4Jan/162

Nights and Weekends

I took some time over my winter holiday to write a couple songs and record a few quick demos of them.  This is the first thing that I came up with.  It is admittedly very specific to my own situation, but maybe somebody else will hear something familiar in these experiences.

To me, this song is about coming of age, and settling for a secure path at the cost of not being able to pursue one's true passion.  A few years ago, I decided to give up music and study electrical engineering.  I did so for purely practical reasons, and have since struggled with the persistent heartbreak of missing that which I loved above all else (music).

I was only afforded one day to work on this demo, so it is very sparse.  Still, the song is in there, and I felt that it was better to do something, if even something small, rather than nothing at all.

 

Nights And Weekends

Lately I've been losing sleep
Counting the dollars that I need.
Since I was born the world told me
A man is made to suffer.

And so I gave up on what I love,
Sold my guitars and got a job,
Some nights and weekends I still sing, but
My voice feels like another's.

Still I know
We can't have it all,
But if I could, I'd have my songs,
And I wouldn't have to beg for crumbs.
I'd claim no shame for being an artisan.

Still I know
We all take the fall,
And if you haven't yet, someday you will.
The things you loved will grow to feel
Petty and small.

And the endless groove of time
Keeps moving on
But you won't.

Lately I've been worse than dead.
I swear, once I was talented,
But now I do as my master bids--
I'm a slave, but I don't like it.

And maybe art is common sense.
Yeah, maybe love is just pretend.
Oh, maybe engineering wins...
If death is what you're after.

Still I know
We can't have it all.
There's a choice to make
So make it well.
You can give your days to something real
Or something false.

Still I know
We all take the fall.
Whether it's out of fear
Or a lack thereof,
We each will veer from the life we loved
Towards our wants.

And the endless groove of time
Keeps moving on
But you won't.

So give your life
To that which takes you home.
And spend your time
With those who make you feel whole.

Don't think of what
Other path you gave up
Because only love
Can grow.

27Apr/152

A Thought Before Bed

Sentinel

Life will not break clean
It will not be fair or right
But always true.

So lean into circumstance
As against a punishing wind
And when stillness arrives
Be present to greet it.

For you will have little choice
Over what happens
Yet full control over how--

Slight power to shape fate
But enough strength still
To carry the world.

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21May/143

Immovable (Song Demo)

I write a lot of breakup songs, but that's not to say that I've had a lot of girlfriends. I just spend entirely too much time living in the past...

Immovable

Tell me, was it true?
Did I really make you happy?
Or were you just pretending all along?

Cause now I'm looking back
And I can't remember where it happened
How you started crying
Help me find the place where our love went wrong

Because I've never given up on something beautiful
I've never walked away from someone true
So if it's like you say
And your heart's become immovable
I'll just spend my whole life standing next to you
I would spend my whole life standing next to you

Tell me how I'm wrong
Help me find the path towards better
In disappointing you I have failed me, too

I only ever wanted
To make you feel warm and happy
Even in the stormy weather
Help me turn these grey skies back to blue

Because I've never given up on something beautiful
I've never walked away from someone true
So if it's like you say
And your heart's become immovable
I'll just spend my whole life standing next to you
I would spend my whole life standing next to you

'Cause I don't think that love is just
A spreadsheet to be added up
And when the number's red
You let it go

No, I've been taught you try your best
You give your whole heart and nothing less
Then trust that in love's arm's you've found a home
'Cause in my faithfulness I'm immovable

I've never given up on something beautiful
I've never walked away from someone true
So, if it's like you say
And your heart's become immovable
I'll just spend my whole life standing next to you
I would spend my whole life standing next to you...

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To Download, Right-Click, Save As:

http://ronnieday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Immovable-demo.mp3

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24Apr/144

The One I Wanted (Song Demo)

I spent the last three years with a beautiful woman who helped me find strength, sanity and stability. Even while other aspects of my life were crumbling all around, I could count on her to be steadfast and level-headed.

