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I Used To Be A Songwriter, Part One

Posted by on Oct 26, 2010

I think I’ve mentioned this somewhere before, but back when I was much younger I used to be a songwriter and singer. Well, at least I was trying to be a songwriter. I would write all these songs, music and lyrics, and I’d send them to publishers hoping to be the next big thing. Instead, I’d get rejection letter after rejection letter, until finally I realized that I just wasn’t going to be a pop song writer and moved in a totally different direction.


At The Piano
by Scott Speck

The thing is, I have a lot of songs copywritten and thus I own them for my entire life. I found there’s a website that lists all copyrights and what’s in them, and that’s what sparked this post because I found my collections and my songs listed there; how freaky is that?

I thought I’d share some of my lyrics here with you, if you don’t mind, to show that indeed I did used to have a different type of creative mind. As I said, all of these songs are copywritten, but I’ll post that as well because, well, if I find them anywhere else, I’m getting some big money! Oh yeah, I’ll also tell the story about the song; doesn’t every song have a story? I’m going to do this over the next few days, so if song lyrics or poetry isn’t your thing, y’all can skip reading these things until Friday, since I’m only putting two lyrics in each post.

The first song was written a year after I graduated from college. I never wanted to graduate college because I knew what was coming. Anyway, it took me 4 years to decide to copyright it because there was a possibility it was going to be performed for a show at my alma mater, State University College at Oswego; it never came to pass.


The Way We Brought It In

I remember the beginning four years ago when we were both young and naive
The music in the streets ran our way of life, though we were easy to deceive
The love in our hearts and the love in our hands were parallel and in time
To the beat and the sounds and the constant chatter of words ending in rhyme
There were moonless nights and sunless days,
Hopeless romantics and transient gays,
Empty reflections lost in the haze of our idle thoughts,
This time together either ends or begins
Let’s take it out the way we brought it in

I remember a time a couple years ago when we were tense and tired of love
The heat of the earth singed our inner souls while the winds circled above
The love in our hearts and the love in our hands were just visions in a crystal ball
With the villains and heroes and lovers all who may have missed their crucial call
There were restless days and sleepless nights,
Relentless passion reaching unknown heights,
Solemn affection overcoming the test of unrequited love,
This time together either ends or begins,
Let’s take it out the way we brought it in

I remember looking back a couple days ago as we wondered what was to pass
With untold drama and unanswered questions, how long can we both last
Moving into an age of fearful resolve
Controversial issues in which we’re not involved,
The colorful circles in which our lives revolve
How many ways can our love evolve in ever changing times,
This time together either ends or begins,
Let’s take it out the way we brought it in.

copyright 1986, SUNSETS, by T.T. Mitchell

This next song also was almost performed at my alma mater, only years earlier. Man, I had a lot of close calls. The other story with this one is that it was the second song with the same title. I’d written the original song but lost the lyrics and couldn’t remember what they were, even though I knew the music. So, I had to write it again, and I think that probably killed the song in a way. Still, I love this song. By the way, it wasn’t until the mid 80’s when I knew I could copyright songs as a collection, so this one was an individual copyright. It was my last individual copyright as well.


Goodbye Ontario

It’s raining Ontario in a most unlikely fashion
My life begins today and I know it’ll soon be passin’
I take care to leave the words of truth inside my diary
In case the chosen ones elect to follow me

The mainstream is the norm and a job becomes a habit
We dream of opportunity so we can take a chance and grab it
The critics pan my every move, my parents take the lead
Can’t anyone out there see my ever present need?

