Revising Inspiration

February 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

Earlier this month, I shared a lyrical effort inspired by two of the all-time great songwriters, Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot. I was really happy with what came out. However, when the time came to arrange and chord those lyrics, no matter what we did, my wife (and primary arranger) and I could not make it sound any different that Lightfoot’s first major hit song, Early Morning Rain.

As I may have mentioned before, I hate revision, though I do recognize the value of that skill. My general lack of patience, coupled with the fact that I get ideas for lyrics constantly (not all of them good ideas, I admit), usually results in my finishing a draft lyric, perhaps changing a word or two, calling it done, and moving on.

In the past, when a lyric could not be arranged so as not to sound like an existing song, I would have moved on. The offending effort would have been allowed to gather dust, or whatever it is that used pieces of paper do once the page is turned and forgotten.

In this case, though, I wanted to see whether I could revise the lyric enough to allow a variation in rhythm, without changing the meaning, or allow for a different melody. (As I think I’ve stated in the past, I usually get the inspiration for the first line of a lyric, with the melody then following. As a result, the melody for any given lyric is a bit fluid.) I don’t know whether I’ve succeeded, but I think the resulting lyric is a bit stronger.

The Road – Redux

With the morning sun, I’ll be travelling on
So much I must do, and it’s time that I was gone
I gave you my love but never promised I would stay
So, with the morning sun, I’ll be on my way

But we still have tonight, one more night beneath the stars
Don’t think about tomorrow because tonight is ours
Hold me in your arms once more before I go
Don’t know where I am bound, but the road is all I know

When the bus pulls out tomorrow, you will be a memory
Though you must stay behind, you will always be with me
I know it’s hurting you knowing I’ll walk out that door
But I just can’t stay, so please don’t ask me any more

But we still have tonight, one more night beneath the stars
Don’t think about tomorrow because tonight is ours
Hold me in your arms once more before I go
Don’t know where I am bound, but the road is all I know

Don’t know where I am bound, but the road is all I know

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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