monday song #37: brooklyn


this is the first straight love song i’ve written in a long while. i usually steer clear, but i just finished a wonderful book called “brooklyn” by the irish novelist colm toibin, and it apparently left me with a romantic longing that i needed to work out. monday songs to the rescue.

the song fills in a point of view that was not fleshed out in the book, the boyfriend who was left behind, stricken with worry that his love would never return. thus the song.

the book is a work of art, with an economy of language and a psychological acuity worthy of shakespeare. at no time does the reader know what will happen on the next page, and when the whole plays out, a plotted structure is revealed that is subtle and deep. i was really moved and inspired by it. again, thus the song.

have to thank my mom for the recommendation. the lady knows good writing.
as a side note: i was asked by john a few weeks back how i feel about the process of writing music on a deadline. i’ll start with the downside: it makes my weekends a bit cramped, and with two kids running around full of life and inspiration, it can be a a drag at times to keep to my schedule.

that said, this project is the first time that i have felt that i was doing what i really wanted to do in music. i’ve always wrestled with the shoulds: i should play live, I should form a band, i should be more forceful when marketing my music. but when i really get in touch with what i actually like doing, it’s writing songs and recording them. memorizing them is painful, playing them live is usually a orgy of self-consciousness, whether i play well or not. but creating a song out of nothing, piecing together all the sections, healing a broken bridge, re-singing the ending until the cadence works, this is work that i love to do.

writing on a deadline forces me to see through projects that i’d otherwise jettison, allowing me to discover the next day, or in the last pass, that a song i didn’t like now works. the spontaneity of the process usually unveils some place that i hadn’t been before.

they’re not all works of art, but they’re all labors of love.