Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Write What You Know? I Don't Know, You Decide. My Fire Works by Todd Burge

Some instructors of songwriting say, "write what you know", and I've done plenty of that, but as time moves on, I find it more of a challenge and so, I write about things that are strange to me and simply strange things.

This tune falls a bit into the "what I know" category.

It was written back in 2007 and I considered putting it on my CD entitled "My Lost and Found, but it didn't make the cut for various reasons.  Maybe I needed some distance, maybe it simply isn't that good.  I'm often not the one to ask when it comes to my own work.

My cousin passed away from an illness years ago.  His two year old baby passed some time before he did.  My memory is sketchy on the details and timeline.  He and his wife had a daughter who survived and this song comes from a Myspace blog of her's that I read back in '07.  In the blog post she was looking back on her early childhood.  Their family lived very close to the City Park where each year on or around the 4th of July, there was a monster fireworks display.  Well, there still is.  (If you have ever experienced a firework display from up close ... say, 30 yards, you know how awesome it can be. It is like the difference between actually seeing a Motorhead concert and listening to them on your iPod.  My family now lives near that same city park and our small children feel that fireworks display each year.)  Their house was about 25/30 yards away from where they would launch the fireworks.  In the young girl's blog, (in 07 she was about 14 or 15) she described how she used to watch the fireworks with her family and they would vibrate her feet... then, a few years later, after her dad had passed I'm assuming, she would stay inside and watch them or feel them from her room.

I tried to make this a happy or at least kind tune from the point of view of a 15 year old.  I hope it pays tribute to my cousin and his family.

Lyrics below the video.

My Fireworks – Todd Burge –
(C)2-15-2007 Bunj Jam BMI

In my 15 years I’ve sure seen a lot of hurt
And I wear it on my chest like a heavy metal shirt
We moved so far away from my West Virginia home
I need a buckeye boyfriend so I don’t feel so alone

My daddy left this world long ago and my baby brother too
And I became a big girl, that was all that I could do
Now I’ve tucked my thoughts away, keep my smiles in my room
If you were in my shoes I’ll bet you do the same thing too

Sometimes I’m broken and my life hurts, but my fireworks

It’s been too long since I’ve seen a really good display
But this one’s got my head up on this hang my head down day
When I was five I’d watch them barefoot, on my parent’s porch
I loved the way they made me giggle, they’d tickle and vibrate, my feet

Then I grew sentimental and watched ‘em from my bed instead
A thousand smiling faces, lit up blue and green and red
Colors sparkled on all those cars parked up and down our street
Colors bursting in me, made me happy, made me feel real
In this world of make believe

Sometimes I’m broken and my life hurts, but my fireworks

But just like a firework with one spark and a blast
Some things burn out quickly so I must let go of my past
Baby brother smiles while daddy says hi
Yeah, in my mind they’ll always shine like the fourth of July

Sometimes I’m broken and my life hurts, but my fire works

Todd Burge's tips and tricks for songwriters can be found here

No comments: