m playing on my tone bank computer organ,
worked by a battery to make me a star.

For my muse, I compose my rumpled rondelay,
I would like to sculpt her, spirit, skin and bone.
Her grace would occupy sacred space,
if I had the skills, the tools, the stone.

Donovan sang of Atlantis
and of the hurdy-gurdy man.
Some of us were moved by the message,
but few knew how to follow the plan.

Call me an avant-garde busker,
trying to be free of the trap,
and as you walk by for the sake of high art and pity
please put at least one penny in my cap.

At least one penny, at least one penny,
at least one penny in my cap.

 

 

The Music of the Spheres

The Music of the Spheres

The music of the spheres
Pythagoras coined,
those words he joined,
found a harmony in the planets,
space and random stones,
he looked up at the heavens,
and listened for the tones.

The music of the spheres,
it sounds so high and fine.
It is really mathematics,
you could not further stretch the line.

Away from the lamp lit world,
look up at the stars,
listen for the music of the spheres,
but when you think of it,
it is not composed of sounds,
but of sublime silence
that is ancient, changeless,
cannot be disturbed,
but maybe if the roof of the dome was removed,
you could hear the unimaginable,
the untranscribable,
and though after you may feel drained inside,
you will know that at least you tried.

Final thought.
Pythagoras was an ancient Greek.
One wonders, in his time, if there was ever a young Greek.

Lines For Leonard Cohen

Lines For Leonard Cohen

I listened to Leonard Cohen alone,
not with a party going one,
maybe afterwards,
when everyone had gone.

I always liked his tone,
voice of a real man to me,
the master of rhyme and rhythm,
he cleared his eyes to see.

His faith never certain,
but shaken, under threat,
told the bare tale of his search,
thought he would get there yet.

He sang of the bird on a wire,
Suzanne and the river,
and lifted us up
with his hallelujah.

He removed the skin,
shone light on the bone,
told us what we hold within
is figured out in stone.

Now he has left the stage,
to raise his hat no more,
he followed his angel
to what lay beyond the door.

Hear his song begin,
one that cannot cease,
let rain water fill your tin,
and drink it now in peace.