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MP3 Arthur Brueggeman - Break the Mold

Folk Rock in the best tradition, combining storytelling, socio-political commentary, and a trip down memory lane.

5 MP3 Songs in this album (18:40) !
Related styles: FOLK: Folk-Rock, FOLK: Sea Shanties

People who are interested in James Taylor Gordon Lightfoot Cat Stevens should consider this download.

Welcome to Art Brueggeman’s music.

I hope you’ll find something in Break the Mold that you’ll enjoy. There are only four songs on the CD (well, technically five, because the song “It Is Written” is on twice, the second time with the full :50 introduction). My intention is to put out my best four songs, and not fill the album with other, let''s call them, album-type songs. The songs are what some have described as “meaty." Production and vocal styles are in the Folk Rock genre; lyric-intensive in the vein of Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, and other icons of the genre.

A description of each of the songs on Break the Mold follows (lyrics appear in bottom section):

Track #1. Ode to the Hummer (All the Way to the Bank)—a rock and roll rant about the way we, as a country, as a society, have gone completely off the deep end in terms of energy consumption. Americans use 25 barrels of oil per year for every man, woman and child in the country, or more than the next five major industrialized countries put together. China consumes two barrels per year per person. This is nuts. So, I took aim at one of the more visible, and in my opinion, obnoxious symbols of energy waste, the Hummer. As it turns out, Ode to the Hummer, which I wrote over two years ago, is now more timely than ever. In fact, General Motors wants to lose the brand because sales have fallen into an abyss created by $5.00 gasoline. That said, there are millions of gas guzzling vehicles on the road, each one contributing to the largest transfer of wealth in world history. Have you seen pictures of Dubai?

Track #2. Flight 19 (Ballad of the Lost Squadron)—If you’ve ever watched any program detailing the mysteries and general weirdness of the Bermuda Triangle, you''ve heard about the strange tale of Flight 19, a group of five U.S. Navy Avenger Torpedo Bombers that took off in December 1945 from Ft. Lauderdale Florida on a routine training mission. The flight was scheduled for less than three hours, taking them on a triangular course out over the Atlantic, and back to Ft. Lauderdale. They became mysteriously (and some say inexplicably) disoriented, never making it back to land. No wreckage was ever found despite the largest air-sea rescue and recovery mission ever launched. Many theories have been advanced, from the probable, to the ridiculous. As to the latter, if you happen to remember the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you''ll perhaps recall that at the beginning, and at the end, of the movie, Flight 19 figured prominently without ever being described in detail. This song was really inspired by Gordon Lightfoot’s classic lost at sea tale, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Flight 19 is in 6:8 time, which may not mean anything to you, but what that does is put it in a “Sea Shanty” style, sort of a Hoist-yer-steins-and-sing-along song. The song is fastidiously accurate to the historical record, including the Navy Report on the disappearance, right down to real names and places. Of course, there''s only so much that can be (or should be) crammed into a 5:00 song.

Track #3. It Is Written—It is stating the obvious that perhaps the single biggest driver of discord, murder, and mayhem in the world centers around religious fundamentalism of all stripes. When any one claims to know THE TRUTH, to the exclusion of, or more dangerously the out and out hostility toward, all other beliefs, look out. And when such people are placed in, or simply usurp, positions of power, the world is not a better place for it. It Is Written takes on the notion, or false belief, that there is one Truth (with a capital “T”). The song was originally produced with a 50 second intro that, shall we say, illustrates the competing religions in the world, and the cacophony they create when one tries to drown out the other. This track is minus the intro, as some people were confused by what was going on, and just wanted to get to the song. Track #5 has the full song, with the intro.

Track #4. Break the Mold—I came of age in the 60’s (and, yes, I actually do remember them quite well). It was the most turbulent, most disturbing, most change-filled, and overall most exciting decade in the last six decades. It was a decade where the young generation really did “Break the Mold.” If you were there, you know what I’m talking about first hand, and you’ll be able to identify with everything in this song, which is best described as a trip down memory lane. If you weren’t there, it is a history lesson wrapped into a Folk-Rock song. I couldn’t help putting in an intro with old recording clips of the most famous quotes, spoken by those who said them first, to lead into the song. See if you can pick them all out. The twist at the end is the open question to young people today—“How will you remember the times, these times, that in which you’re coming of age?”

Lyrics to Break the Mold CD Songs...

Track #1--Ode to the Hummer
(“All the Way to the Bank”)

It’s the crack in modern society
Fill it up! Fill it up!
It’s hydrocarbon energy
Fill it up! Fill it up!
Drive a Hummer with a 30 gallon tank, and
The sheiks laugh all the way to the bank
All the way to the bank

It’s your future that’s in jeopardy
Fill it up! Fill it up!
Time for a whole new strategy
Fill it up! Fill it up! It’s…
Conspicuous consumption, let’s be frank, and
The sheiks laugh all the way to the bank
All the way to the bank

Bigger’s not better, don’t supersize it
Minimize it! Down size it!
Kill that three ton SUV
It makes no sense, can’t you see?
To keep writing checks made out in blank
To sheiks laughing all the way to the bank
All the way to the bank

Don’t look to Congress or the President
They’re just standing still
It starts right here with you and me
It’s not that bitter a pill
Down the road you’ll have yourself to thank
Cause you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank
All the way to the bank

Spoken rant over a closing vamp…

I hate parking next to one of those big ass things
Have to squeeze out of my car door
What do they get…9 miles to the gallon?

