Mindblown: a blog about philosophy.

  • Something Funny

    Something Funny

    The saying, “crazy about you” sounds like love is akin to insanity. So this all started with the first two lines. Doesn’t it always? CHORUS Why do you tell me I’m insane When I’m just crazy about you There’s something funny with my brain It won’t stop thinking about you I hang around making Inconsequential […]

  • You


    It was winter, and I was feeling warmer listening to Caribbean soca music. I was moved to write my own song in that genre. In the morning in the mirror I check and see a wreck It’s an image getting clearer Like a rope around the neck When I’m slipping from the tether And falling […]

  • On The Shining Sea

    On The Shining Sea

    I wanted to play with nonsense lyrics. When I found them, they sounded like a good match for a sea shanty. “Take a little trip with me” was a natural start, and the rest naturally followed. Take a little trip With me And we’ll get a little lost On the shining sea Make a little […]

  • Cerberus


    I heard the classic, “I Hear You Knockin’” on the radio, and I just took the first line and sang the first verse of a new song. Then “bad things come in threes” followed, which naturally led to the famed hell-hound. Staci Harris was kind to lend me her awesome voice and work it over two […]

  • Get You Around

    Get You Around

    I had to struggle to keep the musical motifs from falling into similar riffs by the Clash. And then there’s the lyrical similarity to “I Get Around.” I know you’re out there Don’t know who, what, where Black, blonde, or red hair I’m gonna get you around Left my position In acquisition Made it my […]

  • Candy Cigarettes

    Candy Cigarettes

    First, there was a news report of an 18-year old that was arrested because he’d had sex with his 17-year old girlfriend—who was two weeks younger than him. Then the Beatles sang, “She was just seventeen, if you know what I mean.” Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. It started with pondering how numerical ages are so […]

  • Uh-Huh


    I had the urge to write the lyrically simplest chorus possible. Then the strange story, cryptically told, formed while walking around a lake while I was on a mini-vacation. Headlines breadlines Ticket down a brick alley Met a ghost hanging off A girl named Sally I said, “You could do With a little more meat” She […]

  • Bones In the Closet

    Bones In the Closet

    I always liked the song from The Music Man, “The Sadder But Wiser Girl,” which is about preferring someone with romantic experience. The title’s cliché kicked this off, along with a desire to give it a haunting feel. Hilary Forbush wasn’t the voice I was envisioning for the background vocals, but she was available—and her innocent […]

  • Big Black Dog

    Big Black Dog

    This was written for a song writing contest, sponsored by a toilet paper company. Since their mascot was a puppy–I suppose because their softness makes us secretly want to wipe our butts with puppies–it had to be about a dog and how it relates to family. Sahara Hayes helps with vocals. It starts with me, a lone […]

  • Walking On a Freeway

    Walking On a Freeway

    While driving, I was thinking about the insane number of people who die from the use of guns they keep in their house—for protection. Many of the names in the song have a relationship to their weapon; for example, “Peter” is from the Latin root of “rock.” Walter has a Walther Loaded in his night […]

  • The Only Good

    The Only Good

    I was just banging on the piano, and started singing this like I was Buddy Holly. I thought I had finally written my first four-chord song (instead of the usual eight). But whenever I played the chorus on the piano, I couldn’t stop a finger adding a note to each of its two chords. My subconscious […]

  • The Only Good (live)

    The Only Good (live)

    I had to include this because it’s a more fun arrangement than the “studio” version—it’s actually played, live, by real musicians, and not just me on a keyboard. That’s not me singing, as I’m playing trumpet. With only a few rehearsals before performing, it’s really ragged—missed notes, forgotten lyrics, and a bass drum pedal that was […]

  • Kissimilonga River

    Kissimilonga River

    I thought there was a dearth of romantic songs that centered around fishing. So, this. Baby, let’s go fishin’ Pack the cooler and some worms for ammunition It’s my August wish You and me and some fish Catch 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, the limit is 11 Trout and bass and walleye […]

  • Tell Me a Story

    Tell Me a Story

    The is the rare (for me) non-fiction song, during emotional separation from two people in my life.  Once upon a time The world was larger And you were mine, all mine Giants patrolling the land Were calmed by your steady hand And I, so was I CHORUS Turn back the cover Tuck me in tight […]

  • Take Heed of Me

    Take Heed of Me

    Nearly the whole thing was written while I walked my bushy-tailed dog one night. I thought of the line from movie westerns, when murder was about to happen: “Say your prayers.” But what if “Include me in them” came next? So I came up with other threatening lines and made them sweeter—a little. It’s still […]

  • Diddly More

    Diddly More

    No relation to the actor Dudley Moore. This came out of the delightful tongue action of “didn’t do diddly more.” This is demo quality, the same piano all the way through, with nothing else. The idea was to have short instrumental solos after every verse. Went out late Friday night Filled a pitcher with air […]

