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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.
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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
Behind The Song Song Vault

Losing The Light

Soon we fade to black, soon the credits roll
Smooth metal dark night of the soul
Download     mp3 demo

Written during FAWM 2016. Based on a riff I found on a writing tape from 1992 inspired by Jake E. Lee’s playing on Waiting For Darkness by Ozzy Osbourne.

I’m the damsel in distress
Just a girl in a green dress
Waiting for the hero to arrive
You’ve seen this scene a million times
Vulnerability is all I got
On my mark and beautifully shot
Cameras ready to roll
Waiting for my saviour to show

Please hurry cos we’re losing the light
Come quickly now we’re losing the light
We ran the race, we fought the good fight
Please hurry now we’re losing the light

The sun pauses as it sinks
To breathe a kiss on the horizon’s lip
Her beauty burning then gone
Magic hour is only minutes long
Play the scene where the problem’s solved
The plot’s explained and you declare your love
Our faith is running out
Start your speech before the night comes down

Please hurry cos we’re losing the light
Come quickly now we’re losing the light
We ran the race, we fought the good fight
Please hurry now we’re losing the light

Soon we fade to black, soon the credits roll
If there’s a happy ending would you let us know?
Shadows getting longer, twisting all we see
The air is getting cold, it’s getting harder to believe

Please hurry cos we’re losing the light
Come quickly now we’re losing the light
We ran the race, we fought the good fight
Please hurry now we’re losing the light

Categories
Song Vault

Not The End Of The World

Not many kiss the hurricane. Fewer live to tell the tale
None more black.
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)

Jesus save me from the ones
Who want to save me from myself
Who ask about my walk with God
But pray about my mental health
Cos I can’t pretend anymore

This is not the end of the world
This is not the end of the world

You used to be a metaphor
Now you’re like a simile
Can you tell me what this medal’s for?
It’s all my father left to me
And I can’t pretend anymore

This is not the end of the world
This is not the end of the world
But you can see it from here

Not many kiss the hurricane
Fewer live to tell the tale
Will she miss me when I’m gone?
Or go back to her maiden name?
I can’t pretend….I can’t pretend anymore…

That this is not the end of the world
I can’t pretend anymore…
I can’t pretend anymore…
That this is not the end of the world

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
Deep Vault

Oh April (You Made A Fool Outta Me)

If you’re feeling cooped up are you a fox or a chicken?
Another ‘somebody-did-somebody-wrong’ song
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Behind The Song

Couldn’t pin you down till I was stuck like glue
Heading for a fall before summer was through
Didn’t hear the sirens when you came in view
Oh April, you made a fool outta me

With a pout and a wink and a raptors smile
On your smart phone waiting for a dumb reply
Call you Cleopatra, you’re the queen of denial
Oh April, you made a fool outta me

Take a look beneath the hood tell me what’s that ticking
If you’re feeling cooped up are you a fox or a chicken?
You’re gonna bust baby if you don’t start sticking
Do I make myself quite clear?

You broke me like a bank, broke me like a horse
Your speech is so smooth now you’re right on course
Tricked me twice, tricked me thrice with your excessive force
Oh April, you made a fool outta me

A penny for your thoughts if you count them cheaply
Pennies for my eyes when I was only sleeping
Penitence is something for the old and weak
That’s what you always said to me

Didn’t want a white knight at the end of the day
Used your dirty mouth to get clean away
I was a puppet on a string that was too afraid
Oh April, you made a fool outta me

Oh April, you made a fool outta me
Oh April, you made a fool outta me

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

Cast Aside Your Rebel Flag

My mothers’ lips reciting verses underlined with tears
A revivalist lament
Download     mp3 demo     Chord Sheet (pdf)

Just another soldier
Dying lonely & betrayed
Clinging to a banner
My beloved’s blood has stained
The colours of a bitter heart,
My standard, borne with pride
Rallied only sorrow to my side

Cast aside your rebel flag,
Lay it down, lay it down
At the foot of Calvary’s cross,
Oh lay it down
Cast aside your rebel flag,
Lay it down, lay it down
The battle’s done, the victory won
So lay it down

I hear voices of those lost in battle
Crying ‘cross the years
My mothers’ lips reciting verses
Underlined with tears
The singing of a silent voice
Whose name I do not know
Beseeching my rebellious heart “come home”

Categories
Song Vault

Vengeance Is Mine

Can you see the heart inside a man?
Theology with Frank Black
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

Little man with an axe to grind
If I let you judge this world of mine
When you saw the millions awaiting trial
You’d lose you strength or lose your mind

Vengeance is mine

Shall I acquiesce to your demands?
Shall I place all judgement in your hands?
Can you see the heart inside a man?
Tell me, who should fall and who should stand?

Vengeance is mine

Cos you don’t know what you’re asking for
No, you don’t know what you’re asking for
You don’t know what you’re asking

You got a thimble full of righteous rage
I’ve seen every murder, every rape
Heard every victim’s cries of pain
Seen evil things done in my name

Vengeance is mine

© Matt Blick 2013

 

Categories
Song Vault

Everything In The World Is Fighting Everything In The Sky

How can we love one another when God won’t make the angels behave?
A three-legged horse dances a plaintive waltz in a bedraggled circus.
Download     mp3 demo     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)

Woody Guthrie he saw the tornado
Raping the earth like a plough
The ground and the sky locked in combat
Like neither would ever back down

Everything in the world was fighting everything in the sky

Oh no, oh Noah you don’t know
The way my poor soul sprung a leak
My faith turned greener than cheap gold
As fake as American teeth

There once was a war up in Heaven
So the last book of John states
How can we love one another
When God won’t make the angels behave?

Everything in the world is fighting everything in the sky
Everything in the world is fighting everything in the sky

For my part I placed you too highly
Worshipped a cruel work of art
My what cold marble-white skin you had
The better to break a boy’s heart

‘Till the lamb takes a nap with the lion
And nobody’s feelings get hurt
The guns all become walkie talkies
And the good guys all stop shooting first

Everything in the world is fighting everything in the sky
Everything in the world is fighting everything in the sky
Everything in the sky is fighting everything in the world
Everything in the world is fighting everything in the sky