Showing posts with label Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Music. Show all posts

Friday, January 15, 2021

Unnamed Song


This is a song I wrote. I've been working on the guitar part for a bit; the words came this past week after January 6.

I am not happy with it, but I thought it might be interesting to somebody to see the work in progress. I suspect I will have to put it aside awhile and rethink it, when I am not so stressed. I do not consider this to be finished, or even good.

Here are the words because my singing is not the best in this recording. The chords for the words are on top; the guitar part is much more complicated than two chords, that is just to keep me on track. "Guitar Bridge" means that little bit of guitar part I play in between the verses.

Unnamed Song - by Anita Firebaugh

You tell me that you need war
I don't know what you want it for.
You tell me that you see red
All I see are thousands dead.
Guitar Bridge
You crossed a line that you can't see
You're taking away my right to breathe
You believe you have the might
I know that it don't make right.
Guitar Bridge
We all know there's a great divide
How many tears must the victims cry?
You have all the things you need
And now you're stealing liberty
Guitar Bridge
Am                  G
And there are no words . . .  (repeat)
To stop this now

Monday, December 14, 2020

Disco and Today: There is a Relationship

The other night we watched the HBO documentary, The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart. The documentary was very good and informative.

I had no idea about the early recording history of The Bee Gees. I didn't realize they were famous long before Saturday Night Fever, especially overseas in England and Australia.

As a 14-year-old from hicksville, and one who played in a "Top 40" band at that, I loved disco. I still love disco. If I'm in a bad mood, I tell Alexa to play disco and I perk right up. It is hard to listen to disco and stay hurt, sad, or upset. It's such an upbeat, moving sort or music, the kind that makes your feet simply want to move around on their own.

When Saturday Night Fever came out, I did not see the movie. But I heard the songs. How could you not? Disco was all over the radio. The Bee Gees may have topped the charts, but they were followed up by songs from Donna Summer, ABBA, even Barbara Streisand.

And then disco went out of style, and the Top 40 songs of the 1980s had a different feel. Not as danceable, but ok.

I never knew why, because I never thought about it and because I was still a kid. Fads come and go.

What the documentary pointed out to me was the reason disco came and went.

Disco began underground, as a mixture of music from venues popular with African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, Italian Americans, and gay culture in Philadelphia and New York City during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some scholars say disco was a reaction to the 1960s counterculture.

This little ol' farm girl didn't know anything about that. I just knew it wasn't country and western, I could dance to it, and I could play it on the guitar. Well, some of it, anyway.

Then came the backlash. Actually, the backlash came with a mouth with a megaphone. Some fellow at radio station in Chicago hated disco. He bashed it and railed against it. He had the means to be in touch with probably millions of listeners in the Chicago area and beyond. Finally, on Thursday, July 12, 1979, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, the mouth teamed up with a MLB team for a stunt.

The stunt was to blow up disco records in between a double-header game. People could enter the ballfield for 98 cents and a record to blow up.

What caught my attention during the HBO documentary was a commenter who said he was working at the ballfield that night. The records that 50,000 people brought in (apparently mostly young white males), were not copies of Saturday Night Fever, although I'm sure there were some. No, the records, the gentleman said, were R&B music, soul singers - black singers, Latino singers, i.e., anyone not white.

In other words, the mouth with the megaphone dialed into the latent and apparently inbred fear that lives in that most cowardly aspect of humanity, the fragile white (mostly male) ego. They came out not to blow up disco, but out of fear that the black people, the Latinos, the women, the homosexuals - anyone not them, were gaining traction.

They could not have this. So they blew up their records.

Rolling Stone critic Dave Marsh described this event as "your most paranoid fantasy about where the ethnic cleansing of the rock radio could ultimately lead". Marsh deemed the event an expression of bigotry, writing in a year-end 1979 feature that "white males, eighteen to thirty-four are the most likely to see disco as the product of homosexuals, blacks, and Latins, and therefore they're the most likely to respond to appeals to wipe out such threats to their security. It goes almost without saying that such appeals are racist and sexist, but broadcasting has never been an especially civil-libertarian medium."

Nile Rodgers, producer and guitarist for the disco-era band Chic, likened the event to Nazi book burning, according to Wikipedia. (Here's a good recap of the event, if someone wants further reading.)

This reminded me so much of the present day that it left me breathless. This is what the current Twit on Twitter has tapped into, this fragile white ego. The election of the soon-to-be-former president was a homophobic, bigoted, racist reaction to the election of Barack Obama. How dare a black man sit in the White House! And he looked good in a tan suit, too.

So for forty years, this racist, misogynistic, bigoted group of white fragility has simmered and boiled and no one in charge has addressed it. It's simply sat there, an underground music all its own, one that people with decency did not hear or understand if they did.

Then finally, another mouth with a megaphone tapped into this seething underground mash of decay, realizing it was there and ready to overflow, because he was a part of it.

And that's at least a little of the reason of why we are where are today - racists marching the streets of Charlottesville and Washington D.C., bigots in all areas of government, and a (leaving) administration that would sooner destroy democracy than see another black person (or a woman) in the seat of power.

It was an eye-opening few sentences for me, and certainly something I've given a lot of thought to since we watched the documentary.

Long live Democracy, and disco music, too.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Benefit Concert

Last night, I watched and listened live to Melissa Etheridge's online benefit concert.

The cost of the concert went toward the Etheridge Foundation, a nonprofit she established to research opioid addiction following the death of her son, Beckett, earlier in the year, due to the drugs.

The concert was supposed to be two hours, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

She stopped playing about 8:50 p.m. Almost three hours.

At 59, she was rocking it out like she was 27 years old. She is an amazing guitarist and I admire her for continuing her career, and doing life like she wants to do it.

I also am in love with her Gibson Les Paul Guitar. I believe that is a 1982 Custom. She's a beauty.

She played many of her hits, including Bring Me Some Water, If I Only Wanted To, Come To My Window, You Can Sleep While I Drive, and Like the Way I Do, which she ends her shows with.

Her dog Biscuit made an appearance about halfway through the show, curling up near her feet while she played. I think the little pup plopped down on a cord and she had to work around him.

She is one of the most underrated guitar players in the world, I think. She needs to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As Melissa says, speak true, choose only love, it's a choice.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

I Need You (Light)

I'm back with another of my original songs. This has never really had a name, so I'm calling it "I Need You (Light)."

The words are below the video.

I Need You (Light)

In  the dawn the lights are dim
Shadows are all I see.
Full moon is falling overhead
And I can feel the ocean's breeze.

Quiet nights mean thoughts of you
And the good times we once shared.
The rising sun with all its light
reminds me of how you cared.


Sometimes darkness overrules
The light just can't burn on.
That my love is what happened to us
You left me all alone.
Moonlight makes me want you 
And the starlight makes me cry
Twilight trains my aching heart
And I'll need you until I die.

If I could I'd tell the tide
to turn around on end.
Sail me to your sunlit face
and light my world again.
But the moon shines full in darkness
and the day is not yet done.
Sun just isn't ever gonna shine
Why'd you leave me all alone?

Repeat Chorus

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Silent Running

Silent Running was originally performed by Mike & the Mechanics.

For reasons I don't quite understand, this was my reaction to the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, to learn this song.

My husband said it is because it feels like this is where we are. Calling out into the night, and no one is listening.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Sometimes When We Touch

This is my rendition of Sometimes When We Touch.


Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Queen of Hearts

 My version of Queen of Hearts.

Friday, September 04, 2020


My version of Hurt.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Just a Little Jam Session

 This is just a little jam session I held with myself. The song is China Grove, by The Doobie Brothers, in case you don't recognize it. I got off a bit on the rhythm in one spot, but that's the way it goes.


