Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

A few years ago I couldn't play the harmonica at all. Then my wife bought me a harmonica because she heard on a radio talk show that people play them when they're stuck in traffic, so I had it in the car but still rarely played it. Then I decided to write a song that would feature this instrument (it would be about a female virtuoso harmonica player who lives in the subway). I first wrote the lyrics, which took a long time to craft, with many re-writes. Then it took a long time before I found the chord progressions and melody that I wanted. Usually songs come to me pretty quickly (within hours) but this song took several weeks to develop. Part of the reason was that my harmonica skills were quite mediocre when I started so I had to greatly improve my playing ability before I could actually produce this song. Composing this song turned out to be a great motivator for practicing the harmonica. For those not familiar with harmonica terminology, both "harp" and "tin sandwich" refer to the harmonica and a "draw" involves bending notes by pulling air in (rather than blowing air out). There are two major types of harp: chromatic and diatonic. Chromatic harps have all 12 tones but it's difficult to bend notes. It's very difficult to get all notes to sound on a diatonic harp but bending notes is much easier, so I use diatonic harps. For this song I actually bound two harps together (one on top of the other - each one in a different key) and I switched back and forth rapidly between them while playing harmonica riffs.

Lyrics

MONICA HARMONICA Michael Dyer © 2009 Monica Harmonica, boy, can she blow. Her harp's so hot, seems to glow. Sought city highs but found subway lows. Gets by, playin' for passin' souls. Monica Harmonica's a bit bizarre. Blows smoke rings through brass reed bars. Sports dirty tattoos and wicked scars. Won't say "Hello", just "Au revoir." Monica Harmonica loves electronica, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and every Hanukkah Loves exotica and Antarctica, some Judaica, And all erotica. Eats tin sandwiches, ev'ry lunch. Munches tin, not just for brunch. Tin she serves up ev'ry night. Tin hors d'oeuvres, at first daylight. Wails on her harp; can draw in so flat. Wails on her harp; can draw in so sharp. Tongues each hole. Her lips do caress. Bends each reed. Her breath, Such finesse. Great harp sucker; her lips do pucker. Whether harps in a loft or under a tarp. Can blow it hard or suck it soft. A sweet-talkin', love-stalkin', Punk-rockin' jock. Street-walkin', drug-hawkin', mind-shockin' babe. Snake's her moniker, ever since that day, I kissed her sister, so guess I gotta pay. Monica, my Monica, now blows me away. Monica, my Monica, blows me away. Monica Harmonica, boy, Can she play.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

This new song was inspired by a guitar chord sequence I discovered, which is: Em G A7 A# A7 Em7add4. I was considering the cold/temperature-sense of the word "blue" and that is I how came up with the title. In most blues songs the person is down on their luck but I wanted this song to also reveal the reason why this might be the case. Here, the singer's girl has left him, but it's his own fault, because he's chosen a life of crime.

Lyrics

TURNIN' ME BLUE Michael Dyer © 2009 Babe, I've got it made, so why rock the boat? Hit a liquor store today. Can buy ya pearls and fur coats. Babe, why ya gotta leave? When it's all there to take? You're makin' me grieve, When ya say it's a mistake. Life of crime's a thrill, But you're layin' on some heavy chill. You're so cold and that's so new. You're turnin' me blue. Babe, you're turnin' me blue. Babe, you're turnin' me blue. After all we've been thru, To feel ice cold and blue. Got no peace of mind. In such a bind. There's a fork in my road: Life of pork roast, speed and gold, Or a poor's man's heavy load. I'd be gettin' bought and sold. Stay now. Don't ya leave. Don't ya make me grieve. Don't throw harsh chills, on my new life of thrills. You're so cold. Makes me feel old. Cold wind blows right thru, my bare skin and bones. Turnin' me so blue; turnin' me to stone. Cold wind blows right thru, Turnin' me so blue. O-oh yea.

Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

I felt I could improve my folk song "All in Good Time" by making it more bluesy. (The folk version appears on my first CD: Nothing Seems Like What It Seems.) The blues rearrangement required substantially altering the melody (which includes a key shift). The lyrics were altered also, but just a bit.

