On Songwriters:

If you write words down and then go sing them… THAT is important shit right there. You have to really mean something to sing it.. .to, in the first place, even have the desire to make an idea into a song, and then to actually go through with it… The steps involved!!! 

Besides the fact of a songs existence, another thing that suggests that songwriters mean what they say: The repetition!! I mean, you could just tell the story, or rant the rant, but songwriters do that, maybe just on paper at first, and then they stand before a crowd of people and SING the story or rant, employing melody and repetition for the sake of… emotion? Or is it for the sake of the story? For heaven’s sake…

The (k)night in my veins has definitely been worth exploring. 

In any case, whenever I have these lingering thought sessions about songwriters, James Taylor is the first to come to mind as he is the perfect example of who I’m talking about. Paul Simon is another that comes to mind. Although Paul seems to do something quite opposite of J.T., though no less expressive. Listen to Hearts and Bones… But James Taylor. James Taylor whoops it up with more than one heartfealt “Lalalalala!” across his discography. Imagine that! “Lllllllaalalalala” he says! He. A grown man: “Lalalalala”. Repeatedly.

I think that is fantastic. But what motivates? What sustains? I just think you really have to be experiencing something special to want to embellish your retold or relived experience with “Lalalalas” and saxophone solos.

How many things are important enough that you actually involve other people (who are happy to do it, btw, because yeah…that) and then…when you all get together and realize you’re not sure what the heck you are doing…you rehearse!!!  You fuck it all up and then you make it better and then you rehearse and practice!! For what? Why? Why do that when you could just…not? Why do we humans do anything at all?

Coming to mind now is the once popular singing sensation {insert anyone with a hit here} who is forced to continually sing that song that made him famous, even though those feeling no longer have any meaning to him, and in fact he may even be somewhat embarrassed over the song. (I’m looking at you Billy Squire) Yet he must repeatedly sing the song over the next 30 years, provided that it resonates with the prevailing sentiment, regardless of how he feels about it.

Even though the songwriter is totally over it, the rest of us want that resonance, and we demand, fists pumping and feet stomping, that he sing the one we all know! Even though he may have new songs that he has really worked tirelessly on, and is very proud of…nobody cares. We all just care about our own need to experience the nostalgia we get from that oldie but goodie, and forget, or never consider, the singer/songwriter’s need for expression; expression of who he has become, not who he was 20 years ago. That must be hard to take.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: