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Archive for the ‘Words’ Category

Dear Friend

I wrote this song for my best friend from high school.  She moved away to the Southwest last fall and for her parting gift I penned this song hurriedly the afternoon before her going-away party.  I sang it that evening and promised I’d record it for her.  I’m finally getting to that part!  You can hear two recordings at the link below.

Dear Friend (for Tina)

Dear friend, though you travel far away
You will always be in my heart.
Dear friend, though your road leads you away,
In my life, you’ll always play a part.

When the days grow chill,
I’ll think of you still,
You in your southern abode.
And perhaps someday,
When my feet need to stray,
I’ll follow you down that road.

Dear friend, though you travel far away
You will always be in my heart.
Dear friend, though your road leads you away,
In my life, you’ll always play a part.

In your heart there is a calm you gave to me in loving touch.
In your heart there is a calm you gave to me in eye’s delight.
In your heart there is a child whose laughter is a youthful ring.
In your heart there is a child whose sweetness I keep in my sight.

Dear friend, though you travel far away
You will always be in my heart.
Dear friend, though your road leads you away,
In my life, you’ll always play a part.

 

 

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For a friend whose son recently lost his struggle with addiction, here is a song for a mother.

Waltz of the Dove

Oh Sad Dove, fly free!
Oh Sad Dove, fly free!
Free as the clouds, free as the breeze,
Free as the rain, free as the sea.

Free your Pains, free your Fears,
Free your Chains, free your Tears.
Free to feel, free to cry,
Free to say What is why.

Oh Sweet Dove, sail on!
Oh Sweet Dove, sail on!
On to the Stars, on to Wherever
You float on my Love forever

Your Truth is here, bound to my Heart,
Your Love is here, found in my Heart.
Sail to the Joy, sail to the Bright,
Sail to the Peace, sail to the Light.

Oh Sad Dove, fly free!
Oh Sweet Dove, sail on!
Free as the clouds, free as the breeze,
Free as the rain, free as the sea.

***

The music is here: https://soundcloud.com/janhapharp/waltz-of-the-dove

 

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Wishing You a Happy Holiday 2015

In 2013, I first wrote this holiday song. But I updated it today by changing the chorus and also made a new recording. Enjoy both!

I’m wishing you a happy holiday
I’m wishing you some light upon your way
I’m wishing you some love in all you say
And a very merry new year

They say it’s the season for tinsel and holly
They say it’s the season to ever be jolly
But sometimes I know
That it’s hard to find a place to go
But you’re never too young or too old
To be welcomed inside from the cold
So I’m hoping you’ll look to the light
Where love has opened doors in the night

I say it’s the season for giving out cheer
To those we call “strange” and those we call “dear”
But sometimes I see
That it’s hard to feel that free
But you’re never too young or too old
To open a door to the cold
So I’m hoping you’ll lighten your heart
And find a way to do your part

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I recently wrote this song based on the story of a dear friend and her adventurous life. She has lived as an anthropologist digging up bones in the midwest, down in Antarctica at the Research Station, in the Pacific managing a clean-up project on an atoll, and playing flute and singing too! I both envy and admire her spunk and intelligence and willingness to try her hand at the whole world. She now owns her own business and travels all over the world still. The recording you can hear on my SoundCloud was recorded live on June 7, 2015 at the Eliot Street Soirée Singer-Songwriter Jam.

Chorus:
Golden Bird, Shining bright,
Golden Bird, Flying free
Golden Bird, my Golden Girl,
Live your way every day.

Verse 1:
Digging old bones on the brown dry plain,
Bathing by ice at the bottommost sea,
Swimming with flim-flam in the blue mid-ocean,
Sleeping ‘neath auroras by an evergreen tree…

Verse 2:
Filling the air with fluted silver,
Leading the weary to a new way,
Trilling sweet sounds of crazy love,
Gliding boldly into each new day…

Bridge:
Wings beat ‘gainst a glassy sky,
Heart roared with a troubling cry,
Claws pushed off from a rotting tree,
Your bliss is only in flying free!

Verse 3:
I will not follow in your flight’s path:
My limbs are too languid for that pace.
I watch your feathers blaze in the sun
And sadly delight in your untamed gaze.

