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The Captain


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Description
Many, many years ago, I used to play the guitar. I wasn't very good, but I knew enough chords to be able to write my own songs. I hadn't touched my guitar since the 80's, but recently, I pulled it out of the closet, just to play around. With no finger calluses, and so much rust I was knee-deep in it, it was a disheartening experiment. I couldn't remember the chords to any of the songs I'd written, and was about to give up entirely when I figured out the very simple picking pattern of a song I'd written called "The Captain".

I decided to give it a try. I opened GarageBand and tried to play. There were a bunch of technical problems (I still have no idea how to mic a guitar) and my fingers gave out halfway through, but eventually, I managed to record it.

I understand that the production isn't all that great, but just getting the guitar out of the closet was enough for me. I decided to post it anyway as a salute to an old friend.

Guitar and drums played by me, bugle and sfx from some old CDs.
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Lyrics
Tell me Captain, why do you remain inside my door?
Certainly the time has come to join the marching corps.
But love and tender word, must appear absurd
To a man who's trained to die, and die alone.

And yet I sense a hesitation in your manner, sir
Can it be the war has lost a captain to a cur?
For surely I am base, with my sweet, untroubled face
Never bred to lie – or lie alone.

Rejoice and shout, it seems the Captain wishes to remain
His gun is idle, never to be used in causing pain.
And sweet, caressing kiss, can never be dismissed
By the Captain I have known, and known alone.

In the distance I can hear the shouts of all your men
They're scrambling in unordered ranks, they know not where you've been
So they march without a host, each turning to a ghost
But death without a captain walks alone.
Yes, death without a captain walks alone.
Song Stats
Hits: 3012
Comments: 22
Fans: 0
Plays: 182
Downloads: 133
Votes: 12
Uploaded: Mar 24, 2005 - 09:06:47 AM
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2005 - 12:25:00 AM Last Played: Feb 01, 2017 - 06:56:24 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
eMac, Shure SM58, very old, cheap acoustic guitar.
Software:
GarageBand
Comments
bronco said 4475 days ago (March 24th, 2005)
Better With Age
It is good to try something new but next to your other
songs, which I would say are professional quality, this
pales in comparison. For most folks this would be an okay
tune but not for you. Put together a nice jazz trio and
start singing in public. Then get a gig in Austin as I would
love to hear something like that. I bet you know a lot of
Peggy Lee songs in addition to your original stuff.
Check out my latest song called Along The Way
Stun Nutz said 4475 days ago (March 24th, 2005)
Don't listen to him!
...and don't get me wrong, you do Jazz VERY well... but I don't think you
need to limit yourself! Keep trying different things... it's another trait
that I admire in you... besides your great voice and lyrical skills, of
course.
Check out my latest song called stagnation
Joanna said 4474 days ago (March 25th, 2005)
Don't listen to him!
Stun, don't worry, I'll always play around with different styles. It's too much
fun to give up. But there'll be plenty more jazz, too.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
Joanna said 4474 days ago (March 25th, 2005)
Better With Age
Bronco - thank you for your high opinion of my jazz songs. I do understand
that this is very different, and was written a long time ago, so it has a
different sound and feel. I really just wanted to try to play my guitar again,
and since I can't play jazz, I went for this old style. As for me singing in a
club, that's not something I ever expect to do (and although I know a couple
of Peggy's songs, I'm primarily a fan of Ella Fitzgerald, so I know a lot more of
her hits!)
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
bronco said 4472 days ago (March 27th, 2005)
Better With Age
Yes, Ella is great too, I just thought I heard a lot of Peggy in your style -
playful novelty songs, torch songs, etc. Especially the Alien's dancing tune.
And I was perhaps a bit too negative on your Captain song. I just have really
discovered 40's 50's vocal jazz in the last five years and was looking forward
to another one of yours in that style. I love Peggy, Ella, Nina Simone, Mose
Allison, and Julie London. Any others you think I should check out?
And to be fair, of all the different styles I have posted, folks only seem to like
the "authentic" acoustic blues I do and disregard the rest but I do seem to be
in the minority on the Captain song. Keep singing!!
Check out my latest song called Along The Way
Joanna said 4471 days ago (March 27th, 2005)
Better With Age
Bronco, I understand completely. I discovered female jazz vocalists about 10
years ago, and I was immediately hooked. Couldn't get enough. Oddly, I had
never listened to Peggy Lee until people started comparing my voice to hers. I
bought a CD and had to admit there were some definite similarities. Just
coincidence, but I'm not complaining!

As for other vocalists to look for, you
might try Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan (oooh, you must try Sassy, as she
was called, because she is amazing), Dinah Washington (another favorite),
Etta James, Nina Simone (I think you may have mentioned her, but she's
another of my faves, so just in case), and that's all I can think of off the top of
my head.

