Patterico's Pontifications

3/30/2020

The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Things I Never Said”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



On Friday I debuted a song that I wrote in early 2018, which was recently re-recorded by Jamie Woolford of the groups The Stereo and Let Go. If you missed it, here it is again:

As I said on Friday: the background image you see above is a partial photographic portrait of Mrs. P’s grandmother from her younger days. Here’s a better image:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.02.35 PM

Below are the lyrics to the song.

THE THINGS I NEVER SAID

In spite of all this time
There is no reason
The things I want to say
Cannot be said

I could weep that
The old is out of season
Even though you’re gone
The words stay in my head

Everybody said
You were their best friend
But only when they knew
You could not hear

There’d always be tomorrow
Or the weekend
How could we have known
That you’d just disappear?

And everybody knows
The time will come
When everyone moves on

The picture is erased
Before it’s drawn

In spite of all that’s been
And all that’s coming
In spite of all those dreams
We never shared

What you are
Is now what I’m becoming
I know if you were here
You’d tell me
“Don’t be scared”

And everybody knows
The time will come
When everyone moves on

You’re here
For a moment
And then you’re gone

I should acknowledge that I stole the line “I could weep that the old is out of season” from Yeats, from his poem titled “The Arrow”:

I thought of your beauty, and this arrow,
Made out of a wild thought, is in my marrow.
There’s no man may look upon her, no man,
As when newly grown to be a woman,
Tall and noble but with face and bosom
Delicate in colour as apple blossom.
This beauty’s kinder, yet for a reason
I could weep that the old is out of season

So as I hinted at on Friday, the songs is about things never said — in this case, the things I never said to my wife’s grandmother, LaVerne Jackson Yandell, who is one of the people I have admired most in my life.

In recent years, my mom, whom I love and adore, has given me as a birthday present a trip to Fort Worth in May, to watch the Colonial golf tournament and hang out with my brother Kerry. (My mom made it to the tournament one year recently, two or three years ago, but it’s tougher for her to do so these days as she lives with my sisters in Bryan and it’s a nearly three hour drive to get to Fort Worth.) (I don’t think the tournament is happening this year. Another victim of the dread disease whose name I refuse to mention in this post.)

The last time I saw Bram (which is the name the whole family gave Mrs. P’s grandmother) was on one of those trips. She was living at a managed care facility and, as in years past, I used my presence in town as an excuse to go see her and play 42 (a traditional Texas dominoes game) with her and her son Mike (Mrs. P’s uncle) and his wife Glynda. It was a great time, as any time with Bram always was.

At the end of the evening, she made a special point of telling me how much she loved me, and said very nice things about me. It was the kind of thing someone says when they worry they may never see someone again. She had said similar things the previous couple of times I had seen her. As on those previous occasions, I told her I loved her. But, to my shame, I held back on giving her a long speech about how she was one of the people I admired most in the world.

Do you know why? Here’s why: and don’t let this happen to you. The reason was: I always felt as though, if I said those things right then, I would be signaling to her that I thought I would never see her again. And I wasn’t going to do that! By gum, I was going to see her again! It was an attitude of denial. And a couple of times, that attitude worked!

Until it didn’t.

In the short time between when I saw her and her passing, Mrs. P. and my daughter had the chance to visit Bram. Lauren interviewed her for a school project. They got to give her a hug goodbye — like me, not knowing if it would be the last hug they would give her, but wondering nevertheless.

Bram was always so kind, to everyone. She suffered a lot at the end, both in her health and in her treatment at the hands of the people where she was staying. But my memory — which I acknowledge may be imperfect, but this is my memory! — is that I never heard her complain. At all. I never heard her criticize anyone. At all. I never once heard her curse. And indeed, she was famous in the family for not cursing. She would say, at most, “Oh spit!” Everyone knew what she really meant — but Bram would never ever say that word. She was, as a personalized domino set given to her long ago attested, “the sweetest.” And she really was.

I wish I had told her that. I hope she knew it’s how I felt. How we all felt.

I think she did know.

Don’t think or wish or hope about your loved one who is still alive. If they are near you, give them a, I dunno, an elbow bump or something. (Don’t kill them for goodness’s sake! There’s no vaccine yet!) If they are remote, pick up the phone and give them a call. Tell them all the stupid things that, if they were gone tomorrow, you would wish you would have said.

Do it. For me. Thanks.

