Submission for Matt Dusk – Caught In A Rhapsody of Love

This song is supposed to conjure up images of warm nights, deepening passion for your lover, and getting caught up in the out of control feelings of love.

I am very grateful to have the help of Michael Kelly Cavan on vocals as he adds so much feeling and warmth to this piece.  Unfortunately my poor engineering skills created some distortion and I apologize.  I would be glad to re record the vocals again if it were to be submitted to Matt Dusk.  Just let me know.  rbmartincomposer@gmail.com

The S.A.C challenge has done a great deal to instill more confidence in my writing ability as well as, and more importantly, got me out of the forest and into the midst of other writers and performers.  I met several whom I expect I will continue to work with on various projects.  Michael Kelly Cavan, a very talented singer songwriter, has agreed to begin working with me on my East Coast Musical, which is about 25% complete, called Understand Newfoundland.  The challenge allowed my to see into the creative minds of others and how to work to a deadline.

I must admit that I am in total awe of Debra and James.  They worked so hard and gave me the lift I needed when I was running out of confidence.  Thanks  I owe you.

Call any time – beers on me..




Week 6 Holiday Song

Pale Blue Dot

It was a week of back and forth for this holiday song.  I wanted to include the spirit of the holiday but without mentioning any religion so that it would be meaningful across generations and nationalities.  (religions tend to be tied to regions and nations)  Some of my ideas were admittedly very far fetched. For instance, I thought of a family having a holiday dinner, but the difference being that they had a family tradition of inviting a street person and an elderly person to join them. The idea focused on the how many shoppers pass by the homeless on their way to buy luxury gifts for Christmas.  The fact is, that many of us are not that far away from the same situation.  I thought that would get too complicated and may even be too emotional. I mean, what happens after dinner? Does the family take them back to the street?

The music came first – a simple piano tune in the key of G major.

I always like Carl Segan’s ‘ Pale Blue Dot’.  During the voyager flyby of Saturn he asked if the space craft could be turned to focus on earth and take a photo.  (see above photo)  Earth, as he described it, was a pale blue dot.  He goes on to talk about how ridiculous the notion of war is – between two small parts of a spec of dust in the vast universe, and yet how rare and precious it is and how we should take care of it.   (see Youtube link)

So from that premise I set out to write a song for peace.  I thought it would be interesting if people all over the world on one day would ring a bell for peace.  Then perhaps the bell was something deeper within us.. Ok getting carried away again.

Again I am not that happy with the production.. and I am sure with more time I could fine tune the wording and voice.

The Bell of Peace
words and music by RB Martin Clarke  2015

This pale blue dot
This world we live on.
It’s the only place
that we all call home.
And everywhere
the hope we share
is to live in peace
and harmony.

There’s a bell that rings
its the sound that brings
us all together once more.
We are all brothers and sisters
Listen as it knells
We need to hear the bells
of peace.

There’s a bell of peace in everyone
It’s the sound love makes in your heart
It’s up to you to let it ring
Out loud and clear
so everyone will hear

The bell of peace
drown out the folly
and the wars and the waist
caused by hate and greed.
The earth is fine
without mankind.
It will still turn around
without us here.

There’s a bell that rings
its the sound that brings
us all together once more.
We are all brothers and sisters
Love is what we share
so listen if you care
to hear the bell
the bell of peace.

Radio Ready Song

Optional choice

She’s the One – Just Call Her Name


I actually wrote this one for Matt Dusk but I wrote another song this week that Debra and James considered a better fit for Matt than She’s The One.  It is also probably better radio ready than “Caught in the Rhapsody of Love” (the one destined for Matt Dusk).

I wrote this in week one but revisited it again and altered the first and second verse.  I also re-recorded it.

Musically, it is interesting in the each verse is in the key of D major and it modulates to C major for the chorus.  It ends with the one line – Just call her name in D major.

This song could be altered to be from a woman’s point of view – the woman singing being ” The One” a good friend who has watched this guy, who she has fallen for, go through a stream of girls, but he missed the obvious…. her.

