10 Songs for the Coming Year: a Musical Project

Whenever I travel, I come home with ideas for songs. Sometimes they make their way to music. Sometimes they make their way to paper.

This week, I wrote 10 songs: 10 stream-of-consciuosness songs. These songs are just lyrical ideas and still need to be set to music. This gives me a musical project for the coming year.

The Making of 10 Songs

I wrote these 10 songs quickly and uncritically. I’d like to keep the lyrics as close to their original form as possible when I put them to music. I’ll keep you updated on my progress. In the meantime, here are the lyrics in their original form.

1. Top of The World

Driving through the night

Up the hill, up the hill, up the hill, up the hill

I am winding with the river

Into something grander

Than I’ve ever known before

Suddenly

All my senses blend together

And my spirit starts to soar

I am up on the top of the world

Oh, I am up on the top of the world

With you by my side

With you by my side

Oh, when I look out the window

As the sun begins to rise

You’re sleeping like an angel

Forever in your eyes

And this old road stretches on and on and on

Like the memories we create

And God either is or isn’t with us

As we take that leap of faith

I am up on the top of the world

Oh, I am up on the top of the world

I am up on the top of the world

With you by my side

And it’s a long, long, long, long, long, long, long ride

2. Overexposed

The city

Looks beautiful

In the night

With the lights so bright

Green and red and blue

And every other color of the rainbow

Shining, shining, shining

Everywhere

But when the day comes

You see the thorns upon the rose

Everything, every little thing

Is overexposed

Isn’t it funny

How every town looks better

With darkness upon it

But oh, in the light of day

Everything, every little thing

Is overexposed

Like a picture of your faith

The paint is fading and flaking and falling away

Oh, but that’s just the way it goes

Everything, every little thing

Is overexposed

Everything, every little thing

Is overexposed

 

3. To Be the Wave

Walking with you along the shoreline

I realized that life is just a wave

The tide pulls us out

And then back into the grave

Oh, life is just a wave

Or maybe Jesus saves

But either way

It’s okay

Because we are here and now

And no one can take that away

Oh, we are here and now

And it’s beautiful

So, so beautiful

To be the wave

Some people fight over silly things

Like houses and cars and diamond rings

They’re blind to the mountain

They’re blind to the river

They’re blind to the eagle

Flying over the sea

But we are here and now

And no one can take that away

Oh, we are here and now

And it’s beautiful

So, so beautiful

To be the wave

 

4. Rolled on Slow

I remember last winter

When the world was white

I drove along the river

Through the snow and ice

My life in my own hands

You were far away

But your life was in my hands too

So I rolled on slow

Yeah, I rolled on slow

Just to get back home

We’re all living for something

Even on the days we long to die

And it would be so easy

To just hit the gas

And fly off the pass

And leave you all behind

My life in my own hands

But I’ve always been

Less of a coward as I am a cowboy

So I rolled on slow

Yeah, I rolled on slow

Oh, I rolled on slow

Just to get back home

Just one more turn in this old road

 

5. House of Music

If these walls could talk

They would not say a lot

Maybe a “god damn”

And an “I love you”

But if these walls could sing

They’d croon and they’d wail and they’d ring

Like the rain and the wind

On a stormy afternoon

With a ping, ping, ping

Rattle, rattle, boom

This house of music

Is always playing an Earth song

This house of music

Is always playing an Earth song

And it’s your song

And it’s my song

To sing

With drones and wars on the horizon

We can make our own explosions

Like a volcano of melody

Let the words and music set you free

With a bang, bang, bang

Of empathy

This house of music

Is always playing an Earth song

This house of music

Is always playing an Earth song

And it’s your song

And it’s my song

To sing

 

6. My Eye the Camera

My eye the camera

Is panning the crowd

With the architecture and sky

Spinning in the background

Oh the world, the whole world,

The whole wide world

Like a film

From an ancient time

My eye the camera

It doesn’t like zoom

Cause I might see a little too much

Getting too close might lead to a touch

And I like to watch from afar

The whole wide world from afar

Like a film

Like a film

Where the hero walks alone

My eye the camera

It studies the angles

Searching for lines and horizons

Where ocean meets sky

All the sadness and love

To laugh and to cry

To live and to die

Like a film

Like a film

From an ancient time

 

7. Seeds

Autumn is here

The leaves are all falling

The seeds are all flying

Out on the wind

To impregnate the Earth again

And it gives me that feeling

That great swelling feeling

Oh, I feel it reeling you in

And I’ve been saving all my seeds of love

Yeah, I’ve been saving all my seeds of love

Oh, I’ve been saving all my seeds of love

For your barren ground

Life is a circle

The offspring are rising

While your ocean is dying

Trade the womb for the heart

Oh, to impregnate your heart again

Just a little bit longer

Autumn winds blowing stronger

And my pure naked hunger

I’ll sing a song for your body

And I’ve been saving all my seeds of love

Yeah, I’ve been saving all my seeds of love

Oh, I’ve been saving all my seeds of love

For your barren ground

I want to spill my seeds, I want to spill my seeds

I want to spill my seeds, I want to spill my seeds

In your barren ground

 

8. Clock Tower

I walk around the campus

My home away from home

With my mind like a canvas

I compose another poem

Middle age is upon me

And I do not know my hour

I hear the tick-tock, tick-tock

As I wander

Down by the clock tower

And if time is an illusion

To spin us into confusion

It’s alright

As long as I’m with you

I wake up another morning

Whistling a song without a name

I hear a murder of crows

Repeating the refrain

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock

Then the bells start to ringing

And the angels start to singing

And I do not know the hour

As I wander

Down by the clock tower

And if time is an illusion

To spin us into confusion

It’s alright

As long as I’m with you

Yeah, if time is an illusion

To spin us into confusion

 

9. The Man Who Rides Trains

When I was a boy

I used to walk upstream

My feet got wet and cold

Oh, my feet, so cold

And my mother, she never noticed

It made me want to scream

My feet were so cold

Every time I came home

And so I became

The man who rides trains

Across valleys and plains

The man who rides trains

To find a place to keep my feet warm

And the click-clack of the rails

Overpowered the wedding bells

And when I stood at the alter

I could not remain still

And so I became

The man who rides trains

Across valleys and plains

The man who rides trains

To find a place to keep my feet warm

And every time my mother said,

“Son, you’d better settle down”

I’d just tear out, I’d just tear out

I’d just tear out of this town

And so I became

The man who rides trains

Across valleys and plains

The man who rides trains

Just to find a place, just to find a place

Just to find a place to keep my feet warm

 

10. Flying Spear

The mountains stand before me

Towering like an obstacle

To everything I long to do

And I long for you

Even though I don’t know

Who or where you are

Like a long-lost lover

I long for you

So I’ll strap myself to the eagle’s back

And through his eyes I’ll search every crack

I’ll give you everything that you ever lacked

Oh, I am a flying spear

Coming straight for your heart

Oh, I am a flying spear

I’m going to pierce you with my mark

Well, I know how it is to be branded

And cut and slashed by things unwanted

And I can see how he did those things to you

From my eagle’s view

The point of my spear is covered in ointment

To pierce and to heal and to hypnotize

All at the same time

All at the same time

Oh, I am a flying spear

Coming straight for your heart

Oh, I am a flying spear

I’m going to pierce you with my mark

I’m going to pierce you with my mark

I’m going to pierce you with me mark

I’m going to pierce you with my mark

 

Copyright 2016 by Dan Erickson

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone