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Song For a Friend


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Description
I met a woman many years ago who was the literal “poster girl” for spousal abuse at her local police station. She bravely allowed her pictures to be used to encourage battered wives to seek help — before it’s too late. After hearing her story and seeing the pictures, I sat down at the piano and wrote this bittersweet song for her.

I thought I'd post this rough, initial pass at an orchestral arrangement here.
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Lyrics
Song For A Friend
Music and Lyrics © 2008 By J.A. Stewart
— ALL RIGHTS RESERVED —


Day breaks and she awakes, she puts on some hotcakes
And makes up her face, tryin’ to hold back the years
But she can’t hold her tears and pretend ---
That she’ll ever be young once again ----

She comes and she goes, she loves to chase rainbows
And fly on the Wind to the Moon and the Stars
Where she loses her scars, yes they mend ---
Least they do in this Song For A Friend -----

Life’s been so hard on this woman, this child
Tried oh so hard to be loved all the while
Oh, how she cried --- ‘Cause love was denied

But you know that this song never ends
Like the love that I have for my friend.
Song Stats
Hits: 5263
Comments: 53
Fans: 27
Plays: 899
Downloads: 169
Votes: 9
Uploaded: Aug 30, 2008 - 02:54:07 PM
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2013 - 12:05:45 PM Last Played: Sep 18, 2018 - 04:51:54 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Yamaha PSR530 keyboard; MOTU 828mkII FW interface; AT4050/CM5 mic; My old pipes.
Software:
Logic Pro 8; SampleTank 2.5
Comments
futzpucker said 3757 days ago (August 30th, 2008)
Beautiful, tragic...
This song is very touching, haunting, and heartbreaking. Your delivery of the poignant lyrics evokes great empathy, Joe. You have the other elements working for you very effectively as well - the changes, the melody, the orchestration, the ritardando... They all work together to meet the message of the song.

This is a wonderful tribute to a woman who needs to be rescued, to reclaim her life, and to start again from where she then finds herself.

These kinds of stories, as you mentioned, never end - thank God for the blessing that your love for her never ends.
Check out my latest song called Just As It Is
J.A.Stewart said 3754 days ago (September 2nd, 2008)
Re: Beautiful, tragic...
Thank you, Patrick. I lost touch with this woman many years ago, but she was eventually remarried (to a much more reasonable and gentle man) and seemed to be on track for a better life. I certainly hope so. I have come into contact with many others who were not so fortunate. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Miller-Schletty said 3756 days ago (August 30th, 2008)
I look for your songs...
and this one is worth waiting for. Wow... JA, an inspired song you have recorded. The gems that slip through unnoticed by the mainstream music men... their loss, also the wider audiences' loss, and...

Our gain.

Thanks,
Jack/Dadai
Check out my latest song called Loss (Dadai poem read by RSchletty)
J.A.Stewart said 3754 days ago (September 2nd, 2008)
Re: I look for...
Thanks, Jack. Not exactly a song you can dance to, it was never meant for the mainstream. LOL

Just a moment in my life that touched me and inspired this message for someone who deserved more than she got. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Moviz said 3756 days ago (August 30th, 2008)
Such a
touching song with a deserving subject as the theme. The emotion in the way you performed this was excellent (as always) too and with your always professional treatment of the accompaniment. Great tune and lyrics, with a very original theme, Lovely stuff. Regards M
Check out my latest song called We'll Meet Again
J.A.Stewart said 3754 days ago (September 2nd, 2008)
Re: Such a...
Although the sentiment is old, it endures, so it was easy to perform it with feeling and conviction, Maurice. Thank you for your comments.


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
sloparts said 3756 days ago (August 30th, 2008)
Very nice Joe
A lovely sad song for a lovely sad woman. I cannot understand the mind that wants to hurt, I never have. But still they are out there and still we have not found out why.

As for you song and your friend, I wishes them both joy and peace and understanding, but most of all I wish them love.

Be well and be cool my friend,

Ed
Check out my latest song called Quack's Blues
J.A.Stewart said 3754 days ago (September 2nd, 2008)
Re: Very nice...
Well, Ed, there's a lot of frustration and anger out there. Mix in some alcohol and a failure to accept responsibility for yourself and you have a recipe for violence of one sort or another. It IS very sad how many women have suffered this fate. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Feter said 3756 days ago (August 31st, 2008)
Song For a Friend
what a thoughtful emotional song my friend !!? ...
very remarkable singing indeed ..so true so honest
loved the orchestration ..one of your best my friend !
the move behind your piano and voice just amazing ..
just a top notch song ..thnx alot for sharin !!!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
J.A.Stewart said 3754 days ago (September 2nd, 2008)
Re: Song For...
Thank you, Feter. Truth and honesty are what such dark subjects require... and what I attempted to provide here. The piano style is one I was not at all accustomed to when I first sat down to write this song, so it was truly inspired by the lady's story. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
dajama said 3756 days ago (August 31st, 2008)
Powerful
This is a powerful song, sung with real emotion and passion. The lyrics are very well-crafted, and filled with lovely lines. You have created a wonderful song here about a troubling subject. Nicely done, my friend. Kudos. Peace.
Check out my latest song called Across the Wire (MJRF)
J.A.Stewart said 3754 days ago (September 2nd, 2008)
Re: Powerful...
Thanks, David. Yes, the emotion and passion are very real. I was very moved by the experience and I do believe it helped my friend to realize she was special --- as we all are --- and not just someone's punching bag. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
said 3753 days ago (September 2nd, 2008)
The knack for empathy
Yeman told me about this song. He said it touched him. Touches me, too. Sensitive in its conception and masterful in its presentation. Thank you, J.A.
J.A.Stewart said 3753 days ago (September 3rd, 2008)
Re; The knack...
Thank you, Richard. Our young friend, Yeman, is a remarkable emerging soul and it pleases me that this song touched both he and you. Please send my regards to him and tell him I miss his presence here.

BTW... best of luck in your song writing studies. I salute you for the effort. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Ibstrat said 3753 days ago (September 3rd, 2008)
Besides
the great lyrics that's some fantastic keyboard playing and singing.The chord progression is really interesting- the modulation from Bb to Db and back is masterful,worthy of McCartney or Elton John.
Check out my latest song called What the
J.A.Stewart said 3751 days ago (September 4th, 2008)
Re: Besides...
Thanks, Mark. Ironically, the pinched nerve that made it impossible for me to play guitar forced me to turn back to the keyboards --- which I could play. That helped me regain some of my rusty old skills on the keys. To be compared with the *Sirs* is quite a compliment. Thank you. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Char said 3753 days ago (September 3rd, 2008)
This was
a gift of love to all of us who have been used and abused by those who selfishly deny love. Thank you.
Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
J.A.Stewart said 3751 days ago (September 4th, 2008)
Re: This was...
It was meant as a gift, Char. Through the years it has become clear to me how many people it applies to. I am pleased to be able to share it with all of them.

Thank you.


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
guitapick said 3743 days ago (September 12th, 2008)
Hey Joe...
...I'm so sorry I didn't hear this sooner. This is an unbelievably great tune. I was riveted to my seat from first note to last. The song, itself, is so moving. Lyrics and music. Then the playing/singing/instrumentation fill it out so well. Lastly: the production's first rate.

I don't vote often. But this gets straight 10s from me. Top of professional quality. I'm completely blown away.

What a tune, Joe. Bravo, man! Bravo!
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
J.A.Stewart said 3743 days ago (September 13th, 2008)
Re: Hey Joe...
Thank you very much, Bob. Creating a song or music that resonates so strongly with others is perhaps the greatest reward a songwriter can hope for. I am both flattered and humbled by your reaction. Thank you.


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
lengold said 3743 days ago (September 12th, 2008)
I love the
way you sing this beautifully written and heartfelt song. Impeccable playing and production too.
Cheers
Len


Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
J.A.Stewart said 3743 days ago (September 13th, 2008)
Re: I love the...
Thanks for your kind comments, Len. I am pleased you liked my song. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
egobandit said 3702 days ago (October 24th, 2008)
hotcakes
and heartaches, touching song and great singing ...the poetry is fantastic!


Check out my latest song called you never mattered
J.A.Stewart said 3701 days ago (October 25th, 2008)
Re: hotcakes
Thank you, ego for the listen and your appreciation. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
MarkHolbrook said 3685 days ago (November 10th, 2008)
Faved..
but never got back for the comment. I'm so sorry!

This is wonderful. The vocals to me shine clearly through on this Joe!

The music is beautiful but your vocals as Patrick said, such a great delivery. The lyrics are wonderful too.

Simply beautiful and perfect sir!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
J.A.Stewart said 3685 days ago (November 10th, 2008)
Re: Faved...
Better late than never, Mark. I appreciate the effort.

Thank you for your kind comments. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
stacey said 3671 days ago (November 23rd, 2008)
How did I miss this?
Hi there! I have found myself with an hour or two to spare today (rare) and decided to spend it exploring my favorite macjams artists. Of course, you are at the top of my list.

This is such a great song. God, I love your voice. You emote my friend. You emote!

Thanks for sharing this with us. I hope she's doing well.

