Week Eleven

Still In Love
By Kim Davidson
(c) 2010

Up a tree-lined drive they ride… leaving the steeple behind…
Humbled and quiet, grateful and tired, wrapped up in love
New things and old, some borrowed and blue
They stood in front of everyone they ever knew
And promised themselves to each other… and God above

CHORUS: And mem’ry rains down like confetti
From a day overflowing, and fading too fast…
But there’s something thrilling in knowing
That all that you’ve dreamed of has come to pass…
They’re in love… so in love… still in love.

Wispy blonde hair on a tiny head… in a clear bassinet by a hospital bed
They decide on a name, and they won’t be the same, after this…
And it wasn’t easy, this mountain they climbed
With three babies gone, then the anguish of one final try
And nine months and 22 hours ends with a kiss…

CHORUS: And joy rains down like confetti
From a day overflowing, and fading too fast…
But there’s something thrilling in knowing
That all that you’ve dreamed of has come to pass…
They’re in love… so in love… still in love.

BRIDGE: And time moves along like a river, rushing sometimes and then stand- ing still…
They sometimes wish it could move backwards, but oh… it never will…

And quick as the bloom of a rose… that tiny baby’s all grown…
She brings home a man, and they shake his hand, and they smile
And at that same church where they wed long ago
She stands in front of everyone she’s ever known
And happy tears fall as they witness the vows of their child

CHORUS: And mem’ry rains down like confetti
From a day overflowing, and fading too fast…
But there’s something thrilling in knowing
That all that you’ve dreamed of has come to pass…
They’re in love… so in love… still in love.
They’re in love… so in love… still in love

This week was really hard. I was coming off a week of frenzied activity and busyness, which ended on a serious emotional high the night before, and left me crashing on Tuesday morning. I was just TIRED. I was in good enough spirits, or so I thought, and I went to Friday’s and even had the good fortune to be waited on by Alejandro again (he didn’t remember me, but it didn’t diminish the experience on my end at all), but somehow I just felt… off. Out of sorts in an inexplicable way that potstickers wasn’t going to cure.

I didn’t have much in the way of song ideas, which might have been part of it. I’d gone to open mic at the Lizard Lounge the night before and came away with the word “bullet,” courtesy of a Dan Blakeslee number. On the ride home I tossed around the line “He flies in like a bullet and shatters everything I know.” That was my jumping off point for my writing this week, but it wasn’t getting me very far.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. It got me about halfway into a song that I just couldn’t “feel.” Since I didn’t feel that line was a tag line, I was kind of going in blind and hoping a song would just present itself out of that image, but it wasn’t really happening. So I stopped. Got out my little DVR and flipped through all 18 or so tracks that were currently on it. Transcribed whatever snatches of lyrics I’d sung to myself, and took stock. Some of what was there was the past two weeks’ songs, which was funny, if not useful. At any rate, the one that jumped out as being something I could maybe work with was an idea that I got from listening to Joshua Radin’s “Today,” which begins “Shoelaces untied…” Those two words caught me and dragged me right in and I thought, “Man, I have to start writing more stuff like THAT. More descriptive and out of left field. Less let’s-start-every-song-with-a-pronoun. And what immediately popped into my head (and got sung into my DVR) was “Up a tree-lined drive they ride.” It just seemed to me a great beginning to something. I even thought maybe it would be a wedding song, because Joshua’s song had me thinking, “Maybe I’ll play that at my wedding someday,” and also who doesn’t want to write a good wedding song if they can come up with one?

So that was the lyric that I gravitated toward, sitting in Friday’s, agonizing over making the most of this one day I have available for just writing, with no other distractions. I got the first couple lines down and found that I wasn’t particularly satisfied with them. After a few moments I realized I was judging the song. That’s what I had been doing with the first song I attempted as well. And that’s not my job. All I’m meant to do is write it down and sing it. I did pause and wonder for a moment where the difference is in “editing” versus “judging,” because obviously my job IS to edit what I do until it is the best that it can be, and so what is the difference? I think for my money, editing is allowing yourself to keep thinking after you might consider you’re “done.” Allowing yourself to continue pursuing better possibilities until you really feel like the song makes the most sense and tells the closest truth it can. Judging goes something like, “Well that’s TERRIBLE. I totally have no business songwriting if this is the best I can come up with. Why do I bother? I’m a complete HACK.” I think it’s clear that judging is entirely counterproductive to any kind of productive creative process.

Once I realized I was doing that it did get quite a bit easier. After all, I reminded myself, how many times had I thought I’d written a terrible song only to have a bunch of people tell me they LOVE it? And how many times had I written a song I thought was awesome, just to hear some people go “meh” when they heard it? Exactly. We just can’t judge our own stuff. Very rarely do we actually have a handle on it with any kind of perspective—at least not right off the bat. So I fleshed out a first draft and headed home. Over the next twenty-four hours I refined a bit, added some chords, changed some chords, changed some words, and here we are. Finished song. Whew.

What I like about it, if I may be so bold, is that there was room for some guitar work that I don’t typically do. Like the little walk-up I do in the chorus. I’m pretty proud of that, actually. It’s not inventive or genius or anything, it’s just a stretch for ME, and so I like it. I also feel like this is a departure for me in a sense, and that I’ve written a song that sounds kind of like something a certain close friend songwriter might write. I’m not going to name names because that’s not quite fair to either one of us, but if anyone else were to ever compare us I’d be BEYOND flattered, so let’s just leave it at that.

By the way, for those following the whole Madeleine L’Engle song saga, you may have noticed that Léna Roy did pop in and listen. She was kind enough to leave a comment, but she also sent me a lovely reply to the e-mail I sent her, and told me that if it were up to her it would be fine because she thinks it IS a nice nod to the book, but she suggested that I check with her grandmother’s agents just to be sure. As it’s a different medium, she wasn’t entirely sure what the rules were either. So I sent a letter off to the agents, and am awaiting their response. Hopefully I won’t be told I need to remove it from the blog. I guess we’ll just see.

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One Response to “Week Eleven”

  1. Week Nineteen « Kim Davidson: New Song Weekly Says:

    […] like switching genres just for fun. I mean, am I gonna play this one out alongside something like “Still In Love” or “All These Things?” Probably not. Meanwhile, if Miley Cyrus calls, she’s […]

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