Leave a comment


Awe and Amazement.

There are only a few breathtaking and spiritual sites I’ve been to in the world that have left me with a hangover…

… a lingering sense of wonderment and near incredulity of the power – not always beneficial – of human struggle, labour, and aspiration.

I think of visits to Machu Picchu (Peru), the Terra Cotta Warriors (China)… and most recently… an island in the Atlantic, Skellig Michael (Ireland).

None of these are spectacular natural wonders like Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, the Great Barrier Reef, or the Northern Lights.

These are constructs of human imagination and toil – toil by thousands of living souls in the cases of Machu Picchu and the Terra Cotta Warriors, but in the Skellig Michael instance, exertions by a mere 13 souls (at any one time) over 600 years, from about 600 CE to 1200 CE.

A grouping of 13 Augustinian monks migrated to the 22 hectare (54 acres) island about 12 km. off the southwest coast of Ireland to create a monastery from which to praise God.

The rocky island is defined by its twin peaks and intervening valley (known as Christ’s Saddle) which make its landscape steep and inhospitable.

Six hundred upward steps from the ocean, these monks built a stone monastery situated near the peak of the crag about 180 m (550 to 600 ft).


The island is of special interest to archaeologists, since the monastery and outbuildings are in unusually good condition. And for 180 fortunate travellers each day during spring and summer – when weather allows – a boat trip and hike up the treacherously steep steps to the monastery is a pilgrimage into the past.

This is a journey that I, my wife Maureen, and my daughter and her partner undertook this summer. (see post I wrote earlier)


And now… to bring all of this into lyric and song… a lullaby, for the past and the present of this magnificent rock jutting from the depths of the Atlantic off the County Kerry coast of Ireland…


by Larry Green

Rest in your rocky bed

pilgrims of god’s command

perceive the ocean’s lapping lilt 

where only rock and wind withstands 


These spikes of Kerry rock

this hidden hav’n discovered

mere 13 souls, a million birds

escape the sins of humanity suffered


Today we trod this fearsome cliff

hearts dance to hymns of awe

watch clouds shift watch colours drift

each minute stands alone

brushed o’er

the medieval lens of yesteryear 


As little dolls in children’s beds 

the wings, the coos of puffins 

through grey and shrouded mist

great gannets soar, in so many hundreds


But in the dreamer’s sound 

I hear the breath of faithful toilers

piling stone with consecrated care

rising ever upwards upwards to the cloister


Aristobulus conveyed them here

through plagues and pagan tales

6 centuries travails



Ah, the mysteries of humanity

each rocky step’s salvation 

embracing faith and obedience

abiding isolation, bearing desolation


Today we trod this fearsome cliff

hearts dance to hymns of awe

watch clouds shift watch colours drift

each minute stands alone

brushed o’er

the medieval lens of yesteryear 


NB. A recently released historical fiction book, entitled HAVEN, by Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue (author of ROOM and THE WONDER), highlights the monks’ story of Skellig Michael



Remember that great earworm CUPS song (“When I’m Gone”) performed by Anna Kendrick in the movie Pitch Perfect?



Some co-workers and myself sang and performed a fun, modified version of the CUPS song as a retirement goodbye send-off to a pair of colleagues back in 2013.

“Cups” actually originated from a 1931 song “When I’m Gone” by the Carter Family (written by A.P. Carter)

The catchy hook of the song goes like this:

When I’m gone
When I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone
You’re gonna miss me by my hair
You’re gonna miss me everywhere, oh
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone

Now how about… actor Keanu Reeves being interviewed by Stephen Colbert in 2019.

The pair bantered back and forth until Colbert earnestly asked Reeves… What do you think happens when we die, Keanu Reeves?”

I know that the ones who love us will miss us.”

Simple words and yet it shows us the power of subtlety.

In the last month our household has been hit with the news of 3 deaths of relatives…. so…

Each of these things I’m talking about above bring me around to my thought today…

Here’s a little secret I’ll share with you:

For sure, I fear dying… but even more, I fear dying without being able to say goodbye to my loved ones.

