Songs by Colin Fine

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Original songs

Ordinary People

Ordinary People

Words and Music by Colin Fine

People live in circumstances,
People live in towns,
People live in terror
Of the next day's ups and downs.
People have their dignity,
People have their fun,
People have to do the things
They're sure have to be done.
There are no extraordinary people:
Whoever tells you otherwise is lying to you.
There are only ever ordinary people,
Who do what they do,
The extraordinary thing
Is the ordinary things that they do.
People making sacrifices,
People making war;
People making do, and other
People making more.
People laugh and sing and dance,
People scream and cry.
People choose to change the world, and
People pass it by.
People live and love and die,
People cheer and grieve;
People have ambitions
Which they never quite achieve.
People think they ought to be
Exactly what they're not:
People can do anything
With just the gifts they've got.

Genesis

I wrote this song in 1989, inspired by one of the Brad Brown's remarkable "Touchstones":

          There are no
            extraordinary
               people
    
            only ordinary people
               who do
                 extraordinary
                     things
            with what
               they have
                  been given.
    
From "Point Counter Point" by K. Bradford Brown, published by Lifetimes Press, 1988. Page 153

Brad was one of the founders of the programme which is now called More To Life, and a dear friend who is sadly missed.

Downloading "Ordinary People"

  • The sheet music as a PDF file
  • A MIDI file of the song (no words, of course)
  • The whole song as a Mozart file. If you download the free Mozart viewer (Windows only) you can use it to view, print, and play the song.
On The Edge

On The Edge

Words and Music by Colin Fine

Waiting till the time is right.
Waiting till it's safe to go,
Maybe waiting for a moment of clear sight,
But you'll never go.
You're stood on the top of a ski-slope
A-wondering how.
But don't wait till you're ready
For you never will be ready
And the moment is now.
Trying to dispel your fears,
Working hard to understand,
Maybe something you've been wanting for long years,
But it's in your hand.
If you thought that 'courageous' meant 'fearless',
You simply don't know.
If you wait till you're fearless
Then you never will be fearless,
And you never will go.
Going though the fear is strong,
Going with your knees a-quake,
Maybe something you've been wanting for so long,
But never dared take.
You don't have to get yourself ready,
Or conquer your fear.
But just welcome the moment,
And say yes to the moment,
And the moment is here.

Downloading "On the Edge

  • The sheet music as a PDF file
  • A MIDI file of the song (no words, of course)
  • The whole song as a Mozart file. If you download the free Mozart viewer (Windows only) you can use it to view, print, and play the song.
Menagerie

Menagerie

Words and Music by Colin Fine

There's a monkey on my shoulder, and he's telling me lies
Just to stop me ever seeing what's in front of my eyes.
He tells me what the world is like, and how I ought to be,
And just what's going to happen if I ever dare be me,
And I say:
"That's not true" to the monkey on my shoulder, I say
"That's not true, what you're telling to me!
That's not true, and before I get much older, I will
Tie you up and gag you so that I can be free
Of your lies!"
There's a tortoise in my belly, like an earthenware pot,
And whenever something happens that I'd really rather not,
He flings away authority, says "Ooh, I don't feel well",
Then he grabs my head and drags me down inside his little shell.
And I say:
"I won't take it!" to whatever I've been hatin', I say
"I won't take it!", and he opens up a crack;
"I won't take it!", and I feel my backbone straighten, and I
Hold my head up high, and I find my author-
ity's back.
There's an elephant I'm carrying around in a sack,
He's allowed to do just what he wants when he is on my back;
But I'm finding him a burden just as long as he lives,
For an elephant, you know they say, just never forgives
And I say:
"Please forgive me, there's an elephant behind me", I say
"Please forgive me, and I wish he'd get lost";
"Please forgive me, I don't need you to remind me
Of the payoff from resentment I would rather count the cost,
So get lost!"
So there's a whole menagerie I'm carrying around
And between them they contrive to drive me down into the ground.
But I've got a bag of tools with which I simply can't lose
If I notice, feel and verify, and positively choose
To say:
"That's not true!" to the monkey on my shoulder, I say
"I won't take it!" to the tortoise inside,
"Please forgive me, there's an elephant behind me,
And I find I can defeat them all whenever I decide
To be free!"
Receiving the Gift

Receiving the Gift

Words and Music by Colin Fine

You do someone a favour; you make somebody smile.
You give a present, large or small; you go the extra mile.
Someone wants to thank you: they just want you to know
They feel appreciation, and they want to tell you so.
Will you squirm and shuffle? Will you go bright red?
Embarrassed, will you turn aside whatever they have said?
To give them something in return will you feel that you're driven?
Or will you humbly, gracefully, accept the gift you're given?
Receiving the gift.
You sit and plan your future, you know just where you'll go,
It's all mapped out inside your head, the way to make it so.
Then something unexpected comes in and stops you dead,
And Life says, Maybe you are heading somewhere else instead.
Will you rail and bluster? Will you shout, Not me!
Will you insist that your way is the way it's got to be?
Or will you stop and listen, be ready to be taught
To find the gift inside the myst'ry package Life has brought?
Receiving the gift.
You travel on your journey, the straight runs and the bends;
Perhaps you change direction in response to what Life sends.
Then something devastating assails you deepest self:
You lose a loved one, your career, your freedom, or your health.
Will you rage and rampage? Or give in to despair?
Or desperately try to understand why Life's "Not Fair"?
Or will you take a deep breath, engage with what is so,
And take the greatest gift, to know that you don't have to know?
Receiving the gift.

