Story Tellers

I have a confession, I like sappy  music.   I like regular stuff too, but the sappy stuff...well it just gets to me sometimes.  I guess the truth is, I like any song that tells a story.  I get that from my dad. When we were kids he would play his records and they were usually artists like Neal Diamond, John Denver, Jim Croce and Dan Fogelberg.  I didn't exactly love the music.  It wasn't your typical pre-teen/teenage fare, but I do remember him telling me that one of the reasons he liked those artists, were that they told stories with their music.  After that I would listen to the words and see if I could hear the story.  It was a kind of game I would play as a kid.  Some of the stories were above my understanding at that age (which wasn't always a bad thing).  I liked to picture what the people in the song looked like.  I would wonder at their motivations and fabricate a back story or epilogue to the song.  It became sort of a habit with me, one that continued until my adult years.

Then about five years ago my husband bought me tickets to a Josh Groban concert for my birthday. I always liked his music, but I was blown away with how much I loved the concert.  Hearing it live, listening to his explanations,  it just affected me.  I came home that night and couldn't sleep.  There were too many songs, too many stories.  I got up and found a notebook and wrote and wrote and wrote.  Mostly my scribbles were character sketches.  But that was the beginning of my serious writing.  It was a strange moment for me to realize, as an adult, that I was finally doing what I should have known I loved all along; telling stories.  It was freeing, even exhilarating.  I couldn't get enough of it, and it started because of music. 

 I admire an song writer's ability to tell a story in just a few stanzas.  They give us just enough to form a picture and feel the emotions, while allowing us to construct the rest.  It takes me a novel to do that.  I guess we all have our strengths and one is not better than the other, but what I've learned is that we can all inspire each other.  A beautiful painting can inspire a song which can in turn inspire a novel which can inspire a movie which can inspire a song... The circle goes round and round with endless possibilities and combinations. 

    What Inspires you?

Here's one of my favorite Song Stories:


Now or Never
 by Josh Groban

I watch the morning dawn upon your skin
A splinter in the light
It caught and frayed the very heart of us
It's been hiding there inside for all this time
How a sure thing winds up just like this
Clockwork silence only knows

And it's no one's fault
There's no black and white
Only you and me
On this endless night
And as the hours run away
With another life
Oh, darling can't you see
It's now or never
It's now or never

Sweeping eggshells still at 3 A.M.
We're trying far too hard
The tattered thought balloons above our heads
Sinking in the weight of all we need to say
Why's and what if's have since long played out
Left us short on happy endings

And it's no one's fault
There's no black and white
Only you and me
On this endless night
And as the hours run away
With another life
Oh, darling can't you see
It's now or never
It's now or never

You know that there's so much more

8 comments:

  1. Jim Croce. I immediately thought of Photographs and Memories...which kind of goes with my blog post today. Ha. I like sappy music, too, when I go through the trouble of turning the radio on and searching for a song I like. Usually, I don't listen to music, but it's one of those things I don't understand about myself.

    I don't like dead crickets either, but at least the crickets are better than roaches and mice. I found a few dead spiders.

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  2. Jessie,
    All I got out of that comment was that you don't listen to music! Then I remembered you mentioned that once before, but I must have blocked it from my memory because it was too hard to comprehend!

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  3. It's fun to read other people's stories about why they do what they do ... I don't even know when I became really serious about my writing, but in the last couple years, I've definitely noticed that music and everything else is a huge factor in what I'm writing at the moment.

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  4. Jessie my husband sings that Jim Croce song all the time.

    We try so hard to tell a story in 70,000 words, it always amazes me that song writers can do it in 100.

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  5. YOU SAW JOSH IN CONCERT?!!

    *perishes from jealousy*

    Seriously though, I agree about the importance of songs telling a story. The best songs always do.

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  6. Tiana,
    Music probably wasn't the only thing that started my writing, but it's definitely the one that sticks out.

    Patti,
    Jim Croce is everywhere. Who knew. :)

    Renee,
    You should be jealous. He was perish worthy... Just saying.

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  7. Um, is it bad to admit the last song I really mulled over was "The night the light's went out in Georgia." Like last week. It's a fabulous song! it haunts me. Especially when I sing it. Haunts other people too. Was it really little sister???
    Here's a secret. In high school I dreamt of becoming a country singer. Never mind I couldn't sing. I spent one year with hair as big as Reba and Wynonna. I imagined myself (with really big hair) singing stories about love, loss, cheating and murder to adoring fans on stage. But I can't sing and I'm kind of going bald. SO there you go.

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  8. Susie,
    I just had a flash of you in that eighties outfit you posted a picture of on FB. You could so be an eighties/nineties country diva! Now I must hear you sing sometime and have the privileged of being haunted by one of your renditions. I say we have Karaoke night one day when we're all back in Clovis.

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