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1. September 2014 1 01 /09 /September /2014 16:04

I will stop using overblog yet will keep posting news directly on my own web site (until now I used overblog RSS feeds to add news to my site). If you want to check out what I am up to just visit me on http://bernd-harmsen.de

See you there!


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21. August 2014 4 21 /08 /August /2014 16:21

I'm robbing - or plagiarizing - myself. The other day I had published "the answer", a song from 2002 that I up to then found quite too embarrassing to publish, yet now decided is not that bad at all. Well, it 'made it' only to the end of my list which is arranged by the (subjective) embarrassment factor of the songs (sorted in ascending order: the last song is the worst; only the first few positions are exempt from this order). Anyway: the song was on my mind as were its lyrics.


Then there was backing track 2014-07, among others, that lacked vocals because I had no lyrics. I wrote some words, using quite a few repetitions, using the basic idea from "the answer" (although the words may differ, the idea behind them is the same).


the answer:


in the land
of my fantasy
I met this girl
she fell in love with me
in blooming meadows
we danced
and we kissed
and laughed
and loved

yes, I know
that you must be somewhere
I've dreamed you
that's why I'm sure


second sight (the new song):


you walk
through my dream
like a shade
of a thought
or a beam
of dim light
in the night

you feel
like a touch
hardly sensed
a faint sound
nothing much
a second sight

I know you're there
or anywhere

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5. August 2014 2 05 /08 /August /2014 13:44

A political song, for a change. I won't bore you with any details. I simply put down what goes on in my mind when I'm hearing the news about Palestine, the Ukraine, Syria, and so on. This is just the chorus that I'm a little proud of:


too little truth in your countless words
your sympathy lacks honesty
too many lies told with faithful eyes
your diplomacy pure hypocrisy


You'll find the rest of the lyrics where you find all things Harmsen (not yet, though...)


Oh, lest I forget: originally I intended to call the song "foreign affairs" - but then I decided that I would write a completely different text to that particular title ;-)

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27. Juli 2014 7 27 /07 /Juli /2014 14:56

I've posted seven new lyrics on my home page. Three are 'free-style' lyrics, texts with no music to them:


leave me in the cold
gonna have a ball


Three I wrote to match other guy's music:

gonna have to make it through the winter
much too long


The procedure how I go about writing lyrics to match other people's tunes has been described in detail in this Blog before.


Then there is "I need music" that has a different story to it. Willi chose my text, "another way", that I had originally written to match a tune by MotorPlanet to set it to music anew. Most parts fitted, some he scrapped, yet then he needed more verses. So I extended the lyrics to "I need music" using the existing verses as 'templates' for the new ones.


BTW: "just so you know" could make a cool new title ...

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13. Juli 2014 7 13 /07 /Juli /2014 13:02

... yet only two more lyrics 'officially' published so far. For a singer-songwriter(!) I wrote three lyrics, "much too long", "ride into the sun", and "will have to make it through the winter". A fourth text we wrote together "I'm so lonely" - he wrote the first verse and gave it the title, I added two more verses in the same manner. Quite simple, yet should work nicely:

I'm so lonely
I'm so lo-honely
I'm so lonely tonight
I'm so needy
so very needy
I'm so needy tonight
need your lovin'
I need your lovin'
need your lovin' tonight


As for now I only published two other lyrics on my web site that I've written in the meantime: "leave me in the cold", and "gonna have a ball". I actually wrote the latter to match Jürgen's music (that's the singer-songwriter I just mentioned). But then I found that the content or message of my text did not at all go together with the music's mood so I wrote "ride into the sun" instead.

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6. Juli 2014 7 06 /07 /Juli /2014 14:21

When I don't feel like writing lyrics I record my own music. I just completed yet another backing track by adding a MIDI bass and MIDI drums today, so all what is left missing is the vocals. And as usual I don't have any words for my own new song. Three backing tracks are currently waiting to be completed with words and a 'vocal line' - the actual melody. There are two more that still just consist of guitar tracks which I always record first because I have more fun playing the guitar than editing MIDI stuff.