My Mom collapsed and died with acute suddenness on the driveway outside our home… there was no goodbye. This sticks with me like the shadow to my body.

It stresses me that my kids/grandkids might get that sudden, startling, late night phone call relaying my “unexpected” demise.

I’m holding out, holding on, for at least a short, cognitive, slice of time at my ending; a day or week when I can utter my final love words, and of course great last words of “Silly Larry” earthbound wisdom, to those who’ve: lived with me, put up with me, laughed and hugged and cried with me, worked and played with me, been bored with me… you know, the whole panoply of “with” stuff.

Yup, I know these are the things you should say to the ones you love every day, you’re right. Yup, so right.

But like the “beginning at birth” idea that boys don’t cry, sharing deep inner emotions and thoughts with others is very difficult… the words get stuck between my brain and my tongue.

And so, I’ll at least talk about this in verse and song.

Today I’ll share the verses with you, and hopefully someday soon, I’ll have a musical bed to lay the words over and roll them past you again.


by Larry Green

Years and years from now

you’ll hear yourself say something strange

maybe wonder where the words came from

like when you find that long lost name

the glue peels away, the memory shines clear

the instant you feel me near


skipping ropes, summer hikes

shooting hoops and riding bikes


If I forget to say goodbye

excuse my lapse and find a smile

I won’t melt away that fast

because I’ll always be inside you

No you can’t lose me oh so easily

even if I forget to say goodbye


Last week when you were born

I was younger than you are now

it was certain life would go on forever

but life’s logic was a magic paint

whose door has felt the wind and sun

swinging closed and growing faint


toboggan runs, Sunoka waves

ballet shoes and trebuchets 


If I forget to say goodbye

excuse my lapse and find a smile

I won’t melt away that fast

because I’ll always be inside you 

No you can’t lose me oh so easily

even if I forget to say goodbye


I’ll set down my guitar

Draw in my last breath 

and blow away like yellowed newsprint

we’ll share a blueprint etched forever

in the starry sky together

even if I forget to say goodbye



Wedding Day June 8, 1899 – Margaret Gray and William Miller (my grandparents)

In nighttime fog, as you press yourself through tangled cobwebs and gauzy mist, where do your dreams take you in time and place?

Do you, like me, sometimes “chat” with a departed relative or friend almost as if you’re at a seance?

Might it seem so real that you can feel your grandmother’s hand on your arm… or smell the scent of tobacco on your favourite uncle’s breath? Hear the excited timbre of your childhood friend’s voice?

I have very fond memories of childhood (and adult too) visits to a cemetery at a countryside junction between Wellington Rd 24 and Sideroad 27 in the bucolic rolling hills just outside of Hillsburgh Ontario. Huxley Cemetery.

There, I’d commune with my grandparents and their siblings, my aunts and uncles – some that I had met, and many more that left this little blue planet before I drew my first breath of air.

Nowadays, when I’m not at the actual cemetery “visiting”, I sometimes have nighttime explorations in my dreams and fill my head with the imaginings of these ancestors whose very presence made mine possible.

My life rests upon their lives, even though I never knew them apart from family stories and old worn photographs. They were real flesh and blood people with all of the troubles and joys that I have felt in my own life.

In this week’s lyrics post, I’m taking one of my imaginary journeys into the world of my forebears for a dusky chat with my grandparents, Will and Maggie, buried side-by-side many years back along the grassy slope of Huxley Cemetery.

What sort of conversations do you have with your past?

Huxley Stones

by Larry Green


Before these stones

before this granite’s tome

before you go no further this day

before your sand returns from bone…

slip through the cracks of Craigh Na Dun…


“… pull up a chair beside

and chat for just a few, would you?

tell us first, where have you been?

We’re sure there’s been so many changes

Since your last drop by to see us

We’re not mere misty strangers

hazy illusions of a painter’s brush”


“Could you tell us all we’ve missed

these 80 years or so

the big the small dear share it all

parcel up the news from near and far

Were you your parents’ sheen and shine?

we worried so about your mother

to carry such a worried mind”


“We catch the roamer’s stories

in glimpses as they pass

what war or peace was seen of late

whose hearts are filled with love and hate

If only we could trade places,

to wander streets and dance vivacious

what might we see out there?”


