24 – Writing songs, it’s as easy as ABC.

I tell my students all the time – ‘it’s not actually hard to write a song’. I then show them some simple formulas and progressions to put under the vocal. I show them how to put structure in, with verses and choruses, etc. Finally, I tell them that writing music is like turning on a dirty tap. You need to just start and make rubbish songs over and over before you make something you actually like and is actually good. I then show them something that I make up on the spot and it’s usually pretty rubbish and about how the dolphins are going to grow legs and take over the world or something. But, it shows them sort of how to do it.

Why then do I find writing songs so hard myself? I put it down to a few things. Firstly, I don’t really know what to write about. Love songs are boring a mon avis. I can only really think of dumb stuff that I think is funny, so I do that and then think, this really is stupid, so I bin it.

So this week, I wrote 3 songs to the end to see how it would go. As expected, they all turned out to be a bit stupid, but it was fun.

I wrote and sent one to my mate Rich called ‘Frigid Ladies Man’. That was quite fun.

I wrote another for Helen that was well dumb. But also a bit fun… the chorus went along the lines of “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But when life gives you Helen, you make hollandaise”…I told you it was dumb.

The last one I didn’t write for anyone in particular, but was about me and applying/ interviewing for a job at a zoo without any experience. Alas… I didn’t get the job but it was close.

I quite enjoyed the experience but I don’t think it furthered the quest to be able to love the songs I write. If you want to get deep about it, part of the problem is that I’m a people-pleaser. So I think, subconsciously, I detach myself from the experience by only writing silly things that don’t mean anything to me – if I can justify that it is just a joke then I don’t need to accept the fact that it might not be liked by people. So I need to do it, love it and learn that not everyone is going to like it. I’m not there yet but I will keep trying.

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