Week 44- Chris asked us to write a song
Why is it that the challenges which seem the most daunting end up being the most enjoyable. On Wednesday I caught a train to Birmingham to meet Vanessa, Jacqui and Mark - my new found wake up family. On the way there I had a lovely time flicking through the back catalogue in my mind of songs that mean something to me so that I had a basis for writing my song- the fact that I was on train doing this led to the title of this post. Some of my favourite songs can be the ones with the best riffs Kashmir, Ramble on, House of the Rising Sun, Echo Beach, Should I stay or should I go, All day and all of the Night...
But what I love more is a song with a story. Think Eleanor Rigby-‘Wearing the face that she keeps in the jar by the door’ or of rebellion, Maggies Farm- Bob Dylan spoke to the young me about emancipation. But mostly, I love wordy, melancholy songs. In Wales we have a unique word which is not easily translated it means longing and homesickness all rolled into one - Hiraeth. Its a word to explain how I feel when I think about my Dad. So if a song is wordy with a hint of 'hiraeth' I’m sold. I knew all the words to my sisters Leornard Cohen album before I was 8 (odd I think you'll agree). I listened to Tracey Chapman on repeat for the whole of 1986-7. Other stand out lyrics are Rod Stewarts conflicting 'Stay with Me' has lyrics evocative of one night stand politics ..'So in the morning, please don't say you love me, Cause you know I'll only kick you out the door. ' The way Morrisey delivered ’Stop me…' I was detained, I was restrained, And broke my spleen and broke my knee, And then he really lays into me, Friday night in out-patients,Who said I'd lied to her?.. If I was brave enough to do Karaoke that’s what I would pick its so funny and raw…later, David Gray 'The other side' and 'Fix me’ by Coldplay reduced me to tears ..and Ill Manor by Plan B could ignite a riot and now anything by Tom Odell hits the mark.
Songs have the power to make you time travel and they have a power to move you, make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Sometimes they need a video to tell the story.. Sam Smith's video for 'I'm not the only one' is a very moving example and my all time favourite video 'Feel' with Robbie and Daryl Hannah even though I'm not a huge fan of Robbie is also like a mini movie and is so sexy...
In the last ten years I have fallen hook, line and sinker for the poetic ramblings of Guy Garvey, I just think his way of songwriting is genius. I have been lucky enough to see them live a few times and mostly they have moved me to tears in a good way- I spied him once having a smoke behind some bins before a gig. He is so ordinary but with such an extraordinary talent for writing modern day poetry to wonderful melodies.
Here are some of his lyrics that stand out to me and that have meant things to me.
You know you drive me up the wall, I need to see your face is all, You little sod, I love your eyes, be everything to me tonight.
So yes I’m asking you to back a horse that’s good for glue…
I’m acting like i haven’t dreamt of you and i and marriage in an orange grove
We got open arms for broken hearts
So Guy if you and I weren’t already taken, and if you wanted to, you could woo me no end with these lyrics. Sigh...
So my song needs to be all of these things but may end up being none of them. Chris said write one, he didn’t say it had to be a good one
So here goes ….
Hello you, hello me.
Here I am hanging on to a cold coffee cup
Aboard a train a new day up
a hint of a smile upon my lips
where is me
the old me
hello new day
waking up is the new thing
ever day with time to sing
smiling with meaning
connecting with feeling
My step has a new spring
possibilities have a new ring
deliver me from switching off
this journeys slowly taking off