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SONGS

Ernest Thompson and Carly Simon at the recording of "The Father Daughter Dance"

Carly Simon and Ernest Thompson
(courtesy photo)

I’ve been writing songs all my life; it’s a magical art form. In my Write On Golden Pond workshops, each writer is challenged to create a five-page play, no longer. If Bob Dylan can tell a story in a three- or four- or five-minute song, I tell my writers, or Paul Simon or Bruce Springsteen, we playwrights can, too. For me, song writing is the reverse process – take a theme and give it a musical shape, make it rhyme, use the meter to cast the message. I’m the luckiest guy in the world; I’ve worked with some extraordinary composers and some heavenly singers, some famous, some should be.

Here are some samples. Some are studio quality, already out there and for sale at iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and elsewhere. Some are on the soundtracks of my movies TIME AND CHARGES and HEAVENLY ANGLE, some from recent theatre productions I’ve directed. Some have had radio play, in this country and abroad; some are demos. All of them are available to other artists and production companies. Give a listen; give us a holler.

 

To hear song clips and learn more about Ernest Thompson’s body of work as a lyricist and his composing partners, scroll down or click on the links below. Licensing rights must be obtained and are available through The Office of Ernest Thompson. Click here.

Thompson|Deleault

Thompson|Droukas

Thompson|Dunn

Thompson|Fortenbaugh

Thompson|Gulgowski

Thompson|Harriman

Thompson|Henderson|Elbaum (T.H.E. Songs)

Thompson|Jaymes

Thompson|Jennymyr

Thompson|Kuhn

Thompson|Porcell

Thompson|Rogosin

Thompson|Sheppard

 

Thompson|Deleault

Joe Deleault and Ernest Thompson (courtesy photo)

Joe Deleault and Ernest Thompson
(courtesy photo)

Joe Deleault, like so many gifts in my life, came across Golden Pond. A local production had used a composition of his as background music and Joe asked if I wanted to hear more. Now I can’t hear enough. I’m yet to suggest a genre Joe doesn’t excel at. We’ve written rock-n-roll together and blues, blue grass, Celtic, country, Bavarian, folk and even rap. Rappish, white guy rap. Joe’s a genius and makes me feel like one.

For more information about Thompson|Deleault, go to www.ThompsonDeleault.com.

Find the Sun CD by Joe Deleault and Ernest Thompson

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On Golden Pond CD by Joe Deleault and Ernest Thompson

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Boston Strong Single by Joe Deleault and Ernest Thompson

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Thompson|Droukas

Joe Droukas In loving memory (photo by Anarita Droukas)

Joe Droukas
(photo by Anarita Droukas)

Joe Droukas was the other Springsteen. They came up together, Bruce in Jersey, Joe on the doo-wop streets of the Bronx. With a whole lotta soul for a white kid, he built a following and got a record deal and cut a slew of albums in the late 60s and early 70s, creating songs that still resonate today, even more so today. He came to college in New Hampshire during the war years and then made it home, but he never stopped rocking. He was part of my writers group and I’d watch and listen to his creative process and always be amazed by his singular raw talent. A lot of Joe’s songs got covered by other people – Wet Willie and Genya Ravan and Tracie Hunter – but his own voice was unlike anybody else’s. He took my simple lyric for CHRISTMAS IS A STATE OF MIND and made it epic. He was a true original and a good friend. We lost Joe too damn early, but the music plays on forever.

Christmas Is A State Of Mind CD by Joe Droukas

Buy Christmas is a State of Mind CD by Joe Droukas and lyrics by Ernest Thompson

CHRISTMAS IS A STATE OF MIND*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Joe Droukas and Peter Solomon
Performed by Joe Droukas

From the album CHRISTMAS IS A STATE OF MIND by Joe Droukas

Christmas Is A State Of Mind

 

 

Thompson|Dunn

Dave Dunn (Greg Higginbottom)

Dave Dunn
(photo by Greg Higginbottom)

Dave Dunn is an old school garage band, kick-ass rocker. We met at a wedding anniversary party; where else? We traded ideas and lyrics and when I needed something downshift and let-it-rip for the on-foot chase scene in TIME AND CHARGES, I knew where to go. The song’s called THE TRUTH. Dave and his band delivered it.

Huxster Side Two, featuring THE TRUTH, by Dave Dunn and Ernest Thompson

Buy Huxster Side Two, featuring THE TRUTH, by Dave Dunn and Ernest Thompson

THE TRUTH*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Dave Dunn
Performed by Huxster

From the TIME AND CHARGES soundtrack and featured on SIDE TWO by Huxster

The Truth

 

 

Thompson|Fortenbaugh

Johnny Fortenbaugh (photo by Debra Rose)

Johnny Fortenbaugh
(photo by Debra Rose)

Johnny’s the oldest guitar player I know. By which I mean my oldest friend who plays guitar. He played it the summer we were co-counselors in Pokomoke Cabin on the Chesapeake and he wrote a song called The Camp Wright Blues and it made my head spin. I send Johnny all my countercultural lyrics and he makes them sound as if I dreamt them up in the mid-sixties when we met and people actually had important things to say and other people actually listened. Right on, bruddah.

