Many songwriters have spoken of experiencing something like psychic dictation when writing a song. Some say these songs are just floating in the ether waiting to be pulled down. Others believe they’re transmitted like radio waves from somewhere to them and they act as a sort of receiver. Others believe in muses – Greek goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts.
I believe that God speaks in a variety of ways, and inspiring creative works is one of them, although I’ve often felt in the moment that some songs were just out there, waiting – in more modern terms – to be downloaded.
But I’m writing a lot of songs lately. It must be the phase I’m in. I haven’t been in emotional catharsis mode for a while. It’s all been intake, go-go-go and then on to the next thing with no time to debrief or process the many things I’m experiencing. So it’s coming out in art instead. For me, when things don’t come out in structured prose they reveal themselves in songs. Sometimes what these songs are about is really obvious. Other times, their meaning isn’t revealed – even to me – until years later. It’s a mysterious process.
I finished a song two nights ago that I’ve been trying to write for about a month. The title and first line are the same and those words and the melody of just that first line are all I’ve had for a month! “Lovers on the edges of the twilight…”
In the past I would have imposed my creative will on this song much sooner but now… I just kept singing that first line whenever it came to mind and last night my patience paid off. The rest of the song “showed up” and I have to say it is quite epic. Think Matthew Perryman Jones crossed with Brandi Carlile with a big snare, a huge soaring chorus and a Hammond organ.
Like all the other new ones, I can’t wait for you to hear this one. Patience, my friends…