Week 50 - Back Again

First an update on last week’s computer troubles.  I followed (very carefully) the directions I found on Microsoft’s website about rebuilding the User Profile and - Voilà! – it worked.  Needless to say, it was a big relief.  It was also much less painful than I thought it would be.  I wasted no time moving on to #50 after deciding I wouldn’t shut down the computer this week.  I had rebooted several times successfully but I was a bit paranoid.

Back Again started at the acoustic guitar with my typical strumming and fishing for ideas.  The first thing to pop was the last line of the chorus, ‘Though stars might fall and trees might bend, this love will never end.’  I liked how the words worked with the melody and decided it would be the launching point for this week’s song.

However, although I had these words and melody, I didn’t have much more.  It took another session or so to get a sense of what music and chords would work around it.  Once I had the rough structure in place, the focus turned to lyrics and what that chorus line and this song was going to be about.  The first images in my head were of a mother and a young child.  (Remember, at that point, I just had the sweet words of the chorus.)  But as I fleshed out the song’s verses, it started to go in a little less sweet direction with the singer in a rough spot remembering back regretfully to those words being said.

By the time I had drafted the lyrics it was a father and son situation with the father having long since passed away and the son regretting that there was now no way to reconcile.  But I wasn’t done yet.  As I tweaked away, I played with a few word changes in the final verses and suddenly the father was still alive and the son just hadn’t seen him for a long time.  This started a whole new round of wordsmithing as I had to go back through the entire song to be sure there were no inconsistencies in the lyrics.  I bore you with these details just to give you some insight into how the writing process often goes.  In the end, the lyrics (like so many this year) still feel unfinished. 

As for instrumentation, I knew we’d have our trusty guitars going throughout.  Early on, I could hear (imagined) an organ coming in on the second verse, so that was the second part to be added.  At that point, I had a very basic arrangement and felt I needed more.  However, it was late Saturday morning and I decided I’d add just one more instrument.  In my head, I was hearing (believe it or not) some muted French horny brass part.  I know it sounds strange but that’s how this process goes.  I played around with some built in French horn-like sounds that I have but nothing was quite right.  I then played with piano parts for a while, but they too weren’t quite right.  So then Garylocks tried adding some strings and they were just right.  And that was it.

I hope you enjoyed Back Again.  I really can’t believe that there are only two songs left in my 52 in 52 journey.  Although my whole mind, body and spirit is ready for the end (and the break it will bring), there is a small part of me that’s starting to say, ‘Wait, there are some things about it that we’re going to miss.’  But fear not, I’ll still be making music, just not at this crazy pace.

As always, thanks for following along.  I’ll see you next time with #51.  Have a great week!