 

THE HONEST POLITICIAN*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Johnny Fortenbaugh
Performed by Johnny Fortenbaugh

The Honest Politician

 

TMI (TOO MUCH INFORMATION)*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Johnny Fortenbaugh
Performed by Johnny Fortenbaugh

TMI (Too Much Information)  

 

IT IS WHAT IT IS*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Johnny Fortenbaugh
Performed by Johnny Fortenbaugh 

It Is What It Is

 

 

Thompson|Gulgowski

Wlodek and I met through the irrepressible Swedish producer Vincent Senise. OCEAN EYES was a whole different song when they sent it to me to “fix.” Dunno if I fixed it but I sure love what Wlodek did with it. He’s a giant and so was Sinatra, whom, as I recall, the song was meant to be about. I was seated by Frank at a dinner party in the eighties; story for another time but I wish he could’ve stuck around to hear the homage.

 

OCEAN EYES*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Wlodek Gulgowski
Performed by Hyt Cafe

Ocean Eyes

 

 

Thompson|Harriman

Art Harriman (photo by Debra Rose)

Art Harriman
(photo by Debra Rose)

Art Harriman is as famous in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire as he is in Big Bear, California. That’s how his life is divided. In the summer he lives in a boathouse on Squam Lake, where we shot ON GOLDEN POND, and in the winter it’s an A-frame in the San Bernadino Mountains. He’s an itinerant one-man band who played with Elvis and Marty Robbins and a slew of other famous people; at least he says he did. And he’s wildly resourceful. If he didn’t invent Rockaboogie, he sure perfected it, but he can sing the hell out of a love song, too. He makes kettle basses. Works of Art, he calls them. And that’s what he is, too, a Work of Art.

 

DANGEROUS DANCE*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Art Harriman
Performed by Art Harriman

Dangerous Dance

 

LIVE FREE OR DIE*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Art Harriman
Performed by Art Harriman

Live Free Or Die

 

NORTHERN LIGHTS SHORE*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Art Harriman
Performed by Art Harriman

Northern Lights Shore

 

STAND UP AND DANCE*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Art Harriman
Performed by Art Harriman

Stand-Up-And-Dance_song-clip

 

 

Thompson|Henderson|Elbaum (T.H.E. Songs)

Dave Henderson, Marc "Sparky" Elbaum, Ernest Thompson and Shawnn Monteiro (courtesy photo)

Dave Henderson, Marc “Sparky” Elbaum,
Ernest Thompson and Shawnn Monteiro
(courtesy photo)

Dave Henderson and Marc ‘Sparky’ Elbaum are as yin and yang as they come. Dave’s a true Live Free Or Dier, born and raised; Sparky’s a refugee from Brooklyn. They asked me, I don’t know why, to write liner notes for an excellent album they’d done, NEW EDGE, OLD SOULS, and I was hooked. I got Sparky and Dave to do the music for my Off-Off-Broadway production of THE PENIS RESPONDS, 12 plays, 12 themes. I needed an instrumental for Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer to dance to in my live broadcast production of ON GOLDEN POND and, again, Dave and Sparky came through. We wrote two songs for WHITE PEOPLE CHRISTMAS when I directed it in LA. And for AX OF LOVE, I threw them the small challenge of taking the same lyric, MAKE ME CRAZY, and doing it six different ways to underscore the 30 years that pass in the play, 60s pop, Psychedelic, Reggae, Heavy Metal, Grunge, New Age. We’ve written a dozen or so songs together, some of which you can hear here. Old Souls indeed and good ones.

Listen to T.H.E., music by Ernest Thompson, Dave Henderson and Marc "Sparky" Elbaum

 

 

 

 

Thompson|Jaymes

Justin Jaymes (courtesy photo)

Justin Jaymes
(courtesy photo)

When our fabulous friend and fellow songwriter Joe Droukas died just after Christmas 2012, we lost a natural treasure, a magical soul who brought us such pleasure and left us a hole we only can fill by making the promise to keep our thoughts honest and hold our hearts true. That’s a lyric for a song I wrote with the mighty Justin Jaymes. I’d heard about him for years but we didn’t meet until we both participated in the celebration of Joe’s life. When I heard Justin sing and play, I felt the earth move and asked if he’d want to collaborate sometime. We’ve created a song a month ever since. Justin’s range is as big as his heart. When he wails on that acoustic, traffic stops. And when he sings, forget about it. Throw in his plaintive harp and infectious melodies and you get the best parting gift anybody ever had; thanks, Joe Druke, for putting us together. Kerrin’s cutting footage for a video of “You Are Loved.” It would be harder to get people not to than to dance to it and it’s about as far removed from, say, “Home Of The Brave” as you can get or “Forgive” or “Charity,” all Thompson|Jaymes songs, but they’re all dances really. For four decades, Justin’s been the wandering minstrel of New England and points south, but I have a feeling that that trade route’s about to get a whole lot wider; he’s going places.

