Dissecting the Lyrics
People often ask, How do you write your songs? Well, my little birds, let me tell you. There are 2 main reasons I sit down at my piano or pick up my ukulele.
One is from inspiration. I hear a phrase or a word, or I think of a line out of the blue. That's my base, title, or the general concept for the song and I'll develop the story from there.
Just a couple weeks go I was watching a foreign show on Netflix, and even though I've heard this phrase countless times before, for some reason having it displayed as a subtitle made me immediately pause and run to a blank piece of paper: Sad, but true.
Oh, it's sad, but true
We never had room to grow
With all of the world at our toes
And even though
I know, a thousand times you told
Darlin' I miss you the most
But here I stand on my own
Here's your promise and broken bones
Here's the reason I can't sleep tonight
'Cause you're with her and you're sleeping fine
I have a multitude of melodies and lyrics in the ether, but they don't always make it to completion. (This one has come close, but needs tweaking.) Often, I can't feel as though a song is finished unless there is an emotional component to it. I may exaggerate some feelings (ie: crush to lust, annoyance to hate, etc., or even vice versa: powerful to mediocre) but they all come from a very real place.
Which leads me into the second reason I sit down and stare at a blank piece of paper: I have an overwhelming emotion and/or I feel nothing at all (and need to work it out).
Typically the pieces I write become incredibly therapeutic. There have been times where I start lyrics or a melody or a chord progression and I don't know where it's going or where it's coming from. It will literally take me until it's halfway written before I realize, "Oooooh, this is about that. Oh shit. I guess that's how I feel then.... Maybe I need a drink." But instead of drinking, I just finish the song.
This particular overwhelming emotion had me punching things out of anger (soft things, I ain't dumb):
No hint or warning
Damage still unknown
Casualties are rising
And I'm so far from home
Last call for salvation, is my name on your lips?
If this is what it takes to live
If this is who I am
I can't tell you how many times I have either A) Not been able to play a new song the whole way through because I keep breaking down to cry, or B) Can't keep playing because I am physically jumping for joy with how excited and proud I am of what I've written.
These words are my rants; my journal entries; my advice to myself; my dreams; my release.
What's your release?