I’ve had a recent run of thinking and talking in song lyrics more than usual. I’m sure it’s as annoying to others as it can sometimes be for me. Using my own words would, of course, be preferable, but so many gifted people have seen this same world, lived these same experiences, and used their words so much more evocatively and on-point than I can. I often find myself experiencing something through someone else’s words and melody. My words don’t seem to measure up.
My life is littered with little notebooks or scraps of paper where I’ve scribbled a few lines thinking they would eventually build into a great song. And they probably would, if I handed them over to a real songwriter.
Other people’s stories
Last week, for instance, Bob Schieffer was on the morning news previewing a television special about the upcoming anniversary of JFK’s assassination, more specifically, about Abraham Zapruder, the man whose home video captured that historic and tragic moment. Schieffer told the story of being at work in the newsroom of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram when the shooting occurred and answering the phone to a woman saying, “Is there anybody there who can give me a ride to Dallas?”
He said he almost hung up on her, telling her this wasn’t a cab service and that the president had just been shot. She said she knew and that she thought it was her son who had been arrested for the shooting. I stopped in the tracks of my morning routine to think about what it must have been like to be in her position at that moment. He and the city editor picked her up and gave Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother a ride to Dallas.
I thought “Is there anybody there who can give me a ride to Dallas” was a great line upon which one might build a song from the perspective of Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother. I wish I could write it. Maybe someone will and maybe I’ll hear it and then those will be lyrics that I relate in some future conversation when someone else’s words serve better than mine.
Other people’s words
Today, I took a walk to pick up some lunch, and the second I walked outside, a song came into my head that I hadn’t thought of in probably a year. And before that it had probably been a year.
The weather is turning cooler and the sky was grey, and Dan Fogelberg’s “Old Tennessee” became the soundtrack for my walk and reminded me that it’s the end of October, which hit me by surprise. . . again.
End of October/ The sleepy brown woods seem to nod down their heads to the winter/ Yellows and greys paint the sad skies today and/ I wonder when you’re coming home. Woke up one morning, the wind through the window/Reminded me winter was just ’round the bend/ Somehow I just did not see it was comin’ It took me by surprise again. . . .
There are a few other songs that usually come to mind around this time of year.
It’s almost an annual tradition for me to post a video of my favorite Halloween love song. Richard Shindell’s “Are You Happy Now?” always comes to mind when the Cinderella and ghost costumes and the mega-sized bags of candy hit the shelves.
At some time in October, but usually more near the end of September, James Taylor’s “October Road” falls into my brain.
I started to make a list of end of October songs, but after a few more, it became forced and contrived.
Somehow or other, when I experience my first cool, grey day or my first glimpse of yellow leaves against a grey sky, my mind seeks the southern comfort of a warm cup of soup and the chorus of “Old Tennessee.” Then it’s officially fall.
Do you have any change of season songs?
Daily Prompt: Express yourself. Tell us about a time you couldn’t quite get your words or images to express what you wanted to express.