Monday, March 16, 2009


I made an important discovery in song writing today. In 2002 I wrote two songs a day for a six week period. Most weren't very complex melodically, looking back many are quite simple, but each had it's story and varied in style. It was my first year writing songs so I was excited and enthused, and I haven't matched or cared to match that rate of productivity since, even though my later songs became more musically complex. Yesterday though I managed to write two good songs while I was drawing. In fact, the fact that I was drawing and distracted actually helped me write the songs more easily.

The easiest way to write lyrics is to imagine and feel a scene that sums up the story you want to represent, and then describe it. If you wanted to write a song about a birthday party for example, imagine the cake and the party and the guests, the decorations... then coming up with a mere twelve lines or so of description is easy, and it would sum up the scene and the mood you imagined perfectly. The melody though is another matter because attaching a melody to a feeling tends to result is generic representations and very simple melodies based on tunes you might have heard in the past, normally the recent past, whether you noticed or not (music is everywhere these days). Inventing good new melodies spontaneously is impossible.

In my new method I begin on the piano and play a few pleasing notes, a line or more perhaps, a few chords. I play the same melody a few times until it is memorised and then leave it and begin drawing, painting or doing something else. The tune keeps on playing and soon, all by itself words begin to appear that fit the music. I write them down.

By happy co-incidence the words can sometimes be about the painting I'm working on, and as an imaginative surrealist the songs are surreal and imaginative, even if the melodies are normally eminently catchy. Thus, today's song fitted Two Parents Of A Lonely Child, a picture about autism. The words follow, and the music too using my textual notation system so if you've got a keyboard handy you can play it and have a listen.

Two Parents Of A Child - words and music by Mark Sheeky

Two parents of a child,
who is living in outer space.
One eye is free and wild.
One eye is out place.

You cannot know where he goes to, if he knows you.
Nobody knows what he looks like inside.

Two parents of a child,
who insists on the same routine.
Everything neat and filed.
Everything very clean.

You cannot see where he goes to, never shows you.
He'll never know what it feels like to feel.

N344A Two Parents Of A Child, Music.


Am Dm
/ A c . d / e . f D / . . . . / . . D e /

/ f E . f / D . C e / . . . . / . . . . /

Am Dm
/ A c . d / e . f D / . . . . / . . . . /

/ f E . f / D . C e / . . . . / . . . . /


/ f E . D / B-. d e / f . . C / . . . . /

/ f . . D / . . . . / f . . C / . . . . /

/ f E . D / B-. d e / f . . C / . . f . /

/ g . . . / . . . . / . . . . / . . . . /

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