Are you in law enforcement?
Check out my latest song called tick tock
J.A.Stewart said 3671 days ago (November 24th, 2008)
Re: How did I miss this?...
Thanks, Stacey. It's nice to be at the top of someone's list --- other than the FBI or the IRS. ;)

ME in law enforcement??? Who in their right mind would put a gun in my hands? LOL

No, the woman in question showed me the (horrible) pictures the police took and posted at their station house, as a cautionary warning to other victims of spousal abuse, who are reluctant to file charges.


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
davisamerica said 3661 days ago (December 3rd, 2008)
Joe ...
wow .. a beauty .. everything just spot on ... "rough" is just a great stand up as is ... you are amazing
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
J.A.Stewart said 3661 days ago (December 3rd, 2008)
Re: Joe...
Thank you kindly, Jack... but it really is kind of rough. The piano part is a bit stiff and the orchestration needs some polish. But a few odds and ends here and there and... my ears will be happy. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
thetiler said 3568 days ago (March 7th, 2009)
This sure seems
incredibly heart felt, with a lot of melody ! Very emotional to you I can sure tell in this song.

Very stirring indeed! Thanks for sharing ! Way to Go !
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
J.A.Stewart said 3567 days ago (March 7th, 2009)
Re: This sure seems...
Thank you, Bill. Yes, it is very heartfelt. Seeing the horrible things people can do to their own "loved ones" is very disturbing... and stirring.


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
PaddyNavinCaryatid said 3551 days ago (March 24th, 2009)
Poignant..
... from the opening seconds of your vocals I was caught by the gentle magnificence of it. Like Neil Diamond singing Jacques Brel. Understated, accomplished yet never insincere. Truthful and honest, open and intimate. A really very special tune.
Check out my latest song called Not the one who made you sad
J.A.Stewart said 3551 days ago (March 24th, 2009)
Re: Poignant...
Thank you very much for your kind words, Paddy. 'Tis a subject that demands openness and honesty and I did my best to present it that way. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Macaudion said 3457 days ago (June 26th, 2009)
Joseph!
Quite a touching little number! I have other words for you but I'm not gonna spoil this moment of beauty that I'm experiencing here, but I dare ya to revisit the comments that you left me the other day!

I'm always impressed at how professional your work is! And also, how commercial your music tends to be too! Fully ready for the airwaves! I'm nvr quite sure in understanding why music isn't how a living is being provided to you! It takes an awful lot of everything of a person to get to this level. "This is your initial pass", you say... It'd be a completed project for me at this point. Very warm and thick with empathy! A lucky friend you have, I'm thinking. And lucky for us that you're sharing it here! Thank you! Very nice work, indeed! Dion
Check out my latest song called Picture country living
J.A.Stewart said 3457 days ago (June 26th, 2009)
Dion!
Thank you for your kind comments.

I had my turn on the music merry-go-round many years ago and, for the most part, enjoyed the ride. But supporting and spending time with family became a more important matter, so I left it all behind.

I make music now as the spirit moves me and perhaps that's a far better approach. Still, it would be nice if a little gravy came my way and enabled me to focus on composition... instead of my daily bread. ;)


--- Joe

p.s. --- Thanks for sparing me, rather than *spearing* me. LOL!
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
composerclark said 3390 days ago (September 1st, 2009)
Tenderness
I agree with others who have commented on how touching this is, and how it seems to be ready for commercial release; seems very highly polished. Something else that really stands out for me is the contrast between the horror of the topic about which you write, and the tenderness of the lyrics and the way in which they are delivered.

You asked me quite a while ago to comment on the orchestration, and my main impression is that it works just fine, doesn't need any changes. If you were looking to try new things, you could experiment with different textures in the string accompaniment, instead of keeping it to long, sustained chords exclusively. Another common string texture, for example, is bass note on the downbeat followed by repeated eighth note chords for the remainder of the bar; there are many, many permutations of this. I'm not sure this needs anything like that, though; the sustained string chords are working fine.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
J.A.Stewart said 3387 days ago (September 4th, 2009)
Re: Tenderness
Thank you for your insightful comments, observations and suggestions, Clark.

Yes, the contrast was intended... without sugar-coating the horror and the damage done... to offer this musical salve as support.