Within the shelter of our love, I began to correct my trajectory. I went back to school and quit drinking. I became inspired to improve upon myself, but as a consequence, I found less and less time available for my music.

One day, while we were talking, she asked me why I'd never written her a song. "Because you never made me need one," I told her, "I only write when I'm hurt, and you make me happy". That was the truth; life was pretty good, but with time and circumstance, we began to drift apart.

Eventually, she decided to go her own way, and I wound up writing that song she'd always wanted. I wish it could have been a more joyous tune, because she deserves one, but I've never been much inclined to play music while the sun's shining.

The One I Wanted

First, I was your friend
Then, I was your lover
I would have loved you till the end
If you’d only let me under your skin
But I never bought you roses
And I never held your hand
Guess I should have let you know that
You were in my every plan

Now I’m back on the edge of hope
I’ve been here before
I’m back on the edge of hope
But somehow, now
It feels much worse

Cause you were the only one I wanted
You were the only one I loved
You are the high
I will judge the others by
And I know that they’ll all fall short
‘Cause I’m bonded
To the one I wanted

Don’t think I’m just afraid
To be out on my own
It’s easy enough for me
To find someone to take home
And I know I’ve got a good life
Yeah, I’ve got all that I need
But really, what’s a good life
Without something to believe?

Now I’m back on the edge of hope
I’ve been here before
I’m back on the edge of hope
But somehow, now
It feels much worse

Cause you were the only one I wanted
You were the only one I loved
You are the high
I will judge the others by
And I know that they’ll all fall short
‘Cause I’m bonded
To the one I wanted

You were the one that I wanted

In the cold of the night
There’s a certain type of hope
And it is always alive
Even when we’re dead and gone
So, that’s how my love
For you will go on
Yeah, that’s how my love
For you will go on

Cause you were the only one I wanted
You were the only one I loved
You are the high
I will judge the others by
And I know that they’ll all fall short
‘Cause I’m bonded
To the one I wanted...

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Right-Click, "Save As" for a free download of the mp3.
http://ronnieday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/The-One-I-Wanted-Demo.mp3

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18Apr/146

The Chosen One (Song Demo)

Last year, I went back to school, and I haven't had any free time for songwriting. However, this week I am on spring break, so I decided to forgo any fun beach adventures and lock myself in the studio.

This first song is what I call a "threshold" effort. Whenever I haven't written for a long time, I need to warm-up by composing something crappy. So, that's what The Chosen One is to me: an exercise that cleared the way for more inspired work...

Regardless, I hope somebody out there will still enjoy it. :)

The Chosen One

The smell of smoke and alcohol
The chipped black paint thick on the walls
A girl I’ve never met before
Says she knows me well
Like I was made for her

Then the drummer starts to play
All the fans take out their phones
And they point them at our faces
Just like loaded guns

I sing:

I am not The Chosen One
I am just a guy who wrote some songs
No, I am not The Chosen One
And I’m sorry if I let you down
Or led you on
Fate must have
Some kind of strange sense of humor
To have fashioned a pop singer
Out of a crooner
No, I am not The Chosen One
I’m the chooser

Five years have passed
Since I left that stage
I don’t look back
Still, I can’t escape
The feeling that
I’ve lost my place
Nor the doubts that hatched
When I turned and walked away

I still strum my old guitar
But that drummer moved out of state
Yeah, I think he’s got a family, now
And I’m still stuck in L.A.

