Categories
Behind The Song

New Song: John Lennon Blues


Pray for a man to put the ‘fist’ in ‘pacifist’
The good die young. Or they just die.
Download     mp3 demo

I’ve never really written a 12 bar blues I was happy with but John Lennon Blues is the closest I’ve got so far. At first it may seem like a pro-gun song but it’s anything but. I was trying to explore the paradox that those who promote peace are often the ones who die violent deaths and the resulting dilemma: if they hadn’t have been so committed to non-violence they’d have survived to preach peace another day, but then their message would have lost it’s potency. So would you rather the men (and women) survive at the cost of their message?

Verses 1 and 2 started with leftover lines from my song Guns. “The lone gunman is not alone” and “put the ‘fist’ in ‘pacifist'” came from my random lines folder and verse 4 borrowed a phrase from Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller“Hold our palms against the wound” (p.114).

“That coward Caulfield” is a reference to Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger‘s novel The Catcher In The Rye, a character that John Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman strongly identified with (in fact he read the book outside the Dakota Building whilst waiting for the police to arrest him after the murder). There are biblical references, Jesus refused to “call down fire from heaven” on those who didn’t welcome him (Luke 9:54), promised “all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52) and said “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7). I also liked the ambiguity of juxtapositing the blues holler “whoa” with the biblical curse “woe”.

Musically it owes something (maybe an apology?) to The Beatles Yer Blues and Helter Skelter and Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe. When I wrote the track during FAWM I had a really heavy cold and knew my voice wouldn’t be up to multiple takes so I decided to record guitar and vocals at the same time. Sure enough by the end of the first take I started to cough uncontrollably (I managed to mute the mic but you can still hear it in places) and the coughing fit lasted another 10 minutes until I tore a muscle in my chest. And that’s why there’s no take 2.

Whoa If John Lennon had a gun
Whoa If John Lennon had a gun
He still be singing “all you need is love”

Oh if he’d given peace a chance
Oh and pulled a piece on each crazy fan
And shot that coward Caulfield in the back

Woe if Gandhi had a knife
Woe if Reverend King took a life
If Jesus Christ had enough and just rained down fire

If you live by the sword you’ll die by it – that’s gospel truth
But the sword of a sinner can pierce a righteous man too
And you’ll die holding innocent hands against the wound

Woe, the lone gunman is not alone
Woe, the lone gunman is not alone
And every man without sin has pockets full of stones

Woe that the world should come to this
Woe that the world should come to this
And pray for a man to put the ‘fist’ in ‘pacifist’

Whoa if John Lennon had a gun
Whoa if John Lennon had a gun
Those Dakota steps would have been stained with another man’s blood

Categories
Song Vault

Advice Regarding The Treatment Of Bullet Wounds no. 2

I did you wrong, but you did me wronger
Don’t Try This At Home
Download     mp3 demo          mp3 Live duet with Rachel McClean
Chords (pdf)      Behind The Song

Don’t take out the bullet, girl, don’t even try
That little piece of metal’s all that’s keeping me alive
Stuck into an artery like a finger in a dyke

Don’t scrub the wound like you used to scrub my back
Don’t make me walk it off, don’t even make me stand
Darling I’m not hungry, put away those pots and pans

Baby, baby, baby, please don’t ever shoot me again
Baby, baby, baby, please don’t ever shoot me again
I’m still your man but I might not be for too much longer
I did you wrong, but you did me wronger
So baby, baby, don’t you shoot me again

Don’t grab my bleeding arm and hold it in the air
I got precious little blood left inside of there
Darling please stop crying, I know you’re trying to show how much you care

Chorus

I’m sorry that I hurt you, sorry that we never talk
I’m sorry you can’t fix me, just get me to a doc
Most of all I’m sorry I bought you that 9 millimetre Glock

Chorus

Categories
Appreciation Great Guitarists

King Of The Blues

I like almost every style of music in the world but I only love a few artist in each genre that really connect with me. In the blues those artists would be Sonny Boy Williamson (I and II), Howling Wolf, Robben Ford and B.B. King.

Sadly B.B. died today at the age of 89. He was an incredible singer and guitar player with perfect phrasing and a master of string bending. I remember being amazed at hearing a live recording of him singing How Blue Can You Get – when he got to the bridge “I gave you seven children and now you want to give them back” women in the audience screamed! (and you thought that started with the Beatles).

