Reincarnation Themed Music and Lyrics

Reincarnation Themed Music and Lyrics

Reincarnation Themes in Don Whitaker’s CD Gnarled Bones

There are several songs in Don Whitaker’s CD, Gnarled Bones, which deal with Reincarnation themes. As the lyricist of all the songs on the CD, I must admit I rarely miss a chance to weave Reincarnation references into my lyrics. But three songs in particular deal with Reincarnation directly.

Gnarled Bones

Gnarled Bones, for which the album is named, is a song about a man who knows for certain he has not met his soul mate in this life, but has memories of her from prior lives. He catches a glimpse of her in a sales clerk’s eye or the way a waitress’ wrist tilts. He can’t completely enunciate the sadness this memory of her causes, but he knows he carried a sadness in his gut all his life, like gnarled bones.

There’s no way for him to resolve this sadness, as this is not a life where he was meant to be with her. Perhaps this is how he chose to refine his soul in this present life – by learning how to live with such an emptiness. And in the song’s chorus, he concludes he’s ‘a better man for the journey.’

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Variations On Emily

Variations On Emily, a song where I used lines from Emily Dickinson’s public domain pieces, then answer with lines of my own. Concerning Reincarnation, I’ve never come across any documents where Emily discussed her own belief in it, but I’ve often contemplated her last written sentences from her death bed, a short note to relatives: “Little cousins, Called Back.” She also instructed the words “Called Back” be carved on her grave stone. Now where this is a favorite saying of 19th century Christians, I’ve always entertained the reincarnational hope how if one were called back, it surely means you were there to begin with, before this life.

Canterbury Meditations,

Canterbury Meditations, This song uses the trope of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to muse about the nature of Reincarnation, how we’re all ‘rocks in the rock polisher’ of life. It follows the struggles of four of Chaucer’s characters: The Nun, The Friar, The Merchant and The Knight, including long instrumentals to give the listener spacious time to reflect upon the characters’ travails.

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Conclusion

Where there’s no scientific proof for Reincarnation, or for any other theology for that matter, the Ian Stevenson books come the closest so far as documenting cases of Reincarnation he directly studied. But a scientist to the end, Stevenson can’t bring himself to claim he’s proven the existence of Reincarnation, although his case studies are extremely compelling.

For any religious belief, it requires a faith on the part of the individual, rather than scientific proof, as no religion offers such proof. For myself, I came to Reincarnation through my 40 years of writing serious poetry. Those of us committed to this art, know poetry is a highly intuitive endeavor, and the more the poet disengages the conscious mind, the better the poem will flow in to the poet. Many years ago I became aware of what was flowing in often concerned the ‘circularity of the soul.’ And this led me to seek literature on Reincarnation. Since I already possessed a firm belief in poetry, it became a short journey to embrace Reincarnation.

Where I don’t recommend all individuals begin a regimen of poetry, I do believe it’s incumbent on all individuals to seek their own answers or faiths. As I wrote in a song “The Secret of Life” by one of our other artists, Joan in the Fires, if you search with a good heart, the answer will eventually pop up and shake hands with you. The answer always comes in the long, sincere search.

history of souls second edition

history of souls by Ward Kelley.

Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of "history of souls". This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:

Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.

Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.

Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.

Dancing in the Plague Lyrics and song by Don Whitaker and Wardco Studios

Dancing in the Plague Lyrics and song by Don Whitaker and Wardco Studios


Dancing in the Plague

A tribute to the human spirit: people who quite simply danced in the face of death. During the medieval Black Death epidemics, which claimed one-third of the European population, some people responded by having huge bonfires at night, and dancing themselves into a frenzy.

Dancing in the Plague Lyrics Below. Song is available for download – Download

“We wanted to write on a time rarely covered, and often pondered the response of some people to the Black Death in the Middle Ages: they made huge bonfires at night and danced themselves into a frenzy.”

