Greenback Blues

While many of my songs are about Best Beloved, this one is not.

Although the lyrics reference any number of U.S. Presidents, the astute observer will note that it is not even remotely about politicians.

Without boring you with musicological details, the intro to this song is a challenge when we perform it live. While many of my other songs can be shifted up or down as much as a full key, those where I play the harmonica don’t have that luxury. Mostly because I don’t own enough harmonicas.

Someone called Ireland the land of happy wars and sad love songs. This song always feels like a little of both.

Greenback Blues

You should have married Andrew Jackson
I know that you think more of him than me
I’ll bet Ben Franklin would be fine with you
And that’s fine with me as far as I can see

Alexander Hamilton is only half as much
As Andrew Jackson in your twisted mind
George Washington‘s just peanuts; Abe Lincoln‘s not much more
But Grover Cleveland would be quite a find

Too bad Woodrow Wilson don’t circulate no more
Got your hands on him he’d never leave
But gimme just one Roosevelt to call a cab
And I’ll be gone for good you’d best believe

beautiful carelessly sultry: the song with no nouns

My buddy Charlie Cheney stuffs his songs full of nouns. Every time I’d send him a set of lyrics and say hey, wanna put this to music? he’d respond “Where are all the nouns?” Yes, I tend to write ethereal touchy feely stuff. (You should note that Charlie has shared the stage with Jackson Browne and I have not. I know which of us is the better songwriter. Still, I soldier on.)

Charlie and some folks once put together a song made entirely of nouns. It was fun, but it didn’t make as much sense as Charlie’s Palmer Johnson Yacht.

I responded with this song: beautiful carelessly sultry.

It has no nouns. Zero. (You’re writers. You know what that means.)

… more … “beautiful carelessly sultry: the song with no nouns”

Meta-Limerick

For 7 years I participated in February Album Writing Month. Short version: a bunch of loonies (over 10,000 last year) get together online and write a whole album of music.

limerickEach.

That’s 14 songs in 28 days. It’s crazy.

So crazy that the forums are filled with thousands of songwriters talking about it. As if writing 14 songs in 28 days wasn’t busy enough.

Eventually the FAWMku tradition arose. (February Album Writing Month = FAWM = the prefix for everything about the event.) Someone always started a forum thread with haiku about songwriting.

And every year, … more … “Meta-Limerick”

Look My Way: The Song That Confuses

Even the seasoned songwriters I shared this with when I wrote it 5½ years ago couldn’t come up with the mental image I thought was obvious.

Ah, language; so utterly inadequate sometimes.

After all this time I still haven’t decided if the title is Waiting or Look My Way. I’ll leave you to sort what you think it’s about.

You can listen to ‘Look My Way’ right here:

(guitar and lyrics by Joel D Canfield; vocal by Frances Riley; music by Joel D Canfield and Frances Riley)

… more … “Look My Way: The Song That Confuses”