*I'm writing this as sort of a self-help guide for myself and anyone who struggles with a style of music/song...
Most people who read this blog know me. Come to my shows or met me somehow through music/teaching. Y’all know the type of music I play and sing. Mostly I sing/write about death, murder, and bad break-ups---I may throw in something about a good life, too. However, I have never sang a love song live-in front of people. A true, romantic love song. I will shout them out in the car without an audience--OH YES I WILL!!! Usually singing to the crazy vocals of Linda Eder or Bette Midler, but I have decided to actually perform a love song.
As I’m listening to a bunch on youtube, I find them so cliche. No matter the genre-they are pretty much all the same. To me, a well written love song tells a beautiful story--one that has a beginning, middle, and end. You don’t know how rare they are until you begin looking for them. Perhaps there are no solid love songs out there.
In the midst of searching and listening, I gave up and thought to myself-I’ll just write one! I got three verses in and I realized it wasn’t a love song at all-it was a “leaving on a jet plane,” “gypsy heart” type song. I fell into the trap of writing about star-crossed lovers unable to be with one another. Where I feel it will be a good song once it’s finished, that wasn’t my goal. I was no where close to meeting it.
By this time, I frustrated. I’m not to the point of giving up, but close. Writing about murder is so much easier for me--perhaps because I read every Agatha Christie novel as a child. There’s mystery and one would have to try very hard to be cliche in a song about murder.
I sing, “Ring of Fire,” in my sets but that’s as close to a love song as I get. The struggle is real. #noromance #nogoodatlovesongs
I think about Elvis-”Burnin Love.” That’s a fantastic song but not what I’m going for really.
Then I switch my thought process--languages of love. Spanish, French, Italian...I’m not fluent in any one of those, but start my research again. Came across a song that happened to be by an artist I recently met here in Nashville. Not only does it make reference to the fact of being cliche, it’s actually a love song worth listening to. I don’t tire from listening to it. That’s saying a lot. It’s in English and French and has a beginning, middle, and end. Just what I’ve been searching for!
Now I have another challenge--singing in French. No, I am not a classically trained vocalist, so I don’t sing in other languages. Then again, someone who was classically trained probably couldn’t “feel” this song the way it should be felt when vocalizing. (Jus sayin…) The chords are simple, the lyrics aren’t hard to remember, but stylistically--and the french, a little difficult. So after I get the language down...I have yet another barrier!
Y’all know how I “Lacie-fy” all the cover songs I sing-so I begin the process of arranging. I’m finding the arranging to be easy but the “romantic” feeling is not coming. This song is like a burlesque show--it gives you a little but leaves a lot to the imagination. Which is why it’s so flippin brilliant!
I’m a week into learning this song and it’s getting better. I have my arrangement and the french--but I’m still struggling a bit. However, I’m not giving up--not backing down on this--I will perform this song at my next show in Texas. (Which is in October!) I have a little over a month to find the romance. When I do--I know that I’ll have one heck of a love song in my rep.
Yeah--I know that this blog wasn’t on anything insightful or helpful-my next one will be!. Just thought if I wrote my frustrations out, by the time I practice the song again, I will have worked through them. (Which is a good thing to do when you are dissatisfied in your own learnings.)
Till next time---
Fiddle on my friends!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!