I was playing some music this morning, in fact, I am struggling to type a bit because my fingers are killing me. I don’t play enough guitar and the callouses on my fingers (or lack there of ) are in need of some building up. What is just as strong as it ever was is my joy at finding new meaning in an old song.
I blogged a while back about the song that started this whole thing going. It is a song about my dad and his place in my life…still. I wrote something then that struck me like smack on the forehead (the duh! kind). Follow me if you can…. I had written this song and was feeling really good about it lyrically and musically but there was one line that just didn’t feel right to me. I thought I would just leave it alone for now and change it if something else came to me. It felt a little cliche which for me is a dangerous trap. I really want to try and say things differently, a new, fresh approach to the same idea. That one line just came out one day when I was singing the song and it got me to the next line and I thought perhaps it was just a bridge that I could burn at a later date. Lyrics happen that way sometimes. One idea may not make it to the final product but with out it you might not ever get there. ( I hope you are still with me) So…. I left it alone.
Then one day I was writing in the blog about how long it had been since I had “lost ” my dad…..the very word that was bothering me in that line. It sounded too much like an Amazing Grace sort of the …”what was lost has now been found” sort of thing. But I realized in that post how often I have uttered the phrase “I lost my Dad 5 years ago” The song is all about the fact that he is more with me now than ever before. I haven’t “lost” a thing. So now when I sing “What I thought I’d lost I’ve truly found” it’s o.k. It was what the song wanted to say all along and I just was letting other things (like what people might think of it) get in the way.
Like some song writers, certainly not all, (and not me all the time) I believe that the song is really just looking for an open door to come through. The Spirit has a way of making itself known if we would only allow it to happen and just get out of the way. Some songs, for me, are a mixture of things. Hard work is hard work either way you cut it. You are either perfecting and honing your song (working) in a really conscious way or your are working really hard to not think and talk too much (not easy for me) and just let it come to you. Let the music speak for itself. Two schools of thought both valid, but I think I prefer the latter. I sometimes write and don’t really know what the song is about until it is done and even then it continues to reveal itself over years of performing it. I love the discovery. You can over analyze things sometimes and it is nice to sit back and let the song speak for itself. I believe the gift is in the revelation.