It started with a song… these blog posts most generally do. But what comes first in a song? The music? The words? It’s an age old question, which undoubtedly is a matter of preference for the songwriter. Either way, these songs tell a story of the delicate variations of the songwriter’s emotions during the creative process. Having asked a few songwriters this question myself, I’d say the answer may be that there is no right or wrong way to write as long as you are happy with the final product.
The poets and lyricists of this genre will start with the words. Sharing their ideas, words and dreams in one of the oldest art forms – poetry. This type of songwriting dates back to the Greeks whose passionate poetry was often accompanied by the Lyre musically… and just like that, lyrics were born. Having a love for words and music I must say that I am partial to this style of the songwriting genre.
The singer-songwriter relies on his imagination to provide us with a glimpse of his world in the composition of the song. The stories shared in a song can spark the emotions of anyone, bringing into view a thought, a dream, a memory of what once was and what can be.
Many of my favourites are counted among the greatest of all time. Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, David Bowie and Elliot Smith just to name a few. I once had the supreme pleasure of meeting Bob Dylan many years ago. It was an amazing end to a beautiful Blues and Jazz festival. Truth be told, I truly didn’t realize he was the ‘Bob Dylan’ at the time… he was a man with his words and guitar just singing the blues at a little afterhours bar.
Indie music is bringing about a whole new world of stories and song to dream about. Ben Howard, Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Bon Iver, Ryan Adams, Jason Mraz, David Gray, Iron and Wine, Conor Oberst, St Vincent… this list goes on. Some of the best songs I have heard over the past few years have come from the next wave of artists whose stars will surely be shining above the horizon soon. MaJLo, Kaz Hawkins, Robb Murphy, Rosie Carney, Peter McVeigh, Tall Heights, Call To Mind, Wrabel, Marble Sounds, Luke Sital-Singh.
I’ll leave you now with some of my top picks.
Thank you for listening and sharing the music!
I’d love to know some of your favourites.
It started with a song….
Until the next time,