Lyrics

ALL-IN-GOOD-TIME BLUES Michael Dyer © 2009 (Derived from Dyer's song "All In Good Time" © 2006) All in good time, our toys must unwind, Leavin’ behind, all we defined, As wealth, Along with our health. We’ve heaped up a bundle, but it’s all, All gonna crumble. All in good time, our ploys must unwind, Leavin’ behind, all we defined, As truth, The end of our youth. Memories have fled, left little, Little instead. All in good time, our joys must unwind, Leavin’ behind, all we defined, As love, The ones we think of. We’re tryin’ to buy, a smile, A smile and a sigh. A smile and a sigh. A smile and a sigh. All in good time, our dreams must unwind, Leavin’ behind, all we defined, As hope, We've had enough rope, To hang ourselves high. Now we’re left, High and dry. Left high, high and dry. Left high, high and dry. All in good time, our clocks must unwind, Leavin’ behind, all we defined, As life, The end of our strife. Been grubbin' ahead, instead, Of flyin’. Instead of flyin'. Oh, oh. Instead of flyin'. Oh, oh.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

I composed both the music and the lyrics to this new song on a very hot spring night. I was tossing and turning in bed and could not sleep because there was a Santa Ana heat spell. The air was so still and oppressive and since I couldn't sleep I decided to write a song about how I was feeling at that moment.

Lyrics

EXHAUSTION Michael Dyer © 2009 I lie awake in the naked night. Can't sleep in spite of, Exhaustion. My body burns. My heart just yearns, twists and turns, in Exhaustion. My skin sheds tears as my eyes are seared, With shimmering sight, in the black of night. Visions of you, I must pursue. My soul now aches, with Exhaustion. Your eyes glow in, the shadows and sin. Your hair blows in, the dark night wind. Your breasts now rise as your lips now sigh. Your arms stretch high in the starless sky. Oh, reach out to me. Reach out to me, With your spells of sweet, sweet sorcery. Oh, Exhaustion. Can no longer see; only feel the bed; just sheets instead, in Exhaustion. Your warm, soft skin. Where has it been? Oh, the state I'm in, of Exhaustion. I'm so bewitched, in a fever pitch. Toss and turn. Burn and yearn, For your wicked charms, a love that harms. In the blacken heat, your scent, so sweet, But you're not there. Just hot night air. Like your flowing hair, in Exhaustion. I hope out there, somewhere you care. I stare and stare, through the black night air, in Exhaustion.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

I was thinking of Janis Joplin (who could really sing the blues) and that inspired me to write this blues song, which is meant to be belted out "nice 'n' slow" and with bluesy vocal improvisations.

Lyrics

PHYSICAL WOMAN Michael Dyer © 2009 Gotta tell ya somethin' woman. Gotta tell ya right now. Ya say you're attracted to, Some egghead man. Some intellectual who, Claims a high I. Q. But what can his incorporeal mind really do? With a physical woman, Oh, such a physical, Physical woman, yeah, such a physical, Physical woman, like you? Like you, like you. He can, no way, give ya a good, hard-lovin' time. With his insubstantial, immaterial mind. His soft brain won't never, ever, Drive you insane, The way my body I can, 'Cause you're a physical woman who demands, A physical, a real physical, man. Physical man. Ya say he's educated and so very polite. But he won't educate you, The way I can do, tonight. In spite of his outta-sight, high, high I. Q. Ya don't want a soft, egghead in your bed. Need a man strong and firm. Not some outta-breath little worm. Need someone who can, Can lift and can shove, In the ways of love. The ways, the ways of love. The ways, the ways of love. You're a physical woman. Ya need and demand, A physical woman, Needs and demands, A real, physical man, physical man. You're my physical woman!
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

This is a more bluesy rearrangement of my song "Young Old Man" which appeared originally in my first CD: Nothing Seems Like What It Seems.

Lyrics

YOUNG-OLD-MAN BLUES Michael Dyer © 2009 (Derived from Dyer's song "Young Old Man" © 2006) In a morning's misty dawn, a young man hears a song. A distant, A distant song. Her voice, so soft and pure. But then, But then it’s gone. He knows, she may not come again, So he hurries, at all cost. Be sure to find her, Before his love is lost. That young man, he’s filled with longing. He knows that by belonging, He’ll find bliss, Oh, with the morning mist. In an ev'nin's twilight hour, an old man views a flower, One fadin' flower. He’s waitin' for its death to come, With the settin', Oh, with the settin' sun. He knows, that tomorrow, new ones, Will appear, As they do, Oh, year after year. But a melancholy still lingers, He touches that dyin' flower with dyin' fingers, 'Cause it's lost, Oh, it's lost forever. That old man, he's filled with sorrow. Oh will he ever see tomorrow? Oh, his love is done, is done, is done. With the settin', Oh, with the settin' sun.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

My original song ("The Trek") has a mystical kind of sound to it. This blues version has a completely different melody and underlying chord structure. The lyrics tell the same story but have been altered to fit the new meter of what is now a blues song.

