DJ's Music Studio DJ Animation

Welcome to DJ's "Original Songs" page. She began writing songs in 2018 and here are some of her favorites.

June 16, 2024

ARTWalk 2024

What a joy it is to perform outdoors in the summer! On Saturday, June 1, I was one of six buskers participating in the annual Okotoks ARTWalk. I had the pleasure of playing in the garden of 94 Take the Cake bakery and coffee shop. Among the 32 songs I performed was one of my original songs, “Evidence Blues.”

April 6, 2024

Keep Kickin

Some days I need a kick in the behind. Some days I want to kick up my heels. I wrote “Keep Kickin” as a lighthearted prayer for support and direction in life to be positive and adventurous. It’s a song for anyone, at any age, who strives to live every day with purpose and energy.

March 10, 2024

Dishwater Sky

Spring weather in the Foothills is a bit like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates - from day to day, you never know what you’ll get. However, one persistent feature is the white-grey cloud ceiling which often brings wind, rain, swings in temperature and often a spring blizzard. Someone new to the area referred to it as a “Dishwater Sky” and, since I love an interesting metaphor, I wrote a song with that title in mind.

February 25, 2024

Wine Down

After I retired a few years ago, I was strolling down a dock in Sidney by the Sea, admiring the boats and chuckling at some of the names. One boat in particular caught my eye. Its name brought back memories of my years of working and inspired me to write “Wine Down.”

February 11, 2024

On the Wind, I Hear Your Voice

Awhile back, I woke up thinking about the image of a voice on the wind, which led me to reflect on all the important people in my life who have passed on. I recalled the summers in Saskatchewan with my grandmothers. They were very different, but each had an important impact on my life. From these memories, I wrote the song, “On the Wind, I Hear Your Voice,” dedicated to grandmothers everywhere.

January 14, 2024

Refrigerator Wisdom

Ideas for songs can come from the strangest places. For example, my parents had a cute little refrigerator magnet with a saying that often made me chuckle. When they moved, I nabbed it. For a long time, I thought the saying would make an amusing song. Last month, I wrote that song, called “Refrigerator Wisdom.”

November 19, 2023

I Don't Know

Facing down a milestone birthday had me muttering about the things that constantly confound me in the world and the frustrations that go with being “a certain age.” And, every time I turned on the news, I felt hopeless and angry with those who are ostensibly in charge. For mental therapy, I started writing a list of some of the things that just make me crazy. I didn’t plan on writing a rant, but that’s what it turned into in the song, “I Don’t Know (So Many Things).”

October 22, 2023

Hobgoblin in the House

Who wouldn’t want a hobgoblin that cleans house in the night? Sometimes known as sprites or brownies, hobgoblins are happy and helpful, but also very sensitive. They love to play practical jokes and their feelings are easily hurt if you find their pranks annoying. So, beware! When that happens, they transform into an evil Bogart that can only be banished with profuse apologies and begging. It seemed appropriate on Halloween to write about this experience in my song, “Hobgoblin in the House.”

September 10, 2023

Acoustic Nights

The Town of Okotoks and the Okotoks Arts Council co-host a twice-monthly open mic called Acoustic Nights at the Rotary Performing Arts Center, which is a refurbished 1906 church with amazing acoustics and a professional stage. It is a thrill to perform under the same floodlights as prominent musicians from Canada and beyond. At the end of last year’s season, we were challenged to write a song using “Acoustic Nights” and chords drawn from a hat. My song won in the category of Best Use of the Phrase, Acoustic Nights.

July 30, 2023

Tea Towel Tango

The tea towels pictured behind me are handwoven by me or other weavers. In giving a tea towel as a gift, I have a strict rule that it must be used for a practical purpose and never relegated to the “too good to use” drawer. There is joy in using a handwoven tea towel, not only for the individual, but also for the tea towel itself, as expressed in my song, “Tea Towel Tango.”

July 16, 2023

Music Matters YYC

On July 3, I was the featured performer in an eight-week outdoor lunchtime concert series in Calgary’s Harmony Park. The weekly “Music Matters YYC” series is sponsored by Downtown Calgary, and produced by Joal Kamps of Sojourner Music. In this video, Joal introduces the second set of my 90-minute show, which begins with my original song, “Luck Ran Out.”

