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Old 06-29-2009, 09:58 AM   #51 (permalink)
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Default "AFRICA" lyrics

Hello Good People,

Returning to my folk rock origins (leaving metal behind for a moment), here are lyrics for "Africa," which I wrote in June based mostly on observations I made when I visited Kenya and Tanzania 20 years ago and lived in a village for 2 weeks and traveled for 2 more.

I also include in this song more recent information I've gained about the current, historic, political, and geographic causes of continued poverty and malnutrition of many people in in Sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide 2 billion people live on less than $2 per day and almost 1 billion of those live on less than $1 per day, many in Africa. Low social status of women correlates strongly with people (especially women and children) being poor and malnourished. If you are interested in learning more about Africa, I recommend you view the movies Hotel Rwanda and (absolutely chilling) The Last King of Scotland (about Idi Amin).

Whenever I write lyrics I do so with the tune already in mind, so I have the melody, but slowing me up as I try to convert these lyrics to a full song is that I'm unsure what way to go with the instrumentals. I'm thinking of starting with a simple African sounding beat plus acoustic-sounding clean (electric) guitar that converts to something grittier near the end of the song.

Notes: a kanga is a colorful cloth often used for clothing in East Africa. A zanza is a twangy instrument (you may have made one in elementary school) that has pieces of metal secured over a hole in a sound box. Angelica is a fragrant herb in the carrot family, the roots of which are roasted and used to make tea that is considered protective for women and children.

MUSIC RATING SYSTEM Rating for "Africa" is RI for "Describes the Reality of Injustices in the world today."

----------------------------------------------------
AFRICA” by Erica

Carry the burden of your heavy load.
Throw banana peels in the dusty road.
Bind your baby to you with your kanga
in Africa.

Work all day in the sweltering fields.
Can’t afford the inputs to get good yields.
Dream about the life in America
in Africa.

Walk two miles to get water from the stream.
Gather firewood to make it boil and steam.
Pound your grain to flour with a grinding stone.
Think what you could buy if you could get a loan.

Cook your corn meal porridge without a stove
out in the yard by the banana grove.
Drink the tea from roots of angelica
in Africa.


Send your barefoot kids in uniforms to school.
Tell them they should never break the golden rule.
Show them wild foods among the flora
in Africa.

Sweep the dirt floor of your mud brick hut.
Wish you had a door and window that shut.
Try not to get malaria
in Africa.

Harvest your maize and your groundnuts.
Take some to the store along muddy ruts.
Hear about a shipment of American grain.
Try to sell your own crops now in vain.

Trade some for shoes to fit your children
and a plastic jug to carry water in
as men in the shade drink a cold fanta
in Africa.


Try to raise the cash to rent your land.
Sell your homemade baskets at a roadside stand,
as your baby sleeps in your kanga
in Africa.

Finish all the chores while the sun is still bright.
Now you and your kids are in the dark of night.
Sing your village songs with the zanza
in Africa.

Try to show your children there is more than toil.
Dance with your bare feet on the dusty soil.
With the moon replacing lantern kerosene oil,
celebrate the tribe to which you are loyal.

See so many stars it makes the heavens seem near.
Think of all you love despite the hard life here.
Gather in these moments of euphoria
in Africa.


In the morning cook ugali corn meal mush.
Try to get your tearless crying baby to hush.
Roast the roots and leaves of cassava
in Africa.

Visit the woman-child health center.
Wait in line to see the tired nurse mentor
for treatment for your baby’s diarrhea
in Africa.

Wish the government would give you property rights
so you could make improvements like water pumps and lights.
Watch your taxes used to shrink the government’s debt
to former colonizers not paid off yet.

See your country’s riches going to the West.
Hear them telling you that it is for the best.
Think, why don’t we live like in America
in Africa?


Try to find enough for your family to eat.
At the market see the vendors selling bush meat,
showing off the hands of a gorilla
in Africa.

Learn that in the neighboring village
rebels have arrived to rape and pillage,
slaughtering your people in this area
of Africa.

Pack a few belongings and try to flee
with your children away from the machete
of the warlords plundering the countryside
as nations are debating, is it genocide?