Because

I am not The Chosen One
I am just a guy who wrote some songs
I am not The Chosen One
And I’m sorry if I let you down
Or led you on
Fate must have
Some kind of strange sense of humor
To have fashioned a pop singer
Out of a crooner
No, I am not The Chosen One

I’m the chooser
And I will choose happiness
For happiness’ sake
I am the only one to blame
When things don’t seem to go my way
It’s my way…

So, now I look upon my luck
With gratitude
And strength enough
To serve the world
From which I sprang
And to sing the songs
That I was meant to sing

Because a day is just a day
Until you make it worth your while
And I hope to help my friends stay well
With an honest smile

Because in a way I am The Chosen One
Even though I’m just a guy who wrote some songs
In a way I am The Chosen One
If the music that I sing helps people move along
Fate must have a pretty strange sense of humor
To reveal our greatness once we’ve earned it and no sooner
In a way I’m The Chosen One and the chooser

So when life breaks you down
And your soul’s fought a bruiser
Don’t you ever tap out
There’s always hope in the future
Cause in a way you’re The Chosen One
And the chooser

In a way you’re The Chosen One as the chooser
You are The Chosen One when you’re the chooser.

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To download the mp3, right-click this link and select "save as":
http://ronnieday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/The-Chosen-One-Demo.mp3

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14Feb/143

Monarch

I saw an enormous, beautiful monarch butterfly on Santa Monica Boulevard, in the middle of Los Angeles. I used to see these creatures in droves floating between the redwoods of Northern California, but to come across one in the city is odd.

He was bobbing along the sidewalk, being tossed violently by the wake of passing cars, masked behind a plume of diesel exhaust. His lifestream, silent and gentle, went unnoticed by the roaring city around. Still, amid such boisterous indifference, he did not compromise his nature.

A person would have bought a sports car and taken a job at an advertising agency; he would have learned to speak in a new way and to care about new things. Another might have drank himself into the gutter and found refuge behind a shopping cart full of garbage.

But this was a butterfly, not a person, and butterflies are not condemned to suffer such disgraceful compromises... He just kept flapping his delicate technicolor wings, moving purposefully towards a better place.

The butterfly doesn't abandon its gentle nature amid the violence and indifference of a big city, so why do we? Are people inherently confrontational, combative and intolerant? If so, I'll be happy to leave the roar of the city behind while I find my way back to the redwoods...

Sometimes a monarch wanders from the forest, but he who knows himself is never far from home.

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8Jan/148

Recording Studio Update

I’ve been trying to record an album for the last several years, but for one reason or another, my priorities were not allowing me to finish. I could write a book about all of those setbacks, but I'll just skip to my point, instead:

I’ve arranged to record for the full month of January. Throughout the process, I’ll be sharing photos, videos, and blogs so that you can accompany me along the way.  (See: Facebook, Instagram).

Ultimately, I'm not making this album for myself (I already know all of these songs)...  Rather, it's my sincere hope that somebody else will enjoy this music.  I want for those of you who have extended kindness and support to receive something back from me.

I look forward to hearing from you along the way, and I’ll do my best to craft something worthy of your support!

Ronnie Day

Thanks for checking in,
Ronnie Day Signature

 

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18Apr/137

Of A Starving Artist

An authentic artist mortgages his time, his money, his unique perspective and his privacy to make an offering for the general brotherhood of man.  But the tragedy of art is that so often its gifts are consumed without a true showing of gratitude or reciprocation from society.  The artist is therefore left marginalized, impoverished and full of doubt as to the value of his creations, while those who have benefited from his exquisite labor trudge clumsily towards their next victim.  Even worse still, his work may fail to find any audience at all.

If you’ve ever experienced unrequited love, then you know how the artist feels beneath this most painful brand of heartbreak; it is perhaps what has driven so many of our brightest luminaries to extinguish their own flames prematurely.  And yet despite this suffering, most artists march forth in pursuit of the truth, as they must, for without their conviction, it would not exist.

With that being said, here's a song from my friend, the artist, David Ramirez:

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6Mar/1310

Reflections

Have you ever stood in front of the mirror, and gazed upon yourself as if from an outside perspective? Maybe you had a conversation in your mind; or spent some time looking deep into your own eyes. If you’re like me, it probably left you feeling doubtful… I sometimes wonder how self-aware I could possibly be if when looking into a mirror, I seem to see a stranger.

Mirror

This is, I think, much like writing an honest song. To write, one must faithfully render the contents of their own soul, and in the course of editing, we have that same opportunity to gaze upon ourselves and wonder.