March 12, 2023

Cheesy Love Song

Cheese is my favourite food group. And puns are my favourite style of humor. So, it was inevitable that I would eventually be lured into writing the "Cheesy Love Song" based on some of the worst cheese puns you are ever likely to hear. Any way you slice it, this song could be an embarrassment to my Kraft. However, Colby sad if you don’t love it! You’ve had fair warning.  

February 26, 2023

Dancing in the Back of His Mind

Do some expressions ever strike you as strange? One day I heard someone say they would keep something in the back of their mind, and I had a mental picture of all the faces, items, sounds and so forth that might be jostling for space in the back of their cranium. This led me to imagine a story of a man haunted by regret over a wrong choice. His story is my song, “Dancing in the Back of His Mind.”

February 12, 2023

Delicious Bittersweet

I was inspired to write “Delicious Bittersweet” by a recent conversation about downsizing, and the challenge of deciding what to keep and what to let go. It’s often said that the only constant in life is change, and this song reflects on how the flavour of life develops as people and things come, go, and remain with us over time.

January 1, 2023

The New Leaf

I hadn’t planned to write a song for New Years, but “The New Leaf” fits the occasion. It’s a song inspired by procrastination and seems appropriate for this time of year when so many people are setting goals and making resolutions for the year ahead.  

December 4, 2022

Gingerbread Ponies

Every year at this time, the Okotoks Art Gallery has a gingerbread house competition. Last year, I admired a gingerbread ranch house and this year, when I was thinking of a Christmas song to write, it came to mind. I pictured ponies in the corral, and from that came the inspiration for a song about a party where children were decorating “Gingerbread Ponies.”

November 20, 2022

Bony Butt Blues

A few weeks ago I found myself sitting on a hard chair for a rather lengthy presentation. At one point, I found myself thinking I should write a song called “Bony Butt Blues” - and here it is!

August 14, 2022

Luck Ran Out

In June, we had the pleasure of staying at the beautiful Eagle Valley Park Campground near Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. The view from our RV window is the backdrop for this episode of DJ’s Music Studio. The book I was reading at the time inspired me to write this humorous country song, “Luck Ran Out.”

July 17, 2022

Travelling on a Train

While we were camping last month, I thought it would be fun to write a song that could be easily remembered and sung around a campfire. The result is “Travelling on a Train,” which has a simple melody and repeating lines in every verse. The words are on the screen, so you can sing along with me!

June 19, 2022

All our Tomorrows

I have always loved the poetry of Macbeth’s “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” soliloquy. Here, in Act 5, Scene 5, he learns Lady Macbeth has died and laments the futility of his life and the insignificance of his actions. My song, “All Our Tomorrows” envisions a new meaning for the images in this passage, with “all our yesterdays” transformed into the tomorrows which are the light and inspiration that direct us as we move forward in our time upon life’s stage.

April 24, 2022

Suzanna in Spring

In the Foothills, it takes a long time for spring to shake off winter. Several years ago, winter came charging back, late into spring when the trees were in full leaf and the flowers had begun to bloom. I've thought of this image as "angry springtime" and it is the inspiration for my song, “Suzanna in Spring,” which is about taking the first steps into uncertainty with the promise of summer ahead.

April 10, 2022

Tartan Dilemma

Did you know that the Scottish Tartans Authority has an international index with more than 7,000 entries? And no two of these tartans are the same. In addition to all the tartans for Scottish clans and districts, official tartans range from Hilton Hotels, American Express and the Toronto Bluejays; to Britain’s Royal Air Force, the FBI and RCMP; to Scrooge MacDuck (Mickey's Scottish uncle). Canadian provinces have their own tartans … which got me wondering what tartan I would wear. In turn, that inspired me to write this song, “Tartan Dilemma.”

