BITTERSWEET & THE TICKING CLOCK

refugees

Photograph by Richard Mosse using a thermal imaging camera

This type of camera is mainly used by the military

Mosse used one to capture images of refugees

 

I’d been putting it off for a few weeks, then a couple of days ago I decided to man up and get a haircut. The barber I go to is a one-man band. As I was sat in the chair he got to talking about just how many members of his family had suddenly dropped dead from heart attacks. Loads. I guessed remembering to send birthday cards wasn’t a major issue for him. Whatever, he’d just finished snipping away at my fringe when he told me to hang on a minute. He was looking a bit pale. Then he disappeared. I took a look at myself in the mirror. The random thought ‘village idiot’ hit me. Sure, he’d done the fringe, but at this point he hadn’t cut any of the rest of my hair. I then got to thinking he might be out the back having a heart attack leaving me looking like someone you’d cross the street to avoid. How would I get home? Credibility issues abound. Luckily, he reappeared.

Anyway, the photo of refugees above is more important. The dates and places might change, that’s all. Nothing else changes. I don’t think it ever will. The eyes of refugees (the lucky ones?) always tell their own story. I went with ‘bittersweet’ simply because there is always some hope for the ones who survive the ethnic cleansings and the bombings, even if it’s just hope in defeat.

BITTERSWEET

The whole world could see the horror

Only you and I saw the defeat

Crippled lives in crippled places

Innocent victims, in retreat

 

We are too few in numbers

An unarmed army incomplete

That’s the way it’s always been

Read ‘bittersweet’ for ‘sweet’

 

The whole world could see the horror

Crushed cardboard boxes full of tat

By the grace of big mouth egotists

Heaven’s gates open for the fat cat

 

Left and right and centre

So called leaders claim they’ve won the day

The whole world could see the horror

Only you and I saw a better way

(part lyric for a new number)

My song, ‘The Ticking Clock’ from the Dream Rescuer album is pretty much on a similar theme. I hope you enjoy;

 

Apart from the Richard Mosse photo art – Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

THE THIEF FROM THE EAST

cafe2

I was having a breakfast of hot chocolate & pain aux raisins in the café this morning when I spotted this black bin enjoying a cup of coffee. He didn’t have a lot to say for himself. Odd.

A couple of nights back, about 1am I saw from my attic window two little fox cubs bouncing around in the snow, playing whatever games fox cubs play. The best moment of 2018 so far.

Also, just now, at the bottom of the stairs I spotted a jet-black woodlice looking a bit confused. I’d never seen a black one before. Beautiful. They’re usually greyish. A good-looking woodlice for sure. Had to be a girl woodlice. I named her Anita Woodlice because she was ‘neat’. Gave her a helping hand, via a table mat outside onto plant pot. Some people think woodlice are ugly, but to me the only living things that are ugly stand on two legs and live off their ego. Trump, Boris, Farage and a few others come to mind. Whatever, Anita will be safe in the plant pot. Anyway, to the point of this post. 

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind,

flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

This is a quote by Plato the philosopher. The thing is, I bet Plato never had his music nicked. If he had I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have written a set of swoony words.

In early in 2012 I wrote the song, ‘The Chatter of the Ghosts’. I put out a demo version with, in hindsight a very questionable, maybe amateurish is a better word, video I’d produced. To me it was just another number from my ‘Liquid Truth’ Plato themed concept album. It was my first year at uni and I was still learning. Anyway, by sheer boring to explain fluke I found out some bloke in Asia had got hold of the video and somehow uploaded it on YouTube with his name as the artist. Basically he put it out there as his own work, even though it was my melody, me playing the instruments, my lyrics and me singing. He’d got tons more views than I ever did. Once he’d got my polite (not) comment telling him he’d been found out, the vid disappeared instantly. Odd really, as I said, it was only ever a demo version. I suppose he must have liked it. I guess that’s why I put the copyright symbol at the end of my posts these days. Whatever your art genre might be, there’s a lesson in this story.

I hadn’t really thought about this for ages until I found the song in question link to the vid on a document on a memory stick the other day. Demo or not, I hope you like it;

Here’s a song from the band, Wang Chung. Scroll on 30+ years and the singer is the bloke who taught me a lot about songwriting. 8 million+ hits!