Ward Kelley

Lyricist and Owner, Wardco Studios

From the Low Tides Album

Dancing in the Plague

A tribute to the human spirit: people who quite simply danced in the face of death. During the medieval Black Death epidemics, which claimed one-third of the European population, some people responded by having huge bonfires at night, and dancing themselves into a frenzy.

Dancing in the Plague Lyrics

(Whitaker/Kelley 2016)

Verse 1

We don’t know when the disease will strike us,

truly we might not be here, be alive,

next week, tomorrow the bulbs might smite us,

we never know when . . . . . .  Black Death arrives.

Chorus

Life, always capricious, full of love and hate,

now becomes a fatal whirlwind of fate.

Verse 2

The dances always get out of control,

we think if we dance with full abandon,

we can dance far away from the black hole.

But life and death  . . . . . . always go in tandem.

Chorus

Life, always capricious, full of love and hate,

now becomes a fatal whirlwind of fate.

So dance:

Instrumental

So dance

Dance, my humans, dance

Full abandon

Full abandon

Bridge

Ring around the rosie,

Pockets full of posies,

Ashes, ashes,

We all fall down.

Ending

Life and death, always goes in tandem,

Life and death, always goes in tandem,

Life and death, always goes in tandem,

Life and death, always goes in tandem,

Persian invader Xerxes Video and Song Lyrics

Where there’s no evidence this is a true story, it certainly could be one. Xerxes slayed hundreds of thousands of Greeks during his invasion of the democracies, so it’s not a stretch to imagine a wealthy land owner making a suicidal stand against the invaders. This song has it roots in a poem I published 20 or so years ago, by the same name; I guess I felt compelled by the situation and the thoughts running through the protagonist’s mind as he stood in a small temple at night on his property, in a thunderstorm, knowing Xerxes and his murderous army waited over the next hill.

Election Song 2016

With Anastasia’s deep roots in Indiana, we wanted to write a song about the Midwestern state, and while thinking about all the images to describe Indiana – the farmlands, rural towns, basketball, industrialized cities – one overarching thing became clear. There is a powerful, nearly overwhelming, love of country here in the heartland, transcending all else. A quick look at the news, and the verses nearly wrote themselves.

Lyricist thoughts on Contessa of the Willows by Entrance Way

Read the lyrics of the song, along with the lyricist’s thoughts about the song. Understand the meaning and the depth of the song by reading the lyricist’s motivations for writing it.  In Contessa of the Willows the singer explores the stressed relationship he has with a woman who constantly seeks to find sadness in her otherwise happy circumstances. He loves her greatly, but …. read on

Jesus & the Buddha Song – Notes from the Lyrist

The ‘wild’ idea which generated the writing of Jesus & the Buddha was the theological urban myth how the historical Jesus and the Buddha actually met during the biblical gap in the life of Jesus.

Dancing in the Plague Lyrics and song by Don Whitaker and Wardco Studios

We wanted to write on a time rarely covered, and often pondered the response of some people to the Black Death in the Middle Ages: they made huge bonfires at night and danced themselves into a frenzy.

New Songs Week of 9 -12-2016 by Entrance and Anastasia

Our first new song this week is “Jesus & the Budda” by Entrance. The band Entrance is comprised of Jeff Stafford, Lee Dalson, Papa Boyd’O, Anastasia Shields and Ward Kelley. Their vision is to create and explore non-commercial rock platforms while drawing from the poetry of Ward Kelley. Their scope includes rock, psychedelia, folk, blues, and even a little classical.

Featuring Songs about Emily Dickinson. Poems, Video, Authors Notes

The song is a tribute to Emily Dickenson, taking some of her public domain poetry and adding original lyrics. The singer concludes Emily changed his life by teaching him to see things in a much different way.

One More Crime Song and Lyrics

Listen to One More Crime while reading the lyrics, The singer’s husband informs her he is divorcing her, and she tried to salvage the marriage by enticing him to her bed.

The Wild Mouse Roller Coaster Song

The Wild Mouse Song: The singer imagines the boundary between life and death as an amusement park ride, then conjectures communicating with ‘little dead souls.’

