Speaking about lyrics that never become songs, etc., sometimes I write and record a demo or rough track of a song and it just never seems to go anywhere.    Some of them do get resurrected, many don’t.  For some it may be as simple as a tempo change or a different arrangement.  Other times for me it is mysterious.  In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I would like to post lyrics to a song in the making.  As this platform gives us access to followers around the globe, I do not want to leave anyone out, so please take this as intended.  If I don’t mention your country, other people’s songs will!

Then in a later post I can bring in the recorded demo tracks.   I like the lyrics for the most part and I love the idea behind the song, but it is not there yet.  Maybe after a pint or two of Guinness and some suggestions from you I can finish this song.  And of course, that could be a topic in and of itself.  We hear phrases like “final mix”.  Some people say there is no such thing.  Others say you just have to stop at some point and let it go.   Much of this may depend on your final goal.  Are you a singer/songwriter trying to get a break and some air-time?  Are you shopping for places your band can perform your unique style?   Do you want to have a clean demo to send to your favorite artist?  Is this a sound-track for video/YouTube?  Do you make sound effects for games?

We can always say make it as good as possible but that is very subjective.  Hire 50 sound engineers and you will get 45 different mixes (there are always people that look over your shoulder!)  Tip for today;  it takes a really long time to fix it in the mix even if you know what you are doing.  It is much easier and preferred to get the great sound first, and then record it properly (using gain staging and other procedures mentioned earlier).  When you record a great sound it will sound great.  As a sound guy for a local band I would get compliments on the sound (House from the audience but almost always monitors from the band).  I thank them and tell them the band sounds great, I just let everyone hear them.

“A Part of Me”                                                                   © 08-2000  MSK

American Indians gave me my soul,

A spiritual guide for all living things.

Each man’s fate is his to control

Peace with Nature, the warrior sings.

A Part of Me belongs to all of Them

From the Germans strength was my first lesson.

Trial and precision as you master these.

Pride that’s passed down from son to son.

Built in each hand crafted Masterpiece.

Oriental neighbors have shown me the light

Truth, Balance, Eternal harmony.

The beauty of patience and delight

Traditions deep within history.

A Part of Me belongs to all of them.

I’m proud to be an American.

Sisters and brothers from every shore,

That’s what makes us Americans.

Part of Me belongs to all of Them

From the Irish I inherit my pride

I stand my ground and I will speak my mind.

I will honor the lands and the tide,

And I’ll never leave a neighbor behind.

My English side embraced nobility.

Dry humor in the face of foes

Hardy enough to capture the seas.

Portraits legends and heroes.

African Americans forced to become

A torn people of two nations.

Tribal tales and melodic rhythm

Passed onto the next generation.

The French helped me understand

Style and grace can be nurtured like wine.

To believe there is no better place

Life shared with friends, bread and wine.

A Part of Me belongs to all of them.

I’m proud to be an American.

Sisters and brothers from every shore,

That’s what makes us Americans.

Part of Me belongs to all of Them

Year after year

They want to raise their children here.

Because sweat blood and tears

Can amount to something here.

There’s a lot of people in my life

A part of Me belongs to all of Them.

Your song may be different and that’s OK.

Sing it with your fellow American.

  1. Beautiful. Rhyming has been one of my weak points. Iwish i could rhyme like you and that too with so much rhythm. I was singing it to my own tune. Lovely creation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Well, thank you! Rhyming is not a requirement in poetry, so I had to branch-out a bit to put poems to lyrics. Lyrics depend more on the rhyme scheme than poems. It can be tricky coming up with the right word and just the right number of syllables to finish a thought or sentence. Keep singing it to your own tune though…… I may need it soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. laurenmhennebury says:

    I can relate to struggling at times to finish a piece I’ve written. I find it happens more with poetry than with the fiction or non-fiction that I write. Sometimes it’s simply two or three lines that get stuck in my head, but when I try to add to it, nothing seems to fit. I can go back to it months later and still not be able to find the right combination of words. Other times, I can write a full poem and feel the need to revise it yet there doesn’t seem to be anything left to do. Sometimes, as you said, you just need to leave things alone. Are they ever truly finished? No, I don’t think so. Maybe we’re forgetting the difference between “finished” and “done”…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. queasypaddy says:

    And a happy St. Patrick’s day to you and yours. I love the lyrics of your song and I look forward to actually hearing it. Yes the great thing about America is its mix of influences from around the world, a real melting pot. I know there are problems relating to integration there, but that’s not unique to the States. You are right to celebrate the diversity that has given so much to you.
    I find when I want to write, be it a poem or a song or whatever, I need to be absolutely clear in my own head what it is I want to say. Then it seems to happen. The piece seems to take on a life of its own and I love the excitement it engenders in me as the process proceeds !
    As I raise a virtual pint of Guinness to you, I say : ” Sláinte ! “( Good health ! )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. skat says:

    As my mom would say, you’re a regular Heinz 57, aren’t you? I liked this song-in-the-making.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skat says:

    P.S. I’m Irish, Scots, French and Canadian Indian. This is an important day for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tom Robinson says:

    Beautiful lyrics. Thoughful and appreciative of our many ethnic virtues.


