I am a T'ai-Chi Teacher and Singer/Songwriter living in Ashland, OR. Please visit my site: www.GeneBurnett.com for more info about my teaching and music. At my site I have over 20 albums of songs available for downloading free or with a donation. This blog is dedicated to musings about what I like to call "The Unforced Life".
Monday, May 3, 2010
My Feel Bad Hit Of The Winter
I wrote a song recently that I really like. It's called "Miserable". It's from a pretty bleak philosophical point of view, a sort of glass half empty, broken and falling off the table kind of song. The music has a kind of climbing and then falling sound that's actually really joyful for me to sing. And even though I can get behind what I'm saying and see literally everyone on earth as being essentially miserable, I have rarely gotten more joy out of singing a song than this one.
Something about the way the melody, rhythm, and lyrics are coming together seems to communicate for me both the inevitable underlying suffering involved in being human, the futility and inevitability of being in denial about this essential misery, and the "in spite of it all life is a miracle, seize whatever part of the day you can and taste it" feeling that is my response to these seemingly inescapable realities.
For me the joy I feel has to include the miserable to be authentic. If it's a counter to, or "transcendence" of the misery, it never feels as true to me. As the joy includes the misery, it starts getting deeper and more beautiful to me. I'm thinking, like, Billie Holiday misery and Billie Holiday beautiful. I'm nowhere near that level of course, but for me it's satisfying to even hold these things together while I'm singing, let alone go deeply into them. I guess I'm after that balance all the time. This is just my latest favorite attempt. It's still a head-case-y song but it's mine and I have to sing it. It's from my latest album, "Brand New World" and is available for downloading free or with a donation at www.GeneBurnett.com
At the risk of it sounding like crap without the music, here's the lyrics:
Miserable by Gene Burnett (2010)
Some of you can fake it—Some of you can fake it better
But you can’t fool you—Not for a second
You can stay busy—You can stay high
Open up your heart—But don’t look inside
‘Cause you’re miserable—Miserable
Winners are just slow losers—We all know it
Don’t put that horn down now—Come on and blow it
It’s unhappiness that drives you forward—And it’s holding you back too
It’s the ground you’re walking on—Why not tell the truth?
To be born is to suffer—Buddha got that part right
Find the nicest way to suffer—That’s my best advice
When God fights the Devil—They both win every time
They need each other to keep each other alive
‘Cause they’re miserable—Miserable
Stuck to a rock and a dying star
It’s hard to sleep with that knife in your heart
You got no answers—They all fell apart
You got no horse to put before no cart
Every word’s a lie—Art is just a sham
God is just a story—Money is a scam
So everything sucks—So what?—Let the show go on
Don’t just pretend to have fun—Live a little—Come on
Pretend you’re writing your part—Pretend you’re writing the whole play
The director doesn’t care what you pretend as long as you play
We’re addicted to our struggles—Whatever they may be