Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Song-writing ambition

I've only ever tried to written a song myself once. I was in eighth grade and one of my teachers heard of this song-writing competition by Tracy Chapman and had the entire class enter the giveaway.  I never did find out which song won that but I think it'd be really interesting to know.  The song I entered was utter crap and I feel embarrassed that other people have read it.

N used to write his own lyrics and compose music. He found some of his old songs the other day and he played them for me and some friends a few weeks ago.  It was pretty obvious where his inspiration for some of the songs came from but others were just downright not what I would have expected to come out of N's head.  I've always been really impressed with N's creativity. At different times throughout my relationship with him, he's written a screen play, songs, picture books, a graphic novel.

But listening to the music and lyrics that he'd written really got to me.  And in the same sort of time period, I started listening to Christina Perri's music.  Two of her songs in particular were songs that I wanted to listen to again and again and I often did leave them on repeat.  There are other songs that I listen to like this on repeat because I feel some connection to them: Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson, The Writer by Ellie Goulding, I Shall Believe by Sheryl Crow. But I thought today that I would talk about these two Christina Perri songs in particular.

Jar of Hearts 

I first heard Jar of Hearts on the radio when I was driving somewhere.  Luckily I was on my own.  It was on the radio quite often for awhile and every time I heard it, I'd turn the music up and sit there quietly to listen to it.  There's something about the lyrics to the song and the way that she sings it that makes me want to sit up and take notice of it.

It's such a strong and haunting song about moving on from a bad relationship and I love it. It feels like a song I'd have wanted to hear after I found out my first boyfriend was cheating on me.

A Thousand Years 

I didn't know until I was writing this blog post that this song appears on one of the Twilight film soundtracks.  It sort of makes sense that it is on that soundtrack based on the lyrics. But it's still a really, very pretty song about love.

My favourite lyric in this song is when she sings 'I will be brave/I will not anything take away/What's standing in front of me' and when I hear it, I like to think she's singing about herself rather than about a man or about a relationship and that the song is about being hopeful and about finding happiness (rather than love) after a difficult or trying time.

I listen to these songs and I'm amazed at how powerful they feel and how emotionally connected I am to the music and the lyrics.  It's after listening to these songs over and over again that I think I'd like to do that. I'd like to take an experience or a feeling and put it into words so that maybe someone else can feel it or experience it as well and do it in such a way that it can be relateable. 

Have you ever listened to a song and felt inspired to write your own lyrics or music? Do you listen to your favourite songs on repeat? Share in comments!


  1. Oh this is a great post! I'm not normally one to write my own lyrics to songs, but definitely do have songs that have left great impressions with me. I remember having a CD by Another Level and listening to their song so many times that it started skipping after that and didn't work! I'm off to check out the links you've left for us! :)

    1. Thanks, Jasprit :) I've done that many times - listened to a CD so often that it's not the same any more :)


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