Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Take These Ten Rockmandments

Anyone seen Mel Brook’s “History Of The World” movie and that scene of Moses descending down the mountain yelling, ” Lord, take these fifteen commandments” and then one block of stone drops and then he starts to yell “Lord, take these Ten, Ten Commandments.”

Classic cinema. So as on ode to that movie, I have been listening to some tunes on the iPod. Each of these songs has a lyrical line that should be a new commandment.

1. THOU SHALT LIVE AND NEVER LIVE JUST TO KILL TIME.

City Limits

The band is “I Am Giant” and it is from the album, “The Horrifying Truth” released in 2011, however the song goes back a few years more as it came out on an EP.

“These city limits keep on getting bigger
Just when you thought you had made it out”

Anyone had that feeling before. Just when you thought that you had made it, the city limits are suddenly greater than what you thought they would be. Like that small town boy and girl in “Dont Stop Believin” or like those tramps in “Born To Run”.

“Are we living or merely killing time”

A brilliant lyric line, one of the best. It’s that good, it is self explanatory.

2. THOU SHALT MAKE THEIR ENEMIES INTO FADED MEMORIES.

Dearly Departed

From the 2014 “Men Of Honor” album by Adrenaline Mob. I love the mob. Russell Allen and Mike Orlando really do justice to this project. This song connects on all levels because we have all known someone like the person they sing about.

“And now your my enemy, soon to be a memory”

No one likes to be around people who drag them down. Enemies hang around if you let them. The best response to an enemy is to make them a memory.

“We were the best of friends, thought it would never end
I curse the day when they said you were selling me out”

There is a pretty good chance that the people you hang with right now are not the ones that you grew up with or spent a lot of time with.

3. THOU SHALT NOT FIGHT SOLO. THERE IS A STRENGTH IN NUMBERS.

Draw The Line

From the album, “O God Save Us All”. Disciple is like an enigma to me. They range from pop rock to heavy rock. This song connects on so many levels.

“Another crash, another fall
Another failure
Another choice i don’t want to remember
I been here too many times”

Who hasn’t been in a situation like this. Some more so than others. Me personally, I have been in a lot of situations like this. Choices I made that even know when I look back, i don’t want to remember.

“This is where I draw the line
This is where the old me dies
Light a match let it burn kiss it goodbye”

In a hospital room in 2010. That is where I drawed the line.

“Another battle I lost fighting solo”

It should be a commandment. Nothing is achieved in a vacuum. Ask for help and count on your loved ones.

4. THOU SHALT NOT WAKE ALONE. LOVE YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY. BE MERCIFUL.

Angel Of Mercy

The mighty Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society. What can I say about this song that I havent said already. It is a masterpiece and that lead break gives me goosebumps.

“I woke alone today
For all the birds have flown”

“No Angel Of Mercy
Is gonna hear my call

It’s that vocal melody and the tone of the voice that makes it work. When you take into account the recent blood clot saga it just ups the emotional stakes a little bit more.

5. THOU SHALT NEVER CHANGE WHO THEY ARE. DON’T LET OTHERS DICTATE WHO YOU SHOULD BE AND WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.

It’s Time

Imagine Dragons and their mega selling “Night Visions” album. I can’t say I am a fan of the whole album but this song just stuck with me. Maybe because the vocal melody in the Chorus is identical to an instrumental song I wrote back in 1998 called “Moonlight Tango” which I used as one of my wedding waltz songs.

I am just the same as i was
Now don’t you understand that
I am never-changing who I am

6. THOU SHALT NOT BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO THE WAY IT USED TO BE. TIME MOVES ON. CHANGE IS CONSTANT. EVOLUTION IS ALL ABOUT CHANGE. EMBRACE CHANGE AND MOVE FORWARD.

Used To Be

From the band “Arrows To Athens” and their 2007 album “Kings And Thieves”. It is a David Hodges project. Yes, the same David Hodges that co-wrote the majority of the “Fallen” album by Evanescence with Ben Moody and Amy Lee.

“Take a breath
Take a long look around
Before you step
Because the tide is coming
Swallowing the ground
And there is no way to tell
If we will drown tonight”

It’s almost biblical with references to a tide that is coming and the uncertainty that the tide brings.

“We cannot go back to the way it used to be”

The commandment right there.

7. THOU SHALT NOT FAIL EVEN THOUGH FAILURE EXISTS.

Moth

From the new 2014 Hellyeah album “Blood For Blood” produced by the great man Kevin Churko. It could have come from a Mudvayne album. It was one of the first pieces of music that vocalist Chad Gray gravitated too for lyrics. And he goes to town on it.

“Treated like an animal since the day I was born”

A person born with a silver spoon will never relate however millions upon millions of others will.

“Like a moth to a flame
My wings burn away”
“Failure is not an option
But the option exists”

What a fucking line! What more can be said.