A Wild Mouse roller coaster (also Mad Mouse or Crazy Mouse) is a type of roller coaster characterized by small cars that seat four people or fewer and ride on top of the track, taking tight, flat turns (without banking) at modest speeds, yet producing high lateral G-forces. The track work is characterized by many turns and bunny hops, the latter producing abrupt negative vertical G forces.

Author’s Thoughts – Cicero Thrusts His Head

Ward Kelley’s notes when writing the lyrics for “Cicero Thrusts His Head”. Post also includes quotes, link to lyrics, slideshow and other useful Cicero links and information.

Dancing in the Plague Lyrics Below. Song is available for download – Download

Gypsy’s Daughter Enters the Third Reich

Gypsy’s Daughter Enters the Third Reich

The Gypsy’s Daughter Enters the Third Reich Synopsis

Sometimes overlooked in discussions of the Holocaust are the conditions of the Gypsies, or Roma, who were subjected to the same attempt at genocide by the Nazi. Over 200,000 Gypsies lost their lives in the Holocaust. This song is the story of a Gypsy father and his nine year old daughter, as they are led towards the ovens in Auschwitz. The lyricist, the poet Ward Kelley, says, “these lyrics came from the saddest poem I ever published, but I thought it important the story of this small family was told. The poem, named the same as the song, was later nominated for the Pushcart award, and became one of my most reprinted poems. Still, I must admit, it’s difficult for me to read or contemplate this story.”

The Gypsy’s Daughter Enters the Third Reich Poem

by Ward Kelley

The billows, the flames and spouts of fire,

the smoky deluge of despair, the stains of tears

wafting, drying, in the oven air . . .

I lift the smallest of my daughter’s fingers

as if such beauty is our final defense

against the ugliness that some generations

surface in the human heart.

 

Her dark eyes appear so beautiful,

even stretched now by fear; her saintly nose

slightly flexes, alarmed, by the acrid scent

in this heartless dry air . . . she is so brave

I yearn to explode my lungs in grief,

but I remain calm so I might steer her

through our final walk together.

 

Her grownup, black eyes mean to ask me

why such volumes of hate invade this world,

so her little life must be exchanged.

She will spare me this impossible question,

and I thank her with my own eyes,

a father’s smile, a kiss of souls, as the soldiers

prod us forward to the stark, concrete building.

 

This is too much bravery for one man to act out,

too much beauty for one daughter to convey

to her father out here in this forlorn night.

I am deeply proud of us both at the end,

and so I lift her little finger with my thick thumb . . .

 

a humble wave goodbye to our sinful world,

then I pray this is the proper response

to this horror . . . to meet it

with the smallest act of beauty.

Poem from histories of souls

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The Gypsy’s Daughter Enters the Third Reich Lyrics

(Whitaker/Kelley 2015)
Verse 1
In this heartless dry air, she’s so brave,
her eyes say it’s me she just forgave,
her nose flexes from the arid scent,
they mean to kill us, they won’t relent,
to kill a child, it’s most deprave,
in this heartless dry air, she’s so brave,

Chorus
Nothing I can do,
I know we’re through,
wish I knew
what to do.

Verse 2
God, this dark world, such volumes of hate
her life must be exchanged to equate
this Nazi formula: lives for greed,
I can only hold her hand, a feckless deed,
And on my lungs, a relentless weight
in this dark world, such volumes of hate.
Instrumental

Chorus
Nothing I can do,
I know we’re through,
wish I knew
what to do.

Ending

And so I lift her little finger
with my callused hand,
a humble wave goodbye
to our sinful world,

and I pray this is the proper response
to this horror . . .
to meet it bravely
with the smallest act of beauty.

Chorus
Nothing I can do,
I know we’re through,
wish I knew
what to do.

to meet it bravely
with the smallest act of beauty.