You carried the burden of your heavy load,
but you end up dead in the dusty road
with your baby beside you in your kanga
in Africa.


----------------------------------------

Hi, Stone Birds,
Yes, I've been to the Old Market in Omaha...went to an art store (I love art) and an Italian restaurant. I've enjoyed the Omaha zoo, as well. Omaha is a fun place to visit.
--Erica

Last edited by VEGANGELICA; 07-09-2009 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 06-29-2009, 10:48 AM   #52 (permalink)
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i am a fan of folk, i hope to hear this recorded
maybe you could make a demo?
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:54 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Default "MIGHT" Lyrics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone Birds View Post
i am a fan of folk, i hope to hear this recorded
maybe you could make a demo?
Yes, I do like folk music, too, and I will work on the guitar part for "Africa" to go with the tune I have for it, but this last weekend I found myself drawn to figure out the guitar part for the next song, "Might," instead.

"Might" is based on several facts:

(1) In the late 1800s many scientists believed non-human animals had no feelings and were like machines, and so did vivisections on dogs without pain medication while the dogs were alert (leading, of course, to excruciating deaths).

(2) Today pig producers in the U.S. continue to advocate killing young piglets by blunt trauma, claiming this is "humane."

(3) Humans often experience being weak and powerless for the first time when they become victims of neglect in nursing homes.

THE MUSIC RATING SYSTEM rating for "Might" is SR for "Sadly, based on Reality." In addition, "Might" may have the dubious distinction of being one of the few songs in existence that use the word "teat."

EDIT: Breaking news! I have just learned, upon reading through older MB poetry collections, that none other than our very own TERRIBLE LIZARD has used the word "teat" in his first poem, "Cry in the Bright," posted in his "TL's Guidance for the Depraved and Lascivious" collection!!! Since I am currently having a rather one-sided love affair with Terrible Lizard's avatar (sigh), I am delighted to learn that its master has at least one word choice that is the same as mine, even if this means that "Might" loses the MB contest for the first use of the word teat in a creative work.

************************************************** ****

MIGHT” by Erica

A little puppy is sitting beside you
in a school for surgeons one hundred twenty years ago.
The teachers are laughing because they’re going to
do the vivisection and it’s your first time to see the show.

It’s like a clock, they say, as they spreadeagle
the puppy, now wimpering, upon the slab.
It’s like striking a gong, they say, as they make the first cut,
and the puppy’s howling fills the lab.

(One two three four)
And you’re running out the door.
You just can’t take it anymore.
The horrifying sight
as people torture others with their might
because you know

Might doesn’t make right.
They ought to know it’s true.
Might doesn’t make right.
Someone’s always stronger than you.

A little runt of a pig in a modern farm today
is trying to push her way to her mother’s teat.
The law allows you to use blunt trauma
to kill the young of animals people eat.

“Oh, what the heck,” the workers say, getting ready
to beat her, “I can and so I will.
It doesn’t matter whose life we take. It doesn’t matter
as long as it's not our own blood we spill.”

(One two three four)
And you’re running out the door.
You just can’t take it anymore,
the horrifying sight
as they bash the piglet squealing in fright
because you know

Might doesn’t make right.
Why don’t they know it’s true?
Might doesn’t make right.
Someone’s always stronger than you.

“The only feelings I feel are mine,” they say.
“Why should I care what you are going through?
So what if you enjoy your life, love the air, the sun,
your mother’s closeness...tell me something new.”

“I give you food,” they say, though you can’t get away
and your life for food...oh yeah, that’s a fair exchange.
Or if you’re wild, they say, “At least you get to live outside
for a while on the grassy range.”

Of course, you’d live a longer life
if they didn’t kill you now.
I doubt they want to die,
so why don’t they see how

Might doesn’t make right.
Why don’t they know it’s true?
Might doesn’t make right.
Someone’s always stronger than you.

It’s in the future now. They’re old,
lying in some care center’s dingy bed.
They’ve lost the ability to speak and reason well,
but they feel and must be fed.

Someone who has no love for them
is paid to clean the filth when they soil the sheet.
They can’t escape their fate and the sickening smell,
but all attempts to leave end in defeat.

