Carmel

by Tim Stiles

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about

Dedicated to the town of Carmel, CA. Inspired by the album, ‘Carmel’ by Joe Sample (1979).

Back story:

I've always been grateful for having grown up in such a beautiful area. Carmel and Monterey hold a special place in my heart, but I never thought to write a song about them until March of 2016.

I was sent to work out of Dublin, Ireland that month and had made a note to go find some local vinyl. I'd previously stumbled across a small independent record store called, MOJOS Records and thankfully remembered to stop in during my last day in town.

While sifting through literally the first crate a specific record caught my eye. It read, 'Carmel' in the upper right hand corner. As I lifted it out of the crate I was shocked to see that the cover was a full photo of an artist named Joe Sample posing in from of what looked exactly like Carmel beach! I flipped the record over to yet another full photo of the same with a quote from Joe titled, Carmel-By-The-Sea and song titles such as 'Carmel,' 'Cannery Row,' and 'A Rainy Day In Monterey.' This confirmed my suspicions that this was a full album about my hometown. And not only that but the liner notes read it was released in 1979, the year I was born! I immediately purchased the record along with some others. After returning home, I sat down and listened to the album in its entirety. It turned out to be a fully instrumental, contemporary jazz record, that painted pictures of the landscape of both Carmel and Monterey. That's when the inspiration sparked.

I wanted the song to be a tribute to and a reflection of Carmel and have the same descriptive imagery as the album which brought on the idea. That's why you hear many references to the scenery of Carmel along with shouts out to many artists of all mediums who are known for capturing the essence of Carmel and Monterey's coastal beauty and architecture (i.e. Ansel Adams, Nancy Dodds, Frank Lloyd Wright).

I hope you enjoy the song and plan to visit Carmel someday.

lyrics

[verse one]
This uncommon, small town
Is a sight to be seen
Lying on the west coast elbow of Cali...

With a comfortable temperature
At 60-some degrees,
She’s rich with scenery
And thick with history

From Spanish settlements
Lead by Junipero Serra
And Shakespeare plays
From the 1700’s era

She’s astounding…
Once within her surroundings
You’ll find no comparison,
And you won’t want to leave

As the fog builds around
Her hills and valleys,
From villages and ranches
Advancing toward her beach

Traffic crawls until it’s standing
Where signs reading, ‘Stop’
Rarely cross divided streets

Her slower pace yields
An independent appeal
From mom ’n' pop shops
To the Lone Cypress Tree

She will *not* let the conglomerate
Of corporations wander in
With Jack In the Box nor
McDonald’s offerings...

Barking sea lions,
Cackling scrub jays,
Woodpeckers & hummingbirds
Are heard amongst her trees

With Monterey as her sister,
She is a fixture, just read
Steinbeck’s literature
Of Cannery Row’s industry

From factories to factoring
Tourism hands of trade
She celebrates with airshows
Where Jazz Festivals are commonplace

From adoption
To adopting my mainstay,
I found my way along
This Hwy One accolade...

Although I now reside in a different state,
One day I will return...
You can find me at the Mission Inn,
Sipping wine and listening to the crashing waves...

[chorus]
If I were to pick one place,
To spend Sundays
From then until the end of the following week

No hesitation,
No question necessary
I’d retire in Carmel-by-the-Sea

If I only had *one* choice
Where my heart would expire

If I had to decide
Where I’d be laid to rest in peace

It’d be the place which molded and guided me...
Carmel-By-The-Sea

If I *had* to pick one place
To spend Saturdays
‘Til the saddest day our earth’s end is reached

My decision would be heartfelt,
You can meet me at the guardrail
By-The-Sea of Carmel

If I only had *one* choice...
If I *had* to decide right now
Under this star belt...

It wouldn't be a hard sell,
The land that’s a part of me,

Where my heart’s held,
The town of Carmel...

[verse two]
If you ever plan a visit
You’ll find the kindest of people,
Grey and white seagulls,
And sunset skies unequaled

The view from her Point overwhelms
Revealing Pebble Beach
Where The Pro-Am convenes
In a contest of technique

Travel down Scenic Ave for
Designs by Frank Lloyd Wright
And find the house of
Former mayor, Clint Eastwood

Her one-square mile
Of rustic cottages, astonishes
It’s no wonder so many paintings
Have been drafted upon an easel

Her valley’s rolling hills
Once depicted by Salvador Dali
Plus Thomas Kinkade’s paintings
Fill multiple galleries

Nancy Dodds has been a staple...
And the photog, Ansel Adams
Captured her essence, so regal

Even Hank Ketcham comics
And children’s books by Dr. Seuss
Were inspired by her,
Igniting more than a sequel

She’s uncommonly quiet
There’s solace in her silence
A reason for advertisement
Of a place so peaceful

Where a gem a with gentle breeze
Meets a salty smell of kelp,
Dwells a healthily lived lifestyle...

You can read all about her beauty
In travel magazines
But a visit would be far more
Worth your while...

I’m a fortunate one
For having had the opportunity
To grow up with her sands beneath my feet...

I’m the fortunate one
For having her and her community
To call my... balance beam...

[chorus]
If I were to pick one place,
To spend Sundays
From then until the end of the following week

No hesitation,
No question necessary
I’d retire in Carmel-by-the-Sea

If I only had *one* choice
Where my heart would expire
If I had to decide
Where I’d be laid to rest in peace

It’d be the place which molded and guided me...
Carmel-By-The-Sea

If I *had* to pick one place
To spend Saturdays
‘Til the saddest day our earth’s end is reached

My decision would be heartfelt,
You can meet me at the guardrail
By-The-Sea of Carmel

If I only had *one* choice...
If I *had* to decide right now
Under this star belt...

It wouldn't be a hard sell,
The land that’s a part of me,

Where my heart’s held,
The town of Carmel...

credits

released March 29, 2017
Written by Tim Stiles
Piano sample from 'Paintings' by Joe Sample (1979)
Produced by Jay Battle
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jay Battle @ The Battlefield
Seattle, WA

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about

Tim Stiles Seattle, Washington

Tim Stiles is an independent hip-hop artist from Seattle, WA and lead vocalist/rapper of satirical hip-hop band, Passion Party

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