28 August 2013

Now and For Always.

This is this most beautiful thing I could ever fathom. As far as I'm concerned, this is what Lord of the Rings was ever about.  It brought tears when I read it, and it brings tears when I hear this.  This kind of friendship is immortal and invincible and indestructible.  It's now and for always.



[SAM]
Sing me a story of heroes of the Shire
Muddling through, brave and true
Stubborn as bindweed and tough as old brier
Never too showy or grand
Year after year they persevere
Now and for always
Harfoots who planted, and Stoor folk who ploughed
Bred to endure, slow but sure
Fallohide blood in your veins makes you proud
Sturdy and steady they stand
True to their aim to stay the same
Now and for always

[FRODO & SAM]
Sit by the firelight's glow
Tell us an old tale we know
Tell of adventures strange and rare
Never to change
Ever to share
Stories we tell will cast their spell
Now and for always

[SAM]
Sing me a story of Frodo and the ring
Fearless and bold
[FRODO]
Tired and cold
[SAM]
Sword at his side
An elf blade called sting
Crossing a miserable land
Wouldn't retreat
Just followed his feet
Now and for always

[FRODO & SAM]
Sit by the firelight's glow
Tell us an old tale we know
Tell of adventures strange and rare
Never to change
Ever to share
Stories we tell will cast their spell
Now and for always

[FRODO]
Sing me a tale of the bravest of them all
Comrade and guide, at my side
Stouthearted Sam who wouldn't let me fall
Holding my life in his hand
True to the end, no finer friend
Now and for always

[FRODO & SAM]
Sit by the firelight's glow
Tell us an old tale we know
Tell of adventures strange and rare
Never to change
Ever to share
Stories we tell will cast their spell
Now and for always

13 August 2013

Suspension

So my sister Hannah just left for Wheaton College in Illinois.  She's majoring in piano pedagogy, or piano teaching in layman's terms, which is what she's been playing since she could talk. She once told me her favorite chord on the piano was the "suspension chord", which if you're a layman like me, it's really hard to explain unless you hear it. But it sounds like it's name. You know, suspended. Unresolved. She loved that chord because that's what she felt like, just sitting on the precipice, knowing the resolution was coming but not knowing exactly how. Well, it's a weird emotion to explain. I wrote this song for her. Maybe you'll understand what I mean.





(I know the sound overdrive is atrocious, trust me, it didn't sound that bad in real life...maybe I'll record it again sometime...)


 Verse 1:

Hello Mr. I-Don’t-Know
It’s time to face your age-old foe
Oh I know I kept you waiting
But today there’s no debating

Hello Mr. Apathy
I’ve been writing a rhapsody
You took away my heat and you talked to me sleep
But today I’m waking up

Listen close now, to that infinite sound
The water-drop note before you hit the ground
A heartbeat strung in the upbeat song
Before the number sing along



(Chorus)

Cannonball out of the nowhere-zone
You’re on your own, far away from home
Cannonball into the great unknown
We’ll build our wings as we take off

You’re suspended in midair
Oh yeah, I’ll meet you there
Where the flowers are bloomin’, your friends all singin’
Na na na na na

You’re sailing in the dark
Sail brave, you’re Joan of Arc
So don’t you stop till she sinks to the rocks
Na na na na na

Verse 2:

Yeah you’ll know it when you hear it
It’s the calm before the storm hits
After the verse, before the chorus
There’s a promise waiting for us

Like Moses facing Pharaoh
Or the whistle of a thousand arrows
Like dawn’s light growing hotter
Or silence underwater

(Chorus)

Verse 3:

I can’t answer Mr. I-Don’t-Know
That doesn’t mean that I won’t go
It’s the tipping point in history
The fall of Mr. Apathy


Listen close now, to that infinite sound
The water-drop note before you hit the ground
A heartbeat strung in the upbeat song
Before the number sing along

(Chorus)


-The Minstrel Boy

08 August 2013

Because no matter where you are, no matter how lonely you are, the same stars will be shining down on you, like memories burning an infinity away

Here's something my friend Nathan wrote, about a summer night not very long ago. Read it, and then go to his blog and read his poem and other diddles of his that are coming later. 

***

My friends and I used to lie on the grass in the middle of the night and name the stars after people. We’re teenage boys, so most of the stars ended up being girls, but that’s beside the point. It’s been a while since those nights, but recently the idea of naming the stars came back to me. It came back to me in the midst of graduation parties and conversations about colleges and the realization that many of my friends are moving on. Almost all of them are older than me, so I’m kind of left behind with two more years of high school to finish.

Anyway, back to the stars. I like the idea of all those stars being named after people I know. Because no matter where you are, no matter how lonely you are, the same stars will be shining down on you, like memories burning an infinity away. You’ll meet new people and it’s likely you’ll forget about others, but either way you’ll all be jumbled together in those constellations of faces, living and smiling and crying in some kind of galactic dance.

Think of a sailor out on the open sea. The night is reflected on the waters; he’s sailing on stars. But this sailor is lost. He doesn't know how to get home. He can see all the faces waiting for him there. Maybe they can even guide him back. But either way, they are there. That’s the only thing that matters. They are there. He can always look up to the sky and see a swirl of forgotten days shining down on him.

Imagine that your life is just one night, one night with all those stars. The morning will come sooner than you think. The sun will rise, the sky will turn light, and everything in that twinkling canopy of night will fade away. This might be your only chance.

Your only chance to do what? I don’t know. But I hope you will know it when you come across it. And when you do, jump out and take hold of it and don’t let go. It might seem awkward, it might seem impossible, but it will be worth it in the end. When the sun comes up, you’ll be glad you jumped.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to get at, and I didn't write this post with the intention of presenting some kind of motivational, blatantly allegorical “live-your-life-to-the-fullest” mantra, but I think it’s something like this: pretend like all you've got is that one night. This is your only chance to name new stars. This is your only chance to remember old ones. Just stop messing around and go for it. No matter what happens, the sun will still arrive on time. 


07 August 2013

AHAHAHYAHDAHHARMANICABANJOHAHAHAHAHAHA

Found this guy off the street and asked him to play this dumb song with me. He had a harmonica stuck in his mouth so all he could say was "fhhththhuuuuuh!" But he said it so eloquently I took it as a yes.






01 August 2013

Elise

There once was a widow
Who spent what she earned
On one boy and three little girls
She went into town to buy some bread dough
And the widow never returned

No one gave a damn for her family
Or the debts that she had to meet
There was Michael, Renae, and little Margie
And the eldest one's name was Elise

Elise was thirteen when the widow left for bread
And the farm was her own to run
For the widow once said "Oh Elise, when I'm dead
Take care of the younger ones."

To the girls she said with trembling lips
That Momma had gone on a very long trip
But Michael had outgrown the fortunes of youth
To him Elise told the truth

Her soul was serene for a girl of thirteen
Her spirit was fierce as a bear
Pushing the plough and milking the cow
And brushing little Margie's hair

She kept in the heat and she kept the house neat
She was the queen of absolutes
When Michael came in, she said "Take off those boots
And wipe off those filthy feet."

And when Renae cried
She sang lullabies
The songs of her mother before
Till the tears crystalized
In her tired grey eyes
And Elise fell asleep on the floor

No one gave a damn for her family
Or the debts that she had to meet
Before the sunlight poured in
She was at it again
The virgin mother of three
 

She was a simple mind, and left no one behind
When the economy forced them to run
She just shook her head, for her mother had said
"Take care of the younger ones."

She was the same woman still
When they reached Hooverville
To the children who had lost their homes
For now she realized that her mother's demise
Did not just apply to her own

Well the widow never mentioned
This unplanned extension
Of whose mother Elise would become
Elise shook her head, for her mother only said
"Take care of the younger ones."

She fed and she washed and she cleaned
Just like she did at thirteen
When she raised Michael, Renae, and Margie at four
Though now she raised twenty-three more

Word spread far of the young maiden
With gold hair and twinkling grey eyes
Who looked after all the children
Whose courage was love in disguise

She was nineteen when he entered the scene
Awakening her with desire
She never dismissed her mother's last wish
But her heart still had room for a lover

Said Jack, "Elise, I've watched you
I've seen no one like you before
If you can love twenty-seven
Do you think you could love one more?"

Said Elise,"Dear Jack, as sure as the sun
Of course I can do it again
If I can be the virgin mother of twenty-seven
I can be the mother of one."

Elise remembered the words of the widow
"Take care of the younger ones."
But twenty-eight was one too many
And she died giving birth to her son

I know that by the strength of her life
She would have raised me well
She would have made a wonderful wife
If death hadn't rung his knell

Long before the war had ended
A greater battle was won
A thirteen year old had so bravely contended
To take care of the younger ones.