December- Summer can wait

And so here we are at the end. Thanks for sticking it through with me.

I am a summer girl at heart. Bare feet, beach, swimming or a book in the sun. I love summer. This year I decided to postpone my summer until late January and visit my sister in England instead. I haven’t seen her in a year and a half. This song is basically about how I love her more than I love summer… and I REALLY love summer

Also remember digital downloads of my ep are available at http://harrietrichards.bandcamp.com/

and here is the final song for 2013

SUMMER CAN WAIT
I’m like a lizard in the sun I can function
I soak up rays and then I can move again
Need to get enough and need to keep it constant
Kiss winter goodbye, I leave it long forgotten

So what am I thinking going to a place known for rain?
Well just to see you I would give up my summer days

I just can’t wait to see your face
And to feel your embrace
For the first time in so long
I miss you more than words could ever explain
So summer can wait

In the winter all my joints seem to seize up
I’m always aching, yeah I just freeze up
June, July the chill it gets right to my core
Hit November I can feel it start to thaw

So what am I thinking going to a place known for rain?
Well just to see you I would give up my summer days

I just can’t wait to see your face
And to feel your embrace
For the first time in so long
I miss you more than words could ever explain
So summer can wait

I miss you more than I miss summer days
I love you so my summer can wait
I miss you more than I miss sun on my face
I love you so summer can wait

I just can’t wait to see your face
And to feel your embrace
For the first time in so long
I miss you more than words could ever explain
So summer can wait

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NOVEMBER- Oasis

NOVEMBER –Oasis

Initial House Keeping:
COME INSIDE EP available at http://harrietrichards.bandcamp.com/ (Digital Downloads) or for those of you who like to peruse the booklet etc email harrietrichards@hotmail.co.nz to organise physical copies.
Next month I am away overseas again. I leave for the UK on December 18. This means I have a couple of options for song of the month.
1: Post it on Sept 17
2: Film it before I go and just have it ready to upload at the end of the month.
3: As a last resort through not having actually written a song before I leave, somehow write, film and upload a song from my sister’s house in England where I won’t actually be taking a guitar.
I think I will aim for option 1.

Story from the Month:
Last weekend was my first free one since August. I was getting pretty close to maximum capacity. Due to my busy schedule there was a stretch of about 6 weeks I hadn’t been to church. Before that it was twice and then another ridiculous number of weeks. This month, that first weekend back, it was like letting out a deep breath I didn’t even realise I had been holding in.

Phew.

While I reflected back on the past few months I thought about how I even managed to keep functioning. I should have been curled up in the corner rocking back and forth with the stress of it all.

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.

He is my Oasis

Oasis

When I’m worn and I’m tired
Thirsty but the land is dry
And I hold it together but I’m on the edge of tears
And the road it goes for miles
Not another single person in sight
And it’s messing with my head it’s playing on my fears.

Well you’re my oasis
When I can’t face the journey on
In between places
And my heart it longs for home
When I need refreshed and I need restored
You’re the oasis on my road

When I start to lose my pace
Each and every muscle aches
And I’m dragging my feet but it’s like they’re made of lead
And my bones, they’re crying out
Com on please won’t you just lie down
You’ve travelling for miles now it’s time to get your rest

Well you’re my oasis
When I can’t face the journey on
In between places
And my heart it longs for home
When I need refreshed and I need restored
You’re the oasis on my road

You’re my reviver
I’m a survivor
Give me some time and I will survive this
You’re my reviver
I’m a survivor
Give me some time and
I will get through this

Cos you’re my oasis
When I can’t face the journey on
In between places
And my heart it longs for home
When I need refreshed and I need restored
You’re the oasis on my road

©Harriet Richards 2013

OCTOBER – It’s life

Last month I mentioned I was off to India. How was it? Fabulous. I had an amazing time. I was there for a wedding which was definitely an experience and a half. I saw cities and saw villages. I saw Tigers in the jungle and rode camels in the desert. I went to the Taj Mahal, Ghandi’s grave (on his birthday) and spoke to people in small villages. It is mind blowing to know you could very well be the only white person they see in their entire life.

When I got home I hit the ground running. In the past 2 weeks I have been to Dunedin, Wellington and competed in a swing dancing competition (not to mention rehearsed for it). Tonight my swing band is performing, as well as on Saturday (more rehearsals) and I am also in the process of moving house.

Oh and another wee thing… I FINALLY RELEASED MY EP!!!

The release went really well and I totally sold out of copies which… I don’t even know. Thank you so much everyone who came.
Digital sales are now happening at http://harrietrichards.bandcamp.com/music
If you are wanting to get the MP3 version that is where you should look. If you prefer to have a physical copy I am getting more copies printed so email me on harrietrichards@hotmail.co.nz and I can give you some details and put you on the waiting list.

So… song of the month. As you can probably guess it is based on something I noticed in India.

