Tuesday, June 18, 2013

To write a song

I used to write the occasional song back in the 70's and 80's.  Some of them were pretty good, most were not.  I remember the feeling of the words and tune coming to me at the same time, and I recall the thrill of putting it together and singing it through for the first time, making it work.  The feeling of accomplishment was a rush, a genuine high.
Then I got older and lost my motivation and stopped singing any of my songs, except when the occasional visitor asked to hear one.  I actually stopped singing and playing my guitar at all.  I had lost my motivation.  Life was good, but I am so anti-social that I had nobody to jam with and no reason for singing.  Somehow if nobody hears, it doesn't matter.  You know, the old "If a tree falls in the forest..." thing.
Then we started going to a little church in town and somebody remembered that I used to sing, so I got out my neglected Gibson guitar, dusted off the old thirty-year-old songs I wrote, and sang.  The first time I was so nervous I was shaking; it had been too many years.
I have probably sung a half-dozen of my songs at church, and I don't get nervous now, at least not too much.  Those songs will go to the grave with me, so it makes me happy that a few people are hearing some of them again before I die.
So this morning as I was talking to God I said, "I wonder if I have another song left in me.  It was fun, writing songs."
He had no comment, He never does.  He just listens.
While I was doing the morning chores, some random lines came to me about milking cows and feeding chickens and the simple life in general.  I might have been able to do something with the lines, but my mind, as it so often does, got side-tracked.
"Wait," I said to myself, "John Prine wrote some song like that."
I could not for the life of me, however, think of the tune to the song or any of the words.  All I recalled was that there was a topless waitress and the guy runs off with her and they eat peaches and find Jesus... and that I really liked the song.  Hmmm.
So I went to Google, typed in "John Prine song about eating peaches", and there it was:  "Spanish Pipedream".  I found it on my Ipod, which plays through the speakers of my Bose, and turned it up loud.  It made my day.  So no, I didn't write a song.  But I played one that will keep me smiling all day.  If anybody would inspire me to write songs, it would be John Prine.

She was a level-headed dancer on the road to alcohol
And I was just a soldier on my way to montreal
Well she pressed her chest against me
About the time the juke box broke
Yeah, she gave me a peck on the back of the neck
And these are the words she spoke

Blow up your t.v. throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find jesus on your own

Well, I sat there at the table and I acted real naive
For I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve
Well, she danced around the bar room and she did the hoochy-coo
Yeah she sang her song all night long, tellin' me what to do

Repeat chorus:

Well, I was young and hungry and about to leave that place
When just as I was leavin', well she looked me in the face
I said "you must know the answer."
"she said, "no but I'll give it a try."
And to this very day we've been livin' our way
And here is the reason why

We blew up our t.v. threw away our paper
Went to the country, built us a home
Had a lot of children, fed 'em on peaches
They all found jesus on their own


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Great inspiration for your day there. Living the simple life can't be beat. I'm hoping you find that song of your own and write it.


A little inspiration on the way to finding your own words to sing about.

Jon said...

I'm sure you still have many songs waiting to be sung. I never heard of John Prine but I like his song and it does tend to keep me smiling.