* * *

Here a live recording here:

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My response provoked by listening to the (sometimes vitriolic) dialog about the situation between Israel and Palestine.  My heart is sick at the loss of life and the seeming incapacity for some human beings to have empathy for other human beings.  You can hear the music at:

I am writing another version of this.  This one was written in 10 minutes on Thursday morning, July 31, 2014.

Provocation, Response.

Provocation. Response.
Provocation. Response.
Provocation. Response.

If you shout at me and I shout back,
Your ears will only hear the screaming.
If you shout at me and I reply in softness,
Your ears begin to hear the meaning.

I am a human being;
You are a human being;
We are both human beings.
We both bleed red.
We both cry blue.
In the mirror, you are my image.
Side by side, we are equals.

If I cage you into a corner,
Do you not cry out in anguish?
If I burn you with my iron fist,
Do you not strike back in fear?

An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye—
And we are all sightless.
A tooth for a tooth for a tooth for a tooth—
And we are all starving.

A yell is as good as a kick.
A shout is as good as a punch.
A whisper is as good as a handshake.
A song is as good as a door opening.

Shhh, listen. Shhh, listen. Shhh, listen. Shhh, listen.

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Turnabout

The world right now…as it ever was, with Israeli killing Palestinian and vice versa.  Yet, the whole issue is wrapped up in one side or the other denying the others’ humanity, and mostly one side with all the power denying the right of self-determination, the right to self-govern, and the right to be considered equal with full privileges.  I believe that we are all HUMAN BEINGS before we are any other thing.

Turnabout

Some think there is true left,
Some think there is true right.
Some think there is true wrong
Counteracted only by might.

Fate gives some a twist
When an alley brings a fist,
But such a turn with strife
May bring a turnabout in life.

Look behind the gun, the fist, the knife,
You will see countless generations rife
With toothless gums and blinded eyes,
With children’s cries and mothers’ sighs,

With peoples misused and women jeered
By private privilege abused or country’s coin revered.
When any one of us strips another of their spirit’s power,
Ugly destruction lies in the pain of a weapon’s shower:

Restoration’s beauty lies in the promise of forgiving–
And in allowing those different, those wounded, those troubled…
the loveliness of living.

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A wish of love and light this holiday season, have a listen and enjoy!  Janna

https://soundcloud.com/janhapharp/wishing-you-a-happy-holiday

Wishing you a happy holiday

I’m wishing you a happy holiday
I’m wishing you a happy holiday
I’m wishing you a happy holiday
And a very merry new year.

They say it’s the season for tinsel and holly.
They say it’s the season to ever be jolly.
But sometimes I know
That it’s hard to find a place to go.
But you’re never too young or too old
To be welcomed inside from the cold.
So I’m hoping you’ll look to the light
Where love has opened doors in the night.

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This is the song I’ve been trying to write about my mother, myself, and my daughter for a while now. Ten years ago, my favorite aunt and uncle, independently of each other, both confessed to me during holiday phone calls that my mother had been verbally and physically abused by her father. I always knew that my mother was “the black sheep” among her parents’ 11 children, so I was not surprised to hear this confession. I have performed this and have yet to record it. Remember as you read it, that my mother is Long Ago, I am Yesterday, and my daughter is Today. I am also the Supergirl who soared from rock to rock in the field behind the house we lived in when I was a young girl.

In the Backyard of Yesterday’s Dreams

In the backyard of Yesterday’s dreams,
Knowing she’s powerful and could never die,
Supergirl soars from one rock to another
Thinking “I can do anything and I can fly”,
And she’s just a little child.

Long-Ago Child cried at others’ pain,
Spoke out loud about things unseen,
A loud voice and a hard hand
Silenced the wondering and dammed in the dream,
Yet she’s just a little child.

Long-Ago Mother falls from a broken tree.
Long-Ago Mother speaks in kisses and screams.
Yet Yesterday’s Child finally gets to be free
for Long-Ago Mother fosters Yesterday’s dreams,
For she’s just a little child.

My visions take me to worlds in the stars.
My arms carry me as a winged lioness.
My voice commands both villains and victors.
I can do anything and I can fly, I can fly, I can fly…
And I’m just a little child, who is becoming a mother.

