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Over, deriphery asked: When you write a song, do you know you are writing a song? Or does it start out like a poem or just a string of thoughts? If so, at what point do you realize that it is a song? (and yes, you can o’er there) i start songs in a few different ways. Sometimes it starts like a poem, a phrase in my head or a wordplay that feels like a tip-of-the-iceberg clue to a deeper train of thought.
The other night i was emailing somebody and i wrote a combination of words that sounded perfect in my mouth and bounced around real nice. Sometimes that happens and my brain just thinks “nice words!” but sometimes a melody hops on and attaches to the words, like a parasite. That’s usually when i feel irritated about having to be disciplined and grab the voice recorder on my iphone or email the starting lyrics to myself so I don’t forget them. If i’m being good, i’ll go straight to an instrument (piano or ukulele, whatever’s on hand) and see what happens with the the little word/music creature hopping around in my head. And if i’m being REALLY REALLY good i’ll hack away at it using nonsense filler lyrics until there’s a shape, a loose draft of a song with sections, but more important, a feeling. If i get a song 60% done or so in one sitting i know it’s got a decent chance of surviving. Even then, I’d say 9 out of 10 songs that I start don’t get finished.