As for me, I'll be writing plenty more jazz, don't you worry. I just like to
experiment and play around, so whatever strikes me, or whatever mood I'm in
tends to determine what I write.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
thetiler said 4475 days ago (March 24th, 2005)
what great words
There is a lot of inspiration here at MJ and you have sure
contributed.

Nice production.
Thanks for sharing

Bill
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Joanna said 4474 days ago (March 25th, 2005)
what great words
Bill - thank you so much! I'm always pleased when people notice my lyrics.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
TobinMueller said 4475 days ago (March 24th, 2005)
Compelling storytelling
Love the line "Never bred to lie – or lie alone." Something
very endearing about this simple production. I really
appreciate your sound effects, and as the track continued
they became more emotionally compelling. Very nicely
done.

Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Joanna said 4474 days ago (March 25th, 2005)
Compelling storytelling
Thank you, Tobin! I wasn't sure what people would think of the sound effects,
but I liked how they sounded, so I put them in. Thank you for finding a
positive in the simplicity of the production.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
Stun Nutz said 4475 days ago (March 24th, 2005)
You play guitar?
More tricks up your sleeve, eh?
You could probably get rid of the background hiss by
using the "Gate" slider (it's in the panel by effects)...
cuz besides that, this sounds fine! Good song... and
nice supplemental sound effects (I am a sucker for
those, you know me).
Check out my latest song called stagnation
Joanna said 4474 days ago (March 25th, 2005)
You play guitar?
Thank you, Stun! I know about the gate from my old days of recording on the
built-in, but unfortunately, the guitar recorded so softly, the gate was
unusable. I just mic'ed the thing incorrectly. And by the time I figured out
how to do it, my non-callused fingers had totally given out. So I had to work
with what I had.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
Mystified said 4474 days ago (March 25th, 2005)
What a treat!...
...to hear this song!

Storytelling so well done! Yes, the production needs fine-
tuning in the mic-ing department, but your lyrics, your
presentation... Great!
I, for one, love to hear you trying different styles with your
voice! You have such a wonderful instrument. Thank you
for sharing your talent in singing and writing here.
Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
Joanna said 4474 days ago (March 25th, 2005)
What a treat!...
Thank you, Mystie! I do so love to tell stories!
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
aclarke said 4473 days ago (March 26th, 2005)
Time to build
up those calluses! It's obvious you can play the guitar. The
sound effects were appropriate and tastefully
implemented. I think the production suffered some
because of the background noise...that can be removed
fortunately. It was great to hear you sing a different style
music... we're not going to stereotype you!

I, for one, would love to hear you do more with the guitar.
Check out my latest song called Right on Time 2014- feat. David McNair
Joanna said 4473 days ago (March 26th, 2005)
Time to build
Thanks, ac! I do need to build up calluses before I can attempt anything
again. And I need to learn to mic a guitar. It wouldn't hurt to learn how to
play it again, too. Then again, there's a lot to be said for loops! I do so love
me loops.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
12m said 4472 days ago (March 27th, 2005)
off a post by monseuir schletty:
Thats how i saw this, was intriuged by what u had to say
there, so checked out ur stuff out, and was quite
impressed...
I do like the lyrics, the story tellin is great as mentioned
above...
Thought i'd comment:)
Check out my latest song called Understand my culture
Joanna said 4472 days ago (March 27th, 2005)
off a post by monseuir schletty:
I thank you most sincerely for giving a listen, 12m! I'm especially pleased that
you like the lyrics, since you're a fellow "rhymer".
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
snowdragon said 4436 days ago (May 1st, 2005)
If you get a spare minute . . .
Any chance of posting a version without the fusiliers, .60
cal and drum&bugle corps? (ie I'd like a guitar/vocals
version please.)


Don't know how I missed this before. Great story. Loved
the "death without a captain walks alone" line.


Check out my latest song called Nightmares
Joanna said 4436 days ago (May 1st, 2005)
If you get a spare minute . . .
Snow, I can email you a copy, if you'd like. Just have to recut it. Thanks for
listening!
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
said 4397 days ago (June 9th, 2005)
Camp or Schlock?
I think the singers voice is expressive. I like his singing. But the lyrics of this song are very schlocky.
Joanna said 4397 days ago (June 9th, 2005)
Camp or Schlock?
The singer is female. Sorry the lyrics didn't appeal to you.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
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Hi, I'm Joanna (not Jo, that's someone else). Garageband has allowed me to indulge my love for singing beyond concerts in the shower. My favorite part of songwriting is writing the lyrics. This makes sense, of course, because writing is what I d... [see more]

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