Wang Chung aside, Copyright © 2012 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

KALASHNIKOVS & A FORGOTTEN SONG

mari11

Odd facts.  Just before I took this photo 11 people exited this caravan. Only one struggled fitting through the door.

Recently I’ve mentioned how a mate of mine constantly gets the wrong handle on life. This week he went epic in terms of getting the wrong end of that stick of life. He doesn’t really follow the news but somewhere in his grey matter a news related question formed. He says, “How come Americans all carry guns?”  Right from the start of our conversation I sensed it could all go wrong. I say, “I don’t think they all have guns, it’s more like if they want one they go to the shop and buy one.” He says, “Is that legal?” I say, “Yes. They have a constitution giving all Americans the right to bear arms – it’s called The Second Amendment, but you don’t really need to know that last bit.” This is where my fears of it all going wrong kicks in; this is true. After a deep thinking pause, he says, “What have ‘bare’ – note the spelling mistake cemented in his brain – arms got to do with guns? Even here in England anyone can go and buy a sleeveless vest. What’s the big deal?” I was going to point out his mental spelling mistake but thought if I got into ‘bears’ he’ll get straight onto furry animals carrying Kalashnikovs. I just changed the subject; moved on.

It’s funny how a style of writing evolves. This is an angst type lyric in its raw form I wrote for a song back in 2012. Odd.

DUMBSTRUCK

I’ve got a new song spinning in my head

A melancholy ring

I know you’ll never listen out

For the words this singer sings

 

I don’t believe in miracles

You don’t believe in luck

Will stage fright grab a hold on you?

Leaving you dumbstruck

 

Yesterday, tomorrow

Lost and born again

Yesterday, tomorrow

Just another tired refrain

 

I’m talking to deaf ears I know

A one-way conversation

The words I say pass over you

You don’t need letters or translations

 

You never were an angel

You’re more an eagle than a dove

But I thought you’d maybe need to know

Because of you I’ve given up on love

 

Yesterday, tomorrow

Lost and born again

Yesterday, tomorrow

Just another tired refrain

 

Time for some music. A piano piece from my Rainbows End album. It’s called ‘Castaway’. I hope you like;

One from a top class act, Radiohead and the song ‘No Surprises’;

Apart from Radiohead – Copyright © 2012 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

A BALD HEAD & AN iPHONE DEAD

charville 3

(a pic I once took with my now dead iPhone)

Until I dropped it and watched it die, I never realized that my iPhone was my external brain drive. It stored all the things my brain never got to handle or know about.  I tried to resuscitate it. No luck. Dead iPhone.

Then the strangest thing. Obviously, I had to get a new one. It was early morning when I left for the phone shop in town. The pain was it was so cold outside, the temperature +2, costing in the wind chill factor -4.  So, I got dressed for the occasion, Arsenal beanie, hoodie hood up style. Everyone I passed on the way down town was wrapped up as warm they could, except for a middle-aged, bit overweight bloke with a 100% totally bald head walking ahead of me. The cold didn’t seem to bother him. He had a t-shirt on. Jesus, just a t-shirt – well trousers as well obviously. Anyhow, we get to the High Street, him still ahead of me. When he gets there, he goes into the barbers. As I passed the barbers the bloke was sat in the chair ready for the haircut to start, and the barber stood behind him holding a pair of scissors in his hand looking bewildered. What was that all about? Surreal.

Anyway, I don’t think this one has had an airing recently. It’s the title track from my ‘Dream Rescuer’ album. First the lyrics, then below the music.

DREAM RESCUER

You rescued dreams

And nightmare schemes

Spinning around inside your head

You kept them in your diary

A book you said you never read

 

Come morning

Come daylight

You’re lost in time

A dream you dared to dream

Come morning

Come daylight

You’re lost this time

I hope I said goodbye

 

You rescued dreams

And nightmare schemes

Spinning around inside my head

Pressed Petals

And four-leaf clovers

Turning the pages

Of wild illusions

 

I am a great fan of the creative perfectionist Lana Del Ray. I think her work, musically, lyrically and visibly is amazing. I got sent this link of Lana and Adam Cohen (son of Leonard) the pair of them covering a Leonard number, ‘Chelsea Hotel’. It’s better than good;

Apart from Lana & Adam – Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

ROAD SIGNS, RAILWAY LINES & ARROWS POINTING

balloons

(A pod of refugee helium balloons)

The above is a photo I took yesterday in a supermarket. Its full title should read, ‘A Pod of Refugee Helium Balloons Hiding from The Bextiteer Children Armed with Knitting Needles & Ladders’. That was my take on it anyhow.

