Track 11 Dreaming Out Loud

Magnetic Poetry: The speechless stormy poet captain….

Recording and Mixing Dates: Recorded January 17, 18, and February 15, 2010. Mixed March 15, 2016.



Genesis: In 1993 I read Alan Lomax’s book, The Land Where the Blues Began. Lomax chronicled his field recordings in the Deep South. Somewhere inside that book a bluesman stated that when he made up his blues songs he was “dreaming out loud.” I wrote that phrase in my bedside notebook and on January 27, 1994 I wrote the first draft of this song. I revised the lyrics February 14, 1994, August 7, 2007, and January 10, 2010.

The song contains some autobiographical details along with imagined moments. Songwriting came hard for me. I tried writing songs in college and got nowhere. I didn’t write my first “good” song until 1972, when I was in Saigon. (In retrospect, the song isn’t much but it does have a hook.)  During law school more songs came out of me. Once I connected with Theresa, she became my muse. Some forty years later I am still awed by the workings of the mind. There is a blank piece of paper (or a blank word processing screen) one moment and minutes or hours later, there is something new to the world. To pick up a guitar and aimlessly strum chords and THEN find a melody coming to life, that is amazing. My life truly changed when I began dreaming out loud.

Production: Bass guitar, drums, electric 12-string guitars, organ.



He picked up the wood and wire

And tried to make it sing.

He got muffled squeaks and buzzes

And teenage blood on the strings

But he kept on pressing the flesh

Till mind and muscle began to mesh

Then he closed his eyes

Then he closed his eyes

Then he closed his eyes

And turned to a phantom crowd

He committed himself

To Dreaming Out Loud


He listened to long-dead bluesmen

And learned to play along

He wrote love songs for his girlfriend

But he knew something was wrong

So he tore up and twisted a phrase

Threaded words through a porcupine maze.

Then he closed his eyes

Then he closed his eyes

Then he closed his eyes

And danced with a distant cloud

He knew that he’d started

Dreaming Out Loud



Dreaming Out Loud

Revealing your self

Dancing on the high wire

Dreaming Out Loud

Words tumble down

Mind and tongue on fire


He keeps a small blue notebook

That he fills with titles and lines

When the spirit comes he hears a hum

Sound and rhythm meet in his mind

He never knows where it will lead

Wild horses in a mad stampede

He just closes his eyes

He just closes his eyes

He just closes his eyes

And sings to a face in the crowd

He’s a million miles away

Dreaming Out Loud


When he picks up the wood and wire

His hands know where to go

He can make it cry, he can make it moan

Make it whisper soft and low

With the tools and tricks of the trade

Secret tunings and licks that he’s made

But when he closes his eyes

When he closes his eyes

When he closes his eyes

And turns to the waiting crowd

It’s like the first time he tried

Dreaming Out Loud

It’s like the first time he tried

Dreaming Out Loud


January 27, 1994

Revised February 14, 1994

Revised August 7, 2007

Revised January 2010

© 2016 by Fred Grittner  All Rights Reserved

Track 11 Dreaming Out Loud

2 thoughts on “Track 11 Dreaming Out Loud

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