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High Tides of Love

High Tides of Love

The purest form of love requires stripping away all inhibitions and defenses, and loving courageously, without restriction. Indeed loving with a pure faith your lover will reciprocate just as purely. The singer in this song advises to “strip it all away” and “love without a say,” using the analogy of a high tides eroding all the lover’s defenses.

High Tide of Love

Music by Don Whitaker
Lyrics by Ward Kelley

(Whitaker/Kelley 2016)

Verse 1
The high tide of love erodes the sand monolith
of your life, decodes, easing flecks of sand from you,
truth slices, implodes, in seas of pranks and myth,
while my arms enfold . . . sends the best back to you.

Chorus
Love means stripping it all away.
Love means trusting without a say,
lay yourself down, you’ll see our way,
when I lay down too, at the end of our day.

Verse 2
The seas reveal a sharp, crystalline door,
modern art, conceals, a shapely, expensive soul,
shining, it deals in a much more refining cure,
your soul appeals, it knows love makes searches into wholes.

Chorus
Love means stripping it all away.
Love means trusting without a say,
lay yourself down, you’ll see our way,
when I lay down too, at the end of our day.

Bridge
I feel your body rock in lovemaking,
arched, a cello pulsing, making
a promise how you’ll not be taking
more love than what you are waking.

Instrumental

Chorus
Love means stripping it all away.
Love means trusting without a say,
lay yourself down, you’ll see our way,
when I lay down too, at the end of our day.

Repeat Bridge
I feel your body rock in lovemaking,
arched, a cello pulsing, making
a promise how you’ll not be taking
more love than what you are waking.

Music Video

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High Tides of Love Cover

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Love Quotes

Life has taught us that love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A man reserves his true and deepest love not for the species of woman in whose company he finds himself electrified and enkindled, but for that one in whose company he may feel tenderly drowsy. ~ George Jean Nathan

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. ~ Oscar Wilde

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. ~ Judy Garland

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. ~ Plato

All love shifts and changes. I don’t know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time. ~ Julie Andrews

As soon go kindle fire with snow, as seek to quench the fire of love with words. ~ William Shakespeare

I can live without money, but I cannot live without love. ~ Judy Garland

Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow. ~ John Lennon

Absence – that common cure of love. ~ Lord Byron

Love is being stupid together. ~ Paul Valery

 

Daughters Song by Don Whitaker

Daughters Song by Don Whitaker

This song is a rendition of a father’s love for his daughters. Every father of an adult daughter – at some point – gets a phone call late at night from the daughter who got herself in a bad situation, and desperately needs the father to come help her. The father in the song runs to his truck and drives into the night to help his daughter, thinking about his relationship with her, and concluding ‘there is nothing better than a daughter.’

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Daughters Music Video.

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Daughters Lyrics
(Whitaker/Kelley 2016)

When I got your call
in early morning,
heard your fearful bawl,
terrible warning . . .
Backup
My girl needs me. My girl needs me.

Wrestled my clothes on,
ran out to my truck,
love always goes on,
facing all bad luck . . .
Backup
My girl needs me. My girl needs me.

In the dark,
driving shark,
love’s trademark,
no question mark . . .
Backup
My girl needs me. My girl needs me.

Sax Instrumental

I’m coming,
baby,
I’m coming,

Hang on, hang on,
Daddy’s coming

When she slipped,
I always caught her.

All those little things
she treasured,
I always bought her.

Don’t tell anyone,
there’s nothing better
than a daughter

Don’t tell anyone,
there’s nothing better
than a daughter

I’m coming sweetie

Pause Backup
It’ll be okay,

Hold on, hold on,

Pause Backup
It’ll be okay,

You can cry,

Pause Backup
It’ll be okay,
On my chest,

Pause Backup
It’ll be okay,

I’m coming baby,

Pause Backup
It’ll be okay,

You can cry,

Pause Backup
It’ll be okay,

On my chest,

Pause Backup
It’ll be okay,

Pause Song
Backup

It’ll be okay It’ll be okay,

It’ll be okay It’ll be okay,

It’ll be okay It’ll be okay,

It’ll be okay It’ll be okay,

It’ll be okay It’ll be okay,

Temple in the Path of Xerxes Lyrics

Temple in the Path of Xerxes Lyrics

The song is set in 5th  century BCE Greece, where a landowner learns the Persian invader Xerxes is nearing his property with a large, murderous army. He quickly sends his wife, children, brother and slaves to the safety of the shore, and resolves to make a suicidal stand with his small guard of mercenaries. The night before the battle, he stands, during a thunderstorm, in the small temple he built on his property, contemplating his gods – why does a man decide to stand and fight, when the very gods have fled this place?