3/27/2020

The Patterico Music Project: “Things I Never Said” Recorded by Jamie Woolford

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It’s time for Song #8 in the Patterico Music Project. If you are a long-time reader, you are familiar with the idea. Over the years, I have asked some of my favorite musical artists to record cover versions of songs I have written. Most of those songs, I wrote in the early 1990s — about 28 years ago. This one is a little different. I wrote it in early 2018, just over two years ago. I wrote it thinking about my wife’s grandmother, LaVerne Jackson Yandell, who passed on in July 2016.

If you remember previous entries, I generally publish the lyrics in a follow-up post, but reserve the original post for the cover. All I’ll say about the lyrics at this point is that they are a tribute (and a lament about the things I never said) to my wife’s grandmother. She is one of the greatest people I have ever met. I admired her deeply, but never quite told her just how deep my admiration ran. This song expresses some of my regret in the words I left unspoken. This cover version is yet another performance by Jamie Woolford, another special influence in my life, who (to my everlasting amazement and deep satisfaction) has covered several of my previous songs. I told you about Jamie here, in my post announcing his cover of “Alien Song.” Click the play button to listen to today’s entry:

The background image you see above is a partial photographic portrait of Mrs. P’s grandmother from her younger days. Here’s a better image:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 9.02.35 PM

If there is someone in your life who means something to you, and they’re still around, don’t leave anything unsaid. No matter how corny or overdramatic it might seem, say those things. Say them as soon as you can. Before you lose the chance.

P.S. Here are the previous entries in the series:

6/30/2019

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 12, Plus a Bonus Offering Written by Patterico

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the third Sunday after Pentecost. Today we have a Bach cantata, and then a special treat: an offering to God written by yours truly, many years ago, but newly transcribed and turned into a MIDI file.

It’s probably a bad idea to put my own offering up in the same post as one from Bach. But my piece was inspired by Bach, so it’s appropriate even if it makes the contrast in quality too obvious.

Let’s start with today’s Bach cantata: “Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen” (Weeping, lamenting, worrying, fearing). This is a lovely live performance:

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 9:51-62:

Samaritan Opposition

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. Then he and his disciples went to another village.

The Cost of Following Jesus

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Cross and crown are bound together,
struggle and reward are united.
Christians have at all times
their suffering and their enemy,
yet their comforts are Christ’s wounds.

I follow after Christ,
I will not let go of Him
in prosperity and hardship,
in life and mortality.
I kiss Christ’s shame,
I will embrace His cross.
I follow after Christ,
I will not let go of Him.

Bach used the beginning of first chorus for the Crucifixus portion of the Credo in his Mass in B minor:

That makes for a nice tie-in to my piece, which was inspired by Bach’s Mass in B minor.

The current setting of my piece is for string quartet. It’s a piece I always envisioned being sung by a choir, but I would have to transpose it to a different key (which I may do in the future) for that purpose, as the notes don’t fit the usual vocal ranges of a church choir. I warn you that it is somewhat rhythmically monotonous, but I like the various resolution of the different dissonances — and I hope that for a 2 1/2 minute piece, you find that it has an arc to it that makes up for the dirge-like rhythm.

Here is the score:

Offering

And here it is as performed by a wooden MIDI string emsemble:

I always saw it as a Kyrie, since the very beginning was inspired by the Kyrie from Bach’s B minor mass. Here are a few seconds from the Kyrie from Bach’s B minor mass so you can see the similarity of the opening:

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

1/12/2018

Jonah Goldberg’s Remnant Podcast: Charles Murray, with Music from . . .

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 7:45 pm



Jonah Goldberg’s podcast “The Remnant” is always entertaining and well worth your time. But the latest episode is special for a couple of reasons. First, Jonah’s guest Charles Murray is a longtime Patterico favorite. Second, the intro and outro music may sound familiar to longtime readers.

Click here to listen.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

3/29/2017

The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “In Your Mind”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 7:07 am



Yesterday I debuted a song written by me in the early 1990s, and recently re-recorded by Jamie Woolford of the groups The Stereo and Let Go. If you missed it, here it is again:

Below are the lyrics to that song as originally written. As the SoundCloud description says, it’s a breakup song directed at “a girl who thinks she’s a heartbreaker but needs to get over herself.” Jamie changed the lyrics in a couple of places, which I will note after showing you the lyrics.