She’s the One – Just Call Her Name
words and music by RB Marty Clarke 2015

There’s been a long stream
of them
and disappointed dreams
of them
tumbling down
They all came tumbling down
They siphoned all your gas
and when the
party didn’t last
they left you stumbling round
You’re still stumbling around
pre-chorus 1
But there’s one whose secret’s obvious oh and
She knows you better than you probably know yourself


She’s the one
She’s the only one
who keeps you sane
oh my friend, Can’t you see
She’s the one
who will never let
you down again
Just call her name.
Maybe you don’t notice
but to
me you’re clearly focused
but it’s
on those debutantes
those pretty debutantes
The vision in your mind
of the
ones you left behind
isn’t what
your heart wants
no it’s not what it really wants
pre-chorus 2
Sometimes she’s right in front of you
Sometimes beauty is just too plain to see.



You know her name
She’s standing there
Just call her now
She’ll be right there

Prechorus 2 and chorus

Just call her name.


Week 5 TV show

This will be interesting as I am a great fan of shows like “Suits” that feature some fantastic tunes which are different each week.   There is a wide range of artists that are being offered up as examples but I think I get the drift.  They are looking for a contemporary style with some melodic tones either both upbeat and ballad.  I love Hosier’s tune and it reminded me of a composition I did for two pianos that was played in concert at McGill called Wintre Cloudz.

It’s funny that sometimes you give up on an idea and then it comes together at the last minute.   It all starts with a small idea that gets added to by your collaborators and then becomes something different but better.  Case in point

I Don’t Believe in God Anymore  was fine then why – bring in the war and the horrors of returning and then trying to live normally.    The image of him in the vet’s hospital as his wife hands him the divorce papers is the final blow, but he takes it like a man.  The image of his wife (who he is singing to during the song) taking him over to the window to watch the snow geese fly south in the V which he says is the signal (originally it was salute) for the vets and also to be free.

Piano and voice only..

For Me There’s No God Anymore

Music by RB Martin Clarke and Michael Kelly Cavan, lyrics by RB Martin Clarke 2015



Sergeant Ken Tennant was one of the best

We were special detachment in Kandahar west

He prayed to the Lord to take care of each man

But a Warthog mistook us for Taliban

I remember it now oh remember too well

The heat and the pain as the friendly bombs fell

Now his wife and his son hold his medals of war

As for me there’s no God any more.



The generals asked for forgiveness

It was all a bad mistake

But my friends were lost

Their bodies tossed

How many more oh how many more will it



Take me a bit closer to the window oh please

Cuz the winter approaches I can hear the snow geese

Don’t you think its amazing how they fly in a V

It’s a sign to us vets it’s a sign to be free

You brought me these papers I’ll sign them of course

But for me this is the worst of the worst.

I don’t blame you for leaving but it and hurts to my core.

And for me there’s no God anymore

Then working with Ashley we were looking for something with a darker feel.  I came up with the idea of a vampire dog that comes to stalk the poor in the street.  Ashley wrote some chilling lyrics.  The hook of this is more the 3 part counterpoint in the chorus.    What is interesting is the two tones that go through the entire song  DED  I wanted the chord structure DEAD.  for obvious reasons but it didn’t work out with the two tones.

Black Dog Night


Music by RB Martin Clarke, Lyrics by Ashley Hayward and RB Martin Clarke

V1 – Tonight, the moon is dark

It’s red like young blood

Hear howls in the night

Oh tonight, the black dog prowls

Eyes glow in the dark

Teeth flash white.


V2 – Tonight, it silently stalks

Looking for the weak

Be careful as you walk

It smells your fear

Can’t run, can’t hide

Watch your back


V3- Tonight, your blood runs cold

You know it’s near

Hair stands on end

Oh tonight, Heartbeat racing

The bell tower tolls

Your time is here


Don’t go out there cos you won’t come back

Tonight, the moon is full

Tonight, the mist it hangs

Tonight, the back dog hunts

Don’t go out there cos you won’t come back


Week 4 Country Challenge

It’s a good thing that I used to live in Calgary and in addition to being a Flames fan could also 2 step.  I have never written a country song before, let alone an edgy one.  But that is what challenges are all about.

I worked in with Ashley Hayward, who has a lovely soprano voice, and who expressed the desire to work on this project… fun for sure.

The first part of the week we both were busy and simply sent ideas back and forth by phone.  One theme we came upon was doing the Wrong Thing… I like the title with contrary terms  Doing the Wrong Thing But the Right Way.. meaning being good at doing the wrong thing… nudge, nudge, wink, wink..  Ashley said that she already had something in mind, both tune and words about The Wrong Thing and so she wanted to pursue that avenue.

