Song Wave 2 – How to write a song?

What a week it’s been and oh the ups and downs of song writing. It’s not just song writing, of course. Any creation has waves going in and out and often long periods of feeling all washed up or washed away. So there I was on day two, surrounded by words and feeling hopeful. I read through everything and got myself a piece of A3 paper and a nice chunky pen. I walked along the line of hanging papers, picking up phrases and splurging it onto the A3.

Some hanging papers
Part of the A3 splurge

I wrote it again in a way that started to make sense. And again, several times. My phone made it’s little ting-a-ling. It was a message from Rachel Hunter saying she had just emailed me her contribution. As I read and wrote down her words a tune popped into my head. (I don’t know how this happens. I just know that it will if I give myself time). I then surprised myself by suddenly singing “Open your eyes, open your heart wide”. Catchy, I thought, let’s follow it through and see where it goes.

My trusty Zoom R8

By the end of day two I had part of a tune for a verse and the beginning of a chorus. I recorded everything that came into my head with my trusty Zoom R8. I didn’t want to lose any of the work. I had been singing without reference to any instruments until late afternoon when I decided to check which key I’d been singing in. It turned out to be Db!! If you don’t know anything about music that’s all the black notes on the piano, a little awkward when written out. If I see a piece of music with that many flats I tend to want to run away. So I put it down to C.

Trying out the chorus

And then came day three. I got up feeling pretty ill so not a good start. Unlike the day before where I was able to focus for hours, I found myself drifting away constantly. I went through all the previous days recordings. What a mixture! I’d started with the fairly avant garde and gradually moved on to what sounded like 70’s pop. (Well, I like 70’s pop). I treated myself by getting out the keyboard. It didn’t help much. Dragging myself miserably through that day I ended up with several lines that were pure Disney and had me in hysterics! It was nice to be able to laugh at myself like that. I hasten to say that Disney has now disappeared.

My work station

The trick is to know that there are going to be days when you think that what you’ve created is really not any good. It always happens and when you accept this you can stand back and say “here we go”. Of course it may well be rubbish but if you stick with it and keep on working at honing and transforming something will come of it. This work of creation is exciting joyful and painful and wonderful to do.

Author: clare938

I live in the enchantingly beautiful Scottish Borders and I have a myriad of interests some of which I class as my work. I'm interested in stories and take part in a combination of theatre making, writing, singing and making things (mostly paper or textile based) both on my own and facilitating groups of all kinds. Thus my many threads.

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