IN YOUR MIND

No I won’t give in
And talk to you again
I said it once before
I’ve had all that I can take

I have had enough
So I will call your bluff
And leave you here
To guess at your mistake

You can’t see the truth
You have lived your life
Completely blind
You are blind

And though I’m leaving you
You have left me shattered
In your mind
In your mind

It is sad but true
The things I say to you
A looker, not a seer,
You can’t see the way things are

You are just another face
And you’re easily replaced
I’m sorry but
You pushed your luck too far

I’m sorry if I said
That you were the best I’d ever find
The line went to your head
And never made it out
It’s stuck in your mind

No I won’t give in
And talk to you again
I said it once before
I’ve had all that I can take

I have had enough
So I will call your bluff
And leave you here
To guess at your mistake

You can’t see the truth
You have lived your life
Completely blind
You are blind

And though I’m leaving you
You will leave me shattered
In your mind
Only in your mind

Instead of “A looker, not a seer / You can’t see the way things are” Jamie sings “With eyes open wide / Still can’t see the way things are.” I liked the contrast between the terms “looker” and “seer” in the context of a song about a clueless but attractive woman — but everything Jamie does is to enhance the music, so I trust him. I can’t argue with the final product, which I love.

On the lines “And though I’m leaving you / You have left me shattered” he sings something else besides “I’m leaving you.” I’ve probably listened to this 30 times and still can’t figure out what he’s singing there, but haven’t gotten around to asking him yet. Any ideas?

Tomorrow I’ll let you hear the original recording I made around 1991. It’s . . . well, “not as good” would be putting it mildly.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

3/28/2017

The Patterico Music Project: “In Your Mind” Recorded by Jamie Woolford

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 1:01 am



It’s time for Song #7 in the Patterico Music Project. The concept is simple: my favorite musical artists record cover versions of songs I wrote 25 years ago. You’ve never heard this one before. It’s another cover by Jamie Woolford. I told you all about Jamie here, in my post announcing his cover of “Alien Song.” Jamie has transformed this song into something I can’t stop listening to. Get ready to experience some major power pop that should have you bouncing around the room — assuming you have the volume turned up loud enough.

Press play now — and enjoy.

Tomorrow I’ll give you the lyrics. And on Thursday you can hear my original version.

Jamie has done two others. Stay tuned!

P.S. Those looking for previous entries in the series can find them here:

All can be accessed at my SoundCloud page at soundcloud.com/patterico.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

3/16/2017

The Patterico Music Project: “Alien Song” Recorded by Jamie Woolford

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It’s time for Song #6 in the Patterico Music Project.

If you haven’t encountered it before, this is a project in which I have sought to have some my musical heroes record covers of songs I wrote over 25 years ago. Before today, I published five of these songs:

All can be accessed at my SoundCloud page at soundcloud.com/patterico.

The latest artist to agree to do this for me is Jamie Woolford, the front man for The Stereo and Let Go, and a great solo artist in his own right. I’ve been telling you about Jamie for more than ten years (!) — starting in 2006, in this post raving about his band Let Go. In 2010 I posted for you a video from The Stereo:

And in 2013, I posted two videos from his solo album, in different posts. In this post, I posted this video of the song “A Framed Life in Charming Light,” and in this post I showed you the video from “This Isn’t Goodbye” from Jamie’s solo album:


I gave Jamie a group of songs to choose from, including ones that had been covered before by other artists. (I have not written that many songs, and even fewer good ones, so I’m kind of limited, unfortunately.) He decided to do four, including two that had been covered before by other artists, and two that have not. Today I am releasing one that you’ve heard covered before: Jamie’s version of Alien Song. Parthenon Huxley has already done a great cover of the song. Jamie’s version is very different from Parthenon’s. Where Parthenon’s was whimsical, this one is straight-out rock, with grinding guitars. I love both of them, but in very different ways.

The song you’re about to hear is about reptilian, multi-headed aliens, conquering the world through their strange music. Turn up the sound.

Here are the lyrics and the original version.

There will be more songs coming. Jamie has done three more. And I have another artist lined up who you’ve probably heard of. This is all great fun for me. Stay tuned!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

5/3/2016

The Patterico Music Project: The Original Version of “Wrong Side of the Road”

Filed under: General,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 7:44 am



Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for dreading: the original version of my song “Wrong Side of the Road.” Today is a great day to publish this, since everyone will be focused on the election and will skip this primitive and embarrassing version:

There is a side benefit that comes from hearing my 1991 version. Namely, it gives you a chance to hear how much better the professional version by Steve Bertrand is:

My version was done on a TASCAM cassette recorder, with a crappy acoustic guitar, a crappy electric guitar, and my crappy voice (probably about vocal 6 tracks in all, consisting of three vocal lines all double-tracked because I lacked reverb). And I can’t even keep a consistent tempo, for goodness’ sake!

