Summer of Ice

by Mike Skliar

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about

These 12 songs were all written in the summer of 2014, and paint a picture of some of the many things that were going on.

Why the title "Summer of Ice"? Well, first, its a reference to that pervasive summer 2014 meme the so-called 'ice bucket challenge' (of which there is a song about same). Second, at least here in the eastern part of North America it was a cooler- then-usual summer. (Does this mean that global climate change/warming does not exist? of course not, (unless you're Fox news).. but it was a summer of 'ice' in several other respects- the lack of any thawing in the relationship between countries in the mid-east and other places, for example... the increasing 'iciness' and polarization here in the US politically, etc etc.

But maybe that's all thinking too much, just sit back and enjoy... sing along to 'ice bucket' and the rest, and I hope this little summer project i've made is at least a fun little temporary diversion and maybe food for thought, or at least a musical time capsule of some of the things we've all been going thru these days.

And that photo of NY Harbor was taken by me, from the Staten Island ferry, back in January 2014, when we had a winter of ice, as well!

I should also mention that the original audience for these songs was the wonderful community of songwriters that make up the "50 songs in 90 days" challenge (which community overlaps as well with the FAWM "February Album Writing Month" folks - confused yet)

A big thank you to Nancy Rost, my co-writer on "Waking Up", to Paul "Hoops" Turrell, who inspired the Beethoven-themes of "Better Angels of our nature" , to the 50/90 and FAWM communities, and to all the friends and family out there who take the time to check out all this new music I keep putting out there after all this time.. Thanks Seth, Arnie, Joel, Mitch, Rich, Bob B., Jon B. Bruce, Julie, Dawn, David, Tom T., Tom R., Ken F., Joe Brent, and all my nieces and nephews all over the place, my parents, my wife Helen, , and a million other names I should mention...

Enjoy!

credits

released October 6, 2014

Mike Skliar- guitars, bass, harmonica, mandolin, vocals

All songs written by Mike Skliar, except "Waking Up" written by Mike Skliar & Nancy Rost.

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Track Name: Everyone's Broken (Politics is Religion)
Judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree
Somehow misses the mark
Judging you by your similarity to me
Leaves us both in the dark

Politics is religion
Religion is all or nothing
Nothing is true for everyone
everyone’s broken from something

Waiting for evidence of something that can’t be seen
And we keep on waiting
Divided by visions of what might never be
And we keep on hating

Politics is religion
Religion is all or nothing
Nothing is true for everyone
everyone’s broken from something

We’re carbon copies of each other, deep in our bones
Connected by biology but feeling like we’re all alone

Politics is religion
Religion is all or nothing
Nothing is true for everyone
everyone’s broken from something

Everyone’s broken but perfect

© M. Skliar 2014
Track Name: Robin Williams
Robin Williams

Some minds are fast, yours was faster
And the things that you turned into laughter
Came right from a heart of joy and of depression
A million voices you could express
Your mind was ten steps ahead of the rest
But in the end the darkness took possession

I'm wishing you some peace
Your impact will never cease
And damn, I'm gonna miss you..

With the force of a thousand supernovas
You'd take time and space and move it on over
You were better then good and maybe stranger then fiction
You made it this far but there's no guarantee
That you can see yourself the way others will see
Are we all in the end just the sum of our addictions?

I'm wishing you some peace
And laughter that will never cease
And damn, we’re gonna miss you..

Like the shoemaker who fixes everyone’s shoes but his own
You brought joy to so many but couldn’t always bring it home

The best thinkers who thinks outside the box
Cannot be constrained by boundaries or locks
Deep behind enemy lines, always exploring
Some minds are fast, yours was faster
So many things that you turned into laughter
And now you’re gone, the world has turned a little more boring
(c) 2014 M. Skliar
Track Name: Waking Up
Do you ever find yourself waking up
On a walk down a familiar street
As from slumber your senses kick in
And suddenly the blossoms smell so sweet

And the color of the changing light
As it falls As it slowly falls
And the essence of the big and the small
And you wonder how you never saw it all

That’s the way I felt today waking up
Open eyes to see the day so new
And the only other thing that I want
Is to share this happiness with you


And the color of the changing light
As it falls As it slowly falls
And the essence of the big and the small
And you wonder how you never saw it all



lyric (c) Nancy Rost and Mike Skliar
Track Name: Better Angels of our Nature
There will be peace, someday there will be peace
Its hard to believe, the bloodshed will cease
Back in olden days, the whole world was crazed
But violence has decreased, and yes there will be peace


In ancient civilizations, there were human sacrifices
And in the middle ages, a huge parade of vices
Murder was everywhere, torture a state affair
Endless wars and homicides and death by a thousand slices


Look around us now, seems like it’s never been worse
That we’ve never been more violent, in blood we are immersed
But in old days they were silent, to what we now see as so violent
Yes the old days were worse, positively perverse

We’re actually much better but it seems like so much worse

(c) M. Skliar 2014
Track Name: Use my phone to take a picture
Use my phone to take a picture
Use my toaster to brush my teeth
Use the blender to open the garage door
use black holes instead of bleach