My breast a soft pillow under her head–
Poetry of the heart is a gentle beat.
For my own baby, no hurt, no dread.
Poetry of the heart is a smile so sweet,
For she’s just a little child.

Today’s Child has justified visions,
Speaks of healing the scratches from screams.
A soft voice and a tender touch
Welcomes her wondering and delights in her dreams,
For she’s just a little child.

In the backyard of Yesterday’s dreams,
Knowing she’s powerful and could never die,
Supergirl soars from one rock to another,
Thinking, “I can do anything and I can fly.”
And she’s just a little child.

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You Are The Comfort

This is a song about old tried-and-true love. About the comfort of warm arms that feel like home. This one is for the man I’m married to.

You Are The Comfort

My cheek has worn a dent in the crook of your arm
From where I lay beside you at night.
And your heart has set a melody in my soul
Written by your arms that hold me tight.

You are the comfort of my night.
You are the hello of my day.
You are the strength I keep in sight.
I am the love that’s here to stay.

Your arm has worn a dent in the small of my back
From where you hold me close in our bed.
And my kiss has sung a lullaby in your ear
From where my mouth breathes love upon your head.

You are the comfort of my night.
You are the hello of my day.
You are the strength I keep in sight.
I am the love that’s here to stay.

For the laughter of the years and the comfort through the tears
Have been our loving testament to life.
And I couldn’t let you down no matter what comes round
For you’ve been at my back through storm and strife.

My cheek has worn a dent in the crook of your arm
From where I lay beside you at night.
And your heart has set a melody in my soul
Written by your arms that hold me tight.

You are the comfort of my night.
You are the hello of my day.
You are the strength I keep in sight.
I am the love that’s here to stay.

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Boston is my hometown, in my homeland, and in my world, in the world we share with so many, whether at the time of the Boston Marathon, or any other day of the year.  If you have been affected by the bombing on April 15, 2013 at the Marathon and you need some healing, may this song help you. The Soundcloud link is below if you wish to listen.

5/15/13 I felt the need to add a third verse and change the chorus. I’ve given much thought to the fact that we need stronger networks that provide support for those in need, whether for those who become victims OR for those who become perpetrators–in other words, we need the networks to prevent the explosions. And this holds true whether it’s those who commit mass mayhem or those who are killing the disenfranchised one by one in our inner city. All of us need to be listened to, to be heard, to have a voice, to have someone notice us when we are down or downtrodden.

So, I have changed the chorus as well…I need to re-record this with the new verse and chorus. Will have to wait for a bit…hopefully within the next few days! In solidarity,

7/2/13

Went to a songwriters’ group in early June and after some good comments, I’ve made some more changes–still haven’t made a new recording

7/23/13

I’ve added an intro to the song. And I finally got to do a new recording.

This is my hometown…It’s the world’s hometown

On April fifteen of twenty-thirteen
Two blasts occurred in Boston.
Some people died and many were maimed
And we asked who’s to blame, in Boston.

And we were so mad and we felt so sad
Trapped in our homes in Boston.
And I sat down to write this song
To say what I feel in Boston…

This is my home town.
This is your home town.
And we’re all in this together.
This is our home town.
It’s the world’s home town.
And we’re all in this as one.

I can’t believe you’ve done this,
I can’t believe it at all.
There is no real good reason
To make this kind of call.
And all I’ll want to ask you,
If ever (I get the time.) YOU GET TO HEAR
Is why, why, why, and why?
(When there’s no reason or rhyme) .
YOU WANTED TO CAUSE US SUCH FEAR
For…

I can believe we’ll get through this,
Yes, I can believe that for sure.
For there’s lots and lots of reasons
And we’ll help each other endure.
And we’ll ask a lot of each other,
And we’ll all try to find a way.
For we know why, why, why, and why,
And plenty of folks that can say…

I wanna believe we give a damn
I wanna know we care from the heart
But there’s been too many seasons
The WORLD’s been torn apart.
We need to learn to listen
to SOULS WHOSE NETS are frayed.
We must ask why, why, why, why,
Not all of us feel they can say…

This is my hometown.
This is your hometown.
And we’re all in this together
This is our hometown.
It’s the world’s hometown.
And we’re all in this as one.

https://soundcloud.com/janhapharp/this-is-my-hometown-preamble

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