For a while, I’d been avoiding mirrors altogether, and for the same duration, I hadn't written any songs. I never liked what I saw in them (disappointment, disillusionment, pain and regret) so I just stopped looking.

The album I wrote over the past five years is full of that sort of sad song. Whenever I start recording them, it takes me back to the feelings associated with those painful memories, and so I've mostly avoided doing that difficult work.

Still, if I’m going to move forward, I have to see this process completed. These songs may not be a true reflection of where I want to be today, but they did get me here. And maybe, if I do my job well, someone else will see something they can relate to reflected back in them.

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2Aug/1212

After The Deluge

Last time my mom visited, she left her car and asked me to watch after it. That very same day, I parked under some power lines, and a whole army of crows took turns shitting all over the roof. She had specifically told me not to park it outside. So, when the day came for her return, I drove to one of those coin-operated pressure washers to remove the evidence.

Normally, I’d just put a dollar in the machine, and rush through everything really quickly. But this time, I loaded up plenty of quarters, and made sure her car was a sparkling gem. I’m a good son, I thought to myself.

On the way home, I stopped by Chipotle for a burrito, and that’s when I made my first mistake. I asked for extra salsa—and not the sissy mild salsa, but that devil-red, extra hot one with all the chili seeds floating around in it like burning embers.

“More, please,” I urged the burrito girl, and she obliged.

I was delighted to see a river of lava flow onto my plate. I paid, and then ate, cradling that burrito like a small child. I finished it quickly, and began the long walk back to my mom’s car.

After the first block, my stomach was already churning, and it was clear that I’d need to use a bathroom. I passed plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes. I could have easily walked up, and asked to use any of their restrooms. But I didn’t, because I could already see how that would play out:

“I’m sorry, but the restroom is for paying customers,” someone would say, with a pained expression on their face.

“Yes, I know, but this is an emergency,” I’d retort, with an even more pained expression.

And then, understanding that I was in danger of shitting my pants, they would grant me access to the bathroom, but this coming at the cost of my dignity. I was too proud for that. I had to make it home.

So, I clinched my butt cheeks tight, and hurried towards the car. But by the time I got there, I couldn’t hold it any longer. Stricken by fear, I got inside and started to drive, anyway. I was in panic mode.

This shit was going to happen at any moment, whether or not I decided to prepare for it. I felt like a dog must, as it circles the lawn before taking a squat. I saw an open spot on the side of the road, and veered towards it.

In one swift motion, my pants were down, the door was open, and I stood squat in the middle of the street, unleashing a torrent of brown liquid.

I saw a woman nearby, smoking a cigarette on her balcony, and she saw me, too. Our eyes locked. We shared a very intimate moment. Cars were passing by and a kid on his skateboard swerved to avoid the open door and mounting puddle. I ripped my shirt off, bunched it up under my ass, jumped back into the car and sped off. The whole dump was over in seconds. And then I was gone, vanished into the night like a vision of Chaos.

On the way home, I wondered how that woman with the cigarette would use what she had seen. Would she tell her friends and family? Did she call the police? And I wondered if anyone else would pull over to park in that spot, only to step out into a puddle of human shit.

Then, I was home. My mom had already arrived and was waiting inside. My pants were still down around my ankles, and my shirt was ruined. I wiped off as best I could with the rest of that shirt, pulled my pants up, and stepped out from the driver’s seat.

That’s when I realized the full extent of what I had done.

The puddle of Chipotle mud had gotten kicked up by the tires, and was splattered all along the side of my mom’s car. It looked almost as bad as it smelled.

I went inside, slipping past her, showered, changed my clothes, and drove right back to the coin-operated car wash… Again.

I’m sure there’s a lesson I could pretend to have learned. But to be honest, this wasn’t the first time I’ve shamed myself like this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. If I had a dollar for every story of mine that starts with Chipotle, and ends with me shitting my pants, I could definitely afford some new pants, and maybe a new shirt, too. I’d be a very rich, very humble man.

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