Dorian, original lyric and story

I wrote these lyrics years ago (can it really be more than 20 years already? Geez…). It is based partly on the novel A Portrait of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde and partly on a conversation with my 2 best friends about running away from our adult lives and starting over somewhere. This actually turned out to be somewhat a “foreshadowing” for me, as I did just that exact thing 3 years after writing this song. I moved away from Ohio to Connecticut… “new place, new friends…” and discovered the ol’ “wherever you go, there you are” hard lesson. Can we really ever start over? Or are we just having a set and costume change, but playing the same old lines and plots? Who knows?

History of this song

My band, The Susans, in Columbus, Ohio performed this song, and each of the band members wrote their own musical parts. That’s how we did things. I wrote the words and melody. The Susans consists of myself (Susan Carson), Jon Thoms-guitar, Steve Schwier-bass, Susan Davison-drums, and later Ken Lambert-bass. We were a very tight, and tight-knit, rock band, doing mostly original material and a few covers. We rocked the Midwest for 10 years. Maybe those were my “glory days”. One thing is for sure, I loved that time and those people so much – my band mates and all the fans and friends that followed and supported us were like a family to me.

This song is still regularly performed by my new CT based acoustic duo, Me & D, with David DeLallo. It always gets a great response. It’s hard for me to be sure how it sounds really because when I play it, I can still hear the old band playing it in my head. David does it justice, though, respecting the original but adding his own flare and personality to it. I absolutely love singing this song and the words mean a lot to me.

It was funny at the time

On a side note, I used to host a weekly book club at my house in Ohio during the 1990s. We called it Philosophy Group and the point was to read deep philosophical pieces along with some classic literature that we all probably skipped when it was assigned in high school or university and have meaningful discussion. This book club covered A Portrait of Dorian Grey. It was my pick (we rotated picking the books.)

During our discussion, I was lost and confused and came to realize I missed an entire section of the story involving Dorian hanging out in opium dens. Apparently I bought the ABRIDGED version. Dork.

“Wait! WHAT OPIUM DENS?! What are you guys talking about???”

Anyway, here are the lyrics:

Dorian

New name, new friends, new place

Rolls the window down and checks the mirror

Cigarette is burning, no turning back

No time to think about the fear

 

Of what was wrong or right then

It doesn’t matter, he’s just got to get away

To where no one knows his name or

What brings him to say the things he doesn’t want to say

 

            But in the trunk a frame of gold

            A picture of a boy who never will grow old

 

                        Dorian drives away

                        There’s nothing anyone can say

                        Dorian drives away

 

Pulls in unnoticed, unimpressed

Looks just like the town he saw before

Amazing how some deals

Have ways of leaving you just feeling like a whore

 

            But in the trunk a frame of gold

            A picture of a boy who never will grow old

 

                        Dorian drives away

                        There’s nothing anyone can say

                        Dorian drives away

 

                                    It’s all so grey, where is the sun

                                    Where do you go when you just want to be someone?

                                    What is the point of dreaming now?

 

But things don’t work out like they did in fairy tales

He made a deal for life but bargained straight for hell

And now he drives away

                        There’s nothing anyone can say

                        Dorian drives away

                        There’s nothing anyone can say

                                    Dorian, Doran drives

                                    Dorian, Doran drives

©2000 Susan A. Carson. All rights Reserved.

Ocean Hymn – lyrics

Standing on this long shore
Sun’s about to fall
Listen to the ocean
Mother of us all

I could stay out here for hours
Just bathing in this breeze
Blow away my troubles
Feel my pain begin to ease

	Focusing your eyes on the line of that deep blue horizon
	Looking out as far as your eyes can see
	You are not alone here if you’re standing by the ocean
	Because she always holds a little bit of me

All my dreams and all my memories
Are crashing in these waves
Folding over gently
All the loving that I gave

And sometimes if you listen
To the ocean as she roars
You can hear the wisdom
Of those who stood here long before

	Focusing your eyes on the line of that deep blue horizon
	Looking out as far as your eyes can see
	You are not alone here if you’re standing by the ocean
	Because she always holds a little bit of me

		This is what we need to see
		This is what we need to hear
		There is nowhere else to be
		Just be here

	Focusing your eyes on the line of that deep blue horizon
	Looking out as far as your eyes can see
	You are not alone here if you’re standing by the ocean
	Because she always holds a little bit of me

© 2021 by Susan A. Carson. All rights Reserved.

Oh My Love, lyric

There’s a heartbreak in me

I think it got its name

When I went down in a heap of rubble

And floated up in flame

 

There’s a sadness in my heart

And it’s crying out for you

But I don’t think I could even deal

If you came back to the truth

 

Oh my love

 

I am sitting at the bar

Where we always used to go

I am laughing at the things we talked about

that no one knows

 

I am lying in my bed

And I feel like I should cry

I am watching memories dance

Across a movie screen of sky

 

    In another time you would realize

    In another time you would stay

 

Oh my love

 

By Susan A. Carson

 

Beautiful, a lyrical poem

Beautiful

I could’ve been a pro ball player
England’s Queen’s got nothing on me
I could’ve been an astronaut
Fly you and me to Mercury

I saw the way you introduced me
Don’t worry baby, they don’t know
They can’t see the way I make you sing
Baby, they don’t know

So, what if I’m not
What if I’m not
What if I’m not BEAUTIFUL?