Temple in the Path of Xerxes

(Whitaker/Kelley 2015)

Stone frigid columns, pungent fumes, incense burning,

biting breeze penetrates the acute night outside,

pillars clammy, expressing my fear from learning

invaders coming tomorrow for genocide.

My children are safe at the coast,

their mother spirited them down,

with the slaves, my brother, and most;

she left my sword . . . . but not her gown.

Wind easily dispels incense and sacred smoke,

I understand our gods have also left this place,

perhaps they too are at the shore, beaten and broke

into human pieces of themselves and our race.

Why does a man stand firm after

the very gods fled far from this place?

I’ll always rail from the rafters,

look unyielding fate in the face.

Is the nature of gods to dissipate at whim?

So man must stand while the gods are only smoke

for the awe of future generations, brave him

who does not flee, but is privy to the old joke.

My children are safe at the coast,

their mother spirited them down,

with the slaves, my brother, and most;

she left my sword . . . . but not her gown.

I cannot imagine this place without myself,

but it’s better to believe in man than these cults,

for any man can readily complete himself,

while the gods can only cry at their results.

You know it’s coming.

You know it’s coming.

God, you know it’s coming.

Xerxes: King of Kings: The True Story

Lyrics Artist’s note:
Xerxes I (circa 519 – 465 BCE), was a king of Persia. To punish the Greeks for their victory over the Persians at Marathon in 490 BCE, he invaded Greece, his vast army penetrating to Thrace, Thessaly, and Locris. Three hundred Spartans made a courageous but suicidal stand at Thermopylae; after ten days Xerxes broke through, and eventually burned Athens. Returning to Asia, Xerxes so disgusted his subjects with his debauchery that he was at last murdered by the captain of his own palace guard.

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Artist’s note:
Xerxes I (circa 519 – 465 BCE), was a king of Persia. To punish the Greeks for their victory over the Persians at Marathon in 490 BCE, he invaded Greece, his vast army penetrating to Thrace, Thessaly, and Locris. Three hundred Spartans made a courageous but suicidal stand at Thermopylae; after ten days Xerxes broke through, and eventually burned Athens. Returning to Asia, Xerxes so disgusted his subjects with his debauchery that he was at last murdered by the captain of his own palace guard.

A Temple in the Path of Xerxes Poem from History of Souls by Ward Kelley.

Stone, frigid columns, pungent fumes

from copper bowls on burning pedestals . . .

the chilling breeze still penetrates

from the acute night outside.

 

These pillars feel clammy, as though

they express my fear of the invaders

who arrive tomorrow to annihilate our ways.

 

My children hide safely at the coast,

their mother spirited them down

with the slaves and my brother . . .

so now only my sword remains here with me.

 

By the manner the wind easily dispels the incense

and holy smoke, I understand our gods also

left this place . . . perhaps they too flee to the shore.

Now only myself and my mercenaries face

the conquerors when this night drifts onward.

 

Why does a man stay in place after the very gods

fled? Is this the nature of a man . . .

to rail against the inevitable world,

while it is the nature of gods

to dissipate at whim?

 

One must stand, while others are smoke

for the awe of future generations.

I cannot imagine this place without myself . . .

I touch the marble, still moist,

and fear I sense the dawn nearing,

yet I see it is still better to be a man than a god

when death arises with the breaking day,

for men may readily complete this life

while gods can only cry at the results

of their fornications.

 

 

 

 

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