Welcome to my song writing!
How and when do you write a song, both the lyrics and music? The secret is there is no secret other than an openness to catch the moment while its hot and some perseverance to bring it to a polished state.
Hope you enjoy,
Deeper Songwriting Dives
I remembered when I first learned …
To use a typewriter.
Performed to Dylan’s It’s Alright Ma
I was in twelfth grade. Cumbersome at first, and plodding. I didn’t much see the point. And then it clicked — and I was off to the races typing lightspeeds faster than I could write. The irony was in 10th grade, just two years before, my brother typed my American History paper (Topic: Should Eisenhower have crossed the Elbe River Faster?) for me. That makes me laugh because to this day my brother types with two fingers. It’s painful to watch, whereas I mastered using all eight fingers and both thumbs.
Fast forward three decades later I have to remind myself to even pick up a pen. And how quaint even now a typewriter seems in retrospect. Increasingly, I’m too lazy to even thumb out an email, let alone a text with ample impossible to interpret autocorrects — and even resorting to just audio transcribing into my phone to respond to texts and emails. What is the world coming to! Oh, and how the mighty have fallen. If my 18 year old self could see me now, I really wonder what he would say. Instead of reading books and handwriting long letters to distant friends, here I am lost in my thoughts of how things used to be. I’m not saying the typewriter was a slippery slope, but what I am saying is that this song stayed handwritten. It never got typed out or saved into a computer as a Word file.
The topic? My then boss was turning fifty, 2 years younger than I am now. At the time, he seemed so much older, but maybe that’s because everything is relative. What’s that saying: “Better late than never?” Final note: I couldn’t make the big event, but not wanting to be left out or contribute in someway, I wrote this song — and here’s the funny part: I recorded it on a cassette tape. No joke. I wonder if Ron still has that tape now, and if so, and probably the more impossible feat — If he has a tape recorder to play it on?
I remember writing this song.
It came to me in a rush.
I wrote it, I sang it and I quickly moved on. It was the final song of my first album, twenty years in the making. It also re-inspired my song-writing chops. Every other song on the first album were from the deep archive of farewell songs I’d written over the years. It paved the way for most of my second album – The Green Album – being newly written songs. At the time of this post, I am going through a little bit of a song-writing lull. But after completing three albums of original songs and interviews, maybe I needed a break. Time off is always well spent