Lyrics

GHOST-TREK BLUES Michael Dyer © 2009 (Derived from Dyer's song "The Trek" © 2006) A caravan of oxen lumber, slowly near where I have slumbered. This mornin’s semi-languid pace, Has encumbered my disgrace. As the crust my sore eyes hold in, opens, iron bells do toll in, Ruins to seek my soul in, Hell-holes of whisperin' sin. Many days in lonely mountains. Rain-trekked paths the only sounds, In my head of voices dead: Companions lost, long ago. As I stand my hopes gather; wail and kneel but it doesn’t matter, Dreams runnin' pitter-patter. Seek the blest, but find no rest. Can the mystic nymph of laughter, Hold back the now and here-after? Can the priestess, with a kiss, Release me from this abyss? Can the ancient sage’s vision, come to one when one’s of age? And the grave with death's derision, Let me go? I gotta know. Many days in lonely mountains. Rain-trekked paths the only sounds, In my head of voices dead: Companions lost, long ago.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

This is a rearrangement of my song "Full Of If" which appeared on my CD: Nothing Seems Like What It Seems. I have altered both the lyrics and the melody extensively, in order to make it more bluesy and also to make the sentiment somewhat different from the original.

Lyrics

FULL-OF-IT BLUES Michael Dyer © 2009 (Derived from Dyer's song "Full of It" © 2006) Ya swore me a love that would never quit. How can ya be so, full of it? Oh yeah. You swore we'd, together, make one big hit. In retrospect I suspect you were full of it. Oh yeah. I deserve better from ya, Baby. Why ya gotta throw such fits? Why you're actin' so damn, full of it? I thought ya had courage and grit. But now ya wanna quit on me, Baby. Oh yeah. I thought ya had passion and wit. But you're bein' so, full of it. Oh yeah. I deserve better from ya, Baby. Why ya gotta throw such fits? Why act so damn, full of it? Ya claimed you'd do, but ya gripe and sit. Looks to me like you're full of it. Oh yeah. You claimed you’d make our bodies fit. But I fear it's clear. You're jus' full of it. Oh yeah. I deserve better from ya, Baby. Why ya gotta throw such fits? Why act so damn, full of it? Ya swore me a love that would never quit. How can ya be so, full of it? Oh yeah!
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

We all have our own private demons that torment us. I was quite depressed when I wrote this song. Expressing my state of mind in words and music helped me feel better. I think that playing the guitar and composing songs is great therapy.

Lyrics

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT Michael Dyer © 2009 My demons torment me. Make me deny who I am, Nothing's ever meant to be. All my lies belie a stained pedigree. Can't escape, not really, 'Cause I'm stuck with me. Just myself to blame. What a pain. And hidden in plain sight, the height, Of absurdity. Of absurdity. My demons torment me. Won't relent. Ever present. Hell bent on a reckless road. Deep ruts worn in. My guts corrode. Can't scrape me off the pavement. Can't escape my self-enslavement. That hellish scent. Their foul intent. And hidden in plain sight, the height, Of absurdity, Of absurdity. My demons torment me. Why can't I circumvent me? Why do I resent me? Can't ever go where I never went. Each moment singes the cracked cement. Consoled, each time, I remind my mind: These demons are just mine. These demons are just mine! And hidden in plain sight, the height, Of absurdity. Of absurdity.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

"Lost Cause" was one of the first songs I ever wrote (many years ago, but I never played it publicly and I didn't copyright it until 2006, just before it came out on my second CD: Our Unwinding Time). Recently, I began playing this song in a less folksy and more laid-back, bluesy manner (and with a key shift). My mother-in-law had said that some of my songs are "too wordy" so I cut out over 20 words from the lyrics of the folk version and also changed a few other words here and there.

Lyrics

LOST-CAUSE BLUES Michael Dyer © 2009 (Derived from Dyer's song "Lost Cause" © 2006) Our bodies risin', but our dreams fallin' down. Not surprisin', seein' as that’s where we’re bound. Y' wanted me to, be your answer. Wanted me for, your sole enhancer. But I can’t be, what I’ve never been. When I now see, what I never was. It’s a lost cause. Lost cause, hmmm. Clouds are risin', but the sun lays low. Not surprising', seein' as it’s time to go, Our separate ways. Nothin' stays, Quite the same. No one to blame. But a burned-out flame. Ya can’t be lovers, When ya don’t love the soul, Of one you never, took the time to know. Wanted to find love. What can I say? Took a chance. Didn’t go our way. Can’t remain. Can’t keep playing games. Oh what time does. What never was. It’s a lost cause. Lost cause, hmmm. My body’s risin', but my mind is on the lam. Not surprisin', seein' as that’s where I am. Y' wanted me to, be your answer. Wanted me for, your soul enhancer. But I can’t be, what I’ve never been. When I now see, what I never was. It‘s a lost cause. Lost cause, hmmm.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

