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Melodies of the Heart

December 14, 2009

I wrote a song last night, and as I was writing it, felt quite satisfied with the melody I sang.  Descending fourths are somehow terribly comforting, and the range in which I was singing almost made me believe it was Colbie Caillat’s voice escaping my mouth instead of my own.

I was writing about him.

I love conversational phrases and metaphors and perfect rhymes.  I strive to always write the truth, but I almost never embellish accurately.  I live for a good lyric, especially accidentally come by, but I believe words never really say all that they are meant to until they are sung.

I’ve been known to lose my footing faster than I care to admit.
My balance goes and everybody knows I’m falling in.

It’s okay, right?  You should hear it.

But there’s a problem.

As I hummed this song through the rest of my evening, I found myself distracted by different words in song after song until I realized I’d already written this song about twelve times before.

The words were different, but the melody wasn’t.
And neither was the reason I wrote it.

I watch the breath escape your lips; it’s cold outside; we’re running around.
I step into the mist that hangs in the Chicago air; you’re taking me downtown.


It’s autumn in Tennessee but it sure don’t feel like fall to me.
I’m waiting for the cold to settle in.
Southern hospitality applies to the weather too, I see.
I miss the bite of the Northern wind.

The melody for all three of these songs, all written this year, and two of them quite recently, is basically the same.

I guess I should be thankful I can’t in trouble for ripping myself off.

But I never did it intentionally, and each time I did it, as I sang and played and wrote and rewrote, I really thought I was doing something new and beautiful.

The truth is, it was beautiful.

Because I ache.

I am a naive, innocent, inexperienced girl.  I’m idealistic and I believe in dreams and daydreams and I hope for too much and I give more than I have and somehow all of that has led me here, to this place, in a hundred situations I don’t know how to handle because I was never given the chance to learn.

And I wouldn’t change it, not for a second, but it does hurt sometimes.  It hurts and it’s a hurt that can’t be slept off or dulled with medication or even kissed away.

It needs to be sung out.

And even though the words change, even though they’ll take me from Chicago to Tennessee to the moon and back, the melody is the same, every sing time.

When I’m too close and too far away, all at once.
When my heart needs to hold on and let go.

That melody bubbles back up and evaporates into the air around me.

This time, I sang,

Slow me down.
Don’t let me let you get away.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2009 7:03 pm

    This is like free liner notes. Awesome!

    I’m thinking that perhaps a personality type actually creates certain melodies and you’re proving my theory.

    Now, to get that MP3 streaming…

  2. cari permalink
    December 17, 2009 10:47 am

    it’s been a long time since i’ve written a good song. or any song. i guess time has something to do with it. and other thing is that i simply haven’t been properly inspired. yeah, i’m supposed to write a song. but i have until april. i’m not inspired, i guess. hopefully that time will come again soon.

  3. February 11, 2010 7:38 pm

    hello..i stumbled upon your blog as i was just skipping along, exploring. this post is…awesome. truly moved me. i’ve always envied artists for what they can do for themselves. you’re words are beautiful and personal. i hope you stay with that ache…it’s where your light is.
    just saying hello.

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