Hmm…another week, another song. (I’m running out of ways to begin the blog.) Mighty River actually got its start a few weeks back while I was working on You Said (week 11). It was one of those moments – very rare this year - where I had some time to sit around and play the guitar for fun (and not fishing for song ideas). I was talking with my daughter at the time. (You can hear her in the background of my cell phone recording.)
As we talked, I was picking away somewhat randomly and happened upon the first of the two finger picking patterns that form the basis of the song. While the pattern wasn’t really that notable, I’m in the habit this year of saving any and all ideas. I pulled out the cell phone, recorded about 30 seconds of it and made a mental note to return to it over the next couple of weeks.
Last weekend, I sat down to flesh out that initial idea and see what I could do with it. My first priority was finding a melody to work over the simple chord progression. After a little trial and error, I settled into the simple melody that makes up the verse and the chorus. Next came some fishing around for lyric ideas. The first lines to stick became the opening, ‘What do you say when it’s gone away, What do you say when there’s nothing left to say.’ I wrote a few more verses in that same pattern and then the chorus lyrics. The bridge idea soon followed and by the end of that first writing session, the rough song was pretty much in place.
I did continue to tweak lyrics throughout the week, whittling away as I tried to get a sense of what this song was going to be about. To be honest, I don’t know that I ever figured it out completely. In the end, I guess it’s just one of those songs that paints an impression with words and melody (if that makes any sense.) I’m hoping it works for listeners on some level.
As I sat down to track the guitar part midweek, I thought it might be nice to have two guitar parts complementing one another. I set the capo up the neck and after a little fiddling around, developed the second higher picking pattern. The rest was pretty straight forward, filling out the song with some vocal harmonies and other elements.
And that was it for Mighty River. Pretty straightforward. I hope you enjoyed it. I can’t believe I’ve completed fourteen songs already. As tough as this little adventure has been, time does seem to be flying. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There are still plenty more to go. Thanks for following and have a great week!