At the same time I also thought of other ideas.. The Wrong Thing was definitely a two-step dance tune but I wanted an option in the bag in the way of a slow song.  I had the idea and some basic music for the song.. I Don’t Believe in God Anymore.. a song about a Afghanistan war vet whose buddies were killed by friendly fire..  ” I’ve lost my faith in the Lord I guess, In politicians even less.”  We’ll put it on the back burner.

While I was in Toronto on family matters, I put down the guitar chord progression for The Wrong Thing while Ashley did a recording of her vocals only for her song.  When I got home to the studio I noticed that, while she was in key, her timing was off in some verses.. it was a complicated structure so it would have been hard to do without a metronome.  I asked her to re-record with the metronome which she did and I was able to lay down some tracks to support her song.  It was fun and a good exercise in engineering..

Notes on Doing the Wrong Thing But the Right Way

I always liked the Beachboys and actually photographed them when they played many years ago. (when I was a photographer)  I thought that in this case the girl should have the hot car and I like the new Camaro’s  – what colour  – Pearl White – custom job…  This is a take control – let’s have fun – no regrets –   The song is sung by the guy who is being taken along.  The first 2 verses came together quickly but getting the others was harder.  I did my best for the instrumental but I only have an acoustic guitar and had to rely on software to make is grungy..

I needed to have something that rhymed with too  … it became the sound wooo..  I noticed that this hip-hop sound is used a lot in country now.

Note that I am not a singer/performer… so

Doing the Wrong Thing But In the Right Way Whooo

Words and music by RB Martin Clarke 2015


The base drum ….. is kicking

beating to the rhythm of your heartbeat babee

The guitar …. is picking

strummin out the rhythm in  your back seat babee

I know the way you like it

It’s how I like it too

Doing the wrong thing

but in the right way. wooh


Your pearl white…. Camaro

Custom turbo six with a five speed babee

You’re bad to … the marrow

But you’re just the kinda woman that I need   babee

It’s just the way I like it

It’s how you like it too

Doing the wrong thing

But in the right way  wooh

Inter 1

Driving through the night with your top down honey

You’ve got the wheels and I got the money

Let’s drive to the canyon I really like the view

Doing the wrong thing but the right way whooh.


Main street

the heads are turning

Is the rumble in my brain or the sound of the car

Tamed heat

the bed’s a burning

When you’re finished with me kindly drop me back at the bar.



Your blonde hair…. is blowin’

Tangled like a twister in the wheat fields babee

Your engine… is glowin

Getting pretty hot without your heat shield babee

I know that’s how you like it

It how I like it too

Doing the wrong thing

But in the right way whoo.


The sun is … a rising

Haven’t got a clue where we are now babee

Real lost I’m … surmising

Couldn’t be that far from a bar now maybe

We could do it all again

but in a week or two

Do the wrong thing

And in the right way whoo.


Driving through the night with your top down honey

You’ve got the wheels and I’ll get some money

Let’s drive to the canyon I really like the view

Doing the wrong thing but the right way whooh.


Week 3 Advertising spot

Well this is a challenge that turned out to be a lot of fun because it allowed us to go a little crazy… and it involved children who have very wonderful imaginations.

I had 3 ideas for this challenge.  The first was based on the idea that kids these days need to get outside and play and explore like I did when I was little.   So I came up with the title and idea of  Outside is Where the World Is.   I think, to a child, there is home and then outside is where the world begins.   I composed a very Disney like melody on piano but don’t have the pipes to make this effective.

It would be a good idea for the association I follow called Canadian Sports For Life and even for a fund raiser song for Sick Kids Hospital.  (kids stuck inside wanting to get out — one day they will)

I subsequently put it on the Facebook page and the very talented and super busy Michael Kelly Cavan liked it enough to take a crack at putting some lyrics and recording it.   I am looking forward the the results.   Interestingly, even in a short tune a key change is still interesting to the ear.  (starts in A Maj goes to C Maj then back to A Maj)

Learning – two heads are better than one – Michael Kelly came up with fantastic lyrics – much better than the ones I suggested… goes to show you..

When I was a kid and would drive my father nuts by asking “why” all the time.  I also had a crush on one of my teachers.. I used to go out of my way to pass by her house just in case.  It seemed a good opportunity to go a little humorous and use some animals that would work into a rhyme scheme.  This one worked out well, but I thought it might not be accepted because it might draw too much attention to the song and not the product.  (in the real world)

Creating the song was interesting because I started by recording a simple slide on my guitar  top e string and then looping it throughout the song, and then building on that with bluesy flute sound.   This was one that I could put my voice to because it was a fun piece .. not that serious.   The lyrics came fairly fast and worked out I think… the ending line was a surprise.. I don’t know where it came from .. but all of a sudden it was there… I’m In Love With My Science Teacher. 