For more information about Thompson|Jaymes, go to www.ThompsonJaymes.com.

Harley Chick CD cover

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Thompson|Jennymyr

Another Vincent Senise blind date. I love this guy’s sound and I love hearing a lyric of mine with a Swedish accent. I wrote it on the long drive from Monaco to Rome where I was researching a movie that never happened. But I’m sure glad the song did.

 

IN A GLANCE*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Leif Jennymyr
Performed by Leif Jennymyr

In A Glance

 

 

Thompson|Kuhn

Keller Kuhn (photo by Anna Ritch)

Keller Kuhn
(photo by Anna Ritch)

Keller’s in my movie 1969. She played the mentally challenged neighbor and held her own with the likes of Robert Downey, Jr. and Keifer Sutherland. For her audition, I asked her to sing something. She brought her guitar and did a rendition of AMAZING GRACE as it had never been done before. Or since. When we shot the funeral scene, she couldn’t remember how she’d sung it at the reading but it didn’t matter; she still nailed it. And nails every lyric I send her. This one’s my favorite: IT TAKES WORK TO GET LOVE RIGHT. She’s been living the song most of her life, single mother of five, and her passion chimes through. What a talent.

 

IT TAKES WORK TO GET LOVE RIGHT*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Keller Kuhn
Performed by Keller Kuhn

It Takes Work To Get Love Right

 

 

 

 

 

Thompson|Porcell

Ray Porcell (photo by Dee Caruso)

Ray Porcell
(photo by Dee Caruso)

Staten Island country. That might sound oxymoronic but that’s Ray, the best country singer from the five boroughs, emigrated to the boondocks of New Hampshire in the late 60s and never left. And never stopped making music either. He’s played with a lot of major acts and was part of the great, late Joe Droukas’s Bombers and when I heard an album of his a few years ago, I asked if he’d want to try writing something together. 29 songs later, we’re just getting started. Kerrin and I shot all four seasons in our video of BRONTË BROOK, speaking of storytelling, and Ray’s sweet voice and virtuoso picking match every mood I’ve tried to capture.

For more information about Thompson|Porcell, go to www.ThompsonPorcell.com.

Where I'm Supposed To Be

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The Journey Goes On by Ray Porcell and Ernest Thompson

Listen to T.H.E., music by Ernest Thompson, Dave Henderson and Marc "Sparky" ElbaumBuy Christmas is a State of Mind CD by Joe Droukas and lyrics by Ernest Thompson

 

 

 

Thompson|Rogosin

I don’t know what Roy Rogosin was thinking when he asked if I wanted to do a musical of ON GOLDEN POND but I like a challenge, too. We wrote 30 songs, more or less, some given decent burials, some we couldn’t kill with a stick, and did three productions of the piece and I’m still thinking about going back to it one fine day. Roy’s written other successful shows and has a rich and diverse background, and, man, he can write a beautiful melody. He’s recently started the Santa Fe Musical Theatre Festival and asked me to be part of the staff. I’ll be there, lyrics in hand. I love helping other writers make their stories sing.

 

WE’RE STILL HERE*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Roy Rogosin

From ANOTHER SUMMER, THE MUSICAL ON GOLDEN POND

We’re Still Here (AnotherSummer)

 

SANCTUARY*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Roy Rogosin

From ANOTHER SUMMER, THE MUSICAL ON GOLDEN POND

Sanctuary (Another Summer)

 

 

Thompson|Sheppard

Luke Sheppard (photo by Isaac Secret)

Luke Sheppard
(photo by Isaac Secret)

Luke was still in college when I was putting together the soundtrack for TIME AND CHARGES. His parents, Jack and Doreen Sheppard, both actors in the movie, did the parents thing and foisted a CD on me and it worked. The kid can play. And had no problem channeling the sound I wanted for SHADES OF THE OLD DAYS. For a child of the 21st Century, he’s got a hippie heart.

 

SHADES OF THE OLD DAYS*
Lyrics by Ernest Thompson
Music by Luke Sheppard
Performed by Luke Sheppard

Shades of the Old Days

 

*Licensing rights must be obtained and are available through The Office of Ernest Thompson. Click here.

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