“And what of your siblings dear?

So sad we never got to know you all

anywhere ‘cept here

by this chiselled quirky stone standing tall

where kinfolk talk in whispered tones

We see the wrinkles on your brow have grown

reminding how days and nights have flown

your face now weathered like our own”


“Oh my we yawn and close our eyes

under sun it’s hard to fathom

how we weary now, no chore or two to ply

God knows we toiled long and hard

in our many days gone by

this stone of dates you touch is chill and sterile

but in you our hearts stay warm this while”


Tell me, are you a

caregiver creator lover jester

warrior outlaw explorer sage?

Blow the grass, lie with us forever

look up and see the clouds as we do

your bones and blood a part of us together


Leave a comment

In days past when we gathered in groups and sat close beside each other (remember those days?), there was a bi-weekly Open Mic at a small re-conditioned church cum Gelateria in Oliver, BC called Medicis, owned and run by a friend of mine, David.

We would head down to Medicis once a month on a Friday evening and I would perform my three allotted songs.

The place was cozily warm and comfortable with about a dozen or 15 tables scattered about, an inviting atmosphere to play or to listen (think Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe).

One of the really fun parts of attending this was to see and listen to other performers. Listening to their songs, their style, while watching their frayed nervousness or professional polish, was a highlight of the night.

We listened to many dozens of musicians over a few years, but only a few performers really stand out in my mind. There was the: really good, the really bad, and the eccentrics, of which there was no paucity.

One of those eccentrics was an elderly lady with a sweet temperament and a very folksy presence on stage.

I called her Paper Rose which I’ll explain more about in a moment.

She would climb the three creaky stairs to the stage holding her guitar, smiling somewhat shyly out at the audience as she fumbled to slide the guitar’s strap over her head.

Her physical appearance was strikingly reminiscent of Minnie Pearl, the flower-hatted lady on the old TV show HEE HAW, her voice a bit less shrill. And yes, she actually wore a flowered, round-rimmed straw hat, sans dangling price tag!

Once settled a bit, she would begin to tell in expansive detail a narrative of her recent life and health issues. This could go on for some minutes.

In many cases it might irritate an audience to listen to her go on, but her engaging manner just endeared her to us.

By the time she began to play her guitar and sing, the audience was rooting for her, no matter what she sang.

And after seeing her on more than one occasion, it became clear that one of the 3 songs she would always sing was Paper Roses (made most famous in 1973 by Marie Osmond).

Invariably, halfway through the song, “Rose” would lose track of the chords on her guitar and stop playing mid-stride in apparent embarrassment.

She would try one chord and hum a bit, try another chord and hum some more… then the audience (maybe slightly lubricated by this time) would begin to pick up the well-known tune and sing aloud until she just joined back in without any guitar accompaniment.

At the end of the song, a great burst of applause would ring out. Rose would beam in her awshucks folksy way.

Rose may or may not be alive today, I don’t know. I hope so.

I only know that she was adorable and adored.

The following song lyrics I’ve written are an ode, an homage, to the sweet lady that invariably brought a smile to your face… a lady that I call Paper Rose because of this song that she sang.

(NB. Following these lyrics, you will find a new song recording I’m pleased to share…)


by Larry Green

These old church steps are harder to climb
guess it’s a telltale sign
my heart’s grown so weak and tired
the doctor says, “watch your fire
you can’t do everything you desire”
then reaching the top stair a quiet voice draws close
“Sing your song Paper Rose.”

