Friday, May 17, 2013

Writing songs: "Over" and "Angela Dawn" (from sadness to reflection to hope to joy)

"Over" by Soul Ba-Doom Ba-Doom Written by Cecil Disharoon, Jr.
I've mentioned how writing a song can be a way of empowering yourself regarding a situation, much like listening to the same music sometimes makes you feel better. It's a great way to tell stories that affect you. You can also take a journey---whether through personal acceptance of your understanding of a situation, or empathetically guiding your characters through their situation as the lyrics progress from beginning to end. (I can't say for sure at what point I heard the melody, but lately it's been coming along with the words from the first.)

If you yourself are the character in the song, writing gives you a perspective to witness the journey...and maybe understand it better.

So upon waking from dreams---I was reading a sports page, and earlier heard "Rocket Man" playing as well, in the dreams---I decided to cope with a feeling of loss by telling the story of "Over." We move from the story between two people to a wider perspective, a philosophical reflection in simple words. The feeling of hope and vision that informs the third verse completes the journey of knowledge into acceptance...and wraps up nicely with the song, and the words, being "over." It seems to have taken me about fifteen minutes to get it all down, and the music came alongside it with little trouble. The gentle guitar riff is exactly the sort of touch that stays with me most often when I'm in a very emotional mood.

These reflections gave my best friend pause, as I've been writing about this sort of thing (loss) a lot this year. "I'll be glad when you write something that's not about a break-up or death need a happy song," she said. Well, like "Evolution" and many other times, the first words of my song once more came from her words straight out of her mouth, which lends them a conversational tone naturally. I decided the silly rhymes that came to me were no reason to stop, because the melody compelled me. Why let anything stop me from writing for sheer pleasure? The results have continued to cheer me since...and that's a nice quality in a song. I hope you find it lots of fun! I wrote it in about forty five minutes, chorus last. I took some time working out the chord progression, but once I was sure of the key I just experimented.

Musically, it's pretty straight forward. I had a real front lawn in mind: her parents' house. I imagine our bike path when I'm thinking of "run beneath the skies of blue"...a bit of heaven on Earth! The real Angela Dawn gave the song its inspirational who better to whom to dedicate what could fairly be called a "ditty" ?

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