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Remnants – Part 1

I wrote my first song as a child around age seven. I had no prompting from Mom or Dad. It just came out of me one day and I remember getting a little notebook and copying down the lyrics into it. I still have that little notebook somewhere in the files of my life. I’m not sure where it is, but I know I kept it. I remember the first line, melody and lyric.

Somehow
Someday
I will write a symphony…

That symphony will probably never be written, but a couple of thousand songs were. And, I still have all of them in files organized down in the basement.

I’ve made a good living as a songwriter for forty some years now. In the early days, as evidenced in the catalogs of basement files, I had talent, but not a whole lot of craft. So there are notebooks full of some good songs, some awful songs, some totally unmemorable songs and a few gems where I caught the muse by the tail and generated a winner.

Looking back, as I have done recently, the lack of craft was often the culprit as I struggled to get my thoughts out. Today, I can write a good song every time I sit down to write. Today, I have learned the craft of songwriting and by employing my set of basic principles (craft), the music simply pours forth.

In a recent move from NY to NJ, I had the chance to reorganize my past life into a huge file cabinet. I sat for a couple of weeks and poured over a lifetime of musical attempts and found a few of those forgotten gems, a few interesting unfinished scraps and musings that were worth development and a few favorites that simply got lost in the shuffle of life and never really made it to recorded completion.

Sometimes it was just a half a verse that caught my eye. Sometimes a lyric jumped out at me and said, “Please clarify me now that you’re older and wiser!” Sometimes a finished song just cried out and said, “Hey Pete, remember me? I’m still a winner after all these years molding at the bottom of this stack.” And sometimes it was just the thought of a song, a concept left forgotten. Once, it was a good lyric, but, for the life of me, I could not place the melody. So I wrote a new one.

The only absolutely new song in the album is this one. It is the title song for this concept album.

Remnants
Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

And now I bring to you the remnants of a lifetime
The remnants of a lifetime
The fragments
The leftovers
The crumbs from the table
The leavings and remains
Of a time gone by
Songs of promise
Never finished
Molding away in old discolored notebooks
Once upon a time …
Once upon a time
Yeah once upon a time
They clamored for refinement
Some polish and revisions
My much-forgotten verses
And half-baked ideas
They cried, “Don’t leave me now!
Left behind
Never to find my way
Lost in the pages
Good for nothing
Fading away
And left alone to die”
So have a little listen to the remnants of my mind
Have a little listen to the remnants of a lifetime
Interlude
Yes these were songs and scraps of songs
That never found a home
Words that never made enough sense
Melodies left unattended
Until one day
I dreamt of resurrection
I could not leave my friends behind
And have them fade away
Fade away
Fade away
Fade away
So I had a little listen to the remnants of my mind
I had a little listen to the remnants of a lifetime
And so they rose on up from the ashes of a lifetime
These scraps and notes on napkins
Those scribbles on margins
Never remembered
Those musings of the mind
And the tunes left behind
So have a little listen to the remnants of my mind
Have a little listen to the remnants of a lifetime
Please enjoy my remnants
Please applaud their renaissance
Come celebrate their reincarnation
It’s not often that we all get a second chance
So grab on to the moment
Cuz It’s never too late to be born again
Please enjoy my remnants
Please applaud their renaissance
Come celebrate their reincarnation
It’s not often that we all get a second chance
So grab on to the moment
Cuz It’s never too late to be born again
Have a little listen to the remnants of my mind
Have a little listen to my mind
Have a little listen to the remnants
Cuz It’s never too late to be born again
Have a little listen to the remnants of my mind
Have a little listen to my mind
Have a little listen to the remnants
Cuz It’s never too late to be born again

This is the first installment of what will be a 10-Part series on the making of this album, Remnants.

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