The River's Badge

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Singer-Songwriter Series


I am fascinated by good songwriters, although, alas, I am not one. I'm not even sure I want to be one, at this point. A songwriter, I mean. I didn't mean that I wouldn't want to be a good songwriter. That would just be dumb.

I have thought about what makes a good songwriter.

And I believe the answer is.....nothing.

I know this will fly in the face of all those people who want you to part with your money; you know, to become a good songwriter. I have probably single-handedly just killed off a bunch of new start-ups, but c'mon; really. You know, Hank Williams didn't go to "songwriting school".

I think either you have it or you don't.

Oh, I'm not saying you can't get better. My theory is, one can get better at pretty much anything, except math.

But "better" is a far cry from "good".

So, my criteria for what makes a good songwriter are these:

1. Intelligence (both lyrical and melodic)
2. Having something to say (surprise!)

Okay, that about sums it up.

Therefore, I tonight begin my series, "The Singer-Songwriter". This is not to snub the non-singing songwriters, but let's face it.....Unless you're a celebrity, you really don't matter (ha).

No, I may at some point feature some non-singing songwriters. In fact, I'm sure I will. And I'm not really sure which category Kris Kristofferson belongs in (I'm just teasing Kris).

And I'm going with my favorites, because this is my blog, and thus, my prerogative.

So, Singer-Songwriter #1 is Don Henley.

It's quite an honor, I know, Don, to be the debuting star of this series, and I'm sure you'll just be all crabby about it, and think it's part of some conspiracy, and wonder where your share of the earnings are, but really it's an honor just to be nominated. Isn't it?

(Okay, let's get this out of way right now: Don is not making it easy for me to feature him, because the Eagles notoriously do not make their videso available online. Therefore, we're going with the bootlegs and other assorted things that I can find. Thanks, Don.)


But let's start where we should start, shall we?


The Eagles - Tequila Sunrise (Live 2008) by goldrausch


Hotel California- The Eagles by dream_ks


The Eagles - Desperado (Live) by cavapanon


The Eagles - I Can't Tell You Why Live by rvdgu2006

My favorite, and I apologize for the poor video quality:






The Eagles - New Kid In Town (Live) HQ by goldrausch


Eagles-Take It to the Limit-Houston 1976 by hansonataint

My new theme song!....




No performance video of this, but let's talk about cutting right to the heart of the matter (yea, I get the irony of what I just said):



We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde
Comes on at 5
She can tell you about the plane crash
With a gleam in her eye
It's interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry


(c) Don Henley







Remember when the days were long
And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn’t have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
When happily ever after fails
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers dwell on small details
Since daddy had to fly
But I know a place where we can go
That’s still untouched by man
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
You can lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
But now those skies are threatening
They’re beating plowshares into swords
For this tired old man that we elected king
Armchair warriors often fail
And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
The lawyers clean up all details
Since daddy had to lie
But I know a place where we can go
And was away this sin
We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by
And the tall grass wave in the wind
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair spill all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence
Who knows how long this will last
Now we’ve come so far, so fast
But, somewhere back there in the dust
That same small town in each of us
I need to remember this
So baby give me just one kiss
And let me take a long last look
Before we say good bye
Just lay your head back on the ground
And let your hair fall all around me
Offer up your best defense
But this is the end
This is the end of the innocence

(c) Don Henley

Listen and learn, wannabe songwriters. This is your competition.

Regardless of what the Dude says, I love the Eagles. And Don Henley. A good choice, if I do say so myself, for the first featured singer-songwriter in my series.

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