In India it is very easy to get caught up in the dirt, the heat and rubbish in the street. At a glance it would be very easy to say it’s not a particularly nice place. All I can think of however, is how it is so full of life.
You walk down the footpath in a cloud of smog, dodging trash, avoiding eye contact with the guy is relieving himself in the bushes, and a beautiful blue butterfly floats past.
There are plants sprouting out from the side of a concrete overpasses, showing that given half a chance the jungle would take over the city.

I guess my summary is this. Stop looking at what you think is there, and see what is ACTUALLY there.

IT’S LIFE

Tell me what do you see
When you’re walking the streets
Is it dirt, is it dust, or the cars of rust?
Tell me what do you notice
Is it just what you’re told to?
Power lines in trees hung precariously

Look closer look harder and maybe you’ll start to see
There’s so much beauty

Bursting forth you can’t contain it
Blade of grass cracks through the pavement
Can’t you see it’s all around you
It surrounds you
Butterflies and twisting vines
The sparkling eyes of a passer by
It’s life

What captures your eye?
Are you caught by the disguise
Of roads, a thousand tires for a thousand miles

Look closer look harder and maybe you’ll start to see
There’s so much beauty

Bursting forth you can’t contain it
Blade of grass cracks through the pavement
Can’t you see it’s all around you
It surrounds you
Butterflies and twisting vines
The sparkling eyes of a passer by
It’s life

Readjust your focus
Then you’ll get the most out
There is so much more to be found
Search beneath the surface
I’ll tell you now it’s worth it
Won’t you take some time and really see the sights?
Open up your eyes

Bursting forth you can’t contain it
Blade of grass cracks through the pavement
Can’t you see it’s all around you
It surrounds you
Butterflies and twisting vines
The sparkling eyes of a passer by
It’s life

©Harriet Richards 2013

September – (Love you) Anyway

This month the song is coming at you a couple of days early. Why? I’m going to India this weekend. Yep.

To say life is busy at the moment would be a bit of an understatement. I have actually felt stressed over the past couple of days. That doesn’t happen to me very often. I have multiple lists sitting on my table filled with jobs to before I go to India and I know half of them probably won’t get done. Some of the jobs are for the trip, some are for my trip to Wellington, some are for work, some are for my trip to England, some are for the wedding my band is playing at and a WHOLE LOT of items on the list are for my EP LAUNCH. (*An EP is basically a short album for those currently confused)

We are having a release party on OCTOBER 19. It will be 7pm at Wilson Street Baptist Church. I will perform the songs from the EP live as well as some of my other songs and there will also be some food. I would love to see you there. Also invite friends.
Standard entry is $5.
Entry plus a copy of the EP is $13

If you are unable to be there on the night you are still able to get a copy for only $10. Email harrietrichards@hotmail.co.nz and I will give you payment details.

Right. Song of the month.

I know there are a few of you who are half expecting me to do a tutorial for the wibble wobble jelly song this month. Sorry to disappoint (Betti). I did actually end up getting a song done and basically it comes down to this:

I screw up. A lot. And it isn’t like I learn my lesson the first time and don’t do it again. I repeat. And repeat. And repeat…
God still chooses to forgive me. It doesn’t matter what I do He will always choose to forgive me and love me. Thank goodness for His grace.

LOVE YOU (Anyway)

With me it is a sure thing
I’ll fail You constantly
My strongest will still be weak
And I’ll always lose my way
But You say

I will always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you anyway

With You it’s a sure thing
You’re there for me constantly
You’re strong when I am weak
And you’ll always straighten my way
And you say

I will always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you anyway

Doesn’t matter what you do or say
I’m gonna love you anyway
It’s a love that’ll last for all time
Oh child of mine
Won’t you meet me at the cross, I’ve been waiting
Here for you, I’ve been patient
Lay down your fears, your frustrations
Place your trust in this foundation

I will always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you
Anyway

©Harriet Richards 2013

AUGUST – Hope

To start with a little bit of VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION!!!
For a while now I have been telling people my EP will be coming out “in the next couple of months”. Those months seem to keep increasing. I am officially able to say that the launch date will be SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER! To prove it really is happening here is a photo from the photoshoot:
shoot

I am really excited about this and if you are in the Timaru area would love for you to join me in celebrating the release. More information about that another time.

Other exciting news is that in the past month this blog hit over 1000 views. Thanks everyone who has been supporting me in this project and listening to my songs each month. You guys are great.

The video this month is a bit different (don’t worry, next month will probably be back to normal). The easiest way to explain what this song means to me was to show you.

This song is all about the hope that comes with the transition from winter into spring. Yesterday I went skating for the first time in AGES with my good friend Jane around the bay. The air was warm and it was so good to be outside in the fresh air. In winter I often don’t want to leave the house because it is too cold. It’s really hard to get the motivation to do things when you know you are going to have to load up with jackets and scarves and gloves and hats. It felt great to be out.