Then I needed to have something that was more in line with the request.  I thought of a couple of kids dreaming of what they wanted to be, including anything fantastic.  I always loved flying and actually got my pilots license at the age of 16.  Also kids are fascinated by their bodies and how they work.  Then the title “In a Heartbeat” came to me which has actually two meanings.  One being the literal one and the other meaning in no time at all.  So I worked the two meanings into the song plus at the end the two kids exploring the beat of their hearts in their bodies.

I had an unused tune rattling around in my brain from my east coast musical project “Understand Newfoundland” and thought it might work.  I really try and do a proper job with rhyming and meter of the lyrics.  I kind of think of it as a word puzzle.  The right words are there you just have to find them.  And sometimes they come together.  This is one of those times I think.  Ideally for this one child would sing one part while the other the second and then they sing together at the end.

As for the song it occurred to me that the heart has a natural bass kick rhythm and I should simply duplicate it and have it as the only percussion in the song, then simply have a piano piece on top.  I think it works.

I asked if anyone could sing the second part and Ashley Hayward said that she would help.  I really like her singing style and I am very excited about what she can bring to the song.

It was the first time I ever sent a lyric and tune then received the voice back which I edited and put on top of the original track.  It worked yeh.  And Ashley’s voice was silky smooth, almost child like.

In a Heartbeat 

It was also a pleasure to make some wonderful contacts with multi talented and passionate people.  I hope to keep up the connections.  Collaboration is cool.


Week 2

This week’s challenge was an excellent exercise in composing with a voice and target audience outside my comfort zone.
I had this old tune in my head, as I am sure many tunesmiths do, that I thought could be good for this challenge.  The tune also came with the chorus  about Thieves in tbe Night.
I had no words for this song so I needed to find a theme that young teens are interested.
Thieves was too easy to come up with stealing my heart so I dumped that in favor of something less cliched.
I am happy witb the results, but as always I like to let them settle or ferment for a day or so.  If I still like the then great.. go to tape.  Even during recording I often find that some words miss the emphasis notes such as the emphasis notes are on unimpotant conjunctions.
I hope I can get someone to record this on Monday.    (that didn’t happen and I had to use my raggedy voice – oh well)

It always amazes me how what I think are great lyrics turn out to be stupid after a couple of days sitting on the shelf.

Well I had several great song ideas…not all appropriate for this age group.. Nor do I think the one I chose was right either. But it is a learning process and a challenge to be sure.  I think that happens often in the creative process, when you are trying to achieve something and in the process several ideas come up which you can store in your bank for another day.

Bollyhop version


Thieves in the Night

You were pure as snow
Crystal clean
Ah but then you drifted
to close to him to keep your cool

How were you to know
He was mean
and was strangely gifted
for acting sweet but being cruel
pre chorus
Now just look what he’s done
All you wanted was to have a little fun
But he stole your innocence

Thieves in the night
wouldn’t have taken that much from you
Thieves in the night
Would have left you with your heart

there’s a certain charm
which he uses
to his best advantage
He gets his kicks
when you come undone

What could be the harm
He amuses
and speaks your language
He makes you think
you are the only one

prechorus 2
I know just what he had done
Cuz just like you I was his only one
He did the same to me


Post chorus refrain

Did his whispers declare
That he’d always be there
Just to turn your alarm system off

Did his touch go too deep
Did he rock you to sleep
When you told him enough was enough



S.A.C 2015 challenge

Week 1 RB Marty…

S.A.C. challenge 2015…
Challenges are something we need to get the creative juices flowing.   I think being a Pro means getting the right results in the right time… on time.  We all have different approaches to our craft but in the end it’s getting it done that counts.  To me that is the important part of this challenge.
The other is connecting beacause most of the time we can’t do it all by ourselves.

I just got approved yesterday and I am doing this from my cell phone.  Kind of confusing for sure. 
I am not a performer so if anyone out wants to help me out,  it would be appreciated.


Still stumbing on how to use WordPress on an Android…
Soundcloud… RB Martin Clarke.. check out rough version for Matt of She’s the One… Just Call her Name.