Monday, June 22, 2015

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 22: A Song You Wish You Had Written

I've written a fair number of songs in my life, some of them pretty good, most of them average. My experience with songwriting is of two kinds: either (1) songs come to me almost whole cloth and all I have to do is just transcribe them, or (2) pieces of songs come to me-- a lick, a turn of phrase, a chorus-- and then I sit with them for months, sometimes years, trying to hammer out the missing parts and fabricate something resembling an organic whole out of them. The former of those experiences is a magical and transcendent. The latter of those experiences is pure misery.

I keep a list of songs that I call "Songs I would Cut Off An Arm To Have Written." It's a pretty long list, waaayyy longer than I have arms to cover.  My pick for today is near the top of that list and tt exhibits a level of skilled songwriting for which  I would willingly trade many precious things. (I recommend that you close your eyes and just listen because this video is terrible.)  Here is the heartbreakingly beautiful and very "meta-" track by Sugarland, with what I consider perhaps one of the best choruses, lyrically speaking, ever written.  It's the "Very Last Country Song":



If life stayed the way it was, if lovers and never fell out of love, if memories didn't last so long, if nobody did nobody wrong, if we knew what we had before it was gone, if every road led back home,.. well, there just wouldn't be any need at all for the sorts of sad songs that constitute the bulk of country, folk, and blues music.

And what a shame that would be.

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