February 13, 2022

Turquoise and Pearls

Pearls emerge perfectly formed, with a smooth beauty that requires no polishing. Turquoise gemstones date back to 3000 BC in Egypt and can be found in many hues of blue and green. Neither need sparkly facets to give them depth or make them eye-catching. Together, they are the perfect metaphor for the complex but gentle soul in my song, “Turquoise and Pearls.”

January 30, 2022

Advice from the Medium for Mediums

“Advice from the Medium for Mediums” is the last of my “broken ankle” songs. Although the song ended up being both humorous and hopeful, the chorus came to me at a point when I was trying to talk myself out of a deep funk. The storyline emerged later in banter with a friend, when I had the brainwave that “medium” could be both a noun and adjective.

December 5, 2021

Comet the Disgruntled Fifth Reindeer

Think the North Pole is all candy canes and jolliness, with everyone whistling while they work? Think again! One of Santa’s reindeer is definitely not feeling the joy of the season. I wrote all about his plight in the song, “Comet the Disgruntled Fifth Reindeer.”

November 6, 2021

Valour Lullaby

For Remembrance Day 2021, I wrote the song, “Valour Lullaby” to recognize the profound work of the organization, Quilts of Valour, and also to celebrate my father-in-law, who lived a century-long life as an extraordinary husband, father, soldier, entrepreneur, and friend to all.

September 26, 2021

Evidence Blues Hooray! After four months of recovery and rehabilitation, I’m cautiously getting around on my ankle, and am over the moon to record a song “in person” from DJs Music Studio. While I was off my feet, I experimented with a number of song writing styles, including 12-bar blues. The result is a humorous song titled “Evidence Blues.”

August 8, 2021

Our Little Secret

“Our Little Secret” is a metaphorical song about my ankle trauma. The idea came to me in hospital, while thinking about all the things I was holding on to for dear life - the paramedics, bed rails, grab bars and most of all, my dear Bear who has supported me through this ordeal. And yes, the song also includes the villain wind I was racing against when I slipped and crashed.

Our Little Secret

July 16, 2021

No Place I'd Rather Be At

My two-month broken leg “recliner confinement” has been a prolific time for writing songs! “No Place I’d Rather Be At” is my entry in the Music Mile Songwriting Contest, and talks about how the past and present flourish along 9th Avenue SE in Calgary, from Inglewood to Studio Bell (the old King Eddy).

No Place I'd Rather Be At

July 9, 2021

The Hurtin' Song Song

Stampede has begun and I have almost three weeks left of my broken leg “recliner confinement.” I was doing some research into Hank Williams Sr., who wrote some of my favorite country songs. He’s quoted as saying, “Everybody loves a hurtin’ song.” With this inspiration and my great admiration for Hank, I wrote “The Hurtin' Song Song.”

The Hurtin' Song Song

July 4, 2021

Moxie Magic Danger

What’s the secret for making magic happen in life? It lies in stepping into the unknown and, by force of character, seizing opportunity. The secret can be summed up in the three words that are the title of my song, “Moxie Magic Danger.”

Moxie Magic Danger

June 20, 2021

Stream Becomes a Trickle

This song, “Stream Becomes a Trickle,” tells the story of a David and Goliath battle over water rights in a rural community. I wrote it as part protest song and part anthem, with the firm belief that community will prevail. This is an audio only song as DJ has another six weeks of no weightbearing on her broken ankle and six more weeks of house husbanding for Bear.

Stream Becomes a Trickle.

May 9, 2021

Alpaca Smile

The Alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid (a humpless camel related to the llama, guanaco and vicuna). It is an unusual looking animal, with a long neck and spindly legs. Alpacas provide luxurious fleeces that, when spun, can be made into soft, warm scarves, shawls and blankets. They have beautiful faces, which I celebrate in my song, "Alpaca Smile."

April 11, 2021

What Would Debbie Travis Say

Debbie Travis had done it all; home decorating guru, television personality, author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and more. But her lifelong dream was to create a fabulous Tuscan getaway. In an interview on The Marilyn Denis Show, March 3, Debbie tells how she made this dream a reality. And her words inspired me to write this song, "What Would Debbie Travis Say?"

On April 30, 2021, The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV played a clip of me singing my song for Debbie herself!

