Tales of 14-Songs-in-14-Days: Just a dream

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by Jan Seides
Sunday 9th June, 2013, 12:21pm

Yes, although I’ve been asked by people close to me “Don’t you have enough now?”, I am once again writing a song a day for two weeks.  We are at the end of the first week right now, and though I haven’t yet written today’s song, I feel I’ve earned the right to celebrate a little. So I’m writing this post.

This session was a little unusual for me, but before I tell you why, I want you to have a little background.

I am currently in the “true-believers” category.  I believe songs are scattered around the landscape like meadow flowers, and if you’re paying attention, you may pick as many as you like.  They will not all be perfect.  They will mostly not be radio-ready.  They may not even be recognizable songs even after you tweak them (in which case, you go pick another one).  But there they are.  I discovered this concept, actually, back a few thousand years ago, when I lived in California.  I wanted a new song to sing for a gig.  I told myself I should be able to write a song about anything. I looked around the room, and my photo album was lying on the sofa.  The song was called “A Picture for your Scrapbook”, and even though I never play it anymore, I still think it was a perfectly serviceable song.

Flash forward, and now I’m living in Austin again.  I’d been reading books about alien abductions…..I guess I needed something to make me fearful…..and I fell asleep after reading one particularly disturbing account. Jury’s still out on what I believe about that.  Anyway, when I woke up, in the middle of the night, I had a new song.  There was a mad scramble to find writing implement and paper, but I got most of it down, feeling like Samuel Taylor Coleridge all the while. (Kubla Khan was written when Coleridge woke from a dream.  Someone knocked at the door and interrupted the process. There may have been drugs involved.) The song was “Oh, Hear the Wind”, and I consider it one of my best, though I have no idea where it came from. It has nothing to do with alien abductions, by the way.

I now have seven or eight songs that were born while I was asleep. I perform them all the time.  They always seem magical to me, and I hope other people enjoy them too. I can’t predict when they’ll happen, but I’m eternally grateful to whoever the person is who goes picking meadow flowers in the night.

And that’s how the current 14-days challenge started for me.  Two days before we began, I dreamed two songs in succession.  I woke up, wrote the first one down, went back to sleep and dreamed another.  I saved the scraps of paper they were written on and they were my first and third song.  Here they are. (Usual noise here about how this is a Garage Band recording.  More refined recordings will, no doubt, follow.) Bon appetit!

06-04-13 Hello Love

06-05-13 You On The Corner

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