Archive for June, 2007

Be My Elton, Part 2

June 22, 2007

Here’s a new song for all you tunesmiths to tackle. Have fun!

“Angel of Father’s Day”

lyrics by Hank Stewart
© 2007

You never know when the phone will ring,
Or when you really say goodbye.
Bolts of lightning don’t announce themselves,
Or give you a place to hide.

A day’s a very fragile thing.
It can turn dark very quickly.
Eyes blink and stones fly.
Even the strongest become sickly.

All that I hold dear to me.
Dangled right in front of me.
The greatest gifts you seldom see.
All that I hold dear to me.

I thank God you’re still here with me,
That you got up and walked away.
The angel you kept on your shoulder
Carried you into Father’s Day.

We talk about lessons learned,
And things you should never forget.
But there’s plenty here to go around.
Thoughts I wish I hadn’t met.


What if’s flood my brain.
Drive me far from sane.
I’ve been spared the pain,
But scared the same.
It’s only in retrospect
That I can truly see
How close your hand got
To the flame.

If a fortune’s found in fortune,
And the currency is luck,
Then I’m a wealthy man today,
Driving slowly in an armored truck.



Be My Elton (a disclaimer)

June 19, 2007

Don’t read too much into these lyrics. I often write from the point of view of a fictional character. My marriage isn’t ending, and you don’t talk on the phone too much.

Be My Elton (not like that)

June 16, 2007

Bernie Taupin and Elton John are a tremendously successful songwriting team, though they work in a rather unorthodox manner. Bernie writes the lyrics, then sends them to Elton who puts them to music. The two never interact.

I’d like to try a similar arrangement. I’ll post some lyrics here on this blog, and you to set them to music. Anyone and everyone is welcome. In fact, I can’t think of any reason why there can’t be multiple musical versions of the same lyrics (if there actually is some reason this can’t happen, please let me know).

I’m going to start with the lyrics to two songs (I’ll post more in the future). Feel free to take minor liberties with them to make them work melodically. Once you’ve got something, let me know either by leaving a comment here, or emailing me at Feel free to pass this link on to any of your musically oriented friends–the more, the merrier!

Taupin and John. Rogers and Hammerstein. Loesser and Lowe. Jagger and Richards. McCartney and Lennon. You and me? Hey, you never know.

Here are the first two songs:

“Degree of Finish”

lyrics by Hank Stewart
© 2007

What happens when the varnish wears thin?
How does it feel when the rust creeps in?
I’m seeing through your thin veneer,
And the message is clear,
Our degree of finish is drawing near.

Your polish and sophistication,
No longer tools of bright flirtation.
The sheen no longer holds its gloss,
Reflecting only pain and loss.
Our degree of finish extracts its final cost.

It was only superficial,
The pledge you made to me.
A coffee table book of love,
Strictly meant for company.

Our love was only skin deep.
Not a difficult promise to keep.
Scratch the surface, and get only a splinter.
The emotional stamina of a sprinter.
A few days of fall before a cold, dark winter.

It was only superficial,
The pledge you made to me.
A coffee table book of love,
Strictly meant for company.


“Wireless Puppet”

lyrics by Hank Stewart
© 2007

You’re a prisoner of your own mobility.
Can’t break away from your cell.
An exercise in futility,
And those who wish you well.

Wireless puppet,
Dancing without a string.
Wireless puppet.
Always the latest thing.

Downtown cabs and crosstown buses.
Laughter all around the town.
Spilled martinis and big hair musses.
A smoker’s voice that sounds profound.

Wireless puppet,
Dancing without a string.
Wireless puppet.
Always waiting for a ring.

Another coat check, another smile.
Lipstick smeared across the miles.
Conversation turns hard and terse.
Can you throw this thing into reverse?

One more call to find salvation.
Before the dawn finds you alone.
Voicemails open to interpretation.
A China doll saved by the ringtone.

Wireless puppet,
Dancing without a string.
Wireless puppet.
The play is not the thing.

Prom Drama, Part 2

June 11, 2007

A lot of people (okay, a couple of people) have asked me about the outcome of the prom situation. Well, B.’s involvement with the Prom Weekend Jersey Shore Hormonal Bacchanal ended just as the universe is supposed to–with a whimper, not a bang.

After all of B’s life-or-death pleadings to attend this affair, I never heard another word about it. It just went away. Poof! I thought about the topic from time to time, but I never brought it up with B. Why stir the hornets’ nest?

Thing of it is, I never actually said no. I just told B. that before I would grant him permission to attend, I’d have to speak to a responsible adult. Apparently, this was just too high a price to pay.

The prom was this past weekend, and I haven’t heard any national news reports regarding teenage disaster at the Jersey Shore, so I suppose the affair went off without incident. B.’s friend S. attended, and he was home last night, though God knows how much worse for wear. B.’s female friend A. did not attend, and because I know her parents, she was one of the leveraging points B. used to make his argument.

B.’s prom is this Friday night. Five days away, and to the best of my knowledge, B. does not have a date. Not that this is the end of the world. Apparently, quite a few students go sans dates. I find that a bit strange, but I’ve learned not to apply my antiquarian values toward today’s youth. Though I still think I was right about this whole Jersey Shore business.