Whereas, Steve Bertrand’s version? He tells me this about the production you just listened to immediately above:

There’s drums, bass, tambourine, 2 acoustics, 2 rhythm guitars, 2 solo guitar lines, piano, B3 organ and about 12 tracks of vocals.

Now that’s a good production.

Isn’t it just amazing how he took something like that first track above, and turned it into the fun, toe-tapping, listenable pop song you hear in the second track?

This couldn’t possibly be any more fun.

5/2/2016

The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Wrong Side of the Road”

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 12:01 am



Yesterday I debuted a song written by me in the early 1990s, and recently re-recorded by Steve Bertrand of the great rock group The Tories. In case you haven’t heard the song, here it is. It’s under three minutes, very upbeat, and Bertrand’s production values are absolutely wonderful.

Below are the lyrics to that song. It’s a silly but fun song about the dangers of going against the grain. I don’t recommend reading them on their own. Instead, you should hit the play button, listen to the song, and read the lyrics as you listen to Steve belt them out.

WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD

Headed down the road
Double yellow line on my right
There’s cars swervin round me
And the drivers’ expressions are
Such a funny sight

On the wrong side of the road
I don’t want to take it slower
On the wrong side of the road
I’m hopin I don’t get pulled over
I never knew just how much fun it was
On the wrong side of the road.

Well I’m feelin all romantic
Like a salmon swimmin up stream
And I’m driving ‘gainst the grayness
Towards the pure white light of someone’s
Headlight beams

On the wrong side of the road
There’s no need to pretend
On the wrong side of the road
Knowin that your life might end
This is the way to go
Wrong side of the road

Nobody is pretending not to stare
They all know that I’m crazy
Everybody is pretending not to care
Could it be they’re too lazy
Or that they’re not pretending?

I’m a bit iconoclastic
And I’m cuttin off constraining chains
And I’ll show a thing or two
To the people who said that I
Ain’t got no brains

On the wrong side of the road
I’m going against the grain
On the wrong side of the road
I’m going through the window pane
I always told the truth
But I ended up lying
On the wrong side of the road

There are some serious metaphors and similes in there, but it’s all lighthearted and in good fun. Bonus points for those who identify some of the double meanings in the lyrics. They’re kind of obvious but it’s still fun to get you looking for them.

Tomorrow I’ll let you hear the original recording I made around 1991. It’s, um, not as good as Steve’s. I’ll expound a little bit more on the merits of Steve’s production in tomorrow’s post, by way of contrast to mine.

5/1/2016

The Patterico Music Project: “Wrong Side of the Road” Performed by Steve Bertrand

Filed under: General,Music,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 1:30 pm



It’s time for Song #5 in the Patterico Music Project.

For new readers, the idea here is that I wrote some songs 25 years ago and recorded them on a primitive TASCAM cassette recorder. Over the past 2-3 years, I got the idea of trying to enlist some artists I respect to re-record some of those songs. Today’s version is a short, fun song titled “Wrong Side of the Road,” recorded by Steve Bertrand. (More about him in a moment.) Here is the song. It’s incredibly well-produced (unlike my original):

The artist, Steve Bertrand, is formerly of a band called The Tories, a band that Mrs. P. and I used to go see regularly in Los Angeles at a place called Genghis Cohen. (Teen pop idol Shaun Cassidy was a fan of theirs too, and we met Shaun outside one of those shows.) These days Steve makes his living doing various (mostly) music-related jobs, primarily for television.

Here is a live performance of the first Tories song I ever heard, “Not What It Appears”:

Hey, if Magic Johnson likes it, it’s gotta be good!

Here is Steve performing one of his solo songs, “Seven Days Without You,” in a beautiful acoustic version:

Check out his web site at SteveBertrand.com. If you know anyone who needs any work done with music production, he’d be a good choice.

And check out some of my other songs recorded by other artists:

All can be accessed at my SoundCloud page at soundcloud.com/patterico.

Lyrics and the original version to come in subsequent posts.

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