Be Kind!

https://music.apple.com/ca/album/rockheads-paradise/1631413918


Walking in the park on a sunny day
Remembering the days gone by
Thinking ‘bout all the things that I have done
And want to do before I die

I’m living on borrowed time
I’m walking on hallowed ground
Reflecting on this life of mine
Reflecting on these truths I’ve found

Be steady, Lend an ear, be ready,stay near,
Be kind, be gentle, be loving, be true
...I love you

You’re love. Yes, you are love
Your love is all we need

I’m love. Yes, I am love
My love is all you need

We’re love Yes, we are love
Our love is all we need


Getting exercise by walking in the park gives me time to reflect on what I am grateful for and what I have learned so far as we journey around the sun. I was not happy with my drum track so I hired my friend,  master drummer John McColgan to record a drum track to my tracks remotely from his studio. His playing elevated this track considerably. 

The difference between you're love and your love is deliberate. Not preaching, just suggesting that love is the answer.

That’s Odd

https://music.apple.com/us/album/first-love/1631642162

I don’t often listen to my own recordings, but sometimes they come up if one of my ipods is on shuffle. This one came up several days ago. I can’t believe that this song is pushing 30!!!! I was very influenced at the time by artists like Michael Brecker, John Abercrombie, and The Crusaders. I was a new father and happy in my daytime career which at the time was providing music therapy for children with Autism.

The album almost didn’t get made because I had many reasons not to but my older brother convinced me to make a list with him of pros and cons and lo and behold the pros won. It required borrowing money and taking much time away from my daddy duties and being tired much of the time. The record actually was profitable after about three months and was instrumental (pun intended) in getting me more gigs.

This tune is kind of interesting in that it is an 11 bar blues (hence the title “That’s Odd”). Blues form is usually twelve bars. It is Jazz music in a Reggae style within a Blues form. I hit three major stylistic influences in one shot. In 1995 I was a “straight into the amp” kind of guy. If I were to do this today, I might add a bit of delay and/or chorus between me and the amp. I think I might also write a lyric and make it a song and not merely an instrumental.

The Tenor sax player is Chris Savage, the Alto is Maurice Soudre, my buddies Jon Rehder and Charlie Guerin on Bass and piano respectively and Jeff Simons was the drummer. I was happy to have such sympathetic and supportive musicians for the project and am thankful that they helped me realize this record which was my dream.

Brave New World

https://music.apple.com/ca/album/rockheads-paradise/1631413918

Some days my observations and the world news is just too much and I just have to Rock! 

I may have been channeling Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues on this one. I like the cadences and the rhythm of the words and my wah wah pedal came out of mothballs. I put this on my album "Rockhead's Paradise" which is a bar I used to hang out at while I was studying Jazz at University.

1. Maggie picked a lotus blossom out of the pond
they bulldozed the farm, now everything is gone.
It’s a brave new world

2. Peter picked a pack of pickled peppers at the store
laid 'em in the aisle and went back for more
in the brave new world

3. Looking in the future, looking in the past 
looking in the mirror, nothing’s gonna last
Into the brave new world

4. You listen to the music but you only hear the notes.
The meaning flew right past you like the Holy Ghost
But it’s a brand new world

5. Everyone’s distracted, nobody gets bored
They all play the game but no one knows the score
In this brand new world

6. Picked up a newspaper out of the blue 
I wanted to see if there was something I could do
in this brave new world

6. Another dike has breached, the water’s rushing in
The only option left is if I sink or swim
into the brave new world

7. Onomatopoeia is a word you oughta know
crash bang boom baby look out below
in this brand new world

8. Another dike is breeched and the water's rushing in
the only option left is sink or swim
to the brave new world

9. Loan shark, birch bark, better build another ark but
you embark, there’s no spark, leaves you sitting in the dark
in a brave new world

10. Big loans, cell phones, everybody’s on their own
Government is overthrown you leap into the unknown 
brave new world

11. been pissing in the snow, etching in the sand,
the writing’s on the wall, why can’t you understand  
in this brave new world

12. The climate’s changing fast, the earth has been condemned
Damn all those tornadoes ..Auntie Em … Auntie Em

Serenity

https://music.apple.com/us/album/serenity/1631277860?i=1631277865

I was meditating on gratitude and the words and melody for this song came together fairly quickly except the “serenity” part which came several days later.

I was playing what I had already while waiting for a class to arrive and just improvising the “chorus” when a kindergarten kid who had run ahead of her class burst into the room. This child was the exact opposite of her name. She could have been called “Precocious”, “Energetic”, “Dynamo”, “Calamity”…. but there she was …”Serenity” and I had the song finished. The kids all loved the chorus and sang along with me ah…….Serenity. One child asked why I wrote a song about Serenity and not her. “Julie” Lol.