(One two three four)
And they want to run out the door.
They just can’t take it any more...
each horrifying night
they wake, confined, no salvation in sight
and now they know

Might doesn’t make right.
Why didn’t they know it’s true?
Might doesn’t make right.
Someone’s always stronger than you.

Stronger than you.
Don't you see it? Someone's always stronger than you.
Stronger than you.
Don't you know it? Someone's always stronger than you.
Stronger than you.
Don't you get it? Someone's always stronger than you.
Stronger than you.

Last edited by VEGANGELICA; 07-17-2009 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:08 AM   #54 (permalink)
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Default "AVATAR" song lyrics

Hello again, People,

I decided to take a two-day break from writing songs about humans torturing non-human animals and each other, and instead I wrote the following LUV song. Heh heh...it still has a little beast in it (but not a real one). You might even see yourself in the lyrics! This is my 3rd song inspired by MB members...the first being "Windmill," the second, "Wring," and the third..."AVATAR."

MUSIC RATING SYSTEM Rating for "Avatar" is KK for "Kinda Kinky."

Note: one word in the lyrics was edited out by the hyper-sensitive MB filth-detection program, and this was the word c..o..c..k..y, which is a legitimate, non-carnal word that means "pert, arrogant, jaunty."

************************************************

"AVATAR" by Erica

I’m in love, I’m in love,
I’m in love, I’m in love
with your avatar.

It doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter,
doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter really
who you are.

It looks like the beast of an evil wizard,
but I think it’s cute, your “terrible lizard.”
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with your avatar!

I’m in love, I’m in love,
I’m in love with the way
that it’s snarling.

With its sharp, pointy teeth,
beady eyes, and tiny nose,
I think it’s darling.

I imagine its claws crawling up my back.
Oh, come on, little fuzzy lizard, GO ON THE ATTACK!
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with your avatar!

It's some kind of cross between a man and rabid squirrel
with a scaly, humped spine and goatees that swirl.
You must have at least one redeeming feature
to ever think of posting this adorable creature!

Oh, I’m in love, I’m in love,
I’m in love with the way
it tries to look so mean

and I smile every time
that I see it leaping out
of my computer screen.

You uploaded its image with a click of your mouse.
Now your terrible lizard is IN MY HOUSE!
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with your avatar!

There are skeleton pirates on ghostly galleons,
a dancing bear, and some happy scallions,
modern artwork, a freaky zombie,
and bouncing body parts oozing sexuality,
movie scenes, and a word that says, “RAWR,”
a smiling fridge, and a lone guitar,
a white-ruffed lemur, and a c.o.c.k.y Obama,
but yours is the cutest avatar I ever saw!


Oh yeah...

I’m in love, I’m in love,
I’m in love with the way
that it thinks it’s fierce.

It tries to look so tough,
but I don’t think its
itty bitty teeth could pierce

through the hand I want to run through its silky fur.
Oh, come on, little cuddly lizard, LET ME HEAR YOU PURR!
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with your avatar!

Now, there’s a sad-looking lad with drooping locks,
and a bunch of odd avatar symbols in a box,
an over-ripe banana, a shirt that says, “I’m G..A..Y,”
and pictures of quirky bands I’ll never hear play,
some stick-figure people forced to be submissive,
a captive pig looking out who wants to live,
and they all (except the pig) are humorous to me,
but yours is the funniest avatar I see


‘cause I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with your avatar!
(Oh yeah, baby)
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love with your avatar!
(You don’t look terrible to me!)
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love,
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love,
I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love...
with your AVATAR!

Last edited by VEGANGELICA; 07-19-2009 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:07 PM   #55 (permalink)
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Interesting song lyrics but sound a little to death like I was a good one but otherwise commonly found lyrics try living them up a little by not repeating the same line over and over right after eachother.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:26 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Interesting song lyrics but sound a little to death like I was a good one but otherwise commonly found lyrics try living them up a little by not repeating the same line over and over right after eachother.
Hi, The Band Midnight,
Thank you for giving your feedback on my lyrics. You are right, I do sometimes repeat the same line over and over frequently. This was actually intentional in "Avatar" because I was hoping it would have a humorous effect. The whole song is supposed to be a joke song, because I am describing the avatars of some of the people currently part of MB. Plus, MB members often complain about so many songs that are posted being cliche love songs, so I wanted to make a gushy love song that isn't actually real...a spoof of a love song, if you will.