I also wrote lyrics for a folk, country, blues, adult contemporary singer/songwriter these days and went over a text for a rock band from Munich. Then I'm supposed to do top-line writing for yet another partner, but I don't feel like it at the moment. Top-line writing is what I normally do for myself: find a melody and words to match a backing track. When working for others I normally insist on being provided with a vocal line to match my words with. This time I agreed to actually sing the words so there would be at least this one tune that could work together with the backing track provided, and other singers/songwriters might get an idea how to actually weave my words into the music. Should they actually use my vocal line I would become a composer as well (sharing the rights with the producer of the backing track) - not that bad a deal after all. IF it works out.


Rigth now I feel like a coffee break...




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29. Juni 2014 7 29 /06 /Juni /2014 13:51

I had two verses and a bridge. When I read the bridge I discovered that the meter was very much like that of the verses although there were more syllables. I simply had sort of cut the lines in halves so I hadn't noticed. Somewhere in between I had altered the rhyme pattern of the verses from AABB to ABAB. The re-edited bridge actually also had AABB it now seemed. So I ended up in having three verses, the last one with a different rhyme structure. I could change the other two verses yet again, but then I decided that I'll simply let the third verse be a little like a bridge. I imagine it sung slightly differently, maybe just with a higher pitch. These are the verses:


since your lover left you you've run out of luck
next losing your job nearly finished you off
your friends let you down the day ill fate struck
it looks like you're mired in a personal trough

these days your life does not feel quite right
the few smiles you still get all somehow look fake
your dreams simply won't stand up to daylight
if this is a game you don't know what's at stake

in your dreams you are loved and a success at your job
what you set about doing you'd come out on top
in your dreams you're a hero in the thick of  (the) things*
you can be happy cause your dreams give you wings



"these days your life does not feel quite right" - 9 syllables, 9 or 11 syllables were the original lengths of the lines in the verses.


"in your dreams you are loved and a success at your job" - 13 syllables that can easily match the same meter if you make "in your", "you are", and "and a succ-" two, respectively three short notes instead of one longer note, thus corresponding to "these", "your", and "does". I had put the lines of the former bridge like this:


in your dreams you are loved

and a success at your job


and read the lines of the verses like this (the "|" indicating a little break):


these days your life | does not feel quite right


which could also be written as:


these days your life

does not feel quite right


Each line has two stresses: "dreams" - "loved", "-ess" - "job", "days" - "life", and "not" - "right" - which gives them a very similar rhythm.




*without the "the" - "in the thick of THE things" - the meter in the second part of this line would be slightly off. I needed two unstressed syllables between "thick" and "things" to make it flow smoothly. Now it has become quite a tongue twister with four "th" in a row - at least for Germans, so I made the second "the" optional.

Yet another note:

I derived the first lines of the chorus, "three steps up - five steps down", from a German saying "ein Schritt vor, zwei Schritte zurück" (one step forward, two steps back). I don't know if there is an English equivalent. The meaning should be clear, anyway.

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27. Juni 2014 5 27 /06 /Juni /2014 16:44

three steps up
five steps down
look up the sky
crawl 'cross the ground
let your soul fly
while you drown



Not excactly cheering, I guess... But a start for new lyrics, anyway.

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27. Juni 2014 5 27 /06 /Juni /2014 16:33

... that I will place right after the first chorus and BEFORE the third verse for obvious(?) reasons:


I'm hearing cheerful laughter
and also angry shouts
coming from the playground
a lively mix of sounds
I watch a couple holding hands
I see a young girl cry
an old man's smiling to himself
I won't get to know why


You see, "on the human condition" is NOT supposed to be a song about people dying, quite the contrary! Therefore, I needed a bridge that deals with having fun or - more broadly - with being alive. But now the bridge doesn't lead over to the chorus so I had to place it before the last verse:


a new motorbike
that ran smooth and fast
smashed its driver on a (concrete) wall
some old nasty crook
enjoys his old age
made millions by means that appall


It follows the chorus that might (should?) be repeated:


some go too soon
some die too late
call it bad luck
or call it fate
it's all part of
the human state


Now I thing the text is rounded out. Yet another 'carpe diem' lyric.

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25. Juni 2014 3 25 /06 /Juni /2014 12:23

I rewrote the first verse:


she was 22
consumed by lung cancer
she'd never smoked a cigarette
she saw all her friends
to say her Good-Byes
she said we must not be upset


Should run a little smoother. And I never cared for the former last line - "said there was nothing she'd regret", it didn't make sense (that could be something old people say when they die).

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