Back From The Brink
Songs Of Protest And Hope
NV means no vocals.
We had a pretty rough four years with a Grand Finale featuring:
If we work together, we may be able to roll back some of the disasters from the last presidency. I wish us all the best of luck. We’re going to need it.
Clicking “Play The Songs” link, above, will open a player with each song listed. Click one to listen to it. You can switch windows and otherwise use your computer while the song plays. The player has a volume control and previous song, next song button, stop, play, shuffle and loop (play over and over) buttons. If you click the loop button a second time, the player will play the same song over and over.
Provenance Of The Songs
NOTE: You can launch a playback and then return to this page to read the lyrics. Click a song title to read the lyrics.
A very old blues song originally performed by Eddie One String Jones. Two drummers, shaker, drone guitar, drone piano, bass, lead guitar, Yamaha MM6 chords, Korg M1 Overture strings. I re-wrote the original song for a male and female vocalist. I sing my part as a baritone and the girl’s part as a tenor, one octave higher. I also added some theatre to the song by making sly statements in-between the words of the main song. I hope you like it.
I was flying on Eastern. There was a drop dead beautiful stewardess on my flight. Every time she came down the center aisle, she would pause and smile at me. I said, “Do we know each other?” She replied, “Not yet.” A romance ensued. She was a very beautiful. I was very lucky. She made my heart jump for joy. Eastern has gone away. Cheryl has gone away. If you know her, please tell her about this song I wrote for her.
Eloise is a spectacular beauty. When I met her she was an actress and a model. She used her considerable acting abilities to save my life. When she started visiting me at night in the tiny room where I was staying at the back of my friend’s house in the Hollywood Hills, I fell in love. I adored her then and still do today.
This is the first fully (psychic) automatic writing composition. The piano part was a gift—it sort of just played itself. I didn’t develop it, my fingers just played it on “autopilot.” If you’d like to hear the psychic automatic keyboard part that I “channeled,” use this link: For Eloise-1. Remember that before recording this, I had never played it before. At 33 seconds, notice the complex and syncopated baroque ending that tumbles over itself and still resolves and comes out on the beat. To this day I still can’t play that ending. That’s why I think this is psychic automatic piano playing. I played it without thinking, and now that I am thinking, I can’t play it. Not yet, anyway.
Same with the high bell notes. I didn’t know what I should play, so I just pressed RECORD and these bell parts came out.
Same with the lyrics. I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and a pen and all the words just sort of tumbled out of me onto the paper. The lyrics wrote themselves. In psychic circles, I think this is called “automatic writing.”
One of the first songs I ever wrote. I was like 14 years old, learning to play guitar and I wrote a song about getting old. Go figure. This song has 3|4 4|4 time signature shifting going on.
3|4 Bowl me over I’m getting
3|4 How I miss the days of
3|4 Life’s still free but not so
4|4 As I recall
Musicologists may appreciate this song.
“I love as my younger days, the smell of sea and feel of haze, fear of waves that crash upon the shore, I fear no more.” That phrase turned out to be prophetic because I drowned in huge waves at Zuma Beach in California when I was a little older, but not yet smarter.
I breathed in sea water, the stars came out, I saw things and heard things then I was flat on my back and a lifeguard was slapping me and yelling, “Wake up!” I wrote about this NDE event in my book Intersections.
“My baby got teeth like the lighthouse on the sea”
“And every time she smiles, man, she throw down those lights on me”
A traditional blues song made famous by Eddie One String Jones. In honor of Eddie’s one-string, I play slide guitar lead parts.
While working on this song I learned how to play rhythm guitar with the B3 Organ. It’s a form of very “choppy” playing that only occasionally plays long sustain notes revealing that it’s actually an organ part.
My friend Lars wrote this haunting and beautiful song on his solo trip through Europe. I traveled to Denmark to visit him and got to play in his group. One night, during a break, a stunning blonde girl came over to my piano and said these words: “You know, sometimes maybe I think I love you.” Wow! Here in the US the boys pretend they don’t see the girls and the girls pretend they are not aware of boys. Girls act offended when they “catch” a boy looking at them. What nonsense! In Denmark the people act naturally.
A crooner style song celebrating when all doubt is removed about whether the Beloved loves you “back.” The opening line turned out to be true. “I used to think that you could not be true.” As it turned out my suspicions were right. Ever taken your sweetheart out on an expensive dinner date in Waikiki, Hawaii only to have her pick up a total stranger right in front of you, go home with the stranger and spend the night with him? I could not believe any civilized woman would do such a thing. I still don’t. This song was written to her BEFORE we went to Hawaii. I did nothing wrong so there’s no reason I shouldn’t share this song. When I wrote and sang this song, I was in love with her. After Hawaii proved my date’s moral compass was not working, I had to give up on her. It was a painful time in my life.
Juarez, Mexico. A site where hundreds of beautiful young women have vanished without a trace. The families cry and cry, but the women never come home again. This sort of criminal activity is simply unthinkable. Brenda was the name of one of the women who vanished. When I heard of this I wrote this song and sent it to all the local radio stations trying to raise consciousness. The radio stations didn’t get it. They mostly said, “Huh?” or possibly “Duh.”
An “oldie” about how important it is to hang on to what you’ve got. A call to women-folk to love their men. There’s a new part I just added that I really like. It starts out sounding like a cello, then strings, then the drone pipes of a bagpipe. At 1:52 left I still get thrills from the boop boop guitars (my black MIDI Stratocaster with my Roland Guitar GR-50 Guitar Synthesizer hooked up to it) I laid down so long ago.
A song about how unconcerned dumbed-down Americans have become. A good old-fashioned protest song about disappearing friends, PFAS, the girl next door, our health, chemtrails and our dreams as younger people.
This song contains my first use of two drummers. The second one starts playing at 1 minute and 7 seconds. My recording system (Cubase Pro 11) is a marvel of ease and ingenuity. The new drum system (Groove Agent 5) can present up to 4 drummers, each of the 4 having good-sounding prerecorded patterns and each allowing the addition of hand-played drum hits from a keyboard.
Taken from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and from the Back To The Future movies, this song is about time travel.
“Well, why not? After all I’m still a member of the family, and it said, ‘By royal command, every eligible maiden is to attend.’ ”—Brothers Grimm, Cinderella.
“Do you love me because I am beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me.” —Brothers Grimm, Cinderella.
“They say if you dream a thing more than once, it’s sure to come true.”—Charles Perrault, Sleeping Beauty.
“All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust.”—J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan.
Back to the music!
Don’t be surprised if you find
some protest songs here.
We need those too.
— Sherman Barry —