Week 473 // A Dream of Flight

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Out in the kinder air
The first breath of night
Oh how the sun went down
Behold the last remaining light

Oh darling look to me
Fly to the north
Fly up away from here
I’ll follow after for all I’m worth

I think the wind
Will always blow
I know the light
Will always go
Perhaps my wings
Will always know
A good way home

Good night to whispered words
Good night to songs
Good night night to searching thoughts
Good night with love until the dawn

I think the wind
Will always blow
I know the light
Will always go
Perhaps my wings
Will always know
A pretty good way home

Notes
I’ve been getting out of town and it’s a calming influence. Whether it has been up to the woods of New Hampshire to visit my folks, or to the rolling foothills of the Catskills to dream by the firelight with my wife, I’ve found peace in the clear air at twilight. This song is a lullaby for a person who has grown into a new restless age. So many songs for grownups cast the night as long and lonesome, and the dark as a foreboding shadow. I wanted the night to be a blanket, and the darkness to become an enveloping dream. When I dream, I want to dream of flight.

~M.E.

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Week 472 // Whatever’s Best for Me

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I’m a man
Set in his ways
Whatever’s best for me
I’ll never change

Whatever’s best for me
Whatever’s best for me
Whatever’s best for me
I am who I am

I’m a man
Set in his ways
Whatever’s best for me
I’ll never change

Whatever’s best for me
Whatever’s best for me
Whatever’s best for me
I am who I am

Notes
I’m not sure if I am singing to bemoan the entropy in typecasting myself, or if I’m defending my loyalty to the steadfast truth of my character. Perhaps I’m doing both. I think there’s a powerful thing in recognizing one’s own character and living in it. I also think there is tragedy to be found in denying oneself the opportunity to grow and improve out of fealty to some abstraction of one’s expected parameters. At the end of the day, I suspect that I wrote this song to disagree with it. I imagine I have already written the rebuttal, and that it is buried here somewhere in these hundreds of songs. I don’t believe I ever set out to defend the impulse never to change.

~M.E.

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Week 471 // River Song 5

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By the river
Looking into it
Not the way that we remembered it
No
These things will change
And I’d believe most any news
From home

Hold the door
And I will run for it
Put your back and shoulders into it
Hold
You’ve held the world
It’s this I ask and nothing more
Of you

There are lots of ways
There are many ways
We can take the long way home

I can swim upstream
I’m sure of it
I can fight the current
All the way home
God and my will
The trappings of a zealous heart
I’ve known

There are lots of ways
There are many ways
We can take the long way home

Notes
These nine years are inconceivable to me as I think back to the day I launched this project. I vowed not to let music drift from my life, and it hasn’t. For this I’m grateful and I celebrate. I am particularly grateful to my wife, my parents, my family, my collaborators, my friends, and my listeners for their continuing support and encouragement since that long ago November. As a token of my gratitude, as has been my custom, I offer this free download. It features 23 of my favorite songs from the past year.


click here, and you’ll download 23 songs for free

This song took the long way home. It has been a kind of white whale to me since I first plucked at it some time in February. Sometimes l love a guitar piece so much that I’m afraid of it — afraid to touch it, to defile it with the wrong words, or besmirch it with the addition of an unworthy new passage. It might seem dramatic. To your ear, this piece may not warrant that reverence. To me, it was a jewel never to touch, except to idle upon it in my apartment, always to put it away again. Every time I tried to finish it, I fled. Until today.

An important step was to realize that this is a River Song. Since the first one I made during year two, I’ve periodically found inspiration in rivers, because rivers are already songs, and they’re different every time. This time the River Song is about change and patience. This year has been abundant with both. I’m happy it is finished. I feel free to start the 10th(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) year of this project with a clean slate.

I hope you’ll stay with me this year, and perhaps share this project from time to time with people who love music. The next twelve months will bring both the 500th song of this project, and its decade anniversary. I can’t imagine how that will feel, but I would like to share it with you. Thank you for listening.

Love,
Jesse

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Week 470 // Common Sense

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I was up against
all my common sense
I was up against
all my common sense

Ain’t no use in thinking that
Ain’t no use in thinking that
Ain’t no use in thinking that
Ain’t no use in thinking that

I was up against
all my common sense
I was up against
all my common sense

Ain’t no use in thinking that
Ain’t no use in thinking that
Ain’t no use in thinking that
Ain’t no use in thinking that

Notes
The rain outside is casting a certain mood. Things seem black and white. The photo accompanying this post was altered to make my block look a bit more like it seems when you actually walk it today. This song is about reacting to one’s own best judgement, and standing at odds with oneself. It is written to suit the mood of the cold rain outside. It’s a characteristic November song for a very November day.

Next Monday is a special day here on the old Mount Everest song project. I will be marking this project’s ninth anniversary. It’s a perplexing thing to contemplate nine years in pursuit of my song in this very specific way. I’ll have plenty to say about it in a week, if you decide to return for the occasion.

~M.E.

