Saturday, November 12, 2011

Silly Songwriting

A Song in My Heart, Silly Lyrics on My Lips

Have I told you about my silly songwriting? While jollying my daughter along in the world, I frequently find myself coming up with songs about anything and everything in my path.

It all started with:
Oh, I like to change my diaper
Moo moo moo the cow says.
and has progressed through any number of songs about a variety of foods, things, and places to visit.

Yes, I have songs about going to the library, bare feet, and tortellini. I even have a song about not having a song. Sample lyric: "I'm eating my banana, but I don't have a song."

My daughter loves these songs. Sometimes I hear her singing the waffle song in her crib, which really tickles me. Not only is she reciting with precise rhythm and stress, she's approximating the tune. It makes a mamma proud.

Sometimes she requests a song. "Sing the Grandma Song!" She'll tell me. "Sing 'Barefeet.'" "Sing the banana song!" I didn't have a banana song, which is how I came to have a song about not having a song.

I don't know what exactly posses me when I come up with these riffs of silly words set to music, but when they appear, I sing them over and over to help fix them in place. I once lost a song for a week, and I was heartbroken. And then one day I fumbled for the chorus lyric and managed to recreate the whole thing. When I'm wise, I grab my voice recorder or our little Flip camera and film myself singing a snippet.

Sometimes it's just a simple repetitive refrain. Sometimes it has several verses. Sometimes the song flows straight out of my mouth in one piece. Sometimes I add on and rewrite verses for months. But in most cases, I have something I want to say, and I open up my mouth, and it comes out sung.

I've been told that they are good. Really good. Good as in Stuck in My Head And I Can't Stop Singing It good. Which I guess is good. It's an odd feeling to be internally assailed by a tune I wrote myself.

My latest was inspired about my daughter always wanting a book to read whenever she has to lie down on the changing table or sit on the potty. But not just any book, but a small book. Just a small book. Hence this song:
Give me a small book.
I want just a small book.
So give me a small book
So I don't have to wait.
I sit and sit and
when I sit I sit and read
I read and read so
I don't have to wait.

I find myself running it through my head repeatedly this week, an ongoing refrain. This one is pretty insidious, but no worse or less catchy than the rest of them.

I write earworms, I realize with amazement. I never suspected I'd ever have such a talent.

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