A true story. A couple of days ago I got asked the most stupid question anyone has ever been asked. A mate of mine is about to take his Driving Theory Test – the test you must pass before you get to take your actual driving test. So, he asks me the question, “How many times are you allowed to drive round a roundabout?”  Obviously, I looked at him strangely, then said, “Seriously?” He says “Yes”. I say, “Until you run out of fuel, I suppose.” He says, “Are you sure?” I say, “Positive. Why do you want to know that?” His reply, “I’ve been worried sick I might get asked it in my theory test.” And I thought I was random!

Here’s a new lyric for a new melody. It’s a twist on The Allegory of The Cave. I’m not quite there with the finished song yet, so it’s just the words for now.

FAT CAT CENTRAL

Road signs, railway lines and arrows pointing

You say to me the writings on the wall

That I should go chase new horizons

Me? I think I’m heading for a fall

 

Road signs, railway lines and arrows pointing

To a place where I don’t want to be

Trading Neverland for Fat Cat Central

Trading The Sea for Concrete Destiny

 

Road signs, railway lines and arrows pointing

A flock of suited, booted fools, they lead the way

The Pied Pipers on his lunch break

Some they tumble; others stray

 

Road signs, railway lines and arrows pointing

Road signs, railway lines and arrows pointing

Road signs

Railway lines

And arrows pointing

Road signs, railway lines and arrows so disappointing

As ever it probably sings better than it reads. Here’s a song from the ‘Rainbows End’ album. It’s called, ‘All Winter Long’. I hope you enjoy;
https://www.reverbnation.com/zoolon/song/29099521-all-winter-long?wordpress=1&pwc%5Bbranded%5D=1

The ‘YOUR POETRY TO SONG’ button is at the top of the page if you’re interested.

Copyright © 2018 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

SHE’S JUST A SHADOW ON A WALL  

shadowdancer4_SPFW-1221x910

(artist unknown)

‘I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,

I just can’t remember who to send it to’

From the song ‘Fire & Rain’ by James Taylor, 1970

When writing lyrics for acoustic songs it’s sometimes easy to get stuck for words that fit the melody or vice versa. A bit like trying to put a small t-shirt on an XXL frame. Besides, I’m not a natural poet. When this happens, my fall-back position comes from when I spent a couple of years studying decades of lyrics written by great songwriters. Of all the ‘fall back positions’ I found/read, the two lines above work best for me. To me they tell a story as well as influence a creative a mood. Simple genius, often inspiring.

Anyhow, back in December 2016 I posted my song, ‘Just a Shadow on a Wall’ from my concept album ‘Liquid Truth’. The ‘concept’ of that album was my take on Plato’s ‘Allegory of The Cave’.  When I posted it back then I didn’t include the lyric. Now I’m posting the words written raw before they became a song – before the music arrived. I remember it was the key track to the album in terms of developing songs to fit the allegory. Maybe read ‘raw’ it’s not a poem, just my words. 

JUST A SHADOW ON A WALL

You draw a line; a line in the dirt

I ask you what it’s for

You tell me I can cross it

You should have told me more

You tell me that; you tell that it’s time

For you to set me free

Unshackled from these chains

I might find my destiny

Nothing is so precious

That it cannot be undone

By word or by the dagger

Or a step towards the sun

You tell me you; you tell me you got bored

With the game that we play

That you want for me to move on

You’d be grateful anyway

I ask you if; I ask you if you’ll grant me

Just one final wish

Just the one final wish

‘Can the dancer travel with me?’

You take some time out thinking

Then you treat me like a fool

You laugh as you remind me

She’s just a shadow on a wall

…A shadow on the wall

Whatever, here’s one of my older numbers that I haven’t posted for an age and a day. It’s about a subject close to my heart, namely the way mankind is treating our Planet Earth. It’s called ‘Red Planet’. I hope you enjoy and by the way, the links to my two latest albums are on the side of this page if you’re interested in listening or buying – just click on the pics. Have a good week, Zoolon aka George.


