lyrics

Digging into the Musical Archives – My Signature Song

the image shows Lois playing guitar and singing into a microphone

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I began posting some of my lyrics and writing on my blog. Okay, I know I missed a month or two, but I think I’ve been pretty good about digging into my archives and sharing some of my writing with you.
Here’s the last set of song lyrics for 2020. This song – Misconception – has become something of a signature song for me. But I have no idea why.

It’s the song I’ve played most often in 2020 – for the World Sight Day Dinner for the South African Guide Dogs Association, for the AfriNEAD conference, for the Shift Online Ability Arts Festival at Artscape Theatre, for the Disability Summit by the Cape Chamber of Commerce, and for one of my lockdown gigs.

Listen to the song here: https://www.loisstrachan.com/music/

Misconception

Little miss Carli packed her bags and headed for the sun
She left her home in a country garden, waved goodbye and now she’s gone.

Chorus:
heading for those city lights
Where the lights they are so bright
little Miss Carli, where’s your body going to lay down for the night.

She left the harbour, bound for somewhere; she hopped on the nearest boat
She had some honey and plenty of money wrapped up in a five-pound note

Chorus:
Heading for those city lights
Where the lights, they are so bright
Little miss Carli, where’s the party, tonight.

she went to the place where all dreams come true
And the streets are paved with gold
Now her misconceptions are all she sees
As those city lights grow cold.

She took her songs and played them for someone who took her for a ride.
Now she plays her guitar on any street corner, waiting for those lights to shine

Chorus:
Waiting for those city lights
Where the lights they are so bright
Little miss Carli where will your body find refuge from the night.

Little miss Carli packed her bags and headed for the sun
she left her home in a country garden, waved goodbye and now she’s gone…

Final Warning and Another Song

the image shows a book cover, with Lois hugging Fiji and the text A Different Way of Seeing (second edition): A Blind Woman’s Journey of Living an Ordinary Life in an Extraordinary Way

Today is the start of my birthday month – my birthday is actually 14 November and I’ll be turning… well, a year older than I am right now. This month I want to share a very special song with you, from out of the archives of songs I’ve written over the years.

But, before I do, I just want to give you a warning that today is the final day you can get hold of the Kindle version of my book, A Different Way of Seeing (second edition) at the special introductory price of US$1.14 – from tomorrow the cost will go up!

Here’s where to buy it: https://www.amazon.com/Different-Way-Seeing-second-Extraordinary-ebook/dp/B08L1VFYS9

Now, back to the song lyrics…

the image shows Lois singing into a microphone

This song isn’t finished. It doesn’t have a tune. I’m not even sure if I hear it as a guitar or keyboard song. But, nonetheless, it has always been a song that I’ve really liked the feel of.

Hope you enjoy reading it – if you have any ideas of where the song might go next, please feel free to share them with me…

TUESDAY’S CHILD

Cross my palms with silver
Cross my palms with gold
Cross my path, my Tuesday’s child
And we’ll go on

She moves through her history, leaves the past behind
She’s impulsive, vivacious, and quick with her smile
Gypsy woman, born wild and free
She answers to no-one

Temperamental and daring, she speaks her mind
She lives for the present, cares nothing for time
She puts all the might-have-been’s out of her mind
Leaves all the Could-have’s and should-have’s behind

Cross my palms with silver
Cross my palms with gold
Cross my path, my Tuesday’s child
And we’ll go on

Verse 2???

Cross my palm with silver
Cross my palm with gold
Cross my path my Tuesday’s child
And we’ll go on

Bridge:
Could I be like her?
Radiant as the fire
Could I be like her?
Could I be a Tuesday’s child

Could I be like her?
Dancing in the light
Could I be like her?
Could I be a Tuesday’s child

Chorus

Third verse???

Digging into the Archives: Summer Rain

The image shows Lois standing with her guitar

I moved to Cape Town at the start of winter. My impressions of that long ago first winter in Cape Town was that it poured with rain every day – for weeks on end. And it was a very cold, very wet sort of rain. Totally unlike the warm summer rain I had known when living in Durban.

Summer Rain is a nostalgic reflection on the gentle warm rain of my previous home city – hope you enjoy it!

Summer Rain

Summer’s here again
Brings with it the rain on my window.
The air outside is still
Summer rain drifts, cool, through my window.

I know it’s not enough
To sit inside and watch.

Chorus:
Feel it, hear it, taste it, touch it
Believe in the summer rain.
Feel it, hear it, taste it, touch it
Free yourself to the summer rain.

Oil slicks all around
Dance with rainbows on the ground beneath my feet.
The stillness of it all
Makes no sound at all.

The warm mist on the road
Reveals the way to go.

Guitar break – one verse.

Like a summer kiss of grace
The warm rain on my face.

Chorus:
Feel it hear it, taste it, touch it,
Believe in the summer rain.
See it, feel it, hear it, taste it
Free yourself to the summer rain.

Lightning crashing down
Thunder rolls the ground – feels like home
As the storm clouds rise
A pale light warms the sky – brings me home.

The pale grey light of dawn
Makes sense of it all

Repeat chorus to end.

More from the Lyrical Archive: A Song about Abandonment

Cds MG 8496

When I first wrote this song, I realized something about myself that I hadn’t been aware of – how much I fear abandonment.