Medicis’ door swings open wide
I’m not so crippled when I come here to hide
but I’m not feeling too good of late
just a whispery shadow of a merciful fate
light upon the smile in my eye
my dancing heart that soon may die
the stage is calling “Sing your song Paper Rose”

Paper Rose, Paper Rose
you’ve shown me this mirror
this window of life
I’ll thank you for singing
I hear Angels singing
I’ll exit this stage with my Paper Rose

Wood floor warm, full of innocence again
sparked to make memories and preserve them
Strum this first chord on my guitar
house holding out to me their dance card
Kind David babysits over the gelato counter
hear my heart it’s fluttering fast
I search to find the song of my past

“These strings just won’t tune” I babble
struggle and giggle, peer up and prattle
adjust my Minnie Pearl hat to where it belongs
Can I remember the darn words to my favourite song?
the song I always sing, that song I always sing
I’ve got it, that mysterious ghost
The words, the music for my Paper Rose

“Oh dear my friends I’ve lost my chords”
burning flush pouring through my pores
wiggle and squirm “oh I’m clumsy as an ox”
Losing my smile on the ragged wrecked rocks
then musical words rise aloud from the house
as they sing along on a moment’s notice
Sweet Lord, “Paper Roses, Paper Roses…”

The party’s growing wan
the band still plays on
little girl in the photo withering

Paper Rose, Paper Rose
you’ve shown me this mirror
this window of life
I’ll thank you for singing
I can hear Angels singing
I’ll exit this stage with my Paper Rose


I’m proud to share this next song with you.

An eternity ago, at the start of the COVID isolation, I got together with a long-time musical collaborator of mine, Marie Delmaire. As a duo, we perform publicly as Green Sea Âmes, a nod to each of our last names and Marie’s birthplace of France.

We recorded this lovely song called GREEN EYES. The song was written in 1982 by American folksinger Kate Wolf. Wolf died a mere 4 years later of leukemia at the age of 44.

I hope you like it.



Leave a comment

OK my friends… I’ve had a couple of weeks of fun and frivolity in my recent blog posts… recess is over for today… so…

Back to the harder work of lyric and songwriting.

Time to get back to some serious reflection and contemplation. Thoughts viewed through the poetry and filter of music.

In these COVID times, it’s quite simple to see our time, our lives, as difficult and maybe even unfair. There are so many sad and unfortunate stories across the globe that push us towards a feeling of despair.

I can only imagine not being able to hold the hand of a loved one dying in a care home or a lonely hospital bed. I can only imagine being held in a desolate refugee camp with little hope for the future of my small children.

It’s fair to say I’ve lived a sheltered and charmed life.

My good fortune was being born in a time and place, along with a gender and skin colour, filled with advantage. I’ve known little other than peace, health, and abundance.

There have been real fears over my years, such as nuclear war, but for the most part – in historic context – my life has been low on dire threat to me or my brethren. I’m not a great believer in random luck, but in this way, I truly have been lucky.


The lyrics I’ve written in today’s song The Not So Dusty Road – the road that you and I have walked as children of the late 1900’s and early 2000’s – are my attempt to strike a comparison of life 100 years ago with today’s western world.

One hundred years ago, life was lived on the edge of survival, with hunger, war and disease readily prepared to snatch away the breath of any who ventured too close to those ravages.

My images lean in on childbirth and war, gender issues, schools and technology.

The first half of the song is written viewed from the year 1920, the second half from 2020. Each consecutive verse is constructed from the angle of woman, man and child.

Let’s dive in:


by Larry Green



You heard the baby cries through ether fog
Victorian images, blooded queen in silken sheets
whose fate and fortune bestowed by God
whose joy to live and breed

2. Man

Childs’ faces pocked, lungs assailed by smog
crushed sons in mud, infected feet in bogs of icy thaw
returned at last
to steal the bread from kitchen ledges

3. Child

Stand in line and heed the bell
no shoes to wear, lunch from fields soaked in your sweat
your blood-red hands declared
from shaming eyes, the severe Judas prayer


The not so dusty road
so few have ever seen
the tarnished one that others strode
lost afar on the not so dusty road


4. Woman

Ads tell me “Baby, you’ve come so far”
I aim the gun, I own my house, I drive my car
I cross my X, I boot my Ex
I squeeze my thighs with MeToo flex

5. Man

My baby’s fed, makin’ bacon in the house,
swapped the plow a few years back for bits and mouse
Sim life just moved onto my street
Sweet Niagara, the carpet’s moving under me

6. Child

What’s it like outside today she asked
wind or rain I’ll check the weather cam
smartboard lessons since burnt the chalk
wisdom’s candle, the cellphone aftershock


The troubled bridge that brought me here
from where so many tumbled
dim voices distant in the tunnel


The not so dusty road
so few have ever seen
the tarnished one that others strode
lost afar on the not so dusty road





little voice

Do you feel a song coming on?

