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  • Writer's pictureRoger Greenaway

It's only words | Song lyrics from the heart

Updated: Apr 5

Ain’t it funny how time slips away.... i mean its been so long now since I wrote in my blog... I thought that and then I began humming Willie Nelsons song. I’m one of those persons whose mind leaves often during conversation or every day situations to song titles and lyrics that associate with what I'm doing. There's even a version of the old word association game now where you recall song titles to win. That's probably a game I would be good at.

Well, no excuses for taking so long really, except that I injured my arm and was no longer able to work and that took some getting my head around. 40miles, track 1. My head. There I go again. My decision to undergo an operation on my shoulder was in hindsight impatient and didn't work out exactly as planned. I guess I rushed the decision partly due to the fear of having to find a new job, but there you go, you're always smarter afterwards. Over the last half a year and after careful consideration, I have made some attitude changes which means living without painkillers and finding some mental stability, at least as stable as my mind ever was. The cool thing is that these changes in my life seem to be coming along right when I was finding my passion for music again. I mean it is a passion so music will always be part of my life but not being able to work these past months has given me the time to realize that musically, I've been procrastinating for ages.

 I recently celebrated my brother in laws 40th with him and his friends, we got together at his party to play some songs, a couple of short sets only, as strumming the guitar takes quite an effort now, because of my injury. I really enjoyed it. So did everyone there. I played some old songs with Sasha because we didn’t have time to rehearse and we figured we would be able to get through these songs on the night. In fact we were both surprised at how well we still knew those songs from years ago. It struck me not only that the melody and chords came back so easily, but once I started singing even the lyrics fell into place. And I've been thinking about lyrics a lot lately. Thinking how important your lyrics can be to the form of a song. Since I started this blog, I have concentrated on practicing on the piano and guitar, but all of a sudden I was no longer fit to play. This left me reading through the songs and the ideas i have so far. Thinking about which songs I would work on once I recovered. I got to focus on the lyrics by themselves for once. I always enjoyed writing song lyrics, the play on words, the vitality of a great verse, so this has been quite an invigorating time for me.

Obviously there are various paths that lead a songwriter to the particular lyrics they eventually choose to pair with the melody. You might deliberate for days and hours over the perfect theme to suit the melody or vice versa, playing chord progressions over and over picking out phrases one by one and other times lyrics just so easily fall out of a situation, conversation or straight from the Muse right to where they belong. The best lyrics of course come from the heart, and my own lyrics in large part are drawn from life experiences. I find writing and appreciating them can bring joy and meaning. Dealing with a debilitating injury can be a trial, but reading and writing lyrics has helped me accept the change in my circumstances, to accept Gods providence wherever it may lead me, and I feel an urge to get on with it, to move forward and get back to finishing the recordings I have started.

In fact I want to add to this blog the lyrics of some of my songs I’m working on releasing. The two I have in mind to add first I like to sing in my live set, so if you see me performing them you’ll know what I'm singing about. The first song "blue" I wrote in about three minutes, Lyrics and melody. Its me pondering a cloudless summer morning. The other song is called "The devil you know". It took quite a bit longer, while the chord progression came to me quickly the lyrics took about three months for me to be ok with. This song seems quite appropriate to play lately given my injury was sustained at work. Hard physical shift work. And the mental state I got into trying to work through the pain. These lyrics are a good example of my style and they are some of my favourite lyrics that I have written.

I think that In the end everything comes down to a choice, sometimes circumstances shroud or veil the right path ahead and you just stick where it’s more comfortable and suffer what you know. "The devil you know". Other times everything seems as clear as the "blue" sky and you soar through life like on eagles wings. I think the right choice in music and life is to be generous and kind come what may.

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