Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Singing a Song

It is really often that even on Neil songs that I LOVE, I don't really think I GET until I play them. Ok, that applies to most all songs, not just Neil songs.....but this is one of those songs, and this is one of those nights when the song hits.

I think my friends that I plan to jam with on February 7 need to be aware that this is one of the songs I will call...just to see what we can do....what a cool song....neat changes....unique harmonies....i like it--

Sunday, January 25, 2009

On a Saturday Night Part 3

I am beginning to like Saturday Nights alone with my guitar. Seems to take forever for me to get into the mode of settling down and playing and working on music, but once I am there, it is good to keep going. Got another song up. I think I am getting lazier about how they should sound before i get them up....hope you don't mind out there....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama....sounds great, doesn't it?

20 January 2009
Obama's Inaugural Speech
Text of President Obama's inaugural address on Tuesday, as prepared for delivery and released by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

The Associated Press

Sunday, January 18, 2009

On a Saturday Night Part 2

Yesterday was Saturday night, and my friends kenny and todd and michelle and maryanne and paul all came by to talk and laugh and YES, to sing a little. I really enjoy our singing now, as folks seem to be a little more comfortable with it, and so am I. So I sang my song for them "On a Saturday Night". Since they told me it was good enough to play in public, I recorded it today. It should be the first song in the ReverbNation Widget to the right of this column, right here on the first page of my blog! Let me know what you think of it, either by emailing or commenting, ok? And yes, I know it would sound so much better with drums and bass and lead guitar...but I don't have those things. Imagine them there, like I do....LOL.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fork In The Road

Lyrics to "Fork in the Road"

Got a pot belly. 
It's not too big. 
Gets in my way 
when I'm driving my rig.
 Driving this country
 in a big old rig, 
things I see
 mean a lot.

My friend has a pickup.
 Drives his kid to school.
 Then he takes his wife
to beauty school.

 Now she's doin' nails.
 Gonna get a job.
 Got a good teacher.

There's a fork in the road ahead.
 I don't know which way I'm gonna turn.
 There's a fork in the road ahead.

Forgot this year, 
to salute the troops. 
They're all still there
 in a fucking war. It's no good.
 Whose idea was that?

I've got hope,
 but you can't eat hope. 
I'm not done. 
Not giving up. 
Not cashing in.
 Too late.

There's a bailout coming but it's not for me. 
It's for all those creeps watching tickers on TV. 
There's a bailout coming but it's not for me.

I'm a big rock star.
 My sales have tanked,
 but I still got you.
 Download this.
 Sounds like shit.

Keep on bloggin' 'til the power goes out,
 and your battery's dead.

Twist and Shout. 
On the radio.
 Those were the days.
 Bring 'em back.

There's a bailout coming but it's not for you.
 It's for all those creeps hiding what they do.
 There's a bailout coming but it's not for you.
 Bailout coming but it's not for you.

Got my new flat-screen.
 Got it repo'd now. 
They picked it up.
 Left a hole in the wall.
 Last Saturday.
 Missed the Raiders game.

There's a bailout coming but it's not for you.
 There's a bailout coming but it's not for you.
 It's for all those creeps hiding what they do.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Just wrote this for ReverbNation...

Hi! I am marilyn, born in Hudson, NY to a couple who worked at the Universal Match Factory, which was considered to be a darn good job back then. The oldest of five girls, and younger by eight years than my brother, I always wanted to learn to play music. Anything. I tried piano in elementary school, but the teacher dropped me when the toy piano I practiced on wasn't cutting it.

As I got older, I joined band and chorus. Because music was not a priority in my household (rather, feeding and clothing us were what they spent their money on), I had to borrow my instruments from the school. I had a tuba (i am five feet now, you can imagine me as a child with one of those!!!) a french horn, a bassoon and finally a clarinet for band. I stuck with the clarinet.

One day the band teacher announced that he was selling Conn classical guitars....and I started hounding my parents to let me have one. There was one that had a serious bump on the bout which the teacher was 'letting go for $50'. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when they finally gave me the money for it....I think that was my Christmas and Birthday present for many years....

My first time on stage (yep, with that guitar), was a Talent Show at school. I am naturally shy. I don't know why I ever thought I could get on that stage and sing in front of an audience when I couldn't even speak up in class. I walked on to the stage with my guitar, looked out at the audience and froze. I tried to play, but could not....I couldn't do anything. They had to come out and get me....I was horrified.

My best friend was the musical child prodigy, and of course, everything I did got compared to what she did....and was found lacking. I decided that the best thing I could do as far as music was concerned was listen to others....but the desire to MAKE it never left me.