Good, because today is lyrics’ day… the muse has decided to take a staycation – the motivation and inspiration pushed gently along the track by a show on Apple TV that I accidentally stumbled upon called Little Voice.

The show is a bit saccharine (which, given my love of all things sugary, sounds about right) and loosely based on the early experiences of singer/songwriter Sarah Bareilles.

I’m probably drawn to the romantic sentimentality of the series in direct parallel to the main character’s description of her music as: very… earnest.

Earnest is one of the ways I think of myself when I write lyrics, and most likely, my blog posts as well.

I can’t impress upon you enough the number of times I’ve sat down to write a fun and light-as-icing-sugar blog posting…*laugh track rises* – the writing angels take flight and I type away like some mad creature for 20 or 30 minutes.

Then I exit my trance and stop to re-read my first 500 words…. and… WTH? Where’s the light touch, who stole away the fun in this?

man flipping wig

I reveal myself to myself despite myself. Yup, earnest. Let’s say Earnest Lite.

OK, enough navel gazing (kind of like last week’s post with all of its exposed navels and twigs and berries!).

The song I’m writing this week: THE VACANT CHAIR.

This time out, I return to the year 1935 and a letter composed by my grandmother Margaret (Maggie) to my Mom.

It’s written less than 2 weeks after my grandfather William’s “unexpected death” at the age of 63 in the wintry chill of January.

Although I never met either of my maternal grandparents, the obituary described my grandfather as having “a kindly disposition [that] gave him a wide circle of friends and neighbours.”

I’ve written the lyrics in the voice of my grandmother; not alone, but lonely in the short winter days living on a potato and pig farm in the tiny, rural, southern Ontario town of Hillsburgh.

The soft, rolling hills of Hillsburgh (named for an early family, not the topography) can make you cry with their beauty.

In putting music to this biographical piece, I foresee giving it a misty, deep-bass moody feel in an unusual guitar tuning like that used by Beck in his song, Heart is a Drum.

I hope you find something in this song, because I know we all have or will one day have the experience of sitting down at a dining table and feeling the ghostly presence… the melancholy emptiness of a lone unoccupied chair that was once brimming with life.

(After these lyrics I’ve attached a rough recording of a song I wrote a few years back called San Lorenzo’s Bells. While practising our Spanish in Sevilla, Spain, my wife and I sat in a small square sipping cafe au lait and people watching. I spotted a tiny encounter between an older couple who appeared to be strangers… but… I could also sense a tiny affectionate connection forming in the few seconds they spoke. It was a delicious fragment of humanity that wouldn’t let go of my head.)


by Larry Green

Its cold outside today Will
there’s sun and bitter chill
The barn is full with bins of hay
tiller stowed back by the sleigh
jack and jenny eat their fill,
and the ricks piled next to the mare
it would all feel oh so normal Will
except all I see is a vacant chair

I’ll get Lloyd to fix that darn fence
the one you swore you’d get onto
like the wobbly wooden chairs
where we read poems, recited the Lord’s Prayer
me screaming so loud when you pulled my hair
back in our schoolhouse where
I never dreamed I’d live these last few days
and all I see is your vacant chair

I suppose the pet names we shared
are set loose now in the dusty sky
til Will and Maggie share our rest in Huxley
our muddy boot marks washed away
I still stand at the door in each day’s dusk
and search the fields for you out there
It’s so hard to face the dark alone
when all I see is your vacant chair


Could I ever dream
my eyes tricked by shadows and whispers
you might be the home in my heart

I guess I don’t feel it yet
I write these letters to the kids
Thinking back on our Hillsburgh picnics
I climb into our icy bed and whisper low
sharing the day’s words with your pillow
It’s good to know your pains are gone now
but mine have just begun
And all I see is your vacant chair

Did I mention it’s cold outside today Will?




