Tag Archives: rewrite

Get Up & Shout (Version 2)

I’ve gone and rewritten another of my old songs. This time Get Up & Shout form all the way back in 2012. After you’ve had a chance to listen to the new tune, go ahead and click on over to revisit the original.

Pretty big difference, huh?

It’s that Carter Family again

Just like the tune from a couple week’s ago, Trump is Working on a Building, for the updated version of Get Up & Shout I used an old Carter Family melody. This time I went for an old favorite of mine The Cannonball (or Cannonball Blues).

Didn’t really have any reason for using it other than I thought it would be easy for the words from my original tune to be squashed into that melody. Of course that didn’t work out as smoothly as I figured it would.

Made me get up and shout

Lyric work for Get Up & Shout (Version 2)For whatever reason I really got bogged down in what the new version of the song was about. What the meaning behind it would become. With these rewrites I really try not to do that because then as I force old words I’ve rewritten, that were about something completely different (usually that I’ve forgotten), into some kind of new meaning the song gets harder and harder to write. And I get frustrated. So this version had many multiples of rewrites. But I think I finally got it where I want it this morning.

From revival to protest

It’s now a little bit Cannonball Blues and a little bit Woody Guthrie’s Baltimore to Washington and a little bit protest song against Donald Trump. Now, he’s not specifically named, but I think I threw in some key words and phrases that alert you to the Orange One’s presence. So the tune went from being a tent-revival-church-happening-type song in the original recording to something that’s a little more contemporary in subject.

Not sure Get Up & Shout is completely done. Might even need a new title now too. Something like the Donaldbald Blues or the Orange Express Blues or the Trump Hump. But at some point you just have to shrug your shoulders and move on to the next thing. Not sure if this version is an improvement or not on the original, but it’s at least some kind of movement on the original and that’s really all I was going for.

Mother Mary (Version 2)

I first wrote and recorded Mother Mary way back in 2012. I vaguely remember that I got the idea for the song whilMother Mary (Version 2)e watching an episode of the TV show Kitchen Nightmares. No, really. REALLY. I think one of the people that had a NIGHTMARE
KITCHEN was named Mary, but she was also an
older lady, so the host of the show, in all his frenetic glory kept calling her Mother Mary.  Anyway, that just stuck in my head and the original version popped out. Have a listen to that here. Then listen to the new version:

So why do a rewrite?

Well, it’s how I practice. How I teach myself to write completely new things. How I keep myself interested. I have a need I think to tear things down and rebuild them. Even if I really like or love the first creation. And I do really like the first version of this song.

And that made it hard to rework. Because I didn’t know how to even start to change it. Maybe that has something to do with letting my practice of songwriting slip into the trash heap the past couple years, but maybe also because Mother Mary is a song I still occasionally remember and play around the house to entertain myself.

Usually if I get stuck at rewriting a tune I’ll change the tempo and time signature. And that usually means the song becomes a waltz, but that didn’t really work for this one. All the words and names I had in the original lyrics fit too well with the original guitar part and melody and I couldn’t get that out of my head. So, I did the easy thing…edit out all the names.

But then can you still call this Mother Mary?

I think without any of the references to the Christian religious figures it’s still basically the same song. You can look at it two ways:

  1. Without the names the song just becomes a little more broad in asking for help from someone unnamed.
  2. The song becomes even more about Mother Mary since the title is the only reference to who it might be that the lyrics are talking about.

Now, that sure is a lot of explaining for a song that originally took me about 14 minutes to write and that I didn’t ever think about the meaning of. I still don’t ever think about the meaning of the first version. It doesn’t really mean anything to me. I just like how it sounds.

No Longer Can I Hide (Version 2)

No Longer Can I Hide (Version 2)This here is a rewritten song of a tune, No Longer Can I Hide, that I originally wrote WAY BACK in April 2011. That’s so long ago that I have no idea what the original song is even about, if, in fact, it was ever about anything. You can read all about it in the original post right here, though, and see that I didn’t even really know what it was about when I first wrote it.

Also, seems that when I originally wrote this, my 5-year-old, who was then only like 18 months, was just out of the hospital after a serious eye infection. It was swelled up like a baseball. His eye is okay now. But, of course, anytime it’s a little bit red my wife and I look at each other and are like, “HERE WE GO.”

Staying in the hospital with a kid is horrible. Pray you never have to do it. If you do, though, don’t order the chocolate cake for yourself on your kid’s hospital dinner menu. THE NURSE WILL KNOW IT’S FOR YOU. She will scowl at you.


So, since I had no clue about this tune, and I’m just getting back into some serious songwriting, I started off by playing through a few old tunes to see if I could steal any melodies or phrases or ideas. Songs like “The Rovin’ Gambler” and “Freight Train” (been really into that one lately) and “San Francisco Bay Blues.”

Then I got an idea to do a song about how sometimes it seems so much better to just be all alone and hid away than to be anywhere around anyone else.

Turns out that’s not really true all the time. Turns out I’ve got a few people I’d rather be around than be left all lonesome.

So that’s the rewritten song for this week. That’s two weeks in a row. I reward myself with beers.

What’s Always In My Dreams (Version 2)

What's Always In My Dreams (Version 2)
This ever in your dreams?

Well, how about this! It’s a rewritten song of a tune that I originally wrote way back in 2013. Feels like about a million years ago. Was writing a lot of train songs back then.

You can hear the original version right here.

See that the two versions are somewhat different. A little rearranged. A tad dissimilar.

Also, see how I really lost it near the end of the tune. My guitar playing has suffered incredibly from not playing at all. Funny how that happens. It’s like a big bloated belly that you get if you skip two-three years of doing any kind of abdominal exercise.

Kind of felt like I was playing the guitar upside down, actually. Which, I guess, is appropriate since I used an old Elizabeth Cotton tune for the guitar part. Check her out. She plays guitar upside down better than you play it regular.

ANYWAY. Hope you enjoy the new rewritten song. If not, then please be willing to check back once in a while to see some progress of a struggling songwriter.

That Long and Lonesome Road (Version 2)

Okay, so this is the point where I start to rewrite and re-record some of my old songs. I used to do that a lot. Like, every week I’d redo a song from the previous year. And then I stopped doing that for a while. So I’ve got a TON of songs to go back and work over. First one up is That Long and Lonesome Road.

That Long and Lonesome Road (Version 2)

Check out the original, I basically got rid of the entire song except for the repeating line, “that long and lonesome road.” Then, I set it to the tune of “The Ballad of John Henry.” Now, I’ve always stayed away from all the John Henry tunes that are out there. I love them and I play them for myself, but never attempted to rework one for myself. This is that attempt.

Parts of it are a little too “working-man-against-the-world” and I’m not totally sold on the “swim across the deep blue sea” part that implies the negative impacts of overseas OUTSOURCING of which I don’t know a whole lot about. Otherwise, though, I kind of like this one.

For the longest time I got away from using old melodies and tunes to write my own new songs. That’s how I started writing because it came most natural. Yes, STEALING comes natural to me. I think I’m most successful when I’ve got a little something from someone else to stand on, though, because this new version is far superior than the first one. The original is just a vague blanket of a song. It’s not about anything, so it could be about anything. Who wants to hear something like that? Not me.

This’ll be the first of many rewrites to come. Stay tuned for more.