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If I Could Sing Like That

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I wrote this song in 2017; it refers to some songs from 1974 and also to A Salty Dog in Ithaca, NY, where I would occasionally go to see live music while studying architecture at Cornell University. But it's really about the conflicts and contradictions of the artistic temperament; and about paths not taken.

I've been busy learning new video editing software; therefore, this song is, at least temporarily, video-free. But if you stare at the still image long enough, while listening to the audio, it just may well come to life.

Jonathan Ochshorn singing 'If I Could Sing Like That' from unpublished live music video

If I Could Sing Like That
Words and music © 2017 Jonathan Ochshorn

Verse 1. They're playing oldies while I do the stepper at the gym
Classic sounds of Elton John and Philippé Wynne
Of course those songs were new for us way back in '74
And I often think of you though you can't hear me anymore

Verse 2. I know you're gone; it's really not such a surprise
You always dreaded getting old; for you a losing compromise
The sun feels like it's going down on me and yet the dawn no longer shocks
A mighty love has made me see the beauty of this paradox

Chorus. I used to wonder as I listened
What if I could sing like that
And break away from working like some petty bureaucrat
If I could sing like that we'd seal our fate on your quixotic road
You'd be my muse, I'd light the fuse, and we'd both wait
For something to explode

Verse 3. Sometimes we'd walk down to the inlet just to hear our favorite tune
I can still remember Orleans playing "Ticonderoga Moon"
You'd get me dancing on that dusty floor a bit out of control
We'd leave A Salty Dog but not before
The sound was etched into our soul

Chorus. And I would wonder as I listened
What if I could sing like that
And break away from working like some petty bureaucrat
If I could sing like that we'd seal our fate on your quixotic road
You'd be my muse, I'd light the fuse, and we'd both wait
For something to explode

Bridge. And so the years may taunt you
But what appears to haunt you
Will dissipate turning bitter-sweet somehow
But as we wait in the here and now

Verse 4. They're playing oldies while I do the stepper at the gym
Classic sounds of Elton John and Philippé Wynne
Of course those songs were new for us way back in '74
And I often think of you though you can't hear me anymore

Chorus. But still I wonder as I listen
What if I could sing like that
And break away from working like some petty bureaucrat
If I could sing like that we'd seal our fate on your quixotic road
You'd be my muse, I'd light the fuse, and we'd both wait
For something to explode

Some notes on the lyrics:
I mention Elton John and Philippé Wynne, both of whom had hits that I listened to in 1974, lyrics from which are "quoted" in my song: Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin released Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me in 1974 ("The sun feels like it's going down on me" is from verse 2) and Philippé Wynne of the Spinners sang Mighty Love along with Bobbie Smith—the song co-written by Joseph B. Jefferson, Bruce Hawes and Charles Simmons—also around 1974 ("A mighty love has made me see the beauty of this paradox" is also from verse 2). I refer to the rock group Orleans in verse 3; they used to play at a club in Ithaca called A Salty Dog and their song Ticonderoga Moon, released in 1973 on their album "Orleans," was always one of my favorites from those days.

Production notes:
Music arranged and produced by J. Ochshorn
Recorded with Logic Pro X software
Vocals: J. Ochshorn
Real instruments: J. Ochshorn (folk guitar)
Software instruments played live on midi keyboard: J. Ochshorn (drums, bass, piano, organ)
Recorded at home in Ithaca, NY, September 2017.