Dragonfly Season

from by Spencer Scholes

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about

One evening I laid down to go to sleep as I had to be at work at five or six in the morning. As soon as I laid down, a small repeating piece of melody bubbled up all lively from wherever melodies come from and began dancing cheerfully inside my head.
As much as I enjoyed it, I expected it to pipe down and let me rest at some point. It didn't. I tried to sleep but could not get the melody to settle with me into restful mode. Like a child thrilled with a big trip coming up the line hopped around with glee and would not stop.
Eventually I relented and got up to turn on the light and grab my tape recorder and guitar, intuiting that if I could get the melody down, then I could pass the heck out and go to sleep.
I began picking the lines out note by note and then repeating to locate the harmonies. I probably stayed up another three and a half hours before I had captured all that was there. Sure enough like a child often will after bouncing around the house on a sugar high, the melody relaxed and fell silent and I went to sleep.
During the year following I would pick up a guitar and from time to time play the lines again. The melody was acrobatic and fun and therefore unlike most of what I had been writing.
This was all during the nearly twelve years, I drove a tractor trailer. I mention this only because I used to write a lot during my long solitary days inside a noisy truck cab. One particularly hot muggy late summer day, some lyric lines began occurring to me as I drove.
My route that day was a fairly short run back and forth all day. There happened to be a lot of stop lights and stop signs on the route so, as the words began surfacing with more and more urgency, I found myself writing them down one stanza at a time at each stop I came to.
As I approached the next stop sign or pause, another line was forming in my thoughts and by the time I had completed the route three times, I had the lyrics for what is basically a poem about summer time called Dragonfly Season. I really enjoyed the lines and had a lot of fun seeing them come together. Once they were there they went into a pile of papers which is the eventual fate of dare I say all of my scribblings.

One day that fall, I was at kneeling on the floor in the early evening sunlight streaming through the picture window in the foyer of my apt. at the time. I had a stack of lyrics that I had written in front of me. And I would pull one page off at a time and see what bubbled up musically for just a few minutes with my recorder running. Then I would drop it into the back into the box pile.I was practicing left hand technique exercises on my electric guitar for a moment during a break… Ascending and descending legatos to be precise. The words to Dragonfly Season were sitting in front of me. Suddenly I stumbled on a rolling pattern on the guitar that sounded really cool to me. I took one look at the words and began singing the lyrics. That is pretty much the end of the story. As soon as I began singing the rest of the changes automatically fell into place but for the instrumental bridge part that developed later when I had taken it to a band to record and we needed a part that broke up the form a bit. I stumbled on the intermission riff and the band I was with and I came up with the strum pattern part.
Honestly I have often felt that there are more lyrics for that part. I have only sat down once to write with that in mind but it did not pan out. I have often performed the song live and felt inspired to improvise some lyrics that fit the buoyancy of that section.

lyrics

The temperature is up
a heat wave smashes
onto these stuffy bodies
the crushing air crashes

one hundred degrees
one hundred and rising
there's a dull milky haze
disguising the horizon

there's a million mosquitos
frantically weaving
through the predators palace
this dragonfly season

There's a shortage of shade
tempers are flaring
the hideouts are praying
for their air conditioning

Well I thought I heard thunder
I'm only teasing
It's just a darting winged wonder
this dragonfly season

Things aren't the same
when the weather is freezing
so come out and play
this dragonfly season

The pressure keeps climbing
invisibly gripping
the unwary busybodies
go on with their shopping

work smothers on
with no rhyme or reason
when everyone
should just sit and listen

I'm not falling out
I'm not going to pieces
I'd rather enjoy this
Dragonfly season

credits

from Dragonfly Season, released November 25, 2013
Words and music written and performed by Spencer Scholes. All rights reserved 2013

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about

Spencer Scholes Durham, North Carolina

Spencer Scholes writes songs hefted from the weight of experience, painted with hues of imagination, and tempered by the sting of sharp self examination. Softer sounds in his recordings conceal the foothills of volcanic stage energy. Currently, Spencer is touring nationally in support of his debut solo album Dragonfly Season. ... more

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