by Walter Price
As a kid I spent a lot of time digging through my mother’s vast and seemingly eclectic record collection. Her vinyl told a story of a mental wanderer and as a wee little turd alone most of the time the rock n roll, country and dabbling in 60’s and 70’s pop captivated, first with the music itself. The varying noises arranged into sonic magnets drawing me in but as I got older it was the lyrics that separated the artists into groups in my budding young mind.
At an early age i was able to figure out who were the real writers and who were in it to please the masses, and there is nothing wrong with with that last group of entertainers, It’s that I have always been drawn closer to and stayed with authenticity over glitter.
Now that I am a father I always advise my two young ones on the virtues of putting thoughts into songs. Poetry and rhymes with rhythmic qualities. I explain that songs are ‘easy’ to do at first, songs allow freedom of expression and escapism. Songs allow one to express and interpret all that is right, wrong, silly, devastating, fanciful and songs are a damn good way to say things that the mundane spoken word won’t or can’t allow.
I fully understand that every songwriter will explain a different tale, process and theory behind and/or relating to their songwriting process, Creating an intriguing song is personal, it is giving birth to a soul in verses.
“Songwriting is a very mysterious process. It feels like creating something from nothing. It’s something I don’t feel like I really control.” – Tracy Chapman
“For a songwriter, you don’t really go to songwriting school; you learn by listening to tunes. And you try to understand them and take them apart and see what they’re made of, and wonder if you can make one, too.” – Tom Waits
“What I’ve learned over the years is that the craft of songwriting is trying to take the personal and make it universal – or in the case of telling a story, taking the universal and making it personal.” – Neil Peart
“I don’t believe that songwriting has to be profound, but I truly believe that it’s a crime for you to go outta your way for it not to be.” – Steve Earle
“It’s very important to me that the words have very soft edges and are easy to say.” – Morrissey