The day before I wrote this new song I had been playing around with diminished chords on the guitar. Diminished chords are unique because there are only 4 possible ones (unlike other chords, for which there are twelve possibilities. For example, there are 12 major chords and 12 minor chords). As a result of there being only four, the diminished chords make great transitional chords – one can move from one chord to practically any other chord just by inserting a diminished chord. They also almost always sound bluesy (or jazzy), so playing them made me think of writing a blues song. But I had no musical instrument nearby, so I decided to write the lyrics for a to-be-composed-later blues song. I thought of how "blues" could also refer to a color and that gave me the idea of having a blues song that would mention many other colors (and so this song has the colors: red, green, sapphire, orange, black, white, magenta, tan, gray, brown, gold and silver). But if the person is "blue" then they are depressed, probably because they no longer get to see those other colors. Loss of access to colors could happen in prison. Once I had this core idea, the lyrics kind of wrote themselves within just a few hours. I then came up with a bluesy melody and only later found chords to match that melody.

Lyrics

NO-HOLDS BARRED BLUES Michael Dyer © 2009 Ain't got no red wine, Ain't got no green grass. Ain't got no sapphire sun. Just an orange jumpsuit outcast. Know what I got? The Stripe City blues. A black-barred, cell-in-hell, Upstate, No-holds barred blues. Ain't got no white wine. No magenta flowers. Ain't got no tan shoes. Just passing them gray hours. Know what I got? The Slammer blues. A black-barred, cell-in-hell, The Big House, No-holds barred blues. Ain't got no silver coin. Ain't got no golden ring. No pink tenderloin. Just rust-brown self-loathing. Know what I got? The lock-down blues. A black-barred, cell-in-hell, Stay-in-solitaire-when-you-dare, No-holds barred blues. No-holds barred blues. Ain't got no saffron rice. No ocher or chartreuse soap. Just a colorless life, With no rainbow. No hope. Know what I got? The correctional blues. A black-barred, cell-in-hell, Maximum, No-holds barred blues. No-holds barred blues.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

This is an instrumental piece, so the title is somewhat arbitrary. It came about because, the night I started composing it, I saw raccoons in my back yard. The violin-like sound is me playing a synth keyboard. I also play bottleneck steel guitar, nylon acoustic guitar, electric bass and both D & E diatonic harmonicas in this piece.

Lyrics

No lyrics (since is instrumental piece).
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

This song appeared earlier in my CD: Butterfly's Release. Since it is a blues song, I decided to include it here. It's in a different key here and has a different arrangement but the lyrics are the same.

Lyrics

TAR PAPER BLUES Michael Dyer © 2007 Got the blues, tar paper blues. No daylight hues to these blues, dark tar paper blues, Just pitch-black, midnight, no-light-in-sight, Tar paper blues. My baby done quit on me. She's gone an' split on me. My baby done quit on me. She's gone an' split. Thought we were twos, but love's gotta lose, Thought we were paired. Now she's nowhere. She jus' can't take no more, Bein' so poor. Racked my back liftin' stones, now I'm laid out on the floor. Racked my back an' my bones, now I'm laid out on the floor. So much I lack, 'cause I can't work no more. Floor's cold and hard, unforgivin' as sin. Floor's cold and hard, unforgivin' as sin. Door's cracked and barred, No way to be livin'. Roof's cavin' in, on my tar paper shack. Roof's cavin' in, on my tar paper shack. Cut me some slack. All I lack. Got no knack for livin'. Guess I ain't got no knack, For livin'. My baby done split. She's called it quits. I'm at my wits, wits end, with no money to spend. Can't even manage to sit. Gotta lie down an' take it. My playin' cards, I fold. My queen of hearts is cold. My furniture, sold, an' no one to hold. Got the blues, tar paper blues. No daylight hues to these blues, dark tar paper blues, Just pitch-black, midnight, no-light-in-sight, Tar paper blues.
Michael Dyer
0000-00-00

Story

My brother likes country music and had told me that I should try my hand at composing country songs. Also, I have a beautiful friend who lives in S. Carolina, so both these facts influenced me in attempting my very first (and so far, only) country song. Since country music is related to blues, I decided to include it in this album.

Lyrics

FIRST-TIME COUNTRY SONG Michael Dyer © 2009 She likes country more, than even her malt liquor. So I'm tryin' to compose, God only knows, A simple country song, that sticks like liquorice, For my sweet, soft, southern dish. This northern urbanite, usually just writes, Folk-rock songs or blues, but now I wanna delight, My darlin' southern belle, with country-rock or -lite. Least-ways, for a spell. So this northern man's gotta try his hand, At a first-time country song, For a one-man, country band. Up north you can hear, just about what you please. The Bee Gees, even some, Mariachis. And Gretchen Wilson or the Dixie Chicks. You got all your picks. So I think it's time to try my hand, At a first-time country song, For a one-man, country band. And for my sweet, malt-liquor drinkin', Southern woman.

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