March 28, 2021

Silver and Gold at the End of the Day

Several weeks ago, I woke up thinking the line: silver and gold at the end of the day. It stuck with me and took me back many decades to a young age when I loved to run and compete in track and field sports. A particular competition came to mind and, from that, I wrote the song, "Silver and Gold at the End of the Day."

March 14, 2021

Millarville Dream

In 2019, the image of tumbling hay bales popped into my mind along with a happy melody line. For the next couple of years, at harvest time, I'd look at the fields of hay bales and smile at my private joke. Last month, after dreams about the landscape and friends in the Millarville area, the quirky line developed into my song, "Millarville Dream."

January 31, 2021

Winter Moon

I wrote "Winter Moon" in 2018 – the fantasy of a young skater flying across the ice on a cold, clear winter night, feeling wild exhilaration as she is bewitched by the spell of the full moon.

February 14, 2021

Forest John Memory Waltz

Feel free to push aside the furniture and settle into a long, slow, old-time waltz with your sweetheart, a cohort buddy, or just by yourself. "Forest John Memory Waltz" is a perfect Valentine's song; written by me, just for you!

February 3, 2021

RPAC@Home Concert Series

For years, Okotoks presented a rich lineup of music, theatre and comedy at the Rotary Performing Arts Centre (RPAC). With Covid, this became the "RPAC@home concert series," live streamed on YouTube. I was part of the recent Emerging Artists Showcase, along with Ethan Collister, on February 3, 2021. Please note, the video starts 11 minutes into the show, due to RPAC technical difficulties.

January 14, 2021

Bold and Strong Community This song expresses the spirit that has sustained me during these Covid times. Even though we're distanced, I believe our networks of friends and family provide support, encouragement and inspiration - and together we will build a "Bold and Strong Community." I was inspired to write the song as an entry in the Rise UP Calgary song writing competition.

November 22, 2020

The Sweater Song

This song is about many things - family, creativity, making gifts and the hubbub of the holidays. But mostly, I wrote "The Sweater Song" about my Mom and a special gift she made for me over thirty years ago.

August 16, 2020

Twenty Above and Below

I started writing "Twenty Above and Below" after the first snowfall of 2019 and finished it last month in the summer heat at an RV campground in Drumheller. Most people shudder at the thought of coming winter, but I say, "What's not to love about 20 below?!"

July 26, 2020

Sartoria Sistas Kinda Waltz I wrote "Sartorial Sistas Kinda Waltz" in 2018 to celebrate the milestone birthday of a special friend, who is an avid gardener. I took this photo last month, showing some of her amazing flowers. The song also honours the contributions of a special group of friends who work to promote health and wellness in the Foothills community.

July 12, 2020

Four-Four Foothills Waltz In my view, living in the Foothills truly does have a special kind of vibe, and that is the central theme of this song, which I wrote in 2019. This feeling is expressed through the story of an uncoordinated dancer who yearns for a waltz with simple footwork - a "Four-Four Foothills Waltz."

May 31, 2020

If You'll Give Me Your Hand Now to Hold I wrote this song, "If You'll Give Me Your Hand Now to Hold" in 2018. It's a love song that isn't a love song, but then becomes a love song in the end. Believe me, when you listen to the song, it will all make sense ;)

May 24, 2020

Too Damn Busy I wrote "Too Damn Busy" in 2018 to express appreciation for men-of-a-certain-age who find themselves busier in retirement than they were when they worked full-time. The song celebrates the charm, humor and generous spirit of these great guys who keep on living life to the fullest.

April 18, 2020

Wine Down The Foothills Acoustic Music Institute (FAMI) organizes three camps a year where musicians, from beginners to professionals, can come together to learn, jam, perform and share their love of music. This is an iPhone recording of my first solo experience at a 2019 FAMI camp, performing my song, "Wine Down."

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Please note: original songs by DJ are copyright and registered with the Government of Canada's CIPO (Canadian Intellectual Property Office) and SOCAN.

This is a non-commercial site intended solely for the enjoyment of friends, family and anyone interested in DJ's music. Site created and maintained by The Bear.

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