One Enchanting Evening (A Musical)| Broadway-West End Mix #FreeDownloads 105 Original Song Tracks

This is my Soundcloud Playlist of 105 individual song tracks I wrote and recorded back in the late 1980s and 1990s.  I’d always wanted to write songs, and over the course of a few years wrote over 250 songs, and recorded less than half.

I’m not much of a singer or musician – and only aspired to be a songwriter – but it turned out that I needed to play and record demos of my songs myself in order to give life to them, no matter how limited my talents were.  My hope one day is to write more songs, but years ago I gave away all my instruments and equipment to an aspiring musician for his church music group, so we’ll see how I find my way back to writing music.

This playlist is my favorite as it captures my dream of turning my songs into a musical, centered on Johnny’s (who’s really me…) quest to fulfill all his hopes and dreams in life ~ enjoy! ☼ 🙂 #FreeDownloads

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Music Video – “Children Of Woodstock” by Mark D. Jones

“Children Of Woodstock” is a music video I made today using my original song set to the photographs I took during my solo bicycle adventure from Grand Blanc, Michigan, to Woodstock, Cambridge and Stratford, Ontario, Canada, during Spring Break of 1980 from Michigan State University. I was trying to reach Toronto but the time and weather turned me back before reaching my goal. I used the photos I took of abandoned barns and houses as metaphors for the line out of the song, “Oh children of Woodstock, Where have you all gone…” Enjoy! ♡ 🙂 Mark

Music Video – “Masquerade” by Mark D. Jones

“Masquerade” is based on my original song of the same title, and tells the story of my memories of deploying to the Persian Gulf War at the end of 1990. The song’s lyrics plead, “Let’s build a world based on love, Build a world we can be proud of, Instead of a masquerade, Instead of a masquerade…” The video includes photos I took of our son, David, before deploying; of David and I at home in Germany, and at the Hahn Air Base Deployment Center before deploying; of me while deployed to the Persian Gulf, and finally of my return to Germany and back home again with David. I’ve dedicated this video to the People of Kuwait in hopes that all peoples of the world can one day, “build a world based on love, build a world we can be proud of, instead of a masquerade…” Enjoy! ♡ 🙂 Mark

Music Video – “Only Three – David’s Song” by Mark D. Jones

“Only Three – David’s Song” is based on my original song of the same name and my photographs of our son’s 3rd birthday through his 4th birthday when we lived in Germany during 1990-1991. The song speaks to how quickly time goes by and children grow up ~ enjoy! ♡ 🙂 Mark

Original Song – “England”

Earlier, I introduced you to the first verse and chorus of a song of mine titled, England, written while returning from my flight training at Cannon AFB, NM, where I learned to fly the F-111G ‘Aardvark.’  In the fall of 1991, after the first leg of my return flight took me to Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, and while waiting for my overseas connecting flight to London, England – I began jotting down a few lyrics that came to me in the airport so I could later finish the song.  On my flight to London I asked the flight attendant for some paper and a pen which she graciously brought to me, and I continued working on the song’s lyrics.  At the time I was longing to return home to England and see my family again after being away for over three months at Cannon AFB, NM, in the southwest of the United States.  I couldn’t wait to see something green again, and return to the Old World – where most everything was quaint and picturesque – with stone walls, thatched roof cottages and church spires that had withstood the test of time.

So without further ado, here’s my original song, England.  The nature of this song is slow, with feeling and reverence.  If you were to conceptually film a video of the song, the singer(s) would walk through a historic market square – while black and white transparent images of people in period costumes from hundreds of years of English history would be passing by and greeting them in the streets.

This song is dedicated to all the wonderful folks of the United Kingdom who have been so hospitable to me during my: solo bicycle adventure in 1979, while on Temporary Duty with the U.S. Air Force, while visiting on vacation, and while permanently stationed in the UK with the U.S. Air Force for almost eight years.  You have given me so much more than I could ever give back to you in return!  This song is a small token of my appreciation for your care and concern for me as my hosts during my delightful stay in your very pleasant and green land!  I’ve released my personal Copyright rights to this song as a way of saying ‘Thank You’ for the memories and for the wonderful hospitality you’ve shown me and my family!

