posted on July 1, 2006 at 7:55 am

today i did a songwriting workshop
quite a talented bunch of intakes i must say
3 english girls who could really sing
one took over the class , struttin’ about
and waving her fingers in the air as she hit the notes
i guess that move is public domain by now
eventually the group i m assigned to
writes a little song
the same title as todays blogg
(which yer humble reporter suggested)
people out there with talent, people
good people
success is good luck
right place right time
theres no givens
theres no formulae
mediocre things sometimes thrive
while good things wither from neglect
amanda brown and lindy morrison from go betweens
among the tutors
and facilitators
but frustration at trying to teach the unteachable
some really young guys there about 13, 14
one talks in this new strange accent australo-american
ive heard a bit round bondi
guys about 15, 16 surfers, skaters, musicians
got a weird new accent
ya sure there americans then, sure enuff
then comes that word in an aussie drawl
and ya realise theyre local lads who jus’ speak
like they were on venice beach rather than bondi..
and its an odd mixture
this guy sounds like hes making this accent up as he goes along
like every now n then he forgets and breaks down into australian
i knew this silly woman once…
five minutes in any place and she was talkin like the locals
expressions, idiom, pronunciation
the lot
she was more liverpudlian than ian mac after a week there
she was more aussie than the blokes in rose tatoo
after a week here chasing a member of the hudu gooroos
michael hutchence was like that
in one sentence he was american, english and australian
he grew up in 3 different places so its no wonder
someone else is our nicole
or mrs keithy urbane
who can no longer smile or talk proper aussie
she has negated age and origin
she looks nervous n desperate in
the ratbag press snaps
like shes losing her nerve
shes gonna be forty soon
hollywoods magic number
“im sorry nicole, we were lookin’ for someone a little younger…”
baybee if i had mrs urbanes money
you wouldnt hear hide nor hair of me…
i might stick out a record or somethin
now an’ then
but i wouldnae be corting the fucking limelight
with fairytail weddings
to the the toppest country singer of the day
but of course
i bet they DO really love each other so ok
i wish i’d been invited thats for sure
keith, im available for a collaboration anytime
thats for sure

back to songwriting lessons
its an impossible task
there is no way
there is everyway
if youre you and nobody else
you got that x factor
you got tha music inna yer blood
you gotta shake and slither
like a quaking snake
you gotta copy n loop like you aint been duped
theres no secret you can really transmit
you gotta practice
you gottta persevere
you gotta believe n be obssessed
24 hours a day
be searching for material
recreate feelings
take those people somewhere for their money
dont take the easy way out
its all so vague
what good can that kinda advice give ya?
you gotta go with it
let it flow thru ya
stand right back and let it shoot thru ya
keep writing
keep trying
rome not built inna day
i think the people hadda good time
in the end
wrote some songs
some of em were getting together again
good on em
many are called but few are chosen
i bid thee fond adieu

27 Responses to “the one youre with in the end is the one”

  1. avatar
    Jesuskrishna | 1 July 2006 at 9:03 am #

    Hello Steve,
    I’m no Keith Urbane(and you are no Nicole) but let’s be thankful neither of us are Tom Cruising either.
    See you in Arizona!
    Maybe a songwriting seminar should happen here!

  2. avatar
    juniper | 1 July 2006 at 10:03 am #

    It’s really cool you do the workshop thingy…I’m sure those kidz will never forget the experience.

    After moving around and living in a few countries with the hubster, I’m in awe of peeps who can pick up accents so quickly….I can pick up a bit of the lilt and slang, but I always end up coming off like Marge Gunderson from Fargo–go figure! The hubster comes off cooler; Scandihoovian mixed with proper Cambridgechat..way cooler.

    I like the fact you blog when you’re traveling….Did you happen to pick up some of that delightful Cloudberry Liquer when you were up in Nordland? 😉

  3. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 1 July 2006 at 10:04 am #

    Please remember, when you remind Nicole she’s pushing 40, you are reminding me that I am pushing 40 too. ; ) But at least I don’t have all her problems in Hollywood! The money, the fame, the huge wedding – oh the humanity!

