I Can’t See New York

Seventeen years ~
Feels like a lifetime,
And yesterday ~
We remember

In some ways it’s hard to believe that it’s been seventeen years since September 11. It seems like an age ago – it was more than half my lifetime ago now, in fact. The world has changed so much.

And yet in other ways it barely feels like much time has passed at all. I still remember seeing it so clearly on television; watching the second plane crash, the towers fall. The horror, the shock, the disbelief.

Perhaps that is the way of historic moments though. In searing themselves into our consciousness, they change us, change the world. And so when we think of them it’s almost like time continues to stand still, even after so long.

I wanted to do something to mark the day besides a short poem, so I thought I would share a song as well. Tori Amos is one of my favourite artists and it was actually through this song, I Can’t See New York, that I discovered a lot of her more modern music.

It’s from the 2002 album Scalet’s Walk, which is about a young woman’s journey from one side of America to the other, exploring Native American history and learning about political extremism and American culture, as well as a thousand other things.

The album is a masterpiece and as Amos’s protagonist approaches the end of her journey, she puts her on a plane above New York, circling above ash and dust, confused and terrified as a plane crashes and 9/11 unfolds.

It’s a hauntingly beautiful song and I’ve always thought one of the most powerful songs about that day. So many years later it still captures that awful sense of confusion and sadness so very well.

My thoughts to everyone in the US today.

Haiqua © CJ Levinson 2018

Ripper Little Christmas (an Aussie Christmas Song)

I finished writing another of my Aussie Christmas song earlier today. I left it a bit later than I wanted to this year but I’m glad I got it done.

This is my eighth song now and this year I settled on doing an Aussie version of Holly Jolly Christmas called Ripper Little Christmas.

I chose it as it’s very recognisable and should be an easy one to follow. I also chose it as it’s just a fun song and we could all use a bit of fun after this year, don’t you think?

It’s more inspired by the original song than a true parody (I changed the rhyming and structure a bit as I didn’t want it to seem too cutesy) but it also lets me tell a bit more of a fun story, which is what I wanted to do too.

I hope you enjoy it and if you have any suggestions for next year’s song, let me know. 😀

Kangaroo Bauble

Ripper Little Christmas

Have a ripper little Christmas
It’s a beaut time of the year
We’ll have lots of fun in the sun
And a glass or two of beer

Have a ripper little Christmas
And when you go to the beach
Say hello to mates you know
And shout em a cold one each

Oh oh look how the lights glow
So pretty on the tree
Grandma’s baked a cake again
Save a slice just for me

Have a ripper little Christmas
Enjoy the fun and cheer
And make sure you have a ripper little Christmas
This year!

Oh oh look at Uncle Joe
He’s fallen asleep by the tree
The kids are playing in the yard
While we enjoy a cup of tea

Have a ripper little Christmas
Hold your loved ones near
And make sure you have a ripper little Christmas
This year!

My other Aussie Christmas songs:
The Aussie 12 Days of Christmas (2008)
Aussie Jingle Bells (2009)
We Wish You An Aussie Christmas (2010)
Deck the Ute (an Aussie Christmas Song) (2011)
Have Yourself an Aussie Kind of Christmas (2012)
Santa Matey (an Aussie Christmas Song) (2014)

I’m Dreaming of an Aussie Christmas (2015)

I’m Dreaming of an Aussie Christmas

So it’s almost Christmas again. I finished another of my Aussie Christmas songs earlier. This is my seventh song now and this year I thought I’d do an Aussie version of I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. I chose it as it’s one of those songs everyone knows so hopefully it’ll be easy to follow, and also because I wanted to tell a bit more of a story this year.

Christmas is a fun time but it can be very hard if you’re overseas and wishing you could be back home or waiting for a plane home. I wanted to try to capture that feeling as it’s a side of Christmas we don’t often see.