Leave a comment

Carlos Santana and band on Stage at Woodstock Music & Art Fair

Where were you in ’69?

Or maybe… were you YOU in ’69?

I was ME… 12 years-old with a galaxy of unseen stars in my eyes, a limitless future of the still-to-be-known.

Almost heading into high school… sometimes over-confident, sometimes fearful, sometimes insecure, eternally hopeful.

Formative years… for me the most exciting, most challenging, most disruptive years of my life were probably between 1969 and 1977.

When you’re young, a whole life can be seemingly lived in just a few short years. The emotional heights and depths soar and crash. The intensity of our teenage times can feel like an eternity.

In 1974 I bought my first car.

It was a brown 1967 Rambler American bought off a used car lot. $900. Automatic. Bench seats. Defrost that rarely worked. Windows that kept some of the rain out.


Bought with the “riches” from my McJob with a starting wage of $1.55 per hour.  A full shift of flipping burgers put a little bit more than $12 in my pocket. I was good at it. Making burgers, that is…

I was a McDonald’s ALL-STAR (yes, Truly).

Buying that Rambler in the hot summer that I turned 17, symbolically and utterly shifted the shape of my life.

I instantly looked cooler and more attractive (I thought), but it also allowed me, in reality, to be “grown up”. Paying for gas, insurance and repairs matures you in a New York Minute.

The purchase of that car marked my transition from a green-behind-the-ears teenager into a young adult living in the world of weighty responsibilities, giddy romance, love, and a new kind of heartbreak that felt so totally different from what I experienced when my Mom died.

The lyrics I’m posting here this week reflect a little of this Rambler Man period of tumultuous change in my world.

Maybe take a New York minute yourself and think about your teenage days and how they helped mould you – for better and worse – into the person you are today.

(Following the lyrics below you’ll find a link to a song (When Atlas Shrugged) that I wrote and posted lyrics for October 4, 2019. The song is my reflection on the #MeToo movement from the other side of the gender fence, acknowledging the privilege of being born male. The music has a slight Spanish flamenco-styling to suggest the bull in the ring… the one who believes he has the power, but ultimately ends up dead in the centre of the spectacle).
bull and girl

OK… today’s song… Let’s go:

The Colour of Rambler Summer

by Larry Green

Cool Butch and handsome Sundance
were the heroes of this laddish young’un
and I’d pretend to be the thuggish
bad boy that held the school hall fun
watching the shag cut kids with tabs to share
droopy eyes singed by drugs

We sat in movie theatre matinees
cool dark balcony with Steve McQueen
while outside buses fumed the air
sidewalks seared shoppers’ feet
city streets scorched humid in the sun
that curled the women’s hair

The colour of my Rambler summer
was a camouflage tone
like the melt of ice cream
syrupy sweet sauce
light and dark
wholesome and harmful
dreams only come free at a cost

The year before, the crickets chirped
Cool water sucked up from sprinklers
between turns at the bat
then Charlie slashed Sharon’s blood
ugly sickness stole the life unmet
death to pigs spelt in bloody black

This acned face shiny and pure
I craved and hoped with boy hormones rich
like trees draped with vines
I tasted alcohol I tasted kisses
in bittersweet Summer of ’42 flavours
not the tang of Bryan’s Summer of ’69

The colour of my Rambler summer
was a camouflage tone
like the melt of ice cream
syrupy sweet sauce
light and dark
wholesome and harmful
dreams only come free at a cost

I don’t know if I learned the truth at 17
or in my older days
pages turn and still I learn
the colours of a rainbow’s arch
seemed so clear in my first car
shared tones between the bars

The colour of my Rambler summer
… the colour of my Rambler summer
… the colour of my Rambler summer


Leave a comment


This coming Tuesday would be my Mother’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Mom I’d gladly say and sing to her if she wasn’t so long gone (1973 to be precise).

