We all do it… at least, I do. And I expect you do too. Excuses. I make excuses for not doing something… like getting around to writing my next post. It’s Christmas season… I’m too busy… We’ve been away… I’m also pretty good at making excuses when I do something ill-considered. I say something sarcastic and justify myself by claiming it’s in my DNA… did you ever meet my father?

My point is that I (we?) use excuses as a basis for things I do and for things I don’t do. And that brings me to my next theme.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ll know that I have spent some time (and energy) in examining my musical influences. The reason for that is that I’m sure these influences have had some impact (consciously and unconsciously) on my song writing. I don’t consider myself a songwriter, just someone who has, with a variety of excuses as my justification, felt a need to write a song. So, if you’ve wondered Where’s he going with all this? I want to look at the excuses I’ve offered myself for writing songs in the past and, just maybe, find an excuse to resume. And that brings me to…

Excuse 1

The picture stands as reminder of several things…  A black and white world.  The perpetual joy of a Canadian winter (or is that perpetual Canadian winter).  A long-standing relationship with the canine world.  I wasn’t always the age I am now.

It also serves to transport me back to 1967.  Canada’s centennial year.  Expo 67.  My transition from elementary to secondary school.  Our family’s move into town and opening a restaurant.  The Summer of Love.  Listening to (among many others) Windy and Light My Fire on the radio.  The end of piano lessons.

There was a sense of optimism in my own world and, I think, in much of our country.  One of the many centennial events which came to my attention was a songwriting contest.  I don’t remember who sponsored it or to whom it was open and I don’t remember the prize for winning but I do remember that the intent was to write something in praise of Canada and appropriate to our 100th birthday.  Of course I didn’t win but I did submit something…  something titled Up for Canada.   I sorta remember the tune and some of the lyrics.  It was a pretty sappy submission but you have to appreciate the time…

Though definitely not my favourite song, CA NA DA represented the nationalistic sentiment which  characterized 1967.  More to my liking was the theme of the Ontario pavilion at the Expo 67 in Montreal… A Place to Stand

My own centennial tribute was a simple verse/chorus kind of thing which is remarkable only in that I can still remember it.  It was the product of my 14-year-old brain and was the result of entering a contest… my first excuse for trying my hand at songwriting.  What did it sound like?  Have a listen… mercifully it is short.

As you listen it may go some length to explaining why there’s a gap of about twenty years between that little gem and my next kick at writing music.  But more of that in my next post.  At least I’ve started phase two… and that’s something…


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