By Johanne James
Songwriting. What constitutes a great song? Lyrics? Melody? Arrangement? There have been some absolutely wonderful compositions over the years and we all have our favourites, but I have too many to mention from Abba to Zappa. There have been those songs that have reduced us to nothing more than a trembling mass, dripping with tears. There are songs that I still to this day cannot listen to, for they evoke such memories that it’s best they are left in the vault where the heart is kept. Danger! Keep out!!!
Who has been your or my most treasured writer over time? I do or did like Sting. For a number of years he was writing some great stuff, but who is to say his best is past or yet to come? What of those songs that we don’t hear from artists whom we may never hear of? Has songwriting become an exercise instead of it being an art form? We even have books that will enable you to become an expert overnight, so instead of developing a style you can just copy it from the pages of this, whatever? Can you tell the difference between a song that has been written from the head as opposed to that which has been written from the heart? There are technical and analytical writers and there are those who commit to paper just what their souls are yearning for. I won’t comment on what I have done, but I will say that I have more than likely written four songs that contain all the elements that would permit it to be played on FM radio. Remember I play drums, so what on earth am I doing writing for? I can barely string a sentence together! So much for not commenting on what I’ve done. Lol. It matters not what style or genre it is; what is important is that it’s pleasing to the ears, for the ears always know what they want to hear in spite of what may be going on in other regions of the human form. Lol.
I will say that I have been searching for many years for that one piece of music that encompasses all. I still have yet to find it, but I suspect that God is keeping the best bits for himself! That’s not fair, so I can only guess the only way to hear those heavenly tunes is to get to heaven. Not much chance of that for me! But it is said that the devil has the best tunes, so I suppose I’ll see you on the elevator going DOWN!
Thanks for listening.