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Week 469 // Wait the Weather Out

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I think the cold is alright
It turns up and turns tail again
The sun is out
I’m heading out again
But I’ll be back soon

I’m alone on my block
Folks are shut in
Guess that’s up to them
Folks are shut off
Picked apart again
But they’ll be back soon

Wait this moment out
Stand the test of time
Wait the weather out
Stand the test of time
Wait the hour out
Stand the test of time
Time

All the way to the ocean
Looking out at the open sky
Looking up as the clouds go by
And we’ll be there soon

Wait this moment out
Stand the test of time
Wait the weather out
Stand the test of time
Wait the hour out
Stand the test of time
Time

Notes
This week’s song is about patience. Many times in my life when I’ve faced a difficult moment, somebody has told me that it won’t be forever. That has always proven to be true one way or another.

Another thing that helps me is to recognize the complexity of the interiority of others. When the inside of my head gets a little bit loud, I quiet it by walking. While I’m walking, I look at all the windows of the apartments that line my block, and I try to remember that each holds a story as rich and unknowable as the last, and that every person in every window is living through something all their own. It’s beautiful and bewildering to count the stories hiding away on my block. It makes me feel like part of the human race.

The other thing that helps me out is to seek out nature, because nature is the best.

~M.E.

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Week 468 // Future

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Oh the future waits
And the sunrise waits for you
Oh tomorrow is wide wide place
And getting there is well worth getting through

Oh the future waits
And the sunrise waits for you
Oh tomorrow is wide wide place
And getting there is well worth getting through

Oh the future waits
And the sunrise waits for you
Oh tomorrow is wide wide place
And getting there is well worth getting through

Notes
It’s been a hard fall, a fact that I’ve been told is evident in the songs I’ve been writing. Part of this project is publicly airing my feelings. Even when I’m not specific about context, I know that friends and family can read me.

Today I’m working on my outlook, both in this song and in real life. That’s not to say that everything gets easier right away, but I’m ever hopeful, which can sometimes be lost in my songs. This isn’t a brilliant song, but it’s a nice one. I wanted to write something optimistic, something encouraging, something a little bit buoyant in an effort to bolster hope in my own heart, and perhaps in the hearts of other people if they happen to hear it.

One thing that helps me is to go out and find something beautiful in the world. That’s an easy thing to do in autumn, even in New York. Here’s a photo of the most beautiful tree in Prospect park. Yesterday, I went there and checked them all. This was the best.

~M.E.

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Week 467 // Seekers

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Hold me
The same way
All the way home
All the creatures
All the seekers
And non-believers

A motion
A kindness
In the silence
Empty stages
All the phrases
On torn out pages

Goddess
Oh heavens
All of nature
All the creatures
Every feature
Of true believers

Notes
I’m really enamored with this little song, but I’m at a bit of a loss on how to interpret it. I allowed the lyrics to come with very little friction, without a critical eye on the surface of the text, or the need to convey a specific meaning. Perhaps it is good if this one is up to you to read into, but I still feel a duty to try to decipher it just a little.

A thought: There is something in this song that speaks to losing and finding faith. The faith found doesn’t seem to be the same as the one that was lost. Perhaps the lost faith lost was wrapped up in assumptions about the self, and the found faith is rooted in discovery of the world outside.

Another thought: I am often interested in the word “creatures”. In my work creatures are sometimes monsters or threats, both internal and external. Other times, creatures are animals, friends, or the kind and misunderstood other. I think this song uses all of these meanings in very few words.

Those are my thoughts on this song.

~M.E.

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Week 466 // Waiting on the Light to Break

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Waiting on the light to break
Thinking of my friends
Thinking how the times have changed
Thinking of us then

Thinking of the worst of it
Lingering on the best
Tally what has come before
Count up what is left

Notes
Fall is always a reflective time of year, and the weather has finally well and truly shifted. As things cool down, I find my thoughts turning to friends, to the past, to way things were, and ultimately to the way things could be. This isn’t an elaborate song. It’s a pondering on people and time. It’s a anchor at a moment that feels like a turning point. It’s a moment to consider my context carefully, and proceed.

~M.E.

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Week 465 // The Glow Worm Serenade

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The Earth is aglow
And we are alive

The Earth is aglow
And we are alive

The Earth is alive
And we are aglow

Notes
Riding back to New York from Vermont in a rented minivan, David and Nat could tell that I was feeling anxious about arriving home in time to write and record a song today. It was after five, and traffic seemed to be slowing. Luckily, I was riding with two of New York’s most creative and supportive musicians. They convinced me to strum out a new tune in the car, and they offered to help. My range of motion was tight, and recording conditions were less than ideal, but we made it work as best we could. We were coming off the emotional high of a beautiful annual gathering with our dearest friends, so the sentiment came easily.

David and Nat provided whistling, vocal improvisations and harmony, and I plucked out a nice thing on the guitar while I sang a simple notion into my phone. The engine roared, doing its best to obscure the finer subtitles of Nat’s vocal “trumpet” solo, but you can hear it there behind it all. David sounded like a beautiful song bird.

I’m grateful for this life and the people who live it with me.

~M.E.

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Week 464 // Melted Wax

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Take this
Confidence
Sunshine
Icarus
The moonlight
Never melted wax
Icarus
Didn’t think of that

Notes
This song was written around a short and simple poem I concocted using the myth of Icarus to poke at questions about confidence. He probably had too much of it, which is something a lot of us can relate to. Usually when we fly too close to the proverbial sun, we don’t really plummet to the earth, but our confidence often can. Unlike Icarus, we can often build ourselves back up again, and look the situation from another angle. We can be wiser than Icarus and make our next flight by the light of the moon instead.

~M.E.

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