© Arthur Brueggeman 2008 All Rights Reserved

Track #2--Flight 19 (Ballad of the Lost Squadron)

Late in forty-five, they were glad to be alive,
The Allies had just won the Big One
Sailors and Marines, and their flying machines,
Had shot down the Risin’ Sun
The Avenger flew with a three man crew,
‘Twas a war bird second to none
A pilot, a gunner, and radioman,
A ton of bombs in her belly for fun

The war was behind ''em, but training would grind ‘em,
That sunny Ft. Lauderdale day
The weather report cut their window short,
They were anxious to get underway
Five aircraft stood ready, but their leader was late, Walking in he had little to say
Lt. Chuck Taylor had been turned down flat
When he asked not to fly that day

Three hours were planned, and with Taylor in command,
They lifted off just past two
East to Chicken Shoals over worsening seas,
To practice what they already knew
Mid-way through the mission, they lost their position,
Aloft above whitecaps and blue
A radio crackled, “We don’t know where we are…”
Five aircraft were soon overdue

With four hours fuel and military cool
They would surely regain their bearings,
But they flew north and east instead of west,
Their voices tense and despairing.
They heard one pilot say, “The other way, dammit…
We’re completely lost,” said another
“All planes close in tight, and if land’s not in sight,
We’ll all go down together”

In the ink of night, no moon or starlight,
Nineteen was out of chances
With towering seas there were no guarantees,
Only grim circumstances
Made to fly, not to float, there was little hope
Out on the ocean''s expanses
Never heard from again, only God knows when,
We''ll know their happenstances

Now some blame Taylor for most of the failure,
For ignoring Navy procedure
Others say he''s excused for being confused,
Llife can be pretty strange in the ether
In that weird stretch of ocean, time moves in slow-motion, Controlled as it is by the Devil
Horizons are lost, dimensions are crossed,
And images aren''t on the level

From south Florida northeast to Bermuda,
On down to Puerto Rico
The Bermuda Triangle does the fandango
‘Tween heaven and hell she rolls
Her islands beckon, always will, I reckon,
Good ships and planes come and go
But dare enter her lair, you better beware,
She’s got plenty of room below

There’s always more room below

© Arthur Brueggeman 2007

It Is Written

You say you know the path to Heaven
You know what paves the road to hell
And who’s going which direction
You’re certain you can tell
Because, it is written

You hold onto an ancient book
Passed down through the ages
Taking all at face value
As you turn the pages
Of what, of what is written

Two soldiers face off on the battlefield
Each with God on his side
Only one will walk away
Blessed from above, his homicide
Praising God, for it is written

Are you following the herd?
Led on by rhetorical voices
Earnestly spreading the word
Leaving no room for choices
You’re promised a better day
If you pray…the right way!

Only love is universal
And words cannot explain
Why is there so great a need,
To limit Love’s domain?
You claim, you claim, it is written

You say you know the path to Heaven
So sure you have the key
As for me, I’ll take my chances
‘Cause truth has no capital “T”
No matter when it is written
Just because, it is written

© Art Brueggeman 2006 All Rights Reserved

Break the Mold

Audio Collage Intro:

JFK: Inaugural Address, “Ask not what your country…”
MLK: “I Have a Dream” Speech
JFK: Cuban missile crisis blockade TV address
JFK: Berlin Address, “…Icn bin ein Berliner”
Walter Cronkite: “From Dallas, TX, JFK Died...” Broadcast
John Lennon: “More Famous than Jesus…” remark
LBJ: “I will not seek, and I will not accept…” speech
Moon Landing: “Tranquility Base…the Eagle has landed”
“That’s one small step for man…”
Henry Kissinger: “…we believe peace is at hand
Mayor Daly: “…policeman is there to preserve disorder”
Nixon: “I am not a crook…”
Timothy Leary: “Turn on, tune in, and drop out…”

You who came of age in the 60''s
And feel out of sorts in times like these

When Keith Richards did not look dead
And the Bogeyman was wrapped in Red
"That''s one small step...," the man said
The Draft and Nam messed with our heads
It was: sex, drugs, and rock n'' roll
Thanks to Penicillin and birth control
Our music still moves the soul
Lookin'' back...man, we broke the mold

Oh the 60''s was a trip to survive
When the first boomers came alive
To the Beatles, Dylan, and MoTown jive
A Flower Power bus, yeah we had arrived
NBC black and white TV
Dallas, Memphis, LA, and DC
Down the river we were sold
But lookin'' back...we still broke the mold

If you weren''t there you can''t really know
What it was like to be in the show
Woodstock gave the old heave ho
To Father Knows Best and ducks in a row
Some still can’t see the forest for the trees
We got E.D., bad hips and knees
That said, and truth be told
We did, yeah we really did, break the mold

Our parents fought the last good war
They scrimped, saved and sacrificed more
We were lost changing the world
Marches, sit-ins, and protests swirled
So, Twenty-Somethin’, what’s your wish?
How will you remember this?
And when your life-story’s told
Will it be… that you broke the mold?

…YEAH, It’s your time… be bold

…………Break the mold

© Arthur Brueggeman 2007

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