Original Song: Teklanika

Teklanika Fiarbanks 142As many of you know, the past couple of months have revolved around songwriting for The Compañeros, the collaborative project I’m working on with Will Berryman. It has meant that songwriting purely for The Cavan Project has been on the backburner, but that doesn’t mean the song-a-month project is dead. In fact, I’m probably doing more songwriting work than ever. On that basis, I’m putting Teklanika up as my original for the month (the 56th month in a row for the song-a-month project) – even if the credit is shared. It’s a reflection of the change in my songwriting process from being solo into a much more collaborative affair, and I think the results speak for themselves. There will still be tracks that I work on that will suit The Cavan Project more than The Compañeros, but the song-a-month project will probably feature a combination of the two moving forward.

Teklanika is a song based on the book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, which also became a quite successful movie. I wrote the lyrics quite quickly and decided on the ascending blues pattern, which Will – and keyboardist extraordinaire Stephen “Dice Man” Morel had fun playing with. It was pretty much recorded in a couple of live takes. The version here is pretty raw – the one that you’ll here on The Compañeros album will be much more finely crafted.

By the way I put one of the first Compañero tracks up last month – Wish I’d Known – and that’s now been mastered at Abbey Road. Yep, THAT Abbey Road. Very exciting times – so make sure you check out the new version at http://www.thecompaneros.com/album/wishidknown/

TEKLANIKA
© 2016 Chuck Smeeton

F
McCandless went into the wild
Bb                 F
To escape society
F
An odyssey of idealism
C
A place where he was free
F
The bus called Fairbanks 142
Bb                                        F
Was where he drew his final breath
F
Lived off the land while he still could
C                                  F
But it’s where he starved to death

(chorus)
Well you cannot cross the river
When the water’s running high
Teklanika claims another one
That never got to say goodbye
Well, you cannot cross the river
We’ll notify the next of kin
This bus is where your journey ends
But the rest of ours begin

G
The pilgrims on the Stampede Trail
C                            G
Pay homage to the man
G
Most of them are not prepared
D
But they’re doing what they can
G
Two roads diverge in the wood
C                                G
And they choose the path less travelled
G
To seek some happiness in the place
D                  G
Where his life became unraveled

(chorus)
Well, you cannot cross the river
When the water’s running high
Teklanika claims another one
That never got to say goodbye
Well, you cannot cross the river
We’ll notify the next of kin
This bus is where your journey ends
But the rest of ours begin

A
A suicidal narcissist
D                          A
Or a beacon for the few
A
Who see why this was his resting place
E
And search for what he knew
A
A life where adventure is the norm
D                          A
Not an exception to the rule
A
Or a voyage of doomed discovery
E                       A
To where nature can be cruel

(Chorus)
Well, you cannot cross the river
When the water’s running high
Teklanika claims another one
That never got to say goodbye
Well, you cannot cross the river
We’ll notify the next of kin
This bus is where your journey ends
But the rest of ours begin

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