There is something about spring. There is once again a bit of heat in the sun which makes outside seem not so bad after all. The flowers start to bloom, the birds start to sing and sense of possibility hangs in the air.

For me this was a bit of a double blast of hope. Not only was it my first skate of the season, it was my first skate in about a year and a half.

In January last year I got tendonitis in both of my Achilles tendons and basically wasn’t able to do anything. Running was out. Dancing was out. Even going for a short walk was out. The first 10 minutes in the morning were extremely painful. I was a shoe person and ended up having to wear sneakers for 3 months. Not ideal.

I worked hard at physio and slowly my Achilles Tendons healed. In November/December-ish I was building up strength and starting to run and dance again. Then I got shin splints. In both legs. Back to square 1. No running, no long walks and no dancing. If I pushed even a little bit too hard then every step would feel like fire for a couple of days. Back to physio.

I still can’t run on concrete yet but my legs are getting a lot stronger. I can run down the beach a few times without pain now. The fact I went for a skate yesterday and today I don’t have any pain is massive.

This video is average quality because it is recorded on my cell phone, and lets face it, watching 2 people skate around isn’t always that interesting. It does, however completely sum up this song. So sit back, close your eyes, and listen.

If you would like to see a version of me actually playing it head to http://www.youtube.com/user/myrmecphobiac

HOPE

The breeze is dusted with Ice
And every time I go outside I can feel its bite
It gets right into my bones
If I stayed right here tell me who would know? Who would know?
It’s hard to pick up my feet
What’s your motivation? Cos mine has been lacking
Each and every step seems so hard
It’s just one foot in front of the other

But something’s happening in the air
I can feel it shifting there’s change in the atmosphere
It gives me hope
It gives me hope
It gives me hope
It gives me hope

It’s been round here for too long
And still it lingers with stone cold fingers
Always reaching out trying to hold
But the grip is slipping and it’s starting to let go

Something’s stirring in the air
I can feel it shifting there’s change in the atmosphere
It gives me hope
It gives me hope
It gives me hope
It gives me hope

Morning’s a little lighter
The day’s a little brighter
The sun’s a little higher
I step outside and
The sun it keeps on rising
The sun it keeps on shining
I feel the heat on my skin
I soak it up

It gives me hope
It gives me hope
It gives me hope
It gives me hope

©Harriet Richards 2013

JULY – Wake Up

Too often I just go through the motions: I get up, I go to work, I go to a rehearsal of some sort and then I go to bed.

Even when I am out doing things I spend far too much time asleep.

Rather than actively engaging in the world around me I live in a dream.

It’s time to wake up! There is so to do, so much to see and no one else can do it for you.

*My throat is now pretty much better.
**This video was recorded at WSBC in Timaru – Seemed like a good opportunity to record and so I did.
***If you want a sneaky look at the song for August then head over to http://www.youtube.com/user/myrmecphobiac?feature=watch in the *LIVE* playlist

WAKE UP

Time for you to get up
Time to lift your head up
Too much has gone on
While you’ve been asleep
Just content to dream
Life keeps passing on

And you don’t want to miss out
Trust me I’ve seen how
Much has been happening
And what’s going down

It’s time to
Wake up, wake up
Life is for living
It’s time to begin it come on
Rise up, rise up
Life’s what you make it
And it’s time for you to wake up

I know you’ve got your feet up
In your favourite seat and
Your feeling comfortable
There’s a world outside
That’s teeming with life
Won’t believe your eyes at all

And you don’t want to miss out
Trust me I’ve seen how
Much has been happening
And what’s going down

It’s time to
Wake up, wake up
Life is for living
It’s time to begin it come on
Rise up, rise up
Life’s what you make it
And it’s time for you to wake up

Do I need to break it down slowly for you?
You live in a beautiful world. How can you choose to ignore it?
There is so much a could show you
Now I can leave you to dream or you could come and see what I see

Wake up, wake up
Life is for living
It’s time to begin it come on
Rise up, rise up
Life’s what you make it
And it’s time for you to wake up
It’s time for you to wake up, wake up
It’s time for you to wake up

©Harriet Richards 2013

Unfortunately….

I want to start by saying that I have written a song this month. I wrote it in the very first week of July. Unfortunately…

I managed to get sick. I am talking I-have-no-voice, there-are-blisters-in-my-nose-from-blowing-it-so-much, I-want-to-crawl-into-a-hole-and-not-come-out sick. (In other words “I am a teacher and it is the school holidays so of course I am” sick)

While I am mostly better my throat is still a bit raw and I can’t sing for more than a couple of minutes before I start coughing. This means I haven’t been able to video the song. I will record it as soon as I am able to I just don’t know when that will be. It could be in a few days, it could be in a week, I really have no clue but it WILL HAPPEN.

In positives did you know there was an article about me in the Timaru Herald last week? The link is http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/8966222/Recovery-inspired-singers-work if you want to check it out.