Making Songs

I’ve been writing songs for as long as I can remember. I don’t know if it is a direct result of my father practically bastardizing (I say this affectionately) every song he liked on the radio (which is partially the result of not really remembering the lyrics, and wanting to sing the song anyway – a quirk I inherited, sadly) or the general lack of music in my house when I was growing up, but I have always loved to sing to myself, especially in the situations my movie-wired brain deemed to require some sort of background music to set the mood. Music fills the empty spaces, I believe, and even though my taste may not be as brilliant as others, and even though my songs aren’t as poignant, memorable, or even as relatable as others’ are (which may come from the fact that I really can’t write a song without it becoming a love song in the end – a topic that shall be discussed at a later time), the music I have, I love. Not in the way I love frozen yogurt or pizza or my ratty old jeans, but in the way you feel something tugging at your heart, seizing it, never letting it go.

I never understood how it happens, but it usually starts by me singing nonsense (usually in the bathroom), and ends in me making sense. But if I had to write it down, the how of it all (how it works, how it feels, how it comes to be), I guess Ingrid Michaelson (my hero) put it better than I ever could:

up late [from Ingrid Michaelson’s Tumblr]

i just wrote a song.  it is 2:11 am.  i am very tired.  pray pardon any typos.  i don’t know where these words come from.  i don’t know where the melodies come from.  i think they are not from me sometimes, that they are ingredients in the stars, and bits break off and drift into my jar of nutella or my bowl of tomato bisque and i slurp it up unknowingly.  and the sparkles float around in my tummy and infuse themselves into my bones and teeth and into my blood and my blood pumps it’s way up to my brain and my heart and my fingers and my throat and my tounge.  and a song comes out.  a star-dust-sparkle-song.  they don’t keep coming from me.  they can’t be.  i am lucky.  thank you stars.  fatten me up. thank you sky.  i am going to sleep.  with a smile tonight.

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