SAC Songwriting Challenge | Week 4 | Country Pitch

I often write what many would categorize as country, singer / songwriter. So I thought this country tune would be pretty simple. However the underlying challenge within this challenge for me, is to write a little less above-the-neck, simplify the message while keeping it interesting. Really, this undertaking makes total sense in my head.

I started with revisiting long lists of concepts and lines I scribble and squirrel away. But nothing was jumping off the page at me.

So, ‘writer with a deadline’ position assumed. Close the door. Place head in hands. Blank piece of paper (lined) and pen ready. Blank stare. And, go. I had a guitar riff I was liking so I played that over and over (and over and over). Still anything I was coming up with, though simple, wasn’t speaking to me. Maybe, I thought, I’ll have to revisit one of my old tunes, finish it and post it. Nope. That’s cheatin’.  And cheatin’ mostly me. Hmm, possible country tune title?

Then. This guy shows up. In a hotel room. Hmm – interesting. Why is he alone in this rather shabby room? I started looking through his eyes. For a bit I dabbled with killin’ ‘em off cause I had some great lines that would work for that story – but that just didn’t seem to be the right story here. And so I slowly walked myself through his eyes and found him to be a guy not particularly pleased with himself. Married, but at the mercy of his questionable judgement – and apparently, not so alone in the room.

Slowly I started pulling together the pieces of “Do Not Disturb”. Although I did second guess myself for falling back into somewhat think’y lyrics. And that slowed me down to the point where at 2:00 am Sunday morning I was taking a crack at writing a few other songs. Then during a much needed break, Hosier ‘s “Take me to Church” came on the radio (radio – how quaint). I have a great appreciation for Hosier because he’s different. I like his mood and his non-typical song writing. Simple lyrics? Not-so-much. Visually intriguing? Definitely. Intelligent? For sure. Think’y lyrics justified, I happily picked up and followed my guy back into his room to get the job done.

In a typical turn about, the verse became the chorus and the chorus become a verse and the bridge – well it did what it usually does and became elusive. There’s just simply too much pressure on the bridge. It was there – I just had to dig harder. As a matter of fact I was rewriting the bridge right up to the moment before I recorded the song tonight.

Sometimes I don’t know why a song shows up or where it’s taking me, but I’ve learned to just hang on. And my original guitar riff? Gone, as I followed the lyric to a new melody.

And in what seems to be a bit of an old world country tune – I can hear a lazy, low, Johnny Cash kind of voice. However  all the male singers I work with (and who would have been perfect),  were all too busy with their own fires  so it’s me singing about the woman whose skin I can feel the warmth of  and my waiting-wife at home.

Country pitch. Nailed. Right along with the duality of a “coffin sealed with one more nail”.

- rbt