Mudcat Café message #1684237 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89274   Message #1684237
Posted By: Jerry Rasmussen
03-Mar-06 - 07:42 AM
Thread Name: Wincers
Subject: RE: Wincers
Part of my saving grace, michael is that I didn't start writing songs until I was almost 30. And, I never "wanted" to be a songwriter. I rarely set out to write a song. In my whole life, I've only written three or four songs "intentionally." I still love traditional music, whether it is folk or gospel, and there is an endless supply of great songs already written. If I never write another song, it's fine with me. That said, I write a half a dozen a year, just because a line pops into my head that I find interesting, and I sometimes "but not always" let it grow into a song. Throughout my life, many songs have started in that half awake/half asleep state of early morning... or mid-night. Many more have started as a response to having a good time with friends. Another batch come as a response to strangers I run across who make a deep impression on me... or a simple event.

As an example, as I'm typing this, I can imagine writing a song titled "I'm Fine" for all the people my wife and I visit who are housebound or in nursing homes. That spirit that responds to the question, "How are you feeling?" with "I'm fine," even though the person is blind, or has been bed ridden for years always hits me. It makes me realize that whatever small irritations or frustrations I have are foolish and self-centered.

When I "write" ("make-up" would be a better term) I often don't write down the words until well along in the song. Same with the melody. It's not laziness (sometimes it's inconvenince, like when I'm driving.) Mostly, I have this attitude that if I can't remember the words or the melody, they are be definition not memorable. And, who wants to write a song that's not memorable. That means that the wincers that I "write" slip away quickly.

I also tend to write more observational, or anecdotal songs, which don't lend themselves to profound, artsy-fartsy lines. The closest I get is lines like:

"We all live by patterns we don't understand
That drive us as surely as a clock drives the hands"

And I don't even remember all of that song..

I draw from a well of traditional folk, rhythm and blues and very simple gospel music. Not a lot of self-conscious stuff in there.

My wincers have long since been forgotten, michael. So have some pretty good songs. I come across songs I've written and don't even remember. I look at them in amazement, and am surprised that I wrote them down.