Kristina Furey

Confessions of a story teller

I always thought I wanted to be a singer but I was really more of an impressionist, with the goal of being able to duplicate what I heard.  It’s a kind of singing I guess.  In ninth grade, I learned in a very rude way that my unattractive looks that ranked a 2, on a scale of 1-10, would keep me from receiving any solos from the music teacher.  Something I was made aware of when one of the male members in a back up group I was in, clued me in to it, as he perused through the teachers grade book, reading various notes and filling us in on who would be receiving the solos.  I’ll give you a hint on who they were as they all had been ranked 8’s and up.  We had been placed in groups and sent to various areas to rehearse and my group just happened to be sent to the teacher’s office…  

Maybe it was knowing I needed a back up plan or maybe it was songs I longed to hear that I wasn’t hearing because they weren’t being written or weren’t being delivered in such a way I would hear them.  Or maybe, it was just my own narcissistic desire to hear my own voice represented in the mix.  All I can say for sure is, in the notebook I generally used to write lyrics from songs I had recorded off of the radio, I began to write lyrics that were all my own and this became such a habit, that I went out and bought a book specifically for writing my own lyrics.  Then one day at school, I realized I couldn’t find my book!  The panic that went through me!  I looked everywhere and then went home and bawled my eyes out.  It was like losing my diary or having my best friend randomly tell everyone all the private things I ever told them.  I wondered and feared, who may have my deepest thoughts and what they might do with them.  So like a bandaid, I decided I would be the one to rip it off and I would rewrite what I could remember and then courageously share it.   So I did.  What surprised me was, when I shared the lyrics to my own songs with others, they often related and sometimes told me it made them feel better.  Some even shared their own guarded thoughts and experiences with me, which I sometimes would then find myself writing about, sometimes sharing, without giving up the identity of my subject.  I didn’t try to write.  I just would find it coming out of me in the form of a song like this one:  

“Mother”

“Ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha ou
When I, was just a child, I headed up a mountain side, where I met a wolf there and he took me by surprise.  I thought my life would be taken.  No, no it was spared.  Now, I keep seeing, that wolf, everywhere…
Oh-oh-no, Mother, would you help me?  You let a wolf inside the door.  I made, the mistake of feeding it, and now it’s coming back, coming back, coming back, for more.  Oh no! Mother! Mother! Mah-hah-ther!

Ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha ou
When I, was just a child, I asked my Grandma, “What is love?”  She handed me a red hooded coat, said, “That’s, what it’s made of.  And like the coat my darling, love will keep you safe and warm.”  But that was the first night Mother.  The night I met your wolf.
Oh-oh-oh Mother, would you help me?  You let a wolf inside the door.  I made, the mistake of feeding it, and now it’s come back, come back, come back, for more.  Oh-oh no-oh! Mah-hah, Mah-hah, Mah-hah-ther!

Ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha ou
And just tonight Mother, I met your wolf again.  Only this time Mother,  he was just a man, but he’s in the garden now, he’s howling at the moon.  Oh Mother, grab a gun, he’s sure to be here soon!
Please Mother, won’t you help me?  You let a wolf inside the door.  I made the mistake of feeding it, and now it’s coming back, coming back, coming back, for more.  Oh-oh no-oh! Mah-hah, Mah-hah, Mah-hah-ther!

Ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha-ou-ou-ou, wha ou
But in the end, she said, I was telling, fairytales.  NO MAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-THER-HER!”  

When I started to write for others I found my own voice and I learned that I could also communicate for myself the same way.  So many times in life I have found myself speechless and the right words come too late or only way, way too late.  Sometimes, the words come out in a song.  I expect we all wish we could communicate better, more bravely, more quickly or at all.  I have a tendency to use different approaches and styles when I write.  For instance, the above song is more along the style of Kate Bush because I wanted to communicate the vulnerability of the story teller.  More that of a child begging for help versus say, “Damsel in Dis-dress” off of our “Worth The Risk” CD.  “Damsel” would be much more of a taking control song and I think of myself as a story teller so getting the character clear helps me to communicate what initiated the song in the first place or what I feel the ghost in my head wants people to know...  I suppose I’m a product of the MTV, VIDEO generation where it’s about a story but with only music, my voice and the lyrics I have to work harder at the telling part.  I don’t know, maybe I’m even more like Meat Loaf in that way.  Maybe… 

 

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