I recall there were two sides to World War II, too
But seriously, what’s gotten hold of you?
Oh, right, it’s the usual story
Hope and glory all very well
Comforting myths about our virtue
Can weave their spell
– Never mind if they’re true –
But fear’s a more potent spur
A powerful aid to the hard sell
By flim flam men and con artists
With their snake oil solutions
To soothe the stirrings of our deepest fears
I said, “You follow him and it’ll come to tears”
But when you finally did deign to hear me
You answered “I want high walls and closed doors
And if it comes to tears, I hope it’s yours”
But now they march to make us fear them
To divide us into followers and victims
But they, and all who do this
By attacking some, attack all of us
A living room performance of “We Can Do Better Than This”
The other day I wrote three songs when visiting a school.
It’s a short album, consisting of all-new songs (all from this year). There’s some satirical tunes, a dreamy atmospheric instrumental, and a PSA against bullying by children and adults alike. Check it out!
- Snowflakes 02:57
- To Get Away From It All 04:29
- (I Wanna Be A) Paid Protester 02:59
- Interesting Times 03:09
- Together Against Bullying 02:45
released May 17, 2017
Performed and produced by A Montreal Paul
Recorded between January and May 2017
All songs by Paul Beaulieu
Songs registered with SOCAN
A couple of new songs in demo form:
They say better ways don’t exist
But surely we can do better than this
And that’s pretty much it.
Well, me, really, but Voices Arising are a side project through which I can record and release more choral-type music, rather than the folky-alternative-rock stuff I do as A Montreal Paul. Here is is, then…six tracks, including two originals.
“Sleigh Ride“, music by Leroy Anderson, words by Mitchell Parrish.
Leonard Cohen in a 1988 interview:
If you don’t like something and think it’s cheap, unless you really have a great sense of responsibility for your culture, I think it’s best to keep it to yourself. That might be the song that gets someone through a dark hour […] All this plumbing the culture-mongers do is quite irrelevant. If someone has the grace to write a song that touches the hearts of thousands, I think it’s a matter for applause. Or of silence, if you think the air has been polluted by a song.
According to the Guardian, where the interview appeared, Cohen was responding to Martin Amis’s critiques of Simon and Garfunkel’s music “ being not so much art as therapy and of Suzanne Vega producing a style of music that is both symptomatic of, and reinforcing, a climate of passivity and retreat.” (please note that I cannot find the original 1988 interview or any text of Amis’s critique).
What I love about this quote is not so much the dismissal of these sorts of critiques of songs, as the idea that a song can “get someone through a dark hour”, can touch people’s hearts, and that this is the most important thing when it comes to considering their significance. My songs have certainly reached nowhere near as many people as those of Cohen, Paul Simon or Suzanne Vega, but the nicest thing anyone ever said about my songs is that some of them helped her through a rough time. I hope my songs and words will reach more people and help them with whatever inspiration, healing, or venting they need at a given time.