Apart from the unknown photographer – Copyright © 2013 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

AN AFTERMATH & A PHOBIA

george z
When I discovered it in the fridge I thought, ‘Brilliant, it may look like it’s been in the hands of a sculptor whose polished it a bit, but it’s a proper French croissant and it’s mine all mine’. The first clue that it wasn’t a croissant came when I picked it up and it weighed about what 20 sacks of croissants would weigh. So odd. The thing was, apart from the weight, there was also the smell – nothing like the magical scent of a croissant. I’ve checked it out and it’s called Oscypek (that word reads like it’s a kind of wild bird that has a habit of biting Australians), a surreal smoked cheese made of salted sheep milk from the Tatra Mountains of Poland. As cheese goes I’m sure it’s a really great cheese yet looking at it worries me. It has a certain presence that makes me uncomfortable. Odder, odd. Later a mate told me I must have ‘Taurophobia’. I hadn’t a clue what that was but found out it’s a fear of cheese. I hope not as my dinner tonight is a favourite of mine, macaroni cheese.

cheese

Anyway, I’ve been writing about turning ‘poems into songs’ recently (if you’re interested, see the link at the top of the page). I thought I’d reverse the process and try to convert one of my own lyrics to poetry and give it a new title;

THE AFTERMATH OF THE ‘BIG ONE’

Stars instead of streetlights

Two moons instead of one

Touch the edge of heaven

Give breath to a dying Sun

After the blaze of glory

Comes the flickering light

What’s left has no shadow

No vultures in flight

Take off this mask

See how it burns

In the game of Russian roulette

A weapon now rests at your temple,

Your time on the trigger just drags

Take off this mask

See how it burns

Give breath to a dying Sun

Don’t blink, smile or hide

Please, whatever you are or might have been

Or maybe will be, maybe not, just

Give breath to a dying Sun

Like I’ve always said, writing a poem is harder than writing a lyric!  Music time. Here’s a short collection of my songs just posted on ReverbNation. I’m testing ReverbNation out in terms of another promotion source for my stuff. I’ll see how it goes. I hope you enjoy listening.

If you want to buy either of my two latest albums, ‘Rainbows End’ or ‘Dream Rescuer’ the link is via the cover art on this page.

Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

THE BEARS DO BATTLE

pooh

(Winter in England – the view from my window at 11AM the other day)

So, I was walking about in town looking for a new keyboard when I overheard two little kids discussing, “Who do you think would win if Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear had a fist fight?”  The random thought part of me kicked in. The ‘who would win?’ question made me forget all about the keyboard.

I was lucky as a kid. Before the family moved to Devon when I was 5 we lived quite close to The Ashdown Forest where A A Milne who wrote the Winnie the Pooh books lived. He used the forest as the backdrop to his stories. I even got to play the ‘Poohsticks’ game at the same bridge Milne’s son Christopher (aka Christopher Robin) played at. Then when we moved to Dartmouth in Devon, the self-same Christopher – he’s been dead for a while now – ran the bookshop down town. An odd coincidence.  So, as a kid I was a Pooh fan. But would Pooh trash Paddington in a fist fight?

Pooh is reckoned to be slow-witted, friendly, thoughtful and steadfast even though his mates all agreed that he “has no brain.”  However, sometimes even for a brainless bear he comes up with the odd clever idea. Also, Pooh isn’t above cheating and has a cunning side, like the time when it was Eeyore’s birthday. Pooh was going to give Eeyore a pot of honey as a present but he couldn’t resist scoffing the lot on his way over to Eeyore’s place. Instead he ends up giving Eeyore “a useful pot to put things in.”

Paddington? An illegal immigrant from ‘Darkest Peru’ – I welcome refugees, by the way. A polite bloke, kind-hearted like Pooh, although if anyone gets under his skin he gives them ‘the glare’ of disapproval. He always does his best to “try so hard to get things right.” His problem is that trouble always finds him. Plus, he wears a street cred disaster duffle coat and a stupid hat to match. I can’t see how anyone wearing a heavyweight duffle coat could out box a cunning Pooh who’s not above cheating. All things considered, I reckon Pooh would take out Paddington. My money is on a 3rd round KO.