It’s not like I’ve ever been abandoned. Sure, like almost everyone, I have lost family and friends along my journey. I mean, the trigger for the song was the death of my mom on my 23rd birthday, which I suppose could be seen as a kind of abandonment.. But, reading the lyrics, I’m left with the sense that my fear goes deeper than that. And I can see how it’s played out in various aspects of my life.

Just as a final word before sharing the lyrics with you, I want to say that the words are symbolic, and are not based on a real event. No-one I know has died in the way described in the song, I promise…

Away

Red was the colour of the single rose you gave to me,
The day before you left
Black was the colour of the night sky when you said goodbye

Then you turned and you walked away
Said you’d be back some day
But that something’s are not meant to be
We just couldn’t see

Gold was the colour that the dawn broke as you hit the road
Blue was the colour of the sky behind that you left behind

Then you turned and you walked away
Said you’d be back some day
But that some things are not meant to be
We just couldn’t see

Some things we are not meant to see, so we can let them be
Some things we are not meant to know, so we can let them go

Black was the night that they found you there, lying there
red was the colour of the blood that ran into the golden sand
And took your life away

And I remember how you walked away
Said you’d be back someday
That some things can never be
I still don’t want to see

Digging in the Musical Archives – The Girl in the Mirror

The images shows Lois singing into a microphone

It may sound odd, but sometimes I don’t know what my song lyrics are about. I find myself studying the words and shaking my head in bewilderment. Girl in the Mirror is one of those songs.

At a best guess, I can see that I may have been questioning my identity after losing my sight – to me it is hard to know who is the reflection in the mirror by the end of the song. And it leads to the question of whether I am still myself or just a reflection of who I was when I was sighted?

Perhaps you see something completely different in the lyrics. That is totally fine with me – songs, like poems and metaphors should mean something different to each of us. That is why we connect with some lyrics more than others.

Listen to Girl in the Mirror, played by my band, tuesday’s child, here – with two additional songs thrown in for good measure: https://www.loisstrachan.com/music/

The Girl in the Mirror

There’s a girl in the mirror every time I pass
Held captive there behind the glass
Who is she? Why is she there?
And I wonder

There’s a girl in the mirror; she looks like me
If I saw through her eyes, what would I see?
Who is she? Why is she there?
And I wonder

Chorus:
Mirror, mirror upon the wall
Is there anybody there at all?
Mirror, mirror upon the wall
Or is my mind simply creating it all?

There’s a girl in the mirror she’s smiling at me
Trancelike, hypnotic I can’t turn away
Who is she; why is she there?
And I wonder

Chorus

Am I creating it all?
Simply creating it all?
Am I creating it all?
There’s nothing real there at all.

Chorus

There’s a girl in the mirror she’s there every day
And as I watch her, she’s turning away
The girl in the mirror turns and slowly walks away.

Digging in the Musical Archives – Cabin Fever State of Mind

This month’s song is another early one. And, this time, I can play you a version of the song – though I had to dive quite deep into the musical archives to find it! It’s a song called Cabin Fever State of Mind and, as far as I remember, has been played twice live on stage, once on my own and once with a full band, with Craig’s sister, Sally on backing vocals.

Here are the lyrics, and the link to the song is at the end of the post – it’s a very early recording and isn’t great but hey, you asked me to share a recording this time round and I listened…

Cabin Fever State of Mind – by Lois Strachan

I’ve been staring at these four walls all day.
But the hardest wish won’t wish them away.
And I feel I’m trapped here all alone,
In this cabin beneath these drifts of snow.

Pacing in circles round the room.
But there’s no way out and no way in
And I feel like I’ve been here all my life,
In this cabin fever state of mind.

There must be a corner or a place to hide
From the thoughts that are starting to drive me wild.
But there’s nowhere to run, and there’s nowhere to hide
From this cabin fever state of mind.

And here in a corner of my snowbound mind
Insanity smiles and marks her time
Waiting for a signal, searching for a sign
Through this cabin fever state of mind

There must be a corner or a place to hide
From the thoughts that are starting to drive me wild
But there’s nowhere to run and there’s nowhere to hide
From this cabin fever state of mind.

And here I sit and wait to fall
A victim to my own four walls.
A prisoner in space and time
In this cabin fever state of mind.

Meadow Blue – My Very First Song

Lois singing

Over the years I’ve built up quite a library of writings. I’m going to share some of these with you on the first day of each month. Starting today.

“Meadow Blue” is the first song I ever wrote. I performed it on stage with the band, Phrank for a Moment, in Durban. It was written a few months after losing my sight – but that’s not what the song’s about!

Meadow Blue – by Lois Strachan.

You landed in my life, like a light on the horizon.
A star that fell from heaven, and landed in my hands.
Meadow Blue and ocean green
A perfect vision from within my dreams

I traveled down the pathways that brought me close to you.
But I found space had deceived me, and masked the real you.
Meadow blue, and ocean green
Distorted colours that confused my dreams.

You caught my eye, and spun me round.
You stole my light, and tore me down.
You tore me down.

Meadow blue and ocean green
Are no more than colours that betrayed my dreams.
Meadow green and ocean blue
Have finally let me see the real you.
They finally let me see the real.

You landed in my life, like a light on the horizon.
A star thrown down from heaven.

I haven’t decided what to share with you next month – maybe another song, maybe some poetry, or maybe some of my fiction and short stories.

Feel free to let me know what you’d like me to share.

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