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I wrote the lyrics for my original song named “England” in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, airport, as well as, on my return flight to London, England, in the fall of 1991 – following almost 4 months of flight training at Cannon AFB, NM, in the F-111G. My wife and son were waiting for my return in our rental home in Bloxham, England, at the time, and I was longing to return home to them, and to this very pleasant and green land called England! Enjoy! ♡ 🙂 Mark

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"England" - "Follow The Light", Collected Works Volume IX, Copyright 1991, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Released

England

“Follow the Light” – Collected Works Volume IX, Copyright 1991, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Released

Verse One:

C                          D

Stone walls casting shadows

     C                 D

For hundreds of years

C                      D

Green fields and forests

C                D

Echoes ring clear

         A               G

From church bells above me

             A           G

Through all of the years

      A              G

This land called England

               D

Draws me near

       A             G

This land called England

                      D

I’ll always hold dear

Chorus:

D                  A                G

Castles stand silent in the mist

D             A                 G

Cathedral spires I have missed

      D          A      G

As I journey from afar

D             A                 G

Returning home to that land

       D       C       G

That island in the sea

  D           C          G

I hear her callin’ to me

      D      C      G

This land called England

                 D

Is calling to me

                 G

Is calling to me

                 D

Is calling to me

                 G                   D

Is calling to me   (Callin’ to me)

Verse Two:

C                     D

Narrow winding streets

       C               D

That all seem to meet

C                  D

In the market square

        C       D

From most everywhere

       A                       G

As I walk through the streets

          A                 G

All the people that I meet

          A              G                D

In this land called England I call home

       A              G                D

This land called England I call home

Verse Three:

  C          D

A land of history

 C                D

Surrounding me

C                      D

Echoes from the past

C                       D

Footsteps on the path

 A                   G

Out in front of me

       A                 G

As I walk through history

        A            G                      D

This land called England calls me home

       A             G                      D

This land called England calls me home

Verse Four:

C                        D

Another time and place

         C                     D

Silent footsteps that I trace

C             D

Down the cobblestones

       C             D

As I wander all alone

                   A           G

Through the doors of history

        A            G

That surround me

       A             G                  D

This land called England that I love

       A             G                  D

This land called England that I love

 

My Recollections of RAF Upper Heyford, UK

Dear Lily,

Thank you so much for asking me to answer a few questions for you as part of your final project for your art course you’re taking at college.  It’s very touching that you’re documenting the RAF Upper Heyford community and collecting the experiences of people who were stationed at the base.  I appreciate your efforts to preserve these memories before much of what was RAF Upper Heyford is lost forever, due to the steady and relentless march of progress.  Feel free to use anything you see on my blog concerning my time in the 79th Fighter Squadron and RAF Upper Heyford as part of your project, Lily.  I’ll do my best to answer your list of questions for you, but I’ll first begin at the beginning of my relationship with Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds and the greater community surrounding RAF Upper Heyford.

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My first experience with the greater area around RAF Upper Heyford was riding through Oxford on my bicycle adventure around England, Scotland, Wales and France in the late spring of 1979.

https://livelovethinkexist.com/2012/10/02/in-search-of-the-meaning-of-life-an-autobiography-chapter-twelve-part-eleven-a-bicycle-adventure-to-england-scotland-wales-and-france-may-july-1979/

Later on in my bicycle adventure, I bicycled through Aylesbury, Bicester and Banbury – just east of RAF Upper Heyford – on my way towards Stratford-upon-Avon and Wales.  Just twelve years later I would be assigned to RAF Upper Heyford, the Air Base I had once passed by on my bicycle in my youth.

https://livelovethinkexist.com/2012/10/23/in-search-of-the-meaning-of-life-an-autobiography-chapter-12-part-32-a-bicycle-adventure-to-england-scotland-wales-and-france-may-july-1979/

So my relationship to the greater community of RAF Upper Heyford had a much earlier beginning than the day I received military orders to report to the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing to fly the F-111E as a Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) or navigator in the right seat.

~~~~~~~~~~

I had the opportunity in about 1990 to attend a training course at RAF Upper Heyford and traveled there by car from Hahn Air Base, Germany. All of us attending the course went out to dinner at a restaurant in Oxford one evening, and it was my second opportunity to visit beautiful Oxfordshire that we would later call home.

~~~~~~~~~~

While I was deployed to the deserts of the Middle East from Hahn Air Base, Germany, during the Persian Gulf War, our squadron learned that Hahn Air Base was scheduled to convert to a civilian airport.  I would have to accept another assignment, and was given two choices for my follow-on assignment shortly after the cessation of hostilities was announced.  I was offered the choice of flying the F-111E at RAF Upper Heyford, UK, or the F-111G at Cannon AFB, NM – and I chose RAF Upper Heyford immediately so our family could remain overseas. It was a whirlwind of activity as I returned home to Monzelfeld, Germany and we packed up and moved our household goods in record time to England.  We found a home to rent in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, on a cul-de-sac in a housing development on Gascoigne Way.  I then left for almost four months to learn how to fly the F-111G at Cannon AFB, NM, before returning home in September of 1991. Meanwhile my wife ran our household while I was away and took care of our son David, who was four years old at the time and attended Temple Close Nursery School in Bloxham.  When I returned to RAF Upper Heyford from Cannon AFB, NM, that September, I immediately began training to become Mission Ready (MR) in the F-111E in the 79th Fighter Squadron.  The unique and demanding aspect of flying the F-111E in the UK for me was flying night low-level flights over the Scottish Highlands in all types of weather using Terrain Following Radar (TFR). Flying the F-111E in the UK was a challenging job and consumed most of my attention and concentration in those days.

~~~~~~~~~~

David began First Grade that autumn at St. John’s R.C. Primary School in Banbury.  My wife drove him to school and picked him up each day, and did most of her shopping in Banbury while in town. She loved to shop at Laura Ashley and our favorite outing was driving through the Cotswolds and exploring all that the area had to offer. We also took in all the famous sights around the area like Warwick Castle, Blenheim Palace, Oxford and the quaint towns and villages of the Cotswolds during the time we lived in Bloxham.