My Favourite songs are The Thrill Is Gone (which has a classy turnaround chord change), Help The Poor and How Blue Can You Get.

My favourite albums are Live At The Regal and Live In Cook County Jail.

And if you’re in the UK, BBC iTunes has a few free documentaries to stream Sounding Out (1972) and Arena (1985).

B.B. had a playful sense of humour (as demonstrated in the song below) – oh and he was a master of the ‘guitar face’…

Categories
Song Vault

Hurt People

Like stones in their children’s shoes
An Original Sin Psychoanalytical Latin Blues
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

Daddy had his whiskey
She’s got all her meds
Daughter hides a razor blade
Underneath her bed
And she locks the bathroom cabinet
Like Daddy locked his desk
Like her daughter wouldn’t be seen dead
In a short-sleeved dress

Tell me who’s to blame
Tell me what’s their name
Who’s responsible for all this mess?

Hurt people. Hurt people.
You know it’s true
Hurt people. Hurt people.
Like stones in their children’s shoes
But they never mean to hurt you

When your mother never leaves you
When your daddy’s always gone
Some men build an empire
Some men build a bomb
And we blame it on genetics
Or some old family curse
And we try to make it better
At least not any worse

Hurt people hurt people
That’s what they do
Hurt people hurt people
Almost like they’re programmed to
But they never mean to hurt you

Bitter seeds grow inside bitter fruit
Growing on every tree.
How can I protect you from the world
How can I protect you from yourself
If I can’t protect the world from me, ’cause

Hurt people hurt people
That’s what we do
Hurt people hurt people
Almost like we’re programmed to
But I never meant to hurt you

Categories
Song Vault

Unnecessarily Pimped-Out Horse Truck

A sea of blue sparkle paint and too much chrome
Like Cab Calloway telling a shaggy horse story
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

Drivin’ to my baby’s for a red hot date
The traffic wasn’t movin’ I was already late
I craned my neck to see the cause of the jam
Thinking that maybe I should lend a hand
A sea of blue sparkle paint and too much chrome
It was a mobile equine luxury home
To my deep consternation I found myself stuck
Behind an unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck

It was an unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck
An unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck
It could not be overtaken, it could not be overtook
That unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck

People was a-cussin’ an a-honkin’ their horns
As I walked over to the driver, she was looking forlorn
I said “Ma’am, you got a unique boutique horse abode
But you really outta’ saddle up ‘fore you get towed”
She commenced to cryin’ I said “Why the long face?”
She said “I think my prize stallion has gone an’ escaped,
Would you pull up to my bumper baby, please take a look
Inside my unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck?”

My unnecessarily pimped out horse truck
My unnecessarily pimped out horse truck
Examine every cranny and probe every nook
Inside my unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck

Sure enough the back door was open wide
But to take a closer look I climbed up inside
I found a pair of busted handcuffs and some dudes pants
That was the moment that the back door slammed
I said, “don’t horse around ma’am I gots to skedaddle”
She said, “slow down stud, let me get back in the saddle”
She was some kind of pervert or some kind of crook
Drivin’ an unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck

An unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck
An unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck
The whole van shimmied, the whole van shook
That unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck

I was fighting for my honour but she wouldn’t back down
She was ridin’ me bareback like a rodeo clown
She had the bit between my teeth and her spurs in my ribs
I groped around and cried out for deliverance
That’s when a glittering trinket that was nailed high above
Fell down and crowned her with a terrible thud
A purple sparkle horseshoe sure brought me good luck
Inside that unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck

That unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck
That unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck
Goodnight sweet Princess, no, don’t get up
From your unnecessarily pimped-out horse truck

© Matt Blick/Matt Wood 2014

Categories
Song Vault

Me And The Devil

It’s hard to be good when when keeping such bad company
Diminished Ragtime Blame-shifting Blues
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

Ain’t nobody here ‘cept me and the devil
Nobody here except me and the devil
Nobody here ‘cept me and the devil
Hatchin’ out plots and schemes