    Sounds like a great workshop and I would’ve given anything to be there, to tell those 14, 15 year old kids “You’re young and you won’t believe a crazy old American chick like me, but you are in the presence of one of the greatest singer-songwriter/musicians alive. One who needs to figure out how many socks he’s taking on tour, but…

    …THAT’S what I call luck.

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 July 2006 at 10:06 am #

    Hi SK,

    Talking of practice, practice, practice i’m practicing hard for an upcoming 3-song acoustic set at a UK club. Anyone wanna suggest the ideal 3 song Church,SK, or JF set I could do ?


  5. avatar
    galamor the wizard | 1 July 2006 at 11:14 am #

    Next time you do a workshop, let all us fiends here know beforehand. What I would have done to write a song with ye olde sk!!!!!!!!!!!!!Wowee babee!!!!! Lucky lucky lucky kiddies!!!!!!! I bet they didn’t even know who you were!!!!
    I can hear it now…
    SK – “I wrote this perfect pop song 25 light years ago called Almost With You. You may hear it on the oldies radio station late at night for your grandparents who are still a spliffen’ and a grooven long after you whipperschnappers are fast asleep!!!”
    G Wiz

  6. avatar
    bloomin lovely | 1 July 2006 at 12:26 pm #

    oh sk, nic couldn’t pass up frock opp wiv baz!
    she’s orlright, woz always good to werk wiv
    you be a cool country n western singer can’t wait to see ya at tamworth yee haa
    sounds like a good day in the field plantin seeds you never know what they will sprout, goodonya

  7. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 July 2006 at 4:07 pm #

    lucky kids to have SK as their music teacher , good for them , maybe it ‘ll produce some great astists, have a great day SK , we love you !

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 July 2006 at 7:40 pm #

    hi sk
    just a quick hello
    as i’m on vacation and
    away from computers …
    (at the library for a
    quick check)
    know you’ve traveled
    the world …
    but wondering if
    you’ve ever had the
    pleasure of visiting
    the island
    of martha’s vineyard
    off of cape cod, massachusetts?
    magical lovely place
    love from
    marthas vineyard

  9. avatar
    daydreamer | 1 July 2006 at 9:02 pm #

    My sister sings and plays guitar, but not really a songwriter. Her four year old daughter, however, does this stream of conciousness thing while Carla plays a chord progression, staying completely on key, follows all the changes, creates choruses, and spouts off lyrics that are amazingly Dylanesque. Then commits the whole thing to memory and can perform back agailn on demand (whenever it suits her, that is) Blows my mind. Now there’s a prodigy for ya. Hopefully she’ll have the opportunity to be in a workshop such as the one you describe before her creativity gets squashed and/or lost.

    Good work, Steve. Keep the language going so it shall never be forgotten.


    ps my girlfriend’s daughter, born and raised in Southern California, grew up speaking with a Boston accent.

  10. avatar
    Krissythegroupie | 1 July 2006 at 9:21 pm #

    More scouse than Mac?! Unpossible!

  11. avatar
    gareth,nottingham | 2 July 2006 at 12:18 am #

    hi steve,came home early 2nite2 a)avoid drunken muppets,b)read blogge,c)listen2church!england out of world cup boo-hoo,not interested at all, but a lone church t-shirt amongst a sea of england shirts ensured continuing church PR in the notts area at least!continue2give the opposition a whuppin’!P.S.still waitin 4 prediction 2come true!

  12. avatar
    lee | 2 July 2006 at 3:01 am #

    Mrs Urban tends to look like she needs a good feed and needs to give up the ciggies.

  13. avatar
    isolde | 2 July 2006 at 3:02 am #

    This has been a pretty good writing workshop for us though, lots of people who comment here are powering on their blogs. The Alumni of SK 101 “Introduction to Lifes Little Observances and Absurdities” Semester 1 2006 what a great course, heaps of recommended reading, some correspondence entered into, interaction, group therapy. When are we getting our marks sir?

  14. avatar
    MEM | 2 July 2006 at 4:03 am #

    maybe not luck so much as the advoidance of bad luck, but then again maybe that’s what being ‘lucky’ is all about… and speaking of such i know a guy who has over 200 4-leaf clovers… now that’s luck…


  15. avatar
    Tony Pucci | 2 July 2006 at 10:05 am #

    practice practice practice
    i agree

  16. avatar
    charles victor cherbuliez | 2 July 2006 at 11:13 am #

    “what helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient, but restless mind, of sacrificing one’s ease or vanity, of uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully”

  17. avatar
    davem | 2 July 2006 at 3:21 pm #

    Tear It All Away…
    Where/when are you playing? Will pop along if I’m able.

    The innocence of youth!!! If I tried to strut me stuff in the same room as you SK I’d have some kind of unhappy accident in the toilet dept.
    If only they REALLY knew who was leading that worshop. Maybe one day they’ll understand.
    Must be 80 degrees here in England. I’ve been blasting UTLC out to annoy (educate) the neighbours.
    Love you more,

  18. avatar
    veleska1970 | 2 July 2006 at 4:41 pm #

    a workshop for the up-n-comers~~how wonderful. there is so much they can learn from you.

  19. avatar
    Melquiades | 2 July 2006 at 5:21 pm #

    funny. im sitting here guitar in hand hammering out a new progression. got some words. good stuff. nice to hear your altruism flows Steve.

    been up all night freaking out. its midday and I feel like time has stopped, lost all its meaning. looking for a wilderness to get lost in. i think i found one.


  20. avatar
    12str | 2 July 2006 at 5:55 pm #

    where does your songs come from?
    is it from improvising round a chord…i tend to get mine that way..
    youve written so many fantastic ones my would be nice to hear of your methods of creation.
    and while im at it..wich song/s
    are the best in your book up to date and why?
    wouldnt it be nice to have a workshop on the net…its to far to bondi from where im at…

    peace and eternal light


  21. avatar
    John Garratt | 2 July 2006 at 11:34 pm #

    Suburban American is littered with tortured souls, age 18-24.

  22. avatar
    MarkM | 3 July 2006 at 1:21 am #

    Yeah, I’m with 12str – Steve, I’d love to hear your thoughts on writing. From what I’ve heard lyrics come fairly easy for you, that’s a gift for sure – I’m struggling with lyrics lately…at least writing lines that really mean something to me (emotinally)or something that resonates. And it seems the more albums I’ve released (coming up to no. 5 now) the harder it gets -and you’d expect the opposite would be true. (I’m feeling a little unworthy lately!!) So there’s a question – where do the songs come from for you? How do you get started? Do you obsess over the lyrics or just let them stream?

  23. avatar
    CSTCoach | 3 July 2006 at 1:56 am #


    That’s very cool! It must be a tremendous inspiration to these kids to have someone like you take an interest in their work, and take them seriously.

    I would love to hear more about your thoughts on writing. I’m always striving to improve my craft, and as you know I admire your work and consider you one of my main influences.

    I’d also like to echo isolde’s comment above. I’ve enjoyed your “recommended reading” suggestions. Whenever a writer, creator, or a like-minded friend mentions a book or author I make a point of looking it up immediately. I’ve enjoyed the books you’ve mentioned so far, and others that you’ve mentioned in the past. Can’t recall if it was you who turned me on to Rimbaud, but it may have been… Thanks!!

    Oh, and I forgot to add my name to those interested in your proposed Jack Frost documentary. Count me in!!


  24. avatar
    (('{~_~}')) | 3 July 2006 at 2:47 pm #

    Sounds like a great day. I think I missed my calling in life, as according to Singstar PS2 I’m a singing sensation or to quote them “Totally Singstar”! My girls end up regretting they asked me to sing with them, as I always win and get all the high scores and photos. What a crack up! Well maybe in my next life!

  25. avatar
    Larry | 4 July 2006 at 3:48 pm #

    Ever considered being a songwriter for hire?

    Or maybe The Clutch could do an album of entirely cynical attempts to crack the mainstream. You could all wear suits on the cover (paisley ties, though) and call it Payday

  26. avatar
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