I want to write lyrics that hold up as poetry. I want to write melodies good for whistling. I want to write songs that make the rounds over campfires. I want to write the album people play on the highway all alone. I want to write the song that reminds you of a friend. I’d like to give away a song. I’d like to say, “Well here comes a song that’s been good to me…” I’d like to win a Grammy.
A song can carry more than words and music. A song can represent one time to another. A song is a good way to say things like I love you. I’m sorry. I’m not sorry.
Songs question, answer, reinforce archetypes, reject them, comment of culture, preserve heritage, celebrate language, express humanity. A song can mean hardly anything and symbolize an era.
Songs are decided for weddings. Decided for funerals. Decided for kissing scenes in television programs. Made to jingle a sales pitch. Songs solidify hearts on the dance floor. Teach children the names of colors. We have a national anthem. College flight songs. Sacred music. Roots music. The hymns. The Psalms. A mother’s voice humming over her baby. Take me out to the ballgame. Hey Macarena.
A song got you through something. A song got you into something. A song played in the background. A song got passed around. A song meant something once that you couldn’t feel later. A song hit you by surprise. A song made you think of home. A song was home. Maybe you ran away with a song.
You needed a song. You stole a song. You gave a song. You bought something with a song. A song ran too long. Didn’t start fast enough. Got skipped. Got put in the wrong case. Got borrowed and never given back. Got forgot. Felt like a broke down song. Didn’t have a quarter for the song. Singing to a room that just stared back, didn’t know your song. But you still had your song, and you turned it up a little bit.
It was a song that made you ask her. That first time, you held her to a song. You heard the birds singing a song. You put her into your song. Your song found harmony. Your song trusted some roots.
There’s a grey day song, a blue day song, a rainy day song, and a cold winter song. There’s an out over the water song, a deep in the woods song, a lost in the desert song, a high on the mountain song. A morning song, a midday song, a quittin’ time song, an evening song, a late night song, a howl at the moon song. An I’m gonna regret it song. An I already regret it song. A what happened anyway song.
There’s an old song. A new song. Every song was born some way. They sit on your knee. Get recopied on a clean sheet. They fall out of the wind, get built from the ground up, they’re purely mechanical, they take a lot of work, they’re purely a gift. Muse will give you a start. Like a big brother push on a bike. Muse will give you a first line or a missing line. Muse is like a tank connected directly to the heart. Muse can bring a song like a letter in the mailbox. Muse can pull a verse like an itch between the shoulder blades. Muse can feel like yelling at your missing dog. Muse can be your cell phone ringing in church. Muse is a swing and a miss, the smack of a ball in a mit, umpire yelling at a horse. Muse is a crack where the outfielders don’t bother to run.
They say it only takes one song. Maybe you get to empty your pockets one day and earn a listen. Even to the long song, the slow start song, the not catchy but more genuine song. There’s nothing lonelier than an unsung song. Like a father fighting for his songs, giving what can be given, putting them on clean sheets, a solid take for an mp3, there’s a crowd in the morning for the school bus and your inside penning another mouth to feed.
There’s a lot of ways to write a song, yet there’s only one. Live a litte bit more, put a little music to it.