Archive | January, 2021

Song Lyrics Evolution

26 Jan

“Capture the moment, carry the day
Stay with the chase as long as you may
Follow the dreamer, the fool and the sage
Back to the days of the innocent age
Storybook endings never appear
They’re just someone’s way of leading us here
Waiting for wisdom to open the cage
We forged in the fires of the innocent age

Back at the start it was easy to see
No one to own to, nowhere to be
Deep in the heartlands a sad memory calls to me (calls to me)
Fretful horizons, worrisome skies
Tearful misgivings burning your eyes
Yearnings unanswered, reckon the wage you pay
To recapture the innocent age”

I was thinking about the evolution of song lyrics the other day. Don’t ask me why, it just popped into my head, like the old Whack-A-Mole arcade game, and when it popped, I knew I had to do a piece on it. Welcome to that piece!

The lyrics above were written by Dan Fogelberg. The song, “The Innocent Age,” was released in 1981.  I’ve mentioned many times the awe I feel when I really study some of Fogelberg’s lyrics, an awe I never really felt, listening to music, in the 50’s and early 60’s.  Think about it and tell me I’m wrong, but lyrics to songs, prior to say, 1963 or 1964, were ridiculously simplistic.  Songs penned in the 30’s, the 40’s, the 50’s, were all about melody, and lyrics were almost an afterthought.

And it seems to me, and this is simply my memory and random thoughts, that it all changed when the folk singers of the late 50’s and early 60’s became popular.  Those folk singers were all about the message, and not so much about the melody, and suddenly we see Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, a major shift in songwriting, really poetry to music.

Of course there are exceptions to this theory of mine, but the music industry, as a whole, really leapt forward as I was entering my teen years, and I’m thankful for it. I can’t imagine my teen years being filled with The Lettermen, Paul Anka, and nothing more.

Poetry to music – so beautiful!

What does that have to do with the passion of writing? The name of this blog is “Artistry With Words” so yes, it has much to do with it.

Write on! The world needs more beauty, and you have the talent to add to our supply.


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

The Preacher Likes the Cold

12 Jan

“You know the preacher likes the cold; he knows I’m going to stay.”

I’m sure you’re all familiar with that line from the classic rock song “California Dreamin’”

It popped into my head the other day as I was preparing to walk the dogs on a 36 degree, drizzling day.  We have a different cold here in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Western Washington.  It’s a damp cold.  It’s a cold that seeps into your clothing, somehow, some way, and finds the marrow of your bones.  It’s a cold that sucks the last remnants of warmth from you, leaving you chilled throughout the winter.

I know, I know, it’s colder in other places. I’ve lived in Vermont and minus twenty, the snow glistening in the sunshine. I’ve lived in Alaska, minus forty, moon dogs floating in the air, defying logic, air crystals frozen, other worldly type of stuff.  But good God, there ain’t enough fleece to keep you warm, in Olympia, when the skies are weeping and your breath plumes, day in, day out, dampness the default setting for everything you see . . . everything you touch . . . and how many more goshdarned days until April?

That might be the first time I’ve ever written/typed goshdarned.  What’s up with that? I can cuss like a sailor, so goshdarned stretches the limits of believability and authenticity, don’t you think?

I think about that when working on a novel.  Is this authentic?  Is it believable?  Supernatural thrillers like I write, The Shadow Series, I’m pushing the limits of believability right out of the gate, so I want my dialogue to be believable if nothing else, you know?

Of course you do!

You do and I do, for better or for worse, till death do us part, and there goes my mind again, taking another side-trip down the Word Association Lane, wondering where I’ll end up next, might be a dead end or it might be the beginnings of a story, or novel, a seed planted in the womb of fertility, growth or abortion, picketers around the abortion clinic, shouting their slogans, anti-protestors opposite them, shouting their slogans, no one really listening, a wall of sound, and that takes us to Phil Spector, Motown, 1964, music history in the making, smoke-filled studios, engineers, experimenting with a sound soon to become classic, and isn’t this fun, playing with words, creating on the fly, no nuns to slap my hands if my grammar is broken?

You bet it is!

Happy 2021 to you all! Let’s rebound in a big way, put this darkness behind us, warm up after the cold, put those preachers out of business. 😊


“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”