Dirt on the Soles of My Shoes

Another pickin’ and grinnin’.

I got a bit of dirt
On the soles of my shoes.
Been trav’ling around.
Paying them dues.
Preacher hounding me
‘Bout what I’m done wrong.
Got a bit in his teeth
Of hell fire and brimstone.

I know I’m a sinner,
Sinning’s in my blood
Just like Old Man Noah
Who rode out that flood.
He was a drinking man.
The Bible tells us so
He could drink those boys
Under the table and floor.

There’s the hangover and there’s the hang under.
There’s the lightning and there’s the thunder.
There’s the magic and there’s the wonder.
But the promised land’s way over yonder.

Well, I take my blues
And I take ’em straight.
Not on the rocks.
I’m in a bad state.
A cat chasing his tail
Running ‘round and ‘round
Got no place fast.
I’m everybody’s clown.

You got heartaches,
Heartache’s my name.
If there’s a gray cloud
Bound to be some rain.
I never seem to learn.
I’m a sad sack case.
As plain as the tears
Running down my face.

There’s the hangover and there’s the hang under.
There’s the lightning and there’s the thunder.
There’s the magic and there’s the wonder.
But the promised land’s way over yonder.

Mount Nanowrimo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winnerI am standing here, looking down from the summit of Mount Nanowrimo. Of course, Nanowrimo is known to one and all as an abbreviation for the National Novel Writing Month.

It has been a long hard slog but I have made it. 50,505 words of crap tilted “Don in November”. It was my fifth climb and I have to say that this one was not fun. I would like to say that I began this on a dark and stormy night. But that would be stealing from Snoopy. I can’t do that to the beagle who brought down the Red Baron.

I had the stupid idea for a joke that I would write a novel about Don writing a novel in November. Like I say, it was a real stupid idea. As I’ve guessed all along, my life isn’t all that interesting. Now I have the words to prove it. I should have stuck with my original idea of writing a spy novel. That definitely would have been a lot more fun.

At the end of the first week, I was really tired of my life. Since I was doing prompts every morning before I dug into the novel, I decided to see where one of these prompts led. By following this exercise, I ended up with two stories.

The first was a Hilly and Jess story. Hilly was a country singer who was a one hit wonder. After ten years of plugging along playing cheap dives and bad bars, she was getting extremely tired of the road life. Even waitressing would have been better than the road. Just about the time she’s ready to quit, she meets Jess.

Once upon a time, Jess had gone off to Nashville to try his hand at songwriting. ‘Bout the time he started to get the hang of things and had a copy of songs recorded, he had to go back home to help his mother take care of the farm.

These two met. There’s thunder and lightning and the stars were aligned big time. It’s love at first sight. And the rest of the story took off.

The second story was about Hissy Fitt. Hissy Fitt was the daughter of the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”. Hissy Fitt was the one who put the bad in bad witch. She took after her mother, only more so.

Down the road, I’m thinking about rewriting the Hissy Fitt story and posting it here. Maybe some time next year.

So what did I learn. Prompts help to get me through during the bad times. Have a story to work on before starting to climb Nanowrimo. And best of all, I can write 500 words a day in my sleep. The month was productive after all.

Will I do this next year? Am I a wild and crazy guy? We’ll see.

Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick: Simple Song

It’s Thursday again. You know what that means. Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick. Uncle Bardiie gives a double thumbs up to this week’s selection. “Simple Song” by John Paul White and Southern Family:

I know this one’s a sad song. But it’s an honest sad song. No fake emotion like some of the songs you hear on the radio.

I first realized there was a new country music coming round the bend when I heard Jason Isbell, doing “Traveling Along”. For way too long, there was this country music trying to out-pop pop or out-rock rock. It even tried to out-rap rap. It was enough to make a feller want to kick that can as far as Mars. Then Ashley Munroe’s “Dixie” landed on my ears. Finally I was going to get some good old country music that knew how to country music. Something that most would call Old School Country, and what I call Just Country.

The kind of music Hank and Ferlin and George and Patsy and Merle played. The kind that could easily be called White Man’s Blues. The kind that can be located on the very country album, “Southern Family”. The first song on the album lays down something you don’t normally hear from recording artists these days.  John Paul White, formerly of Civil Wars, gives the listener this “Simple Song”. It’s more than a sad song. It’s a man losing someone to the Angel of Death. As far as I know, Andrew Bird’s “My Sister’s Tiny Hands” is one of the few others giving grieving its due.

Few artists have the courage to do what John Paul White and Andrew Bird do with these songs. Mourn. This is something we all do and yet it is not very often recognized by those who give us our music. For grieving is something our society often says we should avoid. “Get over it.” Yet most of us have lost someone and we can’t get over it. Their passing left us devastated.

So my song post for this week is “Simple Song” by John Paul White and Southern Family. It honors our grief.