If I get caught I’m gonna blame the devil
I get caught then I’m gonna blame the devil
When I get caught I’m gonna blame the devil
And he’s prob’ly gonna blame me

Oh me, oh my
Be good? I’ve tried
Bad fruit, bad tree
It’s hard to be good when being bad comes naturally

My woman says sometimes I speak like the devil
Pound on the pulpit and preach like the devil
Swears she’d rather switch seats with the devil
Than be married to a man like me

Oh me, oh my
Be good? I’ve tried
Bad root, bad seed
It’s hard to be good when when keeping such bad company

Gonna get drunk and blame it on the devil
Gonna blow chunks and just blame it on the devil
Show everyone my junk and claim it was the devil
Let the lawyers plead insanity
That’s how it is between the devil and me

Categories
Song Vault

Fingernails

What would the pharisee inside of me say?
Dark night of the soul blues
Downloads     mp3     chords (pdf)      lyrics (pdf)

Once in a while I still pray
Praying to God that my feet don’t fail
On the ropes and off the rails
Hanging onto God by my fingernails

David and Jesus and I make three
Singing “Oh my God, why have you forsaken me’
They got happy endings as you might expect
But I’m stuck here between the now and the not-yet

Once in a while I still pray
Praying to God that my feet don’t fail
On the ropes and off the rails
Hanging onto God by my fingernails
Hanging on by my fingernails

Was it something I did, or something I said?
Was it pride in my heart or unbelief in my head?
What would the pharisee inside of me say?
“Did you lose your faith or did you throw it away?”

Once in a while I still pray
Praying to God that my feet don’t fail
Am I beyond redemption, beyond the pale?
Hanging onto God by my fingernails
Hanging on by my fingernails
Hanging on by my fingers

Cos there’s dirt beneath my nails and a plank in my eye
Once I thought I could see but now I know I’m blind
It’s a jet black, cold, dark night of the soul
As around and around and around I go

Once in a while I still pray
Praying to God that my feet don’t fail
You can never find a buyer when your soul’s for sale
And you’re hanging onto God by your fingernails
I’m hanging on by my fingernails
Hanging on by my fingernails
I’m hanging onto God by my fingernails

© Matt Blick 2012

Categories
FAWM Song Vault

If You’re Here This Morning

Are you a fan of the notices (announcements) in your church? Every Church develops it’s own catchphrases, buzz words & jargon and my Church is no different. So for my first FAWM song I gathered some of the Grace Church gems and fashioned them into a good old fashioned country-gospel-blues number.

And if you like it – please let the basket just pass you by…

Download the FREE If You’re Here This Morning mp3
Download the FREE If You’re Here This Morning CHORD sheet

If You’re Here This Morning

If you’re here this morning
Please let the basket just pass you by
If you’re here this morning
Please let the basket just pass you by
It’s just for the folks committed to
The work of the Church, so unless that’s you
And you’re here this morning
Please let the basket just pass you by.


If you’re here this morning
And you don’t have a Bible to hand
If you’re here this morning
And you don’t have a Bible to hand
Don’t you worry, don’t you fear
The words should appear on the screen right here
So if you’re here this morning
Don’t cha worry where your Bible’s at


Perhaps you’re here this morning
And you’re wondering who Jesus is
If you’re here this morning
And you’re wondering who Jesus is
If the road seems dark it will soon come clear
I got an invite to an Alpha Course for you right here
If you’re here this morning
And you’re wondering who Jesus is


Maybe you’re here this morning
And you’ve been coming for a couple a weeks
If you just come Sunday morning
There’s a limit to how involved you can be
So come along to one of our midweek groups
They meet all across the city so there’s one near you
If you’re here this morning
And you’ve been coming for a couple a weeks


If you’re here this morning
And you’d like to find out some more
If you’re here this morning
And you’d like to find out some more
Head on over to the information point
Or visit Grace Church Nottingham dot org
If you’re here this morning
And you’d like to find out some more
I hope you got a welcome pack at the door
If you are here this mor – – – ning.

© 2011 Matt Blick (www.mattblick.com)

Related Posts: Mark Altrogge Announcement Ninja
Shang Ding Hong Song
The Soundcheck Song
Other free songs by Matt Blick

Categories
Behind The Song Free Music Song Vault

The Soundcheck Song

How many singers does it take to change a lightbulb?