~~~~~~~~~~

Our lives were very busy and intense during the time we lived in Bloxham, with all the demands of flying and the adventure of living in England for us.  We absolutely loved living in Oxfordshire, but had little time to do justice to all it had to offer us.  Besides the demanding nature of flying the F-111E – I upgraded to Instructor status and later as a Flight Commander – I loved the fact that David wore his very smart uniform and tie to school and quickly acquired the cutest British accent as if he had always lived in England – he was simply adorable!  Our time in Oxfordshire was particularly memorable for me as I wrote music from 1989 through 1993, and much of that time I was assigned to RAF Upper Heyford.  I bought my first two guitars while on temporary duty at Cannon AFB that summer learning to fly the F-111G, and we had a piano at home that I used to write songs on as well.  I had always wanted to write songs, but without any success ever since I was a teenager.  One day in the fall of 1989, I said a prayer asking God to give me the gift of songwriting if it was His will for me to have it, and I began writing songs in that very moment.  By 1993, I had written over 200 songs and was so completely overwhelmed with pages of lyrics, musical notion and guitar chords, that I finally stopped writing songs until I could bring them to some sort of logical conclusion – which I’m still working towards today.  I spent every spare moment during that time on my flying duties at the 79th Fighter Squadron, taking care of the house and yard we were renting, sightseeing in the Cotswolds, playing with David and writing songs and organizing what I had already written – it was a very intense, demanding and personally creative time for me and our family.

~~~~~~~~~~

During those years shortly after the Cold War came to an end peacefully, the U.S. Air Force was rapidly closing bases in the UK and Europe, and becoming smaller while taking advantage of the Peace Dividend that followed the years of the Cold War.  By 1993, I had been passed over or non-selected for promotion to Major, and RAF Upper Heyford was in the very early stages of closing.  I asked for a follow-on assignment to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, with the hopes of being able to compete for promotion.  For a short period of time I began organizing the many administrative details involved with the deactivation of the 79th Fighter Squadron.  By March of 1993, we had already packed up our household goods and moved to Ramstein Air Base, where I was selected for promotion to Major the following year. Our family then moved again in 1994 to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.  Busy doesn’t even begin to describe our lives during that period of our lives, and David would go on from attending British schools, to German schools, and then again back to British schools when we later spent six years at RAF Mildenhall before I retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2001.

~~~~~~~~~~

We loved our time in England and besides shopping at Laura Ashley, we own Wedgwood china, love English antiques and country furniture, and enjoyed sightseeing in London and shopping at Harrods.  We miss almost everything about our time living in the UK and regret not having visited Ireland during our time there, with it being so close by.

~~~~~~~~~~

When I was a child I dreamed of adventure, of traveling the world, of flying jets, and of writing music.  I also began writing stories prior to joining the Air Force, not knowing that I would one day aspire to be a writer, as well.  I originally studied at Michigan State University to become a veterinarian like James Herriot, but decided to leave college to undertake an 8,000 mile bicycle adventure around the United States in 1976-1977, before crossing the pond on my solo bicycle adventure around England, Scotland, Wales and France.  I traveled extensively around the Western United States in my early years as well as co-piloted a hot air balloon, so in a very circuitous way I’ve accomplished all the dreams of my childhood and then some.  Today I write six blogs of my various stories and life experiences, and I’m still working to bring all the songs I’ve written years ago to a proper conclusion.  I enjoy the world of social media and connecting with folks around the world on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter @livelovethinkex – and I continue to dream new dreams and live new adventures!

~~~~~~~~~~

I think I’ve covered all of your questions in a roundabout way, Lily.  I hope I’ve provided you with a snapshot of my life and experiences while stationed at RAF Upper Heyford – it’s been a pleasure to recall those days and my experiences in Oxfordshire!  Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you with your project.  It was an honor and a privilege to serve at RAF Upper Heyford, and I’ve enjoyed assisting you in remembering that special time in my life and in the life of our family!

Cheers!

Mark

Music Video – “Reflections” by Mark D. Jones

“Reflections” is based on my original song by the same name and the photos I took during the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.  This song speaks to becoming the person you always wanted to be ~ and I had always dreamed of someday writing music and flying jets ~ enjoy! ♡ 🙂 Mark