Wednesday, April 14, 2021

First Song Inspirations

The first songs that I wrote were written inadvertently when I was a teenager studying for my exams. I would sit at the table listening to Linda Lewis, who I adored (and still do), singing along and drifting into harmonies while she sang, half concentrating on my revision and half concentrating on the music. 

The half brain that was listening to the music would wonder 'What would happen if that melody went off in that direction, instead of where it goes now? What made her decide to end that line on that note?'.

I had my own routes through the songs, sort of song-responses to her music that I can still remember when I listen to them now. I think everyone does this to some extent with music that they like, even if their own response consists entirely of an emotional journey through a song rather than a specifically musical one.

It was a couple of years later when I started writing my own songs, which were entirely different in genre and 'attitude' because I was a punk rocker. I found the lyrics very difficult to deal with: melodies seem to be so much easier. Now, I write the lyrics first in my head and wait for the music to match them. If I complete the tune, the song doesn't happen: fitting in lyrics feels like the ugly sister trying to cram her feet into Cinderella's tiny glass slipper. I have spare songs in the song cupboard, just melodies all sewn up waiting for words.

Because creativity is so random, I fully expect to find myself in a place in the future where I have no melodies, and only have words. At that point, I'll unlock the song cupboard and let the melodies out. 

I meant to write about something completely different this morning, but I didn't.

Here is my favourite Linda Lewis song, Old Smokey.

1 comment:

Wilky of St Albans said...

sounds like the young Helen was a proto-remixer.