Writing 101, Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice
Today, celebrate three songs that are significant to you. For your twist, write for fifteen minutes without stopping — and build a writing habit.
We’re a music family, meaning mom, dad, sister, and brother listen to all genres of music in our home; we’re an eclectic mix. For all you music trivia buffs out there, MFSB (Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) was a 70’s band famous for the song, TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) that was written as the theme to Soul Train.
Down in the Valley, by The Head and the Heart, is a song my daughter introduced me to and I fell in love with it from the first three line:
I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade. Like ridin’ around on railcars and workin’ long days. Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways.
It speaks to me in a very personal way that I can only convey as a feeling of someone gazing out the window, reflecting on themselves… who they are, and who they could have been. The song then migrates into a celebration (to me anyway) of how life is lived and where we go when we need that time to begin again. I would be a liar if told you I didn’t reflect in the same way now and then — not that I have regrets, I just think it’s a cathartic exercise. Now when I do so, this song nearly always pops in my head.
Milago, by Dave Grusin, is from his album Migration. Dave Gruisin has written amazing scores for film and television. This song comes from Robert Redford’s movie, The Milagro Beanfield War, and is simply inspirational to me. Several years ago, I only listened to instrumental… modern jazz (Bob James, Stanley Jordan, Peter White, etc.), classics from Debussy and Vivaldi, and my favorite artist at the time, Pat Metheny. If you have the time, watch Mr. Redford’s movie then listen to the album (I still call them albums), Migration.
Mean Girls, by Rachel Crow, is a wonderful song that completely falls outside my genre. The reason this song resonates with me is because my daughter is a featured actress in the music video (she’s the very first girl you see). I was on set the entire day with her and got to see how the entire process works. The singer is amazing. She was 14 or 15 at the time of the video shoot and was nothing less than professional, full of energy, and kind. Besides a beautiful song with an easy melody, the lyrics are fantastically relevant to events that are all to common in the news these days.