  • Love Dyslexia

    Love Dyslexia

    Perhaps the first song I produced. I saw an innocuous, confused interchange between married friends which I mentioned sounded like “love dyslexia.” Well, I blew it The clues were all there The sound flowed from your mouth Through the delicate air But I misconstrued it And gave “wise” advice When I should’ve said, They’re wrong, […]

  • Walk With Me (demo)

    Walk With Me (demo)

    This is an early one. I told my friend Tom Toronto about the song, and he picked up a guitar and we recorded it on the spot. I’ve tried to make more polished versions, but this is still my favorite. I really should find a singer with the range to jump up an octave on […]

  • Somebody Home in Your Dreams

    Somebody Home in Your Dreams

    Though there is no voice in this recording, it started with words. I was lying in bed at night, watching the shadows of leaves move across the wall on a windy night, and was transported, apparently, to the 1920s. Being true to the era, I wrote up sheet music, complete with a logo for the […]

  • The Garden of Your Heart (instrumental)

    The Garden of Your Heart (instrumental)

    The lyrics were written after the composition; they’re not sung here. I’ve found that doing things that way really adds to the old-timey feel, unintentionally. Modern songs take more liberties with how the words fit. Writing this way forces the lyrics into a more regular groove, even if they are over-written. . . does it really […]

  • Song of the Day

    Song of the Day

    This song was originally about something else. As I was finishing the first verse, a muse had me change a few words, altering its course. Lianna did a good job singing a tough song with sparse instrumentation, but I think someone not from musical theater would be a better fit. Any volunteers? Send your mercy […]

  • New Pope Named

    New Pope Named

    In a surprised move, the Vatican announced today that the new pope has eschewed the tradition of choosing a name based on that of a former pope or saint. A spokesman explained, “The impact of the brief tenure of the first Jean-Paul, followed by the beloved Jean-Paul II cannot be overstated. Our current holiness has […]

  • Santavirus Outbreak

    Santavirus Outbreak

    This was my holiday greeting card in 1993. The public health scare of the day was hantavirus, leading to acute respiratory pulmonary distress syndrome, caused by contact with the dreaded, evil deermouse. No penguins were involved. See if you can pronounce the name of the North Polish spokesman.

  • Sumatran Rainbow Tiger Found

    Sumatran Rainbow Tiger Found

    (Sumatra, Indonesia)—Scientists have announced the discovery of what they believe to be a new subspecies of Panthera tigris, living on one of the islands of Indonesia. Dubbed the “rainbow tiger,” it lives in the high cloud forest of Sumatra. It is unknown whether they exist on other islands. Scientists have spent the last 18 months […]

  • Mitt Rebuffs “Blackface” Charge

    Mitt Rebuffs “Blackface” Charge

    Mitt Rebuffs “Blackface” Charge Darktown, GA—In an address to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) last night, it was noted by several observers that presidential hopeful Mitt Romney appeared to be in “blackface.” A campaign spokesman allowed that the makeup may have been “inelegantly applied,” but any appearance of the governor’s […]

  • Design Tip du Semaine #6:How to use InDesign

    I don’t know how. So leave me alone. After decades of using Quark Xpress, I find myself alone, the last survivor of the nuclear holocaust of the Page Layout Wars. Are there ever victors in nuclear war? No. Well, except World War II; we seem to have planted a flag or two and 700 McDonald’s […]

  • Design Tip du Semaine #5:Pixel Envy

    Let’s clear the air about pixels. An unfortunate rumor has it that they are mined by miniature slaves, and that “pixel” is short for “PIXiE Labor.” Nothing can be further from the truth. Pixies make notoriously bad slaves, as they always escape, taking with them important belongings of their overseers, like shoelaces and tomatoes. Because […]

  • Design Tip du Semaine #4: The Designing Client

    All clients would like some say in the piece that you are working on–the piece they will be paying big bucks to print. It’s fair enough to let them have their little say, in the same way that it’s kind to not tell your child that no, you will never be as big or as […]

  • Design Tip du Semaine #3: Don’t Stick to the Script

    This is part of an ongoing series to help people be better designers, but not better than me. The column’s name may have to change again, due to the surprising number of non-French-speaking people who think “semaine” means “semen.” I assure you, this would be a very different column if that were the case. “Semaine” […]

  • Design Tip du Semaine #2: A Pause for Apostrophes

    This is part of an ongoing series to help people be better designers, but not better than me. Collect all two! This started out as “Tip du Jour,” but if I posted these daily, all my knowledge would be exhausted in 20 days. So I found a different French word, so it still sounds classy. […]

  • Design Tip du Jour #1: Forecast: Whiteout

    This is the first of an ongoing series to help people be better designers, but not better than me. Collect them all! When making typographical errors in your word processing documents, you should avoid painting type correction fluid directly onto the monitor screen. Most popular brands of white-out use the chemical Aryan-12. Not only is […]

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