  7. Hey Mike- I know what you’re saying. I’ve been writing poetry all my life – it’s as natural as breathing or eating for me. My style and creative process for poetry is so exactly historical. I resurrect words from actual death and centuries gone by and prance them around with – what I hope is – some kind of renewed vigor. But not a single poem I’ve ever written could be put to a decent tune…. Opera, maybe. My process for writing songs – as opposed to poetry – is so completely different – not even like apples and oranges since those things at least have the fruit family in common. I mean its like two different gears on a car and only one of them goes forward if you know what I mean.

    To write a song I have to develop the tune first and then reach into my emotions for whatever words are going to pop out. It’s like dipping a bucket into a blind well having no what idea what I’m going to pull out of it. My poetry is more cerebral, metered probably better than my songs – while my songs are extremely simple, guttural, more earthly or human I guess. To me its like the divide between mind and soul – songs are for the soul while poetry massages thought. Or at least that’s how I see it. Since I only pretend to play piano with my fake little seven or eight chords getting the tune is a little tricky. But once it’s there the words just come out. You know they don’t cover broad issues – they’re not mental – they’re meant for the heart – the truest, most basic condition. You know, like “I want to hold your hand.” That song is not rocket science – you know man there’s no real mental challenge – no deep thought in a teen age boy standing on stage and wailing to a girl what he wants to do with her. It’s just guttural – what the heart wants man. And while it is nothing to the brain, in the heart’s world that little simple sentence is like a whole universe filled with color and emotion – Of course the Beatles made it work with that incredible beat and inflection… But that’s like the first part in my own process. Nothing moves forward without that.

    Anyway, your song reads like a poem to me. It’s creative. It tells a story, I mean like almost an entire history of feelings over American Indians, their struggles, acceptance and now future philosophy. You know – to put that particular set of words to a tune I would tweak it a little. But remember – I’m a poet first and amateur song writer at best. Anyway I love it man.


    • midimike says:

      I do understand what you mean by the gears designed to turn in different directions. That took me a while to understand when I started writing rather than putting music to my older brother’s poems. He was not creating them for the ‘traditional’ musical platforms….. I was in a lot of writing, and not in others. Eventually I could tell in my own writing when this shifted from poems to lyrics and to be truthful, I am not sure if I write ‘poetry’ any more. If everything is really quiet I still cannot turn off the internal beat or melody line or theme wandering around inside my head. I am sure when I am trying to write a poem there is always that trace of backing it with a beat, and everything after that! lol. The cool thing is as you pointed out, the lyrics (chords – melody – structure) do not have to be rocket science to be a hit. I try to massage thought with my songs and that is one of the reasons I do not consider them ‘main stream’. Interesting idea about the connection between heart and soul.
      I have no system or method and as a creative writer, I will steal ideas from anywhere! For a while I practiced using the melody from a popular song on the radio and substituting my words…. Sometimes it just felt ‘easier’ because I could think all those studio musicians were backing me and my song up. Like you mentioned once you have the basic melody or chord structure, the lyrics start bubbling up. I try to assemble the parts and put them together in any way I can. I am glad your reading reflected poetry and storytelling. We may need to share a virtual pint of Guinness, but I am indeed open to a poet’s point of view. I am not tied to the melody line and other timing – structure issues are pretty flexible. This was very kind and thoughtful of you – you are the man!


      • The beat is absolutely right .. its always there Mike – in the back of the mind. Thats the thing for me when I sit down to write song lyrics. The words just channel somehow. I think that’s what you’re saying by plugging in your own words to other melodies…. improvisation is what makes art art. Theres a reason song soothes the beast man, its art for the heart – and the heart is a simple creature. A guy selling real estate told me three important things about the business – location, location, location. For art I would only say this: simple, simple, simple. Warhol was a brilliant artist, but he is most famous for painting a can of Campbell’s chicken soup…. I saw one of them hanging in the art museum here in Cincinnati not long. Man it took by breath away. Not to take anything away from Michaelangelo’s David or Raphael’s angels, but it is what it is… Hearts are simple man. They know love, they know pain from losing love, they know joy from the prospect of sharing love, and they know fear from the prospect of not being able to share love. Lenon’s “All you need is love” is to me the quintessential and perfectly simplistic lyric. Every heart understands that. Mike you’re so talented and so smart. Maybe touch base with your brother man. Hearts always work best together.


  8. Bill says:

    As a non American, reading this poem made a link with Henry Kissinger’s book “Diplomacy” which I am also currently reading. He too is an American exceptionalist. Most of you are, whatever you colour or hue.


    • midimike says:

      I will have to get that book. I go to the library and read during my lunch break and sometimes people will tease me about actually reading and where can they find a library. Amazing. Anyway, maybe we are exceptionalists in the fact that we owe our talent and resources to so many other lands and cultures, rather than creating everything from scratch. Unfortunately, we think that we are the center of the universe and the rest of the world should follow or lead or example. I think we just have little more ‘growing up’ to do. Hopefully, we will get there. Keep in touch, I appreciate the thought.


  9. pndrgn99 says:

    Washte’ Hinhun ehate’ (laughing owl)


  10. Nice, I like it 🙂


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