8. CHERISH WHAT YOU HAVE BECAUSE ONCE IT IS GONE, IT IS GONE FOREVER. 

Until It’s Gone

From the new Linkin Park album “The Hunting Party”.

“You don’t know what you got (x3)
Until its gone”

Pause.

Then BANG. The song groove kicks in again. Linkin Park are masters of the heavy pop rock song and Chester Bennington has the voice for it. Without him, Linkin Park would be just another band trying to make it. Chester is the X FACTOR.

9. DO NOT DWELL ON THOSE THAT NO LONGER CARE

Denial Waits

From Ashes Divide only album released in 2008, “Keep Telling Myself It’s Alright.”

“If I saw you right now
I’m embarrassed to say
I’d take you back
And we could just pretend you never went away”

It’s pathetic how we continue to dwell on someone who no longer cares for us in the vain hope that maybe they’ll come around and realize what they’ve left behind.

10. THERE IS NOTHING TO LOSE WHEN YOU ARE DOWN TO A POCKET FULL OF CHANGE

End Of My Rope

From Asphalt Ballet and their excellent debut album released in 1991.

Well it’s a ruthless world with a painted face
Ain’t nothing’ gonna change but the time and place

That’s the “History Of The World” in a nutshell.

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Arrows To Athens

I would like to think that when it comes to music and it’s history I am very knowledgable. And with the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, I would like to think so. However with the rise of the internet and the big changes that come with the distribution of music, that knowledge is slowly slipping.

Case in point. I went in cold to listen to “Arrows To Athens”.

So I had no idea what style of music they played, who was in the band, who produced it and which label if any released it. Basically I was going in cold except for the words of a few friends via the six degrees of separation theory. Yep it was one of those, a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend mentioned that the band is cool.

Kings And Thieves

I really liked it. It’s simple but effective modern rock. Catchy as hell.

So I Googled it and I came across the name of David Hodges. Apart from the David Hodges connection there is not a lot of information available on-line about the band.

He walked away from Evanescence before “Fallen” exploded and since then he has become a new Jim Vallance or Desmond Child or Max Martin in the song writing world of modern/pop rock.

But I bet you that a lot of the people who like the artists that David Hodges worked with have no idea that the songs they like were co-written or written by David Hodges. Because that is the world today. The kids don’t care about the back story of the song. All they care about is the end product.

Due to the lack of information available online it is pretty easy to conclude that no one has really heard the album, which is a shame. Because it is good. Better than the rubbish that the major labels push out. If this album had Maroon 5 or Coldplay as the artist, I guarantee you that all of the songs would be smash hits. However it barely exists. The most streamed song on Spotify is at 67,000 streams.

Used To Be

A power ballad. Phenomenal.

“Cause the tide is coming
Swallowing the ground”

Change and starting over is never easy, because we beat ourselves up before the change even happens.

Should we do this is the first question that we ask ourselves over and over again?

If we do this, then this might happen?

If we don’t do this, then this other thing might happen?

We play Nostradamus on the decisions that we make. It makes us fear change. However once we decide to make change, then there is no looking back. The decision has been made and it’s time to go forward.

The song is heartfelt. We’ve all been there, but David Hodges encapsulates it all in a four-minute masterpiece.

Crime

“Look at this life
Is the mirror what you want to see?”

We have all been in this place, where we look in the mirror, see our reflection and we don’t like what we see. Somewhere in the past, decisions that we made have led us down onto a path that has more or less made us someone we don’t want to be.

The Waiting

From the outset it reminds me of “Citizen Soldier” from Three Doors Down.

Fate still holds us
We work our life to ease a conscience,
And fill the Earth to set it free
‘Cause truth will rise up to the surface
And present words won’t change a thing

All the liars today will have their lies unmasked long after they are gone. That is the way of the world. The truth will always rise up to the surface. So to all of those ex-band members of mine who claimed to have written songs that I wrote years before the band even started, watch out. Fate will make the truth see the light of day.

Alive

David’s problem is that he is too talented. He can easily write hit singles. The song is infectious.

There are clouds on the horizon,
So take a breath here in the calm before the storm.
If only for a moment

Our lives are too hectic. Each day is a focus struggle. We work at our desks with our headphones on. Doing two things at once. We watch our favourite TV shows with our laptops or tablets or iPads in our hands.

Sometimes we need to just take a moment break, take a break and re-evaluate why we are alive.

It’s just another hit song in a line of songs that has not reached a wider audience.

The Silence

Do you believe that the silence can erase the memory?

We all need to be supported by someone who can testify to the truth that we say. However, no one wants to get involved anymore, so they stay in silence on the sidelines while we burn.

Your Gravity

This is my goodbye
I can’t take another year
Falling into broken expectations

It sounds like the thousands of wannabe artists that walk away from a dream of being a rock n roll superstar. While the actual song subject matter is different, the lyric line is generic enough to be applied to many different situations.

Do yourself a favour and check it out. It’s on Spotify and on YouTube.

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