Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Songwriting Challenge

Two weeks ago I accepted a fun songwriting challenge from songwriter-blogger Sharon Goldman -- write a song using the title of a book. I had a million other things going on in my life, but I was happy to have a good reason to concentrate on songwriting. I hadn't written anything new for awhile, so I committed to giving it my best shot.

I chose "The Hour of the Outlaw" - a charming piece of historical fiction (with a lovely, lyrical title) by Maiya Williams. The song is my own historical fiction: a local legend woven with a little bit of mystery.

(The song is 4:11 -- for some reason Windows Movie Maker thinks it's 6:20 - I'm too tired to figure out what caused the discrepancy.)

The Hour of the Outlaw
words and music © Erin Friedman

He checked his pocket watch and he pulled his hat down low
Crouched in shadowed canyon beside the stagecoach road
Stood ready with his shotgun and when the stage arrived
Shot the guard and stole the gold and proved his daddy right


The Hour of the Outlaw
Seconds beat like a drum
The Hour of the Outlaw
The countdown has begun

His daddy was a scoundrel, a gambler and a thief
Took a bullet in his back for the aces up his sleeve
Before he died he said, “Son, outlaw blood runs through your veins
And all I got to leave you is this pocket watch and chain”

The Outlaw of the stagecoach trail could not out run his fate
Time had come for justice and justice would not wait
An angry mob rode out to Whiskey Creek and tracked him down
Left him swinging like a pendulum from the highest tree in town

The treasure still lies buried on the banks of Whiskey Creek
Many men have searched - and failed fortunately
But when the time is right some unsuspecting soul
Will dig up a cursed pocket watch and strongbox full of gold

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Erin, this is great. You're such a good songwriter. I just read the lyrics before I even listened to the song and they're very haunting and beautiful. This is really good! Love, Nora