I Used To Be A Songwriter, Part One

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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Sony Walkman – End Of An Era

Who remembers the Sony Walkman? Strangely enough, I purchased probably 4 of these over the early years, but I never owned one. I bought them for other people because I had something already that handled that duty. I don’t remember what the brand name was; my dad was always the cutting edge guy, and I usually had something way before everyone else back in the day, whether or not it was a name brand.

Not being someone who was ever all that obsessed with what was in fashion, I never quite saw the need for my owning one. However, I always knew that other people craved these things, even if they already had something, and they never did cost all that much. They made the perfect gift, and there wasn’t one person I ever gave one of these things to that wasn’t overly impressed with it.

It’s hard for younger people to know just how big a deal portable cassette players were. Back then most of us could create our own tapes, and I was one of those folks who used to make my own dance mix tapes as well. I used to take my player with me when I walked the lake, or when I went many other places. Strangely enough, I never took it with me to the gym when I used to belong back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and these days I couldn’t imagine leaving home for the gym without my MP3 player.

And that was what really started changing things. You could get a bunch more digital files into a player than you ever could cassette tapes, and of course you can access your songs quicker than you could with a cassette. Sound quality initially favored records and cassettes because CDs were pretty sterile sounding, but with the improvement in sound acoustics, it was only a matter of time. After all, even most cars now have removed cassette players, which is going to irritate me the next time I have to buy a car because the library still has so many books on cassette that I’ve yet to listen to.

Man, first 8-tracks, then records, and now cassette players; what’s next?

Lancaster Entertainment Center in Paprika by Crosley Radio

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Sunday Question – Are We Allowed To Acknowledge Beauty Anymore?

There are a lot of attractive people in the world. Friday night my wife and I were at the mall, and you can see so many people who have dressed very nicely, taken care with their hair, and are absolutely stunning. Okay, for me it’s the women; for my wife, it’s the men, although she will acknowledge when a woman looks good. Yes, she’s confident like that. She will even go up to some women to compliment them about their looks.

As a guy, especially an older one, I can’t do that unless she’s next to me. Independently, if I did that I’d be labeled a pervert, dirty old man, or some other missive. This isn’t uncommon, by the way. If I dared to say anything nice to someone about their appearance on Twitter or Facebook, unless I knew them already, I’d either be ignored or someone would take offense.

Is seems that men aren’t allowed to acknowledge when we find someone attractive anymore. I have a friend who I was having a discussion with once who said that when she dresses nice she only wants certain men to tell her she looks good. I said if you dressed nice everyone would look, so how could she separate which ones should be allowed to say something to her or not. She stated something like “they should just know”; what is that? lol

You see a lot of attractive images of women on Twitter. Sure, half of them are fake; not fake women, but you know the account isn’t really owned by a woman, but by some guy who’s put the image of a woman on as his avatar hoping you’ll go ahead and add him so he can bombard you with sales stuff. It’s pretty easy to tell, yet I see many of my friends following these people, and I know it’s because of the image. We acknowledge that sex sells by falling for things like this.

But when it’s legitimate… look, I’m certainly not saying that the first conversation you have with someone on Twitter is talking about how they look. I’m not really even sure that it’s ever proper to say something like this to someone you’ve never said anything else to. Maybe there are times when one is allowed to do it, but those times seem so far and in between.

What are your thoughts? Are the days gone when one is allowed to acknowledge beauty (without being a pig), or do you see where one might be able to say something nice without being seen as a pervert?

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How Some Bloggers View Commenters

Wednesday I participated in something that’s called Community Manager Chat. The moderators of the chat, which occurs on Twitter every Wednesday at 2PM Eastern Standard time with the hashtag #cmgrchat, always have a general topic, and 4 questions during the hour, and those who want to participate can and do so, while other just read what’s going on.

by Andrew Feinberg

The topic on Wednesday was blogging, which y’all know I feel I know fairly well, and thus I got to participate a lot. At one point the question came up as to whether people who wrote blogs responded to comments on those blog. I wrote that I respond to almost every comment, especially for first time visitors, and I found that wasn’t quite the norm from many people, even those whose blogs don’t get many comments at all.

Some people were fascinated that I respond to almost everything. Some people felt that most comments were just some form of “I agree”, and thus didn’t deserve responses. Are you kidding me? Who here remembers my post about feeling ignored?

Here’s my position. I believe that every person who visits the blog and leaves at least a little bit of substance deserves a response. I also believe if someone’s way off topic then it’s probably spam and it’s getting deleted; that’s why I have a comment policy. Now, there are times when I don’t respond to a post that I wrote more than 6 months ago, but that’s pretty rare. And I might not respond to a one line post from someone I know; I never leave one line comments on anyone’s blog unless we’re having a bit of a banter back and forth. Will that potentially change if any of my blogs ever got to the point where they were averaging 200 comments a day? Hey, let’s find out! lol

I expect y’all know I appreciate you, even when we disagree. Civility really does have a place in this world. You visit my crib, I’m going to offer you something. Maybe not my chocolate cake, but something. 🙂 You can always count on that. So think about it; how are you treating the people who visit your blog?

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Adbusters; What The Hey?

I always figure I’m in trouble when I don’t understand something, go to research it, and still come away scratching my head. That’s the story with an organization and website I just discovered called Adbusters.

Adbusters is an organization that says it’s anti-consumerist. I had no idea what that meant so I went to Wikipedia and it said this: “Anti-consumerism refers to the socio-political movement against the equating of personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions.” Uhhh, isn’t that communism, or am I just simplifying it?

No matter. That’s what the group is against, and their website… well, I haven’t quite figured it out, I must admit. It actually looks like it might be a lot of fun if it didn’t make me have to think quite so much, and I usually love thinking. It’s almost as if it’s working too hard to be funny or clever; I don’t quite get it. Having said that, I did kind of like this image I found; click on it if you’d like to see it larger:

As I said, I don’t get the group, and I don’t get the website. It quotes people like Flaubert (major league pervert & nasty guy who got lucky to write one famous book) and Solzhenitsyn (Nobel Prize winner for literature who told it like it was about the USSR back then, before being deported), seems to campaign against capitalism and the rights of people to own things while asking people for donations; seems there’s something to needing money to fund one’s weird thoughts. They have both a magazine and a newsletter, and they sell the magazine; that would seem to go against their principles as well. They have some videos that highlight things they don’t like, a blog, and something they call Spoof Ads; I only found one of them funny. And they hide their PR and Alexa rank; at least they tried, as I found their Alexa rank sitting around 67,000, and they have a bounce rate of 81%; seems I’m not the only one who doesn’t get it.

You know what; just take a look at the site and let me know what you think. I’m not quite sure why it’s bothering me, but it is. I’d like to know if you can figure out why, because frankly I’m stumped.

By the way, I’ve watched the movie below 8 times since I bought it Saturday, and I’d seen it twice at the theaters; buy this! 🙂

How To Train Your Dragon

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