I raised a family and worked full time and finally went to school for my masters degree. When my degree was completed, and my family grown, I found myself with time to fill and once again picked up a guitar. I found a teacher who listened to my tale of woe and my fears that I didn't have a musical bone in my body and he said, 'Can you hear songs in your head with nothing playing?' Well, yeah.... 'Then we just have to get it out into your fingers'.

I think the most important lesson I learned from that man was that making music was hard work and had more to do with work than with 'talent'. So I worked. And he was right, I did learn.

I have since met lots of people who have encouraged me further....people who have helped me become a better singer, people who have played with me and taught me all kinds of things.

The second time I got up alone on a stage was a couple years ago. And you know what? The song I knew best left my mind, my hands and I stumbled through it and off the stage just about in tears. But I survived. And got up another day and did it again. This past summer, I provided the bulk of the music for a party by myself, even....and got lots of good feedback about it.

Most recently, I have tried my hand at songwriting, and you will find those efforts on these pages. I am recording straight into a computer without any 'fixing' of the result, so the quality of recording leaves something to be desired. But, you can hear the melody and the guitar and get a sense of what I do. I hope you enjoy what you hear.

And if you are just starting out, or not sure if you 'have it'...just keep moving ahead. If you love music, it will pay you back so much more than you put in....


Saturday, January 10, 2009

On a Saturday Night

Here I sit, alone on a Saturday Night. I wrote a song about the search to never be alone on a Saturday Night. But, surprisingly, on this very snowy Saturday Night, I feel good. The moon is full but I can not see it. The clouds prohibit it. But, thanks to Jenny and Jilly reminding me about the wonders of walking in the snow, I took a walk outside on this very snowy night. And that settled me with its beauty.

I remember walking in the snow up in Windham. Dylan, Mary and Me. A chill went up my spine when I realized that I am the only one left here on earth of that trilogy.....

My favorite times walking in Windham was when I walked with my sister's kids, Katrina and Nathan. They were young and full of the magic of new things.....and walking in the snow in the Catskill Mountains was something they had never before experienced...well, me neither....and it was magic. We would walk with a kerosene lamp designed for a barn. I still have that lamp, but not for long...left it in the rain and the rust is taking it. Too bad. Rust Never Sleeps.

When I did errands in town today, the streets were barren....but I soon found out why. Everybody was in Price Chopper or Shop Rite, getting ready for the storm. Increased my shopping time, but probably minimized my spending. That is good.

I thought that considering my driveway was solid ice, with snow expected, I should get some salt. But Price Chopper and the farm type store were all out. Had to go to the old discount/closeout store. I wonder if there really is salt in those bags???

You could tell that we were expecting a storm....people were all excited. When the guy brought my salt out to the car for me (yeah, I am getting that old, I guess), the snow had JUST STARTED to fall. We both said, Here It Comes!!!...as if we were looking forward to it.

A snowy night. I can stay home and be at peace....

I hung doors today in my livingroom. Ok, I REHUNG doors. Funny how doors that once fit, fit no more. But I had to pare down surfaces to get them to close....Obviously, that is why I put them there, so I had something to close. And I wanted them to close...without scraping all the paint off the jambs. They do, now. It gives a 'closed' feeling to my livingroom. I think I like it. They are white, like my walls used to be (remember nan and toni???....wow, you two were some of the first people ever here...and both of you left your marks in my house...how cool!!!!)The kitchen looks neat through the french doors...literally....neat. Much nicer than I know it is, like how anyones house looks so interesting and neat and wonderful through the window at night from the street......I like the french doors. I wonder if they are the original doors for this house.

This house was built in four sections, with the first part being the livingroom and bathroom and loft type room now. That is very tiny. Then the kitchen was added and finally the two tiny front rooms. Finally, what should be a heated porch was built, but because of no door it is actually the suction that keeps fresh air moving around the house endlessly (read 'draft'). They obviously ran out of money and maybe brains. The room needs to be removed....it is the newest part of the house, and the only part rotting off.....

Nope, tonight it is ok to be alone here, on a saturday night. Maybe i will go work on that song a little.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Jan 1st Musings

I just had a thought on this new years day and what better thing to do than put it on my blog....
my thought is---

I have to move ahead into IT
I so often hang outside right in front of it, with all good intentions to enter in.
But, the reality is, i spend more time getting ready- outside.
In this new year, I look to move ahead INTO THE THICK of IT.
Whatever IT happens to be at the moment.
Stand still, you turn to rust and dust (neil young said that, or something like that).

Have a happy new year to all my friends, even those i don't know, but who come here and read these pages....