My radio flips the pancakes
The CanOpener cooks an egg
The pillows balance the checkbook
And the floor massages my leg

Use my camera to breathe underwater
Use Jell-O to paint the room
While the towels discuss relativity
The toothbrush shoots the moon

All those things are false
except the first one I did say
20 years ago if you had said that line
They would've locked you away

So the futures going to be a trip
It's going to be weird
When I surf the Internet and read your mind
By just stroking my beard

You never know what will happen
The strangest things can come true
So darling how about it
Me and you


(c) M. Skliar
Track Name: Throw it away
Throw it away, throw it away
No good reason to let it stay
Throw it away throw it away
That’s the new mantra that I’m hearing today

The things that craftsman used to spend their years creating
No match for a culture not used to waiting
Marble and wood, black and white film, old fashioned oils and a brush
These days no match for those who are in some big rush

Throw it away, throw it away
No good reason to let it stay
Throw it away throw it away
That’s the new mantra that I’m hearing today

When the product is disposable, it changes your disposition
You don’t think of it as timeless, just this week’s edition

I used to value all my record albums, when I had about thirty five
Now I own more music then I’ll get to listen to if I live to 195




(c) M. Skliar 2014
Track Name: Ice Bucket Challenge
I looked at my computer the only words I could see were ice bucket
Got the same message when I turned on my TV ice bucket
Ice bucket ice bucket ice bucket ice bucket ice bucket……

Looked up at the sky they were skywriting with a plane ice bucket
Someone sent me a text the message was the same ice bucket
Ice bucket ice bucket ice bucket ice bucket ice bucket……


I went to shakespeare in the park they were reciting of course ice bucket
In iambic pentameter my bucket for a horse ice bucket
Ice bucket…..

I could sing more verses but the only words will be ice bucket
The new wisdom of the 21st century ice bucket

(c) M. Skliar 2014
Track Name: Joan Rivers
If there’s an afterlife, she’s probably sticking in the knife
to some angel who does not look so steller
And whatever God is wearing, she’s probably declaring,
‘who was the designer, Helen Keller”

You know she would say whatever she wanted to
There were no rules no taboos
Except, make it funny….

She said I knew I was unwanted when my bath toys were
a toaster and a microwave
She said a peeping tom looked in my window
and then pulled down the shade

You know she would say whatever she wanted to
There were no rules no taboos
Except, make it funny….

Nothing was off limits to her, she’d talk about whatever she found
After 9/11 she said to a friend, let’s eat at windows on the ground


If there is an afterlife she’s probably sticking in the knife
and making Johnny Carson moan
There were lots of great woman comediennes,
but there’ll never be another Joan

© M. Skliar 2014
Track Name: Heart Skip
I don’t know the words in every language
But when the message is love it still translates
A nod become a smile that becomes laughter
And maybe after, love has conquered hate


And the key to win my heart is in the corners of your lips
When you curl them towards the heavens
and make my heart just skip

in my world, a smile should be required
and you acquire all the love that laughter brings
and in courts of law, there should be way more singing
‘cause you cannot tell a lie when you sing

© M. Skliar 2014
Track Name: Walter White (warning Breaking Bad spoilers)
Walter put down that Bunsen burner
There’s got to be another way to be a wage earner
You know every chemical’s building blocks
Did you have to also be the one who knocks?

If you had only had a better medical plan
You woudn’t have had to cook meth in that RV van
Obamacare would have paid your medical claims
Would not have had to stand there and say ‘say my name’

Walter don’t go to los pollos hermanos
Junior’s freaking out and Skylar’s getting morose
Jesse’s gonna find out what you did
You thought he thought that someone else poisoned that kid

you know the right chemicals to cover your tracks
the bodies and the money piling up in stacks
You’re playing with fire, your hand’s in the flame
You know you want that closeup to say ‘say my name’

Walter don’t steal methylamine from the train
By the end of the series you’re gonna be so insane
Walter don’t leave out that Walt Whitman book
Cause Hank is gonna find it and know that you’re the cook

Tho you sort of made it work out in the finale
There was still enough dead bodies to fill death valley
You started out so innocent, look what you became
And now everyone is gonna ‘say your name’
“heisenberg”
Walter put down that Bunsen burner, got to be another way to be a wage earner
You know every chemical building blocks/Did ya have to be the one who knocks?

© M. Skliar 2014
Track Name: Feeling Old
Writing something new, feeling somewhat old
My pop culture references are dated
And most of the brand new ones, they just leave me cold
They’re overhyped or maybe overrated

“They don’t make em like they used to”, I’ve heard that before
It’s the standard “alta-caca” favorite phrase
Or “this, ah this is nothing, back then we were at war”
Or “I walked to school and back, uphill both ways”

You start to have it figured out when lots of time has passed
But by the time that happens, here’s the rub
Not many are interested, not many think to ask
It seems to be a young person’s club

Writing something new, feeling like an antique
My pop culture references are obits
And yes there is some wisdom that comes if you seek
But mostly getting old, yeah it’s the pits



(c) M. Skliar