This is my favorite
photo of Pete and Maura Kennedy (www.kennedysmusic.com). I
took it at the 2004 Summer Acoustic Music Week. They have been
wonderful and inspiring teachers. For a full resolution (2.2Meg)
version of the photo, click here.
This page contains
some of the newest songs that I have written and roughly
I've got some catching up to do with songs I wrote, or finished, in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
'Twas the Night Before ROM (2013). This is a parody of "Twas the Night before Christman" and is another trubute to Neal and the ROMulins.
Selfie From Heaven (2013).
Date an Atheist (2013).
Drone Force Song (2013). This is a parody of "Wild Blue Yonder", the Air Force song. Here's a link to the official video.
Friends (2013). After 40 years of marriage it's about time that I wrote a song for my wife. Well here is the recording of "Friends" at SAMW in August 2014. The excellent dynamics is courtesy of The Kennedys performance class. Here's the video of a performance at ROM.
Proud to be a ROMulin. (2013). Recorded live at ROM. This is a tribute to Neal and the Rest of the ROMulins.
Southeast Passage (2013). This was performed "accapulco" at the 2014 Summer Acoustic Music Week. Here's the recording.
Boston Strong. (2013). Recorded for the Boston Strong Benefit CD.
Ellen Schmidt--the Godmother of Folk. (2013).
The Path That I'm Not On. (2013).
Neal on the Run. (2013). This is a tribute to Neal Braverman, and, of course, a parody of Paul McCartney's "Band on the Run".
You and I (for Jerry Wasserman). (2013).
Plymouth Rock. (2011).
Little Fish. (2012).
Follow the Heart. (2013).
Patience is a Virtue. (2004, but finished in 2013).
Three Ghosts. (2008).
Merrymount at Rest. (2009)
Sperm Dad (But is this love?). (2010).
Climate Change is People My Friend. (2012).
New Shotgun Blues. (2013).
Barbie Ellen. (2002).
Zingers and Sound Bites and Lies. (2012).
Neponset River Eels. On my "Boston Harbor" CD. (2012).
Watching the Elections is, of course, a parody of the Elvis Costello song, "Watching the Detectives". (2011).
Back in the Day of Whitey is totally fiction. I have to say this so that Whitey Bulger won't have someone whack me. On my "Boston Harbor" CD.
My Kitty's On Prozac was a collaborative effort. The original set of lyrics were by Ilene Springer and the chord progression was by Barry Spiro. I took the two and mushed them together, writing some additional lyrics to make it work. Ilene's kitty is Sophie, and some of her story is true, but the rest is fiction. This recording is with Ken Porter. There's also a video of a different performance.
Green Team was written for a
bridal shower at work for Kristen (LaChance) Figura, to the tune of "Green
Green". Kristen works on the Green Team.
Delaney's Reel is a tune
that got stuck in my head. I had to record it so I could move on.
for Jen and Kevin's wedding shower. lyrics.
Barry's Smile for
Barry Spiro's 60th Birthday. lyrics.
Fired Up! I'm calling this a co-write
with Edith Childs and Barack Obama. This is a real rough
WISH YOU WOULD STOP
SINGING. Joined by Kathy
Danielson and Tom Maynard, I honored the SAMW community with a
parody of "How Can I Keep From Singing", which I learned years back
from Pete Seeger. I was blessed that the audience was willing to not
refrain from singing the refrain. Here's a recording and the lyrics.
The Song Goes On
Forever--a real rough recording of a very new song using
Drill Baby Drill. This was
inspired by the 2008 Republican National Convention. Kind of makes
me want the gas prices to go up again.
You Cannot Control the Wind. A
real rough recording. This was inspired by a plaque in Persy's
restaurant in Plymouth, MA.
To Sleep To Dream. This was
the second version of an attemp to write a "mostly chorus" song,
inspred by Cliff Eberhardt's "Your Face".
This song has been greatly improved by some
skillful editing by Noel Morris, so it's now a co-write. Thank you
Noel! Hopefully this song speaks for itself. It's an attempt to
connect with my Irish ancesters.
of Death (On the Evening News CD)This song began in the Penny Nichols
songwriting class at Week 2 SAMW 2007. It was inspired by a wrought
iron sculpture of two figures holding hands and their shadows on the
ground. It was made to raise money for the survivors of the Union
Carbide Bhopal, India disaster.
was directly inspired by a dream. So, thank you to The Kennedys for
helping me mine my dreams for song material. The band is courtesy of
"Band in a Box".
Chair (On the Evening News CD)This
song is an homage to the old wooden chair that disassembled beneath
me at breakfast at SAMW in August, and of course, to SAMW and all my
friends I've met there.
song goes out with a thank-you to The Kennedys. They helped me dream
and this song's title, chord progression, and song style (bluegrass)
came to me in a dream on 8/21/07. This rough recording is performed
by my friends at "Band in a Box", except for the vocal and mandolin.
I'm calling this a co-write with Bob Franke (www.bobfranke.com) and Pete and
Maura Kennedy (www.kennedysmusic.com)
because it takes some lyrics and thoughts from The
Kennedy's song "Stand", and sets it to the tune of Bob Franke's
"Thanksgiving Eve". It's a tribute to Pete and Maura, Bob, Dick
Pleasants, Bennett and Lorraine Hammond, all the SAMW instructors,
students, and my music friends. The recording is from Week 2 of SAMW
This is very rough. It is inspired by a
Harriet Tubman quote. I'm posting it here as part of the
This was written for MF Daisy (www.SalonSunday.com) on the
occasion of the final Salon Sunday. MF has had a significant impact
on my music the last few years.
This was written for Bill Andruchow's
retirement party, It really captures his style. We will
Another Knock on the
Door (On the Evening News CD)Hopefully this song needs no
explanation. It was inspired by a story on NPR.
The following songs were inspired, or
finished up, during a song-writing class with Pete and Maura
I have yet to pull off a lucid dream. But at
least I got this song from the process of attempting to dream
Co-write with Maura Kennedy. This was inspired by a dream
that Maura Kennedy had. Then I came up with a lot of the song during
a directed meditation that Maura led. The phrase “resisting a cough”
came from Maura’s dream.
This was such a powerful title that it took two
tries to come up with a song that had a hope of living up to the
Inspired by a story Chris Pahud told me about
his daughter Emily and how she was sewing to put herself through
New "studio" version,
recorded March 2007.
(Recorded at the
August 2006 Summer Acoustic Music Week with "two Johns"...John Kirk
and Jack Murray.)