I could’ve been the top of my class
I could’ve won their Nobel prize
Maybe I could shine for Mommy and Daddy
Just tell ‘em it’s the look in my eyes

So, what if I’m not
What if I’m not
What if I’m not BEAUTIFUL?
Beautiful

Stop making excuses for me
I don’t need you to make it “okay”
I could’ve been everything for you
But I’m just here!

What if I become Miss America?
What if I become Kingdom Come?
What if nothing else really matters, baby?
What if no one else ever comes along?

What if I was your Holy Moses?
Lead you right into Heaven’s gates?
What if I could make you feel so good that
Baby, nothing else could ever make it go away?

So, what if I’m not
What if I’m not
What if I’m not BEAUTIFUL?

© Susan A. Carson. All rights Reserved.

Words

Hi, friends. I’ve decided to start sharing some of my writings on my blog. I will be posting my lyrics, poetry, prose, haiku, etc., here for you to enjoy. I may even occasionally share an excerpt from a book I am working on. Feel free to subscribe or unsubscribe. I try to not take it all too personally and I am not seeking “Likes”. I will continue to share my art and music as usual, just adding my words to the mix. It’s all connected. Like us. And why do I feel the need to tell you this? Because by putting it out there, I am holding myself accountable. Sorry, this is how I do things.

Are you a creative person? Do you write, craft, sing, play an instrument, draw? People who do one of these things usually do many of these things. Some people are so creative that they can’t even sit or stand somewhere without doodling, singing, rapping or something. I am not one of these people to whom it comes easily. It is something I work at constantly although I am always thinking of things I want to create. It just takes discipline for me to execute. I make time each day for music and art, but writing has always been an afterthought until recently. For the past few year, I have been writing daily. It started out as basic journaling, but has developed into a nice routine of challenges. I’ve outlined some book ideas, worked out some lyrics for songs, and developed an entertaining haiku practice.

I would like to share some of this here on my blog page. Some new, some old. But for me, it is all “current” because it is all still a part of me. And I’m still alive.

Book Cover Art

New book release! I am excited today to see my art on the cover of a book that is for sale on Amazon! Sean Currie released his new novel today and I am so proud to be a part of this project. I was flattered when he wrote last year to ask if I would create a painting to be used for the cover on his crime novel. He gave me a description of what he was looking for: a specific British Railways train, on the tracks, at night, moody, fast. Next I did some research googling different angles of this train in different locales, and trying to understand some of the parts of the train so I knew what I was painting. Over a couple of weeks, I would go to the studio armed with my photo references and my Google-machine information. I threw on some good music and jammed it out. What a lot of fun it was to do, and Sean was a pleasure to work with. I am looking forward to owning and reading this book in the hardback form. This interesting man can tell a story! Link to the book here

A Visit in the Artist Studio

Welcome to my studio at the Loft Artists Association in Stamford, CT. Usually we hold Open Studios events at the Loft Artists, but this past year we had to miss it. So, I made a little video to share here. It’s about 3 minutes or so of me chatting (awkwardly) to my camera (an odd experience) and showing some of my art. I wanted to add music but just couldn’t figure it out yet. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

Inspiration

I’ve been so busy at work (the day job) the past month that I haven’t been spending the time in my studio that I would like. When life gets in the way like this, with work, appointments, social events, chores and such, it can weigh on a creative person, leaving a dead-inside kind of feeling. I feel best when I’m in the studio pushing colors around, planning a composition, crafting just the perfect angle or texture in a drawing. For me, it is akin to yoga or meditation.

So, time to “stock the pond.” I took some time this week to head into Manhattan with a friend to visit the Museum of Modern Art. What a day! We spent the day bathing in color, light, ideas. Figures, shapes, and commentary draped us in joy and inspiration. The MoMA is such a wonderful place to get away from the grind and soak in some energy. (Socially distanced, of course!)

After communing with all my faves: Picasso, Matisse, Krasner, Hartigan, Pollock, de Kooning, Dali, Magritte, Hockney, Kahlo, O’Keefe…and so many more, I can’t wait to get into my studio today and get to work!

In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron recommends the practice of taking yourself out on “artist dates”, a time to go explore for ideas and enjoy the creativity of others. It opens your mind to new thoughts and ways of looking at things. It nurtures your creative consciousness. The book recommends you do this alone- no friends, spouse, children tagging along. I agree with this in theory, but for me, it was great to find a friend that could come along and just be there, mostly quiet, occasionally pointing out something I may not have noticed and to share the enjoyment. We did both separate now and then to get some space and wander alone. Either way, it was a great experience. I highly recommend it!

Artist Interview

Well Hello there! I’d like to share with you a video of an interview I did for Frank Tosto of Stamford Musicians Group (a Facebook Group.) He runs a regular streaming video show featuring musical guests and other creatives from the community performing, chatting and sharing their latest projects. If you don’t know Frank you should go to Facebook, search and join his Stamford Musicians Group, and enjoy. He is one of the hardest working, supportive (and talented and nicest) guys in the area. Anyway, here is the spot he did with me.