Well we all do know the answer to this - it's a song that we like. In part this explains why there are songs written that we don't like too. It is subjective and gladly so. But you know that band, guy, girl that you are really into - you have all their CDs - they sell zillions of them - well how the hell did they ever release that last CD that was just rubbish!!! Yep they all do it. But how does it happen when they are so talented, have access to the best producers, friends in the business etc. Prolly a combination of a record company telling them they had to release a new CD by Xmas, the fact that they are a songwriter/performer and feel like they should be writing new material, and a bunch of friends who weren't honest with them and didn't tell them their new stuff was BAD!
In the mid nineties i was fortunate and smart enough to go to a John Denver concert in Australia - as it worked out his last tour of this country, and he told a story about songwriting and how it can be a difficult and complex road. Now he may have made up the story, and i may well embellish it a little from my memory of it, but here it is. John said that one day he was out riding his horse in the Rocky Mountain (yeah well he would wouldn't he :) ) when into his head came a melody - da da da da da da do do do do do do - and then some lyrics - you fill up my senses like a night in a forest da da da da do do do do. He turned and headed for home all the while singing the melody over and over to himself so he wouldn't forget it. And yes he had to slay dragons and cross flooded rivers to get home, and well yes he did make it seem like he was actually riding all the way back from the Appalachians, but his point was well made :).
Finally he gets home. Rushes inside and heads down/up to his home studio where he works diligently and euphorically on his new song. Some hours later he wanders down/up stairs seeking out his wife. Hey baby he says, do you wanna hear my new song? Well sure munchkin i'd love to - after i've finished the dishes and brought the washing in. John fiddles and paces the floor. Finally his time has come. Sit down baby and get comfortable he says. He begins -
You fill up my senses like a night in a forest
Like the mountains in springtime, like a walk in the rain
Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean
You fill up my senses come fill me again.
Yes the wonderful Annie's Song had had its first airing.
What do you think of it John eagerly asked.
It's not bad, but it's not one of your best Annie replied. OMG hehehe.
Whether you/we/i/Annie like Annie's Song or John Denver's music isn't the point because i think the point is more like this - at some point there isn't a song and then there is. And somehow from the moment when the first da da da or melody came to the writers head they found their way through the labyrinth of things that can go wrong (most of all amongst these things your partner not liking the song) and made it onto a CD and onto radio and into our lives.
And i am so happy that they do that i will forgive the other songwriting process that somehow lets really bad songs make it onto CDs and radio as well.
Part 2 of this blog entry will be about how SOAR write songs and make their way through this labyrinth. Stay tuned and thanks for reading.