I Built a Great Bridge

by @beacon @stephenwordsmith

Liner Notes

Ken: Every FAWM or 50/90, I need (in a visceral sense) to set some of the lyrics of @stephenwordsmith to music. When I read these lyrics (https://fiftyninety.fawm.org/songs/1507), I just knew that it would fit my full on bardic sense with some sweeping vocals. I threw together this rough recording, as I just wanted to get something out before I left for a few days.
#ukulele #collab #guy_with_ukulele #acoustic_one_take


I [I] built a great bridge that went [iii] nowhere
Un[IV]sure if by [vi] chance or des[V7]ign
With [ii] sturdy foundations and [iii7] strongest intentions
And [IV] small inter[ii]vention di[V7]vine

It [I] rose in an arc like a [iii] seagull
With a [ii] tumbling tumultuous [V7] vault
And [ii] handsomely spanned every [I] hole in the land
Then it [ii] came, as if [IV] planned, to a [V7] halt

Yes, I [I] built a great bridge that went [iii7] nowhere
But I [ii] tell you it's [V7] nobody's [I] fault

I [I] built a great temple with [iii] one wall
To [ii] lift up the [vi] spirits with[V7]in
With [ii] visions so brave of a [iii7] chancel and nave
For for[IV]giving the [ii] gravest of [V7] sin

But [I] anyone seeking its [iii] comfort
Would [ii] find themselves tied in a [V7] knot
And [ii] certainly falter en [I] route to the alter
For [ii] wall-to-wall [IV] this place was [V7] not

Yes, I [I] built a great temple with [iii7] one side
But [ii] not cause I [V7] simply for[I]got

And [ii] not every bud will [iii] become a red rose
And [vi] not every egg a white [iii] swan
A [I] seed if its lucky be[iii]comes a [ii] wild wood
But most are soon windswept and [V] gone
And [ii] not every effort be[vi]comes a re[ii]ward
And [ii] not every word becomes [iii] wise
And [I] not every listener will [iii] see the song [IV] through
Un[ii]til its untimely de[V7sus4]mise [V7]

I [I] built a great fire that soon [iii] sputtered
Though [IV] blazed for a [vi] moment so [V7] clear
And [ii] in that brave second the [iii7] kindler reckoned
Its [IV] light beckoned [ii] all to come [V7] near

And [I] keep yourself warm with the [iii] promise
Of [ii] something so brilliant to [V7] come
To an [ii] ear they would lend to a [I] hopeful old friend
Who'd [ii] stave off the [IV] cold and the [V7] numb

Yes, I [I] built a great fire that soon [iii7] sputtered
But in [ii] dying, was a beacon to [V7] some

Yes, I [I] built a great temple with [iii7] one side

Yes, I [I] built a great bridge that went [iii7] nowhere
But I [ii] tell you it's [V7] nobody's [I] fault


I think this is the perfect treatment for this thought-provoking lyric. And it's so easy to listen to. Nice work.


“It rose in an arc like a seagull” The way you sing this Beacon🎶sounds amazing! Sweet honey vocals singing Shakespearean words. Lovely collab!


The bard came and left us with a great insight. So happy that you decided to build bridges made of words and not of stone. They didn't went nowhere - That's for sure! I had to listen twice to get the meaning and the music both. Great collaboration!


It's always interesting to listen to a performance of words one wrote oneself. There were a few feelings involved going into this one - frustration, mainly, with a bit of wryness and some self-reflection and insight. Your delivery, I think, emphasises the last of the three; it's the gentle wisdom that shines through in the piece.

Funnily enough, I also found myself losing the words in the performance. I think it's partly because the singer exudes more confidence than the lyricist regarding what's going on - I found myself carried softly along from start to finish, despite the fact that the song is all about things coming to abrupt halts.

Beautiful demo - thank you, as ever, for thinking of me.


Very deep lyrics and @beacon has woven his musically style to create a memorable piece of musically fabric.


Bardic is definitely the word! And this is beautifully sung, fitting the lyrics perfectly. Nice collaboration!


Such a brilliant marriage of music and lyrics creating a timeless gorgeous ballad. The poetic use of language is absolutely gorgeous and the beautiful melody is so wonderfully delivered by those lovely clear tender vocals. Love love love this!


this is the pinaccle of words and music together. i had to listen twice, as i was so swept away by the singing the first time that i had to listen aagain to fully appreciate stephens inspired poetry, there are plenty of exquisite phrases throughout, but the bridge takes the prize for its wisdom,


Thought provoking lyrics set to appropriately bardic music. The sentiment is witty and enlightening!


Classic folksong feel to this in beacon's capable hands. A suitable setting for such strong syllables!