Sunday, October 21, 2018

Writing a song

I’m going to do something I don’t like doing here, if I don’t lose my nerve.  I wrote a song last week. It isn’t the best I’ve ever written, but considering I quit songwriting twenty or thirty years ago, and the fact that I’m not motivated to make an effort to write these days, it’s remarkable in its own way.  Fact is, I’ve only written two songs in the past five years, and both of them were written at one man’s request.  The same man, both times.  I don’t even know him that well, but the first time he wanted his thoughts put in a song, his wife, a high-school friend of my daughter’s, told him I could do it.  This surprised me, since I didn’t figure she knew that about me.

The first time he wanted a song about his best friend.  He gave me what he had written down, and I surprised myself by coming up with something.  Just a fluke, I was sure, and I more or less forgot about it.
This fellow and his boys are friends of my grandson, so I’ve seen him around here a few times.  Three or four weeks ago, he handed me a notebook and said, “I’ve got another song for you to work with.”

“Fat chance,” I thought, but I told him it wouldn’t hurt me to look at it.  He didn’t have much to work with, and although I scribbled a few lines and thought about it briefly, I dismissed it, finally, as impossible.  But about four days ago, I sat down with the notebook, imagined myself in his place in the story, and something began to happen.  Three days ago I got the guitar out, began strumming as I looked at the words, and things started.  I really didn’t familiarize myself with it any more than necessary, just enough to let him hear it; then my job would be done.  Now, here’s why it’s so hard for my to put myself out there singing a song:  First of all, my vocal skills are adequate, perhaps, but nothing to brag about.  My guitar strumming is less than adequate; all I ever wanted to be able to do was accompany myself; I’ve not had people to sing with most of my life.  I sit alone in the kitchen and sing by myself, and I don’t demand much of myself.  Then there’s the fact that I don’t like how I look.  I don’t like my teeth, the circles under my eyes, and these days, the wrinkles.  I don’t even look at myself when I’m standing at the mirror to comb my hair, never did.  I’m just being honest here.  If this entry disappears, you’ll know why.

In case there’s a problem understanding the words in the video, I’m putting the lyrics here for you.

Written by Donna Wood for Jim Walls
October 18, 2018

The passing of time’s made a dreamer of me as I think about days that are gone.
I look around me and all I can see is a vision of those who’ve moved on.
Once there were children who filled up my heart, but the children grew up before long.
That’s how it should be, but it tears me apart, so I’m putting these words in a song.
     Three little boys abandoned their toys to meet the needs Dad can’t supply.
     I miss them so, and they’ll be back, I know, but it’s all I can do not to cry,
     Oh, it’s all I can do not to cry.

I taught them to hunt and I taught them to fish, and I taught them some good country songs.
Me and my buddies enjoyed every day, and I knew I was where I belonged.
But manhood came calling, and here came the ladies, and suddenly everything changed.
I know it’s right, but I don’t have to like it.  Seems like my whole life rearranged.
     We sang and played, we fished in the shade; we made such a wonderful team.
     Now they are grown and I’m here alone:  Looking back it all seems like a dream,
     Yes, it seems like a long ago dream.

Maybe some day they will all settle down and they’ll somehow find time for old Dad.
How can I tell them that time spent with them were the best times that I ever had.
I’ve made mistakes.  Yes, I could have done better, but God only knows how I tried.
Those three little boys brought me so much joy, and a heart that just fills up with pride.
     They’ll be three handsome men when they come back again and we’ll talk about good times we             had.
     By then they’ll have wives and kids in their lives and they’ll have learned how it feels to be a dad,
     And that you never stop being a dad.

Click HERE to hear the song.


  1. It s a wonderful song. I read it and I listened twice. Hubby even looked up from his football �� game for a minute.
    But that’s all he gave it, a minute. Nothing much Impresses him. His loss. You still got it.

  2. All I can say is that you are amazingly talented and do NOT give yourself enough credit. You have a bit of "imposter syndrome" going on. You are a musician, plain and simple.

  3. Loved hearing and seeing you sing this song! So much truth in those words. You really did a great job putting those feelings to words and music!

  4. I loved it! And I'm sure those boys and their dad did, too.

  5. I really enjoyed the song. You are very talented.

  6. "I miss them so, they'll be back I know..." what a sweet, well-written personal song, I liked it very much! Played it again to hear the guitar chords. Write more!

  7. "I miss them so, they'll be back I know..." what a sweet, well-written personal song, I liked it very much! Played it again to hear the guitar chords. Write more!

  8. I really liked your song. You do a great job. Those boys will come to see ole Dad

  9. Oh how wonderful this is! I had my speakers set on low when I watched the video, and my husband actually turned around and asked me to start it over - and turn it up this time! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing you sing and my husband even said that you have such a clear pure voice. And now I'm off to read more of your blog. :)


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