Every one of us has or will most likely say a final goodbye to our parents. It’s a sad but very natural day, and a universal experience.

My children will one day say it to me as they carry forward in life.

I’ve lived long enough now following my mother’s sudden death from a heart attack at 61 years to lose a huge amount of the memory of her. The fine details, the individual days – like a Vaseline-smudged camera lens – are mostly badly faded or well tucked away in my brain’s recesses.

I declare my day a success when I can remember where I set a single pair of my many reading glasses… aye aye aye…

Mom didn’t change the world in any outwardly measurable way… no discoveries, no political or professional accolades… but the thing that really lingers, and is a testament to her meaning is the satisfied feeling and warmth she left inside me and her family around her. No resentments, no angers, no bitterness. Just pleasant smiles and warmth.

This song is about her last day, and the final moments I shared with my mother. Her death came without warning, or providing any opportunity for me to reflect or share with her her importance in my world, to even say thank you or I love you.


Most songs I write these days I tend to fill with a good deal of symbolism and metaphor. I like representation by symbols and the pictures they create in my mind.

But this set of lyrics is largely straightforward and more prose-like (OK, there is some symbolism and metaphor)… a bit more straight from the heart.

One final note: I’ve been publishing a good number of song lyric posts lately sans music. I know this feels incomplete, only half the “story”. Many of you have asked for the actual song in its musical form.


I’ve been struggling for months about how I might best post some of the lyrics in their song format for you to hear. It’s not perfect, and of course my singing isn’t stellar, but at the bottom of this post you can follow a link to one of the songs about our COVID times that I posted (The Blessing and the Curse) on April 26, 2020.

Now onto today’s song:


When she said the simple words
See you tonight
there was no real meaning
it happens a billion times
like stars we see on cloudless nights
it’s so easy when we can’t
see our future moments
through our eyes or through our mirror

When I become invisible
Will my final words be as plain and
filled with meaning as yours
See you tonight

Could I have ever guessed
what your final words would be
Could you know your push for me
to earn a buck or two
was our final blurb
Could I know I’d soon watch you
take your final breath
on the asphalt by the curb

When I become invisible
Will my final words be as plain and
filled with meaning as yours
See you tonight

We think we know the boundary
is the cliff’s edge far and distant
hidden beyond the horizon
myopia makes a foot away
seem like the angels outpost
sweet heart and smiling eyes
her days come down to seconds
her memory becomes her ghost

In evening twilight
the stalking lion
slithered its way
through your veins
struck fast with madness
longer spring days
couldn’t hold off the sadness

When I become invisible
Will my final words be as plain and
filled with meaning as yours
See you tonight




blessing curse

INTO Week Six of isolation here and now we’re disinfecting our outer AND … by gonzo suggestion from the top… inner… surfaces.

It’s like a Shakespearean tragi-comedy, except we can’t spit out our words like dramatic stage actors for fear of an impending manslaughter charge. No aerosols please!

Last week I mused about our collective situation of isolation and suggested some ideas that might help deal with our fresh new world. I quoted singer Garth Brooks who noted that everything we want comes with both a blessing and a curse.

The words stuck in my head like a *yum* peanut butter and banana sandwich does to the roof of my mouth.

Blessing AND Curse.


Neither you nor I know what our world will look like in a year, there are too many moving and interactive parts for any rational assessment. This is the scientist in me speaking. My inner Bill Gates. We need rational thinkers like Bill and Melinda.

But with all of these unknowns… the artist, the creative me … holds onto a desire to think also in loftier terms, more emotional terms. It’s our artists – the musicians, the writers, the painters – that give us hope and joy in difficult times. We need artists as much as we need scientists.

And so I’m finding a bit more time in my days to write more prose, more song.

Yes, we’re on a ride folks.

And since the peanut butter phrase Blessing and Curse stuck with me I’m using it once again this week, this time in poetry and song form.

I hate cliches, but I’ll stoop now.

Be Humble. Be Kind. Stay Safe.

