Canonical Day

Lyrics and Music by Timothy Price

I finished recording a new original song on Sunday. Gabriela at Short Prose Blog, asked me if I was going to send her a poem, so I sent here Canonical Day, and told I had been working on the music. She wanted the song also, but didn’t say for what reason in her replies. Now that I have the computer I use for recording back, I checked to see where I was on the song. I had gotten the “Ticktock” sound for the clock created and that was it. I spent most of Sunday recording and assembling tracks. Tonight I added a little bit of synth to the recording after Marina mentioned she would probably add synthesizer. I had done a lead guitar track, but decided it detracted too much and took it out. The synth I added is subtle and it seems to work.

In case you don’t know what a Canonical Day is, it’s the liturgical hours of the day defined as follows:

Vigil – eighth hour of night: 2 a.m.
Matins – a later portion of Vigil, from 3 a.m. to dawn.
Lauds – dawn; approximately 5 a.m., but varies seasonally.
Prime – early morning, the first hour of daylight, approximately 6 a.m.
Terce – third hour, 9 a.m.
Sext – sixth hour, noon.
Nones – ninth hour, 3 p.m.
Vespers – sunset, approximately 6 p.m.
Compline – end of the day before retiring, approximately 7 p.m.

The poem came to me while I was listening to a lecture on theology. I was thinking, while monks get up at Vigil or Matins to pray, I get up at Matins to pee in a nightly Vigil after the kitties have stomped across my bladder. That gave me the idea to write a poem using the Canonical Hours based on a general day in a life. The poem has one or two Canonical Hours per verse, or perverse, depending on how one wants to look at it. After I got the verses down, I decided to add choruses and make a song out it.

I’m happy I took the time to record the song on Sunday as Gabriela has good intentions for both the poem and the song.

Canonical Day
By Timothy Price

Bombed at Vigil
kitties in the night
Matins listens
Owls
Hoot under moon’s light

Lauds wakens Dawn
Throw off covers
Spread colors
Reds, pinks, yellows
Tugs on sun lights blue skies

Primetime rise
Face another day
Lost in ironic phases
Teeth comb hair
Sad and pretty faces

[Chorus]
Sacred routines never fail
Hundreds, ten, thousand times
Begins each day a blessed right
Immortality of the whole

[RAP]
Terce it all coffee’s cold
Virtual whistles blow
Tap on keys, boxes packed,
Phone music
Plays on hold

Sext at last
Satisfies
Food fantasy
Peanut butter tofu chicken
Thirty minutes of ecstasy

Nones dear coffee’s cold
Eyelids weigh a tonne
Ninth hour sleepy time
For Heaven’s sake stay awake

[Chorus]
Sacred ways never fail
Hundreds, ten, thousand times
As each day goes by some insane
Immortality of the whole

Vapors rise at vespers
Dinners hot-cold served
Debates circles tables
World made right
For an instance

Compline pulls on covers
Sun tucked in welcomes night
Bedtime lost videos play
Medianoche greets another day

[Chorus]
Sacred darkness never fails
Hundreds, ten, thousand times
Conjures spirits Ether
Immortality of the whole

Spunk @ Compline

As a dry and dusty storm blew in this afternoon, the temperature dropped from 82ºF to 59ºF from one hour to the next. The sun managed to throw a slight bit of red on the clouds at the horizon as a last hurrah before slipping into to its sunny slumber.

The moon got a sepia tone from the thin layer of clouds catching what color they could from the setting sun.

44 thoughts on “Canonical Day

  1. I enjoyed your Canonical Day, Tim! Spunk looks like he is Complining nicely. 🙂

    Overcast here tonight, I won’t be able to see the moon. I like the sepia tone on your photo of it.

    • Thanks, Lavinia. I’m happy you liked the song. That sepia tone was for an instance. I was lucky to get it. I was talking to Joel in Las Vegas. He said they had rain yesterday. I assumed we were getting that storm, but most of the rain was dumped blowing over the Continental Divide. We are in the rain shadow of the Sandias to the east, and the rain shadow of the Continental Divide and Mount Taylor to the west. Normally storms have to come up or down the Rio Grande Valley form the south or north for us to get really heavy rainfall.

  2. Brilliant, Tim! All parts, sounds, vocal, mix are just right! Excellent work, my friend! …and how wonderfully accompanied by that pink red sky and sepia moon! Spunk was the producer right?!!!

  3. Canonical … I thought you wrote something “contemplative” music until I read through and saw [RAP]. I have heard contemporary worship music performed with a rap beat. “Shout To The Lord” comes to mind, begins and ends with a rap beat, in between sung the way it was written. And, a couple of contemporary Catholic hymns with the choruses sung rap style – more of a performance piece rather than sung during worship.

    • More like “make a joyful noise to the Lord.” Nothing seriously contemplative or liturgical going on here. I’ll leave contemplation and chanting about the liturgical hours to the Gregorians. I’ve not been very impressed with most contemporary worship music, but I haven’t heard any in a long time. It’s hard to beat Charles Wesley in both quality and quantity of hymns.

  4. ah I love it! It’s full of humor and meaning. Going from the temporal to the temporary, from the divine to the divan, from faith to sleep, from asceticism to cold coffee. It is very well done, bravo!

    • Thank you so much for your wonderful interpretation of my song, Flo. I’m really happy you got so much out of the humor and nonsensicalities of the whole.

      • I’m so happy I can make you laugh. Things that make us laugh are in short supply these days.

  5. Inasmuch as you are educated in matters of the Canon, you are a comedian.
    Great job on the tracks and vocals. I think Marina offers you sound advice!
    I adore you! & Spunkie-Poo 💋!

    • Hahaha! Sound advice from Marina. It’s actually very true. I have the depest respect for Marina as an artist and musician and I pay careful attention to, and appreciate to no end, any advice she offers. That goes for you too, Resa. Both of you have superb artistic, literary and musical sensibilities.

    • It’s probably just as well, Dale. Monks simply torture themselves with the liturgical hours. Thanks.

      • Were the monks and mystics came up with the idea that asceticism makes one more pius is beyond me. But it sure became the rages of the old ages for those folks to abuse themselves to no end. I’ll take Sam I Am’s green eggs and ham over asceticism any day.

      • Beats the hell outta me! Better them than me, I say. I’ll take the green eggs and ham, too

  6. This is awesome! Did anyone e er tell you that you sound a lot like Radiohead? A favorite of mine. Looking forward to finding out where this creation is headed!

    • Thanks, Holly. You fatter me. I like Radiohead, also. Where is this going? Who knows? But I’ll let you know I have a couple of parodies underway. One inspired by Gigi and one inspired by Resa that Resa wrote the parody lyrics for. I am also working on the video for a parody you inspired.

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