How long does it take to write a song? 4 Years? Thankfully, most songs don’t seem to need that kind of time. This song that I finished yesterday needed a LOT of time to gestate. The chorus dates back to at least 2007. It could be older, but I’m certain it’s existed for at least 4 full years.
Most songs just don’t get finished after a long time like that. I’ve abandoned too many partially formed songs to start going back and picking them all up again. I have probably forgotten a hundred miscarried songlets in my past 10 years of writing, and I’m fine with that. Some songs aren’t meant to be heard or remembered or finished. Other songs however, like the one that I’m working on today, keep bobbing up to the surface of my consciousness for reasons unknown.
All I ever really had was the chorus, and for the past few weeks it’s been coming back to me, asking to be finished. At first, I tried to push it aside. There’s no logical reason why I should want to finish a song from 4 years ago. After all, those were the Dark Ages. I was working with a lot less back then, believe me. A lot of my songs from that era that I did finish have fallen out of my repetoire, and for good reasons.
Since writing that chorus, I’ve fallen in love and had a daughter (though not in that order). I’ve had extraordinary experiences, written a lot of songs, played a lot of guitar, etc etc. I’ve learned a lot, and still learning. The thing that I’m learning today, is that I must listen to my Muse. When something is handed to me from on high, I don’t need to argue against it, I need to sit down and write it. One voice in my brain may say no, that’s not a good enough song. No reason to waste time on that. You sucked back then, remember? The voice that says that can’t be trusted, because I can’t be certain of what is great or could be great and what is for sure not great. So from now on, I’m just going to listen and try to finish everything that I’m told to.
I really do believe some crazy things.