Friday, June 12, 2009

New Song Time

I'm pretty excited about this new song that I started writing yesterday. It's one of those songs that are my favorite kinds to write. It's what I call a "list" song. That means that each verse is a unit on a list in my head. Hmmm.. That's not very clear is it?

It starts with a general premise. This one came up the other night, when I was hanging out at The Sierra Grille (a local establishment here in Northampton, Mass.). My friend, Ed, walked in and when I told him it was Max's birthday, he replied that Max looks exactly the same as the first time he'd seen him many years ago. I pointed out that Ed looks the same to me as he did ten years ago. I said, "People you see regularly never grow old".

So now, I'm working on this new song and it's a list song in the same format that Bob Dylan employed to make his list songs. Each verse ends with the line, ""People you see regularly never grow old". That means that the line before that one ends with a word that rhymes with "old". There are a lot: bold, cold, fold, gold, hold, mold, polled, rolled, sold, told etc. Preceding those two lines are two lines that rhyme with each other. So now all I have to do is think up a bunch of couplets. This is a prime activity for walking. When I'm walking around outside, I seem able to come up with clever word play better than when I am sitting with my guitar and a pen. I jotted down a few quick ideas but now they have to be molded into lines with good rhythm and fun word-use and proper pronunciation, and vivid imagery. This process, which involves sliding words around here and there, flipping sentences backwards, and searching for a fluid combination of meaning, sounds, and rhyme, is best done while I'm walking around.

Here's an example of one stanza in it's somewhat infant form. It was rougher before I took a walk to get a sandwich. Now it's a bit better, but it's still not j-j-j-just right.

It's strange to see you in a place so out of place.
I'm looking for you beneath your grown-up face.
Wouldn't have known it was you if I hadn't been told.
People you hang out with never grow old.
People you see regularly never grow old.

Now I'll spend the next few weeks with this song flitting around in my head. I'll be trimming and adding and trying to mold it. I can't wait.

1 comment:

Rick M said...

Great idea. And you don't look a day older than earlier this week.