Map Quest

I’ve lost interest in “Lucky Penny” and “Angelina.” People in the know say that songwriters should leave half of their songs behind, but it feels a little like abandoning a child, or turning off the oven when the meal is half-cooked. Whatever. I’m moving on. This time, as an exercise, I’m going to start with words, not chords. I mention this plan to Gary, who looks at me sideways and says, “Don’t you write words to go with a rhythm or a melody?” I say, “I don’t have a system.” He tells me I should go for a walk in the woods and come up with a melody.

“I’m going to try it this other way,” I say. He rolls his eyes. Which begs a question. How does a fledgling weigh advice from seasoned practitioners against her instincts? I don’t have a good answer. I’m wildly grateful for guidance. I’m seriously thrilled to be taking my own wobbly steps. So the question morphs. What am I in it for? The answer is not to be great or go far. The answer is to embrace novelty and chase adventure and make something. I’m going to start with words. I’m going to start with a conversation I had about oddball compound words. Specifically: lovesick.

It’s a powerful word. It refutes fairy tales. Bob Dylan knows. So did Hank Williams. Love isn’t always a walk in the woods. Sometimes it’s like drinking poison.

Filed under: I am trying to write some songs Tagged: ,

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