You may have noticed that I prefer to play rhythm guitar over lead guitar, generally speaking. I always have preferred to be the background noise and not the lead. Sometimes a lick or two of lead is required in rhythm guitar. I also do something odd in that I am playing the electric guitar frequently with fingerstyle instead of with a guitar pick. It's just my preference.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Meadow

This is a guitar arrangement that I first started when I was a teenager. Since I have had laryngitis for most of August, I pulled it out and worked on it some to share here.

I call it "The Meadow." I've never played it for anyone before, although my brother may remember it from when I still lived at home. Well, my husband's heard me practicing it. But this is its public debut.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


I really have no business even attempting this song, but here it is anyway.

This is Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. I recorded it two weeks ago.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Talking to My Angel

This is called "Talking to My Angel," by Melissa Etheridge. I changed a wording where it is supposed to say "under the mid-west sky" to "under Virginia skies" because I'm from Virginia.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Please Mr. Please

Here's my version of Please Mr. Please, by Olivia Newton-John.

I made it to the end of the song before I realized I hadn't worked out how to end it. So there's a little note to that effect in the video. Keepin' it real, I guess.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Fire and Rain

This is my version of Fire and Rain, by James Taylor. The music strumming pattern is much different than what you would hear on the record; it's my own arrangement. The sound is off a little in this video, too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


I call this song, Away. I wrote it about 30 years ago (music and words). I have never played it for anyone other than my husband.

At the time, we were struggling with infertility issues, and I reached the conclusion that I would never have children long before the doctors or even my husband did. I wrote this song around then. I had many things to be concerned about - not having a child when I wanted one, how my husband would react when he finally realized he would never be a father. This is what came out of that myriad of emotions.

Here are the words:

By Anita Firebaugh

There's a photo of you on my wall that I don't recall hanging.
But it doesn't mean nothing at all. It's just my heart filled with longing.


Since you went away, I've spent hours staring into the flames.
People call me, I have nothing to say, except that I'm okay.
And they go away.

I sit around and I wait on your calls. But that phone's never ringing.
So here I am feeling lonely and small while my heart keeps on breaking.


In the morning's light, I sit staring at the edge of the night.
Wishing you were here to hold me tight, what wasn't right?
Why did you go away?

I see your face in the back of my mind and my soul starts to quiver.
People say I'll forget you in time, but my heart's crying, "Never!"


Won't you come back and stay?

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

I Will Never Be the Same

My version of I Will Never Be the Same, by Melissa Etheridge

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


This is Home by Sheryl Crow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Another Song

This is a video that I made using new software, and somehow I lost the ending of the song. Oh well.

Someone let me know if you can't see it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Angel From Montgomery

My version of Angel From Montgomery, by John Prine

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Do the Ocarina

My brother is very good at picking out presents. (My husband would do well to consult him for special occasions, really!)

For my birthday this year, he gave me an ocarina. I had never heard of this ancient wind instrument. It dates back about 12,000 years.

The instrument is like a recorder or whistle flute. It is about as big as a large potato.

According to the Hal Leonard book my brother gave me, the instrument has been discovered in meso-America, Central Africa, India, and China. Some were clay, others were made from animal horns. Apparently numerous cultures independently developed the instrument.

In 1853, Giuseppe Donati in Budrio, Italy, created the first concert-tuned ocarina. The instrument then traveled all over the world. In the 1900s, it came to the United States and was known as the "Sweet Potato" instrument. Soldiers took the ocarina with them during WWI, and the government issued them to soldiers in WWII. 

In 1928, Takashi Aketagawa of Japan further improved the instrument by making it 12-holed and capable of playing three more semitones.

In the 1960s, John Taylor of England invented the pendant cross fingering system, creating an entirely new standard fingering system for the ocarina.

The ocarina was used in the 1985 Japanese documentary The Great Yellow River, which created a resurgence of interest in the instrument. Nintendo helped this along by incorporating it into the Legend of Zelda series of videogames. This has inspired a new generation of players.

So far I have managed Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Happy Birthday. We'll see how I get along with it.

Thank you, my brother, for such an intriguing gift!

Here is a youtube video of someone playing the ocarina who knows how to play it: