Songwriters are a funny lot. We spend hours toiling away in darkened rooms, talking to ourselves out loud, pausing occasionally to step out into the bright lights, only to be largely ignored by the general public. You could be mistaken for interpreting this as narcissism with a backing track, but that, dear writer, is where you would be wrong.
Songwriting is, by far, the cheapest form of psychotherapy you are ever likely to encounter. Here’s why: No subject is out of bounds, there’s a price plan to suit all and the doctor is always in. Bad day at work? Write it down! Trouble with your partner? Lay those feelings down on parchment! Wrote a great song? Errr… But, seriously, this stuff is pure, unadulterated, full-fat, songwriting gold. Whether it’s a form of catharsis, by osmosis or any other “sis” you feel like tagging on the end, those feelings are going to find a way out somehow, so why not channel the little suckers into something positive?
Depending on your writing style, you can probably categorize your work as either fiction or non-fiction or both (Peacock alert! ~ Ed). There’s nothing wrong in being completely detached from your subject matter and sometimes this can really help with the creative process. However, direct your ears towards a copy of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” and, in particular, the line “making love in the green grass, behind the stadium with you.” Straight away, you know that ol’ Van has been knocking boots for real beneath the shadow of the floodlights. It’s an instant widescreen moment and a classic example of how, just by including a little piece of yourself in the song, you can move one step closer towards the holy grail of songwriting: A connection with the listener.
-Posted by Mick
Mick Terry is a London-based singer/songwriter. His debut album, “The Grown Ups”, was released in 2010 and he is currently knee deep in Ampex 456 tape working on the follow up. Mick also hosts the monthly “The Living Room Scene” songwriter circle shows in London.