I hope you enjoy it and if you have any suggestions for next year’s song, let me know. 😉

Sydney Lego Santa

I’m Dreaming of an Aussie Christmas

The snow is falling, the wind is cold
The airport is crowded and grey
There’s never been a colder day
And I miss my family so far away
It’s December the twenty-fourth
And I’m still waiting here way up north…

I’m dreaming of an Aussie Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the summer sizzles
And it never drizzles
And there’s cricket on the radio

I’m dreaming of an Aussie Christmas
With friends on a warm December night
May your summer be warm and light
And may all your Christmases be bright

I’m dreaming of an Aussie Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the hot sand glimmers
And the water shimmers
And we play in the sun’s golden glow

I’m dreaming of an Aussie Christmas
With my family holding me tight
May your days be filled with delight
And may all your Christmases be bright

And may all your Christmases
May all your Chrissie days be
May all your Christmases be bright

My other Aussie Christmas songs:
The Aussie 12 Days of Christmas (2008)
Aussie Jingle Bells (2009)
We Wish You An Aussie Christmas (2010)
Deck the Ute (an Aussie Christmas Song) (2011)
Have Yourself an Aussie Kind of Christmas (2012)
Santa Matey (an Aussie Christmas Song) (2014)

Santa Matey (an Aussie Christmas song)

I didn’t get a chance to do an Aussie Christmas song last year but I thought I’d do it again this year. I wanted to do a fun song and Santa Baby was one of the first songs that came to mind. It’s just such a fun, cheeky song and I could immediately see how I could make it more Australian, unlike with some other songs (I’d still love to do an Aussie Frosty the Snowman at some stage but it’s not the easiest to make Australian, for obvious reasons!).

This version is called Santa Matey. It was a lot of fun to write and play around with and definitely helped to make it feel like Christmas again. I hope you enjoy it. And Merry Christmas 🙂

image

Santa matey, leave a beer under the tree
For me
Been a really good bloke
Santa matey
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Santa matey, maybe a gift voucher too
Or a few
I’ll stay up for you champ
Santa matey
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Think of all the work I’ve done
Think of all the times I could’ve been having fun
I’ve really been very good
So won’t you leave me an Xbox One

Santa matey, I wanna Ford
And maybe I won’t get so bored
Been fair dinkum all year
Santa matey
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Santa ripper, there’s something else I’d love to see
A TV
To watch the Swannies next year
Santa matey
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Santa beauty, and stuff my stocking with a new phone
And tones
I’ll text you every day
Santa beauty
So hurry over Sydney tonight

Come and try my Christmas cake
It’s just like my mum used to make
I saved a slice just for you
I hope you saved something for me too

Santa matey, there’s just one other little thing
Some bling
Like a gold barbeque
Santa matey
And hurry over Sydney tonight

Hurry over Sydney tonight
Oh hurry over Sydney tonight

Old Cairo

Red Sunrise

See the soldiers on the warpath
See the people fall like stones
See the leaders stand in silence
See the bodies and broken bones

Hear the daily call to prayer
Hear the crowds’ angry cries
Hear the bullets roar like thunder
Hear the propaganda and bloody lies

There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way

We read about it in the papers
We see it on our screens
We watch it from a distance
We turn away from the screams

They’re bleeding in the streets
They’re dying all alone
They’re calling out to God
They’re all on their own

There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way

Now the streets are quiet
Now they mourn the dead
Now the world holds its breath
Now the flames are fed

Soon the bodies are falling
Soon there is only pain
Soon another child is orphaned
Soon it starts all over again

There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way

How long does it go on?
How long do the tears flow?
How long do we sit in silence?
How long do we watch the show?

America sits in judgment
Israel reaps what it sows
There’s no oil to plunder
Just death in old Cairo

There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way
There’s got to be another way


I wrote this song over the last couple of weeks, after watching scenes of the violent crackdown in Egypt. I was becoming increasingly annoyed with the media coverage, which seemed very distant and impersonal, and the attitudes of the leaders around the world, who seemed intent on condemning the violence only in the lightest of terms.

The photo is a shot I took last week from my grandparents’ balcony of the sun rising over the ocean. The photo reminded me of a bloody sunrise and I thought it suited the song quite well.


Photo: Red Sunrise © CJ Levinson 2013
Text licenced under Creative Commons