Goodbye Ontario, you’ve been good to me
You warm the hearts of everyone whose eyes can see
Quietly the sum sets off your rocky shore
Beauty the majority ignore, beauty the majority ignore

We lounge around and think of all the things we are
The water takes us through the future very far
Success is ours if we try, failure if we don’t
No one can sit here and tell us that it won’t

It’s sunny Ontario, why do you look so sad?
The waters always shift but the waves don’t get too bad
I’ve taken care to leave the words of truth inside my dairy
And strewn them on your vest and omnipresent summer sea

Goodbye Ontario, you’ve been good to me
You warm the hearts of everyone whose eyes can see
Quietly the sum sets off your rocky shore
Beauty the majority ignore, beauty the majority ignore

copyright 1983, Goodbye Ontario, by T.T. Mitchell

There you go. I hope you enjoyed those; they’re a bit, well, flowery to be sure. What will I have in store tomorrow? Come back and see; here’s the link to part two, and here’s the link to part three.
 

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17 Comments »

Patricia:

Hi Mitch
Wow, a musician as well. Great you could share the words with us. You’ll have to put up audio so we can all enjoy the music too. Karen has a new group of poets that are getting together. Maybe you should be contributing there too. Thanks for sharing a little more of you Mitch.
Patricia Perth Australia

October 26th, 2010 | 11:55 AM
Mitch:

Nope, that’s not happening, Pat; the poetry group I mean. I’m sharing things from my past; I just don’t write that style of thing anymore, and sometimes I don’t understand it either. I’ve become so literal! lol

October 26th, 2010 | 12:57 PM
Patricia:

I understand Mitch. I wrote poetry as a teenager really just to express my feelings and things I was going through. Teenage angst I think they call it lol
Then one day I realised I wasn’t writing anymore and somehow didn’t feel the need but I do love reading poetry.
Patricia Perth Australia

October 27th, 2010 | 10:43 AM

I agree with Pat, Mitch. It would also be cool to hear the melody along with the words. They are not at all flowery, just heartfelt. I’m glad you shared these songs with us. Thanks.

– Wes –

October 26th, 2010 | 8:42 PM
Mitch:

Thanks Wes. One of these days I’ll update the rest of my technology.

October 26th, 2010 | 10:29 PM

Nice one Mitch, actually me too. I was song writer and composer. I have played in 4 rock bands and one black metal band. I decide to quit about 10 years ago. However, I still write poetry.

October 27th, 2010 | 3:43 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Carl. I moved to nonfiction writing and, for the most part, haven’t looked back.

October 27th, 2010 | 8:50 AM

We all have hidden talents, who knows maybe something good will come out of yours. You have to try it!

October 27th, 2010 | 6:58 AM
Mitch:

No Mia, that’s from my deep past. Those days are gone, but I have some nice memories at least.

October 27th, 2010 | 8:51 AM

Hey Mitch, you are a multi talented man.
I would really want to hear the songs with a beat (melody?) because I can’t quite get the rhythm just by reading the lyrics.

October 27th, 2010 | 9:33 AM
Mitch:

That’s okay Alex. I selected lyrics that were actually, well, more deep than the music was great, at least for this first set.

October 27th, 2010 | 11:16 AM

Mitch, you’ve mentioned before in one of our conversations that you used to write songs but I never imagined they would be this good. I much preferred the first one but what would really set it off would be a video of you singing one of them. If you did that I would be hard pressed trying to top it. 😉

October 29th, 2010 | 12:31 AM
Mitch:

Sire, I have only one video, and it’s not me performing any of my songs, but me performing at a wedding that, unfortunately for them, didn’t last even one year. But I doubt that bad boy’s ever seeing the light of day.

October 29th, 2010 | 1:04 AM

What did your wife think of it? She has seen it hasn’t she?

October 29th, 2010 | 8:56 AM
Mitch:

Sire, I don’t think I’ve ever shown it to her; I don’t believe I’ve ever even thought about showing it to her. But she’s seen me perform at weddings; she was at my last one when I got the standing ovation.

October 29th, 2010 | 9:14 AM

Well I’m afraid that won’t do Mitch. It’s OK for all those guys across the waters but what about poor old Sire. Nope, the only way around it if for you to YouTube it. 🙂

October 29th, 2010 | 9:35 AM
Mitch:

Yeah, well, that’s not happening!

October 29th, 2010 | 12:37 PM