That’s Way Before My Time

Writing songs is fun when a good one comes without too much struggle. That happened in the last week.

Last January I finished two songs in one day (unheard of for me). But that was 14 months ago. It was time. I came up with an OK melody and chord progression, but couldn’t figure out what the song was about. I wrote a whole page of lyrics that didn’t really mean anything.

I sat down with my guitar a week ago Wednesday and played it again. Then I thought about writing a straight 12-bar blues instead, and started playing 7th chords. A melody kind of jumped out of the guitar, so I recorded it on my phone. I liked it enough to keep it playing in my head. In the car on Saturday morning I thought of a refrain to fit the last line: “I wouldn’t know, that’s way before my time.” Wouldn’t know what?

Hmm. I’m a middle aged (yes) white guy. I wouldn’t know what other people go through. A black man driving through the south. A young aspiring actress having to please a creepy producer. It took a couple of hours, but I by 3 pm I had the whole dang song. It basically flowed.

That was six days ago. I’ve been learning to play it, tweaking the lyrics here and there, and deciding on an arrangement. This song has played in my head about 10,000 times already. I’m ready to record it tomorrow! It’s a good one. Look for it.


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