konalavadome

Universal, long lasting song that grows with you throughout your life.

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CMUK

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« on: March 17, 2016, 05:42:20 PM »
As songwriters we write about anything and everything and that's cool. We often write about what we are thinking about that is pertinent to our age/situation at the time of writing.

I was wondering if any of you have written or tried to write a song about a simple, universal theme or truth that everyone can identify with? A song that grows or maybe alters it meaning for you or the listener as they grow and get older throughout their life?

The reason I ask is because I witnessed this happen last night to one of my favourite singers and it was one of the most amazing experiences. The singer was Natalie Merchant, you may not know her but she's been around a while and is a pro. She was playing at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the first time. She was nervous, fluffed her first song, even being a seasoned pro, but she was enjoying the immense feeling from playing on that stage. Later in the set she then came to sing a song she released around 18 years a go. It's called "Life is Sweet" (spot the universal theme). It's a good song, I like it, but listening to her sing it last night made me realize that writing and recording this song as a single woman in your 20s is very different, and you have a different response to singing it in your 40s when your a mother, which she is now. Also, I then wondered how it would be for her to sing it in another 40 years to her grand children. She was in tears at the end of the song as she repeated the phrase "Life is sweet, Life is short but Life is sweet!" Is was very powerful and uplifting to witness and made me want to write a song I could carry with me through life.

Here's a version of her singing it when she was younger...


This is my next challenge to myself, to write a song that when I stand on a stage in 20 years time will move me to tears. A big challenge I know. Do you fancy taking the challenge or do you already have that song? :'( :D

CaliaMoko

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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 06:04:51 PM »
Oh, thank you for introducing me to Natalie Merchant! There are so many wonderful artists I've never heard of. And I see someone mention one of them in these forums. And then two or three other people will chime in, saying how great they are. And I've never heard of them. How did this happen? Clearly, I've led a sheltered life....

CMUK

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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 06:20:14 PM »
Your welcome, she is very good. Start with Tigerlilly, which was her first solo album. It has many good songs on it but also my favourite... "I may know the word" which is devastatingly beautiful and sad.

Lyrical

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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2016, 11:47:47 PM »
I recently wrote a song that I think is relevant to what you mentioned. Each verse covers a phase in my life. I was fortunate enough to find success in the music industry some years ago and the song covers that in the following phases (verses):

1) being a kid and wanting to be in a band
2) achieving success in a band and it not being all I thought it would be
3) life after the band and how that is

So basically

1) Wanting something
2) Getting it
3) Reflecting on that after the fact

I think that's relevant to everyone when they listen to it as almost everyone will fall into one of those 3 categories.


CMUK

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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 09:49:29 PM »
@Lyrical

Cool, sounds good. Reminds me a little of Mr. Jones by Counting Crows, a song about wanting to be a big star, but when sung later in his career the words changed to reflect the reality and how it's not quite how you imagined it to be.

Boydie

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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 10:17:54 PM »
I agree with LYRICAL's approach

However, I tend to approach things in a slightly different way

I like to have a single message / emotion / "Universal Theme" for most of the lyric

Eg I would combine the "wanting something and getting it" as one theme (although they could also be seen as 2 separate themes and still make sense for a song)

However, I like to have the "shift in perspective" as my Bridge section

eg the "reflection" would be a good theme for the bridge to provide a bit of contrast to the rest of the lyric but I would then return to the feeling of "getting it" for the chorus (or verse) sections that follow the bridge to return to the main theme of the song to hammer home the message
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hardtwistmusic

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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2016, 03:46:22 AM »


I was wondering if any of you have written or tried to write a song about a simple, universal theme or truth that everyone can identify with? A song that grows or maybe alters it meaning for you or the listener as they grow and get older throughout their life?



Oh, I've TRIED.   ;o)
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Verlon Gates  -  60 plus years old.