Between Songs – Remembering Youth

There are really only 2 scenarios under which one would write an autobiography: 1) There is an outcry of interest for it which implies the person is already famous or notorious with a hungry audience of moochers interested in his secret past, or 2) There will never be such an outcry nor ready-made audience for it, but the poor bastard cannot help himself as the stories and anecdotal snippets of life that seem worthwhile and entertaining when told pile up.

One nice thing for me about being firmly unable to generate any type 1 scenario is how I’m utterly free from trying not to let down any fans who think they know me by revealing something that interrupts their being a fan. If I recall something ridiculous or laughably self-deprecating but interesting about my youth which also happens to reveal times when I was stupid or naive or just plain immature, but growing, it is a comfort to know it won’t stymie any sizable audience already garnered about my songwriting or other writings.
With that said, I am actually enjoying spending a little time in collecting my short narrative essays and clustering them into some semblance of theme and order. It is self-indulgent of course, but then again no writer can be anything but.

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A Peek At A Song Under Construction

It is worth starting with how for me each song has its own story, both in inspiration and also in how the process of crafting it may have worked through me. Some songs come in a flash almost complete with melody and lyrics already dancing together in harmony; some arrive with snippets and starts and stops, full of interruptions and backfires; some remain melodies without a lyric for years until a lyric one day leaps unto it in my mind for some reason beyond my really knowing exactly why. Less frequently a small lyrical line attacks my attention with perhaps a hint of cadence, and then I try to fill in the missing pieces of melody and lyric over time.

When melodies come first, I can generally weave lyrics unto them once I’m inspired in that direction. And mating lyrics to an already existing melody can almost feel easier to me than trying to do the reverse. If the lyrics are first it is for me the harder method. But several of my past songs were crafted in that way. But I generally dislike bending a melody to fit a lyric for there is so much structure in a good chord properly anticipated and accentuated musically. Somehow to me it seems as though bending a phrase or altering a word with a synonymous turn of lyric upsets the art of a song less than monkeying around with a melody.

Part of the reason I mention all of this now is how I’m currently embroiled in struggling with a song concept that began with a lyrical idea which I fleshed out in way too much of a hurry such that I now face the daunting task of finding the melody inside it. Ahhh, such is the joy of the work inside it all.

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