Talking of bears, they are – like a lot of wildlife, especially the polar bears – are getting a raw deal out of climate change. Here’s my song, ‘Rainbows End’ on that subject. The lyrics follow in case you want to sing along;

RAINBOWS END

On the day the ice caps melted

The sun swallowed up the sea

No rain from Africa to Eurasia

No spring time blossom on the trees

Rainbows end will stay our secret

For forever and a day

Rainbows end will stay our secret

For forever and a day

This song is not a blatant warning

I believe it’s far too late

Mankind’s ways of greed and war

Has defined this death wish fate

Rainbows end will stay our secret

For forever and a day

Rainbows end will stay our secret

For forever and a day

Rainbows end will stay our secret

For forever and a day

I mentioned on my last post, you might have noticed the ‘POETRY TO SONG’ tab at the top of this page – it’s right next to my ABOUT tag. It’s there because I have a special deal exclusively for WordPress followers. Should any poets out there want to have their poems turned into acoustic or modern folk genre ‘ROYALY FREE’ song for a fixed price of just £100 (or an equivalent for other currency via PayPal) then here’s a contact link;

https://zoolonhub.com/contact/

I estimate that this fixed price that includes composition of melody, studio running costs, performance, production, mixing and mastering would, out there in the world outside WP, cost upwards of £3,000.

Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

 

 

 

DIRECTION WARS

DIRECTIONS

(a photo I took of the Rebel’s ‘This Way, That Way’ sign a couple of weeks ago)

DIRECTION WARS

Episode V

‘THE DIRECTION SIGN’S FIGHT BACK’

A long, long time ago

far, far away, quite near the cliff edge

just off Folkestone High Street it was a period of civil war

Under the leadership of Daft Tom Tom

The Satnav Empire were hell bent on making

all the crap old Road Directions Signs redundant forever more

The ‘Direction Signs’ Rebels, led by Princess Roadmapeah

were fighting back. Armed with just a few ‘THAT WAY, THIS WAY SIGNS’

their aim was to undermine The Satnav Empire by confusing all Satnav users

thus buying themselves a little time to organize the fight back that might save the day

The only problem with this plan devised by The Rebel’s own young Luke Bicycle Lane Walker?

It’s a load of rubbish!

Enough of that. Time for some music. This one is called ‘Hooked’ and it’s from the new album. I hope you enjoy;

https://soundcloud.com/zoolon/hooked

Also, Zoolon has had a great review on Bandcamp for the Rainbows End album; 

“‘Rainbows End’ follows in step with Zoolon’s album, ‘Dream Rescuer’ having a marvelous kaleidoscope of sound. It’s a beautiful blend of music, each track flows brilliantly into the next. The album captures the surreal nature of the past, present and future. While the lyrics are subtle they’re emotionally charged and quite powerful, begging us to look at love and loss of both the person and the planet. Highly recommended. Favorite track: All Winter Long.”

Here’s the link to Bandcamp if you feel like adding the Rainbows End album to your music collection;

CASTAWAY

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(a photo of a sequined cushion taken with a microscope attachment for a mobile phone – my excuse is that I was bored senseless at the time I took this)

Over what was a good Christmas – even though it mainly comprised of putting the spreadsheet of all spreadsheets in the history of spreadsheets together –  my mind did one of its random things and I found myself thinking about some old words I wrote three years ago. They were the words that eventually got changed a bit, jumbled around and became the lyric for the title track of an album entitled ‘Liquid Truth’ I made in the days before Zoolon. They read like this; 

All my bridges burnt

No sparkle in the stars

No redness in the sunset

Just the sad song of guitars

You have a version of truth I can’t believe

You’re all wrapped up in lies I’ve got to leave

 

You tell liquid truth from behind those eyes

But you hide it well behind indifferent sighs

How soon ‘not now’ just becomes ‘never’

And never nearly always means forever

 

Don’t expect to be loved when you hate yourself

You will find that’s not so good for your health

All I seek is to live by the truth

If I don’t leave right now I’ll surely lose

 

When will all the pieces come together?

And if I don’t like the picture am I stuck with it forever 

My composition, ‘Castaway’ as in the video below, is one of only two instrumental tracks on my ‘Rainbows End’ album. Both the instrumentals are piano pieces. Maybe the music fits the mood of the words from before? I hope you enjoy.

‘Rainbows End’, the album is available to buy and download at Bandcamp. It’s not expensive and has had its first great review. Below takes you to Bandcamp;