Songs, like all artistic endeavors, are meant to be shared. Over the years I’ve kept my hand in the occasional composition, writing a handful of tunes that very few people have heard. So, I’ve decided to devote a page of this blog to the tunes that have been collecting dust, waiting for someone to tap their toes or sing along.
Here then are a few songs I hope you’ll enjoy.
Between the Cradle and the Stone
This is a new recording of an older song. It was written about 20 years ago. Back then it was called “Between the Forceps and the Stone” — a phrase I lifted from a Joni Mitchell lyric. It was pointed out to me, way back then, that the word “Forceps” was too sterile. And, I was told by a publisher that the third verse was too theological. I changed the word and kept the verse.
This new version was recorded in the summer of 2014.
When I was developing the new version, I asked my friend, gospel singer Ronnie Spann, to sing it for a demo. Unbeknownst to me, he was putting the finishing touches on a new CD and he asked if he could include “Between the Cradle and the Stone” on his record. I was more than happy to oblige. It’s always gratifying to hear someone bring their talents and interpretation to a song. So, from his new CD entitled “Raise Him Up,” here’s Ronnie’s version …. which, by the way, I like very much.
I’ll Be There
This is another song that goes back a ways. I wrote it eleven years ago, during a particularly difficult period. It’s a promise to my kids. It’s another example of what happens when a guy with musical leanings is allowed to play with advanced music software. Even though I sang and played all the parts, a friend did ask how much it cost to rent the London Symphony. 🙂
When Rachael Smiles
This is what I call a “like song.” It’s not a love song. It’s a like song. My friend Rachael had an infectious smile that seemed to light up the room. So, I wrote her a song. It was recorded using ProTools 10, circa 2010.
Under a Purple Sky (Ellyson/McClarty)
Here’s an odd and interesting little ditty. It’s odd because I would never have thought to write it. But my friend, Tim Ellyson, sent me some lyrics and I found them so picturesque that I set them to music. The words are evocative, so the music needed to be a bit cinematic to fit the mood. It was recorded back in 2010 on ProTools 8. It was remastered in 2014.
Okay, this one reaches way back. It was written and recorded about 23 years. It’s co-written with my friend Tim Rocco (of Rocco Guitars). It was recorded on a 16-track Fostex machine and mixed to DAT audio tape. Kerry “Doc” Stone played the bass, harmonica, and electric guitar. So, who’s gonna’ love you? Nobody. But me.
Walking On Your Ceiling
Fair warning: this song is complete nonsense. It was written in 1981, in the middle of the night, in a hotel room in San Diego. I couldn’t sleep and I had an old guitar and a four-track recorder in the room. So, out this came this piece of word play. The version posted here was recorded back in 2010 utilizing Apple’s software, GarageBand. I wanted to see if such an inexpensive recording platform could handle multitrack overdubs and it actually proved to be quite sturdy. And the newest version is much improved. I recommend it to anyone who’s starting out recording and needs something to learn on and experiment with.
This is a genuine heartbreak song. I wrote it back in 1990 and recorded this “piano demo” on a nearly-broken Akai 12-track recorder that used VHS tape as a recording medium. I’m glad that phase of technology passed quickly. Anyway, I never returned to add drums, bass, guitars, or any of the usual sweetening to this track. The barebones approach just sort of works, so it stands on it own. True Blue.
My son, James, was born on May 25, 1988. The first night home from the hospital, we spent the night with him sleeping on my chest. The next day, I wrote this song. In those days I had a Tascam four-track cassette recorder to record my musical ideas. But over the Memorial Day weekend 2015 I decided to record it again for James’s 27th birthday. This is the full Pro Tools version.
Message From A Friend
Here’s a blast from the past. I wrote this song around 1980. It was recorded by 707 and was on our third album. I was playing it one day recently and decided it would be a good project to revisit. But, being an old guy, I had to lower the key a few steps. That led to all sorts of new sonic possibilities.
I played all the instruments and sang all the parts. My friend, Nathan, played the cool guitar leads. This was done over the course of a few months, but it was finished in early February, 2017. Once again, it was done with Studio One 3. So, crank it up and cast your mind back to the early 80’s.
Legal Stuff: Except where noted, all songs on this page were written by Jim McClarty and are the property of No Better Music/BMI. Copyright 2000-2017, Jim McClarty.