Two New Songs

I’m not sure what happened this week, but I just finished the second of two new songs. Listening to some of Beirut’s jauntier tunes in celebration (well, they’re all pretty jaunty, I guess). I feel moderately good about the first and very good about the second, which is, incidentally, the one I was struggling with in my post about Sufjan Stevens. I didn’t wind up going with his device, though I’m sure the song will evolve. I felt particularly constrained today, just in general, and when I got home, I went straight to writing. It was like opening a bottle under pressure. My method for writing lyrics is probably a little different from the methods of people who are what I’d call “real” musicians. I don’t understand theory or even know, half the time, what chords I’m playing. I randomly find chords I like just by fiddling around and then just sing random jumbles of nonsense words over that to get the melody by ear. Then I sit down and write and try each line out, often modifying on the fly. Sometimes this feels a little like automatic writing, and it certainly felt that way today, though I have no title—I resisted the obvious “Playing House.” I hope to be able to include a link to the audio of this at some point soon.

What I would give
To feel a thrill
From the simplest pretense
Like a child who knows
The difference between life
And playing house

All the clear days are gone
The sun entangled in its
References, the air vibrates
With them
With them

The words you say
The words that you pray
To feel a little all right
When all the time
You know it’s not enough
To be a servant of words

All the clear days…

I know the way back is blocked,
I know my place in time,
Thank you very much
What I would give to feel a thrill
Like knowing the difference between life
And playing house