The Song

Unfinished Mail

NIna Simone
I write this the day after Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US. Yesterday I watched a brilliant documentary on Nina Simone. It included a song I consider iconic. It is “Strange Fruit” about lynching in the United States. I first heard the song as part of a musical history of the blues in a stage show called “Ain’t Nothing But the Blues.” It stuck like glue with me. 
Another song that stays with me is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Years ago I saw Meika Pauley in person. She dissected this iconic song verse by verse and forever changed it in my mind. 
This past year I saw Aldous Harding do Rob Orbison’s “Crying.” It was a slow dripping rendition that still clings to my heart. 
Songs are living creatures. When you as a songwriter make them they take a life of their own. They can be wild creatures. A single song can change your set and your life. I remember at one time hearing “The song stands out.” If it is meant to do great things it will. This stands true whether it is done as an individual songwriter, a songwriter for hire, or a member of a band. The song has a voice that will speak to the audience…if it’s the right song. Be aware of the voice you create and know that the song may not always be yours.  
January 31st, 2017