Writing simple songs ain’t easy

Simple songs are often the hardest to write. Or at least they are for this Georgia songwriter.  There is a line between trite and profound.  And never mistake profundity for the piling on of every description or thought imaginable.

I spent a few decades honing the craft of news writing, paying particular attention to the leads of stories, which should compel the reader to read on.  I eventually created a class, the Craft of Writing, which I taught to countless journalists around the country.  Its primary premise was that the key to powerful writing begins with clear, simple sentences.

I like to think you can hear in the first lines of my songs the lessons learned from writing and editing news leads intended to hook the reader with clear, simple sentences.  Here are a few from my new CD, “The Edge of America.”

 You got fleas in your bed, the roof’s got a leak, your car won’t start and it sure does seem like it’s all falling apart…   

 
 Old men, they say, don’t sleep well in strange beds, when closing your eyes is an act of faith.   

 She can tell you all the presidents and the first 100 digits of pi.  She can write haiku and even make it rhyme.

 

 
She poured coffee in my cup and said how do you like it hon. I said a little bit of cream and something sweet.

 

No more secrets. No place to hide.  Doesn’t really matter if you’re too old to cry.

 

 

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