Metronome (Click to listen)

[mp3j track="metronome-compilation.mp3" autoplay="n"]

I uploaded this song to Grooveshark, and the silly thing made me choose a band name and an album this belongs to.  So I am now Viking Kitteh and this is track one of the album Sock Monkey. Which may remain a nonexistent album with the way I record.

The story behind this song is a bit on the sappy side, a bit on the pathetic side, and all on the shoulda-done-it-sooner side.

There are times when the music enters my head and the songs come out complete. When I wrote down the words for this song, this was one of those times.  I wanted to see it complete, but I didn’t know how to do it. So I turned to someone who I thought was a friend of mine for help being as she was getting her Master in such things.

At first she told me I couldn’t write such things and didn’t have the talent for it and she didn’t want to waste her time on silly things like that. That should have been my red flag. When she saw the words she said she was surprised that it looked like a pretty good little song. But it never went anywhere, and these days now that I’ve thankfully broken ties with her I remember all of the other times I’d be singing something ad hoc and she’d think whomever wrote it was a fabulous composer until she realized it was mine. And I think of other subtle ways she discouraged me and what I did while at the same time taking ideas I had, and I understand that I was standing in the shadow of jealousy.

Even so, I put the song away and told myself I’d never be able to do this. But as you get older you form regrets, and one of mine is that I never have been able to pursue music the way my musical soul wanted to. Then I had a short conversation with Leslie Fish, who essentially told me I was being silly.  Which convinced me to haul out this song and work on it again.

This meant trying to figure out how to add musical accompaniment even though I don’t play a musical instrument. I have tried repeatedly to find people to play with. That also has never worked out. So I tried to join the SCA bard’s group for the kingdom I’m in. I was flat rejected.

People I talk to can’t seem to understand I’m interested in playing music not hearing their life story or hearing about what degrees they have.

And my last attempt, who has a wonderful singing voice and a keyboard and could do the simple things my type of music needs, told me she had to learn how to play everything perfectly so that she could finally join me after the first time I asked her to play with me 10 years ago. Yeah. As if I have another 10 years to wait. I’m already pushing 40 here.

So I realized: gotta do it alone. Maybe it’s fate. Who knows. It isn’t like I haven’t tried at least 100 times or more. And so this song has been born by itself, wrapped in the swaddling clothes of voice, in the manger of no trumpets, with sheepish notes bleating on the side.

When I made it up, it was mostly a violin piece with no words. Which is why the lyrics are as they are. It began as a love song to the man I had not met yet. I presented it to him finally this past Valentine’s Day.

There are a couple of places that make me wince, but I can’t get them better even though I’ve tried. So I hope you like it anyway.

If you do and you download it, please consider sending me a donation. Such things will help me make more music. And maybe buy that xylophone I’ve been coveting.

Amazing Grace

Download here: Kat Blue – Amazing Grace

The reason why I did this one is sort of a long story. Growing up, I’d known by association that my family was kin to Patsy Cline in a cousin sort of way. Ever so often my grandmother would get out her Patsy Cline music, listen to it, and lament to me the death of the great Cline in that famous plane crash. If you look at Cline and a photo of my young grandmother, you can even see a slight family resemblance so long as you forget that all people look alike when you get down to it.

Well, okay, it’s definitely a family resemblance… but they were both from the same region and people in the same region tend to do things like resemble one another.  So I dislike the idea of saying “Oh well! She’s just family!” if it’s all the same to you.

There was a story once about how Cline and family lived across the mountain from each other and would visit. This got translated down to Loretta Lynn somehow and my own mother in later years, but when you’re a young child and  your grandmother is your best friend you tend to notice tiny dropped hints. Not much was ever said about Cline personally by my grandmother, just a two sentence lament about how tragic it was that the plane took her life. And how wonderful her music was.

I’m grown now and able to pick up on subtle clues, so I realize my grandmother wanted to talk more… but I never got the hint. I just thought she was a fan lamenting the death of her idol. I’d know what to say now to get her to talk, but she’s not with us anymore. She’s reading a book by the River Cumberland in the afterlife.

There’s a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace by Lean Rimes that many attribute as Patsy Cline. I was also fooled at first but a good reader pointed out to me the mistake. Rimes’ voice is pure,she sounds close to Cline, the notes are fabulous, and really. I could never sound like that. And if you want an idea of how Cline may have sounded singing it… (text in purple due to fact correction 3-18-2013).

I’ve a cousin who has been digging through the family tree that came to me about the Patsy Cline cousin connection. Well, I knew that, I could only respond. And then I realized – oh. My grandmother wasn’t sad because she was a fan. It was something else.

This got me thinking about the song Amazing Grace, which I’d gotten with someone a few years ago to sing and do but it never panned out. I decided I was going to do it, so four hours of playing with sound and basically learning how to do things later I’ve got this not-so-great-sounding piece for you to have for free.

I did some research and found the original lyrics and chose alternative stanzas no one uses anymore. According to the Wikipedia article, it was written by John Newton and first published in 1779. It’s been one of the most beloved gospel songs ever since.