I posted on Facebook yesterday that I had a new song brewing and quite quickly got a ton of excited responses, which makes me feel like I should have waited til I knew how it would turn out.
I have friends in business that are always talking about new business starts – the assumption is that some work out and many don’t. It’s the same with songs. This one started with some considerable energy but quickly turned from a happy mountain stream to a slow sliding mud slough. Sigh… I only really got as far as a first draft of a verse. This was a day’s work:
Why do we toss about
And trouble with trifles
Why bother to glory
In honour and dress
Why so enamoured by trinkets and treasures
(Lord) that which you cherish
in our hearts impress
(It’s better with music – think traditional sounding folk/country.) Yup – that’s a day’s work – except for the break to write about it on Facebook – and maybe a couple of Twitters throughout the day. Gotta stay on top of the Twitters ya know.
I haven’t written much in the last few years. I don’t know why really, but it does bother me quite a bit. Everything sounds like something I (or someone else) have written before. So I had this idea in the middle of the night that perhaps I should post this new song unfinished on the net as an ‘open source’ song – let folks add or detract as they will and see what happens. That might be fun, and might even produce something delightfully surprising.
I’ll think about it (not sure how I’d deal with the legal battles over the tens of dollars of royalty earnings.)
So then, last night while walking Crazy Daisy (our Jack Russell terrier) a Gillian Welch song came up on my ipod. I know the song well enough but had forgotten this little gem and it helped me remember why we keep fighting for songs. It’s for those delightful turns of phrases, subtle, unanticipated shifts in chord structure or melodic trajectory. It’s these little nuances that remind us of mystery and re-awaken our sense of adventure for those happy surprises yet to be found in the midst of routine. These remind us there are endless layers of nuance and meaning to be mined that are so worth the effort. That in turn, reawakens our sense of anticipation in all things – in our work, our leisure, spouses, parents, friends, encounters with nature etc.
One Little Song by Gillian Welch – Album: Soul Journey
There’s gotta be a song left to sing
Cause everybody can’t ‘a thought of everything
One little song that ain’t been sung
One little rag that ain’t been wrung out completely yet
– that’s gotta little left
One little drop of fallin’ rain
One little chance to try again
One little bird that makes it home every now and then
One little piece of endless sky
One little taste of cherry pie
One little week in paradise and I start thinkin’…
There’s gotta be a song left to sing
Cause everybody can’t a thought of everything
One little note that ain’t been used
One little word that ain’t been abused a thousand times
In a thousand rhymes
One little drop of fallin’ rain…
(It’s better with music – think folk/country)
Anyway – enough about that. I need to go pack. Tomorrow at 4am I leave on a road trip with my son Micah to go collect the belongings he left in London On. when he moved back home earlier this spring. We’ll drive both ways through the States (46 hours in total) and on the way back take in a day of the Lollapalooza rock festival in Chicago. Micah is perhaps more excited about the festival than I am, but it’ll be fun to hang with the lad and listen to bands like Ben Folds Five, Fleet Foxes and The Kings of Leon.
When we get back, my daughter Sarah and grandson Luca will be here for a visit. Did I mention I have a grandson? No? Turns out I have a picture handy! 🙂