Saturday, November 1, 2014

#songaday 1

After reflecting on "Send Me A Sign" I decided to try to write something a lot more specific. I focused on an experience that is both mundane and ubiquitous: waking up and going to work. I tried to describe particular moments from this daily exercise (mostly drawn from my own experience, but not entirely) in a way that established a broader mood. I think I was somewhat successful at honing in on what writing teachers call those small moments.

He parks his car in a silent lot
Dogs bark as the wind picks up
He smells the factories
And he smells the lake

As I wrote the song, I realized I wanted it to end with the character's arrival. There's some ambiguity about where exactly he's going, and it's not clear that he's necessarily going to a job. The song ends with his entrance into some unknown building. 

Upon writing that verse, I remembered that a lot of Springsteen's "Factory" focuses on the comings and goings of a laborer ("Man takes his lunch / walks out in the morning light"). Now I'm also remembering that "Factory" actually has very few words. Not so with the song I just wrote. That's something I'm going to think about tomorrow, and something I've never really considered: How many words does a song call for? How much does it need? 

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