Hi, All,

I read an article in the New York Times today about the tortuous process a man used to create fresh words for songs. Having taught song writing for a few years, I was reminded that each of us has his or her own maze to negotiate if we want to be open to our inner songwriter.

There are as many methods of song-writing as there are people. When I am at my best as a song writer, I surrender to my inner song writer and wait patiently for the words to show up, which they almost always do. But this happens only when I am able to embrace the silence of pure being, for me the source of fresh words. I learned how to do this through many years of meditation. That's my process and it works for me, but I have learned from years of teaching song writing that there are hundreds of methods for writing good songs. The key is to begin writing songs and listen to feedback, first from your supportive self, then from a group of supportive friends, and then from audiences. Audiences are the sandpaper that smoothes out words, music, and delivery.

My most recent song, in progress, is called That Summer and deals with summer love. It started from a simple D-C-G chord progression played on my granddaughter's baritone ukulele. I played this a few times and then words came. "I got up early every morning, and headed down to the square." I knew this was going to be a love song--I don't know how. "To Mitchell's Flower Shop I was going, to the gray-eyed girl working there." Then I messed around with some chords for a chorus and settled on F-G-F-G. Then more words came: "Sun shinining in her golden hair. She led, I followed her anywhere. The smile she offered was just for me. I smiled right back for all to see."

Then what would happen in the story? "And every evening I was waiting, to walk with her to her home. We talked and talked with no hesitating, sharing kisses when we were alone." CHORUS. Then what would happen to a summer romance? "I wished it would last for a lifetime, but we'd been happy that much was clear. Next year we were taking different pathways, but we'd remember what we had there." CHORUS So, how would this play out later? "Last month the school had a big reunion, it's forty years since we'd been there. There was a sweetness to that moment, remembered love in the air." 

Then I wrote a finale chorus: "Sun shining in her graying hair, she was real happy to see me there. We held hands for the briefest time, remembering long-ago summer wine." I bet that most of us have memories of such a summer romance. My inner tuning fork was humming away while I was writing these words.

I will be practicing this new song this week and will perform it for our Vocal Freedom workshop on June 1. I'm sure that it has more evolving to do, but I think this is a good start.

So, how about you? Did this trigger any love song ideas in you? I hope so.


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