Hey, I noticed you haven't gone to the Community section yet (look below the Artists' Corner) to post you own thread in the Introduction section. If you do this, then the whole community will know you have joined! More people will also learn, then, about your band's desire for original lyrics.

I visited your teen band's website and enjoyed listening to your cover songs (such as "Stairway to Heaven," "Pieces of Me," and "Schools out for Summer"). It is wonderful that you all are using your musical skills together in a band and performing professionally at such a young age! I am impressed. When I was 13-15 years old, I would have been too shy to even consider playing in a rock band (although I played violin in ensembles, but somehow that is different, probably since one is less exposed:-)
--Erica

Last edited by VEGANGELICA; 07-19-2009 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:55 PM   #57 (permalink)
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I just spent the last hour of my life reading your entire thread, laughing and frowning etc. I've been a vegetarian for more than 3 years now (vegan for 6 months, sadly, not longer) but have recently been struggling to stay that way. Your lyrics definitely reinforced my convictions! Though incredibly long, your songs capture a certian imagery without relying on metaphors, which while effective seem to me to be overused. Very inspirational overall I'd say, though I'm having trouble hearing them in my mind's ear. I'll have to listen to a few of your recordings when I get the chance.
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #58 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by VeggieLover View Post
I just spent the last hour of my life reading your entire thread, laughing and frowning etc. I've been a vegetarian for more than 3 years now (vegan for 6 months, sadly, not longer) but have recently been struggling to stay that way. Your lyrics definitely reinforced my convictions! Though incredibly long, your songs capture a certian imagery without relying on metaphors, which while effective seem to me to be overused. Very inspirational overall I'd say, though I'm having trouble hearing them in my mind's ear. I'll have to listen to a few of your recordings when I get the chance.
Hi, VeggieLover,
Thank you for reading the whole thread. You are probably the first person to do so at MB! It makes me happy to hear that the lyrics reinforce your convictions, because I am writing my songs partly to share my vegetarian journey with other vegetarians or those who are interested in vegetarianism, hoping the songs will remind them that they are not alone.

I was a "spontaneous" vegetarian, by which I mean that when I first became vegetarian in 5th grade, I didn't know anyone who was vegetarian and I didn't even know the term/concept. (My vegetarianism that first time only lasted one summer until the public school lunch program began again.) I know it can be hard in an animal-eating society to reduce the consumption of animals, even when one really wants to (and my philosophy is that any reduction is better than none). Every time I turn on the TV, there is either a commercial for some hamburgers, steakhouse, fish, etc., or a newscaster gnawing happily on the ribs of some corpse at a pork fest (which are frequent in Iowa, where I live). For most people, eating animals is a non-issue.

You are very right...my songs are incredibly long by most song standards! And you are also right...and I am pleased you noticed...that I have not used any metaphors at all in the songs I've posted (except for "Free"). I actually love metaphors and enjoy using them in poems, but with the vegetarian songs I am trying to be bluntly realistic. One person wrote in the thread that the songs seem "too death," which amused me, because of course the songs ARE all about the killing of animals!

I'll be curious what you think when you hear some of the lyrics (like "Dichotomy," "Free," and "Wring") as songs with your real ears and not just your mind's ear! I am preparing to re-record all the songs I've posted using improved hardware (and hopefully improved singing and playing, too). Still, what I have posted should give you a good idea of the basic sound of the songs.

Thanks again for reading the thread. I look forward to reading what you will (I hope) post in yours!
--Erica
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:11 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Awwsugar is right about one thing for sure... that the same old songs get really old. So it is cool to read some fresh lyrics. Well done!
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Old 07-20-2009, 12:12 AM   #60 (permalink)
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And thanks for sending the vocal track to my song... very cool of you.
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