SAC Songwriting Challenge | Week 3 | Advertising Spot

This challenge – challenged.

When I first read the brief, I laid in bed reflecting on the simple world of a child, playgrounds, school yards, hopscotch, handball.

Of course I quickly connected to my feelings as a parent – but that wasn’t what we were asked to deliver on. And being noted as a writer that seems to live much ‘above the neck’ I percolated on this song, but truly struggled with how to keep it from being ‘heart stringy’ but at the same time veering away from frivolous.

I started 4 songs – all of which I liked, but ditched because they were way too think’y. However, I had arrived at a chorus I quite liked “time goes fast beneath the tree, eyes closed tight counting 1, 2, 3, you can’t catch me”.

Still not connecting with any overall concept or lyric, I was stumped and ready to throw in the towel. This has been another intense week of writing outside of the challenge, and I was way too busy to be frustrated and not have time or space to brew on an idea. However, I am determined. And so there I was laying in bed once again thinking about the innocence of childhood. Dig. Think. What is it that stands out about being a child that I could invest my heart into? And there it was. Make believe. Back I headed into my studio with the deadline biting at my heels. However, rather than “you can’t catch me” as the final chorus line I switched it up for the make believe concept with a more aspirational message – with the child proudly saying “if you could see me, oh, if you could see me”.

“Beneath the tree” works for 15, 30 and 60 second segments (although I didn’t plan that, it just happily worked out that way). Luckily simple production of guitar, voice and percussion fit the song perfectly. Thankfully, because beyond that my production wants are left to North (Easton) who I write with quite a bit, my own producer in Toronto, or to the other host of artist’s producers that I work with. Which has me ‘talking about’ what I ‘hear’ and leaving the heavy production lifting for them. But, yes, I am up’ing my recording and production technology. But production is a slippery slope that quickly devours massive amounts of time labouring over every part. Fun, yes. But my time is already stretched and lovingly dedicated to writing. Luckily for me, Michael (my husband) had just recently bought a cajon which was a perfect addition to this song. Could it be produced a 100 different ways? Yes, always.

And the image. No – I didn’t write the song to the photo, although you could completely think I did. I couldn’t believe how perfect this image was when I found it. Dream-like image of a young boy, with a sword, beneath the tree. Couldn’t have thought it any better. Serendipitous.

“Beneath the Tree”

- rbt