The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #19577   Message #200033
Posted By: Áine
23-Mar-00 - 02:19 PM
Thread Name: Song writing questions
Subject: RE: Song writing questions
This is great! Just the kind of thing I'd hoped would happen as a result of the SONG CHALLENGE! threads. I'm always jealous when the 'guitar guys' get going on one of their threads -- leaving out the poets (whether they be one of the 'guitar guys' or not) amongst us. I'd love to see this thread go to 80 or so messages!

Homeless is a natural songwriter and I, like the rest of you, welcome him/her to the wonderful world of words.

Now to give you my $.02. Often my songs will come to me alost whole and I have to rush to keep up with the Muse to write it all down. But, more often, I have to work, write, erase, work, write, scratch out, work, write, groan and moan, work, write and finally decide to leave the poor pupply alone.

Sometimes the words to a song come first and then I have to spend hours coming up with a tune. Sometimes the tune comes first and I have to struggle for hours to come up with words for it.

If the tune comes first, I record it on tape (just a bunch of la-la-la's) to save the tune. Then I put it away for a couple of days and then start listening to it again until I get a feeling for what kind of song it is -- sad, happy, wistful, melancholy, silly, etc. Then I start the process described above to bring the words and music together.

If the words comes first, I already have an idea of the mood of the song and I go from there to play around with a tune (or I go to my tune tapes and see if I've already captured something that might work with the words).

Since I write in two languages, the word-craft varies, depending on the language. In English, I'm more likely to rhyme words at the end of a phrase, but not always. In Irish, I have a little more freedom in re rhyming; and use internal alliteration and internal rhyming and the rhythm of the words to construct the song. Both are very rewarding and fun. (But then, I like to write crossword puzzles, too.)

For the most part, Homeless, whatever works for you, use it! As you go along, you'll find that each song takes on its own needs and demands different things from you. That's were the beauty and enjoyment of songwriting comes in. A word to the wise -- NEVER throw ANYTHING away!! You never know when you'll be able to go back and find just the 'right' word or line in that pile you call junk.

Great good luck to you and let's hear from some more folks here!

-- Áine