Songs based on others' works

Earth Girl

Earth Girl

Words and Music by Colin Fine

My name is Jarra Reeath, handicapped, from Earth.
Don't know or care where I was born, but I'd have died within the hour;
My parents sent me safely here, then cut off all connection:
Chaos take the Exos who dumped me from their lives.
We call ourselves the Handicapped, the ones who're tied to Earth:
If we should try to portal out, we'd die within two minutes.
They give us everything we need, then quietly forget us;
The polite ones call us Handicapped, but mostly they say 'Apes'.
The Year-day we were all fourteen, they gave us all two choices:
To test the bonds of Earth, and to our birth-parents to speak.
Nuke them! Why should I desire to talk to those who'd spurned me?
But I portalled out - collapsed at once, in hospital a week.
We call ourselves the Handicapped, the ones who're tied to Earth:
If we should try to portal out, we'd die within two minutes.
They give us everything we need, then quietly forget us;
The polite ones call us Handicapped, but mostly they say 'Apes'.
At eighteen, after Next Step, we had to choose our future.
To anyone that knew me, history is what I'd choose indeed,
But Earth is only history, and hospital, and handicapped:
Why should I meekly tread the narrow path that Fate decreed?
I found a way to get around the Exos looking down on me:
All History foundation courses spend a year on Earth.
I registered with Asgard, an off-world university:
I'd be the best then show them that an Ape could give them worst.
We call ourselves the Handicapped, the ones who're tied to Earth:
If we should try to portal out, we'd die within two minutes.
They give us everything we need, then quietly forget us;
The polite ones call us Handicapped, but mostly they say 'Apes'.
But now I've been out on a site with my classmates from Asgard:
Some I've come to like, and some I've even learnt to trust.
They can come and go at will, while I am tied to Earth,
But they're no longer faceless Exos to be trampled in the dust.
But Fian wants to two with me, and I have only lied to him;
Dalmora, Amalie, and even Krath I count as friends.
When they find out what I am, they'll all of them reject me,
And that's all that I deserve, an Ape who lies and who pretends.
For I am of the Handicapped, forever tied to Earth.
Once I tried to portal out: my daring nearly killed me.
Better I had died for now my daring turns my life to ash:
How could I think to play the Norm when I'm nothing but an Ape.

Inspiration

This is a song for Jarra Reeath, the eponymous hero of Earth Girl, by Janet Edwards.

Red and Blue and Green

Red and Blue and Green

Words and Music by Colin Fine

Red and blue and green, the strands of light are weaving, writhing:
The eye is drawn to look, but there's no pattern one can guess;
Just now and then a hint, a glimpse, of something tantalising -
Then, all at once, the colours coalesce:
A bird with outstretched wings, the Phoenix Rising.
Red and blue and green, the coloured cylinder rotating
Plunges upward through the rock, the sky, and into space.
The silent enigmatic alien sphere concludes its waiting,
Breaks open its metallic carapace,
Displays a thousand colours coruscating.
White the web of rays by which Fortuna hides her face;
White the mist she drapes about her globe.
If we're to have the secrets of Fortuna's vanished race,
We need to find the key that will persuade her to disrobe.
Red and blue and green, the flash that guides us to the station
That's set upon the surface of Fortuna's airless moon.
White the shaft across the void with our authentication:
Fortuna gathers in her pale cocoon,
And opens to our desp'rate exploration.

Inspiration

This song is inspired by images in Earth Star and Earth Flight, the second and third novels in the Earth Girl series, by Janet Edwards. It contains spoilers, and may not make much sense to people who haven't read the books.

Demeter

Demeter

Words and Music by Colin Fine

Earth is tired and colourless; Earth is yesterday.
The city's quickly emptying, as people move away.
This is no place for families to flourish and to grow -
We're joining the great Exodus: to Demeter we'll go.
Demeter's the future: Demeter's fresh and green.
We'll help to build a brand new world where no-one's ever been.
Our children can grow strong and free, with trust in their own worth.
We'll cherish our old memories, but we'll never return to Earth.
The doctor looked worried, and took me aside,
And said in a voice that was meant to be kind:
"The first group of colonists, two of them died:
Their immune systems killed them as soon as they left Earth behind.
There's one in a thousand affected this way:
Researchers are searching, but so far they've no idea why.
You're one in a thousand, I'm so sorry to say:
If ever you portal from Earth, in two minutes you'll die".
Demeter's the future, Demeter's fresh and green,
They're helping build a brand new world, where no-one's ever been.
Their children will grow strong and free, with trust in their own worth,
And maybe now and then a tear, for those they've left behind on Earth.
Earth is tired and colourless, Earth is yesterday,
The city's nearly empty now, as everyone's gone away.
I'll settle in some nothing town, with others who can't leave.
We'll live our days out here on Earth: for us, Demeter's make believe.
Make believe,
Exodus is make believe.

Inspiration

This song is inspired by events mentioned in the back-story to the Earth Girl series, by Janet Edwards. I believe it can stand alone as a song.

Filks (parodies)

Safety

Safety

Words by Colin Fine

Tune: Oliver by Lionel Bart

I'm a cat, fancy that!
Where do you think I would want to be sat?
Somewhere where I can stare
Out of the world but not in the cold air.
If I can just find a nice cardboard box anywhere around,
I can crawl inside and
Sit safe and warm in my box while I stare around;
When I find someone kind
To provide me a nice comfy box I'm inclined
To praise the day I came to stay
With Schrodinger.

Genesis

This song was inspired by this piece of serious scientific research

Written at Con27ilkin, Marks Tey, February 2015

Copyright


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