I love the silence
It lets the music shine through
You love my music
It's my gift from me to you
From me to you......Serenity

I love the peace of knowing
You're here with me
Being here with me
And knowing that we are free
That we're free.........Serenity

Some battles can't be fought
Some treasures can't be bought
We've already been taught
What's right and what is not.......Serenity

We know our days are numbered
There's no time to waste
We've got to cherish every moment
Savour every taste
Every taste.........Serenity


How Come You Don’t Know My Heart?

https://music.apple.com/us/album/too-blue/1631555791

I played my mum a recording of a song I had written and her comment was "What's all that squeaky sound?"(when the left hand moves over round wound strings there is a bit of squelch) This obviously distracted her from the intention of my music. I was feeling misunderstood at the time anyway as my wife at the time was squeezing me into the corners so she could shine in the spotlight. 

Most people within minutes of meeting me have a pretty clear idea of who I am and what my passions are. I am a "What you see is what you get" kind of guy and yet these two people who should have known me intimately were blind (and deaf) to the changes and growth I was experiencing. Both of them had impressions of me based on either who I was or projected who they thought I should be and in the case of my wife, also projecting qualities on to me that were not mine and were based in her previous experiences with intimates who could not be trusted.

I am especially proud and thankful for the verse with the metaphoric imagery of me (my face) and a self winding watch back when watches were still a thing and some needed to be wound. The word play I love so much is evident if you pronounce the verb wound (ow sound)and the noun wound (oo sound)

I didn't release this song (or perform it) at the time because I thought there was still hope to salvage what we had, but ultimately it was hopeless. I think the song stands on it's own outside of my experience because we all know people who "just don't get us!"

How come you don’t know my heart?
What makes me tick, drives my art
Our time together we spent apart
How come you don’t know my heart?

How come you don’t know my soul?
You missed my pain, could not console
Couldn’t fill this gaping hole
How come you don’t know my soul?

It’s not your fault, you just added salt
To wounds already gaping
I fight the heat, deny, defeat
That’s why I should try escaping

How come you don’t know my heart?
What makes me tick, drives my art
Our time together we spent apart
How come you don’t know my heart?

I don’t hide my heart from my sleeve 
There’s only one of me to believe
So which one are you asking to leave
Say, what a wicked web we’ve weaved

The portrait of us together on picture day
Should look the same when we’re old and grey
You still shine but I’m fading away
Whose heart is it anyway?

It’s not your fault, you just added salt
To wounds already gaping
I fight the heat, deny, defeat
That’s why I should try escaping

How come you don’t know my heart?
What makes me tick, drives my art
Our time together we spent apart
How come you don’t know my heart?

You can read my face but don’t misread my mind
I don’t need to be re-defined
Watch me close and you will find
I’m the kind you never have to wind

I pour all my heart into my song
I know what’s right, I know what’s wrong
These lonely nights have gone on too long 
I’ve been in the tower all along

How come you don’t know my heart?
What makes me tick, drives my art
Our time together we spent apart
How come you don’t know my heart?

©2008 IGH


Disappearing

https://music.apple.com/us/album/too-blue/1631555791

This song is very personal. It was written in 2010 as I was struggling with a crumbling marriage, a mother being eroded by dementia and a career that was stalled by overworking and being underappreciated. Concurrently, one of my children was struggling to find herself and the other one was suffering from neglect.

The words came to me as I was wheeling my mum in her wheelchair to a park on a sunny Autumn day in Ottawa. I wrote it as she slept in the sun. 

At the time I felt that I was drowning and any personal serenity was unreachable and unattainable unless I started to swim. At that moment I stopped rationalizing away my situation. I knew my mum would die soon, my marriage needed to be ended and my girls needed more of their father and I needed to stop the hemorrhaging.

Later that day, the arpeggiated chord sequence and the melody just dropped into my brain and fingers making this one of the easiest songs I have ever written (if you don't count the years of overwhelming suffering that went into it).

The album "Too Blue" was written before, but released this year. The songs still ring true, but fortunately my life is no longer in such disarray.

Lyrics: 

Disappearing  Right before my eyes
A way of life Before I realize

      Something’s gotta give 'cause
      I want to live

Disappearing  Right before my eyes
Running from myself Cut me down to size

      Something’s gotta give I want to live

Disappearing Right before my eyes
Squeeze me out Something to despise

      Something’s gotta give I want to live

Disappearing  Right before my eyes
Running from the truth But all I see are lies

      Something’s gotta give I want to live

Disappearing  Right before my eyes
The change has got me 
Right between the eyes

        Copyright 2010. I.G.H.