Unlike you, the only musical theory knowledge I possess is based on what I hear in my head, so orchestration is often a challenge for me. I appreciate your insights and suggestion. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
BirdmanWayne94 said 3203 days ago (March 7th, 2010)
A...
... classic, Sir Joe. This WOULD sound beautiful with a guitar arrangement... you write songs that just make my day with their storytelling and performance. This is, no doubt, one!
Check out my latest song called Groove #7 (SoloMe-o Challenge)
J.A.Stewart said 3178 days ago (April 1st, 2010)
Re: A...
Thank you, Yeman. If you'd like to add a guitar arrangement, give it a try and let me know. I'll certainly consider it. ;)

--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Bob6stringer said 3153 days ago (April 26th, 2010)
Friend of Son of Schmillson?
I swear I commented on this many moons ago. Since I can't find that comment I just wanted to let you know how highly I think of this song, in concept and execution. Feels like you've got the spirit of Harry Nillson alive in you.
Check out my latest song called Happy Birthday (Na Na Na Na)
J.A.Stewart said 3152 days ago (April 27th, 2010)
Re: Friend of...
Wow! Nilsson in my head... Harry was one of my favorites... a brilliant songwriter.

Thank you for the lovely compliment, Bob. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
sloparts said 3134 days ago (May 14th, 2010)
A wonderful song for a friend Joe
The sad thing is that there are so many in this world that this song is written for. I've never understood why anyone would want to abuse another human being, especially one of the fairer sex. It happens all the time though is more a statement of the sickness in our society than anything else.

Thanks for posting this Joe, a wonderful listen my friend.

Ed
Check out my latest song called Quack's Blues
J.A.Stewart said 3134 days ago (May 15th, 2010)
Re: A Wonderful song...
Thanks, Ed.

Yes, it's both mind-boggling and mind-blowing how much of this goes on. Living, as we do, inside the Human Zoo, certainly must be a factor, but the problem has been around for ages, which probably indicates it has more to do with flawed psyches than with a flawed society. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
guygrooves said 3065 days ago (July 23rd, 2010)
Touching
Joe this is every bit as powerful as you may have hoped it to be.
Peace
Check out my latest song called Last Day Here 1998
J.A.Stewart said 3064 days ago (July 23rd, 2010)
Re: Touching...
Thanks, Guy. I'm pleased it touched you.


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
michaelkoppenheffer said 3064 days ago (July 23rd, 2010)
followed guy's comment in to this song
and I totally concur--very direct and touching, and I thought the arrangement was effective (and plenty ornate, I'd be loath to add more ornamentation to this hearfelt song.)
Check out my latest song called Till the Tap Runs Dry (album version)
J.A.Stewart said 3064 days ago (July 23rd, 2010)
Re: Followed...
Thank you for your comments, Michael. Not to worry. My aim for final production is to refine and simplify the arrangement, not to embellish it.


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Jarvoid said 2970 days ago (October 26th, 2010)
I do not
know how this got past me....I am a bit slow on the game these days.Shades of Harry Nilsson
come through to me on this and I am a huge fan of his slightly quirky work and style.Gentle amd well thought out meaningful lyrics that never get overly sentimental....stiff upper lip and all that don'tcha know..(lol)

Sorry to be late to this party

chris
Check out my latest song called Port Arthur Blues
J.A.Stewart said 2969 days ago (October 26th, 2010)
Re: I do not...
Thanks, Chris. You're never too late at this party... we've been waiting for you. Nilsson was one of my favorite singer/songwriters as well. You might be interested in an arrangement I did of his song, "Without Her."

The link below is to a decades-old rehearsal version, we played in an acoustic/electric group:

http://tinyurl.com/withouther

Cheers,


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
thetiler said 2790 days ago (April 23rd, 2011)
wow
This is one of the best tune of this type I've heard here!

Impressed !

Way To Go!!!!!
Sorry I didn't post my icon on this GREAT tune! So I'll comment again and make SURE that icon is on this page!!
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
J.A.Stewart said 2790 days ago (April 24th, 2011)
Re: wow...
Thank you, Bill. I appreciate your comments. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
PaulaMunk said 2625 days ago (October 6th, 2011)
You made me cry,
yet again. Love the honest catch in your voice. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called O, Shenandoah
J.A.Stewart said 2623 days ago (October 8th, 2011)
Re: You made me...
Sorry for the tears... but it is very sad that people can do such horrible things to others. ;)


--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Marino_Experiment said 1741 days ago (March 8th, 2014)
Song For a Friend
Outstanding track!!! Love the performance and arrangement..A great heart felt lyric and voice for such a moving story...thanks!
Check out my latest song called The Traveling
J.A.Stewart said 1740 days ago (March 8th, 2014)
Re: Song...
Thank you, Tony. It's not quite how I want it yet, but this early demo gave me something to work with for a final version. ;)

--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Artist Info
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Name: J.A. Stewart
Location: Somewhere In Time USA
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Played in a variety of Folk/Rock, Pop and Rock bands for more than a decade. After collaborating on a musical, I got hooked on songwriting and recording. After years of intense "lobbying," (to buy souvenirs for friends) I finally "entered" The Rock a... [see more]

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