January’s Song – Strangely Warm
For 2013, my new year’s resolution was to write and record a new song each month for myself. At the time, this seemed like a relatively easy resolution to keep; most of the songs I have written and recorded in the past have been done in a single day. This rush to get things done was simply a necessity, since I so rarely have much free time on my hands (I’m usually playing, recording or composing for someone else’s project).
So a whole month seemed like a luxury. Granted, I was still doing what I normally do, so it wasn’t like I could sit in front of a microphone for eight hours a day working on my own little tune. But it still seemed like plenty of time.
What I didn’t realize, however, is that with more time, I built up higher expectations for what I could create. The resolution started to morph from, “write a song each month” to “write the best song ever written, ever, each month”. And the pressure to do just that started to really weigh me down and took a lot of fun out of the whole thing.
So I took a step back, and reeled in my expanding resolution. The point wasn’t to make a hit single, but just to make something. Something I might like to hear, or something that allows me to try a new idea or technique. Maybe this was my opportunity to learn how to sing, regardless of whether it sounds good.
Once I was able to refocus, the ideas finally started to come and the song, like they always do, came together in a short period of time. January’s song isn’t the best song ever, but it’s not bad, either. And like I wanted, it let me try new things and techniques.
January’s song is the first time I’ve ever tried to sing original lyrics. At first I had no idea what to do. I suppose other people keep little bits of poetry floating around in their heads or in notebooks. I’ve never done that sort of thing because words never come very easily for me. Instead, I use words just to get the job done. But I wanted to sing something in my song and not have it be entirely instrumental. So I started with syllables. That solved the “what should I sing” problem, but only temporarily, since I didn’t think I could get away doing the whole song like that. So I did what any normal person would do when at a loss for words, I sang about the weather. It was, in fact, a strangely warm day. The whole month has been that way. A week ago, while I was biking to work, I saw a whole row of trees that had already bloomed.
I’m kind of proud of this tune, now that it’s all done, and I hope you enjoy it, too.