69465831 - young man composing the song with guitar on table with tea cup



by Larry Green

Little ones chase that coin
the one rolling down the street
towards the gutter or the drain
your two hands reach to grab and save
both mamas pull the chain

Last month I sipped sweet coffee from your cup
stopped in narrow grocery aisles and chatted
you pass me by at distance now
wild-eyed like something rabid
can we resurrect the sacred cow

Flip the hands, see the change
litter scattered in the desert whirling
shrink from shadows watch the afterbirths
there’s beauty and there’s hurting
Fill me up don’t leave me empty
The blessing and the curse

Stash your voice inside your house
Strike x’s through your plans
Bake bread to soothe your troubled soul
Muse about the coulds and shoulda-haves
Search blind and madly fill the holes

Alone now but are you lonely
put the Tanqueray away
this fog confines but stars abound in space
bright neon light will shine again
we’ll leave our separate places

Next year I hope we meet once more
unlock the chains and hug the children
I’ll touch your shoulder when you’re shaking
Wipe the tears with ungloved hands
we’ll walk the road untaken

Flip the hands, see the change
litter scattered in the desert whirling
shrink from shadows watch the afterbirths
there’s beauty and there’s hurting
Fill me up don’t leave me empty
The blessing and the curse

stars on beach


Take A Breath – The Song

Leave a comment

Harry Chapin2

A child arrived just the other day…”


Many years ago I heard the music and writing magic of Harry Chapin… musician, songwriter, storyteller superb.

Harry transformed me.

The beauty in his storytelling had an incredible way of capturing the depth within a life’s soul with few words.

Perhaps no song of his is more gut-wrenching… more heartbreaking… than Cats In The Cradle, a song of father and son.

It’s a song of longing-to-be-loved in the moment, but both the dad and the son in their own time are unable to give the other what he needs.

In the end, the father sees and laments where those seeds of unintentional neglect that he sowed so early on have left him in his later years.

There seems to be many songs of fathers and their overlooked sons.

But what about mothers and their children?

Perhaps a bit unusual, I have seen some examples out there of strained mother-child relationships and pondered…

So, this week in my lyric writing, I’ve taken Harry’s wondrous inspiration and my own observations… but with a turn of the gender tables (yes, idea sex at work).

This song tells of a woman who truly wants to meet society’s expectation of what a mother could and can be, but sadly, is unable to unearth the ability to give, to step back from her own needs.

The song has no formal chorus like we come across in most current songwriting. Instead, I’ve set in a small 2-line bridge between each verse to show a transition of forward movement in time.

(NB: An inside scoop? Writing song lyrics requires deft rhythmic ability. I know from experience that when I write lyrics, the rhythm and pacing in my writing won’t run smoothly when I begin setting a melody to the words. So if you notice an unsettling unevenness to the lines, don’t be surprised. I’m not. This jarring arrhythmia gets worked out as I settle down to my guitar or piano and “fine-tune” in much the same way I edit a blog post, over and over.)

dandelion blow.jpg

Take A Breath

by Larry Green

Take a breath
it’s over soon
Take a breath
it’s over soon

They told her she’d be maternal
perhaps she’d live the dream
and when the searing scorch she felt
below as the infant came
was the burning birth of
shackled days in chains.

Take a breath
it’s over soon

Sleepless nights made hollow eyes
thank god she had her man
supermarket smiles a constant drag
with every aisle she slogged
expectation’s lure too great
smeared cheerless laughs across her face

Take a breath
it’s over soon

Her man he made the meals
most times he cleaned the house
normality like a pancake flipped
absorbed by her mother’s doubts?
but her kids still feel the sunshine so
she poured another glass of wine

Take a breath
it’s over soon

The job she chose meant pretty clothes
a steady stream of evenings out
the kids in bed when she came home
the bedroom lights turned dim
she swore she’d dance them to the moon
one day in her world of might-have-been

Take a breath
it’s over soon

Each year’s gift passed in turn
pencil lines marked the growth
kids blown afar with deeper scars
lamented choices too early sown
guilt’s voices sing their songs
the voices sing their songs

Take a breath
It’s over now.

Older Entries