One.
Two.
One two.
One two check.
Mic check one two…

That’s right pretty much the whole of my new song is based on that joke (with a little reinforcing of musical stereotypes to fill it out).

The bridge cycles through the circle of fifths and indeed does go to the tonic (A) from the fifth (E). I know that’s the kind of self-referential painting the 4th wall you post modern ironic hipsters dig but it’s not that clever – Leonard Cohen did it first in Hallelujah.

I couldn’t fit the lyrics into the 2nd verse so I just added an extra beat. Yes I am crazy-dangerous.

This recording has something in common with every Star Wars, Indiana Jones & Lord Of The Rings film. Do you know what it is?

It’s one of the few love songs I’ve written. I don’t really do love songs. If you’ve listened to the song I’m sure you’ve figured that out already.

My childhood friend and band mate Mark Nelson used to count in “one two nine cheese sandwich” and even more off putting things.

Thanks to fellow teacher Colin Rosenwould for playing the role of ‘disgruntled keyboard player’ at short notice.

Yes that is Eruption that I’m playing (badly) at the end. What else are soundchecks for?

Here’s the lyrics

The Soundcheck Song

Every drummer needs a soundcheck
Every singer needs one too (1, 2, mic check, 1, 2)
Every drummer needs a soundcheck
Every singer needs one too (1 2 mic check 1 2)
Every drummer, every singer needs a soundcheck
But they don’t need one as bad as I need you.

Every bassist needs a soundcheck
Keyboard players need one too
Every bassist needs a soundcheck
Keyboard players need one too
Every bassist and keyboard player needs a soundcheck
But they don’t need one as bad as I need you.

I need you, bad as this 12 bar blues needs a bridge
I need you as bad as I need to get back to the tonic from the fifth.

Every guitarist needs a soundcheck…(if only to massage their own egos…)
Every guitarist, every bassist, every keyboard player,
Every drummer, every singer needs a soundcheck…
But they don’t need one as bad as I need you.

© Matt Blick 2010

Download The Soundcheck Song for free!

Related Posts: Thus Spake The Roadie
The man who eats microphones for breakfast

My OTHER latest song: You Spoke The Stars
Even MORE free songs by Matt Blick

 

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Categories
Free Music Song Vault

First Black President

First Black President is quite a departure from any songs I’ve written before and certainly any songs I’ve posted on this site. It’s not a ‘church’ song, it’s not even really aimed at a Christian audience, though it is still informed and influenced by my Christian faith. It’s a pro-life song.
Having felt for a long time that I should at least attempt to say something in the defense of the unborn, last summer I set myself a challenge of writing 4 songs from the point of view of the unborn addressed to parents, potential parents or medics.
It was a crazy goal, but I did it and so I’ll be posting free mp3s of the ‘Neverborn songs’, one per fortnight for the next two months, as well as posting a little more about the inspiration for each song and for writing about the pro-life cause. I really like to hear your feedback on the demos.
First Black President was an idea I’d had knocking around for quite a while but, like all the songs was written in one week, a few hours every morning at my church’s offices.

You took away my birthday
Never gave me a name
Didn’t know my gender
But you can’t forget my age
Because thoughts come crashing down on you
In a playground full of kids
Just who do you think I would have been
If you hadn’t done the thing you did?

I could have been a contender
The heavyweight champion of the world
Could have been a big sister
To your pretty little baby girl
I could have laughed and danced and drove a car
Wound up as messed up as you are
I might have even been the boy that heaven sent
To be the first black President.

There’s a spot on the wall in your home
My picture would have hung
Is it a barren place now?
Or have you filled it with someone?
Thoughts crawl out of the woodwork
Too many to swat away.
Just who do you think I would have been
If you hadn’t made the choice you made?

I, I could have been a hero
Covered in glory ‘cos I gave my life
I could have been a mother
Three young kids and working nights
I could have been a nurse or a football coach
Could have had your smile, your eyes, your nose
Would my coming still be something you’d lament
If I’d have been the first black President?

Read the rest of the Lyrics
Download the free CHORD sheet
‘Behind The Song’ post (